Dependent arising

41 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Tendency to do the action again as a result of karma
  • Bodies sentient beings take in general and having specific conditions
  • Collective karma and individual karma
  • Role of biological, physical and karmic systems
  • Explanation of Wheel of Life
  • Impermanence, three poisons
  • Fortunate and unfortunate rebirths
  • Different classes of beings
  • Twelve links of dependent origination
  • Causal dependence in forward and backward sequence

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 41: Dependent Arising (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Consider: Desire arises in our mind first, then when our desires are frustrated (when we can’t get what we want), the range of anger emotions come. Spend some time with this and make some examples from your own experience.
  2. Both natural and karmic laws can affect what we experience. Make some examples, differentiating between the laws at play.
  3. It’s important to figure out what causes we create. What causes do we want to create as individuals and as society? What causes do you need to create for where you want to be in 30 years?
  4. Consider: Things disintegrate every moment of life. Do you struggle to accept this view (either intellectually or in practice) and why?
  5. Nothing exists under its own power. Things change moment by moment. With an awareness of this, consider how you spend your time. Are you creating virtue or non-virtue?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.