Six sources

49 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.

  • How to think about each of the twelve links?
  • Four great elements forming the body
  • Feeling, discrimination, miscellaneous factors
  • Contact, feeling, discrimination, intention and attention
  • Object, cognitive faculty, consciousness and contact for cognition
  • Contact and feeling in different instances
  • Six internal sources including the mental source
  • Six external sources including the phenomenal source
  • How sentient beings are born in four ways
  • Different views on do all twelve links present in rebirths in the three realms

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 49: Six Sources (download)

Contemplation points

  1. What traditional image in the Tibetan tradition represents the fourth link name and form? Why do you think this picture has been depicted for this?
  2. We have had many rebirths in different bodies with different shapes, colors, structures. What keeps you from having a strong conviction in this? How can you make your mind more flexible?
  3. What is included in the six sources? How do the six sources relate to the sense and mental consciousnesses and objects of those consciousnesses?
  4. His Holiness writes: “The six sources afflict transmigrating beings because they complete name and form, thereby creating the potential for awareness of objects to arise.” Why and how do the six sources complete name and form? Make examples of each of the six sources using examples from your own experience.
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.