10. The twelve links of dependent origination


What is cyclic existence? Are the causes of the wide range of sufferings we may experience mainly inside or outside of us? Is an existence free from suffering possible? These are some of the questions that this teaching of the Buddha invites us to explore.


Through these remarkably clear instructions, Rinpoche describes the links that keep us in cyclic existence, their relentless sequence, as well as the means of freeing ourselves from them. In particular, it highlights the distinction between the links which project us into new existences deprived of any freedom - with ignorance at their root, and the links which actualize them - essentially two forms of attachment: thirst and greed. .   

1-3. The three projecting factors :
    1. Ignorance.
    2. Compositional activity, propelling karma.
    3. Consciousness. 
4-7. The four projected factors :
       4. Name and form.
       5. Six sources.
       6. Contact.
       7. Feeling.
8-10. The three actualizing factors :
       8. Craving.
       9. Grasping.
       10. Becoming.
11-12. The two actualized factors :
       11. Birth.
       12. Aging and death.


By meditating on this fundamental teaching of the Buddha, you will come to understand that the process which perpetuates your experience of suffering is rooted in ignorance of your real mode of existence. Realizing that it is possible to escape from these bonds thanks to the wisdom which understands reality as it is, a genuine longing for liberation will then arise in you.

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