In Buddhism, it is often said that the core teaching of the Buddha is his teaching on Dependent Origination. There are passages in the Suttas where the Buddha says, “He who sees dependent arising, sees the Dharma.” It’s pretty central stuff!
But, whenever I’ve tried to make sense of the more detailed explanation of this central teaching, I’ve always been left feeling bewildered and confused. To describe this teaching as opaque would be an understatement.
So, a few years ago, I tried searching for some good explanations of this teaching, and on the website secularbuddhism.org I came across a wonderful series of essays by Linda Blanchard explaining the internal logic of this teaching. Subsequently, I discovered her lovely book, Dependent Arising in Context and saw this core teaching through an entirely different lens, again.
I was delighted when she agreed to chat with me on www.meaningoflife.tv, and am happy to share that conversation with you here, where we discuss:
- Linda’s book, Dependent Arising in Context on a central Buddhist teaching
- An anatomy of suffering
- The first step on the path to suffering: Ignorance
- How the “self” is created
- What do Buddhists mean when they say “life is suffering”?
- Linda’s meditation advice