Cause and effect

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This comes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s wonderful biography of the Buddha, Old Path, White Clouds:

“Bhikkhus, there is the concept of death because there is the concept of birth. These wrong views are based on a false view of the self. There is a false view of the self because there is grasping. There is grasping because there is desire. There is desire because one does not see into the true nature of feelings. One does not see into the true nature of feelings because one is caught up in the contact that takes place between the sense organs and thier objects. One is caught up in the contact that takes place between the sense organs and their objects because one’s mind is not clear and calm. One’s mind is not clear and calm because there are drives and impulses. These drives and impulses are due to ignorance. These twelve links of the chain of existence are connected to each other. In each link, you can see the other eleven links. If one link is missing, the other eleven will be missing” (pp. 410-411).

These are also known as the 12 links of dependent origination. Understanding this, we understand the cause of suffering. Understanding the cause of suffering, we understand how to end suffering.

Breathe.

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