Unit 1: What is Dependent Arising?
We begin with an overview of the teaching and its central place in Buddhist philosophy.
Unit 2: Ignorance and Formations
After exploring some of the alternative versions of dependent arising, we examine the first two links in a 12-link chain of conditionality: ignorance and formations. According to the Buddha it is through fundamental ignorance of the way things really are that our mental habits come into existence.
Unit 3: From Consciousness to the Six Senses
Now we see how formations, having arisen, become known to us: through a conscious mind that perceives and identifies objects and mental phenomena, and our sense organs that detect their attributes. If we can get clear about this it allows us to have a certain objectivity around what happens to us.
Unit 4: From Contact to Becoming
This middle section is arguably the main piece. It's where much of the practice happens. With mindfulness we can notice sensory contact, its feeling tone, and the tendency to crave, grasp, and cling, resulting in the urge to bring something into being. We see the desirable stimulus, it feels good, we crave it or want to preserve it, and suddenly we've acted upon that craving. Or perhaps we observed this process with wisdom and mindfulness, and a wholesome state begins taking shape within the mind.
Unit 5: Birth and Unsatisfactoriness
Now we experience the consequences—good and bad—of this process: the fruits of karma. Even if we haven't managed to engage mindfulness and wisdom until this stage in the cycle there is much to be learned from the arising and passing of phenomena. We can also witness the unsatisfactoriness that ultimately accompanies all conditioned phenomena, and so incline towards a peaceful way of being.
In this section, Stephen and John will also look at how the genius of Nagarjuna and Tsongkhapa later developed this teaching and expanded on the concept of emptiness.
Unit 6: The Experience of Freedom
Finally, we look at the teaching of transcendent dependent arising and effective strategies for unbinding ourselves from difficulty and struggle. The teachers will bring the practical and contemplative focus of this course right into the heart of our lives.
Praise for Bodhi College courses
This is one of the most impressive online courses I have ever taken. Understandable as the four teachers are just outstanding.
An excellent course! I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the multiple perspectives offered by the different teachers. It is refreshing to see such a complex and rich topic addressed from different angles through the perspectives of experienced teachers, rather than relying on a single point of view.
Every aspect of this course was attended to thoughtfully, with a great deal of mindfulness. The teachers, all so knowledgable, were clear, gentle and inviting.
Although I am familiar with the material, my understanding has deepened. What amazes me is that you hear the teachings in new ways as your own practice deepens and also as teachers find new ways to talk about the subject.
Wonderful! Thank you all so much for a course that has deepened my understanding of mindfulness meditation and that has widened and moved my practice on.