Twelve Links of Dependent Origination

Shambhala Blog

Book coverCyclic existence continues to evolve through the power of the unbroken relationship of the twelve links of dependent origination. What are these twelve? They are (1) ignorance, which afflicts wandering beings by keeping them from seeing true reality. In obscuring the perception of true reality, ignorance also functions as the source for the subsequent links, such as karmic formation, by grasping as if there were an “I” and “mine.” (2) Formation afflicts wandering beings by implanting the seeds of subsequent existence in the consciousness. In this way, when the root text states: “Wandering beings are afflicted due to…,” it should be understood to apply to all the remaining links as well, from consciousness on. Accordingly, (3) consciousness becomes infused with habitual tendencies and leads sentient beings to the place of their birth. (4) Name and form take hold of the body of one’s coming existence. (5) The six sense…

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