How does Dependent Origination relate to Vipassana meditation as taught by different schools / interpretations of Buddhism?

More particularly how do you break the links of dependent origination as per the meditations techniques taught by different schools / masters? What is the strategy that the cycle will break at the given link? Many meditation manuals do not relate to the development of understanding dependent origination. So how do the practice and theory of this issue relate? Also how does the practicing according to the tradition lead up to the understanding of dependent origination through self-realisation?

  • Can you elaborate? What do you mean by relate? This is an overly broad or vague question. – yuttadhammo Jun 27 '14 at 11:23

I can probably give this an answer if I take it in the context of the 12 nidanas as a significant application of the principle of dependent origination.

The way that I have been taught this (within the Triratna Buddhist movement) is that the nidanas can and do break at the point between feeling and craving. So to give the chain at that point

With Contact as condition, Feeling arises

With Feeling as condition, Craving arises

With Craving as condition, Clinging arises

And around we go....

So for most of us most of the time when we have a feeling then the reaction is craving - each time, round and round. But with spiritual practice is is possible to break the cycle at this point and not have craving. It is at this point that liberation can start.

I suspect that up to here is will not be that controversial. But in Triratna we talk a lot about the spiral path at this point which spirals up to enlightenment - a kind of positive formation of the 12 nidanas. This is taken from the Upanisā Sutta.

But OPs question is about the Vipassana techniques around this. Although we have a system of meditation, the practice most relevant to this would be a just sitting or a noting practice where we notice the feelings arise and try to see that just as that - feelings. In that way we can see again and again that feelings are just feelings and of themselves do not have craving or desire as a neccessary part of them. Thus one day, with faith and perseverance the cycle breaks.

Another way into this might be with a mindfulness practice relating to the Satipatthana Sutta particularly with reference to the section on feelings.


Accroding Abhidhamma, we have 5 Feelings. 1.Painful (concern with body) 2.Joyful( concern with mind) 3. Pleaure (concern with body) 4. Hatred (concern with mind) 5. Neutral (concern with mind) Normally, When we feel painful we don"t like(unhappy) so that appear immoral consciousness Domanassa( Hatred). If we feel Joyful we are happy and we want more & more so appear Lobha (Greed).If we do not know (without) wise like neutral feeling, it is Moha(Delusion). When we mindful that feelings, mind cannot follow to immoral cons. According Dependent origination, it cannot link Feeling to craving when we mindful with effort. Other wise, mind will follow the feelings and cravings are appear that's make us cycle of rebirth all the time. If your mindfulness is high level,you may have neutral feeling with wise.


When i think about vipassana it is usually the Goenka meditation practices or a variant of anapanasati or kayagatasati kind of meditation.

That which is spoken of as DO, it is something to be seen with intellect and more.

I have no experience with Goenka but meditating on the body & bodily things is entirely good & well.

It opens up the jhana which also depends on one's intellect development.

Intellect & understanding mature as one goes deeper into jhana and one goes deeper into jhana as it matures, essential understanding is eventually made perfect by seeing the cessation of perception & feeling.

Method doesn't really come into play beyond 1st jhana and even 1st jhana can be such that method doesn't apply in this way.

This is just on the bare method of vipassana, the theory associated with it is controversial.

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