How to meditate, lower parts of Dependent Origination with five aggregates ?

4 Answers 4


The 'meditator' is 'nama-rupa' (4th link). 'Nama' is defined as 'feeling, perception, intention, internal contact & attention' and also includes mental functions such as 'mindfulness', 'effort', etc. 'Rupa' is the physical body.

The breathing is 'kaya sankkara' (2nd link).

When the breathing arises into awareness, this is consciousness (3rd link).

When the breathing is 'felt' & 'perceived' as 'long', 'short', 'smooth', 'rough', 'calming', 'agitated', etc, this feeling & perceiving is 'nama' (4th link).

When the mind drifts away from the object of meditation (breathing) and then makes the decision to return to the breathing, this wholesome intention is 'nama' (4th link).

When the mind sustains attention (4th link) on the breathing (2nd link), this is nama (4th link). Knowing the breathing & nama is consciousness (3rd link).

You must meditate continuously on the method described above until you can clearly distinguish between the 2nd, 3rd & 4th links & their role.

If the breathing (2nd link) feels (4th link) agitated, this agitation is due to ignorance (1st link).

If distracting thoughts (2nd link - vaci sankhara) and perceptions & feelings (2nd link - citta sankhara) arise in the mind, these are produced from ignorance (1st link).

When the drives or moods of the five hindrances (sensual desire, ill-will, sloth, restlessness, remorse, doubt, fear) spontaneously flow out (asava) of the mind, this outflow of hindrances is the 1st link (ignorance).

When the nama (4th link) generates intention (4th link) to calm or remove the distracting thoughts (2nd link) & hindrances (1st link), this intention & application of wisdom is the 4th link (nama).

When the nama perceives (4th link) the ignorant thoughts & perceptions arising at the 2nd link, the right perception (4th link) of the wrong perceptions (2nd link) is mindfulness & clear-comprehension (4th link)

If the nama-rupa (4th) link is overwhelmed & controlled by ignorance (1st link), the nama-rupa will generate intentions (4th link) to seek external sense objects (5th link) and make contact with the external world (6th link). From this, the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th links will lead to the generation of dukkha (suffering).

The above is meditation upon the first 4 links of dependent origination.

When the sankhara (2nd link) are all calmed & clear, this is samatha.

When ignorance (1st link) is reduced or eradicated due to seeing the four noble truths & the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & not-self of the five aggregates, this is vipassana.


Meditating Ignorance, Volition, Consciousness, name and form belongs to upper parts. Meditating lower parts below six sense bases are easy for beginner. To achieve some level of Right View and concentration meditate, birth aging sickness and death at first.

1. Birth Aging Sickness Death

Suppose you have born in all worlds such as Hell, Peta loka, Animal world. Hell exists and hell beings are suffering. Burn their bodies, uproot muscles, cut hands legs and gore with spikes. In 'Preta Loka', some Preta's are burning and they are suffering in hunger for millions of years. In animal world, animals are always in fear of their lives. Animals like bulls are being killed by people violently. As a human we were in mother's womb nearly 9 months. It was very painful to stay in a same posture for such a long time. When we were young we learned with lot of difficulties sometimes in hungry and other times uncovers to rain. When doing jobs we meet lot of similar difficulties with people to fix problems. We have suffering from lot of diseases. With getting older we will have to suffer more than that with the weakness of our faculties. Think about the suffering. In heaven, gods have similar works like us since they are living on a society. After getting tired, they have a drink by smelling stink 'SAL' flowers. Brahma also has mental distress when they loose their concentration level. Everybody is dying. Every world is suffering. (If you understand this you will have great level of concentration with pleasure. Because suffering is the first noble truth.)

Then do death meditation. Imagine a person who died. Think about you are dead as him. What happens to your body with the time passes? Body outgrows. Moisture comes out of all nine halls such as mouth, nose, and ears. Then the whole body putrefies until the Skeleton. Then the Skeleton decays and emptiness remains. Then one will understand mind and body is not my or mine.

After the death meditation when the concentration level is higher, you have to think lower part of dependent origination as taught in "Samadhi Bhavana Sutta". We do not think highest part at first because it is too much complicated to meditate at first.

2. Arising of five aggrigates

Think about this yourself like you teach this to somebody. That is Vipassana meditation. Take an example such as food or watching television. We enjoy those things. In Dhamma that is called welcome form. We welcome form. Accept and see with your experience. Then we seek delight form. We say in our mind "that food is very tasty or this film is good". Sometimes we say to others. That is seeking delight.

Then we remain holding. We are clinging on to particular food or TV program again and again. That is called remain holding Above process generate pleasure. We are clinging onto that pleasure. Then clinging cause becoming or existence. Becoming means craving exist for food and TV programs this case. What happen if we die at this moment? We need food and TV this case. We need rebirth as quickly as possible where we can find this food and TV programs. We look for rebirth. After birth we have this form (body). Birth cases aging sickness and death. It is suffering. (Not only the form, one can meditate feeling, perception, volition... as above.)

3. cessation of five aggregates

Then think about the cessation part. (How does one end suffering) We do not enjoy form. We don't welcome form such as TV program or food. If we take food for maintain our life. Don't take food for enjoyment. If we don't seek delight food or TV program. If we don't remain holding food or TV program. Then we don't have pleasure. We do not clinging onto that pleasure. (Merely see this during meditation. don't try to stop taking food or anything. Just see and understand the process.)

Then cessation of clinging ceases becoming (existence). Craving does not exist for food and TV programs this case. What happen if we die at this moment? We don't need food and TV this case. We don't need rebirth.Then Cessation of birth occurs. Cessation of Birth cases cessation of aging sickness and death. Cessation of suffering.

Question yourself, What cases suffering? Then you will have answers such as 'craving, becoming' yourself.

Then spread Metta to all beings. (NOT SELF. Self does not exist. The case and effect only exists.) If you are intelligent enough and concentration is strong, you will be able to understand cessation at this moment. After meditating this Sutta one should understand impermanence nature, suffering and no self. Aging and death process exist. This is process, and nobody has created us.


lower meditation of Dependent Origination meditation is chapter 1st - 18th of path of purification.

But if you would like something brief for recite, before study path of purification, you can recite chapter 9th of abhidhammatthasaṅgaha.

But if you want something in tipitaka, you can recite paṭisambhidāmagga mātikā 1st-3rd and study paṭisambhidāmagga niddesa 1st-3rd, too. Then study path of purification.

Recommend to study pāli version at pa-auk monastery.


All the links in Dependent Origination arise together. I'll give you a way how to isolate them in order to see each link clearly.

7th and 6th link (Feeling and Contact)

Close your eyes.

In your mind think about a static image of any object you desire. See it in your mind. Look at it. Observe it.

You perceiving the object is Contact (Phassa 6th link). You feeling a pleasant sensation, unpleasant sensation or neutral sensation because of Contact with the object is Feeling (Vedana 7th link).

Let's move lower.

5th link (Six Senses)

Close your eyes.

Completely empty your mind, until you reach the point of total cessation, a state where there is neither perception nor non-perception and this same state and any other state cease.

This is the absence of the six senses (Salayatana 5th link).

Then, in your mind think about a static image of any object you desire.

You perceiving anything about the object is due to the arising of the mind sense (Salayatana 5th link).

4th link (Nama-Rupa)

Close your eyes.

Think about anything you wish or direct your perception on anything you wish.

Whatever you'll perceive, that will be Nama (Feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention).

Then, think about your body or direct your perception on the place in space your body is occupying.

The perception of the form of your body, that will be Rupa (four great elements).

3rd link (Rebirth-Consciousness)

Close your eyes.

Completely empty your mind, until you reach the point of total cessation, a state where there is neither perception nor non-perception and this same state and any other state cease.

This is the absence of the Rebirth-Consciousness (Patisandhi Vinnana 3rd link).

Then, with your eyes closed, look at the blackness behind your closed eyes. This state is Rebirth-Consciousness. Whatever happens afterwards, comes out of Rebirth-Consciousness (Patisandhi Vinnana 3rd link). NOTE: rebirth-consciousness is not the blackness behind closed eyes. Here blackness behind the eyes is used to isolate rebirth-consciousness.

For example, observe the blackness behind your eyes and search for a big pleasant spot of solid color. Really strive to search for that pleasant spot. Once you find it, strive to enlarge it so that it engulfes you with pleasure. No matter if you enlarge it or not, the spot will give you a pleasant sensation. This is "coming into existence" (birth). While the spot is present, it will give you a pleasant sensation. This is "beeing existent" (clinging). Sooner or later the spot will vanish. Once it vanishes, craving for the spot will remain. This is "non existence" (death). Due to craving, the spot will sooner or later appear. This is "coming into existence" (birth). The cycle will continue for some time, each time less and less, until also this very same cycle stops.

2nd link (Activities, fabrications)

Activities, fabrications (Samkhara 2nd link) is exactly what you've done above, while exploring the 3rd link and the other links.

To isolate the 2nd link do this:

Close your eyes.

Completely empty your mind, until you reach the point of total cessation, a state where there is neither perception nor non-perception and this same state and any other state cease.

In your mind very very slowlyyyyy think about a static image of any object you desire. The very moment when you start doing this "thinking", this is activity, fabrication (Samkhara).

Then, if you observe carefully, you'll also notice the following:

The very moment when you start doing this "thinking", this is Rebirth-Consciousness (Patisandhi Vinnana 3th link). The very moment when you start doing this "thinking", perception of "thinking" will arise - this is Mind and Matter (Nama-Rupa 4th link), the sense mind (Salayatana 5th link) and Contact (Phassa 6th link). The very moment when you start doing this "thinking", a pleasant feeling will arise, or an unpleasant or a neutral feeling - this is Feeling (Vedana). The very moment when you start doing this "thinking", craving (Tanha 8th link) and clinging (Upadana 9th link) can arise.

The very moment that craving (Tanha 8th link) and clinging (Upadana 9th link) arise, the above process becomes fueled by them. This means that after the above process ceases, you will make it arise again. This is Action of Becoming (Bhava 10th link). Etc.

1st link

Ignorance (Avijja 1st link) is not knowing that the end result of all the above links is always suffering. Not knowing the end result is suffering, you don't see a reason why to stop the links from arising. Thus, you don't care, you don't explore them, you don't even know they exist and live your life in ignorance.

Then, ignorance (Avijja 1st link) is not knowing the cause of all the links. Not knowing why they arise and the way to their cessation. The way to their cessation is to explore them and know them in their entirety.

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