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DharmaPhD

Some thoughts on “Bhava”, “Saṅkhāra”, “Habit”, and Basil Ganglia: Part 1, Untangling the Knot

Sometimes ideas get all wrapped up and around and through each other and a clever theory, when gently prodded, reveals itself a writhing, gnarly mess. Maybe this doesn’t happen to you? It totally happens to me. I think I understand a thing, I get all excited about it, I try explaining it to someone, or […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Conditionality (Idappaccayatā) vs Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda): Part 2, Conversations with Leigh Brasington

Edit: If you want to start with Part 1, that’s here. The meditation teacher Leigh Brasington wrote a book on Dependent Origination which he self published and made available for Dāna on his website. He kindly (and enthusiastically!) read my previous post on DO and Conditionality. With his permission, here’s an image we cobbled together: A few […]

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Discourse Meta

The Why, What, and How of the Independent PhD: Part 1.1, Why? Independent vs Institutional PhDs

In Part 1 we talked about motivation for starting an Independent PhD. But why an Independent PhD rather than a classic, Institutional PhD? I describe my Independent PhD as “Four-ish years of study, practice, and discourse that culminates in a book no-one will read.” But the beauty of an Independent PhD is that it doesn’t have to be four […]

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Discourse

The Blind People and the Elephant, Alternate Ending

You probably know the Indian parable of the Blind People and the Elephant (Ud 6.4), where a group of folks who are blind-since-birth are brought together ’round an elephant. I propose a different ending. What if, instead, the blind people figure it out by working together?

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

Transcendent vs Imminent Nibbāna. Is this a thing? And how does it impact practice? (Part 1)

Part 1 – Are there two Nibbānas?

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

On Anurodha, “Liking”

In your day-to-day, off-the-cushion experience, what part of the 12-link Dependent Origination cycle (12-nidanas) do you notice most readily? I ask because I think it may be the case that many of us spend our days “liking” stuff or “disliking” stuff. But liking/disliking is not in the 12-nidanas. When I first began learning about Dependent Origination I was surprised to […]

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DharmaPhD Discourse Meta

The Why, What, and How of the Independent PhD: Part 1, Why?

Greetings, Friendlies! The writing challenge continues; taking a quick zoom out and spending a few sessions writing about the Independent PhD as the container for this Dharma PhD gig. I don’t know if y’all are interested in this material; maybe anything that is not a sutta spreadsheet is anathema? Let me know if that’s the […]

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Scholarship

MN 122 – Translation Comparison

Greetings, Friendlies! This month’s homework for the Bodhi College CPP is MN 122, The Longer/Greater Discourse on Emptiness. As previously, I’ve compiled a spreadsheet comparing translations between Sujato, Ñanamoli, and Ṭhānissaro: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1J23pjMQkIRkus0LOthLGtHriaZA6Pq4UTwjVaD0umlo/. Exciting stuff. Structure The sutta is not divided into chapters but seems to discuss 9(ish) different things: Mendicants should not allow themselves to […]

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Discourse Practice Teaching

Is Pain Vedanā? (And Why Does It Matter?)

(TL;DR: No. Pain is not Vedanā.)

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DharmaPhD

Conditionality (Idappaccayatā) vs Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda): What’s What and Why It Matters

When I first began studying Dependent Origination, it was not clear to me where DO (paṭiccasamuppāda) ended and Conditionality (idappaccayatā) began. Today it’s a little more clear; here’s what I think, and why I think it matters: Conditionality (idappaccayatā) is the way the world is. All phenomena are dependent on (conditioned by) other phenomena. The […]

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Meta

Perpetually Prototyping – A Writing Experiment

I’ve recently learned of the writing workshop Ship 30 for 30. The structure is writing <250 word "Atomic Essays" every day for 30 days.