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Twelve Nidanas

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This is the one-day Kunda Mark Griffin gave on April 5th, 2004. The twelve nidanas are indicated by the bow and arrows, which is how it's usually depicted in spiritual art. The bow represents cause, the origin, and the arrows represent the points of dependent origination, the chain of origin – thus cause and effect. It is the anchor of cause and effect, which we in the West call nature. In Eastern philosophy cause and effect comes under the arch-heading of karma; and under the arch-heading of karma, the dynamic of cause and effect. The twelve nidanas represent the interplay between the point of origin, of cause, and the chain of events between cause and effect.

The underlying principle is that of emptiness. To a certain degree we consider the idea of emptiness as one of the supreme principles that pervades reality. It is something that is realized in deep, deep realization, post that advent of samadhi – nirvikapa and savikalpa to a certain degree. The direct experience of that is, of course, increasingly true because what is happening in the advent of the samadhis is the increasing illumination, the intelligence giving rise to a more refined power of discrimination – the ability to parce time, space and reality to a finer tooth, a finer weave.


But we also understand that the idea of karma is put right up front in spiritual teachings. When you come into contact with the entire volume of spiritual training, be it the West in the Judeo-Christian envelope or be it the East, you are essentially directed to become aware of the fruits of your actions and then become responsible for their cause, understanding that we ourselves will experience the effect. It’s a very powerful teaching; and if taken honestly and on its face, it will give rise to a very high level of attention, as one begins to notice that the fabric of our behavior, the fabric of our consciousness is a very complex weave that goes up and down in the frequency of vibration. Inside the course of an hour we can experience the most sublime thoughts of kinship, friendship, kindness, generosity, and on the other side of the coin, become aware of and give rise to acts of jealousy, greed, envy, anger. In the fact, over the course of a given day we go up and down this mountain countless times.

If this is done unconsciously, we become enslaved to an underlying force of spiritual cause, which is at the anchor of all suffering. These are the dynamics of ignorance, desire and hatred. Ignorance is the misunderstanding of our true Self, our true identity, and taking the fruit of that misunderstanding, holding it to be true, and acting from that false place. Hatred is the foundation of attraction and aversion. It is loving ourselves to the exclusion of others, thereby producing an implicit separation where no separation exists. It begets desire – the minions, the points of behavior that come out first in the dynamics of the six poisons of envy, jealousy, lust, greed, anger, sloth. The intellect has taken refuge in the foundation of ignorance, the false identity, and serves that cause of love of oneself with the exclusion of love of others. This is characterized as hatred in an over-arching spiritual theme, producing a false separation, desire being the children, the fruit of ignorance and hatred wherein. If you look at any one of the points of the poisons of envy, jealousy, greed, or lust, they are a point of a mediocre intellect – misunderstanding the foundation of one’s identity; and the fruit of the behavior of that misunderstanding produces the six poisons.


41 pages

Hard Light Raw Transcripts are un-edited, and are taken directly from talks by Mark Griffin. They are formatted in large print and are easy on the eyes. They are available in two formats: Digital Download e-books in PDF format.


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