Conditions, Intro

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Dear friends,

Introduction

It is not by mere chance that we are born in planes of existence
where we can experience objects through the senses and that we are equipped with
sense-organs through which we can experience such objects. During previous lives
as well we experienced colours, sounds and other sense objects. We were clinging
to these objects in the past and we are clinging to them at present again and
again, so that attachment has become a deep-rooted tendency. Attachment does not
arise with each moment of consciousness,citta, but the tendency to attachment is
“carried on” from one moment to the next moment, from life to life. Each
citta which arises falls away completely, but it is succeeded by the next citta.
In the uninterrupted series of cittas which flow on continuously,
inclinations to both good and evil are carried on. When there are the right conditions
wholesome moments of consciousness, kusala cittas, and unwholesome moments of
consciousness, akusala cittas, arise, and thus there can be new
accumulations of wholesome and unwholesome qualities which will bear again on the future.

We all have accumulated attachment. For instance, as soon as a morsel of
delicious food is on our tongue, attachment to flavour has an
opportunity to arise. In the human plane of existence there are many opportunities for
attachment to sense objects. There were wise people,also before the Buddha’s time,
who saw the disadvantage of the experience of sense objects. They cultivated
tranquil meditation to the stage of absorption, jhåna, in order to temporarily
suppress the clinging to sense objects. Jhånacittas of the different stages of
jhåna can produce results in the form of rebirth in higher planes of existence where
there are fewer kinds of sense impressions or none at all. In these planes one does
not have to take food in order to stay alive, there are no conditions for the
enjoyment of flavours. Through the cultivation of jhåna, however,clinging is not
eradicated. So long as clinging has not been eradicated there will be rebirth. When
the lifespan in a higher plane is terminated there may be rebirth in a plane where
one will cling again to sense objects and accumulate more clinging. Unless one
develops the wisdom which can eradicate clinging.

Nina.

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