Select Page

Delson Armstrong – Part II – Dependent Origination: Arguably the Intellectual Content of Enlightenment, and the Core of Buddhism.

Join Delson Armstrong and Andrew in this in-depth exploration of dependent origination, arguably the intellectual content of enlightenment, and the core of Buddhism. Dependent origination is the Theravada rendering of emptiness, and classically depicted in the “Wheel of Life” drawing you will find at the entrance to every monastery in India, Nepal, and Tibet. The twelve links (nidanas) of dependent origination, when unfolded in the forward direction, generate samsara; in the reverse direction they lead to nirvana. The conversation focuses on the first two links, and how the 12th link (death) conditions the 1st (ignorance). In one sense, all of samsara is a type of PTSD, or post-truth stress disorder, when the shocking truth of the empty nature of our being is pointed out at death, and we’re unable to relate to that truth. Delson emphasizes the second link, samskara, which are karmic triggers leading to action, and Andrew then offers the Hindu interpretation of samskara. The role of metta, the Four Brahmaviharas, bhava-samskara, intentionality, cessation vs. transformation, the speed of mind, the Six R’s, conceit, mutual causality, and a host of related topics are unpacked. How can we purify the samskaras by staying with unwanted states of mind without acting upon them? How do we assume responsibility for our suffering and our liberation? What are the “taints” that precede the first link? This podcast is the inauguration of the Edge of Mind Lecture Series, where the emphasis is on education. These lecture-style podcasts take a single topic, in this case dependent origination, and explore it in depth. See for yourself why dependent origination is such a central teaching in Buddhism, expounded by an expert who has direct meditative experience with these teachings.

About Delson Armstrong

From Suttuvatta Foundation Website: Delson studied at Pathways World School in India for three years and completed his A Levels through the University of Cambridge International Examination center of the British Council. He graduated from the New York Film Academy and published a series of novels. He has ghostwritten for publishers, studios and private clients.

He attained all six degrees of Kriya Yoga under the lineages of Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahamsa Hariharananda. He has studied Upanishadic contemplative practices under the lineages of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna,Swami Sivananda, and Swami Chinmayananda.

Through study and application of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he has attained all ten levels of Samadhi (meditative states of absorption). He has also practiced Jnana Yoga through the lineages of Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, attaining the level of Sahaja Samadhi (effortless absorption) and studied the teachings of J Krishnamurti and UG Krishnamurti.

In 2016 he completed an online retreat that is based on the original suttas and was introduced to Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation led by David Johnson. Delson naturally grasped the concepts of the 6Rs. Since then, he has taken a deep dive into the practice and the suttas and is able to easily guide students to the most sublime stages of peace and wisdom. He was asked by Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi specifically to start teaching.

While guiding online and retreats, he supports individuals on their journey and interacts with research institutions on neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the phenomenology of meditation. When situation allows for it, he is open to guiding physical retreats around the world upon invitation. His teachings are freely available to all.

Recent Edge of Mind Interviews