Desire and Craving as Presented in
The Udanavarga

About this workshop.

A Workshop facilitated by David Mellins

Buddhist teachings frequently explore the relationship between desire, craving and suffering, and from the opposite perspective how renunciation of desires and non-attachment contribute to liberation. Unfortunately, in many popularized teachings on Buddhism, the concepts of desire, craving and attachment are often conflated or lumped into a single process. The cause of suffering in the Second Noble Truth, tṛṣṇa, is at times translated as “desire” rather than “craving.” Students at Jewel Heart will remember Gelek Rimpoche on numerous occasions emphasize “desire is not the problem, attachment is the problem.” In the traditional presentation of the twelve limbs of Dependent Origination, craving leads to grasping, which in turn leads to further entanglement in the cycle of rebirth, suffering and death, known as samsara. Furthermore, when craving and attachment remain unrecognized, they compound attachment to the ego and increase the likelihood that harmful actions hinder progress on the spiritual path. By learning to distinguish desire and craving, we sharpen our ability to recognize the formation of attachments and likewise increase our opportunity to break free of this cycle.

In this workshop, we will review the classical presentation of desire and craving and their antidotes in the lyrical but poignant scripture known as Topics of Occasioned Teachings” (in Sanskrit, Udānavarga). By exploring these separate but intricately connected processes, students will also gain a greater context for how the Buddha’s earliest sermons still powerfully inform all vehicles of Buddhist teachings and practice.

Fee: $60 / Pay What You Can

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Suggested course materials:

Translation of the Udanaavarga from Trübner’s Oriental Series
Udânavarga: A Collection of Verses From the Buddhist Canon
The Tibetan Dhammapada: Sayings of the Buddha

David Mellins Bio and Additional Courses

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