Entanglement, or knotted-ness, is a metaphor often used in the consideration of dependent origination. This week, Sam led our Sangha discussion following excerpts from talks on this topic by Sharon Salzberg and Christina Feldman.

Here is the full talk “Happiness And Mindfulness” by Christina Feldman (1995):

Here is the talk “Disentangling” by Sharon Salzberg (1983):

Sam read a short quote from “Beyond Buddhism” by Stephen Batchelor and the following quote from the Long Discourses of the Buddha #15:

This dependent origination is deep and appears deep. It is because of not understanding and not penetrating this teaching that [people] become tangled like string, knotted like a ball of thread, and matted like rushes and reeds, and it doesn’t escape the places of loss, the bad places, the underworld, transmigration.

How does the mass of suffering originate? Name and form are conditions for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form. Name and form are conditions for contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. Feeling is a condition for craving. Craving is a condition for grasping. Grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.

So it is, Ānanda, that feeling is a cause of craving. Craving is a cause of seeking. Seeking is a cause of gaining material possessions. Gaining material possessions is a cause of assessing. Assessing is a cause of desire and lust. Desire and lust is a cause of attachment. Attachment is a cause of possessiveness. Possessiveness is a cause of stinginess. Stinginess is a cause of safeguarding. Owing to safeguarding, many bad, unskillful things come to be: taking up the rod and the sword, quarrels, arguments, and fights, accusations, divisive speech, and lies.