Triggers and Links

a great adaptation of a central notion in Buddhist thought for the modern situation

Dharma Nerds

Dukkha as ‘triggering’, and the Twelve Nidhanas as a Social process involving multiple individuals, not multiple lifetimes.

I now translate dukkha (Pali, ‘suffering’) as ‘trigger’, as the traumatic conditioning of the nervous system that triggers distress. That our bodies and senses, as they encounter certain stimuli, trigger stress, trauma, physical and emotional suffering. Thus, to get ‘relief from suffering’ is to get to the point where such stimuli no longer triggers distress or suffering. Then one’s body, senses and mind are able to receive stimuli without being triggered. This is achieved through meditation and investigation into the causes of suffering.

This is not a linguistic translation, but a cultural translation; a translation to a culturally equivalent and culturally relevant term that a modern western person can understand.

All of this can be dovetailed neatly into dozens of passages from the early suttas that discuss the 12 Nidhanas and the five…

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