Dependent origination - from feeling to craving

Hi Dhamma friends, I would like to ask some questions with regard to this teaching of the Buddha. Sorry if some of these may sound naive, but it’s just a way of formulating a ‘train of thought’ in order to get to an understanding. So here we go:
Feeling leads to craving but is feeling itself seen as neutral? What changes from feeling to craving so that it leads to clinging and suffering? The idea that there is a self?
And, in the act of craving one attaches the idea of self to feelings and perceptions?
So one needs to train the view that the feelings are not me, not mine, not my permanent essence?
If one succeeds then craving ceases?
But, are feelings not already loaded with judgments about their quality, i.e. to notice a feeling means already putting it into a category, such as happy, sad, etc.?
In the moment a feeling is identified, then a process of wanting or not-wanting kicks in. Is that the moment when the self is starting to crave?
So if we stop judging our feelings and accept them all as impermanent and not self, then we are on the right path?

Many thanks for reading.
With metta


Hi Georg,

This link will take you to a comprehensive and clear essay on the subject :slight_smile:

Further the is a great search function on this site. Just click on the large Q on the top bar and enter whatever terms you are interested in.

Have a look and have a read, and then if you have more specific questions come back and ask away :smiley:

Enjoy! :smiley:


The way I understand DO is to say that while ignorance (avijja) persists, then craving (tanha) arises in dependence upon feeling (vedana).

Unfortunately there is no consensus on the interpretation of DO, and you will find that there are conflicting explanations.

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So true. This is where faith and energy comes in I think. In this search for answers there seem to be a place we have mostly neglected to look. Right at the knowing, right at the feeling, right at the perceiving or right at the citta. Avijja seems to be right at the knowing.

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Sn35. 87 has this to say,

For the dependent there is agitation. For the independent there’s no agitation.

nissitassa calitaṃ, anissitassa calitaṃ natthi.


Dependent origination pertains to the second noble truth.

The relevant ennobling task is to abandon the cause of suffering made evident by the framework, not to fully understand it.

The abandoning or letting go of the cause is done via cultivation of the path which in turn is the ennobling task associated with the fourth noble truth.

By performing the fourth ennobling task, one fulfills the third enobbling task which is to verify for oneself the end of suffering.

And it is an expected outcome of doing so that the liberating insight or understanding of how exactly suffering comes about.

Hence, it is good to balance curiosity with a pragmatic approach to the teaching aligned with the framework the Buddha left for us to follow.

And to do so one needs to develop a strong sense of faith, trust and confidence on that framework being enough to allow us to bring about awakening.



There are three feelings:
pleasure, pain, and neutral

Craving is wanting more of a pleasant feeling or wanting less of a painful feeling or ignoring a neutral feeling.
“The underlying tendency for greed underlies pleasant feeling. The underlying tendency for repulsion underlies painful feeling. The underlying tendency for ignorance underlies neutral feeling. … –MN44

Yes as described in MN44:
They regard feeling as self, self as having feeling, feeling in self, or self in feeling.
They regard perception as self, self as having perception, perception in self, or self in perception.

They live without wishes in the present life, extinguished, cooled, experiencing bliss, having become holy in themselves. -DN33

Consciousness is one of the grasping aggregates, along with form, feeling, perception and choices.

Not quite. You’d be standing on the path.

Progress requires effort. There are the four efforts:
The efforts to restrain, to give up, to develop, and to preserve.