The purpose of this meditation is to contemplate the way that all phenomena are dependent related depending on a basis of imputation, and then to think about this in the light of equanimity.

I began the session by engaging in breathing meditation for a while until my mind was smooth and undisturbed.

I then began thinking about the way in which phenomena exist in the sense that they are dependent related phenomena dependent upon a suitable basis of imputation. When we see a table, we actually see the parts of the table. We impute the table upon the parts of the table, so the parts of the table act as the basis of imputation. The table depends upon this basis of imputation, and if the basis of imputation is absent, we cannot perceive the phenomena. If we cannot perceive any parts of the table with any of our senses, then for us the table cannot be perceived.

Given that the table exists as a dependent related phenomena dependent upon a suitable basis of imputation, it cannot be inherently existent. If it were inherently existent it would exist independently from all other phenomena. It would not need a basis of imputation to exist. However it does, and therefore it cannot be inherently existent.

I thought of cars, and how I normally see cars as being solid, inherently existent objects. Some seem attractive while some seem ugly, and I relate to them with desirous attachment or aversion, as if these qualities were real and fixed forever. Then I thought about how I never actually see an object I can really call ‘car’. All I see are parts of the car, not the car itself. I create the car I see by imputing it upon the parts of the car, which are the basis of imputation.

I thought about how phenomena need a suitable basis of imputation, and that they cannot be inherently existent. I tried to reach a conclusion about this and develop a feeling based upon it, but I must admit to struggling with this one. It was quite clear to me that the objects I normally see are empty of the inherent existence I normally ascribe to them, but I ran out of time before I really got into the consequences.

The time came for me to move on to my next aspect, which was to look at this emptiness in the light of equanimity. It seemed to me that the reason equanimity works is that we employ an argument based on emptiness. To generate equanimity we say that our normal perceptions of other people are not accurate, and are in fact merely our own projections. We say that the ‘people’ we normally see are not inherently existent, their good and bad qualities are likewise not inherently existent, and our attitudes (based on these appearances) are mistaken. To generate equanimity we decide that rather than believing these appearances, we develop a warm and friendly feeling towards all living beings. Therefore we are really saying that instead of being a suitable basis of imputation for feelings of attachment or aversion, others are really a suitable basis of imputation for warm and friendly feelings.

I rather enjoyed the relationship between the objects, and I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings realise that all phenomena are dependent related depending upon a suitable basis of imputation, and by so doing, attain freedom from samsara and the supreme mind of union.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to think about how objects appear to me normally, and how they actually depend upon a basis of imputation.