In life, everyone must encounter death. But how do living and dying come about? The Buddha had explained the turning process of living and dying with the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination: ignorance → formation (karma) → consciousness (mental consciousness)→ name and form → six ayatanas (sensory basis) → contact → sensation (feeling) → craving → grasping → becoming (potential existence) → becoming (birth) → old age and death (aging and death). This is what Buddhism teaches us to see clearly.
Confused unknowingly is called “ignorance”. Based on it, volitional actions, or “formation (karma)”, are committed. Hence, “consciousness (mental conscious-ness)” is generated. Upon rebirth, the state of an individual is a mere conscious-ness. One would see the well of greediness. Look into it, all are subjects of our liking from lifetimes. Then we fall into cyclic living and dying. This is the origin is ignorance and the reason we are here today. How ignorant is it? Being here confusingly is called, “ignorant act”.
What is the cause of our living and dying? The wheel turns because of ignorance. How does it come about? Judgments and attachments. The karmic body of this life is resulted from “form and name”. Then, the “six ayatanas (sensory basis)” are developed like windows, or six receptors (faculties) of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Next, faculties “contact” with the six objects to generate “sensation (feeling)”. As we feel, “craving” arises for which we try to “grasp”. With grasping, “becoming (potential existence)” and “old age and death (aging and death)” follow. That being said, our countless lives are formed with habits, cultivation, and staining.
Why do we reincarnate? What is storing? It is our eighth consciousness. Where is it? The whole universe is a field of eighth consciousness, which formed our existence. If we constantly engage in virtuous things, we’d make a good habit. With virtuous habit, we’d create good cause-and-effect. Consequently, we can take rebirth to good realms. If we commit lots of non-virtues, negative cause-and-effect would come to forth upon passing away.
Now we know, we shouldn’t carry bad habits with Dharma practice. We must learn to transform consciousnesses to wisdom, to purity, to virtues. Do not spread around negative karma which is suffering. Therefore, we must purify our memory space, clean it, so positive cycles can continue. Learning Buddhadharma is to make space of life. If we have the love for all people, we can cultivate fields of merit or a bountiful well. Furthermore, create memories of the bodhisattva path, memories of liberation.