Abstract for: Systems Thinking, Dependent Co-Arising and Mental Model in Decision Making

This paper attempts to explore the relevance of the systems thinking approach with the doctrine of “dependent co-arising” which is one of the central doctrines in the teaching of Buddha. The doctrine explains how one gets trapped into the vicious cycles of suffering and how one can come out of it. The main elements of the systems thinking such as complexity, cause and effect feedback loops, non-linearity, time-scale, endogenous perspective and experiential learning are inherent in the doctrine. One of the effective leverage points explained is the bodily sensation which can be used to transform the vicious cycles of suffering into the virtuous ones. The doctrine also gives clue how the mental model gets formed, and how it can be trained so that one can make spiritually informed and better decisions.