Question from Email: What are the greatest drawbacks from progressing
spiritually and in meditation. Also, what is the best way to conduct
oneself to avoid "bad karma"?
Answer: Selfishness and selflessness are the answers to these
queries. Selfish activity always leads to suffering, as you
inevitably will go through guilt, regret, self doubt, etc., and these
will distract you from being able to concentrate. Similarly, all
selfless actions result in "good karma". Not to push Buddhism, or any
religion, or system of belief, I do want to point out that one of the
4 noble truths that Buddha expounded was "Desire is the cause of all
suffering". And another was that "To end desire will end suffering".
They have proven to be correct advise/wisdom for the past 2500 years.
So, when your intention is righteous, as is always the case with
selfless actions, you avoid all the negative mental and emotional
things you go through that selfish behavior brings. This allows you
to concentrate with less distraction, and develop spiritually. There
are no better things to learn and do than to act with humility and
compassion. Selfless action achieves this automatically.