65Instant Enlightenment?| Between Samsara & Nirvana| Faith in Karma Can Cure Depression| The Meatrix 2| "Wait Out" Our Bad Karma?| Fly Free Like a Traceless Bird
- Mar 31, 2006TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 31.03.06
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Where is the Line Between Samsara & Nirvana?
Does Karma Differ from Nation to Nation?
Is There Truly Karmic Justice?
How Faith in Karma Can Cure Depression
How to Create Pure Karma?
Flash Movies : The Meatrix 1 & The Meatrix 2 <<<
Moonpointer : Latest Offerings (31/03)
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Realisation: Do We Simply "Wait Out" Our Bad Karma?
No need to "suffer in silence" when you can simply "silence your suffering". - stonepeace
A friend had the misconcept that she was "destined" to be "stuck" with her bad karma of having an unrepentantly abusive husband. She had even accepted "advice" to stay married with him - so as to fully repay her karmic debts "owed" to him. Now this is seriously harmful misunderstanding of karma. It reminds us of the practice of extreme asceticism, which the Buddha declared to be an unskilful practice unprofitable for the spiritual life. Some still entertain the prevalent fallacy that if one subjects oneself to great pain and torture, one can exhaust negative karma and transcend suffering. An example of an extreme ascetic practice is the resolution to not open a clenched fist - even if one's fingernails grow through the back of the hand! Not only does this not overcome suffering, it ironically voluntarily sustains suffering in a self-contained and self-defeating manner!
It is true that we do experience the fruits of our past negative karma when we suffer, including some from previous lives. But some fruits are also deludedly bred and tasted in this very moment - "instant karma"! Not walking away from an emotionallly and physically damaging relationship beyond reasonable hope of repair is likened to refusing to open a painfully clenched fist. While it might hurt to reopen the hand to restore wellness, it is surely much worse to incapacitate it for life! There is no 100% guarantee that the negative karma will be vanquished instantly upon separation, but is it not almost guaranteed that the abuse will resume if one stays? Even if there is residual negativity that needs to be resolved, it is wiser to recuperate, practise spiritual repentance and create positive karma elsewhere to dilute the negativity! Relationships should be put on "pause" when needed, and help be readily seeked from counsellors and welfare agencies.
It is interesting to note that in Buddhism, marriage is not seen as holy matrimony made in some heaven. It is a worldly contract of companionship - only as sacred as couples make it to be. Thus were monks not supposed to play the role of matchmaker or wedding official, only allowed to offer blessings and advice. The responsibility of maintaining a marriage is ultimately in the hands of the couple who make or break it. To all spouses suffering in silence... For the sake of your long-term happiness, and for the sake of not feeding conditions for your abusive spouses to create more negative karma for themselves, please consider putting your relationships on hold, so as to further consider the best options to take. There is no need to passively wait for karma to turn its tide when you are able to just turn away. Just as a leap of faith is often needed to "plunge" into the assumed bliss of marriage, a leap of faith out of marriage might also be needed - when the assumption is proven all too wrong. May all couples, be they separated or together, be well and happy! - Shen Shi'an
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Review: Responses to "When 'Bad' Things Happen to 'Good' People"
Excerpt: To Fly Free Like a Traceless Bird
Because freedom is not a place, there is no need to fly to freedom. - stonepeace
The freedom that is essential in a relationship is the spiritual freedom of each partner. Spirituality is different for each individual, and each person needs to be free to meditate, pray and/or worship in whatever way is most personally meaningful. This may change over time, and each partner needs to feel free to change suddenly or gradually at his or her own pace. Each person should have the freedom to explore, create, follow an intuitive call, or pursue a dream. This is the kind of freedom that encourages the spiritual development of each individual and allows the spiritual strength of the relationship to grow as well.
There is a Zen verse that can give us a new perspective on freedom in relationships: "When a bird flies, it comes and goes, but there are no traces." Flight conveys the feeling of freedom, of moving through the vast clear sky, with wings outstretched and nothing to weigh you down or obstruct your movement. Leaving no trace, you are just this moment in time and space. When the moment is gone it is gone. This image of no traces is a powerful one and always reminds me of backpacking trips we take into wilderness areas. The backpacker's rule is, "Whatever you take in you carry back out with you." No trash is left behind to spoil the original beauty of the environment in its natural state, wild and free. This is the kind of freedom we want in a relationship.
- Waking Up Together: Intimate Partnership on the Spiritual Path (Ellen & Charles Birx)