- TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 04/11/04
Quote: Karma Care
Take care of your karma*
and your karma will take care of you.
-Stonepeace | pic:hpl.hp.com/personal/andbyd/paintings
*See Excerpt on "How Karma Works"
Dharma-Inspired Movie Review: 2046 -
A Brief History of Attachment, from 1966 to 2004 to 2046
Reflections on "2046" Web's Title Cards
MetaText & UltraText
Realisation: Hearing Your Own Snoring
Four monks decided to meditate in silence. At nightfall, the candle went out.
The first monk said, "Oh! The candle is out."
The second monk said, "Aren't we not supposed to talk?"
The third monk said, "Why must you two break the silence?"
The fourth monk laughed, "Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak." -Zen Story
When you hear someone snore, it means you are awake. But when you snore, it means someone probably can't sleep! What a dilemma! Four of us, retreat participants, who all happened to be snorers, share a room. There were no hard feelings, but on the second night, two decided to move out to the hall at bed-time - because one of us snores so loudly that it keeps them awake at night. I was invited to join them but I decided not to. Firstly, I was lazy to shift stuff. Secondly, I wasn't convinced that three snorers sleeping together is any better then two. It seems to make more sense that we divide ourselves evenly - it is better for each of us to hear only one other person snoring!
Snoring is of course involuntary, but this incident reminds me of the Zen story above. Are we not like the monks at some point? When we first hear someone snoring, our first thoughts are likely to be like the monks. We tend to look first at the faults of others, thus missing and fortifying our blindspots - ourselves. I think the three were too kind to tell me how loud my snoring is. Snorers can be heard but the snorer cannot hear himself. Maybe we should record each other's snoring for each other to hear.
It occurred to me that none of us seemed really apologetic about our snoring. Partly because we assume it isn't that bad. We laugh off our own snoring, but we can only imagine how apalling our snoring might be while being apalled by others.' I find this truth very humbling. Thank you for your tolerance, fellow bunk-mates!
I sleep a little extra after breakfast to catch up on lost sleep. The others seem hesitant to nap in the room... maybe in fear of waking me with their snores? Maybe there was no point because I snore too loud? I must record my own snoring one night. How else can I reflect and experience it myself? It is interesting that we all first discovered ourselves to be snorers through someone else's feedback. The value of practising with others on the spiritual path is that it is likened to walking into a hall of mirrors - you get to see facets of yourself clearly reflected from never seen before angles. May we open our hearts and regularly invite spiritual friends to share what they think of us - for their right views of ourselves ought to be realised, while their wrong impressions ought to be reflected upon as to how they came to be. Self-reflection can be limited; we need mutual-reflection sometimes! (Please note that heavy snoring can be a symptom of potential health problems) -shian | pic:indiana.edu
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Excerpt: How Karma Works
Intention is the most important of all mental events because it gives direction to the mind, determining whether we engage with virtuous, non-virtuous, or neutral objects. Just as iron is powerlessly drawn to a magnet, our minds are powerlessly drawn to the object of our intentions.
An intention is a mental action; it may be expressed through either physical or verbal actions. Thus, action, or karma, is of two types: the action of intention and the intended action. The action of intention is the thought or impulse to engage in a physical or verbal act. The intended action is the physical or verbal expression of our intention. Karma actually refers to the action of intention but in general usage it includes the intended action and the seeds that are left in the mind as a result.
How do we accumulate karmic seeds? Every physical and verbal action is preceded by mental activity. Goodwill motivates a kind gesture; ill will motivates nasty words. Ill will is the intention to cause mental, emotional or physical harm. Thus, before and during a bad action, ill will is present in our mind. The presence of ill will before and during this act has an impact and influence on the mind due to which a certain potential is left behind. This potential is a karmic seed, a seed planted in our mind by physical, verbal or mental action. The strength or depth of this seed is determined by a number of factors, including how strong our intention is, whether we clearly understand what we are doing, whether we act on our intention and whether the physical and verbal action is completed.
Seeds will remain in the mind until they ripen or are destroyed. Seeds left by negative mental events and actions can be destroyed by the four opponent or antidotal powers. The most important of these four powers are regret for the negative act and a firm resolve not to act that way again in the future. Seeds left by positive mental events and actions can be destroyed by anger.
Even if we do not act on a negative intention, a karmic seed of diminished potency is still left in the mind. This incompleted seed is easier to remove. If it is not destroyed, a negative seed will eventually produce an unpleasant and negative effect while a postive seed will produce a pleasant and positive effect. Karmic seeds do not go to waste even after one hundred aeons. They will come to fruition when the time comes and the conditions assemble.
Actions motivated by the wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings and dedicated to that end have a special feature. The positive effects of such an act will be experienced many times over without being exhausted. For this reason, virtue dedicated to complete enlightenment is likened to a magnificent tree that bears fruit every season without fail. Such virtues will bear fruit until Buddhahood is attained.
-The Buddha's Medcine for the Mind: Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion (Geshe Tashi Tsering)
[Available @ Awareness Place: www.AwarenessPlace.com] pic:umea.se