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Realisation: When "Bad" Things Happen to "Good" People
To avoid evil, to do good, and to purify the mind - this is the teaching of all Buddhas. - The Buddha
Sometimes, we hear fellow Buddhists bitterly lament of having to suffer some grave "injustice" - despite having exerted much effort to help others. The pain is worsened by the belief of having done absolutely no evil to deserve it. They then become disheartened about doing any more good, pronouncing goodness to be utterly useless. But it is much wiser to believe in the impartial law of moral cause and effect (karma) than not to. After all, in nature, we reap only the fruits borne of the seeds we sow - not random fruits. It makes more sense to believe in karma (or something similar) because if no one in the whole world does, there would be total moral chaos. Which world do you prefer? One in which most believe in karma or one in which there are no believers? The immoral tend to be caught by the human law anyway - a means through which karma manifests! It is worth noting too, that no experience is totally "good" or "bad" - since each can lead to the other eventually.
Would you want all the do-gooders who make the world a better place to give up their efforts? If not, why should we? Doing good brings its own happiness in the moment, as we rejoice in bringing happiness to others. If we are calculative in wanting good karma or future happiness for doing good, surely, our intentions (which are what really create karma) aren't pure at alll. Our created karma is only as good as our intentions are selfless, instead of selfish. Truly helping others should not be a matter of "What's in it for me?", but a matter of "What's in it for others?" Similarly, we should ask ourselves - Do we want a world where everyone helps each other solely out of genuine generosity, or out of ulterior motives? Since we are part of this world, the actualising of a better world begins with us helping the part of the world we are in now.
Can karma be inherited? While there is collective or common karma that binds a family together, every individual creates and bears "uncommon" personal karma too. Buddhist or not, bad things can happen to good families. Then again, if we are truly good, we would be Buddhas already! Surely, we have the burden of negative karma (created in this and previous lives) which bears fruits occasionally, even as we do good. Good karma too, might not ripen as timely as we wish, or in ways we wish - when it isn't good enough! Experiencing "injustice" badly also means we are not well-practised enough to trust the law of karma, which ensures moral justice. "Anyway, whether one believes in karma or not, surely, it is not healthy to be bitter about "injustice" or to believe the world is a completely injust place. We will definitely not be better off if we cease doing good - for goodness' sake or to dilute the ill effects of negative karma. Strive on doing good! The fruition of good karma... all in good time! - Shen Shi'an
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Review: Response to "What is the Best Reference of Objectivity?"
Excerpt: Who is the Watcher of Your Mind?
There is only watching without a watcher, thoughts without a thinker. - stonepeace
My experience when I meditate, and I think it's the same for most people, is the dual experience of mind, not the non-dual experience of mind, it seems like there is a watcher, an awareness that is watching the stream of consciousness. It's like standing on the side of a river and watching the river flow by. Except in this case, there is an awareness, which we are calling the watcher... It seems to me that the essence of ego is just this - the ego is actually the watcher in those moments when it grasps (or rejects) the meanings - the thoughts and emotions - that appear in its stream of consciousness... So the watcher is actually a thought... - the mechanism by which the mind creates an (illusory) concept of its "self" is one in which one thought grasps another thought.
- The Healthy Mind Interviews Vol.II (Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso & Henry Miles Vyner M.D.)