The Power of Karma (part four)

Both you and I, as well as everyone else, does not want to experience anything bad, isn't that so? We only want to experience the wonderful and positive in life, and we absolutely do not want to suffer. We, as well as all living beings, hold this baseline commonality; none wishes to suffer and seeks happiness and comfort. The nature of the smallest creature has this in common with every living being.

However, strangely enough, we are continuously experiencing what we do not want to meet, yet what we desire is not that easy to get, even with effort! If that were not so, for example, I could just go to a Lamborghini car dealership, and say, "
I have no money but I want to have that red one over there." They would say, "Of course, our pleasure." It would certainly be a different world if we could have everything we wanted. Since we want happiness more than anything else, we should be able to get it. If a red Lamborghini makes me happy, why shouldn’t I have it?

On the other hand, it seems that what we do not want comes to us automatically. We do not even need to request nasty situations to come. Nevertheless, we will have to beg and beg and beg Santa Claus for our darn Lamborghini, and still it does not come. What we do not want comes to us even though we are running the other way. This does not seem fair, does it?

There must be something more going on than our desire for happiness and avoidance of suffering. If we could get everything we wanted, we would not be disturbed in our mind, because we would not experience any negativity. Our every wish would be fulfilled, and we could never become angry, only happy all the time. We would only be experiencing positive events and that would be so very pleasant! However, the difficult situations we are experiencing do not arrive from the outside world, they come from the mind itself. I hope that does not unduly frighten you although it is pretty scary. We carry the seeds of difficulty hidden right within our own mind.

Now, this is the interesting part; there are two different attitudes that Buddhists hold regarding the responsibility for unhappiness. The first we use for others. We view the difficulties and suffering of others with compassion and empathy and never, never use the teachings of karma to punish or blame them!

The second attitude we hold for our own practice and it is extremely important to gain not just understanding but feel “in our bones” the responsibility we have for our own suffering state.
There are general principles associated with the correct reasoning.
1- We do not meet with events that do not come from causes.
2- Causes and conditions must come together.
If the causes and conditions do not ripen together, we will not experience a result.
3- Our perceptions influence whether we judge an event to be positive or negative.
There are some people, who even while experiencing a bad situation, see or understand that negative circumstance as positive or as a challenge. They could acknowledge it as a difficulty but still hold a view seeing it as a necessity for their own growth, isn't that so? This is a dharmic way of looking at it. Perhaps everything that we experience is actually there to help us learn.

However, as we accumulate the causes and conditions that are ripening from previous actions to experience events, some are truly dreadful and negative. No matter how much positive spin we try to apply, we know that this is an awful situation, isn't that so? We can only admire the advanced practitioners so capable of adjusting their thinking that they could go to the hell realm and find that best perception of positive spins; to work for the benefit of all sentient beings wherever we find ourselves. On the other hand, for beginners, it is quite ok to acknowledge that perhaps at very high levels of inner development, one could do that, but again, that is not so easy. Therefore, we should have the option of identifying the truly negative events that we experience as really rotten!

In general, however, in our every day life, we have choices to look at events even as they are occurring, and we can see them as being something that gives us a lot of trouble and a big difficulty, or we can see them as causes for achieving our goals of patience, understanding and preparation for enlightenment. We do have choices. To be continued…..

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