A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

Actions and karma

Karma is action. Non-virtuous actions result in suffering, and from virtuous actions comes happiness. For every good action we put out there is an equal good action coming back to us, this balance is a natural law. For every action that has a harmful effect to another being , we will receive harm in return. You may be saying right now, but I live a good life, and all this bad stuff keeps happening to me. This is the result of you bad actions in your previous lives. The same is true for those who we say have the Midas touch, or the student who masters a subject without effort. This is the result of actions in previous lives. We don’t have a preset time allotted to us on this earth, our time here is limited. If we continue to do harm we can be reborn in a lower realm, such as the hungry ghost realm, or the animal realm. There is a Tibetan story of a village beside a lake where the citizens spent their days fishing. This had been the way of life for generations. One day a master who had a gift of clairvoyance or clear sight came to the town. He observed this and said “All I see are the people and fish changing places”. The fishers were reborn the next life as the fish, the fish as the fishers, each eating the other in turn, caught in a repeating cycle. In our own relationships, how often do we take from others, without giving back equally? We get someone to like us, to say to others how nice we are, yet give nothing back, till one day we say I grow tired of you, I need another to sing me new songs of praise. Then we wonder why we never have a lasting relationship. As we hurt others we will be hurt in the same manner, if not today, then tomorrow or the next life. If we accumulate enough bad karma, we may have to wait till we are reborn in the human realm to burn off our bad karma. There are many stories about karmic connections lasting hundreds of years, before balance has been achieved.

So one in 5 relationships start on the web

They are now saying one in five relationships started through the web. The internet with the dating sites, chat rooms, web pages to share interests, and all the other options, have given us more chance to meet someone. However don’t be foolish and fall in love, before you meet the person, to them it may be a game, an amusement to pass the time. Or for some it is a way to get strangers to believe they are the only one, and to provide support till together in real life. There was recently a story on the news about a lady from the Philippines who had over 30 guys convinced they were the only man in her life. The average guy was sending her $400/month, almost all of them had never met her in real life. A family of four is considered poor in the Philippines if they make under 10000 pesos/month or about $250/month. This is happening all over the world, women conning men, men conning women. As a Buddhist if you look online for someone, remember that your thoughts and speech carry the same weight as in the real world. A lie on the internet is no less damaging than one in real life. The action of typing those falsehoods is the same, as if you did it in person, and the karma earned through your online actions is the same as those in person. The same rules apply to sexual relations as in the real world. I know some of you are saying but it’s different there is no physical contact. There is an emotional one, there cam be physical stimulation on both sides, so it is the same. I am not sure what the karmic implications would be for a married couple who engage in cam sex, that would be for wiser minds, to provide discourse. So regardless of online or on the street, when you meet someone who is a potential romantic partner, the proper path has not changed. Treat all with respect, honesty, love and compassion, just as you wish to be treated.

A lesson from a seagull

Today.s blog entry, is inspired by the seagull who kept waking me up early this morning, several times in fact. I really wanted some peace and quiet, but didn’t get it, so I woke up tired and grumpy. It took a while till I accepted that the seagull was just doing what came natural to a seagull. So here is my ode to a seagull, may I always accept my lessons regardless of the source:

How often have we heard, so and so is a OK person, but I would like them better if…. As a Buddhist we are not to discriminate in how we treat people. Those who are different are to be treated the same as those like ourselves. The Buddha taught us to treat our foes as our friends, also Christ told his disciples to love thy enemy. Yes it is easier to love someone when they are very much like ourselves, however all beings are the same. We all are trying to minimize the suffering we experience in our lifetime. Compassion is to be shown to all, our love is to be for all, we are to ease the suffering of foe and friend. It is only when the differences are not cared about, and we all exhibit love towards all beings will true happiness be had by all.

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