A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Sharing our resources, or nothing really is mine

Buddha taught us to be mindful. We are to be aware of the impacts of our thoughts, speech and actions. In Buddhism we not only are to consider these, but to make them part of our lives in practice. We need to understand what motivates us in our actions. Are our actions motivated by roots of evil? If our actions are motivated by causes of plain ignorance, aversion, hatred, anger or greed we are wrongly motivated. Any thoughts, speech or actions as a result of these motivations is considered unskillful, and even if they appear harmless, may cause widespread undesirable consequences. Sometimes it may only be the timing that makes our actions wrong. You decide you would like to replace the existing fence around your property as the old one has deteriorated beyond repair. You choose a new style that is more solid than the existing design, however it means your neighbours flowers will not receive the sun they need, and if he had known before planting that bed this year he could have chosen other varieties of flowers. A person, who considers improving his home as his motivation, must still consider if anyone else is affected by his actions. In this case you can talk to the neighbour and perhaps do that portion of the fence after the flowers are done for the season. Thus you have improved your property, you neighbour hasn’t wasted the materials, time and effort to produce the flower bed, and the plants were able to germinate, produce flowers, which the bees used some of the pollen from to produce honey, which helped to feed the bear. I know this is a minor example but wanted to show how even small actions can have consequences.

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