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Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Idea of Karma

People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That's not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn't understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you're given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.

It's also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that's sitting right here right now... with its aches and it pleasures... is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.

Pema Chodron

These jems of wisdom came at the perfect moment. As they say, when the student is ready the teacher appears. Well, I have been feeling guilty about a lot of things lately and these comments by the dear Pema Chodron have helped me realize that our faults help us grow and to not "beat myself up" over them as that just creates more negative karma.

We are spending the weekend up in the mountains at a friends cabin and only came down to get a few more things. It is so quiet, peaceful and beautiful up there. Hopefully should have some pictures to share.

-Peace to you all-

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Zen Unbound said...

I dunno, James. I don't think that what Chodron says is what the sutra say at all -- for whatever that means.

For my part, I would like to know the mechanics of this karma vehicle. Show me the gears, the pumping pistons, the software -- and the layers of bureaucracy at Karma Corp.

Too, I think that chance and randomness are huge. Modern physics has shown that Einstein was wrong; God [or the cosmos] plays dice. An anvil knocked off the ledge could land on anybody's head.

tamingthemind said...

"The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart."

When "negative" things happen we tend to feel guilty or to blame someone else. This plants the karmic seed of blame,guilt, anger, etc..

By thinking, "What can I learn from this? What is this trying to teach me?" You let go of or get distracted from the usual behavior (blame and guilt). This causes you to plant a different karmic seed.

Zen Unbound said...

I see what you're saying.

But if the "real" answer is that there is nobody behind the scenes trying to teach you anything, would that bother you if the techique still worked?

It would bother me. I still want to investigate the scaffolding.

"James" said...


Sure, there is a lot of chance in life but I do also believe in karma. I think there is a lot working to create the current situations that we constantly find ourselves in.

tamingthemind said...

Zen Unbound,
I personally am not so sure that there is anybody behind the scenes. I, like you, tend to want to see the mechanics of it all.

Right now, I have decided to let go of this tendency and try to go it moment by moment.

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