Often we get too caught up in trying to figure out our karma. This can be like "chasing the wind" as the Native Americans say and draw us up into the realms of the "hungry ghosts" rather then the realm of peace and tranquility.
I found a book online about the basics tenets and ethics of Buddhism that I found interesting. Especially the brief introduction to karma. Isn't it intriguing that the seemingly simplest books are the one's that often teach us the most?
It is titled, "Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction" by Damien Keown.
Here is the section right out of the book I found most enlightening:
Karmic actions are moral actions, and the Buddha defined karma by reference to moral choices and the acts consequent upon them. He stated, "It is intention (cetana), O monks, that I call karma; having willed one's actions through body, speech, or mind."
This makes more sense to me then the ignorant western view of karma being that of good and bad, black and white actions. Karma (to me) is more of a concept of shades of grey and varying degrees.
Let's say you have to lie to keep someone alive. Would that be good, negative or even neutral karma (thus no real effect)?? It seems to me that it would be neutral at the very least but maybe even good. Here again it is the intention behind your actions that seems to be most important. Would not the good intention of wanting to save a life be more important then the intention to mislead?
What do you think?
-Peace to all beings-
Monday, October 31, 2005
Posted by They call him James Ure at 11:27 AM