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Thread: Karma

  1. #1

    Karma

    I just thought I'd share something that made me smile today.

    Yesterday, a friend threw a water bottle and never picked it up. Later, I picked it up and dropped it on her head much to the amusement of everyone around. Another friend who was right there at the time told me today that she thought it was funny and I jokingly responded that "Mine was the hand of Karma." She thought this was a pretty bold statement, but I responded by saying that Everything is Karma.

    A few minutes later she informed me that she hit her head on a dryer door while doing her laundry. She asked me, "If everything is Karma then what the heck was that for?"

    I said "We sew karmic seeds with our decisions, and, sometimes, we just hit our heads."

    The people around me and even I often forget to take a minute when things go awry just to smile and think about the fact that sometimes we really do just hit our heads.

    With love,
    Austin

  2. #2

    Re: Karma

    haha nice and thank you from a Chronic head banger here, figuratively and in for real.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  3. #3

    Re: Karma

    While this may stray a bit, it may/may not have something to do with the title, if not the actual subject :P

    Started my job in the biology lab here at college today; I work in a genetics lab that raises fruit flies to do tests that can be scaled up to human size eventually. Disease, abnormality research, etc... I was humming along, cooking fruit fly food (which is surprisingly similar to souther cornbread by the way), until i was struck by an instruction left by my supervisor, "Don't forget to freeze the old flies, the bottles are no good anymore."
    WHAT?!

    I was decidedly distraught. I RESCUE bugs anytime I see them, in face I had just turned over a cricket outside on the sidewalk that couldn't flip over onto its feet to hop away, how in the hell could I do this? But there was no one else to do it. It was me, or a loss of job and contact to get further in my research opportunities with professors who focus on what I want to study, ecological restoration. I must admit, I felt like a hypocrite freezing the flies. I did several gasshos to them before finally shutting the door and said my silent apology. I thought of what a bad buddhist I must be now. Much fuming and a large sense of dread at the coming year where this ritual would have to be performed once a month took me far away from the laboratory and deep into my mind. All through dinner and on the walk back home I could not justify this, and I was rather upset at myself for not figuring some other way out. None that I can see. BUT! As with all things, I came here for some advice, looked at the "Refrain from taking life" thread from last years Jukai and I am comforted, though not uneasy. And so I composed a "Gatha for the freezing of the flies":

    Freezing the flies
    I vow with all beings
    To never take life for granted
    Especially that of the Earth's smallest beings

    Mindfulness and intention. I feel for my tiny friends, and I hope they simply fall asleep.

    An animal lover, big and small,
    Taylor

  4. #4

    Re: Karma

    I have no advice, but I've started rescuing insects as well. I draw the line with stinging insects, but I don't overtly kill them anymore. I used to spray wasps, but they are usually doing their thing and they have as much right to be where they are; who am I to kill them? It really bothers me now as well.

    I tell you man, for a person much younger than me, you sure as heck (I gave up swearing for Ango, hence I use heck. lol) teach me a lot every time you post

    Gassho,

    Cyril

  5. #5

    Re: Karma

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    I have no advice, but I've started rescuing insects as well. I draw the line with stinging insects, but I don't overtly kill them anymore. I used to spray wasps, but they are usually doing their thing and they have as much right to be where they are; who am I to kill them? It really bothers me now as well.

    I tell you man, for a person much younger than me, you sure as heck (I gave up swearing for Ango, hence I use heck. lol) teach me a lot every time you post

    Gassho,

    Cyril
    Haha yes indeed!!
    (on the whole thing - and including you )
    Thank yous !

    Gassho
    Shohei

  6. #6

    Re: Karma

    We shall soon be looking and sitting with the Precept on Preserving Life for our Jukai study ... in just a few weeks. There, I will repeat again the following story of how we had to take care of termites here at (all wood) Treeleaf in Japan, the story of the Dalai Lama and the mosquito and others ...

    We faced this issue when Treeleaf Japan, a completely wooden building (built without nails, just joined wood beams) ... was infested with termites ...

    A Google search on the subject, and talking to some other Buddhist clergy in various traditions, turned up the fact that (as I suspected), infested wooden Buddhist temples will take countermeasures ... though sometimes followed by a memorial service or the like for the little lives taken (and although some claim not too, and that good chanting is enough to chase the bugs away ... I tried that, no luck.) ...

    The following was also typical advice, and I gave it a try ...

    In the area of prohibitions against killing, one laywoman asked, "What should we do if there are mice and termites at home?" Dharma Master Heng Lyu answered, "You first post a notice asking them to leave. Next, you use insect repellants to chase them out. Avoid insecticides because you want to avoid the karma of killing."

    One layman asked, "How do you avoid harming living beings while mowing the lawn?"

    Dharma Master Heng Lyu said, "You would first post a notice to let the small creatures know that it's best to move, then mow the lawn. While you're mowing the lawn, recite the Great Compassion Mantra at the same time."

    Excerpted from the article, "The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas Holds First Transmission of the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts in the New Millenium", on page 49 of the October 2000 issue (volume 31, series 73) of the Vajra Bodhi Sea.
    And, of course, this is the famous "Dalai Lama kills the Mosquito" video ...



    I really feel the weight of having to kill those termites ... but somehow, whenever there is an earthquake and the heavy roof timbers start shaking over my family's heads ... I know it was necessary. That is the Koan.

    I am sure that you will have much cause for reflection when we look at that Precept.

    The Jains, a sect parallel in teachings to Buddhism and from the same time, will wear face masks to avoid inhaling an insect ...

    Because, to Jains, every living thing has a soul, they attempt to harm no living thing. They avoid stepping on or breathing in insects, often even covering their nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid accidental inhalation of insects.
    Jains are strict vegetarians. They avoid eating root vegetables in general, as the micro-organisms killed while cooking and eating them are countless. Followers of Jain dharma eat before the night falls. They filter water regularly so as to remove any small insects that may be present and boil (and may cool) the water prior to consumption, as heated water will not be the suitable base for micro organisms to develop immediately.


    The Buddha was more one of moderation on this issue. We will discuss all this ...

    Gassho, J

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