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Thread: Grass Hut - 33 - "Freedom from the Past / Karma"

  1. #1

    Grass Hut - 33 - "Freedom from the Past / Karma"

    Dear All.

    This week, our Karma brings us to the first half of Chapter 27, "Freedom from the Past / Karma" (We will read the second half, "relax completely", next time).

    Ben offers a rather modern interpretation of "Karma" here, much as I and many recent teachers turn to. It is something along the lines of "Karma is all that has happened in the universe and in the world, throughout time, and all our past volitional acts which served to bring us to this place, it is the volitional actions of each of us which impact all the world and other sentient beings, it is our own volitional actions which help determine the future for ourself and all those we impact in our lives, for good and bad". Something like that.

    A more traditional view of Karma, of course, might emphasize the string of volitional actions by each of us in countless prior lives which very surely result in effects, good actions leading to good effects and bad actions to bad effects, and a string of countless rebirths in various heavens, hells or this human realm on the road to Buddhahood. As with many modern Zen teacher, I am rather agnostic on that (Ben sounds so too).

    Whether you wish to comment from a more modern view of Karma, or a more traditional view of Karma, please express a bit your view on how your see Karma working in your personal life, and how your own past Karma may have brought you to where you are now.

    What are your feelings and interpretations of Ben's pointing to our "letting go" of all this Karma?


    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-26-2015 at 06:19 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  3. #3
    Even with the modern view of karma, there is so much in my life with which to practice. It's constantly working with "going straight on the 99 curve road." As a wise old boss once told me, it's just taking life as it comes, one thing at a time. Trying to keep in touch with what's right here now, and letting go of past hurts, resentments, biases, and mistakes. Just dancing with whatever comes. Easier said than done, but.......
    _/st\_ Shinzan

  4. #4
    Sometimes shit just goes down. I think that zen creates a field to allow us to deal with it, and it has to be dealt with. Zen is not a way to avoid or ignore things or to not care about things. Problems don't solve themselves, and I think calming down, slowing down to focus, to stop the incessant chattering allows us to see what really needs to be dealt with in our lives vs. what is just our nonstop judging, criticizing, etc. And it also allows us to be with problems.

    Sometimes there is no solution except stopping the want for there to be a solution... It's like that famous story of the man that comes to the Buddha for help - complaining about everything he doesn't like. The Buddha says he can't help because you will always have a set number of problems, like 98 problems. Whenever we fix 1, another takes its place.

    The number isn't important, but anyway the man says if you can't help me get rid of my problems, then what good is Buddhism? The Buddha says, well although everyone has 98 problems, you have 1 extra. The 99th problem is not wanting to have problems. So Buddhism can help you with that.

    I think that is the setting down of Karma and letting go of all of that to be with what is here and now, where we can be the most useful.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday
    Last edited by Risho; 11-02-2015 at 08:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo.

    I love the notion that our zazen practice might be the most wholesome way of "correcting" our past karma. This beguiled me for so long, because at a superficial level, it doesn't make sense ("How can sitting on a cushion right my past wrongs?) But I think the real gift of this practice is that it allows us to abide in the midst of all the repercussions of our choices (and the choices of others), and relate to the manifestation of that karma in the most skillful way possible.

    Gassho,
    Matt
    SatToday

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post

    The number isn't important, but anyway the man says if you can't help me get rid of my problems, then what good is Buddhism? The Buddha says, well although everyone has 98 problems, you have 1 extra. The 99th problem is not wanting to have problems. So Buddhism can help you with that.


    Gassho
    Sierra
    SatToday

  7. #7
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    I see Karma s being every action, both emotional and physical, that has led to this second and also to the next. It is the momentum of our life-force, and the weight of our actions.


    The first time I heard the expression "There is no love, only proof of love" i was intrigued and slightly melancholy. It turns out though, that in my life at least, only your actions hold real weight. The fact they start from a mental/emotional source is the insight I needed to get myself to change my habits.

    Thus have I re-written my karma, or perhaps just guided what was never written previously. IMHO.

    Geoff.
    A student.

    SatToday.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

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