In 2012, I had the honour to study with Monk Phra Bhasakorn Bhavilai at his temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. During that time, I received wisdom from the Mahamakut Buddhist University, balancing science with the Buddha wisdom of Karma.
Most of us know karma from the “Theravada Buddhism” in Visuddhimagga understanding. This is based on “if you do good, you will receive good.” The question that kept coming to me was, “If doing good means good comes back to me, and if I do bad, that bad will come to me. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do bad people often have lives perceived as good? My questions took me on a journey whose answer ultimately led to Karma.
Before we get too in-depth about Karma, let me first share an insight given to me by two monks I also studied in Thailand. They pointed out clearly the difference between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha. In my understanding, Jesus and Buddha were similar types of beings who came to earth to teach us how to live happily, connected to higher intelligence.
I learned that most of Jesus’ teaching was written hundreds of years after Jesus was dead and that Buddha’s teaching was given in the Pali language with no alphabet and was not written down until it was retold in Sanskrit using that language to write the stories of Buddha.
And get this! The monks shared with me that Buddha made it clear that he was simply a man who found the answers to living on earth without suffering. Buddha made it clear that he was not a prophet of God, did not require faith in an external God, but that he discovered ways to live free from suffering that anybody can access. This freedom is the present moment in all its dimensions. Understanding the nature of reality leads us into flow and harmony with what exists, rather than chasing the delusion of what we want it to be. Buddha was the teacher of living in NON-Suffering. The Dharma, or Life Path, according to the teachings of Buddha, became my life journey. Now I am dedicated to guiding others on their Life Path.
The TRUTH is not here to make you happy. It is to set you FREE.
I have heard that karma is listed as an “unthinkable” (Acinteyya) because of its intricacy and profundity. This, too, provoked me to investigate more. How can something that is known so profoundly as “cause and effect” be an unthinkable? My search began.
The beauty of this is that science has lent credibility to what Buddha has been teaching us for thousands of years. The partnering of science and Buddhism investigating topics like evolution, the structure of the universe, the growth of the embryo in the womb, and human psychology, lies in the interstice of science and wisdom and combines both East’s knowledge and West.
Karma is one of the laws of nature, just as gravity is to our world. My monk, Phra Bhasakorn gave me a great example of this; karma is much like the written word. When you take letters and put them together, you get a sentence of expression based on the letter grouping. From that sentence, you receive an understanding and even an emotion. Some have even had life-changing experiences from one sentence they have read. Well, Karma is no different. It is a small part of your life – your actions put together in groupings or sentences of your expression. From those sentences, you have an effect on the world, and the world responds to that effect.
The two karma dynamics are intention and action. If we start with the big picture of oneness, that we are all one and connected to all things, even from the smallest atom to the largest star, we are that. Therefore, we have the power to understand the nature of reality and effect change in our lives.
We are here on earth to live the truth of who we are from within. There exist orderly rules in the relationship with cause and effect, called “Pasada.” We just need to connect with them.
Karma action plan
- Intention leads to action: When we reflect on our behaviour, we find that most of our actions manifest from intention. We have an intention, and then we act on it. For example, we have an intention to learn to play golf; we decide to hold a golf club, and we think it might be interesting, so we decide to pick up the club and swing it. Our thought leads to action.
- Action without intention: this is fed by the unconscious intention or awareness. For example, we drive down the street to find the cars in front of us already stopped, and we run our car into the back of another car. We didn’t mean to do that. We were just distracted for a moment, but there are karmic consequences. When you got up that morning, there was no intention of hurting another in any way. It was a karmic act that manifested this pain. These unconscious acts could be part of karma debt. Say you are eating a banana, and you throw the peel out your car window, never to think of that banana again. A few hours later, a person is riding her bike and runs over the rotten banana peel and loses control of her bike and ends up in distress. You aren’t even aware of this, yet an act of karma just attached itself to you. The karma from this banana incident will find its way into your life to be cleared up as it will for the person on the bike.
- Intention without action: A thought with no action can create karma, even though it’s not physical nor intentional. It is based on our thoughts. There are uncountable numbers of thought moments that pass through our minds, and it is up to us and only us as to what thoughts we attach to. Like on a rodent wheel, thoughts go around and around in our head, creating karma. These thoughts can affect our physical and mental states. Our body responds to these thoughts. We can find ourselves in contraction out of fear or anger, or expansion seeded by love or joy. Both are feelings that come from our thoughts. We are highly intelligent and know that when we walk into a room full of people, something within us scans the room and brings back information so fast that we can miss how we want to behave consciously. Through our thoughts, we trigger a body reaction, invoking an emotion, which can precipitate an action.
“Be in your Sahaja State…your natural Self of LOVE”
You are magnificent. Now is the time to be nothing less. I am thankful for our connection. Namaste means “I see you in me.”
Namaste, Maggie Calder.org