A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post sayings or stories from Buddhist traditions which you find interesting, inspiring or useful. (Your own stories are welcome on DW, but in the Creative Writing or Personal Experience forums rather than here.)
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Redfaery
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A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by Redfaery » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:47 pm

Does anyone have any stories of karmic effects in their own life? I can think of one that's happened to me, and I also think it's a pretty nice story.

This was a year or so ago, when I still lived in Greensboro. I was at the CVS pharmacy, waiting in a long line to pick up my medication. This particular CVS was woefully understaffed, so long lines were just to be expected. So I wasn't too upset at having to stand there. However, an elderly gentleman who came up behind me was upset, and loudly asked why there was such a long line...why didn't they get another cashier? There were in fact, no cashiers in the pharmacy. Just the technicians and the pharmacists. And they were short a few. The technician manning the register meekly told the gentleman that all the other technicians were busy (presumably filling people's prescriptions) but that someone would be along in a moment. That just seemed to displease this gentleman, and he proceeded to evince his displeasure with the way the technicians were doing there job, implying that they were lazy.

It was at this point that I spoke up (quite calmly, I must point out). I merely commented lightly that the large volume of customers was probably harder on the techs than it was on us. So of course, at that point, he switched to expressing his displeasure too me.

"But they're getting PAID!" he exclaimed.

I could not see how he could possibly be truly angry over a long line, so I just replied with a smile, "they're probably not getting paid ENOUGH."

Now I had a target on my forehead. He seemed to forget how angry he was at the technicians, and instead was getting angry at the next convenient person - ME. He sneered that maybe I should talk to their boss, to which I replied that the boss probably didn't have much control over their working conditions either. So he switched back to fuming about having to wait in line, at which point I reminded him that the pharmacy had provided chairs to their customers, and he was currently sitting in one of these, while everyone else was standing. That struck a nerve.

"Watch your mouth, I'm disabled!" he cried.
I laughed (still not angry...just really confused as to why this guy is so worked up.) "That's funny...so am I!" (And I am indeed classified as disabled due to my autism and other mental conditions.)

He had no idea how to reply to that, and just sort of sat there declaring to everyone that I was being incredibly disrespectful. But by then, a second technician arrived to help with the line. Since everyone else had been watching this elderly (and indeed, obviously frail) gentleman complain about waiting, as a one we tried to wave him on ahead of us, but he refused, telling me to go first, since he didn't want to have to deal with my disrespect. I was still not angry. Just more and more confused at all the anger he had. So I went on and picked up my prescription, and as I did so, the first pharmacy tech (the one he had initially targeted) slipped over and whispered..."Ma'am? Thank you." In a tone of obviously heartfelt gratitude.

So...I was just doing what I hoped anyone would do when they see someone being a bully. But here's the funny thing: it came back to me. How?

I visited a used bookstore the next day and picked up a copy of a book I'd been eyeing, another couple that caught my fancy. As I stand in line to check out, the man in front of me is obviously impatient to leave. He's brought a number of books to trade in, but has apparently been told that he can't get cash for all of them, so he's agreed to take store credit for the remainder. Yet, he's in a hurry. He looks over at me and then at the cashier and says something I don't catch, and then he goes over to the other counter to wait for his money. I walk up to the cash register with the money from my own trade ins, which covers all but one of the books I'm buying. As I reach into my wallet to get the rest, the cashier tells me that the man in front of me didn't want his store credit, and was giving it to me. I thank the man profusely, but he brushes it off. "Just pass it on," he told me. I had to restrain myself from laughing, but instead smiled and said "namaste!" as I left.

What was that book he paid for? It was The Lotus Sutra.
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!

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lorem
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by lorem » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:28 pm

Like your story. Yes lines are a good place to practice dharma. I like to "rescue" Dharma books from used book stores. Maybe I'll leave them for the next person.

Once browsing in a used bookstore and found Avalokiteshvara (the Shambhala book add) in between 2 books. So I rescued him. (As if a bodhisattva needs rescuing)
I should be meditating.

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Redfaery
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by Redfaery » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:05 pm

I actually have my suspicions about what this particular copy of the Lotus Sutra was doing there. It's the Buno Kato translation, in a paperback edition. So it's not the more commonly available Reeves translation. Not long after I received my copy, I returned to the used bookstore and found...another copy of that exact same edition. I sort of think someone was deliberately selling them there so that people might pick it up who would otherwise never even hear of it.
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!

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lorem
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by lorem » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:58 pm

Redfaery wrote:I actually have my suspicions about what this particular copy of the Lotus Sutra was doing there. It's the Buno Kato translation, in a paperback edition. So it's not the more commonly available Reeves translation. Not long after I received my copy, I returned to the used bookstore and found...another copy of that exact same edition. I sort of think someone was deliberately selling them there so that people might pick it up who would otherwise never even hear of it.
Yeah, have seen this with a particular translation of The Bible.
I should be meditating.

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odysseus
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by odysseus » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:46 pm

lorem wrote:I like to "rescue" Dharma books from used book stores. Maybe I'll leave them for the next person.
Good idea.

When I want a Buddhist book, I always buy a new copy to have more used copies in circulation. Unless I find something rare. lol
Let a man not seek for the respect of his peers, but let him seek wisdom.

-- Dhammapada

madhusudan
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by madhusudan » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:40 pm

I think I've heard that if your karma ripens quickly, this is really good. Confidence in cause and effect is strengthened, so you can abandon non-virtue easily and purify negativity.

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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:49 am

I built my altar mostly from dharma stuff most people discarded in yard sales, and was just being used as random decor. You wouldn't believe the stuff i've found..small chenrezig thanka for three bucks or ..big Amitabha statue for two bucks, malas, all kinds of brass statuary. Literally if it was something I felt drawn to, I ended up finding at a garage salwe..awesome. I remember thinking one day "sure would be cool to find a Chenrezig thangka at one of these"..and bam, there it was. The prevalence of Buddha rupa collections among non-Buddhists is an interesting thing.
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Redfaery
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Re: A true story of beneficial karma - it happened to ME!

Post by Redfaery » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:06 am

That's interesting. A lot of stuff on my altar is similarly second hand, though most of it is not originally religious. My icons are actually vintage Japanese geisha-type dolls from probably about the 1960s. Really unconventional Buddha images, but they work perfectly! I also got a beautiful brass thurible at an antique shop for...six dollars? It was Indian, and came as a set with a cruet and water pitcher. Obviously they were from a Catholic church. Beautiful objects, though - wonderfully patinated, and engraved with this lovely foliate/floral design. I actually prefer to pick up stuff second hand or to repurpose items. It's sort of like letting karma take over, I guess? I just find stuff I was "meant" to have.
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!

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