Definitely karma. But good or bad?

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shaunc
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Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by shaunc » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:21 am

Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.

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smcj
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by smcj » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:24 am

Good karma for self-restraint. That's what the Pratimoksha Vows are all about; not doing what is negative and overt. Later on the Mahayana addresses the issue of motivation and doing positive, but not doing negative actions is the first step.

Cease the negative.
Do the positive.
Tame the mind.
Last edited by smcj on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
In the Tantra of the Beautiful Auspiciousness (bKra shis mdzes ldan gyi rgyud), this "Great Primordial Purity" (spyi gzhi) is defined as follows:

What is known as "The Great Primordial Purity”
Is the state abiding before authentic Buddhas arose
And before impure sentient beings appeared;
It is called the great Primordial radiance of immutable awareness.

*****
Sometimes you can get shown the light
In the strangest of places
If you look at it right.
-Robert Hunter-

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LastLegend
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by LastLegend » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:25 am

I thought there will always be karma until realization.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Seishin
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by Seishin » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:05 am

Karma is just karma. Good, bad and all the shades in between.

Gassho
Seishin

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Ayu
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by Ayu » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:12 am

shaunc wrote:Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.
Good karma.
Also, like my teacher never get's tired to mention, this "silent" person can be very grateful to have such a wonderful opportunity to train on his patience. "If there is noone to bother you, you can never train it. But you have to train it to become patient."
Everybody laughs, when he says this, but it is seriously spoken. :smile:

So, if we talk about karma, it is not the main point, as long as one doesn't loose his patience totally and indulges into very bad actions. To become angry is a normal thing one can work on. It's a training.
If a football player trains to become better, he is not upset about every single small fault. The focus is on becoming better step by step, not on being perfect already.
And he stops the training before the pain in the muscles becomes too heavy.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:57 am

shaunc wrote:Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.
Both, but more good than bad since the (good, intentional) restraint outweighs the (bad but unintentional) short-lived irritation.

:namaste:
Kim

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Sherab
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by Sherab » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:48 pm

shaunc wrote:Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.
Feeling angry and upset could be the ripening of seed left by previous bad karma. Reacting with restraint would be good karma creating virtuous seed that would ripen into a good experience in future. (My two cents multiply by the rate of inflation.)

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Vajrasvapna
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by Vajrasvapna » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:23 pm

Nagarjuna said that Karma is an illusion, this is the vision of enlightened beings. We unenlightened beings have a strong tendency to dualistic thought, so we need to maintain ethical conduct, but enlightened beings are able to bring benefits even in actions seen as negative.

To help us beings with extreme dualistic view, the Buddha taught the concept of warehouse consciousness: every action motivated by ignorance, attachment and anger will add a seed in your warehouse consciousness and every action motivated by compassion you purify past actions.
shaunc wrote:Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.
Yes, he would be accumulating negative seeds and it would be better for him not to participate in intolerant debates .

Some source about karma:
http://www.acmuller.net/yogacara/articles/intro-uni.htm
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/good_evil_beyond.pdf
http://amzn.com/1590304195
http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Secret- ... 1559394013
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.

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anjali
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Re: Definitely karma. But good or bad?

Post by anjali » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:13 am

shaunc wrote:Suppose a person (me) read something on a Buddhist Internet forum (not this one). It upset them & made them feel a bit angry & upset with the other poster, but chose not to respond because of 2 reasons. 1 that they'd only be adding fuel to the fire & 2. They weren't really sure whether they could debate this person in a civilised & helpful way without being rude & insulting to them. Do you feel this person would receive bad karma for the negative thoughts or good karma for showing some self restraint.
Your thoughts please.
Hi shuanc,

Others have given you some good feedback on this question. I'd like to offer a slightly different perspective, focusing not so much on the karma issue.

Regarding feeling upset and angry. Having those feelings just means that something is really important to you. That's ok. Sometimes they can be a spur to positive action, if we can understand why we are having those feelings and can work constructively with them. If you respond under the influence of anger, it's true you might say something you'll later regret or could add fuel to the fire. If you can let the emotions run their course without acting on them, you can still respond to what you read. After all, maybe what you have to say would be worthwhile. Of course that is something you will have to decide.

Actually responding. If you think you have something that would be useful to contribute, and can do so without being driven by negative feelings, here are a couple of suggestions.

First, go ahead and type up a response, but wait 24hrs before sending it. That gives you a chance to reevaluate what you've written after giving some time to reflect on what you've written. If we choose, we can pause as long as we want before responding. It's so tempting to hit the submit button after writing up a response in the heat of the moment. Personally, I've found this to be a good practice for anything that has a strong emotional reaction on my part. That's the great thing about email and forums. It's not real-time interaction.

Second, respond only to the substance of what you read. Stay focused on the content. If the other person was/is rude/abusive in their responses, it's actually pretty easy to just ignore them in our responses. However, if what bothers you is the person's online behavior, that's a very tricky issue to address. You have to decide 1) whether the person would be receptive at all to any mention of their negative behavior, and 2) whether you can respond in a skillful way that would benefit the person you are responding to. Neither of which are easy calls to make.

Just because you are upset and are uncertain of your ability to be civil now, don't let that preclude the possibility of eventually responding. Best wishes on what ever direction you choose to take.
  • As the sun goes further in its course, the shadows of the western mountains draw ever closer; so too, as life unfolds its course, is death forever drawing nearer. --A proverb quoted by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in The Hundred Verses of Advice.
  • Amid the clouds of impermanence and illusion, the lightning of life dances: Are you sure you won't die tomorrow? Death is unavoidable, so practice the Dharma! --Shechen Gyaltsap

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