How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

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Ogyen
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How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am

Some stuff is happening that I know with utmost certainty is the culminating of Karma ripening. The collective karma thread has given me a lot of food for thought. Over 10 people have sent me this question in the past month, all friends from different walks of life, hey are you familiar with the Dunning Kruger Effect?Maybe it's a hint to strongly consider many of my problems come from incorrectly estimating my own and others capacities... But I don't have any particular issue with being less intelligent than I thought. I come from a family where genius and mental illness stroll leisurely through the ranks, so that "intelligence" always put a tremendous amount pressure, not all positive, to perform "sanely", to excel at everything, to see all sides of everything, etc, while also not being the brightest crayon from that Crayola box...

Lately I have been feeling like a rat in a maze that has endless finite conditions which in turn have cycles, and even with daily practice, I can't quite ever have "enough clarity" to really make up for the amount of karma is heaped on.. and then feeling bad about having this karma as I awaken to the layers of bullshit in this whole identity construct I call me, and I'm torn between my habituated gut reaction to want to dismiss it as self-indulgent and sucking it up, or validating that it's merited because well, pain hurts. I'm trying to be patient and go for the latter.

I can look at my entire life as a result of my own decisions stretching back who knows when and where, and it's confusing whether I should just consider it a see-saw, some up some down, piled on its a lot of crap... Lifetimes I can't undo right now,no more than I can undo what I ate yesterday for lunch... Then I swing to just feeling ashamed of how poorly I must have handled things in the past to come into this containerized reality I call "my life," with these specific conditions in which I seem to not have learned from my mistakes and again have continued to do many things to overcome and I realize I have no idea how much more karma I set myself up for trying to set things right.

Honestly I don't really know what to feel, it's a storm of conditions colliding internal, external, and I'm filled with doubt that I can actually do this... I'm not filled with doubt about the method or the practice, I am living proof these work. I am filled with doubt that maybe I've horribly misgauged my capacity.

Any suggestions on how to verify one's karma, any tells that can help navigate what to consider, what to ignore??? What are the post signs along the road I should be paying attention to?

How do you know you're not just making things worse thinking you're making things better (good intentions and all that jazz)???

Is just practicing enough?

How does one gauge advancement on their own path based on the karma they must alone exhaust/purify? Here below quoted there's a clear indication of what karma results from fruits of specific actions. I'd like to know more about how to better gauge progress on the path...if anyone knows.

(Here some great definitions lent by Malcolm in the Collective Karma thread for consideration on what's gotten me feeling this out )
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:09 pm
The Buddha, Naḡārjuna, and Vasuabandhu in one voice proclaim, "Karma is volition (cetana) and what proceeds from volition."

Then there is karma vipaka, of which there are three kinds: 1) the ripened result, 2) the result that corresponds to the cause, and 3) the dominant result.

With respect to the first, the Ratnavali states:

One is born in hell through hatred;
one is born into the preta realm through desire;
and one is generally born as an animal through confusion.


As for the second:

Due to taking life, life is short.
Due to stealing, one is impoverished.
Due to sexual impropriety, one has enemies.
Due to lying, one is criticized.
Due to calumny, one is separated from friends.
Due to harsh words, one hears unpleasantness.
Due to gossip, one’s word has no value.
Due to greed, one’s hopes will be dashed.
Due to malice, one will have fear.
Due to wrong view, one’s view will be bad.


As for the third, the dominant result, Khenpo Ngalo states (and this is all very standard):

The dominant result is said to ripen as the container universe where one is born and lives. For instance, due to taking life, one must be born and live in a bleak region with ravines and so on that are harmful to life. Likewise, due to taking what has not been given, frost and hail will arise, fruit will not form on trees, and famines will arise. Due to improper desire, one must live in a place with thick dust and where there are many unpleasant things such as feces, urine, swamps and so on. Due to lying, one must live in a place that is polluted and foul-smelling, one’s wealth will not be stable, and the country will be frightening. Due to calumny, one is born in a region that is uneven, with ravines and gorges. Due to harsh words, one is born in an unhappy place that is salty and so on. Due to idle speech one is born in a place where rice does not grow; even if one farms, the seasons are not constant; and so on. Due to greed, one lives in a place where the harvest is damaged, the grain is small, and one is born during a bad time. Due to malice, one is always frightened, there are frequent injuries, and one is born in a place where the grains have a bitter taste. Due to wrong view, even though the grain is not small, [136/a] there is little wealth, and one is born without refuge and defenders.

The Ratnavali sums it up:

Though those engaged in nonvirtue desire happiness,
but where ever they go,
they are crushed by suffering
because of that nonvirtue then and there.



The Ratnavali states:

This Dharma liberates one from
hell realms, preta realms, and animal realms.
and one attains an increase of happiness, wealth, and political power
among devas and humans.


The Buddha said:

The correct mundane view
exists in one who is great;
that prevents going to lower realms
for a thousand eons.
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by amanitamusc » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:14 am

I believe this Malcolm quote is from a Mahayana thread.
Malcolm stays true to the view in which forum he is posting on.
In Santa Fe his translation of "Buddhahood in This Life", Malcolm will be
laying out the Dzogchen View.
Those of us who go will benefit!

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by cyril » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:16 am

I also have a question which I hope does not derail the thread but only complements the OP's query.
It is said that at the time of death, "whichever actions carry the greatest effect, whichever are closest, whichever more habitual and whichever were done first - these will be the first to ripen". Would karma ripen in a similar pattern when doing purification practices?
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 am

Amanitamusc, is this a Dzogchen question? I didn't know the viewpoint of karma changes based on the vehicle... Unless I misread something.

Excuse my ignorance. :meditate:

I look forward to the event in Santa Fe!!
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:43 am

cyril wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:16 am
I also have a question which I hope does not derail the thread but only complements the OP's query.
It is said that at the time of death, "whichever actions carry the greatest effect, whichever are closest, whichever more habitual and whichever were done first - these will be the first to ripen". Would karma ripen in a similar pattern when doing purification practices?
Oh... I hadn't thought of that!
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:17 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am
How do you know you're not just making things worse thinking you're making things better (good intentions and all that jazz)???
Well, the safest path is the Hinayana approach, that's for sure. You can always temporarily revert to it if you are unsure of your motivation. In the meantime accumulating wisdom in order to know you are making the right decisions is necessary. That's why practice is so important.
Is just practicing enough?
What do you mean by "just" practicing?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am
What are the post signs along the road I should be paying attention to?
I think when you have more love in your heart rather than hatred
More peace in your life
Less wanting & desires
Less questioning
Ability to really help others
Less afflictive emotions...(attachment's, greed, jealousy, hatred, lust, partiality)

:shrug:

I read something recently about this but i can't recall exactly the wording ...


Go down to # 10 (Pg.401 ) : (They appear to be footnotes)

https://books.google.com/books?id=s6L2k ... sm&f=false
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by amanitamusc » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:40 am

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 am
Amanitamusc, is this a Dzogchen question? I didn't know the viewpoint of karma changes based on the vehicle... Unless I misread something.

Excuse my ignorance. :meditate:

I look forward to the event in Santa Fe!!
That controversial lad from Odiyana caused quite an uproar when at age 7
or so he was teaching dharma that is beyond karma.

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 am
Amanitamusc, is this a Dzogchen question? I didn't know the viewpoint of karma changes based on the vehicle... Unless I misread something.

Excuse my ignorance. :meditate:

I look forward to the event in Santa Fe!!
The view of karma is the same in Dzogchen as it is in lower vehicles.

Dzogchen mainly describes how samsara begins (with an aim to reverse it), but the “mechanics” of samsara are the same: affliction—> action —> suffering —>affliction as infinitum unless one breaks the chain at affliction.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by amanitamusc » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:49 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am
Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 am
Amanitamusc, is this a Dzogchen question? I didn't know the viewpoint of karma changes based on the vehicle... Unless I misread something.

Excuse my ignorance. :meditate:

I look forward to the event in Santa Fe!!
The view of karma is the same in Dzogchen as it is in lower vehicles.
Then what got Garab Dorje in so much trouble with his Grandpa if not
the karmaless path? Was this not one of the main reasons Manjushrimitra was called from India?
viewtopic.php?t=20474

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:04 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:49 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am
Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 am
Amanitamusc, is this a Dzogchen question? I didn't know the viewpoint of karma changes based on the vehicle... Unless I misread something.

Excuse my ignorance. :meditate:

I look forward to the event in Santa Fe!!
The view of karma is the same in Dzogchen as it is in lower vehicles.
Then what got Garab Dorje in so much trouble with his Grandpa if not
the karmaless path? Was this not one of the main reasons Manjushrimitra was called from India?
viewtopic.php?t=20474

The point Garab Dorje was making was essentially the same as Nagarjuna, “nothing here to add, nothing here to remove...” etc. The main difference is that Dzogchen explains how samsara begins and it ends. Lower yanas don’t really explain how sentient beings became deluded.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 am

Ogyen wrote:Any suggestions on how to verify one's karma, any tells that can help navigate what to consider, what to ignore??? What are the post signs along the road I should be paying attention to?

How do you know you're not just making things worse thinking you're making things better (good intentions and all that jazz)???
Hey you're a terrific writer. That's got to count for something!

I think one point to consider is that meditation is actually not doing something. It's just literally watching what is happening. So it can't actually 'make things worse' - unless, maybe, you're trying to make something out of it, or get something from it. Karma arises from all intentional actions, right? But awareness by itself is not an intentional act, it is simply seeing what is, as it is. I know it's easy to say such things and how confusing life often is in reality, but still I think that is an important understanding.

I used to have a teacher who used to say, ask yourself 'why am I creating this?' But then, rather than trying to think your way out of it, just learn to see it as it is. The answer, she would say, is often in the problem itself, rather than in looking for a solution.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by amanitamusc » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:46 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:04 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:49 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am


The view of karma is the same in Dzogchen as it is in lower vehicles.
Then what got Garab Dorje in so much trouble with his Grandpa if not
the karmaless path? Was this not one of the main reasons Manjushrimitra was called from India?
viewtopic.php?t=20474

The point Garab Dorje was making was essentially the same as Nagarjuna, “nothing here to add, nothing here to remove...” etc. The main difference is that Dzogchen explains how samsara begins and it ends. Lower yanas don’t really explain how sentient beings became deluded.
He caused all that commotion over how samsara begins and ends.
Kids, always stirring things up.
I wonder how his debate with Manju changed things at Nalanda?It
seemed to have changed Manjushrimitra.Everything pure from the
beginning .

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:07 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am
What are the post signs along the road I should be paying attention to?
I think when you have more love in your heart rather than hatred
Check. Even much of my anger has lost its snaggletooth edge. I figured maybe I'm just getting older among other things.
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
More peace in your life
On the material level. Yes.
Mental, yes.
Emotional, no... I'm a hotheaded teenager in my heart.
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Less wanting & desires
Check. I find myself needing and always wanting less.. if anything I have a desire to leave a very light footprint behind me.
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Less questioning
No. It's just shifted where it occurs.
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Ability to really help others
Check. Many things have shifted dramatically and the sphere of influence/impact/reach of my actions seems to be amplified.. it is a lot more responsibility to watch how I affect others, and know when I am the "problem" with unresolved stuff and that negative energy Im feeling is coming from me... And since I would remove from my own space if it were someone else, how do I deal with it in me... Oh, this one is fun.
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Less afflictive emotions...(attachment's, greed, jealousy, hatred, lust, partiality)
Check. I definitely don't experience many things I used to. But when I do experience sadness or anger there is a different less self-focused quality to it, yet I find it's more concentrated overall because it's not so contained in this previous bubble conception I had of what "I am," and all that interesting trip, now it's like differentiating natural (conditioned) responses to situations and conditions vs. blaming and objectifying processes into solid things... Like turning a projection of mine, some trip I have into a fault or defect of someone else. (I wish I were shocked at how many trips about the little inner stories there have been, but it seems to be par for the course at this point) ... I have become totally focused on just feeling out the cage I put myself in and going... Ok.. now how do I do this? This is such a constant daily moment to moment thing that it's become like second nature to "check mahself".

What I do feel a great deal of is disappointment....(this MUST be a karma ripening)... This nagging feeling that this :quoteunquote: is NOT what I expected it to BE like, and I have given funerals to many of my ideas (weeping and waving that I'll miss my silly views I was emotionally attached to), and then when I'm done crying, I gladly move on, because crying a lot gets old too... it's like being a teenager my whole life... and an old woman at the same time!
But the disappointed feeling never lets me forget how close I am to just being a cavewoman that ughs with prejudice right as I understood how I ugh... It feels evermore like the most primitive nature is not at all "separate" from these idealized mental states I fabricate. :rolling: I digress... Although that one keeps surprising me as I feel in order to think... by default.
Last edited by Ogyen on Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:16 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am
Dzogchen mainly describes how samsara begins (with an aim to reverse it), but the “mechanics” of samsara are the same: affliction—> action —> suffering —>affliction as infinitum unless one breaks the chain at affliction.
So the reason that we always focus to understand the nature of our condition is the first step to breaking that chain at affliction??
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:37 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 am
Ogyen wrote:Any suggestions on how to verify one's karma, any tells that can help navigate what to consider, what to ignore??? What are the post signs along the road I should be paying attention to?

How do you know you're not just making things worse thinking you're making things better (good intentions and all that jazz)???
Hey you're a terrific writer. That's got to count for something!

I think one point to consider is that meditation is actually not doing something. It's just literally watching what is happening. So it can't actually 'make things worse' - unless, maybe, you're trying to make something out of it, or get something from it. Karma arises from all intentional actions, right? But awareness by itself is not an intentional act, it is simply seeing what is, as it is. I know it's easy to say such things and how confusing life often is in reality, but still I think that is an important understanding.

I used to have a teacher who used to say, ask yourself 'why am I creating this?' But then, rather than trying to think your way out of it, just learn to see it as it is. The answer, she would say, is often in the problem itself, rather than in looking for a solution.
Thank you for that interesting point about awareness! It is not an intentional act, the way space is not a thing?

Given the quote around cetana, karma Vipaka, and the dominant result it is clear (please correct my homework if I'm wrong) there are actions borne by the volition, body vehicle/conditions of aggregates that bring suffering and confusion(illusion) in the space of awareness (like space permeating matter...shapes take form, the space is neither affected or changed or altered if the form grows or crumbles to dust, but the form is everchanging impermanent). Is awareness distinct from consciousness in terms of generating karma??

As you point out it can be really tricky to not deceive this "self"... so the dominant result comes from the most subtle habituations within the consciousness body(?) and life to life what gets lost is the gross habituations associated with the aggregates (whether animal, preta, Deva, etc)?

It is a challenging practice to not "look for and find a solution" when this is simply anxiety borne and a way to strengthen the 3 poisons, increasing therefore karma and suffering, vs having real clarity about what actions to not take/take and the solution manifests as a result of the virtues and merit generation of wisdom. But that might also be a total trip from a gross misunderstanding, and I am trying to regain some lost confidence given recent developments... But I want confidence generated by authentic integration and not some lovely concept I mistake for "what is."

I find the ultimate pH test of my intention is how the body knows and listening to its responses. When there's a kind of tightness, a clenching in the gut, a reaction of wanting or rejecting, I know at a gross level right away that I am believing a self-tale. When it is absent, it's interesting because the action is performed with the clear understanding of cause-effect in that specific circumstance, but where I am careful with is the fact that I know I personally have a fairly large emotional paintbrush and paint broad strokes so, I can miss a lot of the finer details and that could be my ultimate deceit to myself. So I spend a lot of time and energy being careful with all this while simultaneously relaxing into what is here and now. It's like a game of believing the relative conditions in their given context but not mistaking these (conditions and contexts) for a solid thing or a conception that drives life changing decisions without being checked, rechecked and checked again, or put my "faith" in their solidity. This sequence is *all* assuming I can get through level one and realizing the relativity of any given condition. Aha! Tricky tricky.

I will chew on that for a minute.
Last edited by Ogyen on Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:56 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:17 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am
How do you know you're not just making things worse thinking you're making things better (good intentions and all that jazz)???
Well, the safest path is the Hinayana approach, that's for sure. You can always temporarily revert to it if you are unsure of your motivation. In the meantime accumulating wisdom in order to know you are making the right decisions is necessary. That's why practice is so important.
Good point, it's the beauty of how the Dharma never contradicts itself, people do... You make an excellent point... to check motivation.
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:17 pm
Is just practicing enough?
What do you mean by "just" practicing?
I mean you go in every moment of your day, you PRACTICE a ton every way you know how, formally informally and everything in between, and then things get thicker, denser, more demons rise from the belly, and you go... Hey is all this practice actually gonna do someone any good besides me thinking it is, or am I just working out my own crap? (Nothing wrong with that either... Just saying, ultimately I am dedicating this merit to all sentient beings, even spiders who eat flies).

So the internal stories need to be kept in check, and I try to move towards having less and less ... But still maybe it's the mental illness fears... But I realize I don't know what reality really is the way Buddhas seem to mean it. And I want to understand it perfectly. And I try as best as I know how to.
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Grigoris » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:09 am

Ogyen wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:56 am
I mean you go in every moment of your day, you PRACTICE a ton every way you know how, formally informally and everything in between, and then things get thicker, denser, more demons rise from the belly, and you go... Hey is all this practice actually gonna do someone any good besides me thinking it is, or am I just working out my own crap? (Nothing wrong with that either... Just saying, ultimately I am dedicating this merit to all sentient beings, even spiders who eat flies).

So the internal stories need to be kept in check, and I try to move towards having less and less ... But still maybe it's the mental illness fears... But I realize I don't know what reality really is the way Buddhas seem to mean it. And I want to understand it perfectly. And I try as best as I know how to.
I think your teacher likes to say: just do your best. ;)

I would add: let go of hopes and fears around your practice. Sometimes practice can be super hard and painful and other times it can be like total clarity and bliss. Either way it is better for you than shooting smack, so... :smile:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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seeker242
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by seeker242 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:28 am
I am filled with doubt that maybe I've horribly misgauged my capacity.
I don't see how that is relevant to what kind of karma you make. If you know what makes good and bad karma, and you always try to do the good and avoid the bad, this will always be better than not trying and just doing whatever. Even if you don't always know what makes good or bad, always trying to do good and avoid bad will still be better regardless. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Malcolm
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:20 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:16 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:46 am
Dzogchen mainly describes how samsara begins (with an aim to reverse it), but the “mechanics” of samsara are the same: affliction—> action —> suffering —>affliction as infinitum unless one breaks the chain at affliction.
So the reason that we always focus to understand the nature of our condition is the first step to breaking that chain at affliction??
An action always has a result. An affliction does not need to have a result.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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