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

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Wayfarer
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:17 am

The answer to the question in the OP is given in the first two verses of the Dharmapada.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Post by Ogyen » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:22 pm

Quotes compiled from collective karma thread
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm
But dependent origination, when reduced to its essential components, simply means: where there is affliction, there is a cause for action; where there is action there is a cause for suffering; and where there is suffering, there is a condition for further affliction. Without affliction, there is no cause for action; without action, there is no result, suffering.
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:16 pm
A Buddhas deeds are not based on afflcition (desire, hatred, and ignorance); they are based on wisdom. Hence, they do not result in suffering.
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:10 pm
A buddha's mind stream is conditioned and relative; it is however free of affliction and endowed with omniscience.
From this thread
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.

An action always has a result. An affliction does not need to have a result.


Two definition questions:

What is the definition (in the context of Dharma) of an affliction?
What is the definition (in the context for Dharma) of an action?

Per the mechanism illustrated in the sequence above, WHY is it that affliction does not need to have a result?

Is it because:
A. As we remain in a state of Vidya we discern what "action" to take from wisdom on how to act (free of affliction?)

B. The "action" is performed without cetana, so its source is wisdom and not ignorance

C. Neither A o B (and if that is the case how do Buddhas act in such ways that seem "negative" to the casual onlooker but which have no karmic consequence, and in fact provide benefit?)
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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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Malcolm
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Malcolm » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:32 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:22 pm
Quotes compiled from collective karma thread
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm
But dependent origination, when reduced to its essential components, simply means: where there is affliction, there is a cause for action; where there is action there is a cause for suffering; and where there is suffering, there is a condition for further affliction. Without affliction, there is no cause for action; without action, there is no result, suffering.
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:16 pm
A Buddhas deeds are not based on afflcition (desire, hatred, and ignorance); they are based on wisdom. Hence, they do not result in suffering.
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:10 pm
A buddha's mind stream is conditioned and relative; it is however free of affliction and endowed with omniscience.
From this thread
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.

An action always has a result. An affliction does not need to have a result.


Two definition questions:

What is the definition (in the context of Dharma) of an affliction?
A painful mental state, i.e., desire, hatred, and ignorance, or anything that is conducive to a painful mental state, i.e., impure conditioned phenomena.

What is the definition (in the context for Dharma) of an action?
Volition is action, this produces verbal and physical acts.
Per the mechanism illustrated in the sequence above, WHY is it that affliction does not need to have a result?

Is it because:
A. As we remain in a state of Vidya we discern what "action" to take from wisdom on how to act (free of affliction?)

B. The "action" is performed without cetana, so its source is wisdom and not ignorance
Afflictions do not necessarily produce volitions. When we are aware of our afflictive state, we can disengage our minds from actions related towards afflictive objects. This is why we practice śamatha, actually, so that we are aware of our mind's afflictive state. Being aware of our mind's afflictive state is called mindfulness and attention. Being unaware of our mind's afflictive stated is called being mindless and inattentive.
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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Ogyen
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Ogyen » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:41 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:17 am
The answer to the question in the OP is given in the first two verses of the Dharmapada.
Verse 1. Suffering Follows The Evil-Doer

Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a corrupted mind
one should either speak or act
dukkha follows caused by that,
as does the wheel the ox's hoof.

Explanation: All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.

Verse 2. Happiness Follows The Doer of Good

Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a clear, and confident mind
one should speak and act
as one's shadow ne'er departing.

Explanation: All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and the deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts , words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness will never leave the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.


.... While this is terrific in words and we can all understand it intellectually, this does not answer my question which is more about checking and verifying experientially, and knowing in real-time by successfully cultivating wisdom rather than waiting until I'm reborn to find out if I screwed it up worse (which I wouldn't know anyway exactly the same way I can't verify my immediate past lives due to inadequate capacities on my part)
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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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Wayfarer
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Re: How do you know you're not just making karma worse??

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:31 pm

Actually the Penguin Classics translation by Juan Mascaro is considerably more poetic than the one you quoted (or any of the others that speak in terms of 'mind-states' and the like):
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build the life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.

If one speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows as the wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart.

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build the life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.

If a person speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows as her own shadow.
Ogyen wrote: rather than waiting until I'm reborn...
No need to wait - we're being reborn at every moment. One moment gives rise to the next moment, whether that is another day or another lifetime. (This is not only my idea!)

I think this is where faith enters the picture, is it not? "How can I be sure I'm acting from pure motives?" The answer is: you can only do your best. That's where trust of your true nature and in the dharma comes into play. We can't understand all the depths and complexities in our current state, hence, the need for the teaching in the first place! That is why it is compared to a raft. And we need to have faith in it.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Post by Sennin » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:38 pm

Very informative thread.
:coffee:
Go no paradigm! ;)

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