Tag Archives: karma

The Essential Journey


It was the fifteenth day of the eleventh month of the Fire Tiger Year, January 14, 1987, when His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche said to his wife and those close to him, “Now I have completed everything.”

dudjom-rinpoche

Usually he would do all his regular practices, and meditate and pray for people who requested his prayers in many directions, but on this day he said:

“I have completed everything, every prayer that has been asked of me.  Now I am going to leave.  Please be careful in the future to pay attention.  Karma can be very subtle and tricky.  We might think something is no big deal, but it may turn out to have serious consequences, so pay good attention to the karmic process.” — Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

He continued, “This is what every practitioner needs to pay attention to — even those with the highest realization. I’ve done my part.”

Upon hearing this, many of those present didn’t believe him.  They thought he was making some casual statement, but soon afterwards he got sick and passed away.  This is how great ones move.

Excerpt taken from Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches:  “The Essential Journey of Life and Death“, Volume 1 (page 159)

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a lesson in humility


While reading reviews for an interesting but rather misguided book entitled Confession of a Buddhist Atheist a certain sense of alarm comes to mind for those on the Path tainted by social conditioning and vast misunderstanding.  Today, there are some secular Buddhists that want to do away with reincarnation and karma because it doesn’t fit with their personal world-view.  Having such a wrong view emerge in the minds of these particular Buddhists is tolerable on one hand but so terribly sad in the end. 

Likewise, without believing in karma and rebirth can anyone really practice hard enough to achieve the results of salvation?

Later on I came across this thought-provoking article that brings tears to my eyes when I consider it.  This story is quite beautiful since we all can relate to it.  This man’s realization of his own limitations and intellectual pride changed his whole outlook on life.  Surely this was a blessing from the feminine aspect we call the dakini.

As I have said before, whenever the dakini principle manifests in our lives it is quite a blessing.  Whenever someone of greater faith and compassion crosses our path we are brought to great shame.  Yet, once we recognize our own shallow heart and deep arrogance it allows for a positive change to occur.

Buddhist Warrior writes:

I’ll share an experience of mine – One nice, warm, summer evening, about ten years ago, I was strolling down one of the back-streets of Chinatown in NYC, away from the crowds and traffic, and I was passing by a storefront.  Behind the front glass window of the small shop, sat a statue of the Buddha.  An elderly Asian woman seemed to appear out of nowhere.  She was approx 60 years of age, pencil thin to the point of emaciation, and very haggard and impoverished looking.

old lady bowing

She quickly stood facing the window, clasped her hands together as if in prayer, and quickly bowed three times to the Buddha’s image, before quickly disappearing once again, into the urban jungle of NYC’s Chinatown.

This occurred during the time I fancied myself somewhat of an Atheist-Scientist-Rationalist-Buddhist and for about ten minutes I thought to myself: How far superior is my understanding to her understanding?  Did she study the sciences and have an engineering degree?  Did she have huge book collection of western philosophers, eastern philosophers, advanced physics, and did she understand where Buddhism intersects and stands within that great pantheon?  Did she understand particle theory?  Dark matter?  String theory?  Plato?  Descartes?  Sartre?  All the great thinkers and philosophers of the ages?  All the intricacies of interdependent origination?

How dare she degrade and insult Siddhartha Gautama’s teachings by merely bowing to his image as if he were a common God of some sort, to be prayed to, revered and worshiped.  How dare this vile, tired, haggard, and skinny, old Asian woman, corrupt MY Buddhism with her primitive folk beliefs and her irrational superstition?  At that very moment, I was Stephen Batchelor.  I became Stephen Batchelor, or even worse!

Epiphany:

After ten minutes of such thought, I became literally nauseated, sick to my stomach, and ill because of myself and my big, fat, ego and proud sense of self.  And I had somewhat of an epiphany, regarding my own shallowness, egotism, ignorance, and lack of compassion.

With all my stone-cold reason, hard science, rational facts, and intellectual B.S., who was it for me to question, cast doubt upon, consider more ignorant or less informed, any person’s beliefs or practice?

Maybe that old, skinny, woman, knows more about Buddhism than I do.  Perhaps her practice and application of it is superior or more pure than mine.  Perhaps she has developed more positive karma in her life than I have or ever will.  Perhaps she could teach me many things about life and Buddhism.  Perhaps she is a kinder person than I.  Perhaps she is more compassionate than I.  Perhaps she has helped others more than I.  Perhaps she is further down `the path’ than I am.

At this point, I decided that I am not one to judge others in their beliefs and practices.  I can only say what is right for me, and my path, and my beliefs.  I am not here to denigrate anyone else’s path or write books claiming “mine is superior” for such and such reason…

Many Blessings!
Neo

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save the dolphins


Many mystically-minded healers have told us that dolphins are unique in that they operate from both sides of the brain in their ordinary waking state.  Even humans don’t normally do that.  When a dolphin wants to sleep he shuts down half of his brain!  Humans on the other hand, are always operating from only one side of their brain.  As a result, dolphins are considered to be very intuitive and highly intelligent mammals.

THE COVE is an Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009.  It follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and free divers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret – killing of dolphins.

It is quite awful to see these wonderful creatures get brutally slaughtered.  To benefit these beings, Ric O’Barry and his son Lincoln are on a new television series (on Planet Green) trying to raise awareness and show what Japan is doing to the dolphins there.

Karma of killing:

From a Buddhist perspective, it is believed that the karma for killing a higher-order species is much greater than killing organisms that don’t have a complex nervous system.  Therefore, killing dolphins would incur a much greater karmic debt over simple life forms such as worms.  The more evolved and intricate a nervous system is an indication that there is greater suffering at the time of death.

In the Ksitigarbha Great Vow sutra, the bodhisattva Ksitigarbha (many aeons ago) was a woman with unbearable suffering at the thought of her mother being reborn in the hell realm for her grave misdeeds.  She was so upset that her mother was suffering in hell for killing baby fish that her heart couldn’t take it.  Here is an excerpt:

The arhan asked Bright Eyes, “What did your mother do when she was alive?  She is now suffering in hell.”

Bright Eyes answered, “My mother loved eating fish, especially baby fish.  She fried or boiled thousands of baby fish, willfully, as she pleased.  Please noble one be merciful and help my mother.”

The arhan felt compassion for her and advised Bright Eyes, “Reverently recite the name of Buddha Pure-Lotus-Eyes and draw an image of him to benefit all those beings either living or dead.”

So Bright Eyes sold all her favorite things as soon as she heard the arhan’s instructions.  Then she asked a painter to draw the Buddha’s portrait.  She gave offerings in sacrifice, and with a reverent heart sorrowfully wept as she worshipped the Buddha.

Unexpectedly one night, as if in a dream, she saw a Buddha who was as tall as Mount Sumeru, emitting bright and shining light.  This Buddha told Bright Eyes, “Your mother will be soon reborn in your house.  She will be able to speak soon after she feels hunger and cold.”

If this is true, how much worse is it to kill dolphins and whales!  It is kind of surprising that Japan is doing this as they had such a rich Buddhist culture in the past.  Maybe someone should send out fliers of this sutra written in Japanese near the Cove to remind them.

UPDATE:

There are two meritorious ways that you can take action to help our world.

You can help by adopting a dolphin here: World Wildlife Fund

You can also help by shutting down illegal whaling and protecting all marine wildlife here: Support Sea Shepherd

Love,
Neo

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