For things that happen to us

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For things that happen to us

Postby waimengwan » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:02 am

What other factors can there be for things to happen to us that is outside of karma?

Can we experience any actions that we have not created?

Please share with me your thoughts thank you.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby SunRay » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:21 pm

Everything has a cause. The actions maybe due to actions that we have done in this life, but more often they are results of our actions in our innumerable previous lives such as our precious human birth, the choice of parents, etc. Also, that one is practicing the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa may be taken as a sign that one has managed gather abundant merit in previous lives. Whereas, difficulties in our dharma practice, ilnesses and such are caused by our negative actions during our countless previous lives. The Dharmarakshita's 'Wheel of Sharp Weapons' http://www.whitetaracenter.com/texts/FP ... ec2006.pdf is a very useful read.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:53 pm

Is it really "happening" to "us" ?
Isn't this an illusion ?
If this is illusion,
so is karma... :namaste:
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby jmlee369 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:02 am

This is the point of passage §14, in which the Buddha explains that present pain can be explained not only by past kamma but also by a host of other factors; the list of alternative factors he gives comes straight from the various causes for pain that were recognized in the medical treatises of his time. If we compare this list with his definition of old kamma in §15, we see that many if not all of the alternative causes are actually the result of past actions. The point here is that old kamma does not override other causal factors operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead finds its expression within them.

However, the fact that the kammic process relies on input from the present moment means that it is not totally deterministic. Input from the past may place restrictions on what can be done and known in any particular moment, but the allowance for new input from the present provides some room for free will. This allowance also opens the possibility for escape from the cycle of kamma altogether by means of the fourth type of kamma: the development of heightened skillfulness through the pursuit of the seven factors for Awakening and the noble eightfold path — and, by extension, all of the Wings to Awakening [§§16-17].


From: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#part1-b

Extremely helpful resource, with supporting references from the Pali Canon.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby SunRay » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:49 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:Is it really "happening" to "us" ?
Isn't this an illusion ?
If this is illusion,
so is karma... :namaste:


It's is like an illusion, I believe that was what Buddha taught. It is like an illusion because the phenomena does not exist inherently. It is not an illusion, because the phenomena exists as dependent risings. To call an reality an illusion would imply that fundamental nature of reality is nothingness rather than emptiness and this would be direct contrast with the Gelug masters', such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and others, teachings regarding the nature of emptiness.

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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:14 am

Thank you SunRay,
Sometimes I forget and need reminding
No wonder I feel lost...
Thank you for the clear explaination
Sometimes I read too much,
And comprehend little.

:namaste:
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby catmoon » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:02 am

Nice job, SunRay. You wrapped up the Gelug position pretty neatly. Other sects vary somewhat in interpretation, but this is the Gelug section so I won't go there. Besides, I happen to believe HHDL got it right. :thumbsup:
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:56 am

To call reality an illusion does not imply nothingness.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby muni » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:49 pm

What we experience in this world doesn't really exist in a solid or substantial sense. It merely exists in a dreamlike way. But to see everything as solid we cling too.

I think due to our habitual dual perception we turn in extremes of nothingnesses and other real-esses. Percieving/experiencing without clinging...When we hold on, "it" "happens" to "us".

When we hold on, we freeze that what happens. An example is suffering of strong pain. Practice in order to "see" the dependence-emptiness helps. (moon in our water-mind). May we can do so.

"Mister/Miss Not Nothingness" unceasingly performs activities to benefit all sentient beings without any attachment.

Found this: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/dalai2.html :anjali:
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Tom » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:23 am

waimengwan wrote:What other factors can there be for things to happen to us that is outside of karma?


Interestingly, the Dalai Lama often speaks about events being due to causes other than karma. He sometimes makes a point to distinguishes between the operation of the natural law of causality and the law of karma.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby waimengwan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:43 pm

Tom can you give more examples of what His Holiness spoke about?

Anyways i got this answer from dhammawheel.com

not all things that happen to us is due to our Kamma, sometimes it is disease (four of the reasons), Kamma, carelesness, changes in season, and harsh treatment as found in SN36.21

now although this list does include things which could be the result of past Kamma, not all are necessarily the result all the time.
I take season to also include natural cycles that result in storms and earthquakes & harsh treatment being what we or another does fwit.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Tom » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:12 pm

waimengwan wrote:Tom can you give more examples of what His Holiness spoke about?



Sure, here is a quote from, The Universe in a Single Atom,

"By invoking karma here, I am not suggesting that according to Buddhism everything is a function of karma. We must distinguish between the operation of the natural law of causality, by which once a certain set of conditions are put in motion they will have a certain set of effects, and the law of karma, by which an intentional act will reap certain fruits. So, for example, if a campfire is left in a forest and catches onto some dry twigs, leading to a forest fire, the fact that once the trees are aflame they burn, becoming charcoal and smoke, is simply the operation of the natural law of causality, given the nature of fire and the materials that are burning. There is no karma involved in this sequence of events. But a sentient being choosing to light a campfire and forgetting to put it out—which began the chain of events—here karmic causation is involved."

It is a vey interesting position and I don't think you will find many older Geshe's giving this type of presentation. It has been said that this type of presentation is for Western scientist or Westerners in general - however, I have heard the Dalai Lama give a similar presentation in Tibetan to an audience of mostly Tibetan monks with very few Westerns in attendance!
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby muni » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:32 am

By Dalai Lama.

"...In the Buddhist teachings, when we search for the causes of suffering, we find what is called 'the truth of the origin of suffering', namely that negative actions -- karma -- and the negative emotions that induce such actions are the causes of suffering.

There are certain Buddhist texts that speak of space particles, existing before the evolution of this present universe. According to these texts, the space particles serve as the material and substantial cause for matter, such as this plant.
Now if the essential and substantial cause for matter is traced to these space particles, which are all the same, how do we account for the diversity that we see in the material world? It is here that the question of conditions and circumstances comes into play.
When these substantial causes come in contact with different circumstances and conditions, they give rise to different effects, that is, different kinds of matter. So we find that the cause alone is not sufficient for bringing about a result.

What is required is an aggregation of many different conditions and circumstances.
Although you can find certain differences among the Buddhist philosophical schools about how the universe came into being, the basic common question addressed is how the two fundamental principles--external matter and internal mind or consciousness--although distinct, affect one another.

External causes and conditions are responsible for certain of our experiences of happiness and suffering. Yet we find that it is principally our own feelings, our thoughts and our emotions, that really determine whether we are going to suffer or be happy".

http://www.barbarapijan.com/bpa/Practic ... rma_timing
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Tom » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:31 pm

Muni maybe it is just me but the link seems dead.

Here is more from H.H. Dalai Lama … very cool because he starts with "My own view …"

"My own view is that the entire process of the unfolding of a universe system is a matter of the natural law of causality. I envision karma coming into the picture at two points. When the universe has evolved to a stage where it can support the life of sentient beings, its fate becomes entangled with the karma of the beings who will inhabit it. More difficult perhaps is the first intervention of karma, which is effectively the maturation of the karmic potential of the sentient beings who will occupy that universe, which sets in motion its coming into being."

I think that the Dalai Lama's point, as per Muni's quote, is that things come about through many causes and conditions, of which karma is one. Of course where a sentient being's mind is involved karma is involved. More specifically wherever there is a mind, there are two important mental factors directly related with karma. The first is intention (ཚོར་བ|वेदनम्) which has the function of the mind engaging with objects, and which Vasubandhu equates with karma (along with the motivated actions of speech and body). Then there is feeling (སེམས་པ་ | चेतन) which is a pleasurable, painful, or neutral experience and which Asanga clearly says is the result of the maturation of karma.

However, It seems that according to the position above some other phenomena are not at least the direct result of karma, and one of the implications of this position is that it forces a different philosophical understanding of the Madhyamaka view than simply equating being merely labelled by mind with everything comes from karma. How such a view is taken into tantric practice, most especially the generation stage practice, is also an interesting topic.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby celinechan » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:10 pm

SunRay wrote:To call an reality an illusion would imply that fundamental nature of reality is nothingness rather than emptiness


I was going to say same thing, but already beat me to it :) also want to add, if we believe in nothingness, then we are also believe in nihilism. Nihilism is promoting selfishness because if nothing exists before, and nothing exists afterwards, then no need to practise Dharma because what is the point?

I also wanted to share this with you all because I think it answer waimengwan question. How he ask is it seems he questions karmas validity still.

It never ceases to amaze me that scholars—who should know better—keep repeating the idea that the Buddha lived in a time when everyone took for granted two principles: (1) that rebirth happened, and (2) that karma had an effect on how rebirth happened.

You wonder why this idea gets repeated so often, because the Pali Canon provides clear evidence to the contrary, evidence that has been available in Western languages for more than a century.

The Buddha frequently referred to two extremes of wrong view that blocked progress on the path: eternalism and annihilationism. “Annihilationism” is the term he used to describe those who denied rebirth. Apparently he didn’t invent the term himself, as MN 22 reports that other teachers sometimes accused him of being an annihilationist as well.

The Canon mentions two people who, in the Buddha’s times, were famous for their annihilationist views. One was Ajita Kesakambalin, the leader of a materialist sect. DN 2 reports his views as follows:

“‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves. A person is a composite of four primary elements. At death, the earth (in the body) returns to and merges with the (external) earth-substance. The fire returns to and merges with the external fire-substance. The liquid returns to and merges with the external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the external wind-substance. The sense-faculties scatter into space. Four men, with the bier as the fifth, carry the corpse. Its eulogies are sounded only as far as the charnel ground. The bones turn pigeon-colored. The offerings end in ashes. Generosity is taught by idiots. The words of those who speak of existence after death are false, empty chatter. With the break-up of the body, the wise and the foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after death.’” — DN 2

DN 23 tells of a Prince Payasi who held a similar materialist view and who had used his power to execute criminals as an opportunity to conduct gruesome, quasi-scientific experiments to test whether any part of a human being survived death. Two of the experiments were these:

“There is the case, Master Kassapa, where my men—having caught a thief, a wrong-doer—present him to me, (saying,) ‘Here is a thief, a wrong-doer for you, lord. Decree for him whatever punishment you want.’ And I say, ‘Very well, then, masters, having placed this man while still alive in a clay jar, having sealed the mouth, having covered it with a damp skin, having plastered it with a thick layer of damp clay, having set it in a furnace, light the fire.’

“They—responding, ‘Very well,’ to me—having placed the man while still alive in a clay jar, having sealed the mouth, having covered it with a damp skin, having plastered it with a thick layer of damp clay, having set it in a furnace, light the fire. When we know, ‘The man has died,’ then—removing the jar, breaking through the seal, opening the mouth—we look carefully, (thinking,) ‘Maybe we’ll see his soul escaping.’ But we don’t see his soul escaping….’

“There is the case, Master Kassapa, where my men—having caught a thief, a wrong-doer—present him to me, (saying,) ‘Here is a thief, a wrong-doer for you, lord. Decree for him whatever punishment you want.’ And I say, ‘Very well, then, masters, having weighed this man with a scale while still alive, having strangled him to death with a bowstring, weigh him with the scale again.’

“They—responding, ‘Very well,’ to me—having weighed the man with a scale while still alive, having strangled him to death with a bowstring, weigh him with the scale again. When he is alive, he is lighter, more flexible, and more malleable. But when he has died, he is heavier, stiffer, and less malleable.

“This is the reason, Master Kassapa, for which I believe, ‘There is no other world, there are no spontaneously reborn beings, there is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.’” — DN 23

DN 1 gives a more comprehensive picture of annihilationist views current at the time, classifying them by how they define the self annihilated at death. There were seven types in all. Three of them defined the self in terms of a body: either as a physical body composed of the four material elements, as a divine physical body, or as an astral body. The view espoused by Ajita Kesakambalin and Prince Payasi would fall under the first of the three. Four other annihilationist views, however, defined the self as formless: experiencing the dimension of infinite space, of infinite consciousness, of nothingness, or of neither perception nor non-perception. In each of the seven cases, these doctrines state that the self, however defined, perishes and is annihilated at death.

As for the non-Buddhist schools that affirmed the idea of rebirth, the Pali Canon explicitly names at least four: Brahmans (SN 42:6; AN 10:177), Jains (MN 101), and two contemplative (samana) schools: one led by Makkhali Gosala, and the other by Pakudha Kaccayana. We know from other sources that the Jains and some Brahmans affirmed that action played a role in shaping rebirth; the Canon shows, however, that the other two teachers denied that action played any role in rebirth at all.

“[Makkhali Gosala:] ‘Though one might think, “Through this morality, this practice, this austerity, or this holy life I will ripen unripened kamma and eliminate ripened kamma whenever touched by it”—that is impossible. Pleasure and pain are measured out, the wandering-on is fixed in its limits. There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.’” — DN 2

“[Pakudha Kaccayana:] ‘There are these seven substances—unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar—that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain. Which seven? The earth-substance, the liquid-substance, the fire-substance, the wind-substance, pleasure, pain, and the soul as the seventh. These are the seven substances—unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar—that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, and are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain.’” — DN 2

So the issues of whether there is rebirth and—if there is—whether karma has an effect on rebirth were hotly debated in the Buddha’s time. And the debate didn’t extend just to philosophers. Ordinary people were also affected by the debate, as is clear in the Buddha’s instructions to the Kalamas, a group of skeptical householders. Knowing that he can’t prove the principle of karmic results to them—proof of that comes only with the first stage of awakening—he says that if you assume that karma has results, you will act skillfully. And when you act skillfully, you gain four assurances in the here and now.

“‘If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.’ This is the first assurance one acquires.

“‘But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease—free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.’ This is the second assurance one acquires.

“‘If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?’ This is the third assurance one acquires.

“‘But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.’ This is the fourth assurance one acquires.” — AN 3:65

If everyone in his time believed in karma and rebirth, the Buddha wouldn’t have had to state these assurances.

So it’s obvious that that the idea of rebirth and its connection with karma was not an unexamined assumption in Indian culture. It was one of the most controversial issues of the Buddha’s time—which means that we can’t write off his teachings on karma and rebirth simply as an undigested relic from his culture. In teaching these principles, he was consciously taking a stand on an issue that was hotly debated, in a culture that expected him to articulate clearly his explanation for how and why rebirth did or didn’t happen. We know that he didn’t take on all the hot issues of his day—remember the story of the man shot by the arrow (MN 63)—so the Buddha must have had his reasons for taking this issue on.


http://www.tricycle.com/blog/guest-post ... ed-rebirth
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Steveyboy » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:19 am

waimengwan wrote:What other factors can there be for things to happen to us that is outside of karma?

Can we experience any actions that we have not created?

Please share with me your thoughts thank you.


Beside the basics of karma, which is each action has an equal reaction, we also have the right conditions to trigger a particular karma to arise. The right condition is also the result of karma and it is called tendencies. If we are lazy, we will have strong lazy tendencies and if we ruthless and bloodthirsty, we will have that tendency that will shape our eventual and future actions. Therefore, if we want to be different or want our habits to change, we have to force different sort of actions and behaviors to create that change. Therefore, we should not neglect our formal practices as that will be the agent of positive change in our lives. Therefore, we cannot experience anything we have not created the cause for.
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby lobster » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:41 am

Can we experience any actions that we have not created?


No.
Nor can we escape the karmic actions of others that seemingly have nothing
to do with us.
Everything is to do with us.

My karma. Your karma. Our karma. :namaste:
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby waimengwan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:31 am

Let say I am not very mindful as per the example of the forest fire.

1) Then because of my carelessness i leave the fire burning, the forest burns down. The condition is a dry forest and burning fire. Karma only comes about after I burn the forest down harming the environment + harming animals there.

2) I have the karma to harm all these animals in the forest, or the animals in the forest have the karma to be harmed, the condition is my lack of mindfullness, burning fire and dry forest. karma is created after the fire. So there is karma in operation before and after.

Aren't both of these scenarios also valid?
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Re: For things that happen to us

Postby Steveyboy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:03 pm

waimengwan wrote:Let say I am not very mindful as per the example of the forest fire.

1) Then because of my carelessness i leave the fire burning, the forest burns down. The condition is a dry forest and burning fire. Karma only comes about after I burn the forest down harming the environment + harming animals there.

2) I have the karma to harm all these animals in the forest, or the animals in the forest have the karma to be harmed, the condition is my lack of mindfullness, burning fire and dry forest. karma is created after the fire. So there is karma in operation before and after.

Aren't both of these scenarios also valid?


There's one more aspect I forgot to cover and this is the most important of all and that is your intention of carrying out a particular action. Our intention depends heavily upon prior actions or in other words, our habituation. It is our habituation that makes change difficult particularly if we have been very selfish all our lives and we want to make a change. Hence, to change or transform, it takes a 'stronger' cause to make the change.

For no. 1, I do not understand your question. Are you asking when the karma is accrued? The karma is accrued as soon as the action has been committed. It does not need to wait for the animals and environment to be harmed. For no.2, you have the habituation or tendency to be careless and the animals have the karma to be harmed, yes but you were the main cause. Karma occurs throughout from the motivation generated (consciously or subconsciously), action and effect. Karma literally means 'actions' in Sanskrit. It doesn't refer to just the effects of a cause.
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