One of the biggest misunderstandings about Buddhism is the idea that everything is a result of 'Karma', which is surprising as the Buddha was clear that this was not the case.
If a person finds another sexually attractive, it could be for a whole variety of reasons, only one of which might be Karma. Likewise if I get flu, again there is no karma required, I might just sit next to someone who has flu and catch it off them.
“Now when these ascetics and brahmins have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmins.”
The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).
The Buddha discouraged speculation on whether such and such a thing was produced by karma or not. It was one of the topics he refused to discuss.
That's true that not everything is the result of Karma.
That would be wrong view as taught by the Buddha.
The Bhramin's and those people had exactly that idea, that everything was, and, they used it combined with a hindu view of reincarnation as a way of sortof justifying "fate".
So, for instance, if someone was born into the untouchable class, well, that was their karma, as they obviously did something bad in a past life.
If someone was born into a wealthy family and indulged greed, well their good karma for doing good in a previous life...
Not everything is the result of karma, and the things that are, there's certainly no judgement in it. It's not a beings "fault" that they inherited tendencies or damage from a previous life.
As far as we can tell, the new being did nothing wrong at all.
However, some things are the result of Karma.
We can see this, by when the causes of things come up in our sitting, whether from this life or previous.
That can be something as Freudian as seeing something that happened to us as a child, or something as definitely Buddhist as seeing something that happened to a child 500 years ago.
"Karma" just means cause and effect.
It does not mean some sortof predestination, or fate, judgement, or retribution for "one's own mistakes in a past life" or, a reward for doing good.
It's just like physics. When certain things happen they have certain reactions.
In my case I can say that I have seen a direct link to aspects of my being queer to past life karma.
However that's not "bad karma" Being queer is normal. It's just the result of cause and effect.
I had this thing where my entire life, whenever a kitchen cabinet door closed to hard, and made that "bang" noise, I would jump, startled involuntarily, and be momentarily freaked out by it.
I had a life come up where someone was killed by a gunshot to the head, and the sound of the cabinet doors banging closed sort of reminded them of that.
After I had the life come up, and I was able to love and accept them, that little personality quirk went away with the rest of the tension.
I've seen OCD behavior actually be attributed to the relentless and methodical soldier preparations in war, doing all these tiny little ritual things to keep your pack from getting wet, your boots dry, your sleeping gear dry, your gun clear of debris, etc.
When you live in a trench, with all you own, the little comforts like having your personal belongings slightly dry, and keeping your gun clear and in operable condition, could not only make the difference in your comfort and keeping despair and poor morale at bay, but could save your life. If you caught a cold on the front you might die of it as surely as from your gun jamming. All these things tend to make someone slightly neurotic. Necessarily so. They had no choice. But those tendencies can be past on to other people in different lives.
You know, psychology, says that all the suffering in our lives that cannot be attributed to things that happened to us in this life, are essentially a chemical imbalance in the brain that occurs due to random biological mutations.
They even go so far as to classify normal fear as "anxiety".
Grief, and loss as "depression", etc.
I've seen for myself that that is not actually true.
That there are things things not only from this life, but from previous lives that still effect us.
Especially when it comes to physical, or what people call mental illness or psychological problems, or interesting seemingly unfounded fears, angers, or personality quirks.
This stuff can and does come up in sitting, and, some of it (in the case of psychological or physical problems) is capable of being resolved simply by sitting with it.
I don't think there's any problem with talking about things that come up in sitting.
The problem with your quote Megha, is that in the context of this discussion, people could interpret that as suggesting that we shouldn't speak about these things or keep them taboo or esoteric, available to only an initiated few.
I don't agree with that, because, if someone does any formal meditation at all, even if it's their first time, and these things come up (and they occasionally do when someone just starts sitting), then the result is that someone can be really freaked out and afraid by sitting.
The Buddha talked at great length about his own past lives. And the cause and effect it had on later lives. That's well documented in the Pali Cannon.
I don't usually get things come up in a way that is as visually vivid as some people, but imagine someone setting down to sit, only to have to re-live a battle? or some medieval torture?
These things can and do come up, and it's far better to tell someone that they are normal, to help them be calm and sit through them, so they can actually help the poor being who's karma they carry, than to have them panic in terror, and think somebody spiked the cool aid.
It's ok if you don't want to believe this, or are skeptical about it, or havn't proved it true for yourself, or flat out disagree with it.
Just know that there are those of use who have proved this true for ourselves.
Whether this proves true for you or not, I cannot say.