Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby JKhedrup » Fri May 03, 2013 11:50 am

No, they actuallybelieve they visit nibbana in meditation, and can ask Lord Buddha questions about their past lives.
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A wise man keeps them secret within.
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But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Anders » Fri May 03, 2013 11:59 am

JKhedrup wrote:It would be better to show us evidence that JK's past life penetrations were recognized as authentic or give other examples of contemporary Zen masters with similar experiences and philosophy.


Does it matter that much? Whether her past live recollections were authentic or not seems rather tertiary to me compared to: How did she guide and care for her students?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby JKhedrup » Fri May 03, 2013 12:11 pm

Point well taken.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2013 12:41 pm

Anders wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:It would be better to show us evidence that JK's past life penetrations were recognized as authentic or give other examples of contemporary Zen masters with similar experiences and philosophy.


Does it matter that much? Whether her past live recollections were authentic or not seems rather tertiary to me compared to: How did she guide and care for her students?

Well for me that raises a number of questions Anders.
If her past lives recollections were not authentic then there are a limited numbers of possibilities it seems to me.
They were fraudulent...or
They were sincere but mistaken and arose due to a particular mindset...or
They arose due to physiological imbalance..blood sugar/insulin levels or whatever.

In each of these cases doesn't it beg the question whether she could guide and care for her students in an acceptable way ?
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Anders » Fri May 03, 2013 1:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Anders wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:It would be better to show us evidence that JK's past life penetrations were recognized as authentic or give other examples of contemporary Zen masters with similar experiences and philosophy.


Does it matter that much? Whether her past live recollections were authentic or not seems rather tertiary to me compared to: How did she guide and care for her students?

Well for me that raises a number of questions Anders.
If her past lives recollections were not authentic then there are a limited numbers of possibilities it seems to me.
They were fraudulent...or
They were sincere but mistaken and arose due to a particular mindset...or
They arose due to physiological imbalance..blood sugar/insulin levels or whatever.

In each of these cases doesn't it beg the question whether she could guide and care for her students in an acceptable way ?


Also a possibility that they were genuine, but then elaborated due to various imbalances.

But, assuming any of the scenarios bar pure fraud are true: Yes, I suppose it does. I don't know if the answer to that question automatically follows as "no." I can imagine someone awakened not necessarily having the capacity to distinguish properly between hallucinations and the real deal - especially if said person's physiology is wired for the former. It is obviously not very ideal if so, but I am not sure it is a necessary obstacle to being able guide others in regards to awakening.

Mind you, if I were taking teachings from someone I felt was having wholly illusory experiences and placing any kind of importance on these, I don't think I'd be sticking around for sequels. OTOH, if I felt confident that such a guru really has presence of awakening and capacity to guide others to this, maybe I would.... I used to have very strict expectations of teachers - They should be somewhere close to 24/7 equipose, a good dose of siddhis and mastery of a variety of methods. I still don't think it's an unreasonable standard for a true teacher, but it's been tempered with an acknowledgement that samsara is inevitably a mixed bag, karma will have its role to play and sometimes you have to make the best of what is presented to you. And also a personal attitude to being taught that more reflects Zhao-Zhou's outlook of "if I come across someone who is quite well along the path and has questions, I'll do my best to answer them. If I find a child who seems to have something to offer, I'll immediately become his or her ardent student."

We can make generalisations about about good and bad teachers but maybe we need a few terms in between for "mixed bag" teachers as well.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2013 1:31 pm

As my first teacher was CTR I can hardly argue.
Although his " mixture" had different components. He would have no truck with claims of any sort as many of us learned the hard way... :smile:
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Fri May 03, 2013 1:32 pm

Anders wrote:I guess what I am saying is that I don't see the contradiction in someone who has had an awakening, but not yet thoroughly awakened (ie, still having emotional and cognitive stuff to process herself) being asked to not just continue a wellgrounded community, but to set one up from scratch in a different culture based on a mere five years in a foreign culture to absorb the culture of spiritual training there, in an era of limited and often fanciful scholarship, combined with few examples to take a lead from, it is not surprising to me that a lot of the "making it up as I go along" stuff (I am not saying that as a criticism as much as this being a sometimes necessity due to the conditions of the time and place) involved in setting up Shasta Abbey didn't always work out as well as it could have.


I think this is a fair assessment. "degree of difficulty."

Since we're discussing JK's capacity as a teacher, I think it should also be pointed out that she was, indeed, effective in guiding students. I've posted this elsewhere, but I've met students of Kennett who are clearly onto something, and attribute whatever progress they've made to her instruction. Kyogen Carlson is one of them (in case anyone wants specifics).

Also, notice in Josh Baran's narratives on OBC Connect: JK told her community (through "cosmic Buddha") not to buy a Ford or a Chevy. Baran didn't: he bought a Dodge van when he took his leave. A good student follows instructions...
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby jeeprs » Fri May 03, 2013 1:37 pm

There are some parallels here with Mdme Blavatsky. Even a similarity, now I think of it.
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Fri May 03, 2013 3:49 pm

Jikan wrote:Since we're discussing JK's capacity as a teacher, I think it should also be pointed out that she was, indeed, effective in guiding students. I've posted this elsewhere, but I've met students of Kennett who are clearly onto something, and attribute whatever progress they've made to her instruction. Kyogen Carlson is one of them (in case anyone wants specifics).


In case it isn't obvious enough, I'm saying that JK had some capacity as a teacher. I'm asking that others recognize this fact.

Elsewhere in this thread, I've put JK's debated and debatable behaviors of her later career in the context of her ongoing health troubles. Notice that I did not even go so far as to hold JK herself for her own health issues, some of which may plausibly seem self-inflicted. In doing this, I am suggesting that she did not suffer from some kind of grievous character flaw, but that she was ill. I'm giving her and "cosmic Buddha" an alibi. Here, and in pointing out that she was a product of her time in her interest in incorporating occult teachings into her presentation of the Buddha Dharma, I'm asking others to cut her some slack.

If insisting that JK not be made an object of ridicule can be interpreted as having some kind of ax to grind against JK or the OBC, as someone in this thread has done, then I suppose night is now day, war is peace, we've always been at war with Eurasia, and I am the Stallion.



That would be silly.

The reality is that JK was an early pioneer who accomplished a great deal, particularly in regard to gender equality. Her accomplishment is mixed with some problems that still linger in the OBC. This is worth discussing in some detail--this history is valuable--for contemporary Dharma practitioners who will do well to learn from the successes and other experiences in this organization.

:cheers:

PS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_%28psychology%29

EDITED for clarity. I apologize for any unclear remarks in this post or any in this thread.
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri May 03, 2013 4:28 pm

Sara H wrote:In Jiyu-Kennett's case, the complaint is:
"She gave me 30 cents"

Summarizing Baran's story that way is ridiculous.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri May 03, 2013 4:45 pm

Sara H wrote:It's pretty interesting that most of the comments here are sortof attempts to discredit Jiyu-Kennet because of the vivid nature of her past lives that she experienced...

From the Baran post previously quoted:
I did NOT make up that at one point everyone in the Abbey became part of her fantasies about Jesus and Mary and Judas. And absolutely she claimed to have been St. John of the Cross and Bodhidharma. Later, even she realized how wacko the whole visualizations had become and she and Daizui changed or edited the story.

The problem is not "the vivid nature of her past lives that she experienced".
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Fri May 03, 2013 9:38 pm

JKhedrup wrote:HHDL doesn't speak at length about his past lives, anywhere that I've seen, and at any time during the many past teaching events that I've experienced. At the most he might say he feels ''A special connection to the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas, but has no clear memories."'


That's because in Vajrayana, these things are a part of the more esoteric and secret teachings, and so by the rules of his tradition, he's obliged not to speak of him.
Also, he may personally not have had any memories come up for him, and so can't speak of them, not everyone does, that doesn't mean they're doing bad training, just some people don't seem to need to have these things come up.
Keep in mind, Zen, is not an esoteric tradition. There's hardly anything that's actually kept secret in Zen.
I realize that in Vajrayana, there is this idea that by making things secret, it makes it more special (or however you would describe that) but that's not necessarily the Zen approach to these things. That's not to say that one is better or the other is wrong, it's just a different approach.

I realize, though, Jiyu Kennet's defence depends on using the templates of past life statements of well-regarded masters, and so whatever differences I try to draw in terms of level of realization will probably be framed as sectarianism.


Jiyu-Kennett didn't talk about these things to be sensationalist. You should read her book in this context and see what she was teaching it for. For her it was a profound learning experience. And, because there wasn't a lot of information available on the subject, she felt that making more available was of benefit to others.
She wasn't claiming to receive any sort of authority or qualification from her experiences, she was saying that they were valuable learning experiences for her. Some people may view such things as extraordinary, but for some people they can actually just be kindof normal for somebody who has had a prior kensho. It's not considered "amazing" or anything at all. We don't even talk about them all that much, just once in a while, if something comes up.
It's a very small part of what is talked about, in retrospect, not at all something that is a "focus" of practice. And that's as it should be. The whole point of teaching about these things was to offer what for her was a profound experience on facing death. The Tibetan tradition has the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Zen doesn't have a lot of detailed teachings in that area, and it seems good to offer it. I have a copy of Bardo Teachings on Death and Rebirth by Ven. Lama Lodo, so Tibetans are not as reticent to talk about these things as you might suggest. There are people who do and will.

And remember, she submitted her experiences to others for peer-review.

She was not just claiming something in a vacuum.

I don't know if she had Bodhidharma come up in a past life, or St Teresa of Avila, but if she did, there's nothing wrong with that in my eyes. That may have been something that was meant to be very profoundly symbolic, that she later sat with and understood deeper, but at the time Josh flipped out about and left, or, it may have been a very genuine and real past life. People who do religious training die and spin around the wheel of death and rebirth too.
I don't find it implausible that someone might do religious training in one life and then continue to do it in another.
It doesn't mean she was them, (if she did have something like that come up) because we are not them. It's just a memory. Those people are dead.
It's not reincarnation, it's rebirth.

Josh's view on this subject suggest he believes in reincarnation which is not Buddhist teaching.

I have had enough stuff of my own come up to know that certainly plenty of people have done the same kindof thing more than a few times in different lifetimes, to think it's very plausible that someone would do the same with regard to religious training.
But you know, from somebody who takes a positivist view on this, or takes a view that these things exist only in Buddhist scripture and no where else, that may be kindof freaky to them.

I can't really help them on that, it comes down to like Anders said, a cultural view:

Do you view these things to be tangibly real, and actually exist and can be experienced?

Or do you view them as a clever story meant to inspire?

My problem with the latter view, is it essentially says the Buddha was lying. Or making exaggerations.
Buddhism, has always been something that we can do also, not just a story or an exaggeration.

From a Tibetan sense, the Tibetans have no problem believing that someone continued religious training from life to life, it's a basic teaching of the Tulku system and why they look for someone as a child, so that they can continue their training.

We don't have separate "laws of the universe" for Tibetan Buddhists and Zen Buddhists.

The same stuff that applies in Tibetan Buddhism also can apply in Zen.

I find it interesting that some Tibetan Buddhists might have no problem with a Tibetan Tulku having the past lives of a famous Tibetan teacher, but in Zen Buddhism, such things must be impossible.

I think that's a little degrading to Zen actually, and says a lot about what some Tibetan Buddhists actually think of us and our practice.

Sara
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IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby pueraeternus » Fri May 03, 2013 10:31 pm

Sara H wrote:I find it interesting that some Tibetan Buddhists might have no problem with a Tibetan Tulku having the past lives of a famous Tibetan teacher, but in Zen Buddhism, such things must be impossible.


There is a big difference between having a tulku who is a reincarnation of lama X (who just passed away), and a person who claim to be Jesus, St John of the Cross, etc. Tulkus are also found by recognition by others, they are not people who decided that they were so and so due to some visions they claim to have, and go around telling others about it.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Fri May 03, 2013 10:33 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Sara H wrote:I find it interesting that some Tibetan Buddhists might have no problem with a Tibetan Tulku having the past lives of a famous Tibetan teacher, but in Zen Buddhism, such things must be impossible.


There is a big difference between having a tulku who is a reincarnation of lama X (who just passed away), and a person who claim to be Jesus, St John of the Cross, etc. Tulkus are also found by recognition by others, they are not people who decided that they were so and so due to some visions they claim to have, and go around telling others about it.


The problem with this statement, is it presumes people can't experience past lives, and so therefor assumes that anyone who did is making false claims.

That's not in accord with Buddhist teachings.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby JKhedrup » Fri May 03, 2013 10:41 pm

As i said, huge fan of hsuan hua. I spent six months in his monastery in california. I also lived in a monastery in taiwan, and in a theravada forest tradition monastery in thailand for more than two years.

So, while in your quest to defend Jiyu kennet may come fro genuine feelings of injustice, to try and label me as a Vajrayana triumphalist will be amusing to most on the board who gave read my posts or know me. How many monks have spent years living in monasteries of other traditions?

I have been called wishy washy and perhaps that is accurate, but i find the accusation of sectarianism so baseless it is nearly funny. Does thisimpression come fro my previousopinions on the impirtance of the vinaya?

In short, i have no issue withthe genuine teachings in the lineage of bodhidharma. I love his platform sutra and the works of later masters including ven hsuan hua, suzuki and hsu yun.

My issue is not with differing traditions on buddhdharma, my issue us with western interpretations of them that incorporate elements which lead toproblems for practitioners, and organizations who try to frame every detractor as somehow damaged rather than using the criticism for improvement.

Please read my posts and look at my experience i the monastic life ofothertraditions before making ill informed and offensive insinuations about sectarianism. If you read a prior post of mine even in this thread, i questioned judging obc entirely on the basis of past wrongs, but he inability of obc practiotiobers here and in other forums to endure any tupe of criticism makes me think maybe many of the other posters are correct.

Sorry for the typos, working on a tablet device.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Fri May 03, 2013 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby pueraeternus » Fri May 03, 2013 10:43 pm

Sara H wrote:The problem with this statement, is it presumes people can't experience past lives, and so therefor assumes that anyone who did is making false claims.

That's not in accord with Buddhist teachings.


The problem with this statement is that Jesus, St John of the Cross, Doctor Strange and the Wizard of Oz have already been claimed by many people prior to JK, so it is nigh impossible that 99% of them who said so were actually said individuals.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Fri May 03, 2013 10:44 pm

JKhedrup wrote:As i said, huge fan of hsuan hua. I spent six months in his monastery in california. I also lived in a monastery in taiwan, and in a theravada forest tradition monastery in thailand for more than two years.

So, while in your quest to defend Jiyu kennet may come fro genuine feelings of injustice, to try and label me as a Vajrayana triumphalist will be amusing to most on the board who gave read my posts or know me. How many monks have spent years living in monasteries of other traditions?

I have been called wishy washy and perhaps that is accurate, but i find the accusation of sectarianism so basekess it is nearly funny. Does thisimpression come fro my previousopinions on the impirtance of the vinaya?

In short, i have no issue withthe genuine teachings in the lineage of bodhidharma. I love his platform sutra and the works of later masters including ven hsuan hua, suzuki and hsu yun.

My issue is not with differing traditions on buddhdharma, my issue us with western interpretations if them that incirpirate elenents which lead toproblems for practitioners, and organizations who try to frame every detractor as somehow damaged rather than using the criticism for improvement.


I didn't make any specific accusation about you, but I am pleased to hear you have a more moderate tone.

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Fri May 03, 2013 10:49 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Sara H wrote:The problem with this statement, is it presumes people can't experience past lives, and so therefor assumes that anyone who did is making false claims.

That's not in accord with Buddhist teachings.


The problem with this statement is that Jesus, St John of the Cross, Doctor Strange and the Wizard of Oz have already been claimed by many people prior to JK, so it is nigh impossible that 99% of them who said so were actually said individuals.


Now you're just being insulting.

This is not Right Speech

You're also still taking an incorrect view of karma, that is along the lines of reincarnation, not rebirth.

One person's karma doesn't go in it's entirety to one other person. (reincarnation)

It can be and often is split up into many different aspects and sent to many different beings. (rebirth)

For instance, you might get the karma of somebody who got angry and drunk and died in a bar fight.

However somebody else might get the karma from the same person of when they were abused as a child.

Somebody else might get the karma of that person's time in the military, or a specific battle.

It's not all bundled into one person like you are suggesting.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby pueraeternus » Fri May 03, 2013 10:52 pm

Sara H wrote:Now you're just being insulting.

This is not Right Speech


Really Sara? This is getting old.

Sara H wrote:You're also still taking an incorrect view of karma, that is along the lines of reincarnation, not rebirth.

One person's karma doesn't go in it's entirety to one other person. (reincarnation)

It can be and often is split up into many different aspects and sent to many different beings. (rebirth)

For instance, you might get the karma of somebody who got angry and drunk and died in a bar fight.

However somebody else might get the karma from the same person of when they were abused as a child.

Somebody else might get the karma of that person's time in the military, or a specific battle.

It's not all bundled into one person like you are suggesting.


You have an absolutely wrong understanding of what karma really is. Is this how karma is taught in the OBC?
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Fri May 03, 2013 10:56 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Sara H wrote:Now you're just being insulting.

This is not Right Speech


Really Sara? This is getting old.

Sara H wrote:You're also still taking an incorrect view of karma, that is along the lines of reincarnation, not rebirth.

One person's karma doesn't go in it's entirety to one other person. (reincarnation)

It can be and often is split up into many different aspects and sent to many different beings. (rebirth)

For instance, you might get the karma of somebody who got angry and drunk and died in a bar fight.

However somebody else might get the karma from the same person of when they were abused as a child.

Somebody else might get the karma of that person's time in the military, or a specific battle.

It's not all bundled into one person like you are suggesting.


You have an absolutely wrong understanding of what karma really is. Is this how karma is taught in the OBC?


Friend, I've experienced this for myself, you can believe whatever you want.
I'm sorry that the Buddhas teaching that sarcasm, is harsh speech, and insulting behavior is getting old to you.

It's not Right Speech, and it's against forum rules.

I wish you well, and I'm going to stop responding to you.

In Gassho,

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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