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Am Bailing from classes! Can you guys be my sanga?

newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

I’m Bailing out of my Buddhist class!

I tried, I really did. But I just don’t agree.

Sometimes you get sick. Sometimes you get a head ache or a cold. I don’t believe it has ANYTHING to do with Karma from a previous life. Pretty sure its just called being a living thing.
1 - a cold is caused by a virus
2 - a head ache is caused by sore muscles (or various other reasons)
3 - I don’t see how this is Karma!

I just really REALLY, do not agree nor can I ever agree with Karma from past lives. I just don’t think its constructive or helpful in any way at all.

What do you think about this though?
So negative Karma is brought on when we inflict suffering upon others.

My questions is this.
I work in HR. I have not had to yet, but at some point I will have to fire someone. This will inflict suffering upon them but I am only doing my job, and it would have a solid basis if this was to happen. Still, its inflicting suffering. Would this be bad Karma?

Anger
So anger is bad and we should always try to not be angry as its a bad thing and can create heavy negative Karma.
My view- Anger is an emotion. Like all other emotions it plays a part in telling you what you need and allows you to resolve it. Thus, you can’t cut out anger. Its a human emotion and I don’t see it bad at all. I think the actions one can take in anger are often not ideal which can lead to bad Karma, but thats not the actual emotion, thats the action.
In saying this. Some anger is not warranted. Say, the computer did not need to get yelled at when it shut down all of a sudden. But anger is also warranted. When someone hurts you, or someone gets murdered, anger is natural. This doesn’t mean we need to hang onto it and focus all our energy on it. But its there, its real, and I think thats ok.
So, I think its not the emotion ‘anger’ is how and what you do with that anger that is important and if you can meditate on it and let it go, or if you let it stew and take it out on others. That is when I think the negative Karma comes into it.

So. Thats it. I’m heading back to my good old books. I know its good to get a sense of community. But 2.5 hours on a work night, after I have been working hard all day. I would very much rather go home and read or play with my puppies. I don’t have much free time during the week. So I like to spend it wisely. Thus, staying home when its cold and reading in front of fire!

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    The only karma I worry about is right now. What consequences do my actions, words and thoughts have, right now? What can I do to make things right that I did wrong yesterday? What can I do better today? I can't know whether past life karma is real or not. So I don't worry about it. Dukkha is the nature of human existence. It is not all due to karma from the past. I am grateful I have not run into such strict views with my teacher and Sangha. I would have a very difficult time of it, too. We focus on our practice right here, right now, and what we can do to be more present.

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    There are many steps along the path. Many times it is better to walk on. If a particular interpretation of any part of the teaching disturbs you then seek further. A good teacher really knows how to speak to you from many different ways. To clear up confusion. If they can teach but one way its hard to have much confidence in them.

    personlobsternewlotus
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I feel you, I've gone through similar emotions recently. What it comes down to me is the certainty that such teachings are given with.

    At the deepest level of the material world seems to be some sort of quantum randomness, some speculate that rather than randomness there is a hidden variable we're missing. So for myself, I can't really rule out the possibility that there is some sort of subtle cause that plays a part in what happens to people.

    However, there is no credible evidence showing that there is karma and all the reasons given usually boil down to some sort of appeal to authority of the scriptures and lineage. Most Buddhist criticisms of scientific materialism end up resorting to straw men and ad hominen.

    There are far too many truth claims out there for me to base strong beliefs on unproven hypotheses or religious thinking.

    I do want an authentic path (and think there probably is one) beyond the shallow waters of the modern mindfulness movement but personally I don't see anything wrong with taking a pragmatic approach and dealing with the more tangible aspects of Buddhism.

    newlotus
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Can you guys be my sangha?

    Me too please. As a born-never-again Buddhist, I take all classes, upper, lower and middle with a pinch of saline solution.

    There is anger and innocents killed yesterday in Manchester. Working towards being a center of wisdom and calm and Bodhi wholeness needs every encouragement ...

    newlotuskando
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    I’m Bailing out of my Buddhist class!

    I tried, I really did. But I just don’t agree.

    Sometimes you get sick. Sometimes you get a head ache or a cold. I don’t believe it has ANYTHING to do with Karma from a previous life. Pretty sure its just called being a living thing.
    1 - a cold is caused by a virus
    2 - a head ache is caused by sore muscles (or various other reasons)
    3 - I don’t see how this is Karma!

    I just really REALLY, do not agree nor can I ever agree with Karma from past lives. I just don’t think its constructive or helpful in any way at all.

    What do you think about this though?
    So negative Karma is brought on when we inflict suffering upon others.

    My questions is this.
    I work in HR. I have not had to yet, but at some point I will have to fire someone. This will inflict suffering upon them but I am only doing my job, and it would have a solid basis if this was to happen. Still, its inflicting suffering. Would this be bad Karma?

    Anger
    So anger is bad and we should always try to not be angry as its a bad thing and can create heavy negative Karma.
    My view- Anger is an emotion. Like all other emotions it plays a part in telling you what you need and allows you to resolve it. Thus, you can’t cut out anger. Its a human emotion and I don’t see it bad at all. I think the actions one can take in anger are often not ideal which can lead to bad Karma, but thats not the actual emotion, thats the action.
    In saying this. Some anger is not warranted. Say, the computer did not need to get yelled at when it shut down all of a sudden. But anger is also warranted. When someone hurts you, or someone gets murdered, anger is natural. This doesn’t mean we need to hang onto it and focus all our energy on it. But its there, its real, and I think thats ok.
    So, I think its not the emotion ‘anger’ is how and what you do with that anger that is important and if you can meditate on it and let it go, or if you let it stew and take it out on others. That is when I think the negative Karma comes into it.

    So. Thats it. I’m heading back to my good old books. I know its good to get a sense of community. But 2.5 hours on a work night, after I have been working hard all day. I would very much rather go home and read or play with my puppies. I don’t have much free time during the week. So I like to spend it wisely. Thus, staying home when its cold and reading in front of fire!

    I can't say that I blame you really. If you're in Sydney, I could give you the names of two Sanghas I've attended. Otherwise, happy to even do an online/email study "thing" given there's a few of us Aussies here now.

    Bunksnewlotus
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    I don't know where the view that everything is caused by karma comes from its not what the Buddha taught, that's Hinduism. Teachers should really read up on the five niyamas.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/the-five-niyamas-449741

    Keromepersonkando
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    @dhammachick
    Bother! I lived in Sydney for a year but moved interstate :(
    An online / email thing sounds cool though! Also, then I don't have to go out anywhere after work :P
    @Traveller - yes agreed!

    lobster
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    @dhammachick
    Bother! I lived in Sydney for a year but moved interstate :(
    An online / email thing sounds cool though! Also, then I don't have to go out anywhere after work :P
    @Traveller - yes agreed!

    If any Aussies here are keen, PM me and we can set up an online/email study - discussion group if you want

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    If any Aussies

    Que? Online email study can be global not just for kangaroos ... :p

    newlotus
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @newlotus -- Go for it! Dump the whole thing! Just don't imagine you know for sure what you are talking about. If "Karma" gets your goat, you can either 1. dump it or 2. study it thoroughly. There is no aspect of Buddhism that is carved in granite, that does not morph. There is no rule you must follow or pay some awful, hellish price. Buddhism is about your life, not about your smarts or beliefs.

    Consider, however: If books really had the answers, Buddhism -- like the intellect -- would collapse. Why is it that every year, all the wonderful libraries of the world ADD books to all those other books which promised last year to serve up the "definitive answers" to all those important questions?

    If you get sick, eat chicken soup, or whatever home remedy you prefer. If you insist on believing in past or future lives, whose responsibility is that? If you think there is something holy about spiritual life, please point to a single path that does not or has not screwed the pooch at some point... and yet various quite sensible people persist in following the path.

    There isn't a serious Buddhist around who gives a damn if you or anyone else is a Buddhist. So ... go back to the old, sensible way ...

    And see how that works.

    Best wishes.

    lobsterkando
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:

    If any Aussies

    Que? Online email study can be global not just for kangaroos ... :p

    If you want to function on Australian Standard Time you're more than welcome to be the one crawler amongst the jumpers 😃😃😃

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    He can do that! Lobsters crawl, don't they....?!

    lobsterKundoHozankando
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Are we not a sangha of sorts already?😞

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 2017

    I think we jollie well are! We should meditate together over Skype! :lol:

    Kundonewlotus
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I think we jollie well are! We should meditate together over Skype! :lol:

    Agreeing on a time will be a challenge

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    Lol meditation over Skype sounds interesting. But the time zone could be an issue! Most of you guys are in the US it seems. I'm in Australia!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kundo and @Bunks are in Oz.

    newlotus
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    I'm in Ireland. This is the only sanga I have enjoyed and truly learned from so far. As to zendos I'm not so much soto zen as solo zen :) Thich Nhat Hanh made a comment about there being too many Zen centres and not enough Zen corners. Like that.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’m in the Netherlands, so yes, we have people in the Amerika’s, Australia and Europe, which probably nixes the idea of a Skype meditation session. Troppo male, as they would say in Italy.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I'm in Sydney and happy to do a Skype session on Wednesday nights if suitable. @Bunks and I are the same time zone, but if memory serves me, you're in WA right @newlotus ?

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    @Kundo na I'm in Adelaide. And our internet isn't good enough for Skype. Plus I do Pilates Wednesday night.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    @Kundo na I'm in Adelaide. And our internet isn't good enough for Skype. Plus I do Pilates Wednesday night.

    Ha, I always like people who can laugh at themselves.....

    I'm in Geelong but I meditate either at about 5am at home before kids get up or on the train on the way to work so could be tricky. Evenings are no good as i just fall asleep if i try to meditate.

  • @newlotus said:
    Lol meditation over Skype sounds interesting. But the time zone could be an issue! Most of you guys are in the US it seems. I'm in Australia!

    You can meditate with others using this app
    https://insighttimer.com

    Treeleaf has online sits
    http://www.treeleaf.org/for-new-comers-and-about-treeleaf/

    SecondLife has organised sits and teachings
    https://secondlife.com/destination/1066

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    SecondLife has organised sits and teachings
    https://secondlife.com/destination/1066

    That’s hilarious, sitting in meditation in a virtual environment... I think it would be much more interesting if they tried to create the Bardo or some world that you couldn’t encounter in real life, like the Buddhist cosmology.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said:

    @lobster said:
    SecondLife has organised sits and teachings
    https://secondlife.com/destination/1066

    That’s hilarious, sitting in meditation in a virtual environment... I think it would be much more interesting if they tried to create the Bardo or some world that you couldn’t encounter in real life, like the Buddhist cosmology.

    Interesting... how?

    How would that be more helpful or conducive to Meditation, than anything you can actually find in real life?
    I mean, isn't this enough of a Bardo, right here?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, virtual environments give you the chance to experience what real life doesn’t give you. So if you wanted to wander the various planes of the Buddhist cosmology as a god, then you could build that, and give people the chance to experience your creation. There have been some creations in the video game realm which are really quite abstract and psychedelic... like this one:

    The real Bardo would probably be very different but these kind of experiences could allow you to build visions of what the afterlife might be like. It could be really cool!

    kando
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Or a technological distraction and an unnecessary, flippant diversion.

    people get hooked and addicted to such trivia, probably because they need such diversionary tactics from real life.

    And building visions of what the afterlife could be like, is exactly the time-wasting exercise the Buddha warned us about.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited November 10

    It’s exactly the kind of thing that people will do, though. Given how popular computer games are in countries like China, I think it is only a matter of time.

    But yes, the buddha’s take on games was not incorrect. Ultimately one is better off spending time in meditation, but tell that to all the people who have bought the latest Nintendo kart racing game to play with their kids.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...the people who have bought the latest Nintendo kart racing game to play with their kids.

    ...Are hardly the people who are going to entertain a session of meditation, either IRL or via VR.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Visualisation is a part of meditation for some, you could call that virtual, I prefer the words creative and inaginative, which a lot of game graphics are, some are amazing! And I don't think playing games would automatically make you a non meditator. In fact I know of a couple of computer game designers who are practicing Buddhists.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @kando said: ... I don't think playing games would automatically make you a non meditator.

    I never implied it would be automatic. Far from it....

    What I am saying is that it's a form of attachment which can turn into an unskilful one. Constant use of an attractive and variable tool can gradually shift a dedicated mind into becoming Mind-less and inattentive, and eventually becoming dependent on the stimulation and gratification the program provides.

    "Oh, this is fun, I like this, I had the most brilliant session, the images were amazing, incredible, definitely worth the experience!"

    Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me that's not how it could start.

    In fact I know of a couple of computer game designers who are practicing Buddhists.

    I'll be honest, I'm not at all certain that's skilful employment.

    But this is all just my opinion, which I'm happy to let go of...

  • My experience is we can be mindful playing games, watching movies, TV or using Farcebook. It is not easy and requires high levels of concentration/mindfulness.

    Most of us, including me, are not so attentive but swallowed by the delusion/excitement ...

    Hence we build our lives around the easier concentration and mindful practices ... :)

    kando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @federica said:

    @kando said: ... I don't think playing games would automatically make you a non meditator.

    I never implied it would be automatic. Far from it....

    What I am saying is that it's a form of attachment which can turn into an unskilful one. Constant use of an attractive and variable tool can gradually shift a dedicated mind into becoming Mind-less and inattentive, and eventually becoming dependent on the stimulation and gratification the program provides.

    "Oh, this is fun, I like this, I had the most brilliant session, the images were amazing, incredible, definitely worth the experience!"

    Unfortunately you just perfectly described the creative mind @federica :) butterflies are more grounded!

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