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Here is an interesting read on connecting intention and karma.. - Gil Fronsdal (audio download too!)
On behalf of myself and all beings,
I intend to refrain from consciously hurting anyone.
I intend to refrain from overtly or covertly taking what is not mine.
I intend to be sure that my speech is kind as well as true.
I intend to refrain from addictive behaviors that confuse my mind and lead to heedlessness.
Don't make the names and robes too sacred...
Disclaimer: Although, also V-Zen..,..I'm only speaking for the monastery I attend...so...the "rules" may vary. ....AFA I know, robes can be bought anywhere.....where them where you want.
Whos gonna call the Dharma police on you?
FWIW...I was pretty disappointed how the whole thing went for me. Which worked in my favor...hahaha..I'll post/re-tell my story...It's in a previous thread, along with other POVs
They were pretty much mass produced as in...everyone in the group and everyone that showed up on retreat got one ....except for me. Personal to that individual ?? ... Eh... Not so much. IMO, pretty generic... " One who is compassionate"... " He who sits with stillness"..." You got a calm mind"...etc..
The ones who did get names...don't attend anymore and I'm still left. No name and all. .. ..
I found it too intimate...in an intrusive kind of way. I'm not going to call it weird....just uncomfortable, for me. After, I wondered if there was any science related to it... found this article:
ETA : this is a newer article .... 2017.
Going forward...its definitely about setting boundaries. I just need the right mentality to be able to do it. Like @karasti described above...the "understanding" can lead to cycles that go round and round. The understanding somehow my mind links to the compassion concept and so on. I think the trick is going to be working on not using the understanding as a free pass or just going along with things bec I feel "that's just how she is" or " I know why she;s this way".....I need to change the way I'm thinking/viewing the understanding and what it means...as relation to me and me and her...not just to her.
I've just come to the realization that I need to unravel the way I'm approaching and dealing with her.