(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be of benefit!)
Unlike Erica in the popular Canadian TV show “Being Erica,” once the seeds from past volitional actions have ripened, we cannot go back and change the consequences.
Our past lives karma might be determined but in this life we should always try to remedy it, make efforts to make it workable.” <source: “His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche, January, 2011 in reply to a question that I sent to him.>
The only choice we have at this point is how to relate to these consequences. Are we going to dwell in anger, bitterness, resentment if we see the consequences as negative? Or gloat, bask in ego-pride because we see the consequences as positive?
Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is nudges me off my psychological default position (ego) and helps me to respond to consequences —that I myself have brought about — in a much more spacious, graceful and positive way.
Here’s a book review:
Are you suffering because you’re being unfairly targeted or being used as a scapegoat? Feeling set up for a fall by people you thought were your friends? etc. etc. If you’re looking for a way to relate to these situations that takes you beyond simply complaining, that involves some kind of mind training then you might like the book entitled Loving What Is by Byron Katie that my sister Stephanie sent to me in 2002.
The title appealed to me right away. We spend so much time unwittingly resisting what is happening to us and around us in order to shield ourselves from the pain. We say, “This shouldn’t be happening to me.” We argue with reality.
But when I received this book on tape, I thought “There’s so many of these types of books on the market today with titles that ‘grab’ the book-buying public, but I often find the content disappointing if it’s based on strategies that are designed to make one person — the reader — the “winner” and the other one the “loser.” In other words, the strategies are based on ego.
I started to listen to the cassettes of the book. I liked it. Actually, I loved it! Then I heard that there was an exercise to do, I groaned. Don’t tell me that I have to write something down, I thought. I just want to be lazy and listen, not have to do any work. Not only that, but the exercise seemed to be at the kindergarten level. But I was impressed enough by what I had heard on the cassettes so far that I tried the exercise.
What happened was a revolution at the level of the mind. And that’s what I liked about it. It doesn’t give the reader “strategies” or lists of things to do to be “successful.” It starts with the premise that everything — including suffering — comes originally from our minds. And further, that arguing with reality hurts: “I’m a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.” And “when you argue with reality you lose — only 100 percent of the time” (author Byron Katie).
So rather than running around doing this, that and the other thing, start with your own mind. That’s the bravest and most fearless thing anyone can do, I believe. If you work with your mind in the proper way — in other words, based on mindfulness — the proper action to take, if any, often follows. Maybe not right away, but in time.
If you’re interested, you can by the book or cassettes or borrow them from your library. There is also a website. If more of us worked with our own minds, we would cause a lot less pain and suffering for ourselves and others. “Only when we give up ‘what should be’ can we experience the perfection of ‘what is.’” <source: creator of and publisher on this weblog, Maggie Scott>
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