(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!)
In the March 21, 2010 post, we discussed what we can do once the consequences of our previous actions ripen.
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.
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?
Many of us think of Cinderella as a “fairy tale.” But I like to think of it like this: while we may not have a fairy godmother upon which to call, if we relate to the obstalces in our lives as teachers rather than demons, something magical happens. Just as Cinderella’s fairy godmother produced a beautiful ball gown for Cinderella to wear to the royal ball, and turns a pumpkin into a magnificent coach, and transformed weak, tiny mice into swift steeds, our inner splendour can be released.
When we meet obstacles (that which prevent us from fulfilling our expectations or desires), we often look around for someone or something to blame. Or we may withdraw, or try to somehow seduce the obstacle. These responses keep us imprisoned in our habitual patterns and create further obstacles.
A few years ago, I started to save some of the quotations from daily e-mails I receive from Rigpa Glimpse of the Day to which I can refer when I need help to turn ugly rags of a mentality of poverty into ball gowns, to turn a feeling of being stalled into a handsome vehicle to take me somewhere, or to turn a feeling of powerlessness into a way to energize that handsome vehicle.
Here is my favourite:
Pain, grief, loss, and ceaseless frustration of every kind are there for a very real and dramatic purpose: to wake us up, to enable, almost to force us to break out of the cycle of samsara and so release our imprisoned splendor. <source: October 24, 2004>
This next is a rather graphic description of an enlightened approach to the obstacles in our lives:
Imagine that you have gone all your life without ever washing, and then one day you decide to take a shower. You start scrubbing away, but then watch in horror as the dirt begins to ooze out of the pores of your skin and stream down your body. Something must be wrong: you were supposed to be getting cleaner and all you can see is grime. You panic and fling yourself out of the shower, convinced that you should never have begun. But you only end up even more dirty than before. You have no way of knowing that the wisest thing to do is to be patient and to finish the shower. It may look for a while as if you are getting even dirtier, but if you keep on washing, you will emerge fresh and clean. It’s all a process, the process of purification. <source: July 20, 2003>
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