(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!)
This post follows the one of December 11, 2011 immediately below.
We want to live good lives. That involves making the right decisions. We ask ourselves:
“What is it that I want to do? What would be the right decision? I have the opportunity right now, what am I going to do? If I make certain decisions, I will get certain outcomes. That is the law of karma.”
Karma is the basic flow of nature, so — not to be too heavy — I think we need to really consider our actions, because we get into a lot of entanglement when we do not have this ability to be discerning, knowing what to do. We bumble into things and hope they work out. Dharma and the Shambhala teachings are saying that the first quality is Tiger — that quality of mindfulness, is meekness, not being overly arrogant. (Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: The Four Sessions of Basic Goodness)
So we practice discernment.
What unfolds from here naturally is the next session of basic goodness, which is the Lion. This has the quality of finally coming to a decision. We know what we want to do. We want to do the virtuous thing. We realize that the way to make a decision is to consider, “How is it beneficial for others? If I am going to say something, is it going to help them? Or am I just going to say something snide, or something aggressive? And what kind of good is that going to do?” If we decide that we are going to say something aggressive or that we are going to gossip, the reality is that the gossip and aggression is just going to come back at us; people are going to be talking about us in that particular way. It is just a cycle; this is the moment where we decide what to do. (Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: The Four Sessions of Basic Goodness)
It’s good to remember that, in coming to a decision, we are actually choosing our future karma.
When I was writing speeches for senior political figures, I would talk about the ripple effect in the tourism industry. If tourists come to your city, they need accomodation. Then they might go to the restaurants. Or the theatre. Or rent a car. In other words, that one act of a tourist who visits your city creates a ripple effect which boosts the income of the surrounding establishments.
In the same way, when I make a decision, it affects not only myself. It affects others! In other words, there’s a ripple effect, as Pema Chodron put it.
So it is very important that we make decisions based on seeing situations clearly, on seeing the truth of the situation, not based on what’s just best for our own comfort, or wanting to stay curled up in what Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche described as our own cocoons. This is the opposite of bravery. It is cowardly.
If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog. Just click on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and follow one of the three, easy-to-follow instructions. Thank you.