Karma: A guide to life

<a href=”Webfetti.com

“>Buddha's in teaching and meditating poses

I am a profound believer in doing good things for others to make their lives better.  The act of charity and kindness has always been an integral part of how I live my life.  I am not a saint or Mother Theresa by any means, but I am guided my an irrepressible urge to save the world and everyone in it.  This might seem naive but I wholeheartedly believe that the more good we do for those around us, the more bless our lives will be.  I consider  the act of helping  and giving to others out of the kindness of our  heart as an act of charity. As a result of our unselfish action and thought, I deem that we will be repaid in kind. If our action is motivated purely by our need or our want to end the suffering of others, we will get some of that charity back ourselves when we need it the most. The events of this week is a confirmation of my belief in karma as explained by Lama Thubten Yeshe of The Bliss of Inner Fire “Karma is not something complicated or philosophical. Karma means watching your body, watching your mouth, and watching your mind.Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible is the practice of karma.”

To me this means treating our body like a temple and not do anything bad that will desecrate it like drugs,alcohol or overindulgence. Sometimes we tend to forget to take care of our body because we think we can always stop those bad things anytime we want.  For some of us we figure that out too late. 

If we are all honest, it is very difficult to watch our mouths or at least what comes out of it especially when we are frustrated or when we dislike something or someone.  Sometimes, I have to struggle to keep my mouth shut when I have a problem with someone or when I disagree with their words or actions. When I feel the urge to say negative things to others for whatever reason I mentally tell myself to just be silent and listen to what they have to say and hear them out.  Sometimes I learn more from listening to others even if their opinions are disagreeable.

Buddha wisely advised, “Desire is the cause of man’s suffering”.  Sometimes we let our desire for others or things control our thoughts so obsessively that we end up doing something we will regret later. It is incredible to think that our thoughts can have that much power over our actions, but sadly for some of us it is a harsh reality. 

Lama Thubten Yeshe’s teaching about keeping our body, mouth, and mind pure is a good rule to live by as well as these wise words by an anonymous author:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Do you belive in using karma as a guide to life?  Do you believe that your good actions will be repaid or rewarded or come back to help you when you need it the most? 

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12 thoughts on “Karma: A guide to life

  1. Thank you amphone! You are right Sunday should be spiritual. I might take it a step further and try to meditate to calm my mind, body and spirit. That’s my next goal to practice meditation, but I have to set up for it. Find the right spot, music, etc! Here’s to peace, love and happiness in the world. I figure while we are “dangling” around in this world we need to spread some positive energy and thought to others!:)

  2. >>Do you believe in using karma as a guide to life? Do you believe that your good actions will be repaid or rewarded or come back to help you when you need it the most?

    To be honest with you on this topic, I don’t believe in using Karma as a guide to life, I use more of my instinct to make my decision, and a case-to-case basis. I don’t like to think that I’d only do good deeds because I want good things in return, because many times it might be a disappointment where I thought I did something nice for someone and it came back to bite me in the butt, have you ever have this to happen to you before? If this is the case, should I just throw my hands up in the air and say it’s my ‘Vein Gum, or Gum Ghoul’ (past sin), if that’s the case, then what’s the point of doing good deeds? 😦

  3. Ginger I love that you disagree with me because it shows that you thought about this issue.

    Like I said, I believe that when we don’t expect something in return is when we will be rewarded. It’s being unselfish that is the key. When I do nice things for others I don’t sit there and think, aha I wonder what I will get out of this. For example, when I was in San Diego I gave some money to a homeless person, not because I expected to reap the benefit of my actions. I did it because I was thinking maybe this person will go use the money to go buy themselve something to eat. It made me feel good to think that I have ease their trouble for just even a minute or a moment. Yes, for all I know she will go use that money on drugs or alcohol, but it was for her to do whatever she wanted.

    I do have some cases where my kindness was not appreciated. One Thanksgiving I drove around my town with packaged plates for the homeless and I remember I woke up this homeless man to ask him if he was hungry and he snapped at me and told me he was sleeping and to leave him a lone. I was saddened because he didn’t want the food. Even my attempt at helping others are not always successful I still do it because the act of charity is important to me.

    My act of goodness or kindness is guided by my instincts. When I want to help others whether it is my family or a total stranger I trust my instincts to know how and what to do. The way I see it positive thoughts generates positive action. The point of doing good is to be unselfish and kind. It makes me feel good inside!:)

    Everytime when I needed help I don’t stress because I know it will work out whether it be financial, emotional or physical. I don’t focus on the mistakes or past sins I have committed, I focus on the good things I’m doing now. Consider this,”Always look at what you have left.Never look at what you have lost.” Robert H. Schuller

  4. >>>”Always look at what you have left.Never look at what you have lost.” Robert H. Schuller

    I like this quote a lot, and thanks for sharing with me.

    When I do something good for people, I can’t say that I feel good most of the time, sometimes I even feel sad. I grew up in NYC, and I’d see homeless asking for money on the subway all the time, most New Yorkers are sort of immune to seeing this, but one thing that I noticed in the past was that if I were to be the first one to give money to this homeless person, then others will follow, and trust me, it didn’t make me feel any better by giving, a bit sad to see how some people live their lives, always wondering what drove them this low, everyone’s got their story, and they say that everyone is created equal, I totally disagree on this also.

    I’ve always been fortunate and I can’t say that it’s because of my good deeds that I did because I wish I could do more. I think when you believe in Karma, you unconsciously believe that good things will follow your good deed, even when you say that you’re not expecting it. I don’t believe because I don’t want my life to be guided by this thought process, I think in every situation in life, our decisions matter, but certain percentage might be guided by unexplained force of nature that you might call Karma, some Lao people might call Vard Sana, or Vein Gum, and where as some might call it the Law of Attraction.

    I’m wondering if Karma is similar to the Law of Attraction, where as Karma is the ancient belief, and the Law of Attraction is the New Age belief, somehow I can’t help but to feel that the idea crossed somewhere. What do you think?

    The Law of Attraction is commonly associated with New Age and New Thought theories. It states people experience the corresponding manifestations of their predominant thoughts, feelings, words, and actions and that people therefore have direct control over reality and their lives through thought alone. A person’s thoughts (conscious and unconscious), emotions, beliefs, and actions are said to attract corresponding positive and negative experiences “through the resonance of their energetic vibration.” The “law of attraction” states “you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your experience.” The idea has received intense criticism from multiple circles in the media, the scientific community, and even other areas of the New Age Movement.

  5. Ginger I love your comment because it made me think! You might be right that Karma is similiar to the Law of Attraction. Positive thoughts beget positive results according to the theory of the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It is a new age book that stresses “one’s positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness and wealth”.

    I read part of it and the overall message is that if we send out positive vibe, energy or thought, we will get a positive return or answers to our questions or problem. It reminded me of self-fulfilling prophecies. You know if you think you are going to fail then you will subconsciously make it happen.

    I strongly agree that “you get what you think about, your thoughts determine your experience”. I attended a week long conference for the college prep class I will be teaching this year and the lady I was supposed to go to was unable to go because of registration issues. Anyway, my plans were thrown off and I had to modify everything in a matter of two days. Like I had to find new transportation, lodging, babysitter, payment etc. At first I was stressed out and didn’t even want to go, but then I said to myself, things will work out and it did. When I got to the conference everything fell into place.

    Everytime I am face with an obstacle I put it into two category: things within my control and things out of my control. Things within my control I deal with it and things out of my control I don’t let it stress me out. People’s opinions and thoughts are out of my control because they are not going to change it if they don’t want so I don’t bother letting it upset me. However, my thoughts and reactions are things I can control so I just focus on that!:)

  6. amphone

    The life which is not examined is not worth living.

    –Plato

    I’ve gone through life wondering when will my ship will come in? Then I realize that I have so much coupon and gift certificate left. Some were stashed in the bank.

    The merits I built in the past life came in the forms of coupon and gift certificate (just a metaphor). There were times when things could really gone bad. I mean really bad. Somehow, I’ve always manage.

    Karma come instantly as a result of what I(we) do. My instant karma came when i left that tip in a jar at my favorite coffee shop….it came right after I placed a few dollar in that homeless man’s cup. Things we do causes effect on our mind, body and, spirit. Instant karma is a state of mind. If I was to question that authority, I would be questioning every things that make me whole. “To not go there” is better. I just do what’s right not what I have to. Only then, I would get my reward where and when reward is given, regardless you want it or not. I know this is hard to understand, the thought in my head sometime, funny?

    ….have a nice one.

  7. Actually Amphone, you and I think a lot alike! Don’t worry about the typos because I understood you perfectly!

    You are right our good deeds are in a sense our coupons and gift certificates. When we need it we can use it because we have been contributing to our stash. It’s like saving for retirement—we stick money into bank for future use when we will need it.

    I do things for others because it makes me feel good, it really completes who I am. For example, some of my students are a pain and there are days I wonder why I went into teaching. Then when I think I can’t handle it, my students do something remarkable to show their gratitude for all my hard work.

    There’s no price tag on the act of charity. We can do so much for others without it costing us anything. A couple of years ago, I met a homeless man who thanked me because I sat there at the park talking to him and asking if he was okay because he was coughing. As I walk away I was thinking how I wish I had something to give him like food or water. It amazed me that conversation was all he needed and he didn’t want anything else from me. Just the act of showing that we care for others is so important.

    Words I live by
    “Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”

  8. amphone

    You can’t live a perfect day day without doing something for someone who may never be able to repay you. —John Wooden

    I think you are right. We do think a lot alike. Well, i am a bit concern about you having the time to sit and talk to a total stranger in the park. I hope that’s not one of your hobby 🙂

    Today, I handed a homeless two dollars and kept one for good luck. Just in case I kick someone’s kao poon tray over. Last week while stopping at a stop light, out of no where, a homeless, drunk at that, cursed up the storm, “You drive a 40 thousand dollars car and you can’t even give me f___ing dollar?” I was puzzled. I never been curse at before. I was angry but he was drunk, perhaps crazy. I ignored him because I don’t carry cash and I was too surprised. I was driving a used Dodge Intrepid 02′. I drove on and dismissed the situation being random and unlucky. I give money all the time to people who approached me. “Hey man, man car is down the road and I need some gas to get home….” is a classic one. Something like that I will pay if I have it on me. I can’t lie about it. Not good for the soul.

    You know what I think is funny? I do good to get coupons and gift certificate to use in time of troubles. It really come in handy. I saved up for the big one. I don’t spend them unwisely. I use them when I really have to. Just like “Sne” (charm), I will use it unless I have to and it has to be a good reason enough…nothing bad..

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