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Karmapa, shares some thoughts on karma - 30.07.2020

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31.07.2020

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares some thoughts on karma, as he continues to respond to students’ questions.

 


After a few days of experiencing a creative block, the other day my chair gave way under me. The instant I fell flat on the ground, I had a stroke of inspiration. I quickly jotted down a few paragraphs on my mobile phone.

However, when I got up to attend to something else, I accidentally deleted my note, losing it beyond recovery. In the first instant, a flash of shock and anxiety, almost like a blush, coursed through my being, as I realised that I wouldn’t be able to retrieve it ever again.

The very next moment, however, I tried to console myself by allowing the thought to arise: ‘It wasn’t meant to be’.

What a habit! How powerful this habit is, and yet it powers in ever such a passive way!

This habit where, when things don’t go according to plan, we comfort ourselves by thinking that ‘It wasn’t meant to be’ – as if there were a destiny for all of us. This is a misapplication of the notion of karma, I think. This kind of habit is no doubt comforting, but we should not underestimate its strength.

If we treat this kind of habit as something beyond a source of momentary comfort, then there is a risk of conceptualising something else entirely and setting up a trap for ourselves: that there is a fundamental place to belong and not to belong, a fundamental destiny that is meant to be or not to be.

I think ‘karma’ simply means it’s you. It’s me. It’s us.

It’s a delightful thing to realise that we don’t have to wait for a destiny.

On the other hand, if we say it’s ‘your doing’ of course it has a hint that it’s ‘your’ fault somehow, so feelings of guilt may arise.

Instead, we can simply focus on this understanding of karma: it’s you, it’s me, it’s us. We are this wonderful thing that flows as all of us, without a destiny.

We can see our past and future only as ways to arrive at this present moment, where we see that the idea of destiny was just a comforting thought. Nothing more and nothing less.

Maybe this is where I should have landed, and what I should have realised, when I fell flat on the ground – a ground where ‘destiny’ was not written somewhere, or anywhere.
 

#Karmapa

 

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