Hot answers tagged

38

You don't need to believe anything in Buddhism, but a little faith can give you a boost in your practice. It would certainly be difficult to progress if you had no sense that the people teaching you knew what they were talking about. But in the end, a good teacher will just tell you "This is the path to enlightenment", rather than "I am enlightened", and ...


19

My father was an alcoholic, and I suffered a lot of grief from him - so I might as well try and answer this one. The way my first teacher taught me about this (back when my father was still alive and I still encountered him a lot) the circumstances like this come from our karma, specifically from our attachment to decency and spirituality. The more we are ...


19

Causes of False Speech The root causes of false speech are greed, hatred and delusion. Greed is the root cause when false speech is used to obtain material gain or status for oneself or someone dear to oneself. Hatred is the root cause when false speech is used to cause loss and bring harm and suffering to others. Delusion is the root cause when it is ...


18

"Without wisdom, effort, restraint of the senses, without giving up everything, I see no well-being for beings." -- The Buddha (SN 2.17) You can't have your cake and eat it too, unfortunately. The truth is the truth whether it is convenient or not. In this case, there are some fairly important truths that you have to consider when trying to decide what ...


17

An understanding of what causes have contributed to the way we are right now is out of the realm of ordinary people; practically speaking, you are more likely to project a false impression of why you are the way you are that is wholly disproportionate in terms of cause and actual effect. Much of what we are today has already been predetermined from the ...


15

There is no sense of accumulating sins, per se; your karma (actions) change who you are; there is also no sense that it can ever be too much to recover from (eventually). Eventually, your karma will catch up with you, sending you to heaven or hell, and making it more difficult to accumulate further good or bad karma, until you usually wind up right back ...


15

"I also was under the impression that perfectly enlightened beings have obliterated, or rendered ineffective, all of their karma" The five skhandas are roughly understood as "past kamma". Even arahants experience the fruits of their past kamma and are only free of it in parinibbana. For example, there are suttas describing arahants being hurt. In the case ...


14

This is a great question, certainly understandable. I don't think it's right to say that prayer as an activity goes against the Buddha's teaching; certainly prayer that stems from desire is unwholesome, but prayer that stems from kindness and purity of mind, in the sense of being an expression of one's attitude towards all beings, as: Sukhino vā khemino ...


14

The Sanskrit word karma means action. It was used in Brahmanism to refer to those physical and verbal acts that were considered to bring positive results to the individual performing the acts (or on behalf of whom the acts were performed by Brahmin priests). The Buddha denounced this idea. In his teaching, that which was potent for the individual was the ...


14

There are two parts to karma: 1) external forces/energies you set in motion with your action and 2) latent tendencies and inclinations in your psyche - that later become your action and reaction, that then sets external forces in motion. If you step away and look at it from a distance, there is really no hard line between "external" and "internal"; karma is ...


13

While some of the past karma may fruit as obstacles to liberation, not all karma has to fruit before liberation, as even Buddha himself famously experienced results of his past karma after his enlightenment (e.g. when Devadatta wounded the Buddha's foot with a rock). As I explained in https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/1672/43 Buddha rejected the theory ...


13

The question of how karma works in light of the concept of non-self has been answered several times on this site (see "Related" in the sidebar). That being said, you raise a couple of interesting objections, namely the seemingly impossible jump through time and space. First, let's be clear. The Buddha never said "there is no self". What he did say is that ...


13

Short answer is, you should not forget bad choices. You should learn from bad choices. Long answer: Kukucca is characterized by regret. It's function is to grieve about what has or what has not been done. It manifests as remorse. It should be regarded as slavery. --from Visuddhimagga XIV, 174 The Dalai Lama was working with an American psychiatrist ...


12

The concept of Kamma implies that information is stored in the mind No, it does not! Information and storage are concepts. Not realities! The issue here is, we make the assumption that for causes to give an effect in the future, something needs to persist in the interim. When you commit a Kamma, the action is done and finished then and there. There's ...


11

The difference will always be the mental state of the person performing the action. Giving is dependent on one's state of mind while giving; the amount is intrinsically inconsequential (though obviously a poor person will feel more strongly about giving $1000 than giving $1). As Sakka, king of the devas of Tavatimsa says in the Vimanavatthu: "Natthi citte ...


11

I never really understood this view, but it seems to have been held by the Niganthas. See MN 101 for a detailed argument against this sort of reasoning (too long to quote here). Basically, though, it is like saying that if I have taken poison, I should take more poison so I feel the poisoning more quickly and thus somehow work out the result of the original ...


11

Regretting about your past is only going to make your Karma worse. Best way to deal with past bad memories is to do Vipassana on them. When a past memory comes to your mind, simply note it as a thought about the past. Don't react to it or take it as something that belongs to you. If that memory truly belongs to you, you should be able to stop it from ...


11

Buddha did not experience suffering(mental). He experienced pain due to poor health during his final days. Enlightened beings do not create new Karmas. Also, they have removed the potential of all their past Karmas to give future births. But they can still face the consequences while they live.


10

Karma is not something one accumulates; this question gets asked so often because, as you say, there is a misconception of it being a 'a solid, substantial' entity. Karma is volition (intention is a bad translation, IMO), or in abhidhamma, the seven javana citta present in an ordinary mind process (i.e. every moment of experience). All this means is that ...


10

Karma is a very complicated process. We could in fact say that just about everything affects just about everything else - if a butterfly beats its wings in China, it does probably play some infinitesimal role in causing hurricanes in Florida. If, by karma, you mean any old action whatsoever, then indeed, there are probably certain actions (especially mental ...


10

According to the "Lonaphala Sutta: The Salt Crystal", the Buddha said: "Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. "There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes ...


10

You could choose to say the following: "Yes i know which direction the rabbit went. I do however choose not to share that information since it will probably lead to the killing of the animal and the creation of unwholesome kamma for you (hunter)". This way you are honest but choose not to give the information because you know what might happen. This way ...


10

Your bad Karma does not cause bad Karma for others. If another person gets a mindset to kill, it's not a result of your bad Karma. It's a result of his own aversion and volition. But your bad karma can place you at the wrong place at the wrong time. ex: A crocodile might attack anyone who gets into the water. Your bad karma can place you at the river when ...


10

Lower is not meant as a moral judgement nor a pejorative in this case. It is meant simply as a statement of the more dire predicament most animals are in compared to most humans. There certainly exist individual dogs, cats, horses, pigs, donkeys, monkeys, deer, sheep, cows, chickens, fish, birds, reptiles that are more compassionate and exhibit virtues ...


9

In Mahayana Buddhism one takes a Bodhisattva Vow which in essence means that one practises in order to liberate all the sentient beings as their well-being is more important than one's own. Thus, if asked for help, those who took the vow will try to offer some sort of help. I took the vow and renew it at least once a year. When people ask me for prayers, I ...


9

First of all, the passage you mention (AN 5.177): "Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison. "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in." http://www....


9

No, evolution does not do that. But this is a hard question to answer succinctly, because of the layers of concepts involved. I'll have a try. First, consider one of the core notions in Buddhism: that our normal view of reality suffers from three illusory aspects. We don't normally see that the thing we usually call "real" -- tables, chairs, electrons, our ...


9

Sorry, no links to texts, just my personal experience/ingisht: Is masturbation wrong? It's not exactly wrong, rather it is a symptom of an underlying issue. The issue is probably deep craving for positive emotion, for love, for acceptance, for appreciation. This deep craving could be a result of child trauma. This trauma may affect other areas of your life,...


9

Being cheated on in return should be the last thing to worry about according to the SN suttas. In SN 3.9, Ven. Bodhi's note provided the background story to the huge animal sacrifice set up for king Pasenadi of Kosala: ..In brief: The king had become infatuated with a married woman and planned to have her husband killed so that he could take his wife. One ...


9

The failure of your marriage could be due to a past bad Kamma you have done. But it is also a result of you giving the chance for that past bad kamma to come into fruition. There are 4 factors affecting the results of past Kamma. Payoga Sampatti is one of them. It means skillfulness, diligence and intelligence. You can use this to avoid the results of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible