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In this world hate never yet dispelled hate.Only LOVE dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.
Buddha - Dhammapada.

Better than a thousand hollow words Is one word that brings peace. Better than a thousand hollow verses Is one verse that brings peace.
Buddha - Dhammapada.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.
Buddha - Dhammapada.

Speak or act with an impure mind And trouble will follow you. Speak or act with an pure mind And happiness will follow you As your shadow, unshakable.
Buddha - Dhammapada.

There should be no distinction between enemy or friend. All people have a Buddha Nature inside and should be respected. Buddha - Dhammapada.

There is no fire like passion,
no crime like hatred, no sorrow like separation, no sickness like hunger, and no joy like the joy of freedom.
Buddha - Dhammapada.

The word "buddha" means "one who is awake" or "enlightened one". There are MANY buddhas living and deceased, these are people who are full of God's Grace and Wisdom. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II could be thought of as "buddhas" enlightened people who are very wise in the ways of God. When people say, "The Buddha" they usually mean Shakyamuni Buddha who lived 2500 years ago, who founded Buddhism. Depending on the context, if they say "The Eternal Buddha" it usually means God or that Ethereal Being Who is Wisest of all.

Because no one has ever seen God, or knows what He looks like, Buddhists through the ages have created statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, not to worship the metal or stone statues (as in idol worship) but they made statues like we make photographs, to remember those things the person of Shakyamuni Buddha taught them. It is to bring to mind the Essence of The Eternal, the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, not to worship the statue.


Karma, what it is and how to not suffer negative karma

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - The Buddha

What is Karma? Many Christians, Muslims, and Jews do not "believe" in karma...but karma is merely the return of what our deeds/words/actions bring us. Another word for positive karma is blessings, and negative karma is SIN. If you go to temple, church, mosque, etc, every day, but outside of there do nothing to spread harmony, love, or good will, how do you expect to receive good things/blessings yourself? You harvest what you plant. You get back love for love and hate for hate, and everything in between. People tend to think their actions have NO consequences, but they do, even if you don't see it right away. Cheat on your taxes, don't tell the truth, cut someone off on the road, ding someone's car and not tell them, all these have negative consequences, which come back to us in many forms and ways. People say, "why me?" "why did this happen to me?" Well, search your soul. Did you treat someone with spite? Did you not forgive someone who hurt you? Did you steal/cheat a store or on your taxes? Did you not follow the laws of the land, such as driving laws, property laws, etc? All these create the negative "reaping" (or karma) that comes back to us in the form of sufferings. Our children get sick, or die. Our loved ones leave us. Our homes fall apart. All these are ways that negative karma comes back to us. This is why it is SO important to FORGIVE everyone who hurts us. Because even NOT FORGIVING creates negative karma for our lives. If you can't forgive, how will you be forgiven for what you do? If you can't find it in your heart to forgive those who hurt you, at least PRAY FOR THEM, for their happiness...that is forgiveness and love. And if you cheat on a loved one, or leave them in a very harsh way, that karma is bigger than you can ever imagine. Hurting someone's heart is a vile offense to Eternal Buddha/God, and must be repaid, or rectified. Being repentant and sorry for our misdeeds is a start, and praying for all those we've hurt is another way of rectifying things. If possible, apologize to the person you hurt, if that is not possible, do whatever you can to make up for the pain you have caused them (and their families), otherwise the pain that comes back to you will be immense suffering.

We are indeed in the end times as different religions have prophesied. One aspect of these end times is that of a “Spiritual Awakening” by all of humanity, which God (Eternal Buddha) is outpouring His Divine Wisdom and Grace upon the Earth in a continually growing stream. This spiritual awareness has been granted to people of all religions and faiths. In this discussion of Karma, I would like to quote the Dalai Lama from the book, "The Art of Happiness":

"How can we deal with the feeling of unfairness that so often seems to torture us when problems arise?" The Dalai Lama replied, "there may be a variety of ways that one might deal with the feeling that one's suffering is unfair. I've already spoken of the importance of accepting suffering as a natural fact of human existence. And I think that in some ways Tibetans might be in a better position to accept the reality of these difficult situation, because they will say, 'Maybe it is because of my Karma in the past.' They will attribute it to negative actions committed in either this or a previous life, and so there is a greater degree of acceptance.

...there is a tendency to blame everything on Karma and try to exonerate oneself from the responsibility or from the need to take personal initiative. One could quite easily say, 'This is due to my past Karma, my negative past Karma, and what can I do? I am helpless' this is a totally wrong understanding of Karma, because although one's experiences are a consequence of one's past deeds, that does not mean that the individual has no choice or that there is no room for initiative to change, to bring about positive change.

Negative karma (or sin) effects EVERYONE, even Christians who believe that Christ took every sin to the Cross with Him. Yes, Jesus did die for our sins, thus cleansing us of our sins, but we need to live pure lives, full of forgiveness and love, in order to live the life that God wants for us all. God's plan, His Way for us, if we truly lived it, will create for us, nothing but blessings (good karma), peace and harmony in this world. Unfortunately, many people use Scripture as a means to spread division, hatred, and bigotry. It is wrong to impose our own selfish interpretation of our Sacred Scripture onto other people. People of MANY faiths sometimes take their Sacred Scripture and use it to accomplish their own agenda, imposing their own rules to the rest of the world. Living this way, imposing our views on others, will only create more negative karma for ourselves and those we love. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes, by being loving and understanding. Love attracts more people to your faith, than any other method. Living in the way Jesus described by "loving EVERYONE" will only create good karma (or blessings) for ourselves and our families. Jesus gave us the "new" commandment.."love one another as I have loved you." He did NOT say, "love only those who believe in Me" or "love only those you approve of." No. He said, "love one another" with no qualifiers! If we truly lived this way, the world would be peace-filled and harmonious, not strife with wars, division, suffering etc.

Karma is defined by the Buddha as: 'I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born from my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my judge. Whatever I do - for good or for evil - that I will inherit...'

The Sanskrit word Karma literally means "action". In Buddhism, karma mainly refers to one's intention or motivation while doing an action. Similarly, as it says in The Bible, Proverbs 16:2 "You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives." The shortest explanation of karma that I know is: 'you get what you give'. In other words; whatever you do intentionally to others, similar things will happen to you in the future. Our largest obstacle to understanding or even believing in karma may be time. The results of our actions show up with a time delay, and it becomes extremely hard to tell which action caused which result. Whether you believe in karma or not, I believe that everyone, regardless of faith, knows that there is such a thing as "Divine Justice". What is justice if not equality for all people, and an exact return of what is done by us, a return of what is done to us. So, even if you do not "believe" in karma, as long as you try to avoid negative actions, the world would be a better place to live, would it not?

The Buddha said: "Do not think a small sin will not return in your future. Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container, the little sins that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you. Do not think a small virtue will not return in your future. Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container, the little virtues that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you."

So in other words, even slight negative actions accumulate, as well as slight positive actions accumulate, to come into fulfillment in our lifetime. The bad news is that karma can accumulate through entire families, effecting not just ourselves, but our loved ones and children. Within the Torah and Bible there are many passages about "the sins of the father" (see Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, Jeremiah 31:29) which can be summed up with this simple statement: "Sin is in the world; consequences of sin affected many generations." (see web page 4th paragraph down).

If you think that negative karma (or sin) refers ONLY to actual positive or negative ACTIONS, it does not...it mostly refers to YOUR INTENT OR MOTIVE. For example, even if you do the smallest daily action or deed with GREAT LOVE in your heart (altruistic love...which is serving others not yourself or your own agenda), you can change your life from one of constantly creating negative karma to constantly creating good karma. But this creating negative or positive karma also goes into forgiving the bad that others do to us! Jesus said to always forgive those who do wrong to you, to "pray for those who persecute you." He really meant that. He knew that if we all did that, this world would be filled with grace and peace and harmony. If you don't forgive what other people do to you, how can you expect to be forgiven for the hurt you do to others? Forgiveness is NOT AN OPTION, it is a NECESSITY in order to NOT create negative karma for ourselves and those we love. Forgiveness means, letting go of the anger and vengeful feelings that we have attached to the pain done to us. It means putting yourself in the other persons shoes and saying, "if this person KNEW what they did to me (meaning if they were enlightened spiritually about it), they would NOT do it. Thus I will forgive them because we are all human, and I have or could do the same thing to others"!

So how do you get rid of negative karma? BY LIVING LOVE. Altruistic love that is. Live your life in service of others, for others without any expectation of repayment, forgive any hurts against you no matter how difficult, pray for the consolation of our dead relatives and friends, and love everyone with no distinction between friend or foe. This is the way to bring about true, lasting joy and happiness and good karma/virtue to ourselves, our loved ones, and the world. In your service to others though, remember, you are human and you need rest and spiritual feeding...through prayer and meditation. No one can continually serve others without prayer and meditation daily. It is simply impossible. We need that spiritual nurishment, in order to give of ourselves in service lovingly, without anger or reluctance. Doing service with anger or reluctance, only creates more negative karma, it does not create the harmony that God intended for this world to live in. So, it is VITAL for each of us to set aside TIME to PRAY AND MEDITATE...to allow our souls to be fed and recharged.

Any act or deed can be transformed into positive karma/virtue by simply doing it with love in your heart and serving others, not yourself (or your ego/reputation). Especially beneficial are good acts which no one sees except ourselves and God. Praying for the dead is one of the most important positive karmic things we can do. Not only does it bring consolation to the souls in the spiritual world, but it comes back to us as good karma or blessings. Those dead souls we pray for, then pray for us, bringing us much needed Grace and blessings. If you think, "how could praying for my dead aunt help me now?" then think of this...we are the only ones who can help the dead the most. Without our prayers the dead go without consolation for a long time until someone prays for them. So, as you pray for the dead, you give them consolation, which also brings us much blessings, because as these souls elevate to heaven, they in turn pray for us, bringing us much blessings and joy and help in our lives. It is truly the ultimate win-win situation! If you would like to read more about this subject click here to read a text version of a small book called "Read Me or Rue it" by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan. It explains much about the sufferings of deceased souls.

So, how do you bring yourself good karma/virtue(and peace to the world)...

  1. PRAY AND MEDITATE daily for at least an hour to allow your soul to be fed so that you CAN go and do good deeds.
  2. Live life in LOVE, altruistic love, forgiving those who hurt you, having HARMONY with ALL those around you, especially those closest to you like your family, friends, co-workers and those you interact with. If you cannot live in harmony with your family, how will you ever create harmony in the world?
  3. Pray for deceased souls every day (ones you know and also the ones you don't know), pray even for the souls in Hell, for God's Mercy is UNFATHOMABLE...we humans cannot fathom the extent of God's Mercy, we can only pray for others to receive it, and they will.
  4. Do all your daily actions with love in your heart for the sake of others not for your own desires or benefit, offering up especially those actions which you dislike doing but are necessary, such sacrifices bring much good.
  5. Offer up daily, all your accumulated merit for the benefit of others.
  6. Show others how to live, not by words but by your life's actions.
  7. Honor and worship God in whatever form you know Him to be...Great Mystery, Great Spirit, God the Father, Wankan Tanka, Buddha, Yaweh, Allah, etc.

I have had a lifetime of what others called "bad luck." But if you believe that the Spiritual is present in the physical world, then there is no such thing as bad luck...there is only bad karma (sin) or good karma (blessings). Pray, pray, pray and live a life altruistically...this will bring blessings and joy to you, your family and ultimately the whole world.

Sr. Frances, of the Sisters of Embracement Here is a link to a special letter about praying for the dead, especially praying for those souls in Hell.