Karma is the law in Buddhism that whatever one; does, says or thinks is Karma. It plants seeds within the spirit and mind the bring about fruits,
these fruits are results of those actions that occur either later in life or in a separate rebirth. They are the results of an unenlightened soul, one
that has not yet reached Nirvana (pure enlightenment). Karma is the law which drives rebirths, until Karma is ended via Nirvana the cycle of re-birth
will continue to occur.
Rebirth occurs after a death of a past life, your future life will not be entirely different or entirely the same as it is merely a continuation of
the stream of life. These rebirths bring us into 3 types of lives; animal, human and supernatural. Rebirth is generated by the Karma brought about
during our past lives; good Karma in a previous life will bring about a good new life, bad Karma will bring about a bad new life. Rebirth is caused by
consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is removed, rebirth ceases.
Samsara is continuous, not knowing its’ beginning point just as we don’t know the beginning of a circle. Samsara is the cycle of death and
rebirth, continuous suffering and attachment. It is continuous life, one that will never end until your spirit reaches the point of Nirvana.
The Four Noble Truths
1. The Nature of Suffering:
"This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to
get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering."
2. Suffering’s Origin:
"This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust,
seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination."
3. Suffering’s Cessation:
"This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up
and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it."
4. The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering:
"This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention,
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration."
The Noble Eightfold Path
1. Right View
“Right view can also be translated as "right perspective", "right vision" or "right understanding". It is the right way of looking
at life, nature, and the world as they really are. It is to understand how reality works. It acts as the reasoning for someone to start practicing the
path. It explains the reasons for human existence, suffering, sickness, aging, death, the existence of greed, hatred, and delusion. It gives direction
and efficacy to the other seven path factors. Right view begins with concepts and propositional knowledge, but through the practice of right
concentration, it gradually becomes transmuted into wisdom, which can eradicate the fetters of the mind. Understanding of right view will inspire the
person to lead a virtuous life in line with right view.”
2. Right Intention
“Right intention can also be known as "right thought", "right resolve", "right conception" , "right aspiration" or "the exertion of
our own will to change". In this factor, the practitioner should constantly aspire to rid themselves of whatever qualities they know to be wrong and
immoral. Correct understanding of right view will help the practitioner to discern the differences between right intention and wrong intention.”
3. Right Speech
“The Abhaya Sutta elaborates:
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing and disagreeable to
others, he does not say them.
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing and disagreeable to others, he does not say them.
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing and disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the
proper time for saying them.
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing and agreeable to others, he does not say them.
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing and agreeable to others, he does not say them.
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing and agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper
time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings.”
4. Right Action
“Right action also be translated as "right conduct". As such, the practitioner should train oneself to be morally upright in one's
activities, not acting in ways that would be corrupt or bring harm to oneself or to others.”
5. Right Livelihood
“Right livelihood. This means that practitioners ought not to engage in trades or occupations which, either directly or indirectly, result in
harm for other living beings.
The five types of businesses that are harmful to undertake are:
1. Business in weapons: trading in all kinds of weapons and instruments for killing.
2. Business in human beings: slave trading, prostitution, or the buying and selling of children or adults.
3. Business in meat: "meat" refers to the bodies of beings after they are killed. This includes breeding animals for slaughter.
4. Business in intoxicants: manufacturing or selling intoxicating drinks or addictive drugs.
5. Business in poison: producing or trading in any kind of toxic product designed to kill.”
6. Right Effort
“Right effort can also be translated as "right endeavor". In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all
the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds. The practitioner should instead be persisting in giving rise to what would be good and useful to
themselves and others in their thoughts, words, and deeds, without a thought for the difficulty or weariness involved.
The below four phases of right effort mean to:
1. Prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
2. Let go of the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
3. Bring up the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
4. Maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself. ”
7. Right Mindfulness
“Right mindfulness, also translated as "right memory", "right awareness" or "right attention". Here, practitioners should constantly keep
their minds alert to phenomena that affect the body and mind. They should be mindful and deliberate, making sure not to act or speak due to
inattention or forgetfulness.”
8. Right Concentration
“Right concentration, as its Pali and Sanskrit names indicate, is the practice of concentration (samadhi). As such, the practitioner
concentrates on an object of attention until reaching full concentration and a state of meditative absorption (jhana). Traditionally, the practice of
samadhi can be developed through mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati), through visual objects (kasina), and through repetition of phrases. Samadhi
is used to suppress the five hindrances in order to enter into jhana. Jhana is an instrument used for developing wisdom by cultivating insight and
using it to examine true nature of phenomena with direct cognition. This leads to cutting off the defilements, realizing the dhamma and, finally,
self-awakening. During the practice of right concentration, the practitioner will need to investigate and verify their right view. In the process
right knowledge will arise, followed by right liberation.”
CONTINUE ON NEXT POST
[edit on 7/11/2010 by Misoir]