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Showing posts from April, 2010

Karma

"We are the heirs of our own actions." ~ The Buddha

In Sanskrit, karma means action. We create karma through thoughts, words, actions that we execute ourselves, as well as actions others do via our instruction. Moreover, it is through our karma that we perpetuate samsara, the cycle of cause and effect; past and future; and birth, death and rebirth.

In essence, the laws of karma are not meant to punish. Rather, they are simply the manner in which all things are set right and returned to balance. Most frequently, we generate negative karma though our desires and longings. We also create negative karma because of ignorance. Often, we simply do not know any better. Even with our best intentions, negative karma can be set into motion when others are harmed by our actions.

As long as we see ourselves as the victim of old, accumulated karma, samsara continues. On the other hand, through right and thoughtful action, we can mitigate the effects of past karma. First and foremost, we m…

The Purification of Our Spiritual Awareness

Clear water flows forth,
From sky to ground, it runs free
To meet the great sea.

One of my earliest childhood memories is collecting rocks. I remember digging in the backyard with my small garden shovel and finding tiny pieces of quartz. I would carefully wash their surface in a bucket of water, rub away the dirt and sediment, and dry them until they glowed. My favorite pieces were ivory white with a soft amber cast. They were my lucky stones, and I used to fill my pockets with them and carry them around. In my hands they felt smooth and round, polished by eons of time.

When I was a little older, I used to explore along a small creek. One bank was grassy and lined with trees, but the other side was a sheer wall of rock. It was a treasure spot for fossils. Mostly I found imprints of shells, but occasionally I found the remnants of a fern or an insect. When I held these simple pieces in my palm, they felt warm and alive. Hidden deep within each of their molecules contained the story of…

Devotion

Standing before the spirit of the rock, the carver takes his place. The master caretaker of his craft, he selects a line to trace. To shape a block of marble, crystalline, cream and gray, his solid chisel charts the contoured lines with grace. Any slip or mishap might cause the rock to break. So, he travels well beyond the worn path he planned and enters deep within his soul where he calls forth, "Courage." Now, an extraordinary vision flows forth and rushes through his humble hands.

The precious stone itself compels the carver offer all to this molten limestone, tumbled and cooled, by the rivers of time. His hammer beats in a steady pulse; his gaze remains ever calm for the silent mystery is waiting, devoid of reason, end or rhyme. The ebb and flow of sunlight pours through an open door, and as he chisels, tiny chips of stone begin to vanish from view. His self-expression is his sole intention, nothing more… and if that lacks perfection, it is your sight that is askew.

His …