Teachings: Karma, reality, and belief
We often talk about how we waste our lives following the eight worldly dharmas – attachment to temporal happiness, receiving material things, being praised, and having a good reputation – and aversion to their opposites – discomfort, not getting things, being criticized, and notoriety. Each time we get involved with those, we create negative karma.
For example, when somebody praises you, you feel happy and puff up with pride, and when somebody criticizes you, you feel unhappy and depressed. Each time you go up and down like this, you create karma.
Why do you feel elated when praised and dejected when criticized? It’s because you don’t accept the way things truly are. You’re controlled by your hallucinating mind, which is totally divorced from reality. Whether you’re good or bad isn’t determined by what other people think but by your own actions. These are your own responsibility. If all your actions are positive, even if I say “You’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad …” all day, it won’t affect your qualities. Therefore, you should understand what really makes an action positive or negative. It’s not defined by what other people think.
This is scientific fact, not religious dogma. If you go up and down because of what other people say, you’re hallucinating; you’re not seeing reality. You should have strong confidence in your own actions and take full responsibility for them. Then, even if all sentient beings turn against you, you’ll still be laughing. When you know what you are, you never get upset. If, on the other hand, your body and mind are weak, if you have no self-confidence and feel insecure, then of course you’re going to experience problems.
All your feelings, perceptions, discriminations, and the rest, especially those mental factors that bring negative reactions, arise from the hallucinating mind. Therefore, quite early in their training, I teach my students to meditate on the nature of feeling.
We always think that whatever we feel – physically or mentally – must be right. Similarly, we think that whatever we see is real; we really do believe in what we see. I’m not talking about spiritual belief in the supernatural; I’m saying that we believe in the concrete reality of what we see around us every day. Do you think that’s right or wrong? It’s wrong.
For example, say that you’re tremendously attracted to a particular object. At that time you have a certain fixed idea of what that object is. But you’re fantasizing; it’s a hallucinated fantasy. If you check your mind of attraction closely, you’ll see that its view is totally polluted and that what you perceive is a fantasy – neither the reality of the object nor that of the subject. A kind of cloud has appeared between your mind and the object, and that’s what you see. All delusions arise in that way …
Excerpted from a teaching by Lama Yeshe at Chenrezig Institute, Australia, June 28, 1976. Edited from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive by Dr. Nick Ribush. The entire lecture can be found at www.lamayeshe.comTags: karma, lama yeshe, lama yeshe wisdom archive (lywa)