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Karma and what is happening in Washington

FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2021 - 12:00am

What is happening in the US today can be aptly explained by the law of karma which comes from Eastern culture. There are equivalents in Western culture, especially in religion. But the word karma has stuck as a way to describe happenings in our world.

There is such a thing as the law of karma: “The law of karma is a special instance of the law of cause and effect, according to which all our actions of body, speech and mind are causes and all our experiences are their effects.”

Who would ever think it is happening in the Capitol of Washington DC, which often decided what should happen to other countries, especially weaker ones which were at the mercy of the then only super power of the world.

To many, karma is not always bad. To understand the law of karma reminds us to improve the quality of our lives. It teaches us to avoid actions that lead to suffering, both for ourselves and others. By doing so we can achieve greater happiness, both now and in the future.

In his book, “How to Transform Your Life,” Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains how to meditate on the law of karma and how to bring this wisdom into our modern, daily lives.

In the book, the modern-day meditation master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, uses the analogy of sowing seeds in a field to explain what karma means and how it functions:

“Karma means actions: the actions of our body, speech and mind. This subject is very meaningful…

“Every action we perform leaves an imprint, or potentiality, on our very subtle mind, and each imprint eventually gives rise to its own effect. Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like sowing seeds in that field. Virtuous actions sow seeds of future happiness and non-virtuous actions sow seeds of future suffering.

“These seeds remain dormant in our mind until the conditions for them to ripen occur, and then they produce their effect. In some cases, this can happen many lifetimes after the original action was performed.”

Karma is often referred to as a “law” in much the same way in which we refer to gravity as a “law.” As Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains:

“That is why the law of karma is a special instance of the law of cause and effect, according to which all our actions of body, speech and mind are causes and all our experiences are their effects. The law of karma explains why each individual has a unique mental disposition, a unique physical appearance and unique experiences. These are the various effects of the countless actions that each individual has performed in the past.

“Karma helps us to accept in a positive way any physical or mental difficulties we may be experiencing. For example, if we have a difficult relationship at work or with our partner, or we find it difficult to fulfil our needs and desires. These difficulties are often very painful and unless we have a correct way to fully understand why these happen,  they can cause us to become depressed or angry and resentful, which will cause even more problems both for ourselves and for others.

“Instead of living in constant conflict with everyone and everything around us, understanding karma will help us to develop the wisdom to change our situation in a positive way and to generate the inner strength to accept positively the things we cannot change, and this will enable us to enjoy a more peaceful and happier life.”

That is why we should understand karma to enable us to live in harmony with the people and conditions that we encounter in daily life.

Through recognizing that the main causes of our experiences are our own previous actions of body, speech and mind, motivated by delusions, we can learn to accept our experiences, both good and bad.

We also recognize that our actions determine our future experiences and encourages us to live a positive way of life, acting now in a way that brings greater happiness to others. If, on the other hand, we do not accept karma, or fail to live in accordance with a positive understanding of it, we will have to experience again and again the unwanted effects of our nature.

Miscellany: Here is a good example of karma between nations.

During the recent typhoons, we saw China enterprises partner with Filipino community organizations their volunteers under BayaNihao to deliver more than P1.5 million in relief goods to thousands of families in Marikina and Rizal, in addition to the assistance other Chinese-Filipino groups donated nationwide, including to Isabela and Cagayan, Bicol and Mindanao.

Chinese companies donated over a billion pesos worth of medical supplies during the pandemic and continued to employ their over 30,000 Filipino workers. Several of the China-assisted projects have resumed, providing not only much needed local jobs but economic push for recovery. China donated two bridges – Estrella-Pantaleon is over 72 percent complete and Binondo-Intramuros is over 45 percent complete.

In the latest China International Import Expo (CIIE), our Filipino exporters bagged over $460 million in sales! Through the efforts of our Filipino trade attachés in China led by Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana and their counterparts, the Philippines is now the first Asian country to export avocados to China.

To learn more about how Filipinos can link up to and capitalize on the largest economic engine in the world, a Webinar titled #ProgressPH PH-CH Economic Relations Quo Vadis is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 with main speaker Bank of China (Manila) head Deng Jun who led the successful Php-Rmb Trading Facility that enables our Filipino companies to trade directly in Rmb without going through the dollar, which generates additional savings for Filipino producers and consumers; Dept. of Finance and Harvard Law graduate Mark Joven; Phl industry leader and Wharton-educated economic analyst George Siy of Manila-based think tank IDSI, among other experts. RSVP bit.ly/2021phch or call 0927-969-8849.

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