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Karma The Unseen Offspring of Our Actions


Yesterday, I found myself engaged in an insightful dialogue with a protégé of mine. As mentors often do, we were navigating the twists and turns of life experiences, sharing insights, perspectives, and, quite often, laughter. During our conversation, my protégé jokingly said, "Kinda glad I haven't had kids yet."


I instinctively responded, "Not true!" The surprised expression that greeted my assertion only added weight to my next words. I wanted my protégé to understand a deeper and frequently overlooked Reality. Our actions are the children we give birth to and release into the world, moment to moment, taking on a life of their own. Such is the nature of karma.


We are all parents. But the offspring we create are not always flesh and blood. Instead, our every action, our every decision, gestates within the womb of existence and gives birth to consequences that we may not immediately notice, perceive or understand. These results, these 'children' of ours, carry our essence and influence into the world, taking on lives of their own, shaping and reshaping the world in their image.


When I was early in my Zen training, there was a calligraphy just across from the dining room at Dai Bosatsu Monastery. It read, "Speak only if you can improve upon the silence." How does this relate to Karma? You'll decide in your own way.


This is the root of Karma. It's not merely some abstract and esoteric principle of cause and effect; it's a non-negotiable force we create due to our actions. May we not be careless and underestimate our influence. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker... "with great power comes great responsibility." In the story of "Spider-man," how is it that the charter Uncle Ben ended up dying? Oftentimes such stories parallel Reality.


一May Your Life Go Well


Calligraphy note:

業, pronounced "Gyō" in Japanese, means karma or cause and effect... action... or doing... not just about our physical actions, but also our thoughts, words, and intentions.

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