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Lions Roar : May 2006
Beings evolve through karma, take birth because of karma, enjoy and (function) through karma. — KARMAVIBHANGA SUTRA B UDDHISM TEACHES that in our true nature, we are enlightened—totally open, peaceful, joyful, compassionate, and omniscient. The Buddha proclaimed: Profound, peaceful, and free from concepts, Luminous and uncompounded— A nectar-like nature—that I have realized! This aspect of our mind is “the true nature of the mind.” When we become aware of and perfect it, we become blossoming buddhas. We’re all attracted to these highest views. But some students of Buddhism just want to meditate on the nature of the mind, emptiness-wisdom, free from concepts, without opening their hearts to the merit-making practices that are indispensable to liberation. They regard important practices like praying and generating devotion as “theistic” and “dualistic.” Rebirth and karma are the Buddhist beliefs that Westerners find hardest to accept. Yet are they really so foreign to us? If we look at our own experience, we find that thoughts, emotions, and self-images are continually arising, ending, and being reborn. We see that the seeds we plant in our consciousness in one moment will determine what we experience in the next. This is also what we experience as we go from lifetime to lifetime. Therefore, says TULKU THONDUP RINPOCHE, we should be concerned above all else with creating positive karma to lay the ground for our future enlightenment. The Power of Positive Karma SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2006 61