Saturday, July 19, 2014

Karma and Causation

From Chapter 31 of Each Moment is the Universe by Dainin Katagiri

“A being is an event in time and space.  All beings interconnect with each other in emptiness.  Then, according to causes and conditions, something happens and many elements come together to form a being.  In terms of origination, samskara becomes bhava.  That is interdependent co-origination, or pratitya-samutpada.  In Sanskrit, pratitya means “dependently”, sam means “together”, and utpada is “to originate or occur”.  So it means “originating dependent on conditions”.  In terms of destruction, bhava becomes samskara.  All sentient beings return to emptiness and are interconnected in peace and harmony.  Then all sentient beings become the next moment of existence and there is change.

“From moment to moment your individual life is constantly created anew.  So don’t accept the idea that there is a certain unchangeable life pattern controlled by something or someone.  Buddhism teaches how your life is going through the past, present, and future.  Watch your life carefully.  In daily living your past life comes up like a jack-in-the-box.  Pop!  You don’t feel good, but this is okay.  You still have the freedom to make a choice of how to manifest your life now.  Then your actions in the present create causes and conditions for your life in the future.

“Strictly speaking, karma is at the basis of human life.  But it is not inside life; it is not outside life.  No matter how long your try to peel the skin, take out the bones, and peek into the marrow, you cannot find something called karma.  You cannot find anything at all.

“So how can you know karma?  We don’t know how to know karma, but karma is closely related to the human world through your body and mind.  That is the whole body and mind, connected with consciousness, name and form, six sense consciousnesses, contact, feeling, craving, grasping, and being.  Through your human body and mind you can know what karma is, what the basis of human existence is.  That means stand up in your life, calm your body and mind, and just be present right now, right here.  Do zazen, and then you can understand.  There is really no other better way, because karma is not something you can fully understand intellectually.

“Karma is nothing but energy, the mainspring of creating vitality.  If you see this original nature of karma, if you really understand this, that is called freedom.  Freedom means that in the next moment you can manifest your life in a new way.”