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The True Reason Behind All Things in Life

Vipassana Meditation Master

Acharavadee Wongsakon

Of all the topics discussed in the inner circle of Vipassana practice, nothing can strike us morethan Karma since we all have experienced it by ourselves. When my students recalled their past Karma, they felt miserable. So, I would like to remind you not to underestimate Karma and to let go of emotional attachments, cooked feelings, and resentment.

The reason that we don’t know why certain things happened to us is because we’ve been reborn for immeasurable lifetimes. In about 70% of each life, we committed sins and hurt others, with only few chances of doing good deeds. As we’ve accumulated more and more sins, karmic consequence finally takes effect, bringing about several unfortunate incidents ranging from being cheated, having an illness, or making no progress in meditation practice.

Many students were soldiers in their past lives. One realized that he was a soldier with no mercy at all;having the prisoners of war burned alive. Every killing means destroying; destroying lives, destroying property, and destroying opportunities of others. Even though it was done out of good intention to protect the nation and religious faith, how can they avoid the karmic result with such a severe destruction? We must be fair to Karma and understand its consequence, so that we will stop treating others badly

One student has lost his vision in one eye and needed a surgery. However, he had to wait for an eye donation. The waiting period was really painful. But he could recall that in one past life, he was a hunter and shot a deer’s eye with an arrow, So, this was his own karmic fruit.

How many people in the world would have to go through an eye replacement surgery? Medically, it could be caused by a disease. But actually, everything happens for a reason. And that reason was Karma.

Another meditation student of mine became paralyzed with no justified cause of illness. It was Karma that brought him to be bedridden, becoming a burden to others. He barely had a chance to practice meditation, or even get up and walk. But due to the power of good deeds that he had done in helping with work related to Buddhism which was his religion, he eventually recovered.

Also, there was a monk who should have progressed in his practice a long time ago. In one past life, he saw a PratyekaBuddha (an independent Buddha who attains Enlightenment through his own efforts, without teaching others) in ragged clothes, and insulted that Pratyeka-Buddha by saying, “Is this really the one who’s attained enlightenment?”

Any incidents that have seemed to happen without reasons, particularly ones which, despite our full efforts to prevent or avoid them such as cheating, disappointment, poverty, wayward children, a spouse turning to an enemy, they are brought on by Karma.

If we don’t let go, but stay strongly attached to those emotions, refusing to understand the Law of Cause and Effect, we’re actively binding ourselves to such Karma.

What I mean by letting go isn’t about doing nothing. You just continue doing good deeds with faith. You have to accept that when you came to this world, you carry nothing with you. But life itself is an opportunity. Even though your life may not be perfect, with all those mistreatments and losses, you need to accept that it is the result of your own Karma. Don’t feel slighted. Don’t create new Karma. Otherwise, you may fall off the boat of life journey that could have otherwise brought you to the shore of Nirvana. After putting in so much effort, don’t let any small issues in this delusional world turn you away from the path to end all suffering.

There is no way to escape Karma as it is our own doing; we’ve hurt others, not to mention what we did in previous lives and no longer remember. So, when Karma strikes back, why can’t we accept it?

Karma makes us miserable. If we understand its nature and accept it, we will be able to move forward on the path of goodness. There is no need to deny your feelings and emotions; humans must have feelings, either sad or happy, just learn to let go of them. When good Karma yields its fruit, you will successfully reach the shore and can also support others.

This has proven true particularly in our Dhamma practice in which we also work on the protection of Buddhism. Many meditation students could get through karmic retribution because of their merit from the work as it requires a lot of courage and bravery in dealing with criticisms and insults from opponents.

On the path to be free from Karma, you’ve already made uncountable merits along the way. So, don’t give up, but do understand the way of Karma.

You need to let go of strong emotional attachments that are the causes of all sufferings. With understanding and letting go of them, your merit will be able to fully support you. At the same time, don’t create new Karma or conflict that brings anger and bitterness to others. Let go and forgive everyone, forgive your enemy, forgive those who make you feel miserable and wish them well. Wish them not to do a bad deed but find Dhamma as you did. Make a wish that the merit of your practice will support yourself as well as others since all beings are born out of their Karma, heirs of their Karma, related to their Karma, and supported by their Karma.

To reach enlightenment, you have to let go of strong emotional attachments and all karmic knots by accepting them and move on. Forgiving is the only way to clear the karmic code embedded in your subconscious, and your mind will be free. Whatever follows is a test; it’s for you to repay what you have received with gratitude. After that, you will be able to truly move forward until you reach the destination called Nirvana.

Every action leads to an outcome. May you all be among those who understand Karma, overcome every crisis with a firm mind, and make progress in Dhamma.

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