Thursday, January 24, 2013

Via Scott Schuele: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People ?


One of the questions I get asked most is why do bad things happen to some very good people and why do some very bad people seem to have it so good? The answer is two sides of the same coin, karma. 
However, it is far from being simple in no small part to our attachment to dualistic thinking, meaning everything is black or white. Understanding the following three elements in itself explains much of why and how all situations happen.

Every situation, event and our everyday experiences are all caused and created by our karma, which has a continuum of four parts. Each part can be positive , neutral, negative , and or somewhat in between. These four parts determine the overall karma generated by any specific action: A.) What you were thinking before you committed an action, B.) The action itself, C.) What you were thinking while you committed the action. D.) What you were thinking after you committed the action. For example, you decide that you are going to give money to a charity. Your motivation is that by giving you are going to get special attention and praise. That is not generating very positive karma. You give the money, which does generate positive karma. While giving you are day dreaming about the praise you are going to get, again not very positive karma is a being generated. After you give the money and you don’t get the praise you expected, you become very angry which generates very negative karma. So when you examine all these components you might have been better off not giving anything at all. While this qualifies for a discussion all on it’s own every thought we think regardless of any action taken generates karma to a certain degree as well. The reason I am giving this discourse is to demonstrate just how difficult it is to try and pinpoint some action as being either just good or bad ; dualistic thinking. Great teachers like Shantideva said, “the way karma works is beyond comprehension, only the all knowing, (enlightened) knows.”

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Via Huffington: Common Misconceptions About Religion

Being misunderstood is no fun in any context but when it is about something so personally meaningful as religion or non-religion, it can be infuriating.

Check out some of the answers here and add your own below in the comments section.

1. Belief does not equal faith.
2. Atheists are not anti-religion.
3. All Christians are like not like ones you see on T.V.
4. Atheism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.
5. People who believe in God are not less intelligent.
6. Episcopalians are not all white, rich and privileged.
7. Non-theists are not evil.
8. The Buddha is not a diety.
9. Being Christian does not mean anti-science.
10. Lutherans are not all German.
11. Muslims are not terrorists.
12. The Pope is fallible.
13. All priests are not pedophiles.
14. Some Catholics are pro-choice.
15. Predestination is a thing of the past.
16. Buddhism isn’t a pessimistic philosophy.
17. Christianity is not about Christians. Christianity is about Jesus Christ.
18. Humanist is not the same as Atheist.
19. Catholics do not worship Mary and the Pope.
20. Christians are not perfect and they don’t have perfect lives.
21. Muslims are unimaginable diverse.
22. Baptists can be people who drink and dance.
23. You don’t have to be baptized in water to be saved.
24. Wiccans do not worship Satan.
25. People choose to do evil in ALL religious groups. Neopaganism does not have any more or less "evil" participants than any other belief system.
26. Islam does not oppress women.
27. Salvation is not about getting into Heaven.
28. All Jewish people are not rich.
29. All non-believers are not lost and angry.
30. Muslim women are not uneducated.
31. It’s the trinity Jehovah witnesses don’t believe in. Not Jesus.
32. Atheists can experience wonder.
33. Religious people are not better than anyone else.
34. Judaism is a religion of both law and love.
35. All Christians are not anti-gay.
36. Atheists are not "angry at God".
37. Allah is not different from God.
38. Unitarian Universalists do not believe anything they want. They have seven solid principles.
39. Not all Christians read the word of God literally as fact.
40. Not all Mormons are brain washed and believe the same thing.
41. People who don’t believe in any religion don’t lack morals.
42. There isn’t just one “true” Christianity.
43. Mormons are not polygamists.
44. Not all people who say they are following God actually are.
45. Neopagans are not Satanists.

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Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:

Daily Buddhist Wisdom

The mind is something more radiant than anything else can be, but because counterfeits--passing defilements--come and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured by clouds. Don't go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds. Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun.
- Ajaan Mun, "Heart Released"

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 24, 2013

The Possibility of Transformation

Only because of emptiness can things change and flow. Emptiness is not a vacuum, a black hole, but the possibility of endless transformations. There is no more grasping, or self-created barriers and limitations. The Buddha-nature can shine through and express itself fully.
- Martine Batchelor, “The Ten Oxherding Pictures”
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