The Three Poisons of
greed, hatred and delusion
are also the roots of all evil
as they cause all suffering.
Before you habitually think again, that the all unpleasant stuff in your life (e.g. inadequate parents, superficial friends, exploitative colleagues, poor transport systems, unfair governance, climate crisis’ extreme weather conditions…) is due to the faults of others, think again… There are karmic causes for every effect of suffering experienced. The quality of your experiences depends on two factors – the ripening of past created karma, combined with your presently created karma, which is your attitude to what is happening. It is thus karmically impossible to suffer if you did not create the corresponding karma before and now. As an extreme example, a hell-being will not have a specific form of suffering for even an instant if there was no relevant negative karma.
This means the quality of your life reflects the quality of your karma, which is entirely of your own making. Just as you experience what you deserve, you do not experience what you do not deserve. Lest this is mistaken to be self-defeating, it is the opposite – this is truly self-empowering. This is so as it reminds you to stop shifting responsibility, to remember you have always been, and will always be the pivotal point of change here and now. Unhappiest are those always pointing fingers beyond themselves to blame others, while the happiest realised its pointlessness, focusing on sending ripples of change through their personal thought, word and deed instead. In fact, this is the core principle of how Buddhas create their Pure Lands, to shape ideal worlds.
Just as not all world systems are Pure Lands yet, such as yours, which is a Defiled Land, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas strive on to spread their spheres of influence to inspire you to purify your environment via purifying yourself. Just as students understudy successful organisations to learn about their founding methodologies and management techniques, you too can practise mindfulness of Buddha (e.g. Amituofo; Amitabha Buddha), to reach his Pure Land, to learn how to most swiftly purify yourself completely, and create another Pure Land to benefit more beings. The ridiculous alternative is to sulk and sigh that you are living a terrible life in a horrible world, while learning and doing absolutely nothing to better yourself and your immediate circles.
You might misattribute all your suffering to ‘mysterious past karma’, as if it was created by someone else, forgetting ‘that person’ is of one continuum causally linked to you now. Even though some unpleasant experiences manifest from past lives’ negative karma, the crucial factor determining whether you suffer from them is the present attitude. The truly self-defeating would resign to so-called ‘fate’, while ironically lamenting pointlessly. For example, one might grumble of ill health ‘from’ past bad karma, while refusing to eat healthier. Such poor health is from wilful delusion now, nothing to do with any past life at all – unless it is a bad habitual tendency carried over!
Since your attitude creates fresh karma now, the question to ask is ‘Where do you want to go from here?’ Will you take the Buddhas’ virtues as perfect examples to emulate, or just complain on how ‘all’ around you are so ‘un-Buddha-like’? To deserve experience of a Buddha’s presence requires much positive karma! To be distant in space and time (in this Dharma-Ending Age) from any Buddha is thus due to negative karma; never by ‘chance’. You also lack meritorious virtues and wisdom to revive the Right Dharma Age fully now. Thus, you are the culprit for why you are surrounded by the less enlightened. Cling to your deluded attitude and your life will never improve. It is not that others around you are faultless, as they might have similar faults too!
The Three Antidotes of
generosity, compassion and wisdom
are also the roots of all good
as they cease all suffering.
The First Step To Improve & Perfect Your Life
We Are Still Buddhas, Not Yet Buddhas!