Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

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Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Digity » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:39 am

Sometimes something is on my mind that's really bothering me. It's usually has something to do with the way someone acted, which I disapproved of. Often times when I tell other people what happened thye agree that the person was wrong and it was stupid, etc. In these cases I often start having a lot of bad thoughts about the person thinking that they're stupid idiots, etc, etc, etc. I don't want to have these thoughts...I want to be more peaceful, but I can't control it or at least I currently can't control it. I kind of let my mind spew a lot of venom, but I know in the back of my mind it's not right or inline with the Dhamma. Am I creating a lot of negative karma here? I wasn't sure, because it's not like I'm fully intended to be mean towards these people...these thoughts and urges just arise. My intention is to not be this way, but I don't feel like I can control what's arising in the moment. Any advice on how to deal with this more wisely?
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:00 am

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."
- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#part-5

Any negative mind state and thoughts creates kamma. But don't be so anxious that you create undue suffering for yourself. Is it serious bad kamma? Probably not. Shit happens and some people are idiots. Use it as incentive to try and change. Just try working on your mindfulness, step by step, slowly you'll find you'll get more control over your mind states and find that you don't want to be angry at someone, because it causes yourself pain. Then gradually you'll let go of such things, and start focussing on generating positive states of mind. Do you regularly practice metta also? If not that's another thing that might help.

Sorry that's probably not very helpful, I'm sure others will have better things to say.

metta
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Last edited by BlackBird on Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby pegembara » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:08 am

Digity wrote:Sometimes something is on my mind that's really bothering me. It's usually has something to do with the way someone acted, which I disapproved of. Often times when I tell other people what happened thye agree that the person was wrong and it was stupid, etc. In these cases I often start having a lot of bad thoughts about the person thinking that they're stupid idiots, etc, etc, etc. I don't want to have these thoughts...I want to be more peaceful, but I can't control it or at least I currently can't control it. I kind of let my mind spew a lot of venom, but I know in the back of my mind it's not right or inline with the Dhamma. Am I creating a lot of negative karma here? I wasn't sure, because it's not like I'm fully intended to be mean towards these people...these thoughts and urges just arise. My intention is to not be this way, but I don't feel like I can control what's arising in the moment. Any advice on how to deal with this more wisely?


Kamma is intention. You did not intend to have these bad thoughts but they came anyway. They arise due to causes and conditions. Being aware of their arising and ceasing is the practice. By being mindful of them and not taking them to be yours, you are not creating bad karma.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby ground » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:12 am

Digity wrote:Am I creating a lot of negative karma here?

No but you are cultivating a habit which creates tensions which may entail further unwanted effects.

Digity wrote:I wasn't sure, because it's not like I'm fully intended to be mean towards these people...these thoughts and urges just arise. My intention is to not be this way, but I don't feel like I can control what's arising in the moment. Any advice on how to deal with this more wisely?

All that can be affirmed are your own ideas. There is nothing beyond these that can be affirmed. :sage:
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:18 am

pegembara wrote:
Kamma is intention. You did not intend to have these bad thoughts but they came anyway. They arise due to causes and conditions. Being aware of their arising and ceasing is the practice. By being mindful of them and not taking them to be yours, you are not creating bad karma.


I don't believe you can have unintentional thoughts, unless you're mad or insane - All thoughts are intentional. Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure, else I wouldn't be committing so strongly.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:34 am

Among the ten unwholesome deeds (dasākusallakammapaṭhā), which can lead to rebirth in the lower realms, there are three that occur in the mind only, and do not yet manifest as speech or action.
  1. Covetousness (abhijjhā) is the longing to possess another’s property, spouse, or children. This evil kamma, though arising in the mind only, is strong enough to cause rebirth in the lower realms. If one strives further to attain the object of one’s desire then one will also have to steal or commit sexual misconduct. The evil effect is non-fulfilment of one’s wishes.
  2. Ill-will (byāpāda) is hatred, aversion, or prejudice. This kamma is also only mental. The evil effects are ugliness, many diseases, and a detestable nature.
  3. Wrong View (micchā-ditthi) is of many kinds, but in essence all wrong views deny the law of dependent origination (paticcasamuppāda), or cause and effect (kamma). The evil effects are base attachment, lack of wisdom, dullness, chronic diseases, and blameworthy ideas.
For anyone who is not a Non-returner, thoughts of lust or ill-will could arise on contact with a sense-object or thought. However, it takes further mental effort and intention to dwell on those thoughts and to fantasise about acting upon them. Whenever unwholesome thoughts arise, we should dispel them by wise reflection on the evil consequences of such thoughts, use bare attention to contemplate their three characteristics, or forcefully suppress them if necessary.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Aloka » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:51 am

.

For an excellent and non-superstitious talk about kamma, I highly recommend Ajahn Amaro's "Who's Pulling the Strings" given at Amaravati monastery on the 23rd September 2012 and found at the link (below the Q & A session with the same title)

http://www.amaravati.org/teachings/audio_compilation/2083



with kind wishes

Aloka :)
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby pegembara » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:53 am

BlackBird wrote:
pegembara wrote:
Kamma is intention. You did not intend to have these bad thoughts but they came anyway. They arise due to causes and conditions. Being aware of their arising and ceasing is the practice. By being mindful of them and not taking them to be yours, you are not creating bad karma.


I don't believe you can have unintentional thoughts, unless you're mad or insane - All thoughts are intentional. Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure, else I wouldn't be committing so strongly.



"Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.' But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.'

"Feeling is not self...

"Perception is not self...

"[Mental] fabrications are not self...

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:39 am

pegembara wrote:
BlackBird wrote:
pegembara wrote:
Kamma is intention. You did not intend to have these bad thoughts but they came anyway. They arise due to causes and conditions. Being aware of their arising and ceasing is the practice. By being mindful of them and not taking them to be yours, you are not creating bad karma.


I don't believe you can have unintentional thoughts, unless you're mad or insane - All thoughts are intentional. Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure, else I wouldn't be committing so strongly.



"Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.' But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.'

"Feeling is not self...

"Perception is not self...

"[Mental] fabrications are not self...

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


You're getting the wrong end of the stick here. The Buddha does not say: "Think what you like since your thoughts are not self" or that: "Some of your thoughts are intentional and some aren't because of anatta" - That is an erroneous conclusion.

He says that as long as one is a putthujana (a worldling) he produces kamma by action speech and thought. Until one realizes anatta, thus becoming an ariyan - Any thoughts, speech and action generate kamma of either a meritous, unmeritous or cessation-leading nature. Thoughts cannot come into existence without a cause, and the cause that generates them is intention.

Following your logic one could justify any villainy by reduction to anatta. One could justify going out and murdering someone by going: Oh, but it wasn't my hands that murdered the man, because they're inconstant and not to be regarded as mine, myself or who I am.

That's simply not the Buddha's teaching.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:58 am

Four Points to Bear in Mind (about Dependent Origination)

Absence of Striving
The third aspect of Dependent Origination is the absence of striving (avyāpāra). Ignorance causes mental formations without striving, and mental formations do not strive to create rebirth. Knowledge of this fact means insight into the absence of any agent or being (kāraka-puggala) who sees, hears, etc., and as such it frees us from ego-belief. However, as the Visuddhimagga says, the misinterpretation of this principle may turn one into a moral sceptic who accepts determinism and denies moral responsibility.

The non-volitional nature of phenomena is apparent to one who contemplates their ceaseless arising and dissolution, for one realises clearly that since they are conditioned, they do not act according to one’s wishes.

Unwholesome thoughts arise dependent on conditions. By undertaking and observing moral precepts, and by mental training in samatha and vipassanā, we can change the conditions.

Right Effort includes the effort to expel unwholesome mental states that have arisen, and to prevent the arising of unwholesome mental states that have not yet arisen.

It is wise to install a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher in your house before it catches fire, not after it has burned to the ground.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:57 am

Thank you for your input, Bhante' Pesala.

Regarding the following:
The Wrong View of Bhikkhu Sāti

This identification of the doer of kamma with the bearer of its fruit makes it possible for us to avoid the annihilation view. On the other hand, some people believe in the transmigration of a living being from one life to another. This mistaken view of eternalism was held by Bhikkhu Sāti in the time of the Buddha. The Jātakas led Bhikkhu Sāti to hold this view. The Buddha identified himself with the leading characters in these birth stories, so he reasoned thus: “The physical body of the bodhisatta disintegrated after his death and no part passed on to his final existence. It was only consciousness that survived death and formed the core of the bodhisatta’s personality in each of his existences. The same may be said of every other living being. Unlike the physical body, consciousness is not subject to disintegration. It passes on from one body to another and exists forever.” However, the Jātakas highlight only the continuity of the relationship concerning the doer of kamma and the bearer of its fruit. They do not imply the transfer of consciousness or any other attribute from one life to another. Everything passes away, but because of the causal connection, we have to assume that the hero of the Jātaka stories finally became Prince Siddhattha. After questioning Bhikkhu Sāti, the Buddha said that consciousness was conditioned, that it could not arise without its relevant cause.

The Buddha compared it to fire, which is designated according to its fuel. Fire that burns wood is called a wood-fire, that which burns grass is called a grass-fire, and so on. Likewise, consciousness is always conditioned by something and is named accordingly. Thus consciousness that arises from the eye and visual form is called visual-consciousness, that arising from the ear and sound is called auditory consciousness. In brief, consciousness is named according to the sense-base that produces it. When the cause of a fire changes, so does its designation. A grass-fire becomes a house-fire when it spreads to a house. In the same way, the identity of consciousness changes according to the sense-faculty on which it depends. With the same sense-object and the same sense-organ, too, it is a new consciousness that occurs at every moment in the mental process. Thus to realise the truth about mental processes is to be free from annihilationism, whereas a wrong view of it leads to eternalism.


In this respect, according to Buddha's teaching and explanation, we are each "effects" of not only the intentional actions of uncountable previous sentient beings, but also of their each and every thought? :reading:

Therefore all mental factors (thoughts, feelings, emotions, reactions, memories) when they arise produce consequences.

Do I have this right? My previous understanding was that only intentional actions produced kamma vipakha.
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby jackson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:04 pm

Digity wrote:Sometimes something is on my mind that's really bothering me. It's usually has something to do with the way someone acted, which I disapproved of. Often times when I tell other people what happened thye agree that the person was wrong and it was stupid, etc. In these cases I often start having a lot of bad thoughts about the person thinking that they're stupid idiots, etc, etc, etc. I don't want to have these thoughts...I want to be more peaceful, but I can't control it or at least I currently can't control it. I kind of let my mind spew a lot of venom, but I know in the back of my mind it's not right or inline with the Dhamma. Am I creating a lot of negative karma here? I wasn't sure, because it's not like I'm fully intended to be mean towards these people...these thoughts and urges just arise. My intention is to not be this way, but I don't feel like I can control what's arising in the moment. Any advice on how to deal with this more wisely?

Hi Digity,
If someone triggers anger my first response is :jedi: , then my next response is "Saddhu, saddhu, saddhu", for they are pointing directly to where I'm clinging. This opens up the possibility to look at what caused the anger and if it was a criticism see if what they said was true, or to try and understand the other person's perspective, or to see that the person is going to have to live with the results of their stupid actions, thus cultivating compassion. It also helps to remember that pretty much everyone's crazy, they're blinded by greed, hatred, and delusion in one way or another, some more so than others. I'm reminded of a quote from Ajahn Chah:
"You must have wisdom. don't discriminate. Would you get upset at a small tree in the forest for not being tall and straight like some of the others? This is silly. Don't judge other people. There are all varieties. No need to carry the burden of wishing to change them all. So, be patient. Practice morality. Live simply and be natural. Watch the mind. This is our practice. It will lead you to unselfishness. To peace."
http://www.buddhanet.net/bodhiny2.htm
Another thing is to practice metta patiently and don't expect instant results. Over time metta will erode hatred. Also remember people do change.
Anyway, I hope this is of use, and if not I apologize.
:anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby manas » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:50 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:...
The Buddha compared it to fire, which is designated according to its fuel. Fire that burns wood is called a wood-fire, that which burns grass is called a grass-fire, and so on. Likewise, consciousness is always conditioned by something and is named accordingly. Thus consciousness that arises from the eye and visual form is called visual-consciousness, that arising from the ear and sound is called auditory consciousness. In brief, consciousness is named according to the sense-base that produces it. When the cause of a fire changes, so does its designation. A grass-fire becomes a house-fire when it spreads to a house. In the same way, the identity of consciousness changes according to the sense-faculty on which it depends. With the same sense-object and the same sense-organ, too, it is a new consciousness that occurs at every moment in the mental process. Thus to realise the truth about mental processes is to be free from annihilationism, whereas a wrong view of it leads to eternalism.
...


Hi Ron,

I can understand that for eye consciousness to arise there must be present both the eye, and a visual form. But that is not the same as saying that the sense-base of the eye produces consciousness, is it?
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:41 am

manas wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:...
The Buddha compared it to fire, which is designated according to its fuel. Fire that burns wood is called a wood-fire, that which burns grass is called a grass-fire, and so on. Likewise, consciousness is always conditioned by something and is named accordingly. Thus consciousness that arises from the eye and visual form is called visual-consciousness, that arising from the ear and sound is called auditory consciousness. In brief, consciousness is named according to the sense-base that produces it. When the cause of a fire changes, so does its designation. A grass-fire becomes a house-fire when it spreads to a house. In the same way, the identity of consciousness changes according to the sense-faculty on which it depends. With the same sense-object and the same sense-organ, too, it is a new consciousness that occurs at every moment in the mental process. Thus to realise the truth about mental processes is to be free from annihilationism, whereas a wrong view of it leads to eternalism.
...


Hi Ron,

I can understand that for eye consciousness to arise there must be present both the eye, and a visual form. But that is not the same as saying that the sense-base of the eye produces consciousness, is it?


Greetings, Manas.

My understanding is that what is going on is the process of dependent origination as follows:

External form(s) ( the form in this case represented by reflected light)+ reception of emination by sense organ (e.g. eye) + Associated Consciousness (within the neuro-sensory organ) (e.g.eye/retina/retinal pathways/ visual centers of brain) + Mental Factors (Feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories) (within the brain) = >Contact=mental consciousness

correlates with portions of DO process:

Avijja-paccaya sankhara
With Ignorance as condition, there are Volitional Impulses.

Sankhara-paccaya viññanam
With Volitional Impulses as condition, Consciousness.

Viññana-paccaya namarupam
With Consciousness as condition, Body and Mind.

Namarupa-paccaya salayatanam
With Body and Mind as condition, the Six Sense Bases.

Salayatana-paccaya phasso
With the Six Sense Bases as condition, (sense) Contact.

Phassa-paccaya vedana
With Contact as condition, Feeling.


Vedana-paccaya tanha
With Feeling as condition, Craving.

Tanha-paccaya upadanam
With Craving as condition, Clinging.

Upadana-paccaya bhavo
With Clinging as condition, Becoming.

Bhava-paccaya jati
With Becoming as condition, Birth.

Jati-paccaya jaramaranam
With Birth as condition, Aging and Death,

Soka-parideva-dukkha-domanassupayasa sambhavan'ti
Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief and Despair.

Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti
Thus is the arising of this whole mass of suffering.


Bhikkhu Samahita seems to think that consciousness and mind are not produced by the brain itself, but is simply contained by the brain, relagating the brain to a mere container, like a beer bottle.

http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/What_is_Mind.htm

I think this simplistic. AIUI:What Buddha describes in DO is a process of physical effects (causes) being detected by sensory systems including organs and associated consciousness, which result in mental consciousness, which results in awareness. (But, I might be wrong.) :shrug: *** I would appreciate some input / guidance from our venerables as to the rightness of these interpretations. :coffee:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby pegembara » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:14 am

BlackBird wrote:You're getting the wrong end of the stick here. The Buddha does not say: "Think what you like since your thoughts are not self" or that: "Some of your thoughts are intentional and some aren't because of anatta" - That is an erroneous conclusion.

He says that as long as one is a putthujana (a worldling) he produces kamma by action speech and thought. Until one realizes anatta, thus becoming an ariyan - Any thoughts, speech and action generate kamma of either a meritous, unmeritous or cessation-leading nature. Thoughts cannot come into existence without a cause, and the cause that generates them is intention.

Following your logic one could justify any villainy by reduction to anatta. One could justify going out and murdering someone by going: Oh, but it wasn't my hands that murdered the man, because they're inconstant and not to be regarded as mine, myself or who I am.

That's simply not the Buddha's teaching.


Thoughts are not yours. If they were yours, you would be able to think only good thoughts and abandon bad ones. No need to practice the N8FP, no need to meditate, no need for self restraint.

If you take thoughts to be yours, then you would be "creating" good/bad thoughts/karma. As long as you identify with your body and mind, you will commit unwholesome actions. You commit murder because of greed and hatred which can only come from a sense of self. "I like" "I hate".

If you are aware of murderous thoughts but don't identify with them, how could it be possible to act on them? :shrug:

If you truly think the hands that kill are not yours, you wouldn't have minded that they be chopped off as punishment, would you?
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby SamKR » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:31 am

pegembara wrote:
Thoughts are not yours. If they were yours, you would be able to think only good thoughts and abandon bad ones. If you take thoughts to be yours, then you would be "creating" good/bad thoughts/karma. As long as you identify with your body and mind, you will commit unwholesome actions. You commit murder because of greed and hatred which can only come from a sense of self. "I like" "I hate".


And sense of self and appropriation (upadana) can come from greed and hatred (tanha).

If you are aware of murderous thoughts but don't identify with them, how could it be possible to act on them? :shrug:


Yes, when you loose sati and forget not to identify with murderous thoughts which are already there (if you did not remove).

If you think the hands that kill are not yours, you wouldn't have minded that they be chopped off, would you?

Yes, if someone is insane. There's vast difference between being insane and being enlightened (about no-self).
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby pegembara » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:53 am

And sense of self and appropriation (upadana) can come from greed and hatred (tanha).


Yes - What drives greed and hatred is vedana (I like/hate). Contact causes vedana etc.

Image
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby pegembara » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:07 am

If you are aware of murderous thoughts but don't identify with them, how could it be possible to act on them?


Yes, when you loose sati and forget not to identify with murderous thoughts which are already there (if you did not remove).

Mindfulness is the path to the deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The mindful do not die;. But the heedless are as if dead already.

If you think the hands that kill are not yours, you wouldn't have minded that they be chopped off, would you?

Yes, if someone is insane. There's vast difference between being insane and being enlightened (about no-self).

Of course.
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby manas » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:02 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Bhikkhu Samahita seems to think that consciousness and mind are not produced by the brain itself, but is simply contained by the brain, relagating the brain to a mere container, like a beer bottle.

http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/What_is_Mind.htm

I think this simplistic. AIUI:What Buddha describes in DO is a process of physical effects (causes) being detected by sensory systems including organs and associated consciousness, which result in mental consciousness, which results in awareness. (But, I might be wrong.) :shrug: *** I would appreciate some input / guidance from our venerables as to the rightness of these interpretations. :coffee:


Hello Ron,

I'm quite sure that consciousness is not ever produced by the brain, or by any clever combination of material elements. I don't see how something immaterial could be produced by something material. That the body and consciousness are dependent on each other being present, for a being to exist - I can recall reading that. But yes let's get a Venerable's clarification if possible. Or one or another of our resident scholars :reading:

:anjali:
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Re: Bad thoughts = Bad Karma?

Postby Digity » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:34 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Four Points to Bear in Mind (about Dependent Origination)

Absence of Striving
The third aspect of Dependent Origination is the absence of striving (avyāpāra). Ignorance causes mental formations without striving, and mental formations do not strive to create rebirth. Knowledge of this fact means insight into the absence of any agent or being (kāraka-puggala) who sees, hears, etc., and as such it frees us from ego-belief. However, as the Visuddhimagga says, the misinterpretation of this principle may turn one into a moral sceptic who accepts determinism and denies moral responsibility.

The non-volitional nature of phenomena is apparent to one who contemplates their ceaseless arising and dissolution, for one realises clearly that since they are conditioned, they do not act according to one’s wishes.

Unwholesome thoughts arise dependent on conditions. By undertaking and observing moral precepts, and by mental training in samatha and vipassanā, we can change the conditions.

Right Effort includes the effort to expel unwholesome mental states that have arisen, and to prevent the arising of unwholesome mental states that have not yet arisen.

It is wise to install a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher in your house before it catches fire, not after it has burned to the ground.


This is very true. In my original post I mentioned that i had negative thought towards someone who said something stupid towards me. However, I noticed some days I didn't have negative thoughts. Instead, I would have thoughts of compassion and forgiveness. Then on other days I would go back to having those negative thoughts. I found this strange, but when I looked more closely I realized that whether I had negative or positive thoughts depended on how I related to what the person said about me. If I related to it in a healthy way then I had more compassionate, forgiving thoughts. When I related to it in an unhealthy way then I had the negative thoughts arise. Ultimatley, it seems to depend on how I related to the experience that determined whether I set the stage for positive or negative thoughts. I'm ultimately responsible for how I relate to the world and so we do play a role in whether negative or positive thoughts take root.

When we walk the eigthfold path we're setting the stage for the more wholesome to take root and flourish. So yes, I agree with what you're saying. You need to install the smoke alarms before the fire. You also need to understand the need for smoke alarms in the first place. When it comes to our mental state most people don't.

Thank you Bhikkhu Pesala for the reply!
Digity
 
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