Kusen given during 2013 summer camp, Zen Temple Yujo Nuysanji
So, I continue with the teachings of Jayata, or rather his master's, Kumadata.
Jayata asked his master:
«My parents have always had faith in the Buddha, in his teaching, in the community. Yet they are still in poor health. Most of the time, what they have done has never turned out as what they would have wanted. On top of that, our neighbours, who were cruel, violent, members of the mafia, who did not have a gram of faith in anything, have always been in good health, prosperous, and their businesses have always been successful. So my parents, who have long taken refuge in the three jewels, should be in good health, but it is the opposite, nothing works: money, health, family. So, why these bad people are blessed, and why people who are good, who try to make an effort, who share the little things they possess, who have good thoughts about other people, why are they cursed? »The master replied:«Nowadays there are many people who think like this. Imagine, even those who have become monks think like this, then it is normal that the laymen also think this way. »And the nineteenth Patriarch adds:«I do not see there any doubt. You should know that there are three times for karmic retribution. It is common to see the good and the compassionate die young, it is common to see cruel people live long. Bastards thrive and the good only find misery. The ignorant and those who have not listened properly to this education know nothing on this subject, about the past and its conditions of cause and effect. They do not understand the future, they just create illusions about the present. They think that there is neither cause nor effect, and that words such as misery, misfortune or blessing have no sense and are just a fluke. It is the top of stupidity.With regard to the karma of the three times:
- the first is the one which results in the present life: when the good or bad karma is created in the present life, and results are recieved in the present life.
-the second is the one that bears consequences in the next life: the five unforgivable transgressions and the seven deadly transgressions necessarily bear their consequences in the next life. When we commit serious errors, such as rape or murder, most of the time the results appear in the next life.
-the third is the one with the result in a life after the next, i.e. in two births, or three, or five. If we accumulate serious karma in this life, results are sometimes felt in the third or fourth life, or even in the countless lives in the future. That is why that even if someone gets results in the present, because of a good karma of a past life, the result may not be identical due to a former karma prior to the last life. So people said to have a mix of good and bad karma experience either good or bad results in the present: there is good, there is bad. So those who have mixed good and bad karma receive mixed good and bad results.
Hidden in every human being, finally, in the majority of human beings, there are karmas which are very, very serious and of which they do not know the origin, they do not remember any more, it can be karmas from several lifetimes.You should well know, said the master, that the power of karma is extremely heavy and powerful, and that the practice of the dharma of Buddha, the practice of zazen, of the sesshins, of fusé, of samu, transform extremely serious results of the past that threaten us into light results, i.e. it weakens the weight of the payments. And the lightweight results become non-existent in the present by our practice. This means that the evil caused within the ten pasts should be experienced in the future as a severe suffering, but in some time, through the practice of the dharma, it is experienced in a light manner. You can be sick, things may not work properly, people can criticise you, they are all sorts of examples of having received a light bad influence in the present which should have been a severe suffering instead. This is why we should have more confidence in the power of the practice of the dharma, because the results of bad karma from the distant past can all be made light, only if you are courageous, energetic in your practice.
So even if as a student of the Way, as a disciple, and you understand the Way very well, you are very thorough, you have a bad reputation, or that despite your best efforts you have poor health, you must realize that these are examples of serious results, undermined by the practice and experienced lightly. Thus, if you understand this, you do not mind those who behave badly today, you will not be shocked to see that despite the fact that they misbehave, they have good chances. Even if people kill and hurt, do not blame them, even if these killers are venerated and respected, don't hate them.The karma to practise the Way increases every day, and the bad karma of previous lives decreases every day. So practice is important. You must practice regularly, sincerely.Thus, even though you now know the karma of the three times, you are not yet familiar with the root of the karma.»
I'll explain this to you in the next zazen.
Tuesday 6 August, 2013