Author Topic: Karma & Gratitude  (Read 124 times)

Offline Samana Johann

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Karma & Gratitude
« on: September 23, 2017, 05:53:41 am »
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Audio:

Karma & Gratitude

eveningtalk, given by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu at Wat Metta

9.June 2017/2561

~14 min., 7,6 MB


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Transcription draft, by Upasika Sophorn:


_/\_ _/\_ _/\_
Karma and Gratitude
A Dhammatalk given by Bhante Thanissaro

When the Buddha talks about gratitude he does so on the context of the teaching on karma and rebirth. And it's worth thinking of the implications of that are: when he's talking about mondial in review.
That there are good and bad actions, and these actions have results. (But) in this lifetime onto the next. He mentions as just in phrase: There is mother and father, which seems almost too obvious to say. We all have mothers and fathers. But when he meant them in the context in the time was that you owe them gratitude to, and it's because of the nature of karma that you do.
There are people who thought that whatever people do is totally influenced or totally determined by say, the stars or some creator, God, by their ___ , in other words, people don't have choices. It's when yor parents told you that they had no choice, no matter. When they raised you they had no choice, no matter. It's just what they had to do. And so there is no special effect of gratitude there. It's just influences from the stars or influences from whatever else acting through them.
But the Buddhist teaching on karma has several features that make gratitude an appropriate response. One is that we have freedom of choice. Our actions are real. And they come from our intentions and we have a choice on what choice of intentions we have to act on.
So when someone does anything good to you, it does have a meaning. It was a choice. Even if they had to go out of their way, if they had to make sacrifices - it's worth your gratitude.

(But) the word for gratitude in Pali (is) "kataññū" contains the root "kata". "Kata" comes from the word "to do". You literally know and appreciate what has been done. This is why gratitude is different from general appreciation. We can appreciate the trees, we can appreciate the weather right now. It's making it easy to practise. But there's noone doing that.

We want to argue a creator, God, is doing that: Why is it more difficult for a God to do things pleasantly than unpleasantly? But the Buddha's teachings are just the way things are in terms of the way it rather works, the way plans work. They have no decisions in no matter. And it's when people make the decision to be on a parade and do something good. That requires special response on your part, both for the person who is good to you. You want to repay that goodness. And also fo your own realization that other peole may benefit from your going on of your way for them, unless you want to spread goodnes around. This kind of reflection opens your heart, widens your heart, makes you more likely who want to go out of your way.

There is a sentence, I'm not sure if it's Thai or is it in the Pali Canon: "Gratitude is a sign of a good person." It is chipped out for this reason. If someone appreciates the goodness of other people done and demand that they had to go out of their way. There where all kinds of difficulties. That makes it more likely that they themselves will be willing to go out of their way to be helpful, to be good.

(4:00) There is a case here as "Bheagwa"… The family lived down there from the monastery. They had a big ruckus one night. The son from the father's previous marriage came back. He was an adult now. [They had a huge argument. The father] It came to huge aguments with his Father. (He) kicked him downstairs, broke both his legs. When the news came to the monastery Ajahn Fuang's first comment was: "You can never trust that son. If he was willing to do this to his father, he wil do it with anybody."
So, gratitude is a sign of a good person. And it is an attitude that gives rise to more goodness within us.

(4:40) In particular, what the Buddha talks about the debt we have to our parents, because, after all, our lives, we have our body because of them. Even if they weren't the best parents, at least, we have this human life, and this particular body right now, so they have particularly deserving the feeling of gratitude. Now the Buddha said the best way to repay that is: If they are stingy people you try them to be generous. If they are not virtuous you try teach them to be virtuous. In other words, whatever goodness they are not alike you try to influence them some in that direction. And, of course, you know how hard it to teach your parents. You have to be really subtle and very wise in how you do that. But it i possible. I have seen cases. They'll reflect further on that. The Buddha's teachings on parents is… There is that statement you will never meet - or it will be very hard to meet someone who hasn't been your mother or father in the past. Now some people take that and say that means you should feel affectionate to everybody because they have been your parent, one or another.
But the Buddha takes it into a different direction: He says you give rise in a sense of dismay. All these times you have been parents and all the times, all these parents you've been parents to somebody else. That's back and forth, back and forth, back and forth like this, and we know that's like between children and parents.

This also fits into the teaching of karma: There's straight clear karma and there's dark karma. Clear karma crosses good karma and dharma with good intentions and dark karma, dharma with bad intentions mixed; and then, there is a karma that leads away from karma, leads to an end of karma. And you look at the karma we have with everyone around us. We've had - who knows how long - and it's going to be a real mixture: clear and dark.

And what your parents want: satisfactory. And then, you've been a parent sometimes and, of course, what you do besides satisfactory to your children, too, and so karma goes back and forth, between clear and dark, clear and dark.
(7.12) It never gets anywhere, unless you decide to get out. So it's another good reflection. One of the best you can do to the whole mass of people who - all these people who've been your parents and all the people who you've been parents of in the past. It's just: get out of the system. That's what we're doing as we meditate. That's why the reflection on gratitude is one useful way of getting the mind to be willing to settle down in the present moment, realizing "This is the way, as the Buddha said, that's karma but leads to the end of karma. All the entanglement ___ was karma. So, at ___?

This is the first semon of the Eight Noble Truths. Everythi from right view onto right concentration. That's the karma that leads to the end of karma. So, it's working on concentration, in other words, basically right now it's right effort, right mindfulness,right concentration altogether. It's what we're trying to develop. That's part of this karma that gets us out of this tangle. And give the best possible way of repaying the people that we've been so immediately connected with before. We can dedicate to give goodness to them. If the appreciate it, they will benefit.
So you take your mind around the world, take your mind around a huge span of time, and then you zero when on the present moment, because the present moment is the way out.

(8:56) This is the same pattern that the Buddha thought the night he was awakening. His first knowledge was about time and how far it goes back. And all the narratives of his life. If you think you had narratives, sit down here. The Buddha has thousands of thousands of them. Thus, having so many that it got reduced to the bare essentials: This is what he looked like, what his name was or what he was called. This is experience of pleasure and pain. This is what he ate and this is how he died. That's life. Five sentences. No one after the another. ___ that you're pretty tying up in the narratives. The next question is: Does everybody else is following this pattern, too?

(9.42) The second knowledge is awareness spread to fill the entire universe. You realize that everybody goes through that process and then seeing that, in fact, everybody went through this process, he also thought: What drove it? Basically, it was intentions. And intentions were skillful or unskillful depending whether they were based on right view or wrong view.
So, the third question was what kind of intentions lead out? That's when he gained the knowledge that he was awakening. So, sometimes, you just sit down to meditate. It's good to think about past expenses of time, past expenses of the universe to see the common patterns and then realize that the common patterns are generated here in your mind in the present moment.

(10.31) Which is why we're working right here. The working on your mind here and working on your intentions trying to get some control of your intentions as a gift to yourself and the people around you. That is one of the good things that the Buddha talks about, merit. It's basically instructions how to find happiness and the engagement of the world in a way that doesn't cause any suffering, that doesn't cause any harm to anybody. In other words, happiness spreads around. And meditation is one of those activities where the happiness, where the goodness spreads around.This is most clearly if you've been meditating and the mind is filled with anger before the time to meditate. But with the time you're done the anger has subsided. That means you've saved the people around you from theventer that might have been expressed in your words or your deeds.

(11.34) And the more time you give to meditation the more you try them on, the more deep the results become. And the more deep the impact ___ are on other people. So, all that contemplation comes under what the Buddha calls generating desire. It's part of right effort generating desire to do something skillful. To understand what action is and your power of choice, unless you are going to use that power well. You're not like the congress man in that New Yorker cartoon when he's coming down the steps the capitalist is saying: What use of power when you cannot use it? What kind of power? "If you abuse it, you're going to to be the one who is abused!"

The one who uses power of choice - you want to choose it well. And you can. The Buddha is showing you how. Instructions are not superhuman. If said it was thought as superhuman he wouldn't have taught them. That's when the mind feels tempted to go out... some play sounds. Remind yourself: Do what you're doing right here, being with your breath! And you may not see the results you want right away. At least, is headed into the right direction. We don't just sit in the present moment. The present moment is an arrow that moves into he future. Timehas an arrow. Tin me has any arrow. That's what you do now will have an impact now and on into the future.
So, sometimes, the immediate impact is not what you want when it's not as good1 as you want but it's headed in the right direction. It's part of a path. The path that leads to knowledge, the path that leads to awakening. The path that leads to goodness all around.

So, when you're tempted to slip off the path, remind yourself: it's hard to find a path this good. Ann's whenever you're slipping off, is pretty miserable in comparison.
And so, in this way, that reflection and gratitude in the context of karma can bring you right here. Doing what you should be doing in terms of the duties of the Four Noble Truths. Duties that are imposed on you, but you want to put an end to suffering - and this is how it's done and here's your opportunity to do it!
So let that thought be uplifting!

 _/\_ _/\_ _/\_

N.B.: Einige Passagen sind unklar oder ev. falsch geschrieben , daher sind Korrekturen jederzeit willkommen.*


* some parts are not clear or maybe wrong written: That is why corrections are always welcome (Upasika).

« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 05:56:43 am by Samana Johann »
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Offline francis

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 08:54:34 pm »
Hi Samana Johann,

How about explaining “karma and gratitude” in your own words.

And perhaps, mix it up a bit by quoting someone other than Thanissaro.

Thanks


 :namaste:
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 09:48:02 pm »
Francis, actually my persons most "beloved" topic and if people meet "luckily" my person in person he would talk mostly about that.
Nevertheless, fist my english is not so good, secound my technical posibilities to transport it well are not so good and 3rd and most importand, its a matter of respect and gratitude to care about the words of the elders, those in front, the Buddha, Dhamma Sangha. And less are able to understand my person when talking on Dhamma.

At least, althought it might look different, my person is not a teacher, and in no way such as a person who could teach frontal but does always case by case.

Nevertheless, if having a question, my person is always open for such.

Mixing up quoting others: honestly, and that is straight forward, the world is gifted to meet a most honorable being like Bhante and my person does not share things he knows there is certain lack or not given pure. Teacher of Dhamma (not just Students) are rare, very rare in this world. Scholar and students who teach, we have plenty, but they would never be able to transport the heart wood.

Even the teachings of his teachers are not that clear and good to understand so that they can not be taken wrong as Bhantes words, speaking not only learned but as practican in al ways.

Its a third-fold gratitude here: Buddha (as the "origin" of this teaching), Dhamma (the content of it in its heart), Sangha (which is embodied by Bhante, his fellows and his teachers well).

To share the possibilities here, is at least a matter of gratitude to all possible to receive it and take part, all the countless beings having once been father and mother, teacher..., knowing not all, actually very less, will be able to receive.

"Hope" that explaines a little and again, chance the way of thinking! Not "I like this, that would be good... " but "what can I give". Not for others, just for your self at least, a matter of gratitude, deep from a real touched heart that might even have seen a glimps of release or is surrounded by faith.

My person knows that it is difficult for the douptful mind to take straight forward words. It's a matter of saddha to beginn to practice merits like giving time, effort, respect, assistance... only one having let go really knows the benefit of giving for what is worthy to give.

Weather Dhamma or what ever, a consumer stays a consumer, simply demands, demands, seeks for food like a hungry ghost. Its possible to change.

The sooner children realize the goodness of their parents, the easier they will be able to carry it and give even everything back. Sometimes fooloish children tread parents and teacher long long time wrong but they still care about the childs when ever possible. Sometimes they need to go and leave the child to meet reality in a hard painful way first by them self. Sometimes parents, gods, teacher are already gone when children start to understand what they had taught against their grain and are very sad to find neither a possibility to pardon nor to pay back their gratitude.

So don't miss chances!

Teaching from heart to heart, direct, requires respect, deep respect and trust, "love" like that to ones father. Then it is really possible to teach. People that have upanissaya to the noble ones are less in this world.

Arguing and tame defilements all the time costs a lot of value able time and energy, possible rest of that what still runs out.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 10:17:46 pm by Samana Johann »
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Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 10:27:13 pm »
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two kinds of gifts: a gift of material things & a gift of the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: a gift of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of sharing: sharing of material things & sharing of the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: sharing of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of assistance: assistance with material things & assistance with the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: help with the Dhamma."

The gift he describes
as foremost & unsurpassed,
the sharing the Blessed One has extolled:
who — confident in the supreme field of merit,
   wise, discerning —
wouldn't give it at appropriate times?
Both for those who proclaim it
and those who listen,
confident in the message of the One Well-gone:
it purifies their foremost benefit —
   those heeding the message
   of the One Well-gone.


Don't be a consumer, you gaing nothing, even you consume Dhamma. While a person simply doing assistance, helping father without even knowing but just in trust, will learn his skill by heart and the text will "just" be after dishes, confiming what he/she already had gained by giving and let go. Dhamma teaching really without strings...

Not to speak about gratitude if realizing how gifted one already was, many years even, not having thought of paying back, either by serious putting the Dhamma into practice or other ways to keep it alive, the ways of the elders, till one is ready to do the fight himself.

Francis, you can find some teachings in the style Francis asked in Open Vihara and Dhamma talk in the Vihara, also in "bad" english.
My person did never had a real teacher in all kind of skills so aside of able of many he is not really gifted to teach and if just practical, not in words.

My person is more a doer than a talker, talking is something he just started to "learn" a little and will not learn it to an extend pleasing for consumer or even directed, its not worthy the sacrify.

Just came accross, maybe something "pleasant": [Q&A] Talking about Dharma (online) - is it worthwhile?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 10:48:24 pm by Samana Johann »
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Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 05:15:53 pm »
The Lessons of Gratitude, basics on the foundation of right view under the link on another topic here in your forum.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 05:20:31 pm by Samana Johann »
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Offline ground

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 06:01:24 am »
Mere childishness.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Karma & Gratitude
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 06:18:18 am »
Off-topic: hove if like
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