Friday, December 2, 2011

Zen, Zombies & Karma - ZZK Chapter 1

Meditation Red Sun
Picture "Meditation Red Sun" kindly provided by h.koppdelaney
Zen, Zombies & Karma
We live in a world of the half dead, I say that because we aren't really living, we are existing, we aren't really thinking, we are caught up in the hurt of yesterday, and a fantasy dream about tomorrow. We are simply reacting and playing a script in auto-pilot that we have created for ourselves or one that has been created for us.  Another name for this script is Karma.

This book explores where this Karma or this script comes from from, it looks at mindfulness as a Zen technique which allows one to undo this script and write a new script, one that will take you to the destination where you want to be, a destination of a less stressful life, richer relationships and better natural results!

Why we are zombies?
I see them all around me, I feel like one too at times...everywhere you look, everyone is on autopilot...

Is this what we were destined for? Is this why humans were given this intellect? Why is this?

Well it takes work and discipline to overcome the lethargy and the addictions of the mind and of the body...the spirit is boundless, the mind however is a slave, a slave of the senses, a slave to the addictions of the mind...so is this what we have reduce the spirit to? a slave? a slave of the mind which itself is a slave...Where is the freedom in all of this?

The mind has itself has forgotten about the spirit, and has itself identified itself with the mind, the ego, the emotions, the senses...In that lies the very fact, we are really zombies, being free to be controlled by a bombardment of external driven selfish and sometimes perverse programming that appeals to the palate, to the senses, to the ego...

Its akin to a person taking the hands off the steering wheel and expecting the car to drive itself...well maybe off the cliff or into the tree you will go, if you are lucky it will be fatal, otherwise it could be life of misery and pain from some serious injury...life is no different...the results from mindless action, is well mindless random results...

The mind, the emotions, the body are useful servants but bad masters...under the leadership of the soul...amazing things are possible...just from one person...just from one lifetime.

What is Karma?
O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Why is this happening to me? Why was I born this way? Why am I the way I am?  There is a lot of whys in life...too many that we can possibly comprehend.  Could it really be that life is just one big random event?

According to the law of Karma, there is no such thing as a random event, everything is interrelated working like perfect clockwork, there is a reason for everything to be as it is, there is a reason for everyone to be in everyone’s life, there is learning possible from every single situation.

I really like the definition of Karma by Sri Sri Ravi Sankar, he says:
“Karma is action that results from the impressions of the mind, the action it has produced, and the new impressions it is going to produce in the mind in the future which will cause further actions."

The impressions are called Samskaras in Sanskrit, these are scripts recorded in the inner depths of our mind which governs our automatic behaviors, they also shapes our personalities. This explains why everyone has different personalities, even animals show different personalities.

Karmas are of 3 types, stored (Sinchit), in flight (Pralabdha), future (Kriyaman)...The stored karma is like seeds that have been sowed by passed actions, in flight karma is the plants (action) that have sprouted from these seeds, which is happening now, and lastly future karmas are the fruit of these plants (action) that give more seeds.  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar goes to say that we don't actually know when these seeds are going to sprout.

Why is Karma so important to understand?  This is important because one can understand that one is simply a product of ones own creation, through the actions one has taken in the past. If we understand this, we can take steps in creating karma’s that are more beneficial to us, live with them with a certain level of acceptance, and rise above them.

In the epic Hindu legend of Mahabratra the blind king Dhritarashtra asked Lord Krishna why he was born blind, and why he had lost his hundred children in battle, despite being such a kind and compassionate king.  Lord Krishna gave him the power to go back and find out for himself through meditation.  Dhritarashtra meditated and discovered in an earlier life, one day he saw a swan with a hundred signets around it, he ordered that the swan’s eyes be cut out and all the children killed just for his fancy...As such he was born blind in this life, and lost all of his 100 children in the war.

To Chapter 2

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