Friday, November 30, 2007

Daily Dharma: The Seeds of Our Actions

Today's Daily Dharma from Tricycle:

The Seeds of Our Actions

How is it that harmful results follow from harmful actions? It is by the force of an imprint placed on our mind that the potential to experience future suffering comes about. For example, a person who commits murder plants a very strong negative impression on his or her own mind and that impression, or seed, carries with it the potential to place that mind in a state of extreme misery. Unless the impression of that non-virtuous action is purified this latent seed will remain implanted in the mind, its power dormant but unimpaired. When the appropriate circumstances are eventually met, the potential power of this impression will be activated and the seed will ripen as an experience of intense suffering. . . .

The situation is analogous to that of an arid piece of ground into which seeds were placed a long time ago. As long as these seeds are not destroyed somehow, they will retain their potential to grow. Should the ground be watered sufficiently these long-forgotten seeds will suddenly sprout forth. In a similar fashion our karmic actions plant their seeds in the field of our consciousness and when we encounter the proper conditions these seeds will sprout and bear their karmic fruit.

~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Meaningful to Behold; from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith.

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