I can’t believe I forgot to mention this! We have a new Dharma talk by Kun Sunim on YouTube. This is pretty good one! In it she focuses on something that (rightly) often gets a bad rap – the ability of the intentions we give rise to.
The main idea is that this world moves and responds according to the thoughts we give rise to. If we keep thinking that the situation is a certain way, then those thoughts are like instructions to the lives that make up our bodies to move in that direction. This is why it’s so important to view things positively, even when it would be easy to take the negative view. Even when it would be easy to think of that perspective as more realistic.
The example I always give comes from my time at Korean Army bases: If the sergeant tells soldiers to get to the top of a mountain in 30 minutes, they take off running, not having any real doubt about getting up there. They likely expect it will be hard, and a few people might have problems, but they’re all going to be there.
If on the other hand, the sergeant says it’s too hard for them, that they can’t do it, then of course, the soldiers don’t even try. It’s the same way with the lives in our body.
Now, there are some limitations to this. Cause and effect play a role, as does my capacity to deal with even the good things that happen to me. There are so many reasons why I may not have a million dollars fall out of the sky. To do so might burn up all of my good karma, leaving me with nothing in the bank, so to speak. Would you trade your health or even life for money? Would you trade them for a new car?
More likely, those kinds of desires tend to be reflections of our discriminations and narrow viewpoints, and as such, they can’t easily connect with the energy of the whole. To connect with that, I have to let go of and entrust the intentions I’ve given rise to.
There are probably more aspects of this I should have addressed, so if you have a question, go ahead and ask in the comments.
with palms together,