Dalai Lama + Karma

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Part 2 of 2

On June 21st, my mom and I had the pleasure of seeing the Dalai Lama speak at the University of Utah. This is part 2 of a 2-part letter. The Dalai Lama, an active supporter of scientific exploration, advocates for a lifestyle of trial-and-error. “I prayed for peace,” His Holiness said earnestly and kindly, “But I see no results… so I must take action.” This kind of observation-fueled-response is integral for a truth-seeking-journey, otherwise it begs a larger question: Is living an unexamined life actually living life?

There is no certainty that Karma is spread from a past life to a current life. We can engage in past-life-regressions and analyze our dreams, but ultimately, we truly cannot know if this is just our imaginations running rampant. The Dalai Lama invited his listeners to face Karma like he faced prayer: try to notice tangible results based on immediate actions (immediate actions meaning actions we perform in our daily lives). In this way Karma seemed more a quantum theory than a mystical representation or motivation of self-generated goodness and positivity. After imagining Karma as a more immediate quest within my control, I felt compelled to notice the small movements and actions that concern (directly or indirectly) my immediate field of positivity and negativity.

Karma might not have to be farther than your fingertips. When you emit goodness, goodness will surround you, the Dalai Lama suggested. If that’s true, than putting negativity into the world will cause negativity to surround you. Just like we surround ourselves with objects that make us happy (stuffed animals, photographs, decorative knick-knacks, etc.), just like we surround our selves with warm bath water when we are stressed, we can try to surround ourselves with positivity and see if that positivity permeates inward. It could be infectious in quiet and unexpected ways, and for all the positivity that emanates outward, it might emanate inward even deeper. Stay mindful. Be kindful.

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