Good and Bad Karma

Good and Bad Karma

“The theme of this chapter is karma, a concept you may feel is rather old fashioned but it embraces a truth that is neither old nor new; karma is a Truth that is eternal. It relates to you right now.

According to Buddhism, karma is more or less synonymous with ‘action’, since karma is generated by actions. In order for action to occur, the function of will is always involved. When you think of doing something, that thought usually manifests as physical movement. At that moment, your thought and your action are permanently etched on the record of your life. What is created by the will and action is called karma.

Naturally, there is both ‘good’ karma and ‘bad’ karma since there are good actions as well as bad. However, karma is most often thought of as negative because it is closely related to the concept of reincarnation. Before you incarnate into this world, you prepare a rough plan of the life you are going to live on Earth. The more advanced the soul, the more complex and detailed the design of a life. Souls at lower spiritual levels tend to draw less sophisticated life plans. In any case, once you are born, you must inevitably experience all sorts of difficulties in this three-dimensional world. Faced with such difficulties, you may think they are the outcome of the karma of a past life. If you attribute your difficulties and their disastrous consequences – pain, sadness and anxiety – to the idea of past-life karma, then karma is naturally seen as negative.

However, there is a pitfall in this way of thinking. Consider looking back at your whole life. In fact, you cannot possibly claim that your life was constantly miserable, as if it rained the whole time. If you recall your life as an endless series of unhappy experiences one after another, this is just your way of remembering your life. Instead, look back over it carefully from an objective point of view, as if you were watching a movie. There must have been some good moments as well as the bad. Unfortunate events are frequently preceded by happy times.

Happiness and unhappiness arise in your life as the cumulative result of the various experiences you have had. Looking back on the last day of your life, it will be up to you to decide whether your life has been happy or not. If you think your life was unhappy, you will be recalling only the miserable experiences. On the other hand, if you think you lived a happy life, you will be recalling a lot of the good times, though you may have experienced bad times as well. So it is a question of which aspects of your life you focus on.

If you etch a tragic event very sharply on your soul, this memory may linger for decades. For example, you may be the victim of some natural disaster. If you were nearly buried or killed by a landslide but had a narrow escape, you might not manage to free yourself from this nightmare even twenty or thirty years later. That traumatic memory might have a powerful influence on your life. It all depends which images you etch on your soul.” From The Master Okawa’s book

Interesting Figures

Today, the interneting figures were revealed. It was about top 200 companies that least new employees quit in three years. It means that new employees who have entered a company in 2015 have still stayed the company. Surprisingly enough, thirty two companies have marked hundred percent. That means over three years, new employees have never quit, never left that company. They have still been working in their companies. Is it amazing?

These companies are Mitsubishi Jisho, Sumitomo Real Estate, Tokyo Dome, and so on.

It doesn’t say that how many new employees have entered in each company, however, 100 percent is so high.

At that time when I had started working in some computer company, almost 1000 new employees were around, and one year later, almost half quit that company.

The reason why those companies hold employees longer than other companies is an averaged salary is very high compared to ordinary companies. Not only that reason but also I guess that these companies are very comfortable to work for employees, otherwise even a salary is high, still working conditions and human relations are not good, people tend to leave from the workplace.

Another reason we might think is recently economic numbers are getting better, but yet these are not good as we had had in bubble age at when I had started to work.

Japan is so westernized quickly in a past couple of decades, still people tend to stay in one company even among young generations.

I hope our economy gets better so that we can move more.

The End of This Year

Here is the weather forecast of the end of this year in Japan. It is relatively warmer than ordinary year but it gets cold from Christmas Eve then it becomes coldest in this year at the last days of this year. This cold weather brings a lot of snows not only Japan sea side, which is other side of Pacific Ocean but also Nagoya and Hiroshima where usually don’t have snow.

While the mainland of Japan will become cold towards the end of this year, Naha city where is in the island located very south will be continually very warm like summer up to eighty degrees until Christmas.

Christmas will become average cold temperature so the lovers get closer.

In Japan, Christmas is not the religious day, it is the day to eat a cake and exchange a gift especially for young generations. If the Christmas days are empty for spending time with someone you like, it feels so lonely. Still someone goes to church but it is very few instead we try to spend with lovers.

Nowadays so many beautiful spots are available in those days such as illumination parks lovely restaurants so on for them.

Family time in Japan is New Years days, from January first to January third, also it is very religious days to go to shrines to pray for peace and prosperity of the year. Still almost half of the Japanese people go to shrines with family and having time to have special meal with them like Americans do in the Christmas days.

Only ten days is left this year so I wish you have Merry Christmas and Happy new year!

New Year Eve

Today, we have had an announcement about members who give scores to singers in the NHK’s new year’s special program entitled “Kohaku Utagassen”, the singing battles between men and women”. This is very special program that NHK is not only the national broadcasting station in Japan, but also every new year’s eve this program has been continued for sixty seven years since 1951. Almost half of people watch this program throughout Japan. Singers are so honorable because only top singers or those who have made a big hit in that year can be elected in this program. Even such a “national program” I have never seen this singers battles.

Following this show, we have a “Yukuyoshi Kurayoshi”, the TV program farewells this year and welcomes the new year reporting local areas of Japan, instead of fireworks we have a “Joyano Kane” hitting a big bell hundred eight times yo get rid of our dust in our mind for preparing to a new year in a temple all over Japan.

It is a very custom event in our country still handed down from the past.

In a house while watching these programs we usually eat soba noodles wishing to live long like soba noodles.

It was s very special night so even children were allowed to stay until mid night. But I couldn’t wake until such a late night when I was child.

Now I am in Japan first time in more than ten years to encounter the new year eve. But I don’t have any intention to watch “Kohaku Utagassen”, but will to eat soba noodle.

SELF-REFLECTION from “The Principle of Self-Reflection”


The third principle is the Principle of Self-Reflection. I have found that, for the most part, Christian doctrines do not offer in-depth teaching about self-reflection. Catholic churches offer confessionals, where you have a chance to confess your sins and seek God’s forgiveness. By contrast, I teach that we have the ability within ourselves to reflect on our thoughts and deeds. I teach that we have the power to determine on our own whether our thoughts and deeds are proper or wrong in light of the Truths.

The purpose of this practice of self-reflection is not simply to condemn yourself about every mistake and error you’ve made. The true purpose of self-reflection is the attainment of happiness. By this, I mean that everything you experience in life, including all the thoughts you’ve ever had and all the things you have ever done, are recorded in your mind.

When you leave this world and travel to the other world, your life will be shown to you much like a film in a movie theater. Many of your close family members and friends will be watching the film with you. Your mentors, parents, friends, and former teachers will come to watch this film about your life, condensed into about an hour or two. They will view this movie with you to help you determine the success of your life, or the lack thereof. When you finish watching your life movie, you will be able to judge for yourself. Observing the reactions of the rest of the audience will also help you judge whether your life was right or wrong, a success or a failure. You will then choose for yourself whether you will go to Heaven or Hell. You will choose the course that is most appropriate for you.

There are many paths in Heaven, but there are many paths in Hell as well. You will go to the place that offers the soul training that is right for you. For example, those who kill, hurt, and cause many people harm will need to take the path of self-reflection in the next life. They will go to a realm where others like them exist. They will find themselves living with others who, for example, shot and killed many people. As they live amongst such people, they will begin to see their own reflections within others, as if they were looking into a mirror. They will look at other people who are just like them and begin to see the ugliness within them reflected back.

From “The Giles Laws “

6. Kukai and Esoteric Buddhism

Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi, (774-835) was a contemporary of Saicho, being born only seven years after him. He was born into the Saeki clan in the Sanuki province (present-day Kagawa Prefecture), and at the age of fifteen was sent to a national college in Nara where he was soon recognized as a genius. However, he soon became disenchanted with the idea of an official career and at the age of twenty left to travel around the country.

He did not take up Buddhism for worldly fame; rather, he wanted to share the experience that Shakyamuni had undergone in achieving enlightenment. Trying to emulate Shakyamuni in every way, Kukai renounced a secular life and began traveling around the mountains and fields of Shikoku. He adopted the practice of meditating under a waterfall in the southern part of Tokushima, then moved through the mountains to Tosa (present-day Kochi Prefecture). Later, at Mt. Otaki in Awa (present-day Tokushima Prefecture), he met a hermit who offered him some valuable advice:

You will not find your way through meditating under a waterfall; you need to go somewhere where you can see the sky and the sea. You should follow the coast southwards as far as Hiwasa village, then, taking a hatchet, you should cut a path through the woods. If you are not bitten by a poisonous snake en route, you should arrive at Murotozaki, where the demons are said to appear, within two days.

This hermit was a psychic who had the power to read minds. At this time Kukai was eager to master a supernatural power called Kokuzo-Gumonji-Ho (a method of enhancing the abilities to understand and memorize all the Buddhist scriptures) but, as the hermit said, this was not something that he could achieve through meditating under waterfalls. Kukai headed for the Murotozaki (Muroto Cape) as the hermit suggested, and when he arrived at the very tip of the cape, now called Hotsumisaki, he found a cave that would be ideal for his purposes. Shakyamuni had achieved enlightenment after meditating in the state of the Middle Way under the Bodhi tree for seven days, and Kukai aimed to emulate this.

Using my second sight I can see a cave; the entrance is two and a half meters (eight feet) in diameter and it is about twenty meters (sixty-five feet) in depth. It would appear to have been carved out of the cliffs by the waves of the Pacific. Kukai sat and meditated here for approximately twenty days, eating roasted rice he had carried with him and roots that he found in the surrounding mountains. The miracle occurred at dawn of the fifteenth day.

The Purpose of Meditation 2

Where did meditation originate? Meditation itself is, of course, not the invention of Gautama Siddhartha, Shakyamuni Buddha. In India it was a traditional practice long before Shakyamuni lived, and in religions other than Buddhism it was a method of developing mental concentration. It is true that meditation has always been associated with religion.

What is the purpose of meditation? It is actually a method of communicating with the heavenly world or the world of high spirits. Those who do not understand this may practise meditation for health, or perhaps they simply think it is good to spend time just sitting without thinking about anything, without a purpose. However, we are not trees or stones. If it was only a matter of sitting still, trees and stones could do this much better than humans. But we have hearts and minds and this is the essence of being human.

The three-dimensional world where we lead our daily lives is filled with coarse thought vibrations and many of these third-dimension thoughts are quite negative. In daily life, sometimes your mind becomes disturbed, for example, when you hear shocking news or after arguing with someone. When you hear sad news, your mind may waver; drinking and singing in a bar, you may lose control. So sometimes you must isolate yourself from all these daily activities, leave the vibrations of the third dimension behind and ask what your true self is. The act of discovering your true self is the purpose of meditation.

The Purpose of Meditation

1 The Purpose of Meditation

I would like to explore the meaning of meditation in some depth. On hearing the word meditation perhaps you are reminded of Zen meditation (Zazen, sitting in a cross-legged posture) or yoga. It is true that Zen meditation and yoga are ways to practise meditation but regrettably many people seem to think of meditation as simply sitting without thinking or sitting in a particular posture.

Why do people practise meditation in the first place? Many people do not seem to have ever considered this very deeply; they seem conscious only of the form or style. However, we need to go to the roots. What I am saying is that we need to think once again about the true purpose of meditation.

The Japanese Zen master Dogen (1200-1253 CE) introduced a style of meditation called ‘Shikantaza’, which means ‘just sitting without a purpose’, simply sitting quietly. He was the founder of one of the major schools of Zen, and this method of meditation has long been accepted as an important part of Zen training. In yoga too, which originated in India, there are many styles of meditation but it appears some of these are directed only at maintaining health or as physical disciplines. Although yoga is certainly a method of meditation that has been handed down through the ages, I have the impression that those who practise it are only seeking the essence of meditation from a three-dimensional perspective.

2 ‘Icchantika’ – Incorrigible Disbelievers from “Challenge of Enlightenment” 2

In my view, however, everyone has the innate nature of a child of Buddha, no matter who they may be. Everyone smiles when they see a small child, or feels happy when they meet someone they like. So I believe that everyone has Buddha-nature, and possesses qualities such as love and compassion. But just as when a cocoon becomes too hard it does not allow the silkworm to come out, if the mind (cocoon) becomes too hard, and gets covered over with thick clouds of worldly desires (threads), a person’s Buddha-nature will not be able to shine. This is the real interpretation of the word icchantika. Thick clouds of worldly desires or delusions created while living on earth can be obstacles to the manifestation of Buddha-nature.

Possession by stray spirits can also be an obstacle. People who are possessed by as many as four or five stray spirits can no longer make correct judgements, cannot think of Buddha or God at all, and in some cases are totally controlled by spirits from hell when they criticize the teachings.

Yet I still believe that people who do not believe in the teachings – due to beliefs that have influenced them as a result of their education or occupation, or because they are possessed by stray spirits – have a Buddha-nature deep within.

In our institute, I teach that no one living in this world is born from hell. Souls in hell must return to heaven before they can be born. In many other religions, however, they seem to think that some people come from heaven while others come from hell. If we believed this, we would tend to judge others simply according to whether they were ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and this would be a problem from the viewpoint of salvation.

Babies and small children are all beautiful and innocent. Although some may later go astray and become criminals, no one baby is bad.

So although sometimes you may meet people who could be called icchantika, you need to regard them with compassion, and know that they too have a Buddha-nature at the core of their soul.

2 ‘Icchantika’ – Incorrigible Disbelievers from “Challenge of Enlightenment”

2 ‘Icchantika’ – Incorrigible Disbelievers

The idea of Buddha-nature is indeed wonderful, but there is one problem with it: there are still people in this world who do not seem to be able to achieve spiritual awakening no matter how hard they try.

The reality is that we sometimes meet people who do not seem to have a Buddha-nature. For example, there are those who persecute authentic religions and interfere with their activities. Do these people have a Buddha-nature too? Can they be considered potential Tathagatas? There are also people who cannot understand the teachings at all, although they listen. Then, there are others who have absolutely no interest in religion. These people exist in every age, a fact that has long been a great problem for Buddhists.

Buddhist scholars feared that the idea of Buddha-nature could be interpreted to mean that even those who criticized the teachings of Buddhism, or persecuted believers, even criminals and villains, ought to be considered equal to everyone else. To solve this problem they stated that although everyone had a Buddha-nature within and possessed the potential for buddhahood, there were some whose original good nature was completely destroyed, and who had no belief at all in God or Buddha. They called these people ‘icchantika’ in Sanskrit, which literally means a person who can never become awakened.

We sometimes see people who cause us to feel it is almost impossible to do anything to awaken them to the Truth. So although the Nirvana Sutra claimed that everyone has a Buddha-nature, the Buddhist scholars said there are exceptions to the rule, the exception being icchantika.

Historically, the word icchantika was used to refer to those who criticized Mahayana Buddhism. To those who criticized them, Buddhists said, ‘Although we say that you too have Buddha-nature, you do not understand. Criticizing such a great teaching is out of the question. There is no hope for you.’ They regarded these people as having no chance of attaining enlightenment.