So yesterday morning, his teachings on karma are an important aspect of Buddhism. And to appreciate that our all our actions have consequences, and to be careful what we do, and to do the things that are pretty health producing, that are wholesome and helpful, supportive, that move us towards freedom. And avoid those to do the opposite. So this is an important teaching, but it can be heard, as if now we have to get to work. Like this is a lot of work now, every single action I have to track and monitor and and think about and try to do it just the right way. And so it's can be taken as a teaching that you have to kind of work. And it's sometimes it can be even be exhausting just to hear this kind of teaching, because it just if the implication is a lot of working. And sometimes it'd be personaI insight meditation practice, in general, when it's taught, might lend itself to the idea that there's a lot to do, there's a lot of instructions and, and you can now you hear hear all the instructions, and you can actually what what do I do now? When do I do this net now? And now Now, there's a lot of emotions, and what am I supposed to do with that was to, you know, go through the list of the different raft or rain or whatever it might be. And it could be done just keeping end up being busy. But that's not how it's supposed to be. And I think that closer to the ideas, what we did in this meditation is to find a some degree of calm or peace or ease. And let that be the reference point for not making things worse, to recognize that when the mind gets caught up and preoccupations, in a sense, you're losing touch with that peace and that ease, you're not being peaceful anymore. And in a sense, you're making things worse. If you start, you're peaceful, but then you start rushing, and feel tense in the rushing, in a sense, you're making things worse. If you start complaining about something, in a sense, you're making things worse, maybe for yourself and for someone else. And so, to have this reference point, have some degree of peace and calm and have that is a reference that don't make it worse. And it's not a lot of work to do this, it's more like Stay, stay close to the peace, stay attentive. And notice, when it becomes not peaceful mind becomes agitated when it becomes stressful, when it becomes contracted or tense. And with time, we start becoming quite sensitive and familiar with the feeling the sensations, the experience of things, getting tense or tight or contracted or agitated. And and we recognize it earlier and earlier. And then question, Is it really necessary to do this. And maybe not come back to the peace, you can still do things and take care of things, but do things from this calm place. And so the attentiveness of mindfulness, attention to the moment and to the consequences can be very simple. It means stay calm and peaceful, the best you can. And notice when you lose it. And probably if you you're lose it, you're making the situation worse. And one of the fundamental principles of this karma teachings is don't make it worse. Whether you can make it wonderful, wonderful for people or do wonderful things for the world. That might be difficult to figure out and kind of burden to carry that responsibilities. It's nice to be supportive and do nice things for people, for sure. But the minimum is don't make it worse. making it worse is probably some kind of activity. We have to work to make it worse. And so if we're little bit hesitant to do meditation because it seems like a lot of work. It probably overlooking the all the work that we do that makes situations worse for ourselves and for other people and don't make it worse. And then trust this place of calm or peace or subtleness.
And if you have this reference points Have some modicum of peace and calm. And again, it's it doesn't have to be dramatic and mended might not be might be at you're quite agitated, but a little bit you have a senseless sliver of calm you have some sense of what it is, that becomes a better reference point or to highlight how you are tense, how you are contracted or agitated. And then to stop and take a good look at that. Become familiar with that. That's when we bring our attention to sometimes my instructions that I give myself is, you know, what I do in meditation, or in daily life is I stopped for suffering. I go about my life, peacefully happily along. But if I start suffering, if I start getting agitated or tense, that becomes a mindfulness spell. Okay, here something I should pay attention to. Now, I should notice here something for me to learn. Why did I just do what did I just believe? What is arising out of me? What's the reactivity, what's happening here. And those questions of investigation of looking at it begins to take some of the authority away from it, some of the automatic nature of it, so that I don't have to kind of go barreling into or participate in this suffering, producing kind of state that I'm in. For some people, it can, there's very strong counter forces to being peaceful and calm. And one of them is a belief that it's not okay. And the belief that we're supposed to be agitated, or I'm so terrible person that I have to kind of make up for it that just kind of really tried to run around and fix everything up and make everything safe and everything good and tidy. And being peaceful just means that I'm lazy or good for nothing or something. And my worth is only found in doing. And so if I don't do something, I will have no inner worth. And this peace implies some kind of not doing. And so that, then it where's my worth, if I just sit and be calm. And this is a no, not necessary to think this way. Because it's possible to do all the things we are supposed to do our responsibilities. With through with our calm with peacefulness, we can do it peacefully, we can do it calmly. And some people have found that they do things better that way. It's more effective, it has a better impact on others on oneself. That by time some activity is over, we feel more settled or more focused, than if we did it out agitated when the time is over, we felt we feel exhausted by it, tense by it. So this idea that Buddhist practice has a lot of work is a misunderstanding, that's easy to come up with. And I'd like to think of it it's almost the opposite. It's like the undoing of work. It's the undoing of all the different forces that are work that are exhausting or tiring. And discovering a place of ease from which we can do things and, and enjoy at 10. And now that's fine. That's a wonderful place to be in trust in somebody profound way. So in this way, the instructions in meditation that we give, sometimes are not really prescriptive, less less than what we do, and more what we notice. No less what we're doing, but more what we're undoing. So if the attention is to the breathing, then it's noticing how we add extra work to breathing to the attention to breathing. Like we know we're trying too hard. And trusting that it's possible to do it in a peaceful way and relaxed way. If you bring attention to our body, feeling we have to fix every ache and pain in the body. And so we get busy trying to focus on pain and get rid of the pain, do something with it. And as opposed to just being peaceful with discomfort. I suppose to pay attention to discomfort when we do it peacefully and no agenda, no work, emotions, all these wonderful instructions we give on emotions can seem like a lot of work. But what is it like to be with emotions in a peaceful calm way? And to use the instructions in emotion emotions, to support a peaceful way a calm way?
And thinking, you know, a lot of thinking makes it worse. A lot of thinking is difficult and stressful. But what's it like to hold that peacefully and look upon it kindly and and not be too caught and preoccupied by it. So
our actions make a difference, our actions have consequences. And the actions that are done peacefully will have peaceful consequences, at least locally. And the actions that are done in an agitated way, and peacefully will have unpeaceful consequences. So hopefully that simple teaching will encourage you to stay peaceful and not to use Buddhism as some as a, as a lot of work. It can be ongoing, it can be continuous, it can be the center of our life. But it's more of a undoing than a doing. It's kind of like, we put a lot of work in to stay at ease, and stay close to the place of ease. And there's a paradox there, if you put a lot of work to that, you can't get tense in order to be at ease. But you can't have a continuous attention you can be have a heightened awareness that keeps you close to that place of ease and peace, a heightened awareness which is a self and expression of that peace itself. And that becomes a protection. Then this ease full mindfulness is a really a protection becomes a shield, from all the ways that we get caught up in excessive work in the mind and the heart. So thank you. And if you take one thing from this talk, live a life where you don't make it worse. whatever situation you're in, don't make it worse. So look forward to coming back tomorrow. And then next week, we'll do I'll start the sati Putana SUTA. I'll start the instructions on the Buddhist instructions on the four foundations of mindfulness and we'll go through it probably over a few weeks. It's a like we did last year with Anapanasati. Thank you