A really important realization that comes from ZEN practice, is that thoughts don’t really have any substance. They are not true fundamental reality, but rather they are merely reflections or shadows of it. But once we start to believe in them, we make them our reality. They become our reality without actually being it … and we think, talk, act and and live our lives according to this mental made (or fake if you like) reality.
I don’t know, but I don’t believe in what is referred to as fate, meaning an outside force establishing some kind of preordained path or life for us. I don’t believe that something like that exists. But I am becoming more aware of, from my practice, that there is ignorance and unawareness within me, within us all, that seemingly inevitably leads to suffering … again and again and again. And it is becoming more clear that so very very often it boils down to our unawareness of how our reality becomes clouded and and distorted in our thinking, particularly the thoughts about “me” or “I”, … and how we are dragged by emotions that comes with that, like fear, anger, jealousy, desire or whatever ..
Looking at history it seems we’re destined for suffering. Looking on a global scale today, particularly at what is playing out now with Russia and Ukraine, where once again we enter war with all the suffering that comes with it … again!?! It’s just heartbreaking!! And the foundation is simply crazy, stupid ideas being put into life.
Looking at our own tiny lives, like mine here in Haugesund, there is suffering that is reappearing, again and again and again. We just keep on replaying that same old song of suffering, for ourselves and others.
Either we look at global scale, or just our own “small” lives, the cause of suffering has the same source … and that is our thinking, and how we make our thinking our reality, which we act upon causing all kinds of problems for ourselves and others. Human beings are the ones on this planet that causes the most suffering of all beings in this world. Through our thinking we make this world, and we establish habits and thinking patterns, that in the degree we are not aware of
them will create a kind of fate or destiny for our lives. But this fate or destiny is not made by an external force, it is we, ourselves that make our fate or destiny, and if we don’t pay attention, it means endless repeating forms of suffering. In our small lives it may manifest in conflicts and suffering in our relationships. On a global scale it manifests through wars, conflicts and injustice on a much larger scale.
Maha Gosananda put it very precisely like this. “The thought manifests itself in the word. The word manifests itself in the action. The action develops to habit. The habit becomes our character, and our character gives birth to destiny. There, watch your thoughts carefully. And let them spring out from love, born out of respect of all living things”
It is of vital importance to pay attention to our mind, to our thoughts and feelings and what moves in our minds. To truly be able to break that selv-created destiny or karma. And meditation can be truly helpful in this way, revealing all these things to us, and helping us to come back to the core of our being, right here, right now.
So keep on practicing, for your own sake and for all other beings sake. Because we have the power to make our own “destiny”, to change our karma, and relieve ourselves and others from suffering.