The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

EVOLUTION, KARMA, AND REBIRTH 99If you try to subdue your selfish motives—anger and so forth—anddevelop more kindness and compassion for others, ultimately youyourself will benefit more than you would otherwise. So sometimesI say that the wise selfish person should practice this way Foolishselfish people are always thinking of themselves, and the result isnegative. Wise selfish people think of others, help others as muchas they can, and the result is that they too receive benefit. 17The belief in reincarnation shows us that there is somekind of ultimate justice or goodness in the universe. It is thatgoodness that we are all trying to uncover and to free. Wheneverwe act positively we move toward it; whenever we actnegatively, we obscure and inhibit it. And whenever we cannotexpress it in our lives and actions, we feel miserable andfrustrated.So if you were to draw one essential message from the factof reincarnation, it would be: Develop this good heart thatlongs for other beings to find lasting happiness, and acts tosecure that happiness. Nourish and practice kindness. TheDalai Lama has said: "There is no need for temples; no needfor complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart isour temple; my philosophy is kindness."CREATIVITYKarma, then, is not fatalistic or predetermined. Karma meansour ability to create and to change. It is creative because we candetermine how and why we act. We can change. The future isin our hands, and in the hands of our heart. Buddha said:Karma creates all, like an artist,Karma composes, like a dancer. 18As everything is impermanent, fluid, and interdependent,how we act and think inevitably changes the future. There isno situation, however seemingly hopeless or terrible, such as aterminal disease, which we cannot use to evolve. And there isno crime or cruelty that sincere regret and real spiritual practicecannot purify.Milarepa is considered Tibet's greatest yogin, poet, andsaint. I remember as a child the thrill of reading his life story,and poring over the little painted illustrations in my handwrittencopy of his life. As a young man Milarepa trained to be asorcerer, and out of revenge killed and ruined countless people

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