|Original Photo by puuikibeach available on Flickr.com|
Our True Self, our deepest sense of life, is not limited to this physical body. The physical body and its six billion cells disappear at death. Our True Self, our true life, also penetrates the Three Worlds. So once the physical body is gone, this True Self remains.
|Original Photo by toolstop available on Flickr.com|
Buddhism teaches that there are eight minds within human beings. Seven of them disappear at death with the physical body, but the Alaya Mind is the part that remains.
The Alaya Mind is our self since the countless ages past. It lasts forever, long after our death. It flows from the beginning-less beginning and into the never-ending future. It is the invisible flow of life present in every moment.
Throughout life, we perform various deeds and actions that fall into three categories. They are also known in Japanese as Go, or karma.
Mouth - Deeds \ Actions
Body - Deeds \ Actions
My mind caused me to write out my notes on this lecture on Law of Cause and Effect from Takamori-sensei, the current living master of Pure Land Buddhism. Then I decided to put the content online to share the teachings. You are now reading this because your mind encouraged you to look into Buddhism, and you then found Mirror of Dharma Blog by searching Google or you clicked a link to this page. This example demonstrates a chain of causes and their subsequent effects.
For example in criminal cases, people discuss and debate whether or not the act was premeditated. The law examines what the murderer had in his mind. The mind has this strong energy, so a greater emphasis must be placed on it.
|Original Photo by JohnE777 available on Flickr.com|
We have learned about good causes, bad causes, and own causes. So what kind of seeds do we have in our hearts and minds?
Even without knowing these causes or the Law of Cause and Effect, the actions of the mind, mouth and body are converted into invisible karmic power. The terms karmic power and seeds of karma are interchangeable. These energies are what is stored in the Alaya Mind. All our actions are recorded invisibly and stored within this storehouse mind. The karmic power within it flows throughout all the Three Worlds (past, present, future).
Karmic power thus becomes the cause, but cause alone cannot bring an effect. It requires a condition. You reap the effect only when the condition arrives. Karmic power lasts forever and never disappears. This means all our thoughts, words, and actions become invisible power stored into our Alaya Mind for all time.
The Chinese characters for the word "input" translate to "entering the power." When we use a word processor, we are "entering the power" of our thoughts to be stored into data onto a hard disk.
|Original Photo by boredwithacamera available on Flickr.com|
Putting weight on the keys of the keyboard is the condition that allows the process to take place. The commands or words we see on the monitor are the effect.
It’s also like the the call log on a cell phone, and there are so many other examples. Society and our world become more familiar when integrated with Buddhist fundamentals.
So Alaya Mind flows through the past, present, and future. This is why at birth, we receive the effects of certain characteristics like being American, Japanese, Male, Female, etc. These effects had to be determined before the result took place.
But how were they determined? They were made as a result of our past choices in the past life. This is why though we are all human beings, no single person has received the same experience. The different effects we all have were determined by each and every one of us in the past life and the past world.
It is not by accident. Our fate does not occur without cause. Different causes mean different effects. Karmic power from the past flowed into this present life. Our parents were the condition.
Some may claim the father is the cause and the mother was the condition. But then why do siblings have different effects? It must be the karmic power from each child's past.
A cause itself doesn’t result in birth as a human. It must combine with a condition in order to make the effect. This is how we came to be born, but it is not only in this life. We have repeated birth and death ceaselessly.
If someone kills one person, they can be executed once. But if they kill ten people, they can still only be executed one time. Karma dictates that if you kill ten people, you will be executed ten times. What about the other nine offenses? They must be reaped in the future life. All the pain the killer caused must occur to them in their afterlife.
|Original Photo by nattu available on Flickr.com|
Listening to the words of Buddha in this way shows us our True Self. Without knowing the Law of Cause and Effect, this cannot be clear.
Look within the Mirror of Dharma at present. This is why listening to Buddhism is so essential.