This discussion continues from a discussion of Karma.
Q&A: What is free will?
How does free will fit into the concept of karma?
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Student: It's sisters. There's basically nobody home inside and outside. There's no nothing controlling. Where does, how does that relate to our concept of free will and intention,
Culadasa: the entity that we are and that we that until you, that we have not fully awakened beginning, you're going to identify. Entity that you think you are as being something itself is not rigidly and deterministically determined and how it behaves and how it evolves over time. Different word. If there were a radical and complete determinism and you couldn't be it couldn't, the process that you are would just have to unfold and it would be absolutely no.
That process itself could direct itself to evolve in a new and different direction. But that is not the case. If you look at what happens to you as an individual, the working of your own mind, that there are constantly decisions being made and they're being made as a cumulative result.
The past conditioning, the body mind complex that you are
and that there, that you are a complex entity of many parts. There's no single thing that you can call your mind in a single thing that you can call it yourself and not a single thing that you can call it your will, but each decision you make. Is an outcome of many different past experiences and many different mental processes that have developed as a result of those past experiences, call them impulses or tenancy.
So what any kind of choice that arises and that is made. And this is constantly happening. Moment by moment is basically the outcome of. Measuring these different impulses and tendencies against each other for a huge proportion of these your makeup is such that, the predominance is such that there's, it's always going to.
And one particular way. There's not any sort of doubt, but probability is huge that when this decision on this choice arises, that you're going to go this way rather than that way. But there are also a tremendous number of circumstances that arise in your life, where when these different impulses and tendencies, when they're added together.
I had come up to a probability that is like 50 50, or are very close to that. It's very closely imbalanced. And so in those cases is not predetermined. The other thing is that it's not as though in each intention that arises in your mind. And each act, it leads to that every part of your chain to past cannula is participating in this.
So something happens and you respond immediately afterwards, or at least you have a reaction. You're inclined to say something of a particular client immediately afterwards and of the different. Tendencies and processes that make you up. There's only a small number of them who would have participated in the generation of that intention.
If you have restraint. And if you allow a little more time to elapse, there are other tendencies that you have required to have acquired, which can produce a different intention and a different action. If only you allow the top. To for that to occur now, allowing the time for that is only one part of the way that, that we, as a, as an entity can determine our own evolution.
The other is the kinds of tendencies that we accumulate that can affect a particular choice, but it can affect a particular intent. So that is by other very easy choices that we make all the time you can influenced by things that you hear and read and influenced by your mind's own examination of your experience.
Say that I would like to. My own nature and my life to go in this direction rather than that direction. And that can guide you. Just to use this example of being a person on a spiritual path that can guide you to become interested in a spiritual path that can cause you to start associating with different kinds of people.
And what they say and do is part of what influences your future decisions. You can attend Dharma talks and everything that you read and see him. There comes a part of your mesh pad. And so you can in all kinds of very gentle, subtle, easy ways influenced the makeup of who and what you are through positive influences, through easy choices.
When you're at a something that's like a 50 50 choice, go to the Dharma talk or. Watch porn on the internet. I'm not sure most people would experience amputate really, but, it's very illustrative of the kind of different kind of results that come. So if you could just imagine that you're at that decision point, that it's should I do this or should I do that?
And if it's, if you're right at that balance, And if you have the sense that you'd like to be a better person and a better world, then you might choose to go to the darn top and you build up, you accumulate those experiences. The Buddha said that the spiritual, the path, somebody approached me lessons.
Good good companions and good circumstances. That's part of the spiritual path, right? Boston says no. That's the whole of the spiritual fan associate. Would it be with good people, associate with people that you would like to be like, and that have the same interests and direction directions, bad companions are going to make you into a person like, like the people you associate with.
So a good companions, wholesome companions and wholesome circumstances. This is the way that you. Your mind with all of these positive influences so that when you come to other more difficult traces, you can introduce it. And I feel the pause and let them join. And the decision-making so that when you have that the impulse to perform a kind of habitual unfold, some action that has been a part of your life for a long time and being reinforced many.
If you restrain yourself long enough to have some of these newly acquired influences play a role, then you can change at each time you succeed in doing that. You make yourself into a different kind of person who is less likely to be inclined to be unwholesome, but more likely to be inclined with.
So bring that back around meditation. That's what we're doing. Every time we bring our attention back to the breath is practicing that as a matter of fact scale we are, if you wanted it, I thought a years ago, I thought of this as a way that a person could understand meditation karma health meditation is a way of making a particular kind of.
You close your eyes and say, I'm going to pay attention to my breath and it doesn't happen it's because your mind is conditioned insights. You worry that you're going to end up thinking about other things and set well, that's carved on the results of karma, but if you sit down and you repeatedly, each time you have mind is carried away.
When that moment comes, when you recognize it was carried away, there you have a choice. You do. Oh, I want to go back to planning, migrate project. That's more fun in watching my breath or no. I want to learn to do this and achieve the kind of results that I see in my new companion so that I associated with.
So that's the kind of choice. That's the creating of karma whenever every single time that choice arises and every time. You choose to bring your attention back to the grip. You are creating the karma to be a person whose mind responds to intention. And after a while, the factor that came out of karma is you'll be a person who when they sit down, but that they have the karma that their mind responds to their intention.
But it does. It's not just when they're sitting down, when they in the daily law. They're buying, we'll also respond to intention and this creates a possibility for that mindful awareness for that discovery of the way things are. And for that ability to shift the way things stand to go. So meditation is a perfect example.
You started out with a karma not to be able to nice page when you create the carbon to be a person, but meditate. Successfully, it applies everything else. You started out the person who's working at a Hitman for the mafia and you ended up being somebody who helps a little children, yeah. Explained that before like this, but I think because it talks about being in this lifetime. So he likes not talking about. Next lifetime is it's really about the right, creating that next boot you have not made with the right intentions. It is the same thing. And this was this was a subtle sort of thing is you remember, the Buddha was teaching us society where everybody believed and reincarnation that.
When they died that's they were a person, an entity, a cell that kind of soul that would be reincarnated again. And there would be the same cell phone person. So as he did so often he appropriated a common idea and subtly shifted it. He said I don't teach reincarnation, but I teach rebirth. All he did was choose different words.
And so people said and rebirth, what does this mean? And he says that because he was also teaching that there is no self. And so the question also comes up, if there is no self then who or what is reborn. And he says, when I say rebirth, I mean that those Carmen creating this positions are what is rewind.
The self that you think you are is it's not something that you're going to lose and be destroyed when you die. It's something that never existed in the first place. It's just a natural foundation. It's like an idea or a thought or a memory. And it has no more substance than that, but we are all interconnected.
Part of a whole, even though we can't understand the nature of that and what is reborn, if you live in a good way, and if you develop a lot of good karma and that you have developed a good karma is that you have become a wholesome person highly values and like a standard of behavior that.
That is what continues on are those Carmen predisposition of so and so in that regard, by saying, when the Buddhist said, what is reborn from? The only thing that is reborn is your karmic predispositions. And you can see that's the same thing we were talking about. That the person that you are a year from now, It is determined by your past experience.
And when you wake up some morning, a year from now, you are that kind of person that's like being born that day. You wake up in the morning and this is the kind of person you are, and you could look into the past and you could see how your karma caused you to wake up. Was that kind of. And so you can't think of rebirth and the same sets.
The best thing is not to claim two ideas of rebirth and reincarnation, because if you think of it, you're a major concern is disliked. You probably don't remember anything about your past. And so it was very likely that, some that no teacher being like that comes to think and feel the way you do is going to remember hadn't been you in the past.
So don't worry about that. Just find your life, focus on becoming awakened in this lifetime you're selling, but you can take comfort.