Anger, The Poison
The escalation path starts with negative emotions like anger. These negative emotions give rise to negative actions, these create suffering for others that will eventually have the karmic result of our own suffering.
So we could say that negative emotions are themselves the causes for our future suffering. The sequence of events looks like this:
- Negative emotion, eg. anger.
- Negative actions, eg. shouting at somebody.
- Suffering experienced by others.
- Karmic result of our own future suffering.
Prevention Easier Than Cure
Instead, if we try to maintain a peaceful mind, then it is more difficult for negative minds to arise. This will stop the escalation process, so that we stop creating our own future suffering.
I sometimes miss the importance of the mind when His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about world peace. The mind is critical as a precursor to all other actions. Therefore, generating this peaceful mind therefore becomes very important because it directly shapes the world that we live in.
Doing Good In The World
Having reduced the negative actions that we create, we can move on to the next step. This involves performing positive activities such as the 10 Virtuous Actions in order to bring about future happiness.
By doing positive things for people in the world we will live the life that we want and feel no regrets when it comes time for us to die. We will be able to die peacefully with happiness, happy with what we have done with our lives.
So we could say that a positive motivation is itself the causes for our future happiness. The sequence of events looks like this:
- Positive emotion, eg. wanting to benefit others.
- Positive actions, eg. giving something to somebody.
- Happiness experienced by others.
- Karmic result of our own future happiness.
From this description, we can see that all happiness comes from cherishing others. Altruism is the source of al happiness.
Master of Your Own Destiny
Fortunately we are the master of our own destiny. By directing the mind through mind training we can determine our own future. We can determine whether the future will hold suffering or happiness for us. How fortunate we are to be able to take responsibility for our own future.
How wonderful, the law of cause and effect gives us the perfect reason to go out into the world with a positive motivation to want to help others.
It’s kind of like wanting financial security for our future. Maybe we have money invested in a savings account or we might own a house. We do these things because we are planning for our future and want ourselves to be financially comfortable for the future. In the same way we can plan for our future happiness so that we are happy in the future. It is a similar sense of responsibility for our own future.
Source: This article was based on a teaching by Geshe Thupten Wangchen. Any mistakes or misunderstandings are completely my own.