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Jyotisha Practice


Consciousness and Karma

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~~ Holy Qur'an, Al Baqara [The Cow] 2.153

"O you who believe!

Seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient."

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Eine Person hört nur, was er versteht.

"A person hears only what they understand."

REFRAIN YOURSELF

Pema Chödrön

Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living

page 73

"It's painful when you see how in spite of everything you continue in your neurosis; sometimes it has to wear itself out like an old shoe.

However, refraining is very helpful as long as you don't impose too authoritarian a voice on yourself.

Refraining is not a New Year's resolution, not a setup where you plan your next failure by saying, I see what I do and I will never do it again,” and then you feel pretty bad when you do it again within the half hour.

Refraining comes about spontaneously when you see how your neurotic action works.

You may say to yourself, It would still feel good; it still looks like it would be fun,” but you refrain because you already know the chain reaction of misery that it sets off."

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- Anonymous

"I wondered why somebody didn't do something.

Then I realized, I am somebody ."

Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhistsby the Dalai Lama, edited by Jose Ignacio Cabezon.

"Consciousness is eternal. Its continuity never ceases. But it is not permanent.

Permanence refers to the fact that something does not change from moment to moment.

And this, of course, consciousness does do. It is impermanent in this sense, but it is still eternal.

The continuity of the moment never ceases."

~ As I Lay Dying 1897-1962 William Faulkner

"The past is never dead. It's not even past."

GLIMPSE OF ENLIGHTENMENT


The Pocket Chögyam Trungpa, #32.

Originally in The Sanity We Are Born With

"The terms enlightenment or buddha or awakened imply tremendous sharpness and precision along with a sense of spaciousness.

We can experience this; it is not a myth. We experience a glimpse of it.

The point is to start from the glimpse and gradually, as you become more familiar with that glimpse and the possibilities of reigniting it, it happens naturally.

A flash occurs, maybe a fraction of a second. These flashes happen constantly, all the time.

Faith is realizing that there is some open space and sharpness in your everyday life."

~~" 14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso, Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective. Geshe Thupten Jinpa (Trans.).

"When we talk of karma or action , it entails action committed by an agent , in this case, oneself, in the past.

So what type of future will come about, to a large extent, lies within one's own hands and can be determined by the kind of initiatives that one takes now.

Not only that, but karma should not be understood in terms of passive, static kind of force, but rather in terms of active process.

This indicates that there is an important role for the individual agent to play in determining the course of the karmic process.


Consider, for instance, a simple act like fulfilling our need for food.

In order to achieve that simple goal, one must take action on one's own behalf: one needs to look for food, to prepare it, to eat it.

This shows that even a simple act, even a simple goal is achieved through action."

from: http://www.tsemtulku.com/center/center.htm

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Karma = Action, Karma = Motivation

14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso. (2005). Lighting the Way . Geshe Thupten Jinpa (Trans.).

"...karma refers not only to our actions but, more importantly, to the motivation or intention behind them.

The acts themselves are not the primary cause of our suffering; rather, it arises from the world of our intentions or, in other words, from our thoughts and emotions. These afflictive states of mind underlie our negative karma and are therefore the source of our suffering.

Obviously, these afflictions won't go away simply by saying prayers or wishing them away; they can only be eliminated by cultivating their corresponding remedies or antidotes.


To understand how this process of applying the antidote works we can observe our physical world.

For instance, we can contrast heat and cold: if we are suffering from the effects of too cold a temperature, then we increase the thermometer on our heater or air-conditioning unit and adjust it to our comfort.

Thus, even in the physical world we can see instances where opposing forces counter each other.


...From our own personal experience we recognise that anger and hostility disturb our peace of mind and, more importantly, that they have the potential to harm others. Conversely, we recognise that positive emotions like compassion and loving kindness can engender in us a deep sense of peace and serenity, beneficial results that we can extend to others as well.


This appreciation of their great value naturally leads to a desire to cultivate these positive emotions. It is through this gradual process that the antidotes work in decreasing and eventually eliminating their opposing forces in the mental realm, the realm of our thoughts and emotions."

The Need to Take Compassionate Action

Ethics for the New Millennium by the" 14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso, edited by Alexander Norman, translated by Dr. Thupten Jinpa

"We have a saying in Tibet that engaging in the practice of virtue is as hard as driving a donkey uphill, whereas engaging in destructive activities is as easy as rolling boulders downhill. It is also said that negative impulses arise as spontaneously as rain and gather momentum just like water following the course of gravity.

What makes matters worse is our tendency to indulge negative thoughts and emotions even while agreeing that we should not. It is essential, therefore, to address directly our tendency to put things off and while away our time in meaningless activities and shrink from the challenge of transforming our habits on the grounds that it is too great a task.

In particular, it is important not to allow ourselves to be put off by the magnitude of others' suffering.

  • The misery of millions is not a cause for pity. Rather it is a cause for developing compassion.

We must also recognize that the failure to act when it is clear that action is required may itself be a negative action....

  • inaction is attributable less to negative thoughts and emotions as to a lack of compassion.

It is thus important that we are no less determined to overcome our habitual tendency to laziness than we are to exercise restraint in response to afflictive emotion."

Q: I assume that Vedic astrology has its roots in Hinduism. Is this correct?

A: Yes, you're right about Vedic Astrology (called "samaya-vidya" or "Jyotisha" in Sanskrit) being related to Hinduism.

  • the roots of Jyotisha deepened in the Vaidik culture (vaida, vidya = cognate of English video). Vedic culture pre-dates modern "Hinduism" by several thousand years.

Linguistically, the Vedic Sanskrit cultural era = approximately 2000 BCE - 500 BCE. The recorded"visions " called Veda = collected ancient oral teachings originally passed down the generations by memorized chanting.

The origins of these visions are lost in the mists of time, but the linguistic roots of Indo-European language (predecessor to Sanskrit) are traceable with present analytical methods to an era of 5000 BCE and earlier.

  • The Sanskrit word"Veda" English"knowledge", and the particular method of knowledge is distinctively visionary. The field of vision is internal.

The patchwork-quilt assembly of many different Indian religions presently identified by the umbrella-name idea of"Hinduism" was compiled by British colonial scholars in India in the 1700's.

They believed that they could identify a coherent pattern of culture including religious practice and belief, marriage customs, food habits, language, dress, dance etc. that appeared to have emanated from the center-point of the"Indu" (Sindhu, Indus) river valley.

Most of the numerous religions which are presently grouped together in the family of practices-beliefs called"Hinduism"are 'syncretic'. These syncretic traditions have have multiple roots. Some roots originate in ancient Vedic cultures while other roots are traceable to other tribal sources.

Therefore the pantheons, rituals, and scriptural narrative traditions of the various practice lineages of"Hindu" religions can vary greatly.

  • Yet, nearly everywhere within the huge scope of this amazing ritual and linguistic diversity, Jyotisha is widely accepted.

  • Jyotisha is considered as one of the six 'anga' (body parts) of the Veda. As the sixth vedanga, Jyotisha is completely integrated into the ethno-cultural practices which thrive under the umbrella of 'Hinduism'.

We could possibly compare the role of the Vedas in Hinduism to the role of the Hebrew Bible in Christianity. Although the sacred scripture of Hebrew Bible originated in a different older religion (Judaism) and Hebrew Bible is at least 1000 years older than Christianity itself, Christians universally respect the Hebrew Bible, and they take many of their core teachings from that holy scripture.

Hindus venerate the scripture from the ancient Vedic religions in a similar way to Christians venerating the scripture from the ancient Jewish religion. they treat the Veda as their respected"parent"and try to follow its guidance.

However, just as Christians are clearly not pure Jews, so Hindus are clearly not pure Vedic. Unfortunately in recent years a wave of patriotic Hindu chauvinism in India has caused astrologers to start calling Jyotisha by the name of"Hindu Astrology."

You can imagine, this partisan labeling makes many international Jyotishi uneasy. Vedic thought is very universal and not limited to any particular religious expression.

Q: I was so overwhelmed by the negativity of the prediction for my next two years. I was hoping to hear some"good news "about more money, more respect, and better health.

Barbara, I don't want to work any harder than I already do! You make it sound like these"challenges "are such great opportunities to develop"consciousness " - but I don't care about consciousness or any other New Age concept.

I want money, comfort, security, good food, well-behaved children, and a reliable car. I do not want"challenges ".

Why can't I have what"I" want? Why can't I have an easy life?

A:

Remember, the whole point of incarnating * enrolling * in the School of Earth is *not* to have an easy life.

In fact, easy lives are rather a waste of incarnational time.

The purpose of Earth School is to learn through our experiences. The point is *not* to wander to the back of the classroom, choose an empty desk, put down your head and take a nap!

The goal is to consciously comprehend that our beliefs and expectations are the seeds that produce our experiences here in the terrarium.

It is only the tough experiences that sufficiently motivate the Earthling to go in search of the seeds of the experience.

Once we have earned consciousness of the Seed-Source, the karmic cycle is done * diploma earned * and we can move forward to achieve other goals in service of the Creator.

In the School of Earth, the hard classes are really much better for developing consciousness and moving along!

Q: I admit to intellectual difficulty with some concepts of reincarnation, especially those relating to fatalism. But, there are multiple unmistakable elements of truth in your reading, relating to past events, present realities and future visions.

A: There is no absolute fatalism in Jyotisha philosophy.

The basic concept of time + karma"obligatory action" is that a thought or action put in motion in a"previous " life, will cause a re-action in a"future" life.

Western culture is comfortable with the idea that a thought or action put in motion in one's childhood will affect one's adulthood.

It takes only a slight expansion of that concept to entertain the possibility that if there were parallel lives , they probably would affect current and future lives.

Q: In Jyotisha readings you spend so much time talking about karma as the action-reaction law that brings parallel life karma into the current life. Can some people change their Karma? How can you reconcile free will with karma ?

A: the most significant feature of my Jyotisha perspective, in my own view, is that I am American. I have been immersed in the culture of choice since conception! Although I read Sanskrit and Tibetan, have been married into Himalayan culture for a long time, my views on karma are similar to yours:"choice is part of the reality that I create."

However I also acknowledge that karma is a very strong force, that most people are sleepwalking , and so for most people, the traditional Indian view of a completely fixed lockstep programme for each incarnation is in fact valid.

Nevertheless a few people in each generation have sufficient consciousness and moral development to begin overriding the system defaults.

For these folks, when spiritual awareness reaches "critical mass ", conscious choice does begin to affect the direction of karmic activity.

Even for sleepwalkers , I always mention in readings the possibility of respectfully"directing" the karmic unfoldment. For you, the power of conscious co-creativity in directing the unfoldment your experience is probably obvious.

Ironically, the more one accepts responsibility for making conscious choices, the more one can see how many life choices indeed remained consigned to the default programming. Water runs downhill; all things must pass. After a certain point in the development of conscious awareness, it becomes fairly obvious that most things are better left in the default state; they are not worth the energy needed to change them.

A few things like conscious compassion and moment-to-moment apprehension of the divine are however critically important and worthy of high energy reinforcement. These principles of action, often taken as vows, can have an enormous effect on everything in their downstream.

Q: So the fatalism really applies only to the"sleepwalkers " ?

A: Yes. There is a relative fatalism in Jyotisha philosophy, but it applies mainly to low-consciousness people.

It works like this:

Folks who live without reflection, addicted to one sensual experience after the next - or one fear to the next - (but either way trapped into thinking only about themselves) will be spending all their attention on food, money, sex, entertainment, getting status, etc. They are always in the grip of fear ing something or desiring something. They never pull their head out of the sand to get the"big picture" of how their actions are affecting self and others.

This sort of person is essentially on auto-pilot. Their choices at every juncture are dictated by fear - especially fear of death - or desire for short-term sensual experience.

We see them playing the game of"He who dies with the most toys, wins " or obsessing about their health or finances, overrun by one wave of anxiety after the next. they have no peace. However, they are very easy to predict because the Jyotisha chart shows where the past-life fears and desires are stored, and when those ancient seeds will sprout.

I'll bet you know people like this. They actually form the majority of our global population. These people's lives are very easy to predict via their Jyotisha charts, because these low-consciousness folks are essentially sleep-walking through a maze of experiences.

That maze is constructed unfortunately from nothing but the sprouting seeds of fear and desire. These folks simply do not have the conscious awareness that their minute-to-minute choices regarding *how to respond* to the sprouting seeds, are directly affecting future unfoldment of their lives.

They are not yet mature enough to even be aware that they are making choices!

They simply experience things as happening *to* them from the outside. Mentally these folks live in a victim state throughout life. It's not very pleasant but it is very easy to predict!

Luckily, there are some higher-consciousness folk on our planet as well. You may be in this higher group.

Higher consciousness folks can, through effort when motivated by desire for awareness, pull their head out of the sand. They are blessed with the capacity for reflection. They enter this life with a higher level of spiritual and emotional maturity. Interestingly, higher consciousness folks frequently have a very difficult first half of life.

Their lives often improve dramatically after sufficient life experience teaches two working keys to inner peace: accepting personal responsibility - without guilt - for one's own life choices, and acting compassionately at all times.

Essentially, as soon as internal blaming behavior stops, the karma is transformed into wisdom, and suffering dissolves.

Q: Can a person"Outgrow " their Jyotisha chart?

A: Yes. Higher consciousness folks sometimes "wake up" from the victim state, and become aware that their decision on *how to respond* to their current pressures is completely under their control. True, the sprouting seeds of parallel life fear and desire will sprout on their own natural timeline. The seeds are sprouting all around us, in 3-D, 24/7, real-time reality. That pre-programmed sprouting we can't so much control.

Yet our mental, emotional, and often physical experience does not depend so much on what is objectively happening. Our happiness comes fromhow we respond to what is happening.

The more a person"wakes up"and seizes the moment, making a conscious decision to respond not with anger but with neutrality and compassion - the more that person starts to"outgrow" his or her Jyotisha kundali.

words with 'hap'

happiness is largely a function of how one deals with the daily flow of experience, the"hap"

hap (n.)

c.1200,"chance, a person's luck, fortune, fate;"also"unforeseen occurrence," from Old Norse happ"chance, good luck,"

  • hap
  • happen
  • happening
  • haphazard
  • happenstance
  • hapless
  • mishap
  • mayhap
  • haply
  • happily
  • happiness
  • happy medium
  • happy ending
  • happy hunting ground
THREE STEP PRACTICE


Pema Chodron. Living Beautifully, page 72

"First, come into the present. Flash on what's happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, This is my experience right now, and it's okay.”

Then go into the next moment without any agenda."

Q: Is it necessary to Accept reincarnation and understand parallel lives in order to outgrow the karma?

A: No. Each time the outside happening is greeted with aware, accepting responsibility (not guilt!) of knowing that this circumstance, whatever it is, is simply the natural karmic reaction to whatever seed was planted -- the cycle if action-reaction is broken.

It is not necessary to know anything about the seed. It is only necessary to train one's awareness to respond with neutrality - with higher love - so as not to get stuck in the action-reaction that binds us to the"world." I believe this is what Jesus was saying.

If you are curious about the seeds themselves -- the parallel life moral and immoral actions -- you can find out about the seeds through Jyotisha, or past-life regression, or skillful meditation. But, as 14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzing Gyatso so often says, there is no need to waste time exploring parallel lives . Our work lies here, in the current life.

The nature of that work is to stop the all the cycles of constant anxiety, constant fear, constant reaction -- and replace those cycles with a deep, trusting peace. the higher-consciousness person actually wants opportunities to"practice" their maturity. that is why more spiritual people often have much more difficult lives, especially in the first half of life.

Eventually, the spiritual person gains the strength through practice, to expand their attitude of aware, accepting responsibility (not guilt!) into every area of their life. Eventually, they replace every victim experience with the experience of being in complete control.

By controlling their reactions to the cycle of outside experiences which was put in motion long before, they make themselves completely free. As we move toward spiritual freedom through responsibility for our actions are reactions, our Jyotish chart has increasingly less predictive power.

Eventually, it will mean nothing.

Yet, for you and I who are"on the path" but not quite there, the Jyotish chart is a valuable document, which can assist our spiritual awareness and inspire us to deeper moral commitment.

One of my favorite examples of a person who was seen "growing out" of his Jyotisha chart is Satyagraha 1869-1948 Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi's planets have a heavy concentration in vyayasthana-12 which often indicates imprisonment and identity loss. Graha in 12 could have also showed constant fighting in the law courts, sexual conflict, congress with polluted outcastes, and crushing poverty. true, the Jyotishi saw remarkable leadership ability, but leading what kind of filthy rabble! At the time of Gandhi's birth, the local astrologers issued his light-skinned financially privileged merchant parents a dire warning for their older son: tightly control him, else he will end up a criminal in and out of prison, beaten and bloody, and die in penniless disgrace...

Although he is now revered as a great saint and the moral father of modern India, Gandhi did, in fact, suffer frequent imprisonment as punishment for civil disobedience. However, he had increasingly high consciousness from boyhood. Every time he was beaten, spit on, or imprisoned, he did not take it personally. He reacted with neutrality, and gained strength each time. He did consort with the polluted dark outcastes of India - but he did not revile in horror (as his parents surely would have.) Rather, he reacted with neutrality to their unsavory reality, saw their integrity beneath their squalor, and gained strength.

After obtaining a barrister's diploma (which created a lifetime of exhausting legal battles) he abandoned his parents' material-accumulation lifestyle in favor of an austere service lifestyle requiring continuous financial loss. But he met poverty with neutrality (not fear or judgment) and this gave him more strength!

Eventually he had enough strength to overthrow the British in India !! He did suffer imprisonment, squalor, mixing with low people, and he did die penniless. the Jyotishi were right about that.

Did Gandhi-ji suffer from these sprouted seeds? No! He lived and died a centered, prayerful man. He used conflicts as fuel to energize his highest goal: returning consciously to the heart of God. Many of us believe he arrived.


Years ago I picked up my young son from kindergarten. I witnessed a scene that reminded me about consciousness and karma!

The bell rang, and a small boy ran out the school door at top speed. His fully-loaded backpack was hanging open, unzipped, and his shoelace was dangling, untied. But he was busy running. Along the 30-meteer route from the school door to his mom's car, his backpack disgorged a trail of pencils, books, markers, hat. When he tripped on the shoelace, plastic lunchbox with glass-lined thermos, all the way from the bottom of the pack, sailed up into the air above the crowd, and fell to the concrete with a loud smashing crack.

The boy looked at his debris trail in amazement."My pack exploded!" he screamed exultantly. He must have felt like he was in a television cartoon! But his mother was angry, since almost everything was trampled by the herd of stampeding children that followed her front-runner son. She hit him in anger. Everyone felt bad - but especially the victim of the exploding backpack!

If we as mature adults examine the instant replay, we see that in fact the backpack did not"explode". In the heat of desire to be the first out the door, the boy failed to zip the pack, left his shoelace untied, and ran too fast. the natural laws of material dynamics played out.

He was really not a victim of anything except unconsciousness.

His mom was apparently an act-first-think-later type too. Surely this boy felt like bad events had happened *to* him! But we see he created the events through a series of poor decisions.

Sooooo, belief in reincarnation is not absolutely necessary for appreciating a Jyotisha chart. We can see the micro-version of the action-reaction-repercussions-on-other people cycle quite clearly in the current life alone. That little boy probably has a strong placement of Mangala - running, getting hit, explosions, etc. If the boy wants to avoid future"explosions,"angry hitting moms, etc. he will need to be aware that his desire to run out first must be counterbalanced by attention to shoelaces and backpack zippers. He will need eventually to take responsibility for his desire-nature and how he chooses to act it out.

Q: OK, I accept that desire is the seed of all suffering. But I have so much desire! Does reincarnation theory help manage my desires?

A: In Jyotisha readings I never suggest that folks restrain their desire-nature. Desire-complexes are natural"sprouting seeds " that must run their course. Life will always be complicated! But, we don't need to hyper-explain the mystical roots of that desire nature, unless we are naturally interested in those ancestral complexities. On a practical level, we just need to be aware of the effect that our actions and thoughts are having on us and the people around us.

It is true that Jyotisha is an effective spiritual tool for seeing the complexity of one's desire-nature, and thereby being prepared for the moral work when it arises. Blessedly, it is also true that the essence of that work -- applying the Golden Rule -- is extremely simple. (Not easy, but simple!) I t is quite possible to use Jyotisha in real-time of the current lifetime, without any reference to reincarnation, and still have full benefit of being forewarned, and forearmed!

H.H. Dalai Lama says that our decision to treat each person (especially ourselves!) with kindness, while simultaneously resisting the urge toward anger and blaming, is a moment-to-moment moral commitment which does not require any complex philosophical explanation. Clearly our true purpose here on earth is to apply that higher-love rule not in any parallel life or future life, but right now!

However I personally find that at the level of technical Jyotisha, reincarnation is essential for my understanding. I am by education and by trade, a philosopher. On the tapes, I talk about parallel life seeds sprouting in the current life as a way of historically explaining things.

Also, though, I find that the reincarnation idea therapeutically helps folks to gain a little emotional buffer from their lifelong guilt . Many folks subtly believe that bad things only happen to bad people. the old western morality (esp. Calvinism ) has made a lot of folks doubt that they will ever be accepted by a loving God. Fearing rejection from God if they can't fix all their problems in one lifetime, they often reject God entirely.

Reincarnation is a nice buffer for these folks because it allows multiple lifetimes to fix all the problems, and therefore releases fear of rejection.

The concept of reincarnation may help them rebuild their trust that they too will someday be mature enough to accept guilt-free responsibility for their actions/reactions, and thereby ultimately be free enough to merge into the heart of a loving God.

Reincarnation can be a very therapeutic teaching when intelligently and lovingly applied.

But for folks who do not need the concept, it remains true that to stop the endless cycle of reaction, one needs only to control one's response to the current event. It is not necessary to know anything about the seed. So, I think we can have it both ways, according to taste!

Q: Why do some family members get upset with my interest in Vedic astrology readings?

A: Often a person uses their in-depth Jyotisha reading as a way of taking a big step in consciousness and spiritual liberation. And often also, certain members of their family - quite unconsciously, usually - feel threatened by one member of the group getting "out of step" with the lower vibration. If a family member displays an incipient higher vibration, the family group may instinctively want to restrain the stepping-up person.

There are probably a few people in your family who would prefer you to hold to the lower vibration of survival traditional patterns, even if those traditional patterns support quite a bit of fear and anxiet y.

It's just sort of a generalized fear of change at the tribal level. Everyone has some amount of fear and some families have a surplus! In the Old Earth, conformity to a group standard was an excellent strategy for survival. In the New Earth, individualism and creative improvement of the psychic vibration is becoming the New Normal. However we are still hosting an astral community of disruptive global spirits who will plug right into the family terror of nonconformity. Therefore the individual may need to own their decision to Step Up and be prepare for a bit of pushback from the family.

You are taking a step into higher awareness, so whether your ancestral family spirits (or specifically your parents) are sufficiently conscious to support you in that or not, you're doing it. They'll catch up with you later!

The fearful survival spirits which accompany each family incarnation group can manhandle readings. They damage the recording. But if the person really wants their reading they will get it.

Because positive energy always outweighs negative, I am always willing to replace the reading if it is damaged by some digital issue.

Enjoy your spiritual seniority! Positive energy always wins!

Q: Once I recognize the boring repeating pattern [of women becoming angry or disappointed with me in a particular individual relationship] can I just Acknowledge it and release myself from the relationship? or do I need to wait and get verbally and otherwise beat up by yet another woman (ugh!) before I'm released?

A : Hah! That was a rhetorical question, right? :):)

THE ANSWER IS PERMISSION

At your level of spiritual awareness, you do not need to wait to get beat up (again) before the little light bulb goes off in your head flashing "permission to release"!

The sleepwalkers do unfortunately need to get dragged through it a couple of thousand times or so, whether their particular consequences [of fallen Venus in eighth house] be domestic violence, prostitution, other evils of female condition... including being enslaved by/dominated by other low-self-esteem women.

But you have earned plenty of awareness and you can catch this bad thing in the act whenever you are paying attention.

The machine of karma is fueled by our ignorance of the true nature of love. The real truth is that we are all sustained and connected by divine love. Ignorance (= lack of knowledge; ig = not, gnosis = knowledge) causes people to break the golden rule, which causes them to move farther into the hell of separateness (farther away from consciousness of the presence of the divine) and more prone to further acts of ignorance.

Luckily we are being watched by benevolent powers who constantly remind us of the presence of the divine. They speak to us through our inner voice(s) saying"look, pay attention, if you act from divine love you will be cheerful, happy and connected; if you act from base self-interest you will feel angry, isolated and unloved."

So, the moment of deciding to base all one's future actions on trust in divine goodness (BTW not an outside force; divine love interpenetrates every cell of our bodies and is very much an inner force) is the essential moment of eliminating the root of the karma.

However even though the root cause of that particular ignorance/fear has been destroyed and replaced with trust, The law of action-reaction must play out . Therefore undoubtedly numerous recurrences of the old negative pattern will emerge - One for every past moral error .

Importantly, in the attitude of awareness, you are never the victim of these recurrences. You take note of the cause and effect. There is no reactivity or blaming. There is very little emotional impact.

One feels quite trusting and free, even while you are dealing day-to-day with the mechanical effects of past errors.

You are aware that any relationship you have with a woman is likely to contain elements of fear and distrust. But because you have accepted responsibility for resolving those issues in a neutral space as they arise, these karmic pay-offs have very little effect on your peace of mind.

You are prepared, confident, and aware that you (not the less conscious other woman) are in control of the relationship and that you in spiritual maturity will address each karmic blip with skill and presence of mind.

So, 99% of the work is done in the healing meditation space, where you notice the unpleasant energy, take responsibility for releasing it, release it, replace it with neutrality, and be done. 1% remains as daily vigilance -- knowing that you might have done something in 6000 BC that will come up for payoff next week or next decade.

the karma machine of action-reaction runs independently until each action has been neutralized by its equal and opposite reaction.

Even great saints are handling their daily karma, just like you and me.

they do it effortlessly, in complete neutrality, and utter trust.

Q: I've heard a story concerning a very high lama whose wife prevented him from being in very serious car accident by smashing up the kitchen pots and pans (the smashing together of the pans substituted or fulfilled the karma for car metal smashing together).Can karma be eliminated by magic or physical intervention?

A: That's such an interesting story about the smashing of pots and pans. IMO what you're describing = an act of"sympathetic magic".

Westerners wouldn't normally think in magical terms. Westerners might think of"releasing pent-up emotions "and be satisfied that a car-wreck was averted due to cleared thinking after the release. We are familiar with the narrative of the person so distracted by an internal argument (usually from work or marriage) that their judgment is impaired and they fail to respond to signals that might have prevented a harmful accident, sometimes deadly.

The lama and his wife however probably do think in magical terms, and they would find that image-matching-intervention to be a very compelling explanation of why the lama didn't get smashed up in a car wreck.

All sorts of systems work via sympathetic pairing, such as homeopathic medicine and children selecting their parents! But IMO what you are describing is magic working with matching images and not the deeper level of karmic law.

My own view is that human karma is not primarily a physical law of action-reaction, but it is primarily a moral law of action-reaction.

That is, it is a Law of Intent.

The purpose of the great karmic machine is to transform ignorance into wisdom. If smashing up pots did effectively eliminate karma, what wisdom would be gained? Very little, except learning to pay more attention to prescient dreams and acting on them in an image-matching fashion.

I'm a big fan of skillful magic but karma is much more serious and important than magic!

IMO karma is primarily a moral system, and the greatest of all the great privileges of a human birth is that humans are social animals but with individual souls. Animals and lower life forms have group souls, but humans have individual souls which means that each one of us must make our own choices. Ignorance of the true value of life causes people to mistreat others. The actions which cause payback-reactions range from the severest ignorance of killing other people to lesser moral errors such as stealing to milder errors such as manipulation and deceit.

In every case the culprit is the reptile brain, which signals each human individual to survive at any cost,"whatever it takes ". The reptile brain is constantly telling us to optimize personal survival. The human moral community with its religious traditions is constantly trying to get its members to treat each other with compassion and respect as the best path toward increasing the value of life. It's a battle! But slowly, surely, the moral intelligence grows, and the native comes to choose the higher path. I personally think this is mainly a battle of the brain regions! Enlightenment actually occurs in the pathways of the brain, when we open up higher consciousness.

Anyway, the people moving forward into the higher paths quickly discover that during those previous lifetimes and lower moments in the current lifetime, many reptile-brain-mandated errors have occurred. We have mistreated others intentionally or not. The record of that mistreatment of life is permanently stored in pranic form (the"Akashic Record"). The record says what happened and what has to be done to correct it.

Now the purpose of correcting karma isn't just to satisfy some robot tax-collector of the Akashic Record. It's to help the enlightenment-bound person to open up those brain pathways and increase their moral and spiritual awareness. Some people can perceive the connection between their current events and their past events by karmic logic. (It is in some ways a simple exchange system and that's why the magical approach can be valid for some believers.)

Most people are so driven by their survival anxiety that they don't"get it" until those final 60 seconds before death, when all the connections roll out like a movie right before your eyes and its OMG I wish I had done things differently! And some people don't get it until they're clear into the astral plane and then they set a new agenda for a new lifetime knowing exactly what they're signing up for in terms of payback, and cheerfully accept the privilege of a rebirth explicitly for the purpose of correcting that karmic backlog. Then they get reborn and promptly forget, and live a life of misery, resentment, and self-pity.

Oy.

While karma is indeed a mechanical system of action-reaction, the actions that karmic reaction is correcting are moral errors. These errors have transgressed a behavioral standard that was agreed by a human community. (The English word"more" comes from the ancient Etruscan"mo-ra" meaning"the customs of a settled people".)

The purpose of our Earthly karmic system is to transform our destructive animal ignorance of the value of life into the divine wisdom which recognizes the supreme value of all life (but especially human life!) The final result of a karmic error-correction payback must be the transformation of ignorance into wisdom.

This cannot be accomplished by magic. It must be accomplished with higher, reflective, rational, moral awareness.

Q: Can one person eliminate another person's karma?

A: No person can pay back the moral errors of any other person.

Each soul is independently responsible for itself.

What one soul can do for another is to smooth and straighten their path by providing comfort and support, which calms the terrible survival anxiety of the reptile brain. We can feed, clothe, shelter, and care for each other emotionally. This is a great service.

Passing along religious teachings is perhaps the greatest service in calming and soothing the wild human terror of death. Caring for others, compassion - this is the best way.

More in Latin and Ethosin Greek -- from which terms English derives "moral"and"ethical" -- both mean"the customary behavior of people in settled groups ". The actual details of the rules for customary behavior matter little. But the soothing, caring, intelligent management of the human beast that is the heart of compassion, is the pre-condition for even the *possibility* that an individual can begin to transform ignorance into wisdom.

In the smashing-pots story, IMO the loving wife did not directly"prevent" her husband's "karma" from manifesting. What she might possibly have done is:

  • seen the imminent payback coming via a vision or a dream

  • old him about it

  • her vision caused him to recognize

  • that a moment of payback that he had signed up for

  • before entering the present incarnation

  • was indeed upon him

  • he himself then committed to accept responsibility for increasing the value of life through some charitable action.

If he did all that, if he had that consciousness recognition and responsibility for corrective action moment, and then his wife"celebrated" the moment by re-enacting the averted physical karma by smashing pots, then all is well and the karma stands corrected.

However if one naively thinks that smashing pots Alone can avert karma - or that one person can correct another person's karma - that would be IMO"magical thinking", and quite misleading.

("Magic" is good and"thinking" is good, but"magical thinking" is a confusion of the imaginative and rational processes and it is quite misleading!)

The motivation to accept responsibility for karma-corrective re-action must be present for the correction to succeed in transforming ignorance into wisdom

Q: Respected Madam, Namaskar.

After reading all the knowledge of your writings, I have observed very closely that you have focused much in changing how one thinks and acts to shape the destiny.

The planetary arrangements in charts and D-charts are stored events and thoughts meant to be fixed in lifetime. My question is how can one change his/her destiny by mere changing one's thoughts. for e.g..how is it possible for one to achieve materialistic gains by one's thoughts? Is it simply psychological approach of healing or one's thoughts changes planetary effects? Also, Super Brain 1946- Dr. Deepak Chopra follows such approach, through Ayurveda. Several learned astrologers, have focused similarly in changing the thoughts and behavior patterns in improving one's destiny.

Best Regards Jai Ganesha.

A : The Big Secret

Yes that is the big"secret". Stored thoughts will act on their own programming through the motive force (momentum) of Karma. However human beings in partnership with the Divine are hugely blessed with the power to directly change the content of our thoughts. Changing the thoughts, which are essentially the"program code" which directs the scripted narrative of the incarnation, can result in changed material experience.

Obstacles to changing one's destiny: doubt and negative attachment

There are two obstacles to changing the thoughts. The first is lack of faith ( = doubt), the second is ego-membrane attachment to the victim experience. Most people find, after working seriously upon the task of changing one or two life-definitive expectations, that it is quite difficult to change only one thought, because all of one's thoughts are subtly interconnected. However there is still much benefit to be gained not so much by completely eradicating a seed-thought (bija) but by increasing the virtuous qualities of the thought.

E.g., one can transform the poverty and slavery qualities of a severely oppressed Shani condition in the Jyotisha chart, into a lifetime of spiritual service with exceptional spiritual rewards

Huge changes usually not needed

Also, most people find that, with some minor adjustments, the incarnation as originally configured is really OK. After eliminating guilt, grief, and the negative vibes or projected opinions of other people who are stuck in their own bitter negativity, most normal people truly do like themselves and their life situation, and most of the"default" thoughts are found to be really quite fine. Unless one is a massively miserable fountain of vicious negativity (very rare), it's generally OK to let 90% of one's thoughts run on the default program.

Other People's Negativity - Housecleaning!

A large proportion of one's own perceived negative attachment is not deep attachment at all. It is one's hospitable willingness to host the projected negativities of others - such as, one's mother's unexpressed anger, one's father grief at a failed career, or some other business which is rather 'hitchhiking' on one's own psyche.

Unwanted Guests

After these unwanted psychic guests are cleared out, one can attend to one's own authentic programming - and that is serious work - but the amount of one's own authentic work is usually much smaller than originally felt when one was mixing up the projected toxicity of others that one has graciously agreed to"carry" with one's own true karma.

The task of improving the remaining 10% is quite demanding however, since the core"problems " tend to be rooted in negative expectations to which the ego-membrane is deeply attached. To release negative attachment to anger, rage, blaming, anxiety, guilt, etc. is to threaten the ego-membrane structure.

A void"becoming unglued"

o preserve basic social functionality, it is not a good idea to de-stabilized the ego-membrane structure, unless one has first established a supporting partnership with the Divine. Avowed Partnership with Divine means undertaking a profound and unshakable commitment to live in a state of faith. This partnership which provides a new, replacement"glue" of faith is essential to health during the ego-transformative process. When the ego-membrane starts to crack up and break down As the"glue" of negative attachment starts to weaken, the native then can inject a substitute glue into the cracks and continue to function socially in the world of statutory law , surrounded by fear-driven people, and still continue working and communicating without"becoming unglued".

So the good news is that all negative attachment, including but not limited to the negativities seen in the Jyotisha charts, can be resolved by directly altering the thoughts which produce the material downstream. The bad news is that no one can do this work alone without risk of catastrophic ego-membrane breakdown.

Sahangham * Sangha

The best support is individual faith in the divine, and a strongly recommended additional level of support is the sangha = friendly community of shared-concept believers, who can step in to help the native when one is enduring an identity loss caused by release of negative thoughts. Most of the great religions have systems in place to reinforce individual faith while also keeping individuals of a spiritual nature in touch with each other, so that everyone stays mentally healthy.

"The Power of Your Subconscious Mind"

The best book I can recommend in practical modern English which describes in clear and plain language just exactly how to release negative expectations and replace these seed-thoughts with positive faith (I.e., how to create miracles) is "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy, Ph.D. (1966).

I very much recommend this book. In the US it sells for about $6 and every public library has a copy. If you can find a copy of this book, you will own the basic instructions for creating precisely the life you want.

Why is something so simple such a big"secret"?

However -- be forewarned -- that this information is "secret" not because it is forbidden, but because so few people can understand it. It is extremely simple, and yet our material-survival-scarcity-fear programming which is based the reptile brain is so powerful that most folks simply cannot accept that simple faith in the divine could possibly solve even small problems, let alone the larger, high-stakes problems of life. Yet, for those who are ready to hear the message (perhaps because they have tried the common human methods of hard work, anger, and guilt -- and failed), this is the big"secret".

Super Brain 1946- Dr. Deepak Chopra, B.V. Raman, most reflective physicians, astrologers, true priests, mystical philosophers, will all recommend the method of changing the originating thoughts * definitions in order to change the downstream material experience .

As Trulshig Rinpoche says,"That's the way it works!"

All the best, Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha

Q : If for sleepwalkers "bad" things happen as they are indicated in the chart and dasha, then will the good things also happen without their conscious intervention?

A :

"Bad" means "malefic for a particular purpose"and"good" means "beneficial for a particular purpose". There is no absolute good or absolute bad; these values must be judged in context.

The sleepwalkers are blanketed in a thick fog of ignorance and emotional reactivity. Their intellect is running on low power, in a heavy blunted way not sharp not discerning, shining a dim light which barely cuts through their fog. They are victims of fearful reaction, buffeted from judgmental phantom to angry ghost, feeling criticized and tortured, but unable to gain control of the experiences due to fear of punishment.

There is never anything inherently bad indicated in the Vimshottari dasha, because there is nothing inherently bad in the universe. Nor is there anything inherently good in the universe!

However, there are influences which are helpful toward a purpose and those which are unhelpful toward a purpose. If one has a reasonable operating bright light of intelligence then one may be able to assess, well hello, this experience may be good for one of my projects and bad for another.

One is aware of having many projects that are being pursued in numerous parallel lives, which are connected in a network pattern, and one may be able to measure the positive or negative effects upon distinct projects in a wise fashion.

For example, Bhagavan Shri 1879-1950 Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala famously prevented his devotees from getting medical painkillers to treat the growth of his cancerous tumors.

  • He knew that life is eternal yet the cancer was physically terminal. Furthermore he accepted that he had planned it precisely as the best way to end his life with conscious management of pain and plenty of lead-time to tidy up any loose ends before the Final Review for the incarnation. From his perspective, as he told his devotees, it was Good just as nature unfolded it.
  • Everyone around him benefitted from this awesome teaching demonstration that showed his understanding of eternal life. People are still benefitting from hearing about his saintly example.
  • His cancer was definitely bad for daily comfort and bad for increased longevity, but apparently good for his personal karmic purposes and good to provide a teaching example. He was peaceful in death so we can be pretty sure that he saw the whole process as "good" in the context of his life plan despite the fact that others who did not know his mind might have automatically judged the terrible cancer pain as "bad".

If one is living in dark misery of ignorance, enslaved to hopeless repeating loops of sense-desire for sex, meat, money, status objects, or drugs , then any experience which reduces access to these obsessions goes into the"bad" group and that what gets more of the desired stuff is labeled Good.

Good or Bad are not embedded into the flow of experience of Things That Happen. Happiness, sorrow, fear, joy etc. are generated by personal reaction to the experience. Not by the experience itself (which is only a phantasm of the karmic imagination) but by one's mental judgment and emotional reaction toward that experience.

And yet people expend a tremendous amount of anxiety worrying that something Bad will happen. They cannot believe that they planned each period in detail. It is intentional, it is purposeful, it is Good for their own purposes!

Until the reality of eternal life and the fundamental intentionality of the cycles of incarnation is accepted, the flow of 'good' and 'bad' according to the Vimshottari Dasha will continue, and the fear of bad will swing to the joy of good, and back, and forth, until each one of those fearful foggy sleepwalkers wakes up!

Wishing you a quick and steady awakening,

Sincerely,

BP Lama Jyotisha

THE WORLD OF PRACTICE IS NOT STINGY

"Indestructible Nature,” in Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery

by Chögyam Trungpa,

page 30

"In the sitting practice of meditation, we are able to discriminate between what are discursive thoughts and what is the essence of mindfulness and awareness.

We begin to realize that there are differences between the two.

However, neither of them is rejected or accepted per se.

We include everything in our practice. Our world of practice does not have to be stingy, but it becomes highly intelligent."

More on Good Periods and Bad Periods

Why all periods are Good for Your Own Purposes

To a person coming through the tail end of professional school, in the third decade of life, and afraid of unmanageable exhaustion.

All Vimshottari periods are equally good for their purpose. But of course one must be clear about which purposes one is pursuing.

That is why the Dasha System is so helpful for supporting spiritual consciousness.

For example, now you face a double-Shani * Shani-gochara plus Shani-Bhukti.

Shani enforces scarcity, physical exhaustion due to limited rejuvenation, and social stricture. Naturally Shani's periods are bad for creativity, independence, and innovation, but just as naturally they are good for discipline, material goal accomplishments, and social responsibility.

For a professional person, Shani provides the dignity of career and opportunities for highly skilled service to those with deeply hidden terrors.

As a typical professionalizing educated person, you are definitely intelligent enough to see that Shani is using His typical techniques to strengthen your maturity, and thus your capacity for responsible decision making.

But He must impose the discipline of scarce energy in order to reinforce the awareness of rules, structures, and systems.

This is Good for professionalization and social dignity even while it's Bad for individual glamour or living a self-centered, regal life. What exactly is there to be Afraid of? You certainly have the intelligence, the self-discipline, and the moral character to complete Professor Shani's strictest course!

According to Jyotisha, this intensive Shani period with several overlapping Shani features was scheduled by you in order to accomplish your own purposes.

it's rather preposterous to judge it or any other period as 'bad'.

14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso and Renuka Singh. (2002). The Path to Tranquility .

"Buddha never mentioned that the problems we have encountered are the result of misconstruction of a house or starting a project or work on an inappropriate day or time.

Buddha always talked about the negative experiences as a result of having performed negative actions.

So for a good practitioner there is no new year, there is no good or bad day."


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Forming conscious relationships to sentient beings, extending the range of compassion:


14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso. (2003).

The Compassionate Life .

"One point I should make here is that some people, especially those who see themselves as very realistic and practical, are sometimes realistic and obsessed with practicality. They may think,"The idea of wishing for the happiness of all beings, of wanting what is best for every single one, is unrealistic and too idealistic.

Such an unrealistic idea cannot contribute in any way to transforming the mind or to attaining some kind of mental discipline, because it is completely unachievable."

...They feel there is simply no point in thinking about all beings since there is an infinite number of them. They may conceivably be able to feel some kind of connection with some fellow human beings on this planet, but they feel that the infinite number of beings throughout the universe has nothing to do with their own experience as individuals.


...What is important here, however, is to grasp the impact of cultivating such altruistic sentiments. The point is to try to develop the scope of our empathy in such a way that we can extend it to any form of life with the capacity to feel pain and experience happiness. It is a matter of recognizing living organisms as sentient, and therefore subject to pain and capable of happiness.

...Such a universal sentiment of compassion is very powerful, and there is no need to be able to identify, in specific terms, with every single living being in order for it to be effective.

...Given patience and time, it is within our power to develop this kind of universal compassion."

How 'Luck' Happens


14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzin Gyatso. (2001). Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists . José Ignacio Cabezón (Ed.)

"It is our custom to say that someone is "lucky" or unlucky" if they meet with fortunate or unfortunate circumstances, respectively.

It is however, too simplistic to think in terms of random"luck. " Even from a scientific point of view, this is not a sufficient explanation.

Should something unfortunate happen, we immediately think,"Oh, how unlucky!"

  • And yet this is not sufficient to explain what happened

  • there must be a cause.

We seem to call"luck" that factor which overrides external conditions to bring about a positive situation.

But that too is a cause; it is an inner cause, which we call"merit."

~ A.L. Kitselman

"The words "I am"are potent words;

be careful what you hitch them to.

The thing you're claiming has a way

of reaching back and claiming you."

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St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky

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