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    Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening

    A Classic Zen text written in the 8th century by Hui Hai. He was a student of Ma-tsu and from the same line as Hui Neng, Huang Po and Rinzai (Lin-chi).

  • Don't Take Your Life Personally

    Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering.

  • Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

    The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between 100 BC and AD 600. They contain some of the most well known Buddhist texts such as The Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, The Heart Sutra, and The Diamond Sutra.

  • Fingers and Moons, by Trevor Leggett

    Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.

  • Experience Beyond Thinking: Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation. An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner. Used as a guide by meditation groups.

    An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.

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    Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.

  • The Old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett

    Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.

  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk

    Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.

Clinging to Self, by Bhikkhu PA Payutto

Standing Buddha, Sri lanka Photo: © Hazel WaghornA certain Mr Porng went to visit the abbot of a nearby monastery, and he asked, ‘Luang Por [Reverend Father], the Buddha taught that everything is not-self and is without an owner—there is no one who commits karma and no one who receives its results. If that is the case, then I can go out and hit somebody over the head or even kill them, or do anything I like, because there is no one committing karma and no one receiving its results.’

No sooner had Mr Porng finished speaking than the abbot swung his walking stick down like a flash. Mr Porng could hardly get his arm up fast enough to ward off the blow. Even so, the stick struck solidly in the middle of his arm, giving it a good bruise. Clutching his sore arm, Mr Porng said, ‘Luang Por! Why did you do that?’ His voice trembled with the anger that was welling up inside him.

‘Oh! What’s the matter?’ the abbot asked offhandedly.

‘Why, you hit me! And it hurt!’

The abbot, assuming a tone of voice usually reserved for sermons, slowly murmured: ‘There is karma but no one creating it. There are results of karma, but no one receiving them. There is feeling, but no one experiencing it. There is pain, but no one in pain . . .  Those who try to use the law of not-self for their own selfish purposes are not freed of self; those who cling to not-self are those who cling to self. They do not really know not-self. Those who cling to the idea that there is no one who creates karma must also cling to the idea that there is no one who is in pain. They do not really know that there is no one who creates karma and no one who experiences pain.’

The moral of this story is: if you want to say ‘there is no one who creates karma,’ you must first learn how to stop saying ‘Ouch!’

Buddhism Now November 2001

The above is from Good, Evil and Beyond: Kamma in the Buddha’s Teaching, by Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto, translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Puriso. Buddhadhamma Foundation, Thailand


2 Responses

  1. How true, so truthful!

  2. If you do not need to say Ouch! (and the like) anymore, you are not experiencing the results of kamma. The actions and speech of my self -my conditioned ego- are not creating kamma, but -sure as Ouch!- receiving the results of it. When I let go of any self, I will not receive the results of kamma.

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