Steps on the Path 05 — The Results of My Choices


STEPS ON THE PATH is a twenty-one part series based on the twenty-one meditations of The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by Je Tsongkhapa, a 14th century Tibetan Buddhist master. Je Tsongkhapa’s meditations were commentaries based on Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, a work the 11th century Indian Buddhist master Atisha wrote and presented when he was invited to reintroduce the Dharma to Tibet after a period of government suffocation. Both of these works are called Lamrim practice, and are said to compile all the teachings of the Buddha into one meditation practice. This STEPS ON THE PATH meditation series is an interpretation by Still Yourself to reflect an updated and modern understanding. They may be read and contemplated in any order you like.

—Meditation Five—
The Results of My Choices

AS I SETTLE in front of my own reflection and still myself, I begin to recognize that nearly everything that has happened to me has happened as a result of my own actions and decisions. Sticky situations as well as beautiful situations I’ve found myself in have both been a result of my own choices, whether those choices were actions of my body, words of my speech, or thoughts of my mind. In every single case, there has been an outcome, a result. I see that each cause has a definite effect, whether that effect is immediate or occurs some time down the road.

The more I sit with and look at these things, this cycle of karma, the more it dawns in my mind and my heart that this pattern of action and consequence is really real—and it is not only myself that is affected, but all those around me, all who come in contact with me. There is no difference between myself and others. There is no separation. The positive or negative choices I choose for myself, I choose for my neighbor as well. The positive or negative choices I choose to take with my neighbor, I choose for myself as well.

Who knows how many harmful and damaging results I have activated? I cannot undo them.
Who knows how many restoring and healing results I have activated? I cannot undo them.

Whatever I set in motion rolls onward—done and done. Since I now see more clearly than ever that this is true, what sort of karmic energy do I wish to set in motion today, for myself and for others?