Kusala Karma, the art of skillful action and the five moral precepts...
Recently I have been studying the belief in Kusala Karama in Buddhist teaching. Karma is the linking agent, the basis of the buddhist doctrine of rebirth. Karma is in the mental sphere of things, not the physical. There is good karma which bears good fruit, and bad karma that bears bad fruit.
Karma is an intention, but with more than just intention.For full karma to happen various other things must happen 1) you must recognize the thing you're doing 2) have the intention to do the deed 3) perform the deed 4) the expected and hoped for result must occur.
Buddhists live by the five moral precepts, which are refraining from 1) destroying life (developing love and kindness) 2) Not taking the not-given (open-handed generosity) 3) Abstaining from sexual misconduct (Stillness, simplicity and contentment) 4) abstaining from falsity (telling the truth) 5) abstaining from intoxication (becoming more mindful).
This week I was set a practice of intention by one of my teachers, directing Kusala Karma to each of these moral precepts. Setting ourselves small achievable goals and intentions can go along way in developing attributes in ourselves which we wish to cultivate (sakara- thoughts to things people!). Here is a selection of my favourite practices to try out this week, try out one or even all five and notice how it affects your mood!
1) Allow yourself to experience how you are feeling rather than judging yourself.
2) Given someone some space-listening to them.
3) Do fewer things at once, for example while waiting for the kettle to boil.
4) Avoid exaggerating or minimising when telling a story.
5) Observe the effect something has on you, for example reading the paper or watching a programme.