On Karma
By Rev. Haya Akegarasu

Translated by Rev. Marvin Harada, Orange County Buddhist Church

In this world there is a time to meet and a time to part. There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is a time to hold on and a time to let go. If we are not bound or attached to such things, then there is a way to transcend, there is a way to turn suffering into joy. This is religious salvation.

Therefore, my Buddhism is not the Buddhism that will cure cancer. My Buddhism is not the Buddhism that will make you rich. Normally we seek what will prevent illness. We seek what will prevent losing a loved one. But we human beings in being born, must inevitably face death. Therefore, it is important that we be taught that no matter what comes to us, we should not be surprised, we should not be bound by it. When we understand that, we are saved. When we are saved in that manner, then we have the confidence to let anything come in life.

This year there might be a big snow. We might wonder, will my house survive a big snowstorm? But if it snows, let it snow. Let anything come. If it is cold, let it be cold. If it is hot, let it be hot. I will receive that heat or cold and transcend it. I will receive it as my nourishment. If someone is kind to me, let them be kind. If someone is rude to me, let them be rude. I will receive them all, and from there a new me will step forward into this world. This is to break the bonds of karma. Being illuminated by the Buddha, I receive that joy and its teaching. 

Vol. 18, Akegarasu Zenshu

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