Reply To: How to let go of anger and hateful thoughts?


I moved this topic to “Kamma and Kamma Vipaka” forum, since this is really a question on how to deal with kamma vipaka. We all go through situations like this (some much worse), and thus I thought to have a comprehensive discussion on this topic. I hope others with problems/issues like this will talk about their experiences and hopefully will also benefit from this discussion. Please try to go through the links provided, since I don’t want to keep repeating things.

Also, please don’t take what I say personally (and that applies to ALL my responses). I am not going to focus on just Aniduan’s situation, even though I may refer to it at times. This analysis is general. One will be able to get a good understanding of Buddha Dhamma by carefully going through the links provided and, if needed, searching and reading other relevant posts.

It is always good to start by looking at the “root cause” of any problem. Instead of dealing with each issue as they come up, we need to have a good understanding of why we all face situations like the one described by Aniduan.

  1. Nothing happens without one or more causes. On the other hand, even if CAUSES are there, for something to happen, suitable CONDITIONS must be there too. This is a key principle in Buddha Dhamma; see, “Do Things Just Happen? – The Hidden Causes”. By the way, this is also called Paticca Samuppada.
  2. All life experiences we go through can be traced back to our MINDS: What we think, speak, and do, will have consequences. This is why “sankhara” come at the beginning of a paticca samuppada cycle. This is another key point most people do not understand, but I hope will become clear as we proceed.
  3. When something happens to us (injury, major sickness, etc), we tend to think it is just “bad luck”. That is wrong. “We reap what we sow”. We can see this clearly when we look at wider world. Think about a deer being eaten alive by a tiger. It is not like tiger kills the deer and eats it; it is really eaten alive. All these are due to kamma vipaka. But it is important to realize that kamma vipaka are NOT deterministic; see, “What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?“.
  4. Kamma vipaka are not deterministic because they can be avoided by understanding the importance of the CONDITIONS. We can do that as humans. But animals cannot.

  5. Furthermore, we can go one more step and make existing kamma beeja (which are responsible for bringing kamma vipaka) effectively “duds”, as we discussed recently: “Kanha (Dark) and Sukka (Bright) Kamma and Kammakkhaya“.
  6. What happens in general is that when we suffer due to a bad kamma vipaka, we tend to respond in ways where we do more bad kamma and accumulate more kamma beeja, which can bring more vipaka, and so on.
  7. – The Buddha said this is why our samsaric journey never ends: “kamma vipaka vaddanti, vipako kamma sambhavo”. If we need to break this cycle, we need to understand how to make existing kamma beeja “effectively duds”: That is the key to end of ALL future suffering or Nibbana. This is why the post in #4 above is very important.

  8. However, well before we work towards ending sansaric suffering, we need to figure out how to deal with “short term suffering”, like the one Aniduan described. We need to have a ‘peace of mind” and also the right mindset to grasp deeper Dhamma concepts like Paticca Samuppada and Tilakkhana.
  9. Here we need to do two things: Make conditions for “good kamma beeja” to bring good kamma vipaka and also avoid conditions for “bad kamma beeja” to bring bad vipaka. I suggest reading the posts in #1 and #3 above, and in “Pattana Dhamma”.
    – This happened when you had a peaceful mind for a couple of weeks when you were immersed in Dhamma, while reading posts here. But then conditions changed when you had a bad encounter with someone. The key is to learn how to control one’s emotions when faced with such unexpected harsh encounters. This is done by cultivating Satipatthana (thinking about the bad consequences).

Let me close this post by making a suggestion to Aniduan. When someone says or does something to aggravate you, try to “let it go”, i.e, try not to accumulate more kamma beeja; furthermore, retaliation can worsen the situation and makes one’s mind “heated” and uncomfortable. This is hard to do in the beginning, but when one sees the benefits, it will become easier.
– Another is of course to try to avoid interacting with such “annoying people” if possible.
– Yet another is to do one’s best to avoid CONDITIONS that could “germinate existing bad kamma beeja”. For example, drinking too much leads to bad decision making, not doing enough exercises/not eating healthy foods can lead to health problems etc (these are of course not directed to Aniduan).

I can go into more details if needed, and we can also discuss any other related issues not discussed above and related questions/ideas from others who may have their own experiences.