Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Purifying Karma - Power of Determination Not to Repeat the Action

"The Bodhisattva's Confession of Ethical Downfalls."
Power of Regret
Power of Reliance/Repairing the Relationship
Power of Determination not to Repeat the Action
Power of Remedial Action

The third of the four opponent powers is the force of determining not to do it again. This is making a clear determination how we want to act in the future. It’s good to pick a specific and realistic length of time for making a strong determination not to repeat the action. Then we must be careful during that time not to do the same action. Through making such determinations, we begin to change in evident ways. We also gain confidence that we can, in fact, break old bad habits and act with more kindness towards others.

With regard to some negative actions, we can feel confident that we’ll never do them again because we’ve looked inside and said, “That’s too disgusting. Never again am I going to do that!” We can say that with confidence. With other things, like talking behind other people’s back or losing our temper and making hurtful comments, it may be more difficult for us to say confidently that we’ll never do again. We might make the promise and then five minutes later find ourselves doing it again simply because of habit or lack of awareness. In such a situation, it’s better to say, “For the next two days I won’t repeat that action.” Alternatively, we could say, “I will try very hard not to do that again,” or “I will be very attentive regarding my behavior in that area.” -Thubten Chodron