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These thoughts and questions arose as I was reading The Way of the Bodhisattva a few nights ago.

In Chapter 6, on Patience, there is the very powerful , paradoxical conclusion that when other sentient beings ‘harm’ us- do things we do not like – we should not respond in anger because first of all, ‘they’ are not responsible for  the unpleasantness, but instead “such and such conditions “ or “causes and conditions”. But secondly,  this unpleasantness, in fact, is directly due to our negative karma – which compels (for lack of a better word) this unpleasantness to be done to us.

Those who harm me rise against me
It’s my karma that has summoned them
And if through this these beings go to hell
Is it not I who bring their ruin?

The ‘enemy’ doing this harm is really a tool and not the cause of the unpleasantness. Therefore, if anything, we are responsible for causing the negative karma that the ‘enemy’ is accruing in their actions toward us. This is profound and gives one pause before reacting to any act of unpleasantness perpetrated on us by anyone. However, I find myself with a few questions.

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