There Is No Suffering 83

Thoughts still create karma, but without corresponding speech and action, the karma created is light. As ordinary sentient beings, we start by acting without reflection. Through practice, we begin to reflect after the act. Gradually, with growing awareness, we reflect before we act. This is cultivation. We slowly move from action to non-action, where karma creation is concerned. Some might think it best to lock oneself in a room to avoid creating any more karma. In fact, you will still receive retribution from previous lives, so you may as well live meaningfully, and cultivate goodness. Besides, you will create karma as long as your mind continues to be moved by things and events, so it does not matter whether you lock yourself up or not. Afflictions will still follow you like a shadow.

The method of contemplating action is simple. Whenever your mind moves, be aware of your thoughts. Try not to act on non-virtuous, unwholesome thoughts. When they arise do not reject or deny them. Just being aware of them is usually enough to dissipate them. If they persist, count or observe your breaths, or recite the Buddha’ s name.

Contemplation of Consciousness

The third link, consciousness, refers to the sixth consciousness of discrimination and cognition. As with the other links, there really is no such thing as consciousness. However, as ordinary sentient beings, we perceive that it exists. If we successfully contemplate the emptiness of consciousness, then all the other links will also be empty. Successfully contemplating one link breaks the whole chain.