There have been a lot unsettling incidents reported in the news. The unpredictable and sporadic nature of these events has disturbed some people to the point where their bodies are plagued by tension and they are unable to feel safe and secure. The gas explosion in Kaohsiung led to the senseless loss of many lives and the instant destruction of many homes. When faced with this kind of scenario, people might consider what they would do if it were to happen to them. Many have come to me to say that, were they to encounter such an event, they would not know how to carry on.
The current surplus of similar disastrous events has led to an atmosphere of ever increasing misgiving, hollowness, confusion and uncertainty. When these kinds of incidents are brought up in conversation many immediately feel dispirited and some may even consider emigrating.
Those with even the most basic grasp of Buddhist concepts can understand that all phenomena are the product of karma. This is why certain things happen to certain people in certain places. Some places are engulfed in a distressing and maddening gloom while other places are blessed with peace and tranquility. Karma also explains why a misfortune may befall a group of people and yet some manage to avoid it by being pulled out of harm’s way by a last-minute situation. This is what the Buddhist teachings of impermanence and collective karma elaborate on.
An understanding of karma can clearly show that each circumstance can be traced to a cause. There is no such thing as an accident. Ever since primordial times, humanity has been faced with surviving an incalculable number of natural disasters. Entire regions have been swallowed up by swift bursts of floodwater, and tectonic plates lying quietly under mountain ridges suddenly clash with such overwhelming power that countless lives are destroyed in an instant. The legend of Atlantis can also serve to demonstrate the omnipresence of karma and impermanence.
If we maintain a warm and positive mindset and never arbitrarily forsake the aspects of right intention and right mindfulness, while doing what needs to be done in a calm and wise manner, we will purify our karma and will definitely be able to embrace a brand new life.
There is no need to be overly anxious about our deep-seated fears. Everyone has the absolute potential to face up to the the challenges imposed by external circumstances. People habitually turn away from these difficulties thinking that they are unable to resolve them and so they stagnate in their pre-established ideas and cement their feet to the ground. In reality, once the dark night has passed, the breaking of dawn is sure to come.