July 17, 2008
Lights, Camera, Kamma
Kamma or Karma means ‘action’. More specifically, intentional action. “Intention is kamma” said the Buddha (A.III,415). Kamma Vipaka is the result of action. Kamma is of two types: kusala and akusala – skilful and unskilful, respectively. Skilful actions are beneficial to oneself and others, unskilful actions are harmful to oneself and others. Skilfulness, of course, is understood in regard to the development of the Buddha’s path to freedom from suffering.
What are some of the effects of an actor’s or performer’s actions, both on the audience and on himself? Are their actions kusala or akusala?
One of the most famous comedians in England of recent times was Tommy Cooper. He made a lot of people laugh, but at what cost?
His final performance, I believe, was initially successful. People rolled about in their familiar bouts of hysterics. But then came an extraordinary sketch which at first proved to be uncannily real. It turned out it actually was. The flailing figure on the stage, with his characteristic red Moroccan fez, was in the middle of this piece when all of a sudden he slumped to the floor, clutching his chest. The audience roared with laughter. He was having a heart attack; they thought it was part of the act. So there was this dying man, gasping for breath and desperate for help, and the only response he got was pointing fingers and howls of laughter.
Doesn’t this make you think? That nightmare was his own creation.
July 2, 2008
Ajahns Jundee, Nyanadhammo and Vimalo, and Tahn Moshe came for the meal on Saturday.
Above: Walking from the Hermitage to Bhavana Dhamma.
Above: At the top of Bhavana Dhamma drive admiring Warwick Castle on the horizon..
Above: (R to L) Luangpor, Ajahn Nyana and me in the Bhavana Dhamma room of luxury.
I’d like to share some anecdotes concerning conversations I’ve had with school children both here and in some of the schools I’ve visited over time.
This has been sparked by a little cracker of an answer I received today to a question I asked during a trip to Earlsdon Primary School in Coventry.
Here it is: