Karma is not just about retribution and things to avoid. There is more to it.
The teachings about Karma also promote right actions.
For example, to counteract poverty, some great masters tell their disciples to wash the toilet in the temple or monastery. This instruction may sound so wrong in our modern ignorant mind. People may misconstrue the instruction as an abuse of power or an exploitation of the faithful.
What is money and material riches?
If we look beyond surface appearance of wealth, we will realise that wealth is the ability to command the services of others.
Money that one has, is capable of receiving services from others. That include services of producing a product. Be it our phone or our home.
According to the theory of Karma, if we wish to have the karma to receive the services of others, then we must have provided services to others in our past.
Back to the toilet washing instruction. Toilet in a temple is used by many people.
When we volunteer at a temple or monastery or a church or any places of public character. We are providing services to others.
That is the seed karma for receiving services in future!
Performing chores at the Buddhist centre is good because
1. We relief the monks from such chores and they can focus their time in gaining enlightenment.
2. We won’t indirect cause a janitor to loose their livelihood…
3. Our services benefit many fellow buddhist. They are future Buddha.
Besides providing free services at the temple, we can also serve our fellow colleagues, friends and family. When we help someone, we plant a seed for future wealth.
For business owner, one can also serve their clients and customers too by providing extra free services or facilities etc free gift wrapping is one such example.
The more we serve, the more karma leading to wealth.
However, please remember that masters also cautioned us to have a pure heart when we serve. If we serve others but harbour an ulterior motive of getting rich, then the effectiveness of our karma will be greatly reduced….
Last but not least, lets not forget animals too!
In one story, a young monk just graduated in his studies. He wanted to teach Dharma but no one will come to his lectures. Feeling disheartened, he returned to his master.
His mentor asked him to be patient and feed the birds in the monastery ground with grains, while praying for the birds’ better rebirth. He did this for more than seven years and one day his master told him to start preaching…
He dutifully wrote a short notice and paste it on the wall of the monastery.
On the day of his sermon, his audiences are mostly kids!
The dharma is profound. May we have the wisdom to look beyond surface appearances and do the right things in life.
May all be well and happy.