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Thinking positively in a creative manner

To have or not to have children

This post is inspired by a reply by Master GuangQin.

A childless couple had confided their sadness of not being able to conceive and Master Guangqin said thus,

Many people celebrate their life as complete and meaningful when they have a huge family of children and grandchildren around them, but unknownst to many, that simply indicates that they have many debts from their past lives.

This is a good example of positive thinking within a Buddhist context. Upon, hearing this message, the couple felt better. With this alternate perspective or interpretation of their situation, they no longer have to feel like a failure within the framework of traditional Chinese values. Instead, they felt reassured about being a good person in their former lives. Just a switch in mentality and they no longer see their inability to conceive as a problem in life. Instead, it is a mark of being good in their past lives.

Why do I say this is creative? Master GuangQin might have the ability to fathom the karma of others and was speaking the truth. But for ordinary folks like us, there is nothing to stop us from thinking in a similar way to deal with our internal emotional struggles. When we do that, we are thinking positively in a creative manner.

However, we do need to observe some care when we think creatively to console ourselves or manage our stress.

  1. our thoughts should not result in beliefs of craving, hatred, and ignorance. For example, justifying our bad actions and stopping our remorseful feeling by thinking, “Oh. I cannot help behaving like a total d**k in front of my parents because they owe me in their previous lifetimes!” That is twisted huh?
  2. we should not be led into doing unskillful deeds.
  3. we should not be led into saying unskillful things

This way of positive thinking can also be helpful for counselling others. Having said that, we have to be careful about parroting what the various masters said. This is because the same message can be interpreted differently by different people.

Using the above message as an example, a parent who is having a hard time managing her kids might be led into perceiving her kids as enemies from her previous lifetimes. That can lead to terrible consequences.

Personally, I prefer to use this skill for self-consolation and stress management. This is because I know myself best and I find it amazing how a switch in perspective, can soothe inner pains immediately. Feel free to share your own experience with everyone in the comment section.

May all be well and happy.

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