Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 04/02/2019

Faith in Kamma

One of my monk friends and I were discussing (via email) mudita recently and he bright up the fact that it is often taught in a way not entirely in accord with the suttas. According to the venerable, mudita is not really used as the antidote to envy but is meant to arouse energy and is the far enemy of arati (Arati, (f.) (a + rati) dislike, discontent, aversion Sn. 270, 436, 642, 938).

Be that as it may, he suggested that recollecting the kinds of kamma that create favorable material conditions is the best way to combat envy. If we truly believe in kamma and vipaka then this only makes sense. As such, he suggested I challenge myself by making more extravagant than usual acts of giving (no, he didn’t suggest to himself). Interestingly enough, although I jumped at the chance, there has been some resistance. Perhaps it’s the fear of lacking or loss but I have had to put some unskilfull thinking to the side and focus on the joy of giving and its results. As much as I think I have unshakable faith in the Dhamma, it is instructive to see how the foundations of my saddha can be shaken by a few hundred dollars.

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