Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mistreating oneself

i hope that this is an okay question and i thank you for your thoughts in advance :)
i have studied buddhism on and off for the past 4 years. i really need to committ to a practice.
anyway, as i've learned about karma, i have felt like i had a good understanding of how it works and do feel like i'm a compassionate, caring person. i love my friends/family and do want others to be happy.
in any case, i was recently talking with a friend and he brought up something that i had never thought of before. do you know one treats others well, but treats themselves pretty badly...does that cause bad karma? i mean, obviously doing this to others would be awful (and you would naturally feel badly) but to yourself?
thanks for your help with my somewhat embarassing question.
i truly appreciate it.

My comment:
Thank you for asking me.
There is nothing embarrassing about your question. It is a good question. We have actually been treating ourselves badly ever since. That is why we are still here. If we had been treating ourselves perfectly, we would have been perfect and would have found liberation. Each of us has 3 evil roots...greed, hatred, and delusion. So long as we have not completely eradicated all these 3 roots of defilements, we will always be in danger of mistreating ourselves and others.

Buddhist concept of kamma is "volition actions". Actions which we knowingly or intentionally commit, whether to oneself or to others. When committed on others, one causes suffering on the other parties. When committed on oneself, one causes suffering on oneself. In addition, an unwholesome action whether on oneself or others, will inadvertently create a corresponding effect on oneself. So you can see, abusing oneself is inflicting oneself with a double dose of punishment.

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