First, let me explain this line: “After seeing one’s true nature, the light of wisdom is revealed.” “Seeing”, in this instance, means to have recognised something, while “nature” refers to our inherent nature. Only after realising one’s inherent nature can the light of your wisdom be revealed. What, then, does “not seeing your nature” mean? It’s referring to when you behave shrewdly, focusing only on short-term gains while ignoring the consequences. What is “seeing the true nature”? It’s to understand, deep down, everything that you think. Only with this understanding can you recognise your inherent nature. Those who don’t understand will not be able to find it. Do you think that a drunk person is able to find their inherent nature? Many people remain unawakened because they remain confused.

Anyone who performs good deeds will surely be rewarded with prosperity. If someone is yet to be prosperous, it must be due to the fact that they still have negative karma. Once the karma is cleared, they will be prosperous.

Anyone who commits evil deeds will suffer misfortune. If someone is yet to be struck by misfortune, it must be because they still have positive karma. But once it dries up, they will be struck with misfortune.

A truly benevolent person will certainly prosper. If you do good things but are yet to receive karmic rewards yet, it means there is still a lot of negative karma left over that that accumulated in the previous life. Once your disasters and hardships end completely, and your “goods” and “bads” are entirely offset, you will surely receive blessings and prosper.

However, the precondition of this is that you must possess benevolence. Without it, even when your hardships are over, you will not prosper. If you performed many good deeds and are still yet to receive karmic rewards, it means there must still be remaining ill karmic effects. You must have committed many unwholesome deeds in the previous life, and it is yet to be fully resolved in the present life. If someone has committed many malicious deeds but is still yet to receive karmic retribution, it must be because they still have blessings left over from the benevolent deeds performed in the previous life. That’s why it’s still not yet the time for them to face retribution. But when their karma ripens, they will surely encounter misfortune. Why do some crooks, murderers and arsonists still live good lives? It’s a demonstration that, in their past, or in their previous life or that of their ancestors, they have accumulated a lot of positive karmic affinities and karmic rewards. The positive affinity they have created is greater than the negative affinity they are creating in the moment, and that’s why they won’t yet encounter misfortune. However, misfortune will definitely fall upon them when their blessings deplete. When both the goods and the bads balance out, they will suffer. We reap what we sow.

One should let go of their hatred, as it hinders the mind. Hatred leads to anger, while hindrances come in the form of anxiety, worry, sadness, jealousy and the like. For instance, when people detect any discomfort in regards to their skin, those possessing a hindered mind wonder if they have cancer. But a positive-thinking person may conclude they’ve just been bitten by an insect and it’s nothing serious – and not descend immediately into negative thinking.

A person’s mind determines their life. Many have the order in reverse, instead allowing their bodies to dictate their minds. Take an alcoholic: when the urge to drink arises, their minds know clearly that if they are driving very soon, they should not consume alcohol. However, as their bodies craves it, they will drink anyway. As a result, they might run into trouble with the police or get into a car accident. That’s why we should never be controlled by our body. It should in fact be the other way around, with the mind taking control of the body. Bodily needs can include the desire to consume alcohol, or sexual desires and other distracting thoughts. These are the sorts of influences the body can have that dictate our rational thoughts. Ultimately, humans are classified as animals possessing advanced intelligence. Human spirits have the ability to think, which is an expression of higher levels of spirituality. That is why we must make use of our abilities to think, exercising restraint on our spirits so that we do not make mistakes.

A person should endeavour to develop humility, as that will lead to reflecting upon and improving oneself. One way to help develop humility is to compare yourself with good role models. But remember this: do not compare and contrast other people’s benevolence with your own. For example, the idea that someone’s being good at something means you are bad at it is simply a distracting and selfish thought.

A person should endeavour to develop joy. Use wisdom to overcome your afflictions, and overcome sadness, and overcome your difficulties. Think of yourself as already more fortunate than others. That helps your mind to shape a positive karmic affinity, a harmonious atmosphere, and a positive energy field.

A person should endeavour to develop kindness and compassion, as through this, wisdom will arise. Being kind means to bring happiness to others, while being compassionate helps to alleviate their suffering. Showing care towards others, and thinking about others at all times, are signs of kindness and compassion. Another expression of kindness and compassion is showing friendliness towards others, and not getting angry. Hatred is dreadful because it works to undo all the good deeds and progress of cultivation you’ve been making. It also brings trouble and restlessness. There’s a saying that “When the fire of ignorance flares up, all merits will be burnt to ashes”. Also: “When one thought of hatred arises, millions of doors of obstruction open up.” What this means is that hatred attracts a variety of karmic obstacles.

 “Act in accordance with karmic conditions to eliminate past karma, and refrain from creating new karma”. When clearing the karma of your past mistakes, you can only act in accordance with the karmic conditions. And while you act in accordance with the karmic conditions, you must also learn to accord with positive karmic affinities whilst resolving negative karmic affinities. When it comes to cultivation, one must refrain from creating new karma. Otherwise, it leads to the piling up of new karma on top of uncleared past karma. This will only make your future lives even more difficult, or cause you to sink even further.

In fact, cultivating the mind is not simply the training of your mind. A cultivator must also form extensive affinities and connections with other people. And without affinities and connections, the foundation of your efforts to cultivate your mind cannot be enhanced.

BPT Vol 1.27: Essentials of Learning Buddhism – Words of Wisdom (2)