HOW TO GROW A LOTUS BLOSSOM: Reflections in a Disciple's Life

by Rev. Koshin Schomberg

Section XVII
No Speck of Dust

When we perceive the purity of all existence,
It is as far-reaching as the boundless sky,
As clouds that change and fade away.



I found in my retreat of 1998-99 that I am the beneficiary of a very long, but very thorough, educational process. Each of the beings in my stream of karma is one of the teachers. And the law of karma/rebirth, which governs this entire process, always functions for the true good of all beings.

The best way to learn sympathy is to "walk a mile in the other fellow's shoes." My stream of karma includes both people who murdered others and people who were the victims of murder. The long-term consequences of wilful non-Preceptual actions manifest in future lives. Not infrequently, yesterday's perpetrator is today's victim--only "yesterday" may have been lifetimes ago.

Eventually, the teaching embodied in karmic consequence begins to seep through the layers of ignorance. One day, someone cries out, "I've had enough of vengeance, both on the perpetrating end and on the victim end. Help!"

The cry for help opens mind and heart as nothing else can do. Now the Eternal can start to get a word in edgewise. In fact, the Eternal has been waiting with infinite patience for this cry. Every sincere prayer is heard; every sincere prayer is answered. Now education can begin in earnest.


Sincere asking and wholehearted offering (sange) open our mind and body to the Help of the Eternal, which then flows to our spiritual need. As this happy meeting happens, we come to see the world as it truly is. Where we had seen dirt and dust, we begin to see purity. What was the dust and dirt?--Only our own self-judgment. As Rev. Master often said, "The only thing that stands between you and the Eternal is your own opinion of yourself."

The separate self is an illusion; there is no enduring person or ego who is perpetrator in one lifetime and victim in another. Rather, there are just volitional actions and their consequences manifesting in a stream of karma spanning lifetimes: "No doer is there who does the deed, nor is there one who feels the fruit."

Beings are born in accordance with causes and conditions; they make their choices, all of which have consequences; some choices perpetuate suffering, some lessen suffering. Beings die in accordance with causes and conditions. Merit and spiritual need coalesce, resulting in more rebirths in various forms and realms in accordance with causes and conditions. And this flow of existence is as reflections streaming across the face of the great round mirror of Immaculacy.

It is not the world around me that needs to change in order for me to recognize the Great Immaculacy. When I look down, I see dust and dirt; when I look up, I recognize Immaculacy.

As my retreat continued in 1998-99, and as I very gradually emerged from the darkest and most desperate karmic shadows, I began increasingly to look back upon the whole stream of karma and see not a single speck of dust. How can I describe my gratitude to the Eternal? Words will not do it. The only way to express the gratitude is to follow the Eternal endlessly.


Click here to proceed to Section XVIII

Click here to return to Table of Contents of Book Two: How to Grow a Lotus Blossom: Reflections in a Disciple's Life



Click here to go to the Table of Contents of Book One: How to Grow a Lotus Blossom: Reflections

Click here to return to Home Page