Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fortune Telling Follies (interactive video)

Pat Macpherson, Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Dhammacaro (; SMPFilms
WARNING: For entertainment purposes only!
"My, what good luck you have!"
Many people believe in fortune telling. Some rely on it so much that they get into trouble. If we believe and rely on something too much, we can easily get stuck and life is unable to move forward. A famous Chinese story illustrates this.
Once upon a time a man believed in fortune telling so much that he based his entire life on it. Whatever he wanted to do, he first had to check for auspicious signs and omens.

Ven. Sivali, the master of good fortune
He taught the same to his family. Then one day before undertaking a business deal, he checked, and certain signs revealed that he should not go outdoors. So he tried to go out a window instead. He fell and broke his leg. He shouted, “Son, my leg, my leg! Take me to the doctor!”
“One moment!” the son replied. Then he shouted down, “Sorry, father, it’s really not a good day to visit a doctor! We’ll go another day!” There was, of course, nothing the father could say or do. For luck’s sake, he lay crippled in agony.
If we believe and rely on something too much, we begin to lack self-confidence, we become dependent, and we train ourselves with this conditioning. Life becomes insecure, difficult, and unreliable. If we lived by wisdom, virtue, and confidence instead, we would know what to do to be successful in our affairs. This would pave the way to our happiness, independence, and prosperity.

Adventures in real life
Buddhist good luck charms and magical amulets, Thailand (Johan Denker/flickr)

A Buddhist altar (Mitjoruohoniemi/flickr)
The psychic said, Come here, do this, like this, while you say this. Now pose your question sincerely. I kneeled at the shrine before Kwan Yin, Amitabha, and Maha Sthamaprapta. "What do you mean sincerely?" I whispered. Don't test, don't joke, don't do it for amusement. I asked my question: "What can I do to make [it] happen?" Then I asked, "Now what?" Reach in this glass jar, pull a ball which will give you a number, then go to these little drawers to locate a numbered scroll. I unravelled the scroll but could not read the Chinese characters. "What does it say?" This is very auspicious, very lucky, you have very good karma!

"How can you be sure?" These characters are a scale of likelihood -- high, middling, or low. Within each is a ranking -- high, middling, or low. Yours is high-highest! It is sure to happen, and it will come to pass because of your good karma. "But what can I do to make it happen?" Make what happen? "Make my wish come true?" Whatever your aspiration, it will surely happen. "Wait right here," I asked the psychic. Then I walked over to another woman in another room. "What does this say?" She read the same thing, only adding that whether it regarded marriage, career, or money, this was as good a sign as one could hope for. "But what do I need to do?" It will happen due to your good karma. "Past or present?" Both. Hmm.

Luck or Karma?
Dr. R.L. Soni, Bhikkhu Khantipalo, "Life's Highest Blessings" (Maha Mangala Sutta)
A deva ("shining one") asks the Buddha for illumination on the subject of luck

Ven. Sivali (
In ancient Indian society at the time of the Buddha (as now), people were addicted to superstitions about omens of good and bad luck, divided on their nature and implications. So it was natural that someone asked the Buddha.
His words of wisdom were already an immense success not only with ordinary people but with those in positions of power and those of great learning.
The views expressed by the Enlightened One in the Maha Mangala Sutra are a masterpiece of practical wisdom. This discourse was recited at the First Buddhist Council by Ven. Ananda, the attendant and cousin of the Buddha who had memorized the Buddha's discourses.
It is a charter in outline of responsibility, social obligations, purification of virtue, and spiritual cultivation. Within a dozen stanzas are included profound counsels and golden rules, which point the way of life's journey to reach perfect harmony, love, peace, and security. One favorite stanza on karma reads, "Acts of giving, wholesome living,/Relatives and kin supporting,/Actions blameless pursuing:/This is the highest blessing!" More

Beautiful Travel Photos?

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