Author Topic: Pro Choice... Pro Karma  (Read 19538 times)

Lam Chung

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2011, 11:17:49 PM »
As a man, I used to have a strong view that abortion was killing, and that most reasons to justify it were just excuses. Then I found myself in a situation when I had to make a choice. The details are not really important. It turned out that my friend was not really pregnant, but just wanted to see what I would do or say. Put on the spot like that, not wanting to be a father and not wanting to have such an onus of responsibility to "the mother", I implied that I was OK with the idea of an abortion.

I learned a lot from this experience, to be less judgemental, to more careful in my choice or partner (not to have sex with anyone I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with), to always carry contraception, just in case (you never know what situation may arise). I purified a little by promising to have no type of relationship for at least a year (was 18 months in the end). It made me mistrustful of women (and myself). It made me more guarded emotionally - and still am. Even though there never was a baby I incurred negative karma, as the wish to kill does that.

I sometimes wonder if the woman involved was an emanation, helping me improve my wisdom, compassion, empathy.

Only highly realised beings can know all the effects of any particular action, but we can all do our best to be honest with ourselves in order to avoid engaging in actions out of delusion. We all make mistakes, and luckily we have been given powerful methods of purification. In past lives we have all committed many heavy negative actions, we don't need to add to them. It is clear to me that wisdom helps us to only perform virtuous actions, but wisdom is hard to get.

One final point, someone mentioned that if a woman was pregnant as a result of rape, this somehow made abortion more justifiable. I would plead with anyone in this position, or similar, to recognise that the baby is not the father. I think that this is relatively easy to do, by just making the decision to do so.

Helena

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2011, 04:01:24 PM »
Good or bad, whatever choices we make or feel that we are forced to make - there will be karma and consequences. And karma accumulates when it is not dealt with. There is simply no easy way out. It's about being accountable for our actions and lives, at the same time, being able to think that we are also responsible for others' lives because our actions do impact them in some ways.

We can't escape from our karma no matter what we decide to do. If we do something good, then we reap the fruits of good karma. IF we do something bad or unpleasant, that karma will be waiting for us. I think we need to comprehend this fully so that we are fully aware of what we are doing, saying and even thinking.
Helena

WoselTenzin

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2011, 06:59:28 PM »
As a man, I used to have a strong view that abortion was killing, and that most reasons to justify it were just excuses. Then I found myself in a situation when I had to make a choice. The details are not really important. It turned out that my friend was not really pregnant, but just wanted to see what I would do or say. Put on the spot like that, not wanting to be a father and not wanting to have such an onus of responsibility to "the mother", I implied that I was OK with the idea of an abortion.


Abortion is killing and there is no doubt about it.  We all know that and can be very self righteous about it when we are not involved. 

However, when we are put on a spot like Lam Chung where we ourselves have to make a choice, will we be able to hold our conviction.  If you are a woman and you were raped by a stranger, will you be able to maintain your conviction that abortion is bad or will you go ahead with it because the social scorn is too much to take.

The question is will you be able to do the right thing if you are the one making the choice?   

Klein

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2011, 07:25:56 PM »
Thank you Samayakeeper for posting this. People who abort does not understand the heavy negative karma created. This information will help purify their misdeeds due to ignorance. How can we share this with more people?


Pro Choice... Pro Karma

I have read and heard that there are a few practices that may purify if done sincerely, like
1. Contributing financially to building of a temple or a statue for the temple
2. Doing 100000 prostrations to a Buddha statue with full regret and promising not to repeat
3. Reciting 35 Confessional Buddhas or Vajrasattva with great remorse and promising not to repeat.

In fact, number 2 and 3 are very good to do daily by incorporating into our daily sadhana. Donating to a temple purifies our karma and collects great merit for our Dharma practice.

vajrastorm

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2011, 09:02:05 AM »
WT asked if one would be able to do the right thing re aborting an unwanted baby who is the result of a rape. The right thing would be to not abort or kill the baby. However, here it is better to go by Buddha's norm of the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of an action. A  wholesome action is one that will take into consideration all factors and parties involved. In this case, one needs to think of the unborn baby's right to life as well.

pgdharma

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2011, 02:23:06 PM »
WT asked if one would be able to do the right thing re aborting an unwanted baby who is the result of a rape. The right thing would be to not abort or kill the baby. However, here it is better to go by Buddha's norm of the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of an action. A  wholesome action is one that will take into consideration all factors and parties involved. In this case, one needs to think of the unborn baby's right to life as well.
I agree with Vajrastorm stand on the unborn baby's right to life. It may be difficult for the rape victim to raise up a stranger's child  and to be reminded of the incident.  Also rape victims are often looked down and scorned by society. However, it is not the fault of  the unborn child. Abortion is killing and what right do we have to  take  away the life of an innocent unborn child.

kurava

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2011, 01:36:18 PM »
WT asked if one would be able to do the right thing re aborting an unwanted baby who is the result of a rape. The right thing would be to not abort or kill the baby. However, here it is better to go by Buddha's norm of the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of an action. A  wholesome action is one that will take into consideration all factors and parties involved. In this case, one needs to think of the unborn baby's right to life as well.
I agree with Vajrastorm stand on the unborn baby's right to life. It may be difficult for the rape victim to raise up a stranger's child  and to be reminded of the incident.  Also rape victims are often looked down and scorned by society. However, it is not the fault of  the unborn child. Abortion is killing and what right do we have to  take  away the life of an innocent unborn child.

True, true but I'm not sure if I were the rape victim I could go through the 9 months without being reminded of the fear, hurt and hopelessness that came with the traumatic experience.
How unfair it is that the rape victim would still have to face with the negative karma of killing on top of the physical and emotional injuries she has suffered  :'(

No wonder samsara has no perfection and true liberation is the only way out !

hope rainbow

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 03:42:23 AM »
Sure it is not easy and there is really no right or wrong, just different routes.
They all lead to one goal in the end!

Thank you PA for pointing that out.
For some of us here that might have gone through an abortion, whatever the rational is, I think it is good to remember that this is not a matter of "right or wrong". Buddhism does not work this way.

"right or wrong" thinking brings about guilt.
And it is not helping at all to develop guilt over an abortion for example.
Why is it not helping? This is why:
- guilt is a mind that is stuck in a repeated thought screaming "I am a bad person",
- this reinforces a self-centered mind,
- this closes our mind and may even bring to insanity,
- our mind then gets stuck with no constructive solution, only guilt, and spins in a spiral down.

Instead of "right or wrong", Buddhism teaches us that our actions have consequences.
So in this case - abortion - one is to face her/his action realistically and contemplate on the consequences, THEN develop an educated intelligent REGRET - not guilt.

Regret has this power to propel us to act and engage in reparative behaviors.

So after we have developed regret, we look for a valid method to bring about a method to repair or modify the consequences of our action. For a Buddhist, it would be the teachings of the Buddha, and so we rely on the 3 jewels.

Then, we apply the method, which can be through prayers, or other actions that can be advised by one's Guru. And we promise ourselves not to repeat this action again.

All that cannot be done with a mind of guilt.
Guilt is a prison.

DSFriend

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2011, 09:21:47 AM »
True, true but I'm not sure if I were the rape victim I could go through the 9 months without being reminded of the fear, hurt and hopelessness that came with the traumatic experience.
How unfair it is that the rape victim would still have to face with the negative karma of killing on top of the physical and emotional injuries she has suffered  :'(

No wonder samsara has no perfection and true liberation is the only way out !

I knew of a young lady many, many years back who was raped during a night out in New Orleans. She was the sweetest girl. She was not religious but had the heart to see pass her own horrific experience and decided to not abort and keep the child. She told me that what happened has nothing to do with the child thus, she will give her all to take care of the child. Her parents was supportive. Amazing person.

All of us, be it we have had abortions, be the cause for abortion or not,...we all need to do as much purification practices as we can.

wishing all to be well

kurava

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2011, 03:42:47 AM »
Wow, DS Friend, your friend is amazing. She indeed has a big heart to see beyond her own pains and able to love the child bore not out of her own free choice.

Yes, people like her, whose life will be enriched by negative conditions , grow  stronger and wiser.


yontenjamyang

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2011, 04:08:04 AM »
My thinking is that the first choice would be not to abort no matter what. However, for any act to be complete we need the four factors to be present that is intent/object, planning/determination, act and rejoicing. In the case of abortion, it is very hard to avoid the first 3 and also very hard to rejoice. If any one factor is missing then the act of killing is not complete. It this case, most likely the factor of rejoice will be missing.
However, this will still have some negative karma.
Well this is samsara. Due to our previous karma, we are put in such situations.
I think, if we are just thinking of purifying the negative karma of abortion, why don't we also endeavor to purify all our negative karma, by doing Dharma Practice. That is the best we can do in this rare human life.

Poonlarp

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2011, 05:22:02 AM »
Thanks for the topic and I like Helena's posts very much, it's very true.

I have the same experience a few years back, for me it's in between which suffering you prefer to choose. In between the karma of killing and let the child be born in incomplete family and having an unpleasant lifetime; I rather have the killing karma of my own than let the child suffer the whole life.

We never run away from karma, karma is like a shadow follows us from life to life and even play important role determining which realm we go. I accept it.

I might be killing a chance of a being to become a human, but with this experience I explore more to Dharma and realize life is not about us but others, the presence of the baby did a good job which drew a person to Dharma.

This might be a karma from my previous life that I need to bear this killing karma, I choose and accept it and at the same time I made this experience beneficial to the baby/being, to gain merits.

There are many dilemmas in the samsara that you will have bad karma either way, for me just do a wiser choice.

kris

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2011, 08:01:30 PM »
I have a lady friend who told me that she had a miscarriage and the phycological effect on her is tremendously bad. Even though she knows the baby is not fit (as mentioned by the doctor), she still hang on to this matter for months, until she started doing Dharma Protector practice. What is amazing is, after just 2-3 pujas, she had been able to make peace with it.

So, what helped her very much is the protector practice.

Midakpa

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2011, 07:14:59 AM »
It is easier to recover from a miscarriage than from an abortion. In a miscarriage, there is no intention to kill. In fact the woman suffers a sense of loss. In an abortion, there is intention to kill, whatever the reason provided. In the latter case, there must be purification done in one's lifetime. One can consult a qualified guru and follow instructions.

kris

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2011, 08:35:40 AM »
It is easier to recover from a miscarriage than from an abortion. In a miscarriage, there is no intention to kill. In fact the woman suffers a sense of loss. In an abortion, there is intention to kill, whatever the reason provided. In the latter case, there must be purification done in one's lifetime. One can consult a qualified guru and follow instructions.

My point is, even miscarriage (with no intention to kill) has done a lot of psychological damages, let alone abortion...