Monday, May 14, 2012

Kar(ma) Talk

So I am the official, you might say certified, pest control mistress of the Green Gulch Garden.  Mostly dealing with aphids and now slugs.  Some mornings I strap on my ghostbuster-like backpack with 4 gallons of a Neem oil solution that is approved by the organic whathaveyou to control pests.  Now I also sprinkle teaspoons of an organic compound that baits slugs and then kills them.  Why do we do this?  Simple answer is that aphids can demolish a whole orchard if they wanted and slugs, at a slower rate would eat up much of our tea leaves and strawberries and other young juicy plants.  But there is, of course, a longer answer, or at least question.

What kind of karma am I racking up as this killing machine?  Life is life, bugs are life, animals are life, plants and humans are life, and I am taking life.  On the one hand I feel like I have some pretty good karma so maybe I am a good candidate to take a karmic "hit for the team." I also know that intention is a very important part of the karmic equation; knowing why we do what we do and that in the end we do it to help others in some way.  What does help look like,  is the tough part.  We do our best.  Everyone is always doing their best, if they weren't, they would have done something else.

Another thought is that in trying to figure out how karma manifests in my daily life it is irrelevant to look back on what I did to bring me the current fruits of past actions but that what really matters is my intentional action going forward.  I will have to deal with my past karma regardless of where it came from or how I feel about it.  Like the priest and Heart Sutra class teacher, Charlie says, karma as a whole is sort of ungraspable.  And I am actually ok with this answer.  It doesn't mean I won't continue to explore it but it does mean that I may just have to accept some mystery in my life.  In the world of science, a world I have been/am a part of, mystery is not often accepted as the end but only a challenge.  I am trying to resist the urge to "figure it out."    Although I am curious what Zennies say when people ask "why do bad things happen to good people?" 

If it seems like I am dwelling on this subject, just know that I have it tattooed on my wrist.  We'll see where it takes me.

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