Is Buddhism Energy Efficient?

by Kevin Nakao

ImageDisclaimer: I am  completely unqualified to discuss or share the tenants of Buddhism.  I wrote this to help force my own thinking.

I believe in karma where our intent and actions plant the seeds of a similar consequence as opposed to creating a boomerang of goodness that comes right back to you.   Bad things happen to good people.  A moral code that expects a return on good is a set up for failure.   Be good to be good.

Me thinks a good action creates positive energy that you may not directly benefit from, but the universe will.  Energy is dispersed, it can’t be controlled, but it isn’t lost.   The laws of cause and effect can only ensure that every action has a consequence.  Good and bad intentions create ripples.  The abused can become abusers or lead the fight against it, a good action may encourage another to play it forward or take it back.  Even if an action is the same, intent can also change the spin of the ball.  It starts in our minds first as energy which is transformed into action.  You feel the difference when someone thanks you out of gratefulness versus obligation.

Thinking about life as energy also helps me understand the Buddhist concept of reincarnation.  I never bought the notion of transformation from person to  cow.  That sucks. The reincarnation proposition also feels hopeless.  I am unlikely to attain nirvana and will be caught in an endless cycle of re-birth.    I don’t want to be a jellyfish again and if I was, that’s kind of cruel to make me figure out such heady concepts without a brain.

Thankfully one translation of the teachings of Buddha states:

“There is rebirth of character,
but no transmigration of a self.
Thy thought-forms reappear,
but there is no egoentity transferred.
The stanza uttered by a teacher
is reborn in the scholar who repeats the words.

“Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream
that their souls are separate and self-existent entities”

There is no self or soul, only energy in the form of thought and intention, action with consequences.   My late grandmother isn’t jumping around the pond as a frog.  Her energy produced & influenced me, I in turn will do the same with others.  “The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the words”.

Every day we are reborn with the chance to act with positive intention. We have the choice to make our energy positive or negative.  Like Ice Cube said, “it’s gonna be a good day“.