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Translated teachings of Master Patana

Why my life is rough?: Understanding Divine Law and Merits

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The laws that govern our universe are many, some easily understood like gravity, others much more nuanced and philosophical, like the divine law. The divine law, at its most foundational level, suggests that we exist on this Earth to facilitate each other’s journey towards self-actualization.

Self-actualization, an expansive and beautiful concept, essentially refers to the realization and fulfillment of one’s creative, intellectual, and social potential. This concept is a central guiding principle of our life journey, with the divine law acting as the compass. The divine law rewards those who commit themselves to this evolutionary process, to contributing towards the development of collective consciousness. A critical question to reflect upon is – how are we supporting this growth? How much are we truly giving towards this evolution?

On this note, we should pause and ask ourselves a crucial question, one that can bring startling clarity to our current standing on this path: Just look, how much are you demanding and how much are you giving? Consciously watch your day-to-day activities.

What do we mean by this question? It’s not about keeping a literal tally of your demands and contributions, but it’s about assessing the quality of your interactions with the world. Are you asking the world to bend to your will, your desires, your expectations more than you are adapting, contributing, and giving? And how does this balance, or imbalance, manifest in your daily life?

Perhaps you may notice that you’re quick to criticize or complain about situations or people that don’t align with your preferences. These are subtle forms of demand you’re placing on the world. Or, you might observe that when you give, you often do so with an expectation of getting something in return. This too is a form of demand. Consciously observing these patterns in your day-to-day activities can be an eye-opening exercise and can reveal insights about the true balance between your giving and demanding.

An integral part of this discussion is our inherent desire for pleasure, a universal human longing. Pleasure, much like anything else in the universe, operates on the principle of energy exchange. And to fully experience this energy of pleasure, whether it’s in the form of comfort, material possessions, or any form of gratification, we must first give it out. This principle aligns perfectly with the divine law and the laws of physics; it’s a rule as immutable as time itself. We cannot receive pleasure without first investing in the energy of giving.

To draw a parallel, let’s consider the analogy of the stock market. Your money, in this case, represents your energy. To enjoy the returns from a profitable stock, you first need to invest your money into it. Similarly, to experience pleasure, comfort, or any form of positive energy, you first need to ‘invest’ your energy by giving, sharing, and contributing positively.

Just as wise investors don’t blindly throw their money at any stock but invest strategically for optimal returns, we too should focus on the quality of our energy investments. Investing in the currency of kindness, empathy, and genuine giving can yield significant ‘returns’ in terms of pleasure and fulfillment.

It’s crucial to understand that ‘giving’ here doesn’t only mean tangible resources. It’s not limited to the boundaries of the physical world, like money or material goods. The essence of giving, as per the divine law, is an energetic exchange. This is where most people seem to misconstrue the message and feel incapable of giving due to perceived material shortcomings.

The true measure of giving lies in the sharing of our energy, which, as per the divine law, only amplifies with sharing. You could share a skill, inspire someone, provide emotional support, and all of these count as acts of giving. These are the merits that Buddhism refers to – the good deeds that directly contribute to our collective spiritual growth.

By cultivating awareness of this deeply ingrained behavior, we can steer our lives towards genuine giving, empathy, and understanding of the divine law. When we drop all expectations and become less calculative, we give with a genuine heart. Only then does the abundance of energy start flowing back to us.

True giving isn’t measured in quantity but quality, and it emanates from a place of love and compassion, not calculation and demand. The nature of our giving impacts the quality of the merits we generate and profoundly shapes our journey towards self-actualization.

So, continue to ask yourself, just how much are you demanding, and how much are you giving? How are you investing your energy for the pleasure you seek? Through consciously observing our daily actions and aligning our intentions with the divine law, we can step closer to reaching our potential.

Patana Org