What then, is proper dharma?
No dharma is proper dharma. People who investigate Chan and practice Chan may become nihilists or atheists. Or if they become frustrated they may become religious.Zen is not nihilistic. If we awaken we gain freedom. We know we are no longer dead or born. We have awakened from doubt, and from the three poisons: aversion, desire, and ignorance.
Therefore our lives are changeable. Our lives become colorful whereas previously they were in black and white. We can create the data, just as Amitabha Buddha created the Western Pure Land. We become like systems engineers, knowing what happens in this system.
What is new karma?
All that we take from old sutras is karma. We live in a modern karma society. In our society we have liberty and freedom.
We have two kinds of karma. The first is personal: our personal reality, and our relations with our friends and family. The second is social reality. For example, the government, legal systems, culture, and community.
These two kinds of karma have a significant effect on us. We have to make decisions about these things each time you are interested in people and things. Choice is karma. Once you have made a choice you either win happiness, or lose and become unhappy.
All karma comes from external sources
Data and karma all come from language. Once we believe and choose this language it will change our life. Karma comes from our mind because we are human Animals have no karma. If we look after each other our society will become much more peaceful. We are language humans and we can change the world to make it more peaceful. We have this power. Karma is not all bad: it is a power we hold and use depending on the choices we make. Earthquakes are natural karma. In a disastrous earthquake, such as the recent one in Haiti, we can choose to look after our neighbors, or to take a machete and steal from them. Good minds make a good society.
A philosopher, Kung Fu Tzu, advised people not to go to a country where there is a war, or where the people are crazy, because there is bad karma there, and there danger lies.
Manjushri went to see bodhisattva Wei Mo Jey, who was ill. Manjushri asked him why he was sick, as Wei Mo Jey was a bodhisattva. Wei Mo Jay replied, ‘Well, because people get sick, I am sick.’ Is Wei Mo Jay’s illness karma or not? Death is inevitable. Is death karma or not?
We are experiencing a technological revolution: technology and computers are everywhere and many people no longer believe in heaven or hell. This threat of punishment is no longer effective, and it is easy for us to become nihilists. We need to be warned of the effects of wrong actions. Punishment is still possible because we have the data and because we are language humans. We cannot avoid the two minds which show us what is right or wrong. If we do something wrong our minds will punish us, and then the law, or society will punish us. Some people are punished after they die because our knowledge minds are still there. Once we die our minds are still there.