Reflecting on all
Intention has in future entangled physical effects outside
The Buddha to his son:
How do you consider
this, Rahula: What is a mirror for?
The Buddha: In the same way, Rahula, bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental
acts are to be done with constant reflection. Whenever you want to do a
bodily act, then you should reflect: This bodily act I want to do, would it
lead to misery to myself, to the misery of others, or to both?
Is this a detrimental bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?
If, on reflection, you come to know that it would lead to your own misery,
to the misery of others, or to both, and it would be an harmful bodily act
with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily act whatsoever
that sort is absolutely unacceptable for you to do! But if on reflection
you know that it would not cause misery. That it would be an advantageous
bodily action with happy consequences, & pleasant results, then any bodily
act of that sort is proper for you to do.
Any intention produces a ladder into the future upon which
While you are doing a bodily act, you should reflect: This bodily act I am
doing now does it lead to self-misery, to the misery of others, or to both?
Is it an detrimental bodily act,
with painful consequences, painful results?
If, on reflection, you come to know that it is leading to self-misery,
the misery of others, or to both, then you should instantly stop doing it!
But if on reflection you know that it is not
disadvantageous to anybody,
then you may continue with it.
Having done a bodily act, you should again reflect .... If, on reflection,
you come to know that it led to self-misery, to the misery of others, or to
both; that it was an detrimental bodily act with painful consequences,
painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, and lay it open to the
teacher or to a knowledgeable friend in the holy life. Having confessed it,
you should exercise restraint and self-control regarding this in the future.
But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to misery, that it was a
advantageous bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then
you should stay mentally elated and joyful, training day and night in all the
advantageous mental qualities.
...[similarly for verbal and mental acts]...
Intention is a choice, which reduces entropy, thus rolling
out the future!
Rahula, all past bhikkhus and recluses who
purified their bodily, verbal, and
mental acts, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily, verbal, and
mental acts in exactly this way. All the future bhikkhus and recluses, & all
the bhikkhus and recluses, who at present purify their bodily, verbal, and
mental acts, do it by repeated reflection on their bodily, verbal,
acts in exactly this way. Therefore, Rahula, you should train yourself:
I will purify my bodily behaviour by repeated reflection.
purify my verbal speech by repeated reflection.
I will purify my
mental thought by repeated reflection.
Thus should you train
reference MN 61
For details on the mechanics
of Kamma = Intentional Action see: