Do you know that every single happening that could ever occur, is actually a resultant, or an effect or outcome, determined by a combination of many conditions? Putting it another way, when something happened, that happening “cannot-not have” occurred. Simply because that happening resulted as an effect of many supporting factors that were independent of one another.
Take a simple example of a plant growing out of a seed. The plant wouldn't have grown if not for the many supporting factors. Did all of those factors collaborate with one another? Obviously, they did not since they are impersonal and just happened to be around at that time.
If we extend this understanding a little further to an event closer to home, say, our ability to speak, did you notice that many conditions or factors must come into play for words to come through as our speech. First, we must know how to speak a certain language. And for that, we must learn it before we can even speak it. More than that, we must be willing to learn too. On the body level, our vocal chords too must be in working condition. And what about our intention to speak? Or even that there must be someone around to hear it. Do you now notice the many supportive conditions leading finally to “speaking” taking place? Do these conditions collaborate with each other or were they independent and just happened to be present at the right place, at the right time? And do notice too that the effect, the speech itself, is also impersonal since it arose out of other conditions not related to it.
If you take this simple example to a further self-exploration in everything you can notice, you will know for yourself directly that everything arise from conditionings. There is no one thing that takes place alone on its own, occurring out of nowhere. That will lead you to a clear understanding of how things - events, situations, or even a being - come to be.
The next time you can be mindful of this bit of information in your daily activities, you may naturally be compassionate of the happenings around you, including how your inner experiences take place, unexempted from conditionings. You will see how each and everything affect each other. You may then attest to the saying that when a butterfly flaps its wings in China, something would have taken effect in the States. It may sound far-fetched but there is such a possibility since everything is affecting one another, at the most minutest level.
The next time someone is unhappy or judging you, can you reflect wisely that it is due to a specific bunch of conditionings taking place in that person which resulted in the unhappiness or judgment. More importantly, it is not personal to you, though it may seem to be targeted at you.
On the contrary, if you find yourself judging another, do reflect that it can be a mistake since you do not really know all of the conditions which are taking place and making your judgement happen. Give it the benefit of doubt. Therein lies your potential for freedom from unhappiness. If you live your life mindfully in this clear comprehension, you can be sure to experience peace anywhere.
Hor Tuck Loon
on behalf of WISE Team