Consequences in Buddhism 1


Excerpt from

Consequences in Buddhism; Why Things Happen to Us.

When I’ve been camping or hiking and something’s gone bad, it was never just one thing that exploded. It’s always a series of things.

For example, a number of years ago a friend and I were hiking on the Healy Pass trail, near Egypt Lake, Alberta. We hiked about 6 hours that day and it was unusually hot and humid for August. When we arrived at our campsite in the late afternoon, we were both sweating heavily and the lake looked very inviting - cold, but inviting. We dropped our packs, decided to quickly erect the tent and go for a swim.

After about 5 minutes of wading about in the shallow water near the shore, we felt a gust of wind and watched, helplessly, as our tent lifted off and blew into the lake. Thankfully, it landed right side up and floated for a few minutes while my friend swam out with the intention of retrieving it. Sadly, by the time he got there, the tent had begun to fill with water and was sinking. While my friend tried to pull it back it was simply too heavy with all the water in it. He swam back to shore, freezing and tired.

We decided to take about one hundred feet of cord from our packs and swim out with one end to tie it on the tent and pull it back from ashore. I swam out this time and affixed the cord to the tent and swam back to shore to help pull it slowly back in.

As I was swimming back in, I saw something about 200 feet behind my friend, near where we left the packs. I yelled out “Bear!” My friend turns just in time to see the bear rip open my back pack like it was made of paper. My friend yelled and jumped around, but the black bear took little notice and after about a minute, he casually ambled off with most of our food! Well, I made it back to shore with no problem, cold, tired, but fine other than that. We did manage to pull in the tent, disassemble it in the shallow water and eventually dry it out, just as night began to fall. With only about a days worth of food remaining, we had to wrap up our trip a few days early and return to the Sunshine parking lot, where we parked the van, about 9 miles distant.

It wasn’t one single thing that happened that caused us to shorten our trip, but a few things. First, we stupidly, didn’t take the time to secure the tent to the ground. We had all the pegs and cord, but we just opted to just set up the free-standing dome tent and leave it for a cooling swim – poor judgement. Secondly, we didn’t put the food away properly. It should have been tied up a tree, far from the ground and away from curious animals – more poor judgement. In fact, that’s why we had the cord in the first place. Third, we didn’t have bear spray with us, we left it in the van, which wouldn’t have happened if we had of taken the time to tick off the checklist that we had previously prepared – again, poor judgement.

So you see, when things happen, it’s rarely one thing going catastrophically wrong, but usually a series of small things - along with errors in judgement.

Ed Horner Consequences in Buddhism; Why Things Happen to Us. iBooks

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