Finishing Projects

One of my friends asked me recently in LA; what if projects i start i can’t seem to finish? What is the seed for/cause of that?

I thought about it and gave him a bad answer—going with the usual answer, i said that it’s probably something about not helping others finish projects. Usually, this is the case—what we experience is something similar we have done to someone else. So it stands to reason that, if i experience not being able to finish projects, it is because i failed to help someone else with a project or got in someone’s way who was also trying to finish a project.

But it turns out that there is karmic seed for finishing or completing things is really interesting (ok, well, at least to me), because it’s not one that you would probably guess.

The scriptures say that the cause of things happening at the wrong time—crops that don’t ripen when you need them, for example—or things that don’t happen in time or on time is idle speech: speaking about meaningless things, like gossiping about movie stars or sports or politics.

I think this is really interesting, because i never would have guessed that myself. Who could have ever figured that out? This is why we say that sometimes you have to check the scriptures to see what the karmic (seed) correlation is—sometimes the cause is something we just couldn’t see ourselves.

In Buddhist perceptual theory/logic (in Tibetan) this is called shin tu kok gyur—extremely hidden phenomenon. Something with is kok gyur—hidden—we can figure out for ourselves using logic (like whether karma, cause and effect, is true or not). But for something that is shin tu kok gyur, we have to ask someone we trust who might know (in this case, Shakyamuni Buddha).

So if your next project falls through at the last minute, don’t blame your co-workers, bad luck, or karma—just make sure you’re not wasting other people’s time with your speech.

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2 Responses to Finishing Projects

  1. Peter Axtell says:

    Dear Venerable Nyingpo, Really enjoyed this expanded answer. I would not have guess this was the correlation especially since I never engage in idle speech….
    I think this forum is a great place to learn to identify the not so obvious causes of things. Please write more in your spare time (joke).

    Happy Travels,

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful indeed in my practice.


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