One verse of the Buddhist scripture “The Flower Adornment Sutra” says

All my ancient twisted karma
From beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion
Born of body, speech, and mind,
I now fully avow.

This little verse is something that is chanted regularly in Mahayana Buddhist temples (for example, when I have lived at one of the various campuses of the San Francisco Zen Center, I have chanted this verse every morning).

My translation of the the verse as –

There are twisted tangles in my deepest essence, like tangles in a ball of yarn.

These tangles come from beginningless dawn of time. They are carried through my childhood, through society, through my ancestors, maybe through my past lives, through the process of evolution, through the process of infinity falling asleep and dreaming itself to be you me and all of us – through all of it. Who can say how far back these tangles go? Who can say where it all comes from?

The tangles inside of each of us are a grabby attachment towards and avoidant aversion away from the things of this world, and, even more fundamentally, they are us getting caught in our subjectivity and missing out on the true nature of our spiritual source.

I know that these tangles manifest as knots in my body, as unskillfulness in the words that I speak, and as destructive thoughts in my mind.

I now vow to commit myself to taking full responsibility for fully untangling all my inner tangles, and letting the process of life flow through me smoothly.


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