Lecture Offers Insights to a Better Life

Keion Moradi
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Instructor Kathia Rabeleo offered insights into the benefits of meditation, which she said can improve life and reduce stress, Tuesday in SF107.

“My job is to inspire you to calm your mind,” Rabeleo announced upon initiating this week’s topic: “Karma and Concentration.” According to Buddhist teachings, concentration is the key to obtaining the ideal of happiness. The mind has the ability to concentrate, she explained, however people tend to encourage distractions. As a result, the mind becomes completely out of control.

According to Rabeleo, everyone is subject to, or at least encourages, some type of distraction in order to lose focus on that which truly is the matter. Yet, according to Rabeleo, distractions are one of our biggest problems.

“If we really know what happiness is, then why can’t we hold on to it?” said Rabeleo. “It seems we have to struggle [in order] not to have a problem in our lives. We have problems because we create problems. Because this is an impure place and we were born into it.”

Rabeleo went on to stress the importance of karma by noting that every problem or every aspect of happiness we experience is created internally.

“What we give out, we get back,” said Rabeleo. “The seeds we plant [from the past] will ripen and we will suffer the consequences.”

In Buddhist philosophy, the negative seeds we plant are a result of distractions. If a person has experienced a negative interaction with another, the conditioned response is one of negativity. The process becomes cyclical and individuals subject themselves to a perpetuation of planting negative seeds and experiencing the consequences.

Rabeleo discouraged feelings of guilt. “You should not blame yourself because it wasn’t you. It is the habits that you have of negative states of mind.” She referred to these habits as delusions that blind a person’s potential.

In addition to negative habits, the ego is apparently at fault as well according to Rabeleo. “Every time we increase our ego, we decrease our wisdom.”

Rabeleo said that people pretend to perceive themselves as extraordinary individuals, however they continue to block their potential with inner negativity and denial by not actually believing that perception.
Rabeleo closed the lecture with a short introductory meditation session and instructed the class to attempt to practice this meditation throughout the week.

A guided meditation series is being held on campus every Tuesday in SF107 from noon to 1 p.m.