Phishing / Fishing Karma

It was only writing the first article, ‘e-mail phishing alert!‘, that I made the connection between ‘phishing‘ – fraudulently acquiring someone else’s property by electronic means; and ‘fishing‘ – fraudulently acquiring someone else’s body for food or sport (both pronounced ‘fishing‘).
Yeah OK, I am a bit slow. I just hadn’t thought of it before.

It’s all a bit sneaky really, Phishers fraudulently acquire someone else’s property by electronic means; and fishermen pretend that sharp hook’s a tasty meal for little fishies to eat.
Of course, humans who get caught out electronically tend to fare better than the fish, who have got a lot more to lose once they’ve taken the bait. But the principle’s the same.

phishing karma 12 share xport pngo


Phishers and Fishermen

So the similarities between phishers and fishermen?
Some ideas I had ~

  both lack compassion for their prey, not caring the emotional, mental or physical pain their victim suffers.

  both throw out sharp little hooks to catch their prey on. This is disguised as bait to catch their victims. Fish get caught on the hook hidden by a tasty snack; and people get duped by an electronic hoax.

  their victims are random ~ whoever was unlucky enough to be caught at the time.

 it takes time and patience to catch random victims. That’s a lot of time and concentrated effort to put into ruining someone’s day, or ending their life; this makes for abysmal karma.

  …which is how we can develop compassion for phishers and fishermen.

Developing Compassion for Phishers and Fishermen considering their Karma

These people don’t have much idea of the misery they’re causing themselves in the future. (It’s nothing compared to the present suffering they’re causing.)
It’s definite that the negative karma reaped will be similar in nature, but worse in effect than it’s cause, due to how karma works. These unpleasant experiences can appear later in the perpetrator’s life, but will most likely be in future lives.*
What a terrible curse to hand down to their future selves 😦

Considering this makes it easier to feel compassion for fishermen, especially those for who whom it’s their livelihood. They’re also very good reasons never to fish; or to cut down, with the intention of giving up if you do. The section on  ‘Karma’ in Joyful Path* gives some wise advice on this BTW.

It just made me wonder if being the victim of phishing is a karmic result (like a cosmic payback) which is an ‘experience similar to the cause’.

* from ‘Karma’,  Joyful Path of Good Fortune p248 my book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
o the Urban Dictionary definition of phishing includes the ‘collecting logos and graphics from a genuine source (e.g. Citibank) and making fraudulent e-mails out of them, to obtain data about a person/s
o fish image by Jas (in ‘Being Phished. A Karmic Effect of Fishing?’ which begins these ideas here.)
0 Phishing Alert! Where it all started.


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e-mail phishing alert!

BT e-mail account hacked by phisher

That sounds like a newspaper heading, and not where I’d normally post this; but my ma phoned yesterday to say of the awful time she’d had after her BT e-mail account got hacked.
You hear about these things, but it really upset ma. Needing to to warn others I Facebooked it. It’s been a popular post, with people agreeing with the alert, so I’m giving the details here.

Phishers fraudulently acquired Ma’s e-mail contacts list

Phishers pretending to be BT fraudulently aquired my ma’s email details and password.
BT‘ (ie. the phisher) mailed her that:
Your e-mail has been suspended because of over loading“; and then another message reading “your account need to be closed, please re-register.” Which of course you need to provide all your details to do.

It’s quite emotive language, designed to target our fear of losing something perceived to be valuable. It gives a sense of urgency, prompting immediate action. My ma had already filled out some of ‘BT‘s’ forms before she smelt something phishy, but some details had already been sent. This gave the phisher access to ma’s contacts list. They then mailed all her contacts pretending to be her in urgent need of money. She wasn’t able to contact everybody to warn them, as the phisher finished the job by wiping her contacts list.
That in itself is a worrying thing.

Don’t answer e-mails that smell phishy!

Ma said it felt “awful, such an invasion of privacy.” [The real] “BT were very good in sorting things out, but it took hours and I had a crunching headache at the end of it.

These people really need to get proper jobs; they’re creating terrible karma for themselves in the future by deceiving and stealing from others.
We can protect ourselves and them by following our intuition, and not answering emails that smell a bit phishy.
~ Be warned people!

nb. Translations & disclaimers:
o If something ‘smells fishy‘, it means it’s suspect or suspicious; as in the fake e-mails smelt fishy, and could be a con.
o phishing‘ – fraudulently acquiring someone else’s property by electronic means. (pronounced ‘fishing‘.)
o It was BT in my ma’s case, but it could’ve been any company that does business on-line, and it certainly isn’t the first I’ve heard of, mail or otherwise.

Further Thoughts:
Being PhishedPhishing Karma 

There is no Way to Peace, Peace is the Way

Tumblr Screenshots:

Find peace in your mind to create peace in the world.


We gotta find peace within before there’s any chance of peace out there.

Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, isn’t it. 


via self-assassin, babydoll1976, and dancingdakini
(Click on image to view in a larger format) 


What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.

Is ‘Peace the Way’?
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‘Togetherness’ is Being with Sangha (Weekly Photo Challenge theme of the week)

For this week’s Post a Day / Week challenge (we’re somewhere in-between), you’ve got to post a photo showing ‘Togetherness’.

It’s so joyful to feel spiritually connected with others,

I’ve put in 2 images that just sparkle with ‘togetherness’.














Both shots were taken of Sangha from my Buddhist centre in Bristol, attending courses at Manjushri Buddhist Centre in Cumbria.
The ‘Togetherness’ theme just seemed perfect for shots of Manjushri Centre, what with the upcoming Spring Festival there.

These spiritual ‘holidays’ at the mother centre can be so valuable; gaining instruction from experienced and skilled teachers, and meeting friends old and new from across the globe. Meditating with many other minds focussing on the same thing can be a powerful experience. The energy carries you deeper into concentration, like a powerful current sweeping you along.

They can also be quite hard going ~ you’re there with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other people. Everybody there, to some extent, is working on improving their minds – with varying levels of success – and often having spent the night in a tent in torrential rain, been to a teaching, then queued (cold and wet) for ¼hr to get that precious cup of coffee.

Just being somewhere with that many people can get difficult for me (especially when we’re all in the café queue), and it does rain rather a lot in the Lake District. But after years of experience, we’re generally getting the hang of regarding others with a gentle, tender regard (normally sprinkled with humour). And it makes all the difference to wether your holiday is enjoyable or unbearable.
If you don’t practice loving kindness when you’re with others, how else are you going to learn it?! To see people with this mind of loving kindness definitely enriches relationships, from new acquaintances to old and dear friendhips.

The love friends can have for each other is truly beautiful

I think this shines through in these photos.
What do you think? Does practicing loving kindness bring people closer?

The 3 heroes were taken at a Summer Festival,
and the yoginis were at a concentration retreat,
both in the last couple of years.

‘Sangha’ – Spiritual community

Kadampa Magic

Mega UK Dharma Celebration.
Fantastic teachings from Kadam Bridget and Gen Thekchen.

I’m pooped again.
Thanks to all the beautiful Sangha who gathered at Manjushri’s pure land.
Bit by bit we’re making blissful Kadampa magic in this world.

“Kadam Lamrim really is just common sense deepened with wisdom”

Gen Thekchen

“Modern Buddhism is daily life”

+ = 🙂

Inspired by Peace

 I didn’t know it at the time – thought it was just us, small and isolated in Bristol city centre’s busyness. But It was a worldwide event, inspired by Tich Nhat Hanh for International Peace Day. In fact we were linked to hundreds (thousands?) of like-minded people across the globe, all meditating for a better world.
Which is kinda’ analogous to how we normally see ourselves – as independent individuals, not really connected to most other people. But that’s so not true; “in fact, every happiness there is in the world arises as a result of others’ kindness.” (Geshe Kelsang) We are all interconnected. We all depend upon each other, in one way or another. We all drink the same water and breathe the same air. Life becomes easier when we can accept that.

Tich Nhat Hanh

Sitting with our comparatively small group on a pavement on College Green certainly brought on a feeling of interbeing. This excerpt describes the experience in London:

“Trafalgar Square, 10 minutes before the secret lift-off, was full, as usual, with summer crowds and precious few people that I could clock as potential meditators. It was warm and I sat on a bench to wait. I didn’t hear the lone woman singing at 6.30pm who was the signal, but I saw something even more startling.
Across the square, from all sides, apparently uninvolved idlers strode forward purposefully to the designated area between the two large fountains. It was like Superman suddenly emerging from unobtrusive Clark Kent – or rather, around a hundred or so Supermen.

It was simple to be impelled along on that sudden wave and to just sit down among the throng. And a deep silence immediately arose. I was astonished. There was a sense of naturalness and openness. The steady sound of the water in the two fountains, the grumble of traffic masked behind them, and a light hither and thither breeze. It felt not so much a comment on mad commercial London but more a coexistence with it – unifying in its effect rather than polarising.

After 20 minutes, the low growl of chanting “Om” began and it rolled back and forth in waves, rising and falling until 7pm struck. And then it was all over. Standing up, the world felt different. I would have liked to have made eye contact with someone, or even hugged someone. But being British, I reverted to the conventions of public space. I picked up my things and left to catch my bus.

I don’t know if the exercise showed anybody anything or made any point at all. But I do know that for me it was a half an hour of purest sanity.”

– Guardian excerpt
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso quote from Transform your Life

Quick fixes

… knowing that we can work with it when it doesn’t, helps more.

Procrastination In Paint

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Is there any situation where you can’t practice cherishing others?

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Loving Affection (Gen Dekyong, Maitreya empowerment, MKMC, Feb 2012)

Some things in life are bound to be tricky.
Like traffic jams, shopping malls at Christmas or, you know, when you you hear things like “is there any situation when you can’t practice loving others?
Gen Dekyong at the weekend.

Maitreya, the Buddha of loving kindness

And I’m thinking “Yes.
(like duh)
Then she says it a few more times in that helpful / annoying* way she has.
*  (delete according to state of mind)

Deluded Minds

It has to be said here that I’m a deluded being, which is Buddhist speak for letting my unpeaceful and uncontrolled mind loose on the world.
Nothing to feel guilty about. We all have one. It’s the source of all our suffering and problems. Deluded minds like sticky, grasping attachment, and anger are the reason people fall in love, and why countries go to war.
They’re why stubbing your toe is so irritating and tripping up in the mall so embarrassing.

Deluded minds are why I can find Dharma teachings annoying sometimes. Even though I’ve been Buddhist for lifetimes and love Dharma to bits.
And I have to admit, I’ve remembered it! As much as it annoyed me at the time, it’s actually quite a good question. Try it ~ it’s wonderfully challenging!
“is there any situation when you can’t practice loving others?…”

I left my iPod with my notes on it in Charlie’s car. But that doesn’t stop Dekyong’s lilting Irish accent giving a voice-over when I’m slipping into irritation at someone.

Best to start with cherishing the people who already make you smile

Thinking of a situation where I don’t practice loving others isn’t too difficult.
Pretty easy actually.
But seeing as I was spending a whole weekend in the company of hundreds of people, most of whom I only vaguely knew; it would seem that I was stuck with the task of at least trying.
And to be honest, since we were all trying, it wasn’t that hard. Even for me.

And it wasn’t icky false niceness that people trying too hard to be Buddhist are sickeningly guilty of; it was a genuine feeling of social barriers being dismantled and taken away.

Holding others with a tender regard

So, Gen Dekyong’s advice? Something to work on (and more on it later), is to develop a feeling of closeness to others, a warmth towards them.
Dekyong describes this as our ‘homework’ – practicing what Geshe La refers to as ‘holding others with a tender regard.’
Easier with some than others. And and there’s some you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near, let alone close to.
But start easy, and I reckon it might just work.
In fact, it might well give us all that easy, peaceful feeling.

There are three main delusions, or deluded minds: ignorance, which gives rise to desirous attachment, which gives rise to anger.
These heinous minds are best left behind in favour of wisdom and love.

True, most folk don’t share their delusions (unhappy minds) with the world; but then this is why this blog is here – to air the yucky bits that the people I meet and I have; and the Buddhist answer to them.
Questioning my actions and changing the way I viewed folk definitely felt better for me, and I think maybe all concerned.

Cosmic Loti ~ Buddha’s Scientific Solutions for Solving our Problems

OK yea, this is another name change. But I promise that once I find a name that suits then that’s it. Job done.

It’s like that girly thing of trying on all the clothes in your wardrobe before you find the right outfit to wear.

Or like Gen Dekyong said,

Focussing on Dharma is focussing on the solutions to our problems.”

Gen Dekyong

Not immediately obvious, even if you’re Buddhist.  We tend automatically to turn to worldly solutions first. Then when they don’t work, start applying some of Buddha’s advice.

What Buddha taught was practical advice on solving our problems. As Dekyong likes saying – scientific solutions for solving our problems.
The thing about science seems to be that you test different hypotheses for what works best in any given situation, and try them out as you go along.
It’s empirical hypothesis testing. Or trial and error.

Buddha did say for us to check his advice out. See if it works for us or not.
(Kinda’ like I’m doing with the site name? Find out what feels good, then use it…)
So we check out Buddha’s advice,  and as our experience of applying Dharma  increases, we realise how incredibly successful if can be.

Sooner or later, we realize that it could well be true. Focussing on Dharma really is focussing on the solutions to our problems. We might even start to apply those solutions on a regular basis. That’s when the the auto-pilot becomes a Buddhist. And that is when life really starts to get fun 🙂

 – is Buddha’s teachings, and their subsequent inner realizations.
Dharma means ‘protection’. By practising Buddha’s teachings, we protect ourself from suffering and problems.
Dharma is Buddha’s personal advice to us all.


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