KARMA – From the Buddhist Perspective

Last month we talked about suffering and its causes from the Buddhist point of view. This month’s focus is karma – specifically we are answering the questions, "What is it?”; "How is it generated?”; and "What can be done about it?”

For starters – Our former President (Carter) was partially correct – we are creating karma with our thoughts and actions. The meaning of Karma is ‘action’ – but not just any action. It is the intention behind the action that creates the karma – for good or ill. We are talking about the mental action of directing our awareness to a specific activity or object.

Whenever we engage in intentional activities of the body, speech and mind, regardless of our intention being good or not so good, we generate impressions on our mind stream. These impressions are like seeds or potencies and are called karma. In some cases the karma is carried forward to another incarnation. This occurs if the karma is imprinted on our subtle mind stream and not balanced and not worked through or balanced in the life of its origination. When this happens, the karma lays dormant until conditions are ripe for it to be rebalanced. In Buddhism it is said: ‘These seeds act as propulsive karma which when stimulated by an appropriate catalyst, propels the person into another rebirth. As the seed bears fruit, it is fully ripened into a type of life form that reflects this seed potential.’

The results we get – that is the karmic results stem from both our behavior and causes from the environment.  Behavioral causes refer to patterns of behavior we create in a particular life that are carried forward into the next life. An example of behavioral patterns would be responding to certain stimuli in the same way, over and over again – such as anxiety, attachments, hostility, love, equanimity, etc. Using any emotion as a response repeatedly to a specific stimuli creates strong impressions on our mind stream and it becomes challenging to change this habit.

The result of environmental karma follows the principle of – whatever we sow, so shall we reap. We get back whatever we put out into the world. When we die and are reborn, it is not our current body that is propelled forward; it is our subtle mind stream. The current ‘I’ goes away which allows our mind stream to join with a new form. The analogy that best describes this is that of a candle. When one candle dies down and we light another candle – we are transferring the energy from one to the other – through the heat of desire. Our desire for survival is the heat that propels us forward into another incarnation – thus we are transferring our energy from one form to another.

In Buddhism it is believed that we can become our own masters and the goal is to reach self mastery. Since the mind is the creator of our world, in very moment it is our responsibility to  work with our minds to alleviate non beneficial karma. Buddhist saying: "I am the owner of my karma, everything else is on loan. We can only take karma with us. We bring tendencies with us that create our opportunities – the choice is ours, in every moment.”

We create results based on our intentions and our actions are based on what we think about them first. Therefore, thinking is a big factor that must be observed carefully. Meditation is one of the key ways used to observe our mind. We must become familiar with our thinking process so that we generate good karma instead of the alternative. Unless we begin to observe our thinking process we won’t know the intentions behind our actions – which lead to the next point: We get exactly what we deserve. Nothing in this world is accidental or chaotic – there is a pattern and a cause for everything that happens.

Karma is impartial, it doesn’t have any preferences. Each of us brings tendencies from our past lives – however, most of what happens to us is a result of actions from this incarnation. Let’s take a look and connect the dots.  What skilful and profitable actions have we taken in this incarnation and what were the results? These actions show in our abilities, health, strength and character.

The more skillful our choices, the more opportunities we have, therefore each moment has to be watched.  In the book, "Being Nobody and Going Nowhere,” Karma is described as a moment-to-moment experience: The Buddha said, "Kamma, O monks, I declare, it intention.
Thought is the creator of everything that exists therefore, thought is the underlying cause of all our karma. And, the three doors of thought, speech and action are the ways we contact the world. 

When each of us has the intention to create positive karma and takes the necessary action to generate good karma, we will begin to see our lives and thus our world shift for the betterment of mankind. The choice is in each of our hands.

Having an astrology chart (natal blueprint) done is one of the best ways to see the karmic influences you have for this life time. You also will see what the remedies are for any non beneficial karma. Schedule your Astrological blueprint with me today.  The time is now to begin the process of self discovery.