Changing Our Karma
people misunderstand the concept of karma. They take the Buddha's doctrine of the law of causality to mean that
all is predetermined, that there is nothing that the individual can do. This is a total misunderstanding. The
very term karma or action is a term of active force, which indicates that future events are within your own
hands. Since action is a phenomenon that is committed by a person, a living being, it is within your own hands
whether or not you engage in action.
Holiness the Dalai Lama, from his book: Path to Bliss
the universal Law of Karma, rather than being discouraging or overwhelming, can actually be very inspiring and
clear understanding of the Law of Karma (cause and effect/causality), we can choose to be the captain of our own
ship. We can navigate our life in the exact direction we choose, rather than being tossed about upon the stormy
seas of our own ignorance and delusion.
ignore the workings of karma, we tend to create many problems for ourselves and others. However, with this
excellent understanding, we have the ability to transform our mind, heart, and life for the better, and we will
be able to benefit others as well.
our karma is not difficult. However, this change does require a very sober realization and acknowledgment—simply
that our situation in life is the result of our own actions! According to Buddhist teachings, there is nobody in
the universe who is distributing rewards and punishments. We ourselves create the causes of our life experiences
by our own thoughts, speech, and actions, and we experience the results. In this way, we can learn to be
accountable. We can take full responsibility for our lives. Once we acknowledge that our situation in life is
the result of our own actions, we can begin to change our karma.
our karma, we need to understand the unwholesome, negative, and non virtuous actions that bring pain,
unhappiness, and suffering. We also need to understand the wholesome, positive, and virtuous actions that bring
benefit and happiness. The rest is diligent practice.
practicing the essential foundation of the Buddhist Path, morality (personal integrity), we will
transform our karma and our life experiences. By understanding the Four Noble Truths and following the Noble
Eightfold Path we will transform our karma. By practicing The Six Paramitas (Perfections), we will transform our
karma. By cultivating positive, virtuous thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, exercising compassion,
loving-kindness, and wisdom in our daily lives, we will transform our karma. By way of this practice, we will
change the entire course of our life experience and move swiftly toward liberation.
Buddhist teachings of all lineages offer many excellent practices for training the mind, purifying the heart of
defilements, and transforming our karmic tendencies. It is wise for us to truly contemplate the workings of
karma so that we are not influenced by deluded views of reality.
Understanding karma and learning to take responsibility for our every thought, word, and action is true sobriety,
wisdom, and awakening.
Source: Used with permission from Neil Cohen at Naljor Prison
Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067.
Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.