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<> What is KARMA <>

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From a book BE A LAMP UPON YOURSELF.

By: Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh
Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable S. Dhammika

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

`` K ... A ... R ... M ... A ``

Means action. It refers to the intentional deeds we do with our body, speech and mind through action
talking and thinking. KARMA is the law that every deed done, given the conditions, will bare certain fruits.

^¤^

``HOW DOES KARMA WORK?``

-> All deeds leave imprints or seeds on our consciousness, which ripen into our experiences when the appropriate conditions
come together. For example, if we help someone with a kind heart, this action leaves a positive imprint on our mindstream.
When conditions are suitable, this imprint will ripen in our receiving of help when we need it.

``ACCORDING TO THE SEED
THAT IS SOWN, SO IS THE FRUIT YOU REAP.
THE DOER OF GOOD WILL GATHER GOOD RESULTS,
IF YOU PLANT A GOOD SEED WELL,
THEN YOU WILL ENJOY THE GOOD FRUITS.

^¤^

`` WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF KARMA? ``

->KARMA affects our future rebirths and influences what we experience during our lives:
how others treat us, our wealth, social status etc. KARMA also affects our personality and character:
our talents, strong personality traits and habits. The kind of environment we are born into is also influenced by KARMA.

`` WE ARE ACCORDING TO WHAT WE HAVE DONE.
WE WILL BE ACCORDING TO WHAT WE DO``

^¤^

``WHAT KINDS OF KARMA ARE THERE?``

-> If an action brings pain and misery in the long term for oneself and others, it is unwholesome or negative KARMA. And if it
brings happiness, it is wholesome or positive KARMA. Actions are not inherently good or bad---they are only so according
to their motivations and the consequences they bring. Whatever happiness and fortune we experience in our lives comes from our
own positive actions, while our problems result from our own negative actions.

^¤^


``HOW IS NEGATIVE KARMA CREATED?``

->there are ten unwholesome actions which should be avoided
if one does not wish to create negative KARMA.

1. Killing
2. Stealing
3. Sexual misconduct
4. Lying
5. Tale-bearing
6. Harsh speech
7. Idle talk
8. Craving (Greed)
9. Aversion (Anger)
10. Wrong views

^¤^

`` HOW IS POSITIVE KARMA CREATED? ``

-> There are ten wholesome actions which one ought to strive to do to create positive KARMA. The ten wholesome action also
include the avoidance of the ten unwholesome actions.

1. Charity
2. Self-Restraint
3. Meditation
4. Reverence
5. Service
6. Transference of Merit
7. Rejoicing Others' Merit
8. Hearing the Dharma
9. Teaching the Dharma
10. Straightening One's Views


^¤^

``CAN KARMA BE CREATED TOGETHER?``

-> KARMA is both collective and individual. Collective KARMA is action done together as a
group. For example, a platoon of soldiers may kill together. The results of this can be experienced together as a group, often
in future lives. Yet each member of the group thinks, speaks and acts differently, thus also creating individual KARMA, the
results of which he will experience for himself.

^¤^

``WHO CONTROLS KARMA?``

->There is no one that decides the ``rewards and punishments`` for what we do. We are responsible for our own experience.
The Buddha discovered the law of KARMA--- He did not create it. (No one created it). By teaching us the law of KARMA, the Buddha
shows us how to work within the functioning of cause and effect in order to attain True Happiness and avoid pain.

^¤^

`` IS EVERYTHING SUBJECT TO KARMA? ``

-> The law of KARMA does not apply to ``mindless`` actions such as walking, sitting or
sleeping. Such actions do not produce effects apart from the actions themselves. ( However, KARMA applies to the intentional
thoughts one thinks.) Similarly, accidents are considered neutral KARMA because they are unintentional. However, we should
always work towards increasing our mindfulness such that accidents do not occur.

^¤^

``CAN KARMA CHANGE?``

-> KARMA is not inflexibly fixed-- it does not mean fate or predetermination. Intentional actions at some time or other produce
their effects when favouring conditions exist. Though people in their present lives are experiencing the effects of their past
actions (Karma), it is possible to change, reduce or increase the effects of these past actions through present actions, which


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