I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

I Believe in Karma and its Effects

Confined to the Present Lifetime
4
5%
Function in All Lifetimes
68
85%
Uncertain What I Believe
6
8%
Karma & its Effects Irrelevant
0
No votes
Deny Karma & its Effects
0
No votes
Fie on All Polls
2
3%
 
Total votes : 80

Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Fruitzilla » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:08 pm

Jikan wrote:Or: To the best of my understanding, dependent origination and rebirth are integral to Buddhist thought and practice, and consequently, Buddhism just doesn't make sense without them (or isn't Buddhism anymore).

If I understand Fruitzilla right, the objection is not to the position taken but to its expression as an absolute or universal in the absence of a rigorous defense of the same. Or am I misunderstanding?


Nope, you're understanding perfectly. Thanks for putting it more clearly than I apparently could.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:16 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:TS....I often don't word things well so you are not alone in that :smile:

...
So that is what i mean :smile: My understanding does not by belief make anything factually true or existant. It cannot do such a thing.
If a thing is true or existant to my understanding it is true or existant by its virtues or characteristics my belief has not really anything to do with it.
I may use belief in the process of hypothesis examination and determination to find a thing true or not. But by itself it is only part of the process of finding truth, not a end in itself. It is the begining of the process of examination, and thusly useful and has purpose but is not sufficient in itself to determine things trueness.

I would like to make this very simple but even einstein could not explain the theory of relativity with but one sentence :smile:


Thanks, I understand what you're saying and I "believe" :tongue: you are correct.
You did make it as simple as you could, which in my opinion, explained it very well to me. I hope others are helped by this description of the subject as well.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Bhavana » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:35 pm

enjitsu wrote:There is both personal karma and also group karma. Know that the Law of Causality is utterly fair. It is not biased in any way, and is the ultimate justice. All good you do and all bad you do have coresponding effects. If you experience difficulties it is a Karmic result of your past actions. This is a fundamental belief of Buddhism.


Is EVERY difficulty in life the result of bad karma? I tend to think not - I mean, things just don't always go the way we want them to, that is life. But, if someone has consistent difficulty, years and years of it, even a lifetime of it - then I would think it was karma. I think mine is not so great, and most times I can't see the reason for it. Not in this life, anyway.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:46 pm

Bhavana wrote:Is EVERY difficulty in life the result of bad karma? I tend to think not...
So what are they due to? Luck? Fate? God? Okay, an earthquake may not be due to your actions (karma) but the fact that you were at the earthquake site while others were not definitely is!
- I mean, things just don't always go the way we want them to, that is life.
Karma is just intentional action. What you are describing is intent/hope/wishes. So all you are doing is describing one element of karma. The statement "that is life" is incredibly fatalistic and invalidates a key point of Buddhism: we are (solely) responsible for our life.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Bhavana » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:51 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Bhavana wrote:Is EVERY difficulty in life the result of bad karma? I tend to think not...
So what are they due to? Luck? Fate? God? Okay, an earthquake may not be due to your actions (karma) but the fact that you were at the earthquake site while others were not definitely is!
- I mean, things just don't always go the way we want them to, that is life.
Karma is just intentional action. What you are describing is intent/hope/wishes. So all you are doing is describing one element of karma. The statement "that is life" is incredibly fatalistic and invalidates a key point of Buddhism: we are (solely) responsible for our life.
:namaste:


so, if there is an earthquake in...let's say Turkey....and 30,000 people die, does that mean all of those 30,000 people have bad karma? I could see if you happened to be visiting there when the earthquake happened, but what about all the others?

I know what you are saying, but I could go nuts trying to figure this out, so mostly I look at it in a more general way - yes, we are responsible for our lives - I do believe that. But I also tend to believe that there is chance.. that things just happen sometimes, and we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is that so against buddha beliefs? I mean, I find it hard to cope with the belief that a child that is tortured and murdered had it coming to them because of something they did in a past life. Is karma a lesson, and if so, what good is it if we are not aware of it? On the other hand, one wonders why this child and not that one - or what brings that child to that time and place where the opportunity to snatch them presents itself? And do only humans have karma? What about the animal world? I don't know. These are just the things I struggle with when trying to understand karma. If feel that you have to believe in it entirely or not believe at all.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby AlexanderS » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:14 pm

As I understand it, one can not clearly see the workings of karma unless one is highly realized. So speculating too much about karma and will just drive u nuts. Generally just knowing that selfless intent and action generates good karma and selfish intent and action which causes suffering brings about bad karma is enough for me really.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Paul » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:24 pm

World systems and the local conditions that a being lives in is a product of their karma. The nicer a place is, the better the karma was to produce it. If it is prone to earthquakes, floods etc. that is karmic. How that effects them is also their karma.

As for beings "getting what they deserve", that's a very theistic view of things. It is not punishment, it is the impersonal result of actions. Karma is a fact of samsara, and samsara is nothing but suffering.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:59 pm

Bhavana wrote:so, if there is an earthquake in...let's say Turkey....and 30,000 people die, does that mean all of those 30,000 people have bad karma? I could see if you happened to be visiting there when the earthquake happened, but what about all the others?
1. So what other cause, apart from karma, would be responsible for a person to be living, visiting, passing through, etc... the earthquake zone? Well???
2. What is this "bad karma" you are talking about? Karma is not about good and bad, reward and punishment and other dualistic differentiations and discriminations, it is about actions and their outcomes. Judgement and fickleness are not elements of the workings of karma.
... But I also tend to believe that there is chance.. that things just happen sometimes, and we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is that so against buddha beliefs?
Yes it is. Coz if it was just about chance, if we say that it's merely a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, then it is basically saying that actions do not have outcomes. It is like saying that we can do whatever we like because our actions do not have anticipated results. For example: ignorance is not the cause for suffering and the perpetuation of samsara, it's not the basis for rebirth as in the animal realm, or anger is not the cause of rebirth in the hell realms. This means that we have no means to alter the course of our existence, that we cannot aim and practice to realise enlightenment, that enlightenment is a chance event and an outcome of being in the right place at the right time.
I mean, I find it hard to cope with the belief that a child that is tortured and murdered had it coming to them because of something they did in a past life.
Karma also means that the child, whilst being tortured, has the option of not feeling hatred and anger towards their torturers and thus transforming the situation into the means for spiritual "progression".
Is karma a lesson, and if so, what good is it if we are not aware of it?
Nope, it's not a lesson, though we can learn from our circumstances. It's not like there's a karma god out there tightening the screws and saying to us: "That'll learn yah!" Now the awareness bit, that's an important one. Mindfulness of our actions of body, speech and mind is the cure to our suffering. That's 100% sure! When something happens to us, being aware of the fact that it is due to our karma is actually a valuable lesson. Regardless if what happens to us is "positive' or "negative". Yes, karma sometimes ripens as positive circumstances: as money, love, happiness, "good luck", etc... But this should not be a source of joy for us, just like "negative" effects should not be a source of sadness. Awareness of why things are going well (or horribly) is the key.
And do only humans have karma? What about the animal world?
All sentient beings are capable of actions (karma) and thus generate outcomes. The advantage of human birth is that we are not so locked into our mode of activity as samsaric gods, animals, preta and hell beings are. We are capable of change in our behaviour, moral decisions, analysis, etc... And this is where we can utilise the elasticity that the Buddhist theory of karma offers and choose our actions so that we may exit samsara.
:namaste:
PS If you want to understand karma I reccomend going here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html
and a site search using the term kamma will turn up 30 pages of explanations!
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:06 pm

Paul wrote:World systems and the local conditions that a being lives in is a product of their karma. The nicer a place is, the better the karma was to produce it. If it is prone to earthquakes, floods etc. that is karmic. How that effects them is also their karma.
Where we are born is an outcome of karma. Our karma though does not produce the place we are born (though it does effect the way we perceive it). It's not like I make the tectonic plates shift to cause the earthquake!!!

Or another example would be: I don't cause lightening to strike a certain spot, but I cause myself to be in the spot where lightening strikes.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Mr. G » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:16 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: It's not like I make the tectonic plates shift to cause the earthquake!!!


    When Ananda became aware of the quake and thunder, he asked the Buddha for their cause. The Buddha replied that there were eight reasons for earthquakes: there are occasions when great forces move, this was the first reason; or a monk or Brahman may possess supernormal power and have reached a certain kind of meditation, that was the second reason; while the last six concerned the conception, birth, enlightenment, the start of the teaching of the Dhamma, relinquishing the will to live, and final Nibbana of a Buddha. One can see from this how deeply connected a Buddha, the highest of all beings, is with the whole cosmos.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Distorted » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:57 am

Say if you were one bad seed :evil: for years and you see your errors and change. You do things later because it is what is right not because of worries of heaven or hell or good and bad Karma. Will this help patch up all the bad Karma that one may has accumulated? Or once you have bad Karma do you have to live that out to the next life? :?
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:34 am

I am not sure about this one. I won't go just by blind faith - which is why I will have to put not sure. For instance I took part in a medicine puja and dedicated my prayers to my parents mental health as they have been through a lot watching their son (me) go through severe depression and drug/alcohol addiction. The process of getting better really took it's tolll and we're just getting back to normal.

My father is an angry man, very bitter towards life for some reason. When I came back even though his job is at risk atm he was very happy (which is really not like him!) My mother's nerves had been soothed, she had a smile on her face. So there I see proof.

My severe depression problems make me wonder if I have done something bad in a previous life... because I cannot find any reason for it apart from the daily suffering we alll experience, which surely after 23 years I would have gotten used to.

This makes me wonder... what happened in my previous lives. I suppose I/we will never know the real truth until we gain the wisdom and scope to remember our previous lives.

Namaste
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby justsit » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:50 am

Distorted wrote:Say if you were one bad seed :evil: for years and you see your errors and change. You do things later because it is what is right not because of worries of heaven or hell or good and bad Karma. Will this help patch up all the bad Karma that one may has accumulated? Or once you have bad Karma do you have to live that out to the next life? :?


No, there is no "good" or "bad" karma, just karma.
One somewhat simplified analogy is, ironically, seeds. If you have weed seeds, and the right causes and conditions appear, such as sunlight, water, nutrients, etc., you will get a weed plant. If you have flower seeds, and the right conditions appear, you will get flowers. You don't get weeds from flower seeds, or flowers from weed seeds. So the karma from "bad" deeds can only produce unpleasant effects, and the karma from "good" deeds produces positive effects. If you have performed negative actions, you will have a negative result when the causes and conditions are suitable. Same for positive. It may or may not happen in this lifetime.

It is not as if there is some type of ledger where karma is recorded, added and subtracted. All karma will produce it's effect eventually, and is then exhausted.

Trying to follow causation through even one lifetime is futile, hence the Buddha's proscription.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Distorted » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:19 am

DeepFriedFunk wrote:I am not sure about this one. I won't go just by blind faith - which is why I will have to put not sure. For instance I took part in a medicine puja and dedicated my prayers to my parents mental health as they have been through a lot watching their son (me) go through severe depression and drug/alcohol addiction. The process of getting better really took it's tolll and we're just getting back to normal.

My father is an angry man, very bitter towards life for some reason. When I came back even though his job is at risk atm he was very happy (which is really not like him!) My mother's nerves had been soothed, she had a smile on her face. So there I see proof.

My severe depression problems make me wonder if I have done something bad in a previous life... because I cannot find any reason for it apart from the daily suffering we alll experience, which surely after 23 years I would have gotten used to.

This makes me wonder... what happened in my previous lives. I suppose I/we will never know the real truth until we gain the wisdom and scope to remember our previous lives.

Namaste


I should do the same. Thank you for sharing. I would like to know more about this medicine puja.
Last edited by Distorted on Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Distorted » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:21 am

justsit wrote:
Distorted wrote:Say if you were one bad seed :evil: for years and you see your errors and change. You do things later because it is what is right not because of worries of heaven or hell or good and bad Karma. Will this help patch up all the bad Karma that one may has accumulated? Or once you have bad Karma do you have to live that out to the next life? :?


No, there is no "good" or "bad" karma, just karma.
One somewhat simplified analogy is, ironically, seeds. If you have weed seeds, and the right causes and conditions appear, such as sunlight, water, nutrients, etc., you will get a weed plant. If you have flower seeds, and the right conditions appear, you will get flowers. You don't get weeds from flower seeds, or flowers from weed seeds. So the karma from "bad" deeds can only produce unpleasant effects, and the karma from "good" deeds produces positive effects. If you have performed negative actions, you will have a negative result when the causes and conditions are suitable. Same for positive. It may or may not happen in this lifetime.

It is not as if there is some type of ledger where karma is recorded, added and subtracted. All karma will produce it's effect eventually, and is then exhausted.

Trying to follow causation through even one lifetime is futile, hence the Buddha's proscription.



Thank You for the explanation. I will do my best to to try keep on planting flowers and expect the weeds to come and continue to plant flowers.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:35 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
AN 3.99
Lonaphala Sutta: The Salt Crystal

translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress.

"There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable.[1] A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into a small amount of water in a cup. What do you think? Would the water in the cup become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"Yes, lord. Why is that? There being only a small amount of water in the cup, it would become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink."

"Now suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into the River Ganges. What do you think? Would the water in the River Ganges become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"No, lord. Why is that? There being a great mass of water in the River Ganges, it would not become salty because of the salt crystal or unfit to drink."

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual [the first] takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in the body, [2] undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind [i.e., painful feelings can invade the mind and stay there], undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in the body,[3] developed in virtue, developed in mind [i.e., painful feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there], developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"There is the case where a certain person is thrown into jail for half a dollar (kahapana), is thrown into jail for a dollar, is thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. And there is the case where another person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar, is not thrown into jail for a dollar, is not thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. Now what sort of person is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars. And what sort of person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions. This is the sort of person who is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars.

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"It's just as when a goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes a certain person who steals a goat, but is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes another person who steals a goat. Now, when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. And when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher not empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions; a king or a king's minister. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. All he can do is go with his hands clasped before his heart and beg: 'Please, dear sir, give me a goat or the price of a goat.'

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress."


Notes
1. Immeasurable concentration. See also AN 3.65.
2. i.e., pleasant feelings can invade the mind and stay there — see MN 36.
3. i.e., pleasant feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby catmoon » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:37 pm

DeepFriedFunk wrote:My severe depression problems make me wonder if I have done something bad in a previous life... because I cannot find any reason for it apart from the daily suffering we alll experience, which surely after 23 years I would have gotten used to.

This makes me wonder... what happened in my previous lives. I suppose I/we will never know the real truth until we gain the wisdom and scope to remember our previous lives.

Namaste


Having fought the long fight as you have, I have come to the conclusion that my previous lives were surely less than stellar. On the other hand, they were not so bad that I showed up as a yappy bad tempered Pekinese.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Distorted » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.099.than.html


Thanks for posting that Greg. That is crystal clear and a great explanation of Karma. Crystal Clear
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Bhavana » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:27 pm

I think I have very western views on karma, you know, that it is like some form of divine justice. And I had thought that there were plenty of non-karmic reasons for suffering. So I really can't debate or even understand a lot of what is being said here. It seems that one has to believe in reincarnation to believe in karma - and I have to admit, I don't see a lot of valid reasons to believe in reincarnation. I also have a hard time understanding karma when it comes to death or suffering in situations like earthquakes, or 9-11, or the holocaust. Or the fact that how a child handles being tortured and murdered, as if it were an opportunity for spiritual growth, can even be a consideration. Perhaps I need to read a little more on this subject.

The older I get, the less I believe in anything outside of this life - god, heaven, hell, punishment, reward, reincarnation, the idea that everything we do, every move we make, has an effect. It is the here and now that I think matters. Maybe this way of thinking does not mesh with buddhist principles, I don't know. Like I said, more studying to do.
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Re: I Believe in Karma and its Effects - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:49 pm

Bhavana wrote:...It is the here and now that I think matters. Maybe this way of thinking does not mesh with buddhist principles, I don't know...
This is exactly what karma is about: the here and now. If you read the abovementioned sutta you can see this VERY clearly. If you read the Suttas in the links I posted it is just as clear.

The Buddha (or a Buddha) said: If you want to know what you were in the past look at what you are now. If you want to know what you will be in the future, look at what you are now.

As for this statement:
It seems that one has to believe in reincarnation to believe in karma - and I have to admit, I don't see a lot of valid reasons to believe in reincarnation.
Actually it is not necessary to believe in reincarnation to believe in karma.
"Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:

"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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