Karma – the Cosmic Boomerang

It’s easy to define karma

Through the force of intention, we say, do and think things. All these actions produce effects. There are many shades, but basically, good actions lead to good results of a similar nature for us; and bad actions cause us to experience bad things in a similar way. Neutral actions have fairly mediocre effects. As Bob Marley said “what goes around comes around”.

Actually understanding the intricacies of which cause led to what effect is beyond ordinary understanding.
But details are unimportant.

What matters is the now

Because what’s happening for us now is an indication of the karma that we created in the past; and what we’re doing now is creating our experiences in the future.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Most people, whether they or not they are religious, believe that we should engage in virtuous actions, and avoid actions which are harmful” (GKG JP)
It just seems like common sense that what goes round comes round. (Not that common sense always is)

Geshe la tells us “we always have choice“. It’s helpful to know what karma is, and how it works; because now is really the only time that really exists for us. In relation to karma, that means every moment is another chance to turn it all around. That’s why knowing about the law of karma in relation to our lives can be so empowering.

It’s not about punishment or reward, there’s no Karma Police or Judge Dredd out there. Karma’s just “a special instance of cause and effect” ((GKG JP); one that works through our mind stream.
Just about everything is an example of cause and effect, from gravity to grass.

On one level We all know about this ~ drop a glass and it’ll most likely break. Breaking the law will probably lead to some kind of punishment. Being happy for others’ happiness brings us joy as well.

Atisha on the front cover of Joyful Path

But on a deeper level some faith, or at least an open mind is required.
Misbehaving when we’re kids can result in having disruptive children of our own. Giving when we’re younger can lead to living comfortably enough in our old age. Giving now will lead to abundance in later lives. (Just as stealing will result in us not having enough of what we want).

What has been your experience? Does whatever awareness we have of this change the way we do or think about things? Do we think it should?

It’s worth contemplating karma

Even on a mundane level, you can see the law of cause and effect in action; but are you able to see karma in action? Consider this life ~ by connecting things you did previously to experiences you’ve had later in life, a pattern can be formed. I know other Buddhists and myself can trace effects back to their causes. Keeping an open mind to it, or wishing to increase our faith – it’s an interesting thing to do (and can be very powerful).

Vide Kadampa gives some brilliant meditations on karma in his blog*

of interest:
GKG JP – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Joyful Path of Good Fortune
(p227 & p569 in my book)
* Buddhist meditations on karma from Daily Lamrim
* Article from Luna Kadampa asking What’s karma got to do with it?
A bit more here on the karmic effects of giving in an economic crisis ~ What Would Buddha Do? 


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Karma teaser (JP Revision Notes)

   Post on Karma coming soon.

    ~ if we all share the karma to experience it of course.


   Coz the world we live in and our shared perception of it, is totally the result of our collective karma.


photo by Jas

Joyful Path of Good Fortune ~ Paths

Atisha on the front cover of my book.
(OK, so it’s well used.But much loved as well)

Buddha demonstrated how to follow a path of inner transformation”

“It leads to the complete eradication of all traces of negativity and confusion from the mind and the attainment of sublime qualities such as universal compassion and wisdom realizing the true nature of all phenomena… This special arrangement became known as the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, or Lamrim.” (NKT website) The great Indian Pandit Atisha gave instructions on how to practice these teachings. Joyful Path of Good Fortune is Geshe Kelsang’s commentary to these instructions.

What is a ‘joyful path’? My best guess: a spiritual path is a mind conjoined with renunciation, which is “a light and happy mind bound for freedom” (I think Nagarjuna said that).
And ‘joyful’ will refer to joyful effort ~ a mind that delights in virtue, and is free from non-virtue.

Generally ‘minds’ – or what we think – are internal paths that take us someplace, just as external ‘paths’ lead us to a destination.
This Lamrim text is based on Atisha’s ‘Lamp to the Path to Enlightenment’.

SO, these brilliant instructions illuminate the path that enables us to find lasting inner peace and happiness. Pretty awesome 🙂

Definitions from Ocean of Nectar, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Notes and Paths 

Notes and Paths

We’ve got a new category called ‘Paths’.
(listed up there in the heading, and over to the right) The title’s a tad obscure, but it’s a good box to put these things in:-

☆ Courses I’ve been to,
(‘path’ being a synonym of ‘course’ ;~)
Ways of being which lead to higher states of mind, and so higher states of being.

What are Buddhist ‘Paths’?

A spiritual path is a mind conjoined with renunciation, which is a strong wish to escape from our hamster-wheel lives of relentless suffering and pain (samsara).
Generally ‘minds’ – or what we think – are internal paths that take us someplace; just as external ‘paths’ lead us to a destination.
(For lots more interesting word meanings, please see the appendix)

For example, there’s a foot-path that runs by the hospital near here; but you wouldn’t want to take it because it’s narrow, and full of litter and dog poo.
Likewise, we sometimes get shitty minds of anger that bypass any attempt at rational thinking. They reinforce dark moods with some very narrow-mindedness, and litter them with nasty little thoughts. You wouldn’t want to follow these internal paths either, because they lead to a negative and hurtful state of mind. (not that that always stops us taking an ill-advised train of thought through to its negative conclusion. Unless we’ve practiced, it’s run away with us before we’ve even noticed.)
Shantideva said that the path to hell is paved with our misdeeds. He meant this as fact. Killing a living being out of anger creates the cause for a lowly rebirth.
But if we find that hard to understand or accept, we can take it as figurative.

Whatever – we all know that negative thoughts leads us to do negative things, which sooner or later lead to unwanted results. These minds are best avoided.
(Shantideva was a 7th century mendicant and totally brilliant Buddhist.)

A Joyful Path

Is a positive state of mind. We remain peaceful, which makes us feel happy and content. And not just on days when everything’s going right for us. As we get good at it, we can keep our train of thought on the right track, whatever the circumstances.
Joyful Path of Good Fortune is like our bible of Lamrim teachings.

‘Paths’ definition from Ocean of Nectar, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Joyful Path of Good Fortune ~ Paths


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