View Full Version : Dalai Lama's speech on Kamma

08-01-2001, 08:37 AM

Origenx, I hope you find your answer here :)

Medicine Buddha
om namo bhagawate hekandzyai - guru bendurya prabha andzaya - tatagataya - arhate - samyaksam buddhaya - tayata om bhekandzyai bhekandzyai - maha bhekandzyai bhekandzyai -randza samungate soha

08-09-2001, 07:40 PM
Hmm, dang that Dolly sure is so wordy. Can u break it down for me Karma for Dummies-style instead?

My question is basically if karma is:
a) "baton" theory: a continuation of past patterns - i.e. the more u did something ("good" or "bad") in a past life, the greater your tendency to repeat it in this one
b) "boomerang" effect: eye-4-an-eye, toof-4-toof - i.e. what u did, gets done back to you

Or is it some combination? I.e. u continue to repeat old patterns in the hopes that u can learn to break them, but if not, you reverse-roles into the receiving end in hopes u can learn that way instead?

or doesn't exist at all?
c) "candle" theory: your spirit (flame) goes on from body (candle) to body, without carrying imprints or baggage (karma) (wax) from the last body

08-11-2001, 05:37 PM

It seems that your difficulty in understanding karma is stemming from the "choices" that you are giving yourself in your mind... both "A" and "B" above are off-base. I'll try to explain karma as I understand it... karma is in no way some "magical" force that punishes you for bad and rewards you for good. There is no person/being/God standing above and separate from everything judging what you do as "good" or "bad" and rewarding/punishing you accordingly. You have to remember that you create your own reality.

YOU can give YOURSELF good karma easily by doing good. For example, the next time you are at the store, go out of your way to hold the door for the next person coming in. Even if they are 20 feet behind you and you would normally let it shut behind you -- WAIT and hold it. You will see the smile on their face as they say thank-you. You will walk away and feel a good feeling inside. THAT'S IT! It is that simple -- the good feeling inside is your "reward". But in fact it's not a reward at all, it is but simple cause and effect.

In Buddhism, there is what's known as the "wheel of Samsara." This can basically be thought of as the constant wheel of cause-and-effect. Karma is what makes this wheel turn. In other words, karma is just another name for the very basic property of cause-and-effect. Unfortunately, this very simple concept has been warped and many now hear it described as some magical database of past good and bad that you'll be punished and rewarded for... in a sense, that may be true, but describing karma in such a way (for me at least) makes it very difficult to BELIEVE in it... because it sounds overly simplistic, idealistic, and unrealistic -- which is the reason why I abandoned most 'mainstream' religious thought in the first place.

In all, I feel that I've come to the same conclusions about good and bad that many people who blindly accept religions have been force-fed. The difference is that *I* understand why *I* must do good... nobody had to tell me this is the way to be. I want to be this way because I am working myself to make myself the best I can be.

That is karma.

"You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They KNOW it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt."
- Robert M. Pirsig in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

08-12-2001, 01:52 AM
nicely said Joe.

Also, I might add, some kamma carries carvings like drawn on water, they are simplistic and easily forgotten. Others are like carved in sand on a sandy beach, they stay for a day. And others are like carved on rock, they stay your life time.

During the time of your death (and same happens sometimes in dreams but dont know about the 7 times) thoughts arise at 7 times (as taught by Padmasambhava, one of Tibetan Buddha) the intensity of when they are in the bardo of awake (the state we live in now). This is because of the dissolving of your ground element into water.
At this stage, all regrets and merits (especially those carved in rock) quickly flases through your mind, making the untrained mind fall back into the life cycle.
Those who can maintain in meditation might be able to recognise the "clear light" (which is the subtlest mind uniting) during their time and hence reach enlightenment.

Medicine Buddha
om namo bhagawate hekandzyai - guru bendurya prabha andzaya - tatagataya - arhate - samyaksam buddhaya - tayata om bhekandzyai bhekandzyai - maha bhekandzyai bhekandzyai -randza samungate soha

Scott R. Brown
08-15-2001, 10:10 AM
Karma can be thought of as natural consequence to actions and attitudes, or rather the effects of specific causes. The primary cause is our attitude. The above illustration of a kind deed mentioned by Joe is one example of natural consequences to thoughtful behavior. The smile and pleasant “thank you” are positive consequences to positive actions cause by a positive attitude. Since attitudes determine your behavior, it is one’s attitudes that will determine the karma or consequences one will experience.

Here is an example from my experiences:

I once had a supervisor that was noted for her sour disposition. She was known to be quite pleasant before her promotion to her supervisory position. Following her promotion she became disagreeable because many of her friends (from before her promotion) continually attempted to take advantage of their friendship with her for their own advantage. She used abrasive behavior to protect herself from others.
I had a job duty that required me to be alone in the same office with her nearly every morning for approximately 20-30 minutes. Each morning I would ask about her day and on Mondays, I would ask about her weekends. I was merely small talking not prying into her personal affairs. For months, she remained quite surly and I behaved as if I never noticed her poor attitude. Eventually, over time, my attitude reflected in my behavior, broke down her protective barrier and we became quite good friends.
Many people in my work environment allowed her negative attitude to affect their perception and behavior towards this supervisor. Their negative reaction to her negative behavior caused her to continue to be surly. By refusing to acknowledge her negativity as negativity, I was able to help her transcend the continuing cycle of bad karma that had been created in her work environment.

Let us take this example into a person’s life cycle. Bad attitudes will influence your life negatively and good attitudes will influence your life positively. The only thing an individual takes with them when they die is who they are. Whatever attitudes and life skills you have developed will continue with you when you cross over. If there is reincarnation, the attitudes you have carried with you into the afterlife will influence the next life, these are the karmic consequences of your present life. An individual does not just wake up one day and find they are a transcendent person. One does not die and all of a sudden all bad (read: “unhealthy” or “unproductive”) attitudes disappear. Transcendence is a process that requires effort, practice and time. The attitudes we cherish will directly affect our present and future lives because they continue with us and therefore continue to influence our experiences. This is the karmic consequence of our attitudes.




08-16-2001, 02:34 AM
Not remembering anything I have read, only on a limited personal experience, here is another example..

If you watch closely, as a third person. A mother sitting by the side of a bed of a young sick child. Abusing her with words of hate, and words of abusive nature, a mother would (I am not sure of the word) "empathise" (??!) and understand that her child is suffering and would generate only love and compassion for the child. Similarly, a mother would even go so far as vow to suffer her life by giving her child an organ, or blood or whatever that may give this child a healthy life once more. This child a source of love, kindness and generosity...

On the other hand, lets for arguments sake, take the father to be a disillusioned man, who sees the child as a source of income, greed that his insurance pay out would benefit himself in terms of wealth, then his reaction would be of course, that the prologing of this childs life is threatening his financial well being...a source of frustration, aversion and anger...

Of course, these are direct consequences of two sorts of kamma, instinctual patterns of compassion and selflessness versus greed and hatred.

Kamma is not a far out word to describe something that we cannot understand. Sometimes it is the simplicity that it makes it incredibly difficult to realise...

Another silly way of putting it, is if you put on a pair of red tinted sunnies, you see things are red. And if you put on blule sunnies, then you see things as blue...

But anyways, just for readings sake...

Medicine Buddha
om namo bhagawate hekandzyai - guru bendurya prabha randzaya - tatagataya - arhate - samyaksam buddhaya - tayata om bhekandzyai bhekandzyai - maha bhekandzyai bhekandzyai -randza samungate soha

Kung Lek
08-16-2001, 04:24 AM
The path you choose to believe is the path that will guide your beliefs.

If you want to do good, then do good. Reciprocity from someone may occur, or it may not. If the action of doing good has made you in turn feel good, then keep doing good to feel good.

If you do bad things, reciprocity from someone you acted badly towards may occur or it may not.
I you want to do bad, then do bad but be prepared to face the consequences that come to you from your actions.


Kung Lek