KARMA – By Pierre Zimmerman 2/1/21

KARMA – By Pierre Zimmerman

Every action has a cause and result in terms of the mind, not just in terms of external circumstances. Everything that exists is the result of cause and effect. Karma is not destiny, nor a life sentence. People lack understanding when they say “It is my karma,” confusing responsibility with control. The former doesn’t mean taking responsibility. We need to recognize whether our behavior is nurturing the clarity of mind or contributing to ignorance and confusion.

What activities impede our quest towards awakening? There are ten non-virtuous activities associated with body, speech and mind. Killing, stealing and sexual misconduct are associated with the body. Lying, divisive speech, harsh words and gossip are non-virtuous types of speech. The three non-virtuous activities of the mind are the inability to rejoice in others happiness or success, the wish to harm, and wrong views, such as dismissing the law of cause and effect.

These are the activities that incline a mind towards awakening, with virtuous activities: using the body to perform acts of generosity, including protecting others, engaging in pleasing speech that promotes equanimity and harmony, and holding views that support one’s wellbeing and that of others.

With an acceptance of karma, taking responsibility exposes a learning tool, not a scale for measuring reward and punishment. We know that all phenomena are naturally interdependent; all activities have positive, negative or neutral aspects. Practicing with karma shifts how we understand our everyday behavior with family, friends, at home and in the workplace. The possibilities of what we have done and what we can do, become infinite. Even though we remain subject to causes and conditions, the immeasurable advantage of our human existence is that they do not define us. Anything is possible when we know we are already a buddha.


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