April 9th 2014
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, says an old proverb. Although this is easier said than done, some believe that the laws of karma can help you to accept life’s downs and avoid them in the future. Not quite sure how? We asked Causeway Bay’s Kadampa Meditation Centre to explain in their Quick Guide to Karma.
Karma is the Buddhist system of cause and effect, where our mind is like a field and our actions are the seeds we sow. Positive actions sow the seeds of future happiness and negative actions sow the seeds of future suffering.
According to karma, everything that goes around comes around. Your current mental disposition, experiences and even physical appearance are the effects of the countless actions that you have performed in the past, either recently or many lifetimes ago. Karma determines why some people enjoy good health and others are constantly ill, why some people are very beautiful and others aren’t, and why some people have a happy disposition and others are moody and depressed.
So if you want a better future, now is the time to start filling up your karmic piggy bank with good thoughts and deeds. Here are some karmic concepts to start you off, adapted from Transform Your Life and Joyful Path of Good Fortune by Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of the New Kadampa Tradition.
•Karma means ‘action’, and refers to the actions of our body, speech and mind
•Of the three actions, mental actions (complete trains of thought) are the most important because all bodily and verbal actions are preceded by a mental intention to act
•Every action we perform leaves an imprint, or potentiality, on our very subtle mind, and each imprint eventually gives rise to its own effect
•The karmic seeds we sow remain dormant in our mind until the conditions necessary for their germination come together. In some cases, this can be many lifetimes after the original action was performed
•The lemons that life throws at us are not a punishment but the result of our own actions or karma. Through understanding the law of karma, we can overcome all our sadness, anger and resentment and engage joyfully with every situation, no matter how challenging