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What is Karma?

Not gonna write loads of paragraphs here. Just really wanna know more about karma. I have recently become vegetarian, do you believe that will have any effect on it?

I'm not completely sold on the whole thing though, Is it logical to believe in karma? It's not mystical woo woo is it?

Comments

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @federica said:
    Or as has been said before, "You are not punished for your sins, you are punished BY them.... "

    Love that line @federica

  • MingleMingle Veteran

    @federica said:
    Oh good grief.....

    You've been here 2 years darling.... and you still don't have a handle on it....?
    Well, I guess it can be a diverse thing to grapple with...

    Ok, the word Kamma simply means Action.

    Every time you hear someone say something along the lines of 'His karma's gonna get him!', or 'big karma coming to you baby!' or even 'Karma kicked her up the ass!' - ignore it.

    It's simply a process. It doesn't judge, evaluate, condemn, criticise - and it certainly doesn't kick anyone 'up the ass'.

    It's Action and Consequence. Cause and Effect. Kamma and Vippaka.
    Or as has been said before, "You are not punished for your sins, you are punished BY them.... "

    Kamma is basically everything you deliberately do.
    And it ALL counts.

    Mental, verbal and physical action.
    All Kamma.
    All actions, all with a consequence.

    Thanks. So basically its my actions and how they manifest in me?

    If I had perhaps killed someone I would be a very different person to who I am now.

    I have seen karma described as a seed that is planted in your mind that will grow and develop.

    Could you elaborate on how kamma may effect the individual?

    As for the 2 years, kamma has always been something I just regarded as the more religious side of Buddhism and not really took it seriously.

    Cheers for your answer.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Every intentional action of body, speech and mind we undertake "plants a seed" (for want of a better expression) on our mind stream that will ripen when the right causes and conditions come together.

    Whether that is in this life or some future life is anyone's guess!

    JaySonTiggerDhammaDragon
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    In the Tibetan tradition, one can purify negative karma created in this life and past lives through the Four Opponent Powers

    JaySon
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I ask this sincerely.... have you actually read any of the answers you've been given here in the past or any books, Suttas, links etc?

    Like @federica said, you've been here for two years. Has anything we offered to you in the past helped at all? Or do you just want all the answers without the work? Because I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't work that way.

    _ /\ _

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • Well done on becoming vegetarian. B)

    Steve_Bperson
  • MingleMingle Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Well done on becoming vegetarian. B)

    Thanks. What's most difficult about it is the meals, just feels like I'm eating a whole plate full of accessories if you know what I mean.

    Steve_B
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    :lol: "the most difficult thing about being a vegetarian is the meals." That totally cracked me up :D
    I'm not vegetarian, but I'm about 75% veggie these days. I eat dinner with the family because entirely different menus just isn't doable. But I eat veggie, and mostly vegan, during breakfast and lunch with the exception made for eggs from the neighbor, honey and ghee. Highly recommend the Thug Kitchen cookbooks. Excellent stuff in there. My problem with so many of the recipes is how many ingredients they take (and often stuff i cant find here). Thug Kitchen uses far fewer things, tastes the best, and are easy to make. Love their stuff. I have yet to eat something from their recipes that I don't like. But there is a lot of cursing, part of their charm to me! But others don't like it. Also, Forks Over Knives instagram account has great ideas.

    Kaydeekay
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @karasti said:
    :lol: "the most difficult thing about being a vegetarian is the meals." That totally cracked me up :D
    Highly recommend the Thug Kitchen cookbooks.

    Thanks for the tip @karasti!

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Mingle said:

    @lobster said:
    Well done on becoming vegetarian. B)

    Thanks. What's most difficult about it is the meals, just feels like I'm eating a whole plate full of accessories if you know what I mean.

    Bro, try Morning Star brand soy. It'll be in frozen foods section by meats. They taste like meat. They come in green packages.

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 20

    What is Karma?

    Cause= The seed is planted
    Condition=In fertile soil, the seed germinates and begins to grow
    Effect = Another cause bears fruit and seeds, another condition germinates and so forth

    In a sense there is no "good" or "bad" karma, but there is "skillful" and "unskillful" action... For every action, there's a reaction

    As karmic bundles of vibrating energy flux ..We are constantly reaping what we sow....moment by moment....

    You are what you eat @Mingle ...Eat well ..... :)

    I'm a real nutjob .... in every sense of the term :winky:

    DhammaDragon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Mingle said: Thanks. What's most difficult about it is the meals, just feels like I'm eating a whole plate full of accessories if you know what I mean.

    I would say there's a whole raft (when you think 'raft', think 'Aircraft carrier') of books on recipes for vegetarians. Heck, the Mediterranean diet is a wonderful example of some of the best food in the world without meat (although the Med diet DOES include it).

    The Thug books are great, you just have to be able to read past all the 'mudderfukka' comments.... of which I would say there are plenty, and go to make up a sizeable portion of the books...!

    If you're looking at vegetables as the side portions, you need to not only get books, but you need to reorganise your mind-set and the way you THINK about food.... which, if you've been eating meat all your life, can be pretty difficult.

    Are you becoming vegetarian because it's what you really WANT, or because it's what you guiltily think you OUGHT to be doing?

    One will be simple.
    The other, a monumental challenge....

    BunkskarastiDhammaDragon
  • What is Karma?

    Misunderstood.

    dhammachickTiggerDhammaDragon
  • MingleMingle Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Mingle said: Thanks. What's most difficult about it is the meals, just feels like I'm eating a whole plate full of accessories if you know what I mean.

    I would say there's a whole raft (when you think 'raft', think 'Aircraft carrier') of books on recipes for vegetarians. Heck, the Mediterranean diet is a wonderful example of some of the best food in the world without meat (although the Med diet DOES include it).

    The Thug books are great, you just have to be able to read past all the 'mudderfukka' comments.... of which I would say there are plenty, and go to make up a sizeable portion of the books...!

    If you're looking at vegetables as the side portions, you need to not only get books, but you need to reorganise your mind-set and the way you THINK about food.... which, if you've been eating meat all your life, can be pretty difficult.

    Are you becoming vegetarian because it's what you really WANT, or because it's what you guiltily think you OUGHT to be doing?

    One will be simple.
    The other, a monumental challenge....

    Guilt I would say. I first tried being vegetarian because I had this notion that we aren't designed to eat meat so I hada go to see if it would make me healthier. I then started watching all these slaughter house videos just out of curiosity and it was horrific what I saw. My argument against vegetarians had always been "animals kill each other all the time, its nature" (so if you where stuck in a rainforest and you needed to eat I would still see no moral issue with killing an animal). What happens in the slaughter houses though, that's not natural. In nature animals have a chance at life, to risk your own health by hunting and fighting your prey is a great respect to the animal if you ask me. Its either you or them. In a slaughter house though their value is determined by their weight really. None of them have a chance of life (a good one anyway) animals should not have to see their mates get butchered and know that they are next. They should have a purpose that is not simply to be someone's sunday lunch.

    Have you seen what they do to male chicks? Straight in the shredder. I know in nature there is probably a high mortality rate in any baby animal but at least they have a chance right? Even if it is slim. It is not natural for us to rob perfectly healthy animals of that chance.

    Anyway It turned out I was wrong about us not being designed to eat meat, I can't go back on what I saw though. I have the burden of knowing. I don't push vegetarianism on others, I just do it for myself. I fear it is in vein though because the egg and dairy industry is just as bad and yet they are the focal point of my diet. It is hard though cause I gotta have protein, perhaps in the future I will go full vegan but for now I'm settling for a compromise.

    Steve_Bperson
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    We have a great thread on vegetarian recipes on this forum.

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/20577/vegetarian-and-vegan-recipes-try-before-you-die#Item_171

    Some of these recipes are absolutely delicious, and not a gram of meat in sight.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Mingle said:
    Not gonna write loads of paragraphs here. Just really wanna know more about karma. I have recently become vegetarian, do you believe that will have any effect on it?

    I'm not completely sold on the whole thing though, Is it logical to believe in karma? It's not mystical woo woo is it?

    In the simplest of terms, karma is a form of cause and effect on a moral psychological level. What we call morality is a way of expressing this type of psychological, casual determinism and our attempts to maximize our experience of pleasure and happiness and minimize our experience of pain and suffering, i.e., when we do something with skillful intentions, we/others experience pleasure and happiness; when we do something with unskillful intentions, we/others experience pain/unhappiness. For a more detailed answer, see this.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • TorTor California New
    edited January 28

    @Mingle said:
    Is it logical to believe in karma?

    For me I say it's logical to accept karma (and rebirth) as working hypotheses (because I don't "believe in it" either =) )

    I used to be Christian and this Buddhist system is a heck of a lot simpler and easier for me to buy into.

    The Christian meta-universe is also a cause-and-effect world, like in Buddhism, except when God intervenes to create a new soul for each birth. And the makeup and characteristics of this new soul are up to Him. Seems like a complex process.

    In the Buddhist meta-universe where there is no concept of a soul, in order to account for the makeup and characteristics of a new human being, it's handy to have a hypothesis that fits the cause & effect paradigm that Buddhism emphasizes.

    For me karma and rebirth fill this gap nicely because it makes the being who is "me" the product of a the same cause-and-effect process that's been in play eternally for everything else. So I don't have an aversion to karma and rebirth. (Come to think of it, does it put me farther down the path because I'm not attached to these "views" either? =) )

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Tor said:....So I don't have an aversion to karma and rebirth. (Come to think of it, does it put me farther down the path because I'm not attached to these "views" either? =) )

    No.
    The Buddha had many occasions when he taught his followers about Karma.
    It's worth noting, studying and digesting.

    Then - let go.

    dhammachick
  • TorTor California New

    @federica said:
    It's worth noting, studying and digesting.

    I thought I was kind of saying that. :(

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It's not an hypothesis.....

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Sure it is.
    Might not be a testable hypothesis though.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Mingle said:
    Not gonna write loads of paragraphs here. Just really wanna know more about karma. I have recently become vegetarian, do you believe that will have any effect on it?

    Sure, every intentional action has an effect on it. =)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @seeker242 said:

    @Mingle said:
    Not gonna write loads of paragraphs here. Just really wanna know more about karma. I have recently become vegetarian, do you believe that will have any effect on it?

    Sure, every intentional action has an effect on it. =)

    No - every Intentional Action IS Karma. The effect is Vipāka

  • TorTor California New

    @federica said:
    It's not an hypothesis.....

    Unless you're prepared to present your evidence right now that demonstrates the Truth of karma and rebirth, then hypothesis is the most accurate term I can think of. They're certainly not demonstrable facts and they don't measure up to being theories. Calling them hypotheses doesn't belittle the notion in the slightest for me. I find it actually lends more credibility to call it what it is until enlightenment occurs, when, like the Buddha, we gain insight into the Truth of it all.

    Steve_B
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited January 28

    Karma:
    In a negative sense, it's not being punished FOR your sins, it's being punished BY them.
    In a positive sense, every Good action is its own reward.

    Karma is simply VOLITIONAL 'Action'. If you 'act' - be it mentally, verbally or physically, you are perpetuating a Karmic existence.
    Karma means you don't get away with anything. And it all Counts.

    Rebirth? Every single day is a new birth.
    Look at photos of yourself from 10 years ago. virtually ever single cell in your body is completely different to virtually every single cell you had then. You are literally not the same person you were then, both physically AND mentally. Your Consciousness, perception, Mindfulness and attention are renewed every day, more often, in fact...
    And as HHDL has said more than once, it is not necessary or required that you remember a Past Life. Most people can't remember what they did 20 years ago on any random date.
    But he advises, if you wish to see into a past life, look at your body now.
    If you wish to see what you will become, look at your Mind, now.

    as Voltaire once declared, "It should be no more surprising to be born twice, as it was to have been born once."

    I for one, am convinced I have 'been here before'. I just have had moments of complete separation from situations, as if an observer, an outsider looking in, with a flashing moment of insight, understanding and Awareness.

    Not proof of rebirth, I grant you.
    But something within me 'pings' now and then... not a sense of 'déjà-vu' exactly. More a profound awareness of how intensely brief, fragile and precious, this transitory existence actually is. But in a calm, serene and confident way, not in a manner of Fear, or apprehension....
    I'm almost looking forward to the next chapter....

    lobsterDhammaDragonBunkskarasti
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    edited January 29

    @dhammachick said:
    I ask this sincerely.... have you actually read any of the answers you've been given here in the past or any books, Suttas, links etc?

    Like @federica said, you've been here for two years. Has anything we offered to you in the past helped at all? Or do you just want all the answers without the work? Because I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't work that way.

    << what she said...

    And that said... not yet another stale, dead-end vegetarian vs meat-eaters thread???

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    edited January 29

    I feel like belabouring @dhammachick 's point a bit here, while seriously restraining back the Bitch and the Dragons present in my Chinese astral chart to water down my speech at the same time.

    I mean: there must be like a zillion books written on Buddhism, printed to date and available through Amazon as well as in the bookshop around the corner, plus thousands of google entries for the lazier -or the younger... I am naturally a fossile-, plus Buddha knows how else information available through whatever media these days.

    What do people who haunt a Buddhist site do with their free time that they have to ask basic questions on Karma on the forum?
    What about grabbing a book or plugging a podcast on one's ears or googling up the info?

    Edit: I have just seen your picture, @Mingle.
    When you make a pause with the ukelele, for instance, you can grab a book and have a cup of tea...

    dhammachicklobsterMinglesilver
  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    @karasti said:
    :lol: "the most difficult thing about being a vegetarian is the meals." That totally cracked me up :D
    I'm not vegetarian, but I'm about 75% veggie these days. I eat dinner with the family because entirely different menus just isn't doable. But I eat veggie, and mostly vegan, during breakfast and lunch with the exception made for eggs from the neighbor, honey and ghee. Highly recommend the Thug Kitchen cookbooks. Excellent stuff in there. My problem with so many of the recipes is how many ingredients they take (and often stuff i cant find here). Thug Kitchen uses far fewer things, tastes the best, and are easy to make. Love their stuff. I have yet to eat something from their recipes that I don't like. But there is a lot of cursing, part of their charm to me! But others don't like it. Also, Forks Over Knives instagram account has great ideas.

    I love Thug Kitchen! It's also hilarious :P :)

  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    In Tibetan Buddhist teaches, you can purify/lessen the karmic weight of your negative actions through meditation. Is this something the Buddha actually taught? I seem to recall he did. :)

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @Kaydeekay said:
    In Tibetan Buddhist teaches, you can purify/lessen the karmic weight of your negative actions through meditation. Is this something the Buddha actually taught? I seem to recall he did. :)

    Several schools of Buddhism have pujas and prayer practices that supposedly help us clear our past unskillful actions.
    This reminds me of the Catholic custom of buying indulgences to attone for one's sins.

    The best way to lessen the weight of one's karmic negative actions is simply to refrain from carrying out a bad action.
    Think good thoughts, do good, respond, don't react.
    Works every single time.

    The practice of meditation helps in the development of right thought, since it is through ignorance and wrong thinking that we tend to perpetuate dukkha.

    Steve_BShoshin
  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    @DhammaDragon said:

    @Kaydeekay said:
    In Tibetan Buddhist teaches, you can purify/lessen the karmic weight of your negative actions through meditation. Is this something the Buddha actually taught? I seem to recall he did. :)

    Several schools of Buddhism have pujas and prayer practices that supposedly help us clear our past unskillful actions.
    This reminds me of the Catholic custom of buying indulgences to attone for one's sins.

    The best way to lessen the weight of one's karmic negative actions is simply to refrain from carrying out a bad action.
    Think good thoughts, do good, respond, don't react.
    Works every single time.

    The practice of meditation helps in the development of right thought, since it is through ignorance and wrong thinking that we tend to perpetuate dukkha.

    Hmm I do agree, but then there are things that I regret doing and it would be cool if you could purify or lessen the karmic weight of those things, not to provide a get out of jail free card but just because you are older and wiser now... Also, I have rageful thoughts to tackle with sometimes, as I suffer from PTSD, rage can be as much of a symptom as fear and it's like difficult to control those, as they have a very strong biological basis as well as mental, even though I wouldn't act on them and my reaction to these angry thoughts isn't one of endorsement. I work to lessen these feelings and thoughts but sometimes they pop-up, especially if I am trying to work through them to lessen them.

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited January 29

    Part of forgiveness, and permitting Kammic actions to transform, is self-forgiveness.

    Regret is one thing - and admirable.
    Carrying Guilt is fruitless and not skilful.

    I mean, if you transgress against someone, and apologise sincerely and truthfully, deeply regretting the hurt you have caused and making up through some remedial action - they are not going to expect you to keep apologising, and keep making it up to them, are they?
    So why burden yourself with holding onto the incident?

    If you have PTSD, then this is a condition you are burdened with, and no matter what you are doing to get through it, divest yourself of it and move through it - sometimes, it can get the better of you.

    Accept it.
    It is part of "who you are".
    Acknowledge the incident, breathe into it, and forgive yourself for the experience.
    Understand that parts of you are affected in ways that you may never be able to completely shed - and that is ok. Honestly, it is.

    So do not berate yourself or get too frustrated.
    By all means, do the work - but don't flay yourself for the slips 'n' trips.
    Heck, how many times do we all stumble?
    Oh boy.... I lost count, myself.....

    TiggerKaydeekay
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Mingle there are practising Buddhist who don't buy in to the whole karma & rebirth thing, they can accept karma as action and reaction. for this to happen that must happen and so forth, some no doubt have also experienced rebirth in its subtle sense, that is, during meditation, where awareness provides insight/glimpses into the moment to moment existence , which is how you had described experiencing it in your thread "Seeing Reality" >>

    I also think I understand rebirth better now too and that It has nothing to do with any afterlife. It is infact a metaphor for our constantly changing perspective on things. We conjure up this idea of us and give ourselves this backstory and call it "me" but all we are is an on going process that can never be frozen and labelled "I". Its not as simple as "Hi my name is Fred and I like this and I don't like this" in fact all our old habits are constantly dying and new ones are forming.

    Karma involves ones "Thoughts" "Words" & "Deeds" which continually shape our lives...

    These couple of youtube videos on "Karma=Theravada" "Karma =Mahayana " may provide more insight into the Buddhist line of thought...

    lobsterBunks
  • Karma is actually very simple if you understand that the universe we reside in is in a state of perfection.

    look I really don't know if this helps at all but I've written a poem that encapsulates it all for me, and then a little farce - forcefully brought to your attention :-1:

    I've made a little ditty
    Some might find quite pretty
    but others might get quite upset -
    and fret

    look

    you can't have up
    without down,
    you can't have a laugh,
    without frowns...

    BIG implies small
    Tunnels Imply Walls

    And these word have a life to themselves

    I'm just trying to show
    be it by blow, and by blow,
    don't you know...

    That heads must have tails,
    Fingers have nails
    And painting them
    is girly I know!

    Hey... I've shown you my balls
    And my mental health now calls
    so I'll leave you with something to ponder
    You're my lover not my rival

    Dessert loving in your eyes all the way
    If I listen to your lies, would you say
    I'm a man without conviction
    I'm a man who doesn't know
    How to sale a contradiction?
    You come and go, you come and go

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Didn't you hear your wicked words every day
    And you used to be so sweet I heard you say
    That my love was an addiction
    When we cling, our love is strong
    When you go, you're gone forever
    You string along, you string along

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Every day is like survival
    You're my lover, not my rival
    Every day is like survival
    You're my lover, not my rival

    I'm a man without conviction
    I'm a man who doesn't know
    How to sale a contradiction?
    You come and go, you come and go

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
    Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green

    Tigger
  • So, it seems to me - being a bad and lazy practitioner just tinkering at the edges - that the nice thing about Karma and rebirth is to think about interdependence rather than just personal stuff. Clearly my actions have consequences - but not just for me. I don't anticipate a personal rebirth, but the idea that rebirth depends on the karma of all past living beings is a pretty idea to me. Gives me a feeling that we can improve things, that there could be some positive direction to our travel.

    Tiggersilver
  • If you have a raft and a destination, karma would be the direction of travel.

    Tigger
  • karma; action (including non-action) leads to a reaction.

    That's it I guess, all the stuff around it are ethics.

    Shoshinsilver
  • JohnMacJohnMac Veteran

    Short and to the point.....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Yes, I have always said this.
    Everything you say think and do, is Kamma.

    As Lama Surya Das quoted, himself: "Karma means you don't get away with anything.
    And it all counts."

    Bunksdhammachick
  • JohnMacJohnMac Veteran

    And you can do something about it...critical that is, to me.

  • karma; see: Funny Stuff

    dhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    (Yeah.... you need a bit more of a precise link, @IronRabbit because threads get totally out of sync and in time, nobody will be able to connect what the heck you're talking about. And hunting for connected threads and posts can get convoluted.)

    You mean THIS post..... right? ;)

  • silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    L-o-o-o-o-ve Sam Elliot!

    silver
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