Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Does karma ALWAYS happen

vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

I was having a discussion with a Thai Buddhist monk a week ago, and karma came up. I said that it seemed to me that karma did not necessarily occur if someone did something bad. And he said that karma ALWAYS occurs, but that we don't necessarily realize it or recognize it.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    edited June 14

    Just to clarify @vinlyn, I think you mean the results of karma always happen. Karma just means any "intentional action" undertaken so I don't think any of us could argue that this doesn't happen at present for us :)

    Anyways, I have heard that only a Buddha can fully understand the workings of karma and its results. So I'm out on this one........

    ShoshinDhammaDragon
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    my guess is the monk is looking at the karma brain aggregate process on the subconscious and conscious level.we produce choice whichmay lead to action ,be it positive,neutral or negative.the result varies of those actions.to many conditions to speculate,imo

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I don't think it's possible to test with like data if you are going to an idea of karma ripening in later lives.

    person
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    If karma requires intention (which has always been my understanding) then true accidents shouldn't incur karma at least on the part of the offender, right? So say a person has a medical issue while driving ,and crashes into another car and injures the person. There was no intention so to me that means no karma incurred on the part of the driver. But if you decide to take it farther, you could determine that the medical issue was karma and thus the accident was karma, and that the person who was injured in the other car was "burning off" karma. I guess it depends how you look at it all. If karma is just a result of something that happens, then I suppose it really does happen all the time. The driver with the medical issue is still going to have to cope with the fact that they injured someone in an accident, intentional or not, for example.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Karma usually entails volitional action.
    Yet, it also implies cause and effect.
    Any action is the effect of a preceding action and the cause of a subsequent.
    This is because that is.
    Everything is interrelated.

    Hozan
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    After today's English lesson for 2 monks, now I need to research a bit about what we talked about in re karma. "Bun".

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    I was having a discussion with a Thai Buddhist monk a week ago, and karma came up. I said that it seemed to me that karma did not necessarily occur if someone did something bad. And he said that karma ALWAYS occurs, but that we don't necessarily realize it or recognize it.

    Thoughts?

    He is wrong but that is his karma ... >:)

    The pure in the Sufi tradition receive blessing/karma outside of the alleged normal cosmic judgement system. Buddhas too are allowed greater freedom if acting according to the Inner Imperative. Don't tell ye olde Thai monke, he might implode ... o:)

    The ideal perfection, called Baqa by Sufis, is termed 'Najat' in Islam, 'Nirvana' in Buddhism, 'Salvation' in Christianity, and 'Mukhti' in Hinduism. This is the highest condition attainable, and all ancient prophets and sages experienced it, and taught it to the world.

    Kannon
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    This is an interesting article about Thai Buddhism's view of karma: https://www.pressreader.com/thailand/bangkok-post/20081229/282535834238688

    Also, when I was talking with the monk today about karma, the first thing he said -- and this is paraphrasing -- was that it was okay to contemplate (in a general sense) the concept of karma, but that trying to figure out specific karmic situations can only be done by a Buddha.

    Interesting.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    edited June 15

    Pra Payutto, a very sensible and no-nonsense Thai monk, encourages us to limit the concept of karma and its workings to this lifetime.
    He has mentioned somewhere that Thailand tends to have a more supernatural and superstitious vision of Karma.

    But I can only presume, @vinlyn, that what the monk you talked to meant, is that it is impossible to fathom the effects of karma.
    All of our actions do ripple out in aftershocks somehow, somewhere, like the butterfly effect.
    We may not be aware of it, but everything we do has an effect and everything that happens to us has a cause.

    lobsterHozan
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    ...

    But I can only presume, @vinlyn, that what the monk you talked to meant, is that it is impossible to fathom the effects of karma.
    All of our actions do ripple out in aftershocks somehow, somewhere, like the butterfly effect.
    We may not be aware of it, but everything we do has an effect and everything that happens to us has a cause.

    Yes, exactly. The way I took his meaning is that there is nothing negative about contemplating (and discussing, as we do) karma as a concept, and trying to thus practice more positive actions; but never try to figure out is something that is happening to me a result of karma, and if it is, why?...because you will never figure that out.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 15

    I would say yes....

    "Viewed from the cosmic standpoint, living beings including humans and animals, are as phenomenal as material objects. Their existence is phenomenally relative, in other words, they exist because other things such as food, plants, water, etc., including the world and the sun exist. They are all subject to origination and cessation, like all other things of the world - including the world itself, which undergoes the process of integration and disintegration. The existence of the world with that of everything on it is sustained by this law...the karmic law of cause and effect !"

    "But the real significance of the law of cause and effect, however, lies in the second aspect, i.e. as the impersonal law of morality or moral causation.It is this aspect of the Law of KARMA which plays a dominant role in Buddhist ethical teachings."

    "Viewed in terms of cause and effect, our present life is the result of our previous existence , and our future, will be the result of our present.

    We are actually the sum total of our past thought, speech and action. What we will be in the future, will be the result of our present thought, speech and action.

    Our present lives are conditioned by the past actions and our future will be conditioned by the present actions. In other words, we are constantly being moulded bY our KARMA !"

    From this booklet I was given many moons ago and have since had photocopied many times...

    Nutshell ...The self is the ship ( or raft in this case) and karma is the rudder ... ( So it would seem)

    DhammaDragonHozanvinlynnamarupa
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    In the Jataka is stated:

    “All kamma, whether good or evil, bears fruit.
    There is no kamma, no matter how small,
    which is void of fruit.”

    That's why it is so important to develop Right View, in order to discern the importance of performing skillful actions.

    Hozan
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Lama Surya Das (in one of his Trilogy books) quotes thusly:

    "Karma means you don't get away with anything.
    And it ALL counts".

    He did elaborate on Intention, though, which I think is the fulcrum whereupon Karma sits....

    DhammaDragondhammachickHozanJeffrey
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @karasti said:
    If karma requires intention (which has always been my understanding) then true accidents shouldn't incur karma at least on the part of the offender, right? So say a person has a medical issue while driving ,and crashes into another car and injures the person. There was no intention so to me that means no karma incurred on the part of the driver. But if you decide to take it farther, you could determine that the medical issue was karma and thus the accident was karma, and that the person who was injured in the other car was "burning off" karma. I guess it depends how you look at it all. If karma is just a result of something that happens, then I suppose it really does happen all the time. The driver with the medical issue is still going to have to cope with the fact that they injured someone in an accident, intentional or not, for example.

    That is a very interesting post! Could the same action garner the same karma if in one instance it was done through intent, and in another instance it was a total accident?

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    It seems to me like there could be room in physics to allow for this sort of universal omnipotent karma in that apparent randomness at a subtle level could really be a hidden variable that doesn't show itself when observed isolated from sentient beings.

    That being said karma in that sense isn't very useful in determining outcomes.

    “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing”

    ― Karl R. Popper

    lobsterDhammaDragonHozan
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Dear Friends,

    Recognizable cause and effect should not be confused with spurious pattern recgnition (we are hard wired to find patterns).

    The Buddhist ethical behavour is proactive and irrespective of consequences. I feel @Dakini makes a good point. Most of us are not on a path of spiritual merit accumulation. We are shedding our bad points.

    Be kind.
    Why?
    It is the right thing. B)

    personFosdickDhammaDragonHozan
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Perhaps unrelated to the topic of karma I wrote this quotation down I probably found on Facebook. I'm not sure if Suzuki Roshi really said it but it is interesting.

    One day a meditation student approached the Zen master Suzuki Roshi crying, clearly in pain. The student yelled out, “Why is there so much suffering?” Suzuki Roshi replied, “No reason.”

    KannonDhammaDragonHozan
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    I was having a discussion with a Thai Buddhist monk a week ago, and karma came up. I said that it seemed to me that karma did not necessarily occur if someone did something bad. And he said that karma ALWAYS occurs, but that we don't necessarily realize it or recognize it.

    Thoughts?

    The Buddha said something to the effect that "Karma works in mysterious ways". Actually, he called it an "imponderable". So, it can work within the same lifetime as when someone commits a transgression, or it could work in later lifetimes. Possibly, a person's compassionate acts could mitigate the weight of negative actions. It's too complex to figure out.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    jeffrey,what poped in my head is no reason-ing .this does connect with karma or action,imo.we may needlessly suffer without thought,for better choice and action.hm..could brain affliction be self created?as the buddha the second arrow our brain.

    KannonDhammaDragonHozan
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    i ment to say,as the buddha pointed out the second arrow of affiction--our brain.sorry type to fast

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 16

    Yeah I think that's a legitimate reasoning @paulyso. Surely the second arrow affects the amount of suffering in the world. And I have read about the second arrow some time previously so I know what you are talking about.

    But I think my quote by Suzuki basically it is a student kind of saying 'poor us humans' and 'why do us poor humans have to suffer?'... like in a cosmic sense like why is there suffering in the universe. And Suzuki's answer is 'no reason'. I wrote that down because for me it was like a letting go of the suffering that there is suffering. In the universe.

    paulysolobsterDhammaDragonHozan
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    jeffrey,i once saw a car bumper sticker that said think cosmically,act locally. maybe ill guess suzuki point.don't worry big stuff,work on small stuff.and you letting go of the suffering that there is suffering is awesome.

  • The notion of incurring or garnering karma is as flawed to me as that of suffering retribution as karma. Okay, karma is ineffable - but on a very basic level karma is action taken that is influenced or caused by the personal, biological and evolutionary existential soup we float in. Did you want crackers with that? I don't think I'm racking up karma on a cosmic karma meter. I am simply living my karma, not yours - sometimes skillfully, most times not. I think I'd prefer croutons with the soup, please. And changing our karma simply means having the awareness that some actions are conditioned and can be changed, albeit with great effort and difficulty. Instant karma is easy - do good things for no good reason. My personal karma will not always happen because I will die but the concept of karma will always be elusively, inexplicably valid.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    iron rabbit,i am a believer of instant karma .doing something nice ,generios from the heart,one recieves the light of the eyes and smile. generosity ,or gift giving is instant karma at work,imo.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    that is why the buddha,in my opinion,skillfully chose to be a beggar for other people to rippen the heart of generosity and goodwill.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @eggsavior said:

    ...By pondering bad karma we attract it.

    So why are you pondering it? :p

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @vinlyn I have to understand something in order to overcome it. I do ponder too much. But I always learn something in the end. I am used to bad karma. It's always remedied out after several unsucesful attempts. Then could it become good karma?

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    eggsavior,i know what you mean about self created worries and fears that our thinking brain produce sometimes. hmm,drop the worry thinking,might help us .i just breathe and try to calm the whole body.lately not clinging to thoughts,have lessen the worrying thinking.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Second-arrow effect is the karma aspect variable we have some control about.
    There is random dukkha from outer sources -from the infinitesimal interplay of unknown causes and effects acting up on us- and self-inflicted dukkha from the bad choices we make due to wrong view.

    There is no fatalism about karma, if we simply learn to accept that suffering has no reason, or that we will never be able to figure out whys and wherefores.
    Suffering simply happens.
    The point is not to keep adding to it by the subjective scripts we superimpose to dukkha as it takes place in our life, mainly through clinging, overthinking and wishing things were different from what they are.

    HozanlobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Exactly so @DhammaDragon. <3

    Don't keep hitting your head because you got hit on the head ... Simple and obvious advice. Easily said ...

    @paulyso haz plan but no spell checker: :p

    iron rabbit, I am a believer of instant karma. Doing something nice, generous from the heart, one receives the light of the eyes and smile. Generosity or gift giving is instant karma at work, imo.

    Bravo @paulyso - well said. :)

    DhammaDragonKannon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "We are actually the sum total of our past thought, speech and action. What we will be in the future, will be the result of our present thought, speech and action."

    In other words NOW is the time to give the self a PRESENT for the Future....

    lobsterDhammaDragonHozan
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @lobster said:
    @paulyso haz plan but no spell checker: :p

    Yes, @paulyso: something's wrong with your spelling system, lol... =)

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    sorry lobster and damma dragon,my spelling is horrible,i am happy the moderator have been kind to overlook it. my browser is limited.cant produce capitals,paragraphs,or what not.

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @paulyso said:
    sorry lobster and damma dragon,my spelling is horrible,i am happy the moderator have been kind to overlook it. my browser is limited.cant produce capitals,paragraphs,or what not.

    I have just learned to use my silly tablet keyboard, which has all the signs in the wrong keys, and no emojis.... >:)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    And he said that karma ALWAYS occurs, but that we don't necessarily realize it or >recognize it.
    Thoughts?

    I would agree with the monk because it's said that karma can ripen immediately, later in this life, in the next life, or in some lifetime after that. If it's the type that will ripen in the next life, then we certainly won't recognize it in this life, because it hasn't happened yet.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Hozan
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @paulyso said:
    sorry lobster and damma dragon,my spelling is horrible,i am happy the moderator have been kind to overlook it. my browser is limited.cant produce capitals,paragraphs,or what not.

    I think this best explains karma. ;)

    Shoshin
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @paulyso yes it is good to be grounded. @lobster has reminded me of this in my recent threads on pure land. Personally my mind needs direction. Basic breath meditation helped me realize the Buddhist basics. Now that I am slowly refining my practice I am becoming more and more interested in the vast Dharma knowledge. I believe that my pure land practice helps me access this Dharma knowledge while keeping my mind from straying.

    How amazing is it that the different Buddhist paths can helps us all achieve the same goals? The Dharmakaya manifests in so many wondrous ways.

    The Buddha said to Vaidehi, "You are but an ordinary person whose mental capacities are weak and feeble. As you have yet to attain the divine eye, you are unable to see very far. But the Buddhas, the Tathagatas, have special means to allow you to see that far." <

    http://www.buddhasutra.com/files/visualization_sutra.htm

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    techie,that made me chuckle.sometimes i laugh at myself.sometimes lucky , sometimes not.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    eggsavior,that is awesome you chose pureland buddhism.i agree many buddha dharma door.

    Kannon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @techie said:

    @paulyso said:
    sorry lobster and damma dragon,my spelling is horrible,i am happy the moderator have been kind to overlook it. my browser is limited.cant produce capitals,paragraphs,or what not.

    I think this best explains karma. ;)

    ...Or rather, dukkha...

    Hozandhammachick
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    When we realize that karma is action, that what we call karma is the effects of all our actions (words, deeds, etc), that we are always making causes, this creating karma (good and bad), we must agree with the monk: "There is always karma."

    Peace to all.

    lobsterkarastiShoshinDhammaDragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    There is always karma. Exactly so. What we do will effect us.
    I very much liked @IronRabbit contribution.

    Speaking as a flawed individual that does not buy the Dzogchen or Taoist model of 'the flawed perfection', I ceaselessly attempt to polish a stone into a mirror. You might say my karma does not require success only wasted effort ... Tee hee!

    https://www.mountaincloud.org/message-from-henry-most-foolish-person/

    DhammaDragon
Sign In or Register to comment.