Question about the law of Karma and consequence

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sanblvd
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Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby sanblvd » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:20 am

So, I been interested about Buddhism for a long time now, I never really got into it but never stop reading and talk to other person who knows a thing or two whenever I get the chance.

What interest me most about Buddhism is the concept of karma or the law of cause and effect. So here is some of the basic principle that I understand.

- Whatever you practice in this life will carry onto future life, for example if you practice patience and understanding, your future reborn nature will be a person that is more patience and tolerance towards others, and if you are an angry spiteful person and keep developing that angry, your future reborn will have similar temperament. This is kinda like why some person are naturally good towards playing Piano, because he/she might already be accomplished pianist in past life.

- Whatever you do to others, the other person will do the same to you. If you cause harm to him/her and if he/she didn't have chance to repay it this life, in the next life when you both meet you will experience the similar thing that you cause him/her to experience. That means if you cause harm to that person, that person will have chance to cause harm to you. If you have helped that person in this life, and in next life when you are in need of help, that person will repay the debt and have the chance to help you.

Ok I see nothing wrong with the first law, it is the 2nd law that I have some questions and contradictions.

1. So when in this life, if I have a chance to cause harm to another person, does that mean that person that I am about to harm, have cause me harm in past life?

2. Expanding on #1, if this is so, does that means I am about to harm the other person is not because of my own free will, but because I am simply repaying a debt to balance what he/she have done to me in the past?

3. So at what point do I know that I am acting on my own free will or I am here because of past karma? So for example, Hitler, he have caused millions of death, it is hard to believe that 1 person have been harmed by so many millions in the past life, that he is repaying the vengeance, so what part of his action is out of cause and effect and what part of his action is out of free will? And same question apply for me, obviously I'm not Hitler, but still want to know what part of my action is out of consequence and what is out of free will?

4. When I am about to cause harm to others, that means I am doing negative action, that would make me a bad person, BUT logically speaking, I am only a bad person because I have suffered from the hand of my victim in past life. So does that mean
A. I am a bad person not because of my own fault or free will.
B. When I cause harm to other person, does that mean I condemn the other person into becoming another bad person next time? (because he/she will harm me in the future reborn)
C. This kinda contradicts with the first point that you are what you are because of how you practice your nature in the past existence, but if I am what I am because of things that other have done to me in the past life, I don't have a choice over what I am, or what will I became.

I hope someone with knowledge can help me explain this riddle, it has been bothering me for years now.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:53 am

Hi sanblvd,

I recommend listening to this talk about karma from Ajahn Amaro, a UK abbot from the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition

"Who's Pulling the Strings"

http://www.blubrry.com/amaravatitalks1/1536590/who-is-pulling-the-strings-ajahn-amaro-sunday-talk-2012/


with kind regards,

Aloka

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:34 pm

As a start, you may benefit from reading SN 36.21 if you haven't yet done so.

Finally:

Whatever you practice in this life will carry onto future life


Whatever you do to others, the other person will do the same to you


These ideas aren't present in this form in the Dhamma, so if they are removed as premises, what confusion remains for you?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

sanblvd
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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby sanblvd » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:26 pm

Ok I listened and read all of it, I get the jest of what they are talking about, they are saying the law of Karma is just one of the factor that explains the current state of being, there are other laws such as law of physic, gravity, time etc... which causes thing to be became what they are and explains it.

But still, it does not explain my question which I had posted. Because out of the examples that I posted, it has nothing to do with law of physic, it is directly connected with the interaction with one consciousness being to another, it still does not explain that when I have the chance to do good or evil to another person, am I doing this out of my free will or am I at this situation because of what happened in the past.

And as well as the interaction of what happen when I do good/evil to that person, how will that change the other person's mental being, for example when I kill someone out of greed or whatever, did I make the person who have suffered from me into someone who crave vengeance in the next life into killing me? If so, the other person have became "bad" without any fault of their own action.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:06 pm

sanblvd wrote:...it is directly connected with the interaction with one consciousness being to another, it still does not explain that when I have the chance to do good or evil to another person, am I doing this out of my free will or am I at this situation because of what happened in the past.


It isn't either/or.

sanblvd wrote:And as well as the interaction of what happen when I do good/evil to that person, how will that change the other person's mental being, for example when I kill someone out of greed or whatever, did I make the person who have suffered from me into someone who crave vengeance in the next life into killing me? If so, the other person have became "bad" without any fault of their own action.


Relevant action comes from intention; so, while vengeance motives might arise & acting on them might be habit or it might be choice, nevertheless the actor is responsible for how that gets dealt with.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby sanblvd » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:23 pm

Can you guys expand more on your responses? Instead of giving me a link to read or just type a line or two....

So basically what you saying is, there are actions that I am doing that is out of past cause and effect, there are also actions that I am doing out of my own free will. But only someone as enlighten as Buddha can identify the two, however in the end, no matter if I am what about to do as a result of past consequence or own free will, I am still going to be responsible for that action.

And whatever I do, will create a new cause, which later will result in a consequence.

But what about the problem that my action will also positively or negative another person's state of mind/existence. For example if I kill someone out of greed, will I cause that person in the future to be full of vengeance to want to harm me in return? And if that is so... if that person harms me in next life for what I have done to him/her in past life, won't that person also receive negative marks for his action? Because he is also responsible for this action no matter if out of free will or past action. But his negative action is only the result of my negative action in the first place, which he have no control over.

If this is so, does this mean you are what you are not only because of your own choice, but out of the choice of other people?

Please... write more than 1 line or so in your reply.... if you don't know the answer, just go ahead and say so, we are all trying to learn here.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:20 pm

sanblvd wrote:Can you guys expand more on your responses? Instead of giving me a link to read or just type a line or two....


Well, you are focused on

sanblvd wrote:the problem that my action will also positively or negative another person's state of mind/existence. ...will I cause that person...?


but kamma doesn't work this way, so there are no answers yet aside from "that's not what's going on with kamma in Buddhism".
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Bakmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:34 pm

sanblvd wrote:Can you guys expand more on your responses? Instead of giving me a link to read or just type a line or two....

So basically what you saying is, there are actions that I am doing that is out of past cause and effect, there are also actions that I am doing out of my own free will. But only someone as enlighten as Buddha can identify the two, however in the end, no matter if I am what about to do as a result of past consequence or own free will, I am still going to be responsible for that action.


Kamma doesn't make you do anything, Every action you do is of your own will. When we are reborn, we take our habits and tendencies with us, and they are just tenancies that you can choose to act on or not. You don't even need to bring in rebirth to see this. For example, if a man early in life develops a habit of helping others when the opportunity arises, later in life, he will still have that habit unless he has abandoned it. It's not like the habit is magically forcing him to be kind, but rather that he sees helping people as the natural thing to do and so is more likely to choose it, but the act is done out of his free will and not because his habits are forcing him to do so.

The only difference with rebirth is that we take our habits with us.


sanblvd wrote:But what about the problem that my action will also positively or negative another person's state of mind/existence. For example if I kill someone out of greed, will I cause that person in the future to be full of vengeance to want to harm me in return? And if that is so... if that person harms me in next life for what I have done to him/her in past life, won't that person also receive negative marks for his action? Because he is also responsible for this action no matter if out of free will or past action. But his negative action is only the result of my negative action in the first place, which he have no control over.

If this is so, does this mean you are what you are not only because of your own choice, but out of the choice of other people?

Please... write more than 1 line or so in your reply.... if you don't know the answer, just go ahead and say so, we are all trying to learn here.


I'm not sure that it is actually true that whatever you do to someone they will do to you. There are examples of one person killing another and then that person killing the other in a latter life in a few places, but I don't think that is something that has to happen. It may happen in some cases in which person A and person B have developed habits of extreme hate for each other and one kills the other, then the other might hate the other one even more in a future life and kill him, and the process might repeat for a while, but still, they chose to do these acts, and the habits only influence their decisions, and don't make it for them.

I think that there are examples against this idea in the Jatakas. In one story, the Buddha-to-be was a young prince who was killed by his father, and yet kept a mind full of good will and equanimity. I would highly doubt that the Buddha-to-be came back and killed him in a later life if he was developing such noble qualities of mind.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Sambojjhanga » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:25 pm

daverupa wrote:As a start, you may benefit from reading SN 36.21 if you haven't yet done so.

Finally:

Whatever you practice in this life will carry onto future life


Whatever you do to others, the other person will do the same to you


These ideas aren't present in this form in the Dhamma, so if they are removed as premises, what confusion remains for you?


Daverupa, I'm not sure if I fully agree with you regarding "Wahtever you practice in this life will carry onto future life" NOT being in the suttas, at least implicitly.

If an individual becomes a stream enterer, then they are guaranteed a maximum of seven more lives before enlightenment, if I recall correctly. So by implication, one must assume that some form of the practice must carry over for one in this situation, right?

I'd be interested in getting your opinion on this, thank you. I'm really curious about what others think (or can point to in the suttas) regarding this particular idea.
Metta

:anjali:
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby sanblvd » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:41 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
sanblvd wrote:Can you guys expand more on your responses? Instead of giving me a link to read or just type a line or two....

So basically what you saying is, there are actions that I am doing that is out of past cause and effect, there are also actions that I am doing out of my own free will. But only someone as enlighten as Buddha can identify the two, however in the end, no matter if I am what about to do as a result of past consequence or own free will, I am still going to be responsible for that action.


Kamma doesn't make you do anything, Every action you do is of your own will. When we are reborn, we take our habits and tendencies with us, and they are just tenancies that you can choose to act on or not. You don't even need to bring in rebirth to see this. For example, if a man early in life develops a habit of helping others when the opportunity arises, later in life, he will still have that habit unless he has abandoned it. It's not like the habit is magically forcing him to be kind, but rather that he sees helping people as the natural thing to do and so is more likely to choose it, but the act is done out of his free will and not because his habits are forcing him to do so.

The only difference with rebirth is that we take our habits with us.



Yes, this is exactly what I wrote in my original post, that if you cultivated a habit, you will be more willing to fallow it during your life time and when you die, you are more likely to pass on this temperament into your life next life. But this is different from the law of cause and effect which is I am having trouble understanding. I totally agree with what you wrote, but this is not where I am having trouble understanding.


sanblvd wrote:But what about the problem that my action will also positively or negative another person's state of mind/existence. For example if I kill someone out of greed, will I cause that person in the future to be full of vengeance to want to harm me in return? And if that is so... if that person harms me in next life for what I have done to him/her in past life, won't that person also receive negative marks for his action? Because he is also responsible for this action no matter if out of free will or past action. But his negative action is only the result of my negative action in the first place, which he have no control over.

If this is so, does this mean you are what you are not only because of your own choice, but out of the choice of other people?

Please... write more than 1 line or so in your reply.... if you don't know the answer, just go ahead and say so, we are all trying to learn here.


I'm not sure that it is actually true that whatever you do to someone they will do to you. There are examples of one person killing another and then that person killing the other in a latter life in a few places, but I don't think that is something that has to happen. It may happen in some cases in which person A and person B have developed habits of extreme hate for each other and one kills the other, then the other might hate the other one even more in a future life and kill him, and the process might repeat for a while, but still, they chose to do these acts, and the habits only influence their decisions, and don't make it for them.

I think that there are examples against this idea in the Jatakas. In one story, the Buddha-to-be was a young prince who was killed by his father, and yet kept a mind full of good will and equanimity. I would highly doubt that the Buddha-to-be came back and killed him in a later life if he was developing such noble qualities of mind.


Ok, I understand what you are saying, for example when if I kill a person out of greed it maybe possible for him to have killed me in the past, and even before that killing, I killed him before that.. So this cycle continues until one person decide to forgave the other.

Just like Buddha-to-be was killed by his father in past life, and yet he is still full of good will in this life. Maybe I think in this example, Buddha when seeing his father in this life, maybe still harbor some resentment towards him, but since he understands that killing is wrong and if he had kill him this would continue the cycle further more, so he didn't do anything and forgave him, thus breaking the cycle of killing. I mean is this how would I interpret this?

But this again have a problem, so if this is true, than that means all actions are connected, before I killed him, he killed me, and even before that I killed him and repeat and repeat. But where does free will come out of all this?

Or is that in a natural state of being without knowing the law of karma, one would automatically seek to benefit oneself's interest at any and all expense of the other person's well being include killing, which means naturally the cycle should have continue forever, but one only gains free will when one realize the useless of such action which only prolong the cycle of suffering?

But if this is so, does that mean there can be only liberation from the never ending law of Karma unless one understand what Karma is?

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:47 am

Hi Sanblvd
Kamma is one of unthinkable. Only Buddha will know how exactly it works. So do not waste your time. Try to understand Four Noble Truths instead. Once you understand that you will understand how Karma operates.

Please read the following book.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Yana » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:53 am

Kamma is an ACTION.
It's done NOW.In the PRESENT.Not the past.

Everytime you hear someone say that's my kamma,that's why i'm poor.That's wrong.
Your kamma is now.What your doing about your current situation.That's you kamma.Right here in the present.

Your poor because of the RESULT of your past kamma not your present kamma.You can still do something about it.

That's two different things.What you did in the past and what you do now are two different things.They might be related but they are different.

Right Now your Kamma is made up of:
1.The fruit of your past kamma.(Past result)
2.Your present kamma,free will,or intention.(Present action)
3.Result of your present free,will,kamma or intention.(Present result)

These three things are combined and adjust themselves to each other,they work together continuously in an intricate manner..so precise that it's impossible to really take it apart and study it completely, bit by bit.
Saying if i did this than that person will do this,will get you nowhere.I mean you can see the general outline but to really break it down and allocate whose faults it belongs to and try to trace it back is not fruitful. One of the reasons being Kamma is a very impersonal process.Kamma doesn't recognize you or them. Kamma deals only with action and reaction.Just like the law gravity ,if you push someone off a building,gravities not going to care who died or who did it.Every object in it's path will always have a tendency to fall.

Kamma is also a very complex and intricate process.One of the reasons why you will give yourself a headache if you try to break it down specifically.

Always know that Kamma is made up of both past actions and free will.Your past kamma shapes your present state and your present kamma shapes your future state.

For example, if you killed someone and then felt remorse,practiced meditation to make good present kamma,then that good kamma can neutralize you past unwholesome kamma,so in the future instead of getting killed you might just get beaten up pretty badly by some random drunk etc.this all depends on how much good kamma you have.but the act of killing is pretty heavy,it's one of those kamma's that can carry a lot of weight, so i think you would experience it's consequences to differing heights.I doubt you'd get off of it easy.Murdering your parents is an almost no go zone.I think even after you gained enlightenment you's still have to experience the results of it.If this is the case then one should practice equanimity.

If it were something lighter like if you stoled something,then you did a lot of dana or generosity then it might get neutralized.Maybe you'll still have someone steal your money,maybe you will just feel cheated off on a deal or maybe you'll have completely neutralized it and not experience it's results.

It all depends on a zillion little factors that is extremely difficult to trace,measure or calculate accurately.This is why Kamma is so Powerful.Not only can it do all that but it can go through infinite aeons before we actually experience the results of a particular kamma.

Physics and other natural laws also affects other aspects of our existence .But Kamma in itself is
VERY COMPLEX and depends on a lot of factors CONCERNING solely our actions/intentions. Kamma takes into considerations every small detail,from the most minute thoughts and intentions that can affect our kammic results.

So to be safe just keep it simple and follow the main guidelines:

1.Every Action has an opposite or equal reaction.
2.If you do good good things will come to you.
3.If you do bad bad things will come to you.

if you stick to that then you will change the course of your life and will be headed towards a better place. :hug:

:anjali:
Life is preparing for Death

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:12 pm

Sambojjhanga wrote:Daverupa, I'm not sure if I fully agree with you regarding "Wahtever you practice in this life will carry onto future life" NOT being in the suttas, at least implicitly.


The problem is the determinism of the underlined words - there is neither-dark-nor-bright kamma which has neither-dark-nor-bright result, and such a 'whatever' as that carries nowhere:

AN 4.235
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby sanblvd » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:14 am

Yana wrote:Kamma is an ACTION.
It's done NOW.In the PRESENT.Not the past.

Everytime you hear someone say that's my kamma,that's why i'm poor.That's wrong.
Your kamma is now.What your doing about your current situation.That's you kamma.Right here in the present.

Your poor because of the RESULT of your past kamma not your present kamma.You can still do something about it.

That's two different things.What you did in the past and what you do now are two different things.They might be related but they are different.

Right Now your Kamma is made up of:
1.The fruit of your past kamma.(Past result)
2.Your present kamma,free will,or intention.(Present action)
3.Result of your present free,will,kamma or intention.(Present result)

These three things are combined and adjust themselves to each other,they work together continuously in an intricate manner..so precise that it's impossible to really take it apart and study it completely, bit by bit.
Saying if i did this than that person will do this,will get you nowhere.I mean you can see the general outline but to really break it down and allocate whose faults it belongs to and try to trace it back is not fruitful. One of the reasons being Kamma is a very impersonal process.Kamma doesn't recognize you or them. Kamma deals only with action and reaction.Just like the law gravity ,if you push someone off a building,gravities not going to care who died or who did it.Every object in it's path will always have a tendency to fall.

Kamma is also a very complex and intricate process.One of the reasons why you will give yourself a headache if you try to break it down specifically.

Always know that Kamma is made up of both past actions and free will.Your past kamma shapes your present state and your present kamma shapes your future state.

For example, if you killed someone and then felt remorse,practiced meditation to make good present kamma,then that good kamma can neutralize you past unwholesome kamma,so in the future instead of getting killed you might just get beaten up pretty badly by some random drunk etc.this all depends on how much good kamma you have.but the act of killing is pretty heavy,it's one of those kamma's that can carry a lot of weight, so i think you would experience it's consequences to differing heights.I doubt you'd get off of it easy.Murdering your parents is an almost no go zone.I think even after you gained enlightenment you's still have to experience the results of it.If this is the case then one should practice equanimity.

If it were something lighter like if you stoled something,then you did a lot of dana or generosity then it might get neutralized.Maybe you'll still have someone steal your money,maybe you will just feel cheated off on a deal or maybe you'll have completely neutralized it and not experience it's results.

It all depends on a zillion little factors that is extremely difficult to trace,measure or calculate accurately.This is why Kamma is so Powerful.Not only can it do all that but it can go through infinite aeons before we actually experience the results of a particular kamma.

Physics and other natural laws also affects other aspects of our existence .But Kamma in itself is
VERY COMPLEX and depends on a lot of factors CONCERNING solely our actions/intentions. Kamma takes into considerations every small detail,from the most minute thoughts and intentions that can affect our kammic results.

So to be safe just keep it simple and follow the main guidelines:

1.Every Action has an opposite or equal reaction.
2.If you do good good things will come to you.
3.If you do bad bad things will come to you.

if you stick to that then you will change the course of your life and will be headed towards a better place. :hug:

:anjali:


So I guess we share the same view, if you kill other, and without doing anything to repent your action and doing good things to make up for you, you will receive the exact experience of being killed.

Where I am stuck on is the concept that what if you are the person being KILLED instead, what is the karmic effect on you?

Will you stuck with the desire of seeking revenge? Will that make you a worse person? Or the result of being killed by someone have no effect on you?

Karma is very clear on the first person perspective of what happen to YOU, but for everything that you have done to another person, that person is the equal as you, he/she have just as much right to exist as you do. So is there any book that talks about that?

Because I am getting the feeling that everything is about YOU YOU YOU, your rebirth, your karam... it all feels somewhat selfish and geocentric.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Bakmoon » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:01 am

sanblvd wrote:


But this again have a problem, so if this is true, than that means all actions are connected, before I killed him, he killed me, and even before that I killed him and repeat and repeat. But where does free will come out of all this?

Or is that in a natural state of being without knowing the law of karma, one would automatically seek to benefit oneself's interest at any and all expense of the other person's well being include killing, which means naturally the cycle should have continue forever, but one only gains free will when one realize the useless of such action which only prolong the cycle of suffering?

But if this is so, does that mean there can be only liberation from the never ending law of Karma unless one understand what Karma is?


I don't think it is true though, that it works that way. If person A kills person B, that doesn't mean that person B must have killed person A in the past. I suppose it's possible that it happened in the past, but by no means should we assume that. I actually think that this situation is probably a rare one.

Also, just because you did some kamma in a previous life doesn't mean that it will automatically cause some specific thing to happen in this life. One's kamma can only have its result when the conditions for it are ripe. Also, one's other actions can modify how previous kamma affects you when it does arise. Add to that the fact that exactly what conditions activate exactly which kamma is something that only a fully enlightened Buddha can determine, it becomes clear that trying to work out how a specific act will affect a person in the future beyond saying that it will be for better or for worse, or trying to see whether or not something that happened to a person was a result of their kamma is a pointless endeavor as the Buddha of this era has passed away already.

Even if the Buddha were still with us, I think he would likely refuse to answer on the basis that such a question as being spiritually unhelpful.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Sambojjhanga » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:01 pm

daverupa wrote:
Sambojjhanga wrote:Daverupa, I'm not sure if I fully agree with you regarding "Wahtever you practice in this life will carry onto future life" NOT being in the suttas, at least implicitly.


The problem is the determinism of the underlined words - there is neither-dark-nor-bright kamma which has neither-dark-nor-bright result, and such a 'whatever' as that carries nowhere:

AN 4.235


Thank you. I'm still trying to "wrap my head" around kamma from a true Buddhist perspective. There are so many "new-agey" influences in our modern discussions of such that it is often difficult for me to differentiate. So having a sutta reference is good.

Daverupa, or anyone who might have a good suggestion, what non-sutta references would you recommend reading to gain a fuller understanding of kamma? I realize that, ultimately, this has to come from personal experience, but I have found, for example, the writings of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, to be very helpful in this area. Just wondering if you had any other suggestions?

Metta

:anjali:
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby santa100 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:10 pm

You could try Ven. Narada's detailed analysis of Kamma in his classic "The Buddha and His Teachings" ( http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf ) Chapters 18-21

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:37 pm

MN 136 is a good read in this connection; it shows how somewhat subtle differences in how ideas are expressed can have a weighty impact.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:50 pm

sanblvd wrote:Because I am getting the feeling that everything is about YOU YOU YOU, your rebirth, your karam... it all feels somewhat selfish and geocentric.


Can you expand on this feeling? In particular, what looks selfish?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Question about the law of Karma and consequence

Postby Yana » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:01 pm

sanblvd wrote:
Where I am stuck on is the concept that what if you are the person being KILLED instead, what is the karmic effect on you?



First of all kamma is intention,so unless you intend on getting killed you are not creating any kamma.
Life is preparing for Death


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