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  Monday, May 13, 2002

Who's Karma Is It?

Karma is one of the least-understood concepts of the Eastern religions; it's frequently misused as equivalent to fate, or reward and punishment for past deeds.

In fact, karma means action--it's the cause, not the effect. The law of karma is that actions have consequences, causes have effects. And more than that, included in the concept of karma is the requirement that the action be intended. Now, you don't get off just be claiming "I didn't mean that!" Intention only excludes such actions as breathing controlled by the autonomic nervous system, things we can't or don't control in some way.

I spent the weekend studying karma and some of its ramifications with Tenshin Reb Anderson and a group of Zen students at Mount Madonna Center. I came away with a better understanding of how karma works in my life, and how it fits in the scheme of the precepts, the four truths, the eight-fold path, and other key teachings.

But now it's back to the conventional world of work and family.

8:10:17 AM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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