At a dharma talk yesterday, Ari (the speaker) said:

“We are the gods of our own world – we create it. We have infinite potential to achieve anything, but the responsibility to achieve is on us.”

I’m loving this, it’s such an interesting way of saying that we’re the only ones in control of our lives. The choices we make absolutely determine the path our life follows. Karma in a nutshell.

Karma is the law of cause and effect. Our karma determines what happens to us based on actions we have taken, and please note that actions include thoughts and intentions. The tricky part is that we can’t control what the results will be or when they come. It may take minutes, or it may take lifetimes to feel the effects of a particular action. Karma can get a bit complicated, but there are four simple rules that always apply:

  1. The result is similar to the cause. Meaning the action you do will bring you more of the same. If you are nasty, nastiness will come back to you. If you desire wealth, you must give generously.
  2. The result is larger than the cause. So that nastiness you put out there will come back worse. The generosity and kindness you show will come back in spades.
  3. Everything you do is collected and held until the time is right for the karma to play out. This is often referred to as the karmic seed ripening. The situation must be just right for whatever karma, which is why it can take a long time to experience the consequences of your actions.
  4. Everything that happens in your life is a ripened karmic seed. Nothing is random.

If you’re looking to improve your karma, the best way is to give selflessly. This means giving without looking for anything in return –  including the words “thank you”. There are four ways to give:

  1. You can give things, like money or items
  2. You can give protection and eliminate fear
  3. You can give love, compassion, friendship
  4. You can give your knowledge, particularly your knowledge of relieving suffering as this will allow the recipient to end his/her suffering and pass along the same gift

Karma is a very detailed topic, this is just a tiny part. If you have any particular questions, please leave a comment. But ultimately, you need only know Buddah’s Fifth Remembrance:

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

What seeds have you sown in your life so far? Really?