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General characteristics of karma

52 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Beings are heirs of their karma, have karma as their refuge
  • Examining the gap between the study and practice
  • Karma is definite
  • Happiness comes from constructive actions
  • Suffering comes from destructive actions
  • Karma is expandable, small actions can yield big results
  • If causes are not created, results don’t come about
  • Karmic seeds do not get lost, can be affected
  • Ten negative actions to abandon, do the opposite
  • Three physical actions, four verbal actions

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 52: General Characteristics of Karma (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Contemplate a recent situation where you felt unhappy. Now reflect what thoughts or actions may have been the cause of this unhappiness within your mind.
  2. Bring to mind a situation where you practiced a small virtuous action that over time ripened to a big virtuous one.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.