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Constructive actions and the weight of karma

57 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.

  • Five effects of a destructive or constructive action
  • Restraining from destructive actions
  • Non-covetousness, non-hatred, non-confusion
  • Doing the opposite of ten destructive actions
  • Ten bases of meritorious deeds
  • Contemplating what is non-virtue and virtue
  • Questions to ask before, during and after an action
  • Five criteria that makes an action heavy
  • Attitude, how the action is performed
  • Lack of an antidote, holding wrong views, object

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 57: Constructive Actions And The Weight of Karma (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Write down the 10 non-virtuous actions as well as the four accompanying factors that make an action complete (basis, attitude, action and completion of an action). Contemplate these and make examples from your own life.
  2. What criteria made your actions lighter or heavier? Identify them.
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.