The results of karma

62 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.

  • Why we need to counteract rejoicing at others misfortune?
  • Explanation of results of actions from Precious Garland
  • Physical, verbal and mental destructive actions
  • Taking intoxicants, being stingy, wrong livelihood
  • Actions triggered by arrogance, jealousy, anger
  • Importance of reviewing our non virtuous actions and future results
  • Seeing the conditioned nature of our experiences

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 62: The Results of Karma (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Bring to mind an example of Schadenfreude in your life. How did it affect your mind and your actions? What mind training can help to counteract Schadenfreude?
  2. Nagarjuna adds to the ten non-virtues, including the results of miserliness, wrong livelihood, arrogance, jealousy, anger, and stupidity. Consider the results of each. How do they resemble the action done? What are the opposites of these non virtues that we are encouraged to cultivate?
  3. Reflect on your life, noting your habitual actions and any strong karmas you may have done. One by one, consider what their ripening result, causally concordant results, and environmental result will be. Be aware that through your choices and actions, you are creating the causes for your future. Have the sense of your life being a conditioned event, and you are the one creating the conditions.
  4. Venerable Chodron said that despair, guilt, and upset assume that you can’t do anything to change the conditions. Things are changing moment to moment automatically, simply by the fact that they’re conditioned things. How they change, what they become, depends on our actions. Make some examples of how we can guide things to a particular result, based on your understanding of karma. How might a deep understanding of this truth influence your experience and the way you interact with the world?
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.