What is karma?
Karma represents tendencies present in the inner, unconscious realm of life. They have been created through one’s past actions, which include ways of thinking, ways of speaking and physical actions. Karma, or actions, can be either good or bad, positive or negative.
Popular thinking views karma as negative but Buddhism says that karma can be both positive and negative.
Shakyamuni Changed View of Karma
Historically, karma was considered to be fatalistic. You were born into a certain immutable situation and you couldn’t change it. You were expected to accept and make the best of any circumstances but your life wouldn’t change at any fundamental level. At best you might be born into better circumstances in your next lifetime.
However, 2500 years ago, Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, changed this view of karma. He said that what makes a person noble or humble was not one’s birth but one’s actions as a human being. He saw karma not only as a means to explain present circumstances but also a potential force through which to influence one’s future. This was considered revolutionary at that time.
What Are Examples of Good Karma?
Good karma includes:
- good habits that create positive results in life. Some examples would include the habit of exercise, studying for an hour a day,
- making friends easily
- an attractive personality
- being born into a loving family
- a person who always lands on their feet, or is always at the right place at the right time
- positive characteristics such as a loving heart, a helpful nature, and a positive view of life.
What are Examples of Bad Karma?
Bad karma includes:
- bad habits, such as overeating and drinking too much
- tendencies toward negative thinking, and self-destructive behavior. One example would be a person who gambles and repeatedly creates financial problems for himself and his family. Another would be a person who refuses to work for anyone else, yet has one disaster after another trying to start his own business.
- negative characteristics such as arrogance, or a bad temper
- repetitive choices which lead to negative results. Let’s say a person picks the same kind of partner over and over and this type of choice results in similar problems in successive relationships. An example would be a person who repeatedly chooses an alcoholic partner
- being born into a criminal family
- repeating the mistakes of one’s parents and relatives
- Being born into poverty
Everyone has both Good and Bad Karma
Each one of us has both good and bad karma. For example, someone might have experienced an easy financial road but have trouble with relationships. Or another person might have happy relationships but sabotage himself in his work life because he can’t settle down and work under a boss.
Don’t Judge Yourself
There is a belief in Buddhism that everything starts from this day forward. There is no point in dwelling upon the past as you can’t change it. But you can change the future.
How to Change Negative Karma
Let’s say you have a habit which is creating negative results.
- Determine how the negative habit should change. What would be the positive habit to replace it? Be specific about how that would look and set it as an intention. For example: Let’s say the negative habit is overeating. You could determine to weigh x number of pound
- Chant to seeing the end goal already achieved. Envision yourself weighing your goal weight.
- Note any ideas of things you might do to change or actions you might take as they come to you. You might keep a list such as eating a different diet or going to a gym.
- Be persistent. Keep chanting until you have achieved your goal.
Second: Take Action
To change negative karma, you chant and then take different actions. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, nothing will change.
Some problems require peeling the onion. Undoubtedly the reasons for your overeating will come to the surface when you try to change the habit. You may have to chant about those resons as well. This will be discussed in more detail in a later post but for now repeat the steps above.
How to Increase Good Karma
As you chant day after day, and bring your Buddha Nature to the fore, your behavior will change inconspicuously for the better. This can happen without your being conscious of it until you look back over weeks or months. But gradually you are spending less time on the negative, reactive, side of life and more time on the positive, proactive side of life.
As you chant about life challenges and overcome negative tendencies you are changing your life for the better and coming to live on the positive side of life.
When different decisions result in good outcomes you will be motivated to continue. You have entered a positive spiral.
Congratulations: You Are Changing Karma
Since future karma is based on actions taken in the present, as your life becomes more positive, so do the causes you are making for your future. You are transforming your present life and future karma for the better one step at a time
Join the Conversation
Please share how you have changed a situation by chanting about it.