Reflection on karma: our actions have consequences for better or for worse


Everywhere I look in the universe I see things arising and passing away in dependence upon conditions.
From galaxies and stars to micro-organisms, this pattern holds true.
Things aren’t random — they have causes and effects.
This is also true of my life.

What I am today is the product of many influences: my family, culture, education and relationships.
It’s also the product of choices I’ve made, of how I’ve acted, of my mental states and habits.
There are many things I cannot alter, and these I must accept.
But I can change those conditions that spring from my mind.
I can change how I think, I can affect how I feel.
Meditation and Dharma practice give me ways to do so.

I know that skilful actions have brought me happiness and fulfilment and have benefited others.
When I’ve been kind or generous I’ve seen others benefit, and it has given me happiness.
I know that my unskilful actions have harmed others, and harmed me too.
When I have been unkind I have seen the pain I have caused.
Those actions have reinforced negative states of mind that make me unhappy, and I’ve felt remorse and regret.

Therefore I should cultivate positive states, practice skilful actions and avoid unskilful ones.
This means practising the Dharma, which offers a sure path to establishing positive conditions.
To this path I commit myself.

Read the other Reminders here