Karma

JadecloudAlchemist

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Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow

Our Actions,thoughts,and speech are all tools to hinder enlightment or grant enlightment. In the Esoteric Buddhist schools the use of mundra,mantra,and visualization are used to achieve Buddhahood in this very existance.
 

SFC JeffJ

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Not Buddhist, bit acording to my wife's spiritual mores, anything you do bad comes back to you three fold.
 
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Xue Sheng

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Karma in Hinduism

"Karma" literally means "deed" or "act", and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, which Hindus believe governs all consciousness. It is believed that only beings that can distinguish right from wrong, such as adult humans, can accumulate Karma. Animals and young children are not responsible to accumulate Karma as they are incapable of discriminating between right and wrong. However, all sentient beings can feel the effects of Karma, which are pleasure and pain. Karma is not fate; humans are believed to act with free will, creating their own destinies. According to the Vedas, if an individual sows goodness, he or she will reap goodness; if one sows evil, he or she will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of mankind's actions and their concommitant reactions in current and previous lives, all of which determine the future. However, many karmas do not have an immediate effect; some accumulate and return unexpectedly in an individual's later lives. The conquest of karma is believed to lie in intelligent action and dispassionate reaction. In contrast to Axel Michaels' personal opinion, statements in both Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita provide overwhelming evidence of established and conclusive doctrines of karma and transmigration of soul.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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My understanding is if you keep generating karma both good or bad you are still in the cycle of suffering Bahavacakra:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhavacakra

Animals and young children are not responsible to accumulate Karma
I think animals can tell right from wrong. By positive and negative reenforcement and personal gain.
This is really cool.
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jan/25/wild-justice-among-animals/

I also think children can tell right from wrong but how much morality IMO is questionable. I think in a primitive personal gain were right and wrong are correct and incorrect cues to obtain personal gain. This personal gain drive or Ego should generate Karma because of its interaction with enviroment. An interesting thing would be can science measure Karma interaction or affect?
 

jarrod

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Not Buddhist, bit acording to my wife's spiritual mores, anything you do bad comes back to you three fold.

is she wiccan by any chance?

it's funny, this is one of the few religious laws that is almost universal. whether you're talking about karma, the threefold law, or reaping what you sow it seems very common. i'm going to base a religion strictly on this & the golden rule & see how it flies.

jf
 

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7starmarc

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It is interesting that you have brought this up, as it has been the source of some contemplation for me of late. Basically, I have begun studying the Buddhist/Yogic doctrines, including the Laws of Karma. It seems quite clear in these teachings that Karma is produced as a result of actions of body, speech and mind. The laws state that good things can only come from a good source, and bad things only from bad. Wishing harm upon someone is not as bad as killing them, but it still has negative karmic consequences.

During the course of these studies, then, I have begun to question the methods and activities of martial training. Even in the most honorable of bases (self defense, self development, etc.), we walk a thin line with respect to karmic consequences. In my study of CMA (Mantis Kung Fu), we learn that forms and techniques should be practiced with intent in order to get the most benefit. That intent is usually one of harm to another. A form practiced without appropriate intent is considered empty and lacking. In practice (chi sau, sparring), there are invariably bloodied noses, fattened lips, etc. Once again, bringing harm to others with intent (even if it is softened by the lack of anger or aggression, which (unfortunately) is not always the case).

The question then becomes, if you believe in the causality of karma, what does one introduce into their life by the pratice of most martial arts? Is there a method of practice which will still gain the positive results of martial arts without incurring the negative karmic consequences.

For myself, I have not determined what the answer may be. Until I have, I have actually chosen to stop training actively in kung fu, as I have found my forms empty and without intent in my current state of mind. I have also taken up the practice of Aikido to explore the concepts presented within that art, although I am not yet convinced that the end result is much different. At least in Aikido, all practice is done in a cooperative manner without the trappings of competition or conflict (having predefined uke and nage for each interaction). Of course, that is one of the common criticisms of the art as well. It seems a high goal to seek the skills which would bring about conflict resolution in a "harmonious" manner, even when things have escalated to a physical level.
 
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Xue Sheng

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It is interesting that you have brought this up, as it has been the source of some contemplation for me of late. Basically, I have begun studying the Buddhist/Yogic doctrines, including the Laws of Karma. It seems quite clear in these teachings that Karma is produced as a result of actions of body, speech and mind. The laws state that good things can only come from a good source, and bad things only from bad. Wishing harm upon someone is not as bad as killing them, but it still has negative karmic consequences.

During the course of these studies, then, I have begun to question the methods and activities of martial training. Even in the most honorable of bases (self defense, self development, etc.), we walk a thin line with respect to karmic consequences. In my study of CMA (Mantis Kung Fu), we learn that forms and techniques should be practiced with intent in order to get the most benefit. That intent is usually one of harm to another. A form practiced without appropriate intent is considered empty and lacking. In practice (chi sau, sparring), there are invariably bloodied noses, fattened lips, etc. Once again, bringing harm to others with intent (even if it is softened by the lack of anger or aggression, which (unfortunately) is not always the case).

The question then becomes, if you believe in the causality of karma, what does one introduce into their life by the pratice of most martial arts? Is there a method of practice which will still gain the positive results of martial arts without incurring the negative karmic consequences.

For myself, I have not determined what the answer may be. Until I have, I have actually chosen to stop training actively in kung fu, as I have found my forms empty and without intent in my current state of mind. I have also taken up the practice of Aikido to explore the concepts presented within that art, although I am not yet convinced that the end result is much different. At least in Aikido, all practice is done in a cooperative manner without the trappings of competition or conflict (having predefined uke and nage for each interaction). Of course, that is one of the common criticisms of the art as well. It seems a high goal to seek the skills which would bring about conflict resolution in a "harmonious" manner, even when things have escalated to a physical level.

Actually Aikido is no different you are still training martial arts and if the uke is cooperating to the extreme (meaning jumping to help your throws) then you are not, IMO, practicing Aikido. I have spared those that trained Aikido that did this and they are horrible but those that do not are rather impressive.

Also what is the karma if the worst happens and you stop training and find yourself in a situation where you cold help another or protect another and you don’t? Personally I do not get too hung up on any of this. The closest I get to any of this these days is practicing mindfulness.

But regardless I don’t see the issue. Are you intending to hurt someone in training are you acting out of anger or evil intent when you train?

From - http://www.tricycle.com/essay/karma-action

The Buddhist tradition, however, is more interested in the internal dimensions of action. Here the more important questions include “What effect on our own well-being are our decisions having?” and “How are we being changed by our actions?” What we do, from this point of view, is far less important than how we do it. Karma is primarily concerned with how we shape ourselves, and how we are shaped by ourselves, through action.

From - http://www.tricycle.com/essay/karma-action

In a moment of anger, for example, whether acted out, verbalized, or merely seething unexpressed within, one trains oneself to become angrier by laying down a thin layer (there’s the verb and noun again) of angry disposition. A person so disposed to anger will more and more easily erupt in anger anew at any provocation. But in a moment of kindness a kindly disposition is deposited, and one becomes incrementally more disposed to kindness. The attitude with which we respond to an object of experience, with anger or with kindness, will therefore not only influence the causal field outside ourselves but also progressively reshape our very nature.


The Hindu view says that karma is not fate but has to do with what good deeds you do and what evil acts you do.

From - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_in_Hinduism

Karma is not fate; humans are believed to act with free will, creating their own destinies. According to the Vedas, if an individual sows goodness, he or she will reap goodness; if one sows evil, he or she will reap evil.
 

Jenna

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At least in Aikido, all practice is done in a cooperative manner without the trappings of competition or conflict (having predefined uke and nage for each interaction). Of course, that is one of the common criticisms of the art as well. It seems a high goal to seek the skills which would bring about conflict resolution in a "harmonious" manner, even when things have escalated to a physical level.
Not a high goal nor high-minded nor naive nor unwise. In my opinion, the resolution of conflict in a manner that removes you from it and does not harm the opponent, is the simple application of a mindset. You would not be disturbing any karmic distribution and on a more mundane level, you may reduce your risk of subsequent conflict escalation compared to a standard destructive intent (intent as opposed to technique - the techniques are similar, only the intent in their use is altered in Aikido). Just an opinion :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

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Not a high goal nor high-minded nor naive nor unwise. In my opinion, the resolution of conflict in a manner that removes you from it and does not harm the opponent, is the simple application of a mindset. You would not be disturbing any karmic distribution and on a more mundane level, you may reduce your risk of subsequent conflict escalation compared to a standard destructive intent (intent as opposed to technique - the techniques are similar, only the intent in their use is altered in Aikido). Just an opinion :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

Thank you, you have articulated some of the ideas and thoughts that are still circling in my mind.
 

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While I dont believe in some mystical force such as karma, I would like to bring up the best scientific evidence I have found for something of its nature. A concept called "cumulative continuity" proposed by Caspi and Elder in 1987.

It is proposed that maladaptive behaviors are sustained through the progressive accumulation of their own consequences (cumulative continuity) and by evoking maintaining responses from others during reciprocal social interaction (interactional continuity).

Source:

[FONT=&quot]Caspi, A., G. Elder, et al. (1987). Moving against the world: Life-course patterns of explosive children. Developmental Psychology, 23, 308-313.[/FONT]
 

Errant108

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While I dont believe in some mystical force such as karma, I would like to bring up the best scientific evidence I have found for something of its nature. A concept called "cumulative continuity" proposed by Caspi and Elder in 1987.



Source:

[FONT=&quot]Caspi, A., G. Elder, et al. (1987). Moving against the world: Life-course patterns of explosive children. Developmental Psychology, 23, 308-313.[/FONT]

Karma is not a mystical force. Indeed, the perception of karma as a mystical force is the result of our own attachment to the need to find spiritual reasons for practical things.
 

Dionysianexile

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Karma is not a mystical force. Indeed, the perception of karma as a mystical force is the result of our own attachment to the need to find spiritual reasons for practical things.

Karma is said to be an intangible force that is generated by peoples actions. Such a force has no physical properties. It is not measurable by any means other than its outcome. This makes it mystical, spiritual, or whatever word you want to use to describe it as outside the boundaries of reality.

As for the need to find spiritual reasons for practical things, this is exactly the opposite of what I was discussing. I prefer to search for tangible, quantifiable and measurable ways to describe phenomenon that occur. As of yet, the closest thing to karma that exists in reality is cumulative continuity. I reject spiritual reasons for phenomenon based on lack of evidence.

As a side note, I realize that this is offensive to some people, but that is the nature of such a beast.
 

Errant108

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Karma is not an intangible force generated by people's actions. It is not a "thing". You can no more measure karma than you could "causality". It is not anymore outside the realm of reality than cause & effect are.
 

Dionysianexile

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Lets start at the beginning then, what is karma? It must at least be definable.

Merriam-Webster define "karma" as the following: "the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence."

By this definition, karma is a force. If it is such one should be able to measure it, however such a measure does not exist. Furthermore, in order for a person's existence to carry over from one to another, some essence must exist. Again, if it does, it should be detectable. Neither of such things do exist. Thus, karma in its spiritual sense does not exist.

If you want to work with the standard rule of three, I would ask for evidence once more. Further, a set of rules must be definable as to what is considered a threefold equivalent to the initial behavior exhibited. Once established one should be able to measure this threefold return, and furthermore detect the agent responsible for it. I would in this circumstance once more posit that such an agent does not exist, and offer the evidence that losses are much more memorable than gains and people often detect patterns where patterns do not really exist.

Furthermore, cause and effect are very often measurable, I push a ball and know that the force I generated against its surface causes it to move in the same direction. At the same time I know that if it is on a flat surface, friction will cause that ball to slow down. If there is an effect, there almost certainly a cause, and while the cause of some things is not immediately evident, it is a poor idea to attribute causation to supernatural forces.
 
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Dionysianexile

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My apologies for derailing your thread. The link was interesting as it appeared to serve as a long definition to aid westerners in understanding what karma was originally defined as.

Interestingly this definition held strong resemblance to what my initial post mentioned of cumulative continuity.
 

Errant108

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My apologies for derailing your thread. The link was interesting as it appeared to serve as a long definition to aid westerners in understanding what karma was originally defined as.

Interestingly this definition held strong resemblance to what my initial post mentioned of cumulative continuity.

Bingo.

This is, in essence, the point of the Practice.

Your disagreement was not based on karma, but rather your pre-supposition of what karma was, a strawman. Granted, it was well-intended given much of suplerflous nonsense that is often ascribed to karma and other Buddhist, Hindu, & Eastern concepts by Westerners not willing to take the time to actually work at understanding them. Your association with cumulative continuity is a worthwile one to consider.
 

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