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#1 Michael John Smith

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 05:40 AM

Can there really be such a thing as individual karma if there is no such thing as an inherent existence? Surely karma cannot be inherent and therefore everybody's karma is interdependent and connected to varying degrees. Is what we call karma a limited phenomena present only in what we call samsara and when we are liberated we find it no longer exists? What do we mean therefore by such terms as accumulation of merit or purification of karma?

Oh so many questions spring to mind and all prompted by Rinpoche's posting on Facebook about a the birth of a three-headed goat. Are not the appearance of these questions in my mind itself not proof of some kind of connected or shared karma?

#2 Michael John Smith

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:25 PM

Here is an interesting article exploring collective karma and it's implications - engaged Buddhism in the modern world. (please copy and paste link)

http://www.buddhistc...=8,4046,0,0,1,0

Edited by Michael John Smith, 10 May 2010 - 03:27 PM.


#3 nicoledc109

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:37 AM

Here is an interesting article exploring collective karma and it's implications - engaged Buddhism in the modern world. (please copy and paste link)

http://www.buddhistc...=8,4046,0,0,1,0

Thanks for sharing.

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#4 Michael John Smith

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 06:23 AM

Anyone who has really helped us in some way or another must have some karmic connection to us or he/she would have been unable to help and because of that karmic connection they are open to our help. Likewise of course anyone who has harmed us in any way is also karmically connected with us and has therefore also proved themselves open to our help. Those people who have neither harmed nor helped us are of course worthy of our attention, as it would be worthwhile establishing some kind of karmic connection at whatever level for future benefits to flow either way.

#5 Wangmo

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:11 AM

Anyone who has really helped us in some way or another must have some karmic connection to us or he/she would have been unable to help and because of that karmic connection they are open to our help. Likewise of course anyone who has harmed us in any way is also karmically connected with us and has therefore also proved themselves open to our help. Those people who have neither harmed nor helped us are of course worthy of our attention, as it would be worthwhile establishing some kind of karmic connection at whatever level for future benefits to flow either way.

Hmm, I think it isn't as simple - from beginningless time we have created carmic connections with an infinite number of beings, right? So we have karmic connections with billions of beings. And this doesn't automatically mean they are open to our help (as shown by experience :dontknow:) ...

As for the question whether karma is a limited phenomenon present only in samsara - I would guess it surely has a sort of existence. If we put ourselves into the world of karma (samsara), then it is there; if we would exit such world, it probably wouldn't be there in the same way?
Imagine you would live in a 2-dimensional world - all reality would have two dimensions then, right? But if you were inside, living in that world, that would be all you knew, you would perceive it as the true form of existence. But looking from the outside, from a 3D world, you would see it differently. You would still see the two dimensions, but wouldn't be limited by them. :huh:
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. (Bruce Lee)

#6 Michael John Smith

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:32 AM

I still think that if someone has managed to help us then a karmic connection exists and where we are unable to help or be helped then the karmic connection has been broken.

I think that as our bodhicitta increases and our wisdom mind or realisation of the empty nature of phenomena also manifests we shall be able to form karmic connections with more beings and help more beings.

Milarepa's life (from sinner to saint) proves that enlightenment is possible in one lifetime - that is, a person's perception of the reality can change to correspond to the original perception of his/her Buddhanature in this very lifetime.

BUT, what kind of karma, if any, does a Buddha create?

#7 Shenpen.Rinpoche

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

BUT, what kind of karma, if any, does a Buddha create?

What creates karma? = mistaken mind ie. on basis of misunderstanding the reality of phenomena, the mind "moves" towards illusions which it takes for real, and this movement creates the karma.
A Buddha's mind is unmistaken, so, no karma.
Lama Shenpen Rinpoche
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"For as long as space endures, And as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide, To dispel the misery of the world." (Arya Shantideva)

#8 Wangmo

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:17 PM

I still think that if someone has managed to help us then a karmic connection exists and where we are unable to help or be helped then the karmic connection has been broken.

You know, this term "karmic connection" may sound a little bit new-agey ... in fact, I didn't hear it much in a the context of Buddhist teachings. Usually it is said that something can happen if the person created the causes for it.

I think that as our bodhicitta increases and our wisdom mind or realisation of the empty nature of phenomena also manifests we shall be able to form karmic connections with more beings and help more beings.

Not sure that when we will realise Emptiness we will create MORE karma - I thought we would create less karma once realising Emptiness? To continue what I wrote above, with more wisdom and realisations on our side, maybe more beings would also create the causes to be helped by us? :dontknow:
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. (Bruce Lee)

#9 Michael John Smith

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 03:53 AM

Karma is intersubjective and that the course of each and every stream of consciousness (changing individual) is profoundly influenced by its relation with other consciousness streams." ~ From Twenty Verses of Acharya Vasubhandu.

#10 Michael John Smith

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:34 PM

Since our present is dependent on past causes we can say our karma is linked to the extent that we share the same present - this moment of reality, not just our own perception of it but how it really is.




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