“Karma” means action. It refers to the intentional deeds we do with our body speech and mind through action, talking and thinking. Karma is the law that every deed done, given the conditions, will bear certain fruits.

How does Karma work? All deeds leave imprints or seeds on our consciousness, which ripen into our experiences when the appropriate conditions come together. For example, if we help someone with a kind heart, this action leaves a positive imprint on our mind stream. When conditions are suitable, this imprint will ripen in our receiving of help when we need it.

If an action brings pain and misery in the long term for oneself and others, it is unwholesome or negative Karma. And if it brings happiness, it is wholesome or positive Karma. Actions are not inherently good or bad. They are only so according to their motivations and the consequences they bring. Whatever happiness and fortune we experience in our lives comes from our own positive actions, while our problems result from our own negative actions.

Examples of actions which create negative Karma are killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, idle talk and craving. Hmm….so the next time my colleagues gossip about others, I should walk away and ignore them. Charity, self-restraint, service and reverence are examples of actions which create positive Karma.

Who controls Karma? There is no one that decides the “rewards and punishments” for what we do. We create the causes of our actions, and we experience their results. We are responsible for our own experience.

Have you ever experienced karma in workplace? Heard of this popular saying – “what goes around comes around”? I am trying very hard every day to practise good karma in the office. A co-worker that I work with has not been very helpful to me since I took over his work about a year ago. He withheld a lot of work-related information from me and was not willing to answer my queries directly or share his knowledge or experience with me. There were times when I wanted to hurl nasty remarks at him just to vent my frustration but I held back. I do not know what stops me from this “negative action”. But I believe in myself, in my own ability to overcome the difficulties. I regard this as a bad experience in life. Everyone has bad experiences; this is a natural part of life. Bad experiences must be addressed with solutions. Look at a crisis, cry if we must, find a solution, and learn from it. We all feel grief, but we cannot solve anything by crying about it. It is natural to cry, but we must move on. The old saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” applies to life. Look at each situation and learn from it. Otherwise, one can fall down and the world will “walk all over you.” My hard work through sheer determination has paid off – I received a promotion this year when I was only on the job for one year! I am glad I did not react to his negative actions.


Dalai Lama has suggested the following twenty ways to get Good Karma:

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three R’s:
    –  Respect for self,
    –  Respect for others and
    –  Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11.  Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
    think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. If you want others to be happy, practise compassion.
  20. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.

Start practising good Karma now. 🙂

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