Journey Monologues No. 6: Does everything happen for a reason? #karma

Generally karma means ‘action’. From non-virtuous action comes suffering from virtuous actions comes happiness; if we believe this, we believe in karma….Every action we perform leaves an imprint on our very subtle mind, and each imprint eventually gives rise to its own effect. Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like sowing seeds in the field. Virtuous actions sow seed of future happiness and non-virtuous actions sow seeds of future suffering. These seeds remain dormant in our mind until the conditions for them to ripen occur, and then they produce their effect.
— Modern Buddhism, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Whatever is going on in your life right now is not by chance. It is on purpose and calculated whether you are aware of it or not. In this lifetime, you have free will to create your life for better or for worse. Buddhists believe that we have had endless lifetimes since beginning-less time. During those lifetimes we have been both virtuous and non-virtuous; good and bad; productive and destructive.

Everyday you are creating karma, for your future, through your actions. Everyday you decide how to act and how to live your life. And everyday, you will go somewhere from here. So there is a choice.

We are so fortunate if we can realize this. You can be a positive and amazing influence on the direction of your life and the lives of others. You can work through, grow and learn from the ripening of past negative action and create a future of happiness through kindness and virtue. You can do this.

The opposite is also true. You can be a negative and villainous influence on the direction of your life and the lives of others. You can feel you are the victim and blame others for what is happening to you. You can act out in anger, jealousy and hate. You can create negative karma and a future that will reflect it.

Everyone has had trauma in their lives. Everyone has been a victim. Everyone has been their own villain. What matters is what you do now.

A culmination of everything that you have been, you are living now. Everything that you are living now is creating who you are and who you will be. Use this knowledge as a springboard. If you find yourself in a place that you don’t want to be, take your life in a new direction by creating positive karma. The Universe will notice and follow suit.

Sometimes life can seem awfully hard and relentless. And it probably is. You are feeling the effects of your past actions. If you look at this with an open mind, based in love and compassion, you can see this ripening is there to teach you something.

The causes and conditions that come about to make particular actions ripen do happen for a reason. Yes, ripening karma can be tough but if you are here to learn and grow, you will persevere. You will move your life in a direction of happiness.

Take heart in knowing that Life doesn't hand you more than you can handle. You can do this. And Life, the Universe, Buddha, the Higher Power or whatever name it is given will provide you with assistance. All you need to do is ask.