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Karma

Recently, and in the past, I have heard the voices say to me (usually when I am chanting), “You can’t change your karma!” I do not believe this. The Buddhism that I practice teaches that we can change our karma, and that we can use our experiences, both negative and positive to learn from, and to help us grow. Often I will chant or pray to be able to “change my karma”, and that is when occasionally I will hear something like the voice I described above.

Karma is a tricky concept. Most people think of it as “what goes around, comes around”. This is true to a certain extent. But when you take into consideration the Buddhist teaching that we have had infinite previous lifetimes, and will have infinite future lifetimes (all of which come with our karma that has accumulated from the past), then it is not so easy to link what happens to us in the present with any particular past good or bad deed, especially when it may have been carried over from a previous lifetime.

When I chant to be able to change my karma, it is more of a desire to change my life, and improve how it is in the present. I don’t want to constantly focus on the past, or worry about what might happen in the future. When I face problems or difficulties, rather than viewing them from the perspective of “what bad karma I must have”, it is better to look at the situation as an opportunity to take responsibility for my own happiness, and change myself positively from within. In this sense, we can change our karma. It all depends on our attitude and our determination.

 

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