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Karma and Cause & Effect Basics of Buddhism Written by Pat Allwright. Presented by Linda Myring & Jay Williams. The Law of Causality Cause and Effect.

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Karma and cause effect basics of buddhism written by pat allwright l.jpg

Karma and Cause & EffectBasics of BuddhismWritten by Pat Allwright

Presented by Linda Myring

& Jay Williams


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The Law of CausalityCause and Effect

  • “Renge, the lotus flower, symbolizes the wonder of this Law. Once you realize that your own life is the Mystic Law, you will realize that so are the lives of all others.”


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The Law of CausalityCause and Effect

  • The lotus flower produces flowers and seeds at the same time, indicating that the effect is simultaneous with the cause.


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What is our destiny and what causes it?

  • Everyone wants to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life.

  • It is very difficult to do this if we do not have an understanding of how destiny is created.


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What is our destiny and what causes it?

  • Much as we may try to improve our circumstances, an unexpected misfortune can throw us off course.

  • This makes us feel as if we are being carried along by our changing destiny, like the currents of the ocean.


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Karma and Destiny

  • Buddhism explains destiny through the concept of karma.

  • Karma originally meant action. Later, it came to be understood as the destiny one had created through these actions.

  • Every thought, word and deed is a cause which creates an effect.

  • On a simple level, if we go to work, we will get paid. If we exercise, we will become fit.


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Karma and Destiny

  • Buddhism therefore teaches that our fate is not arbitrary, neither is it imposed by supernatural forces.

    We create our own destiny.


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Past, Present, and Future

  • If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present.

  • And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.


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Karma: It just isn’t fair!

  • Why is that the nice woman down the road has cancer?

  • Why are people born in such different circumstances?

  • Surely a child has had no chance to make the causes to be born into poverty and hunger?

  • Why do some leaves on the tree get eaten by worms and other leaves do not?


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Karma

  • Mutable Karma – (Lighter) Not fixed. Manifests in the same lifetime it is created.

  • Immutable Karma - (Heavy)

  • Traditionally considered unchangeable- destined to appear in the next lifetime or lifetimes.


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The Nine Consciousnesses

  • Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself.

  • The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

  • The body is the palace of the ninth consciousness, the unchanging reality that reigns over all of life’s functions.


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The Nine Consciousnesses

  • The First Five Consciousnesses:

  • Hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste.

  • Sixth Consciousness: Mind Consciousness – The sixth level is the thinking mind which integrates the information we receive from the five senses.


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The Nine Consciousnesses

Seventh Consciousness:

  • Mano Consciousness - Where we form judgements about what action to take.

  • It corresponds to the thinking and aware self which discerns value.

  • This seventh level is the area of motivation and intention, much of it subconscious.


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Seventh Consciousness

  • The mano-consciousness [thinking mind] forms a self-concept, often a distorted one, and is characterized by self-attachment.

  • The realm of abstract or spiritual thought and judgement, and ego awareness

Source: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/Assets/ego.jpg

I love me, what’s your hobby?


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Seventh Consciousness

  • The self-concept created by the mano-consciousness is not experienced consciously in the course of daily living; it is an idea of “selfness” on an unconscious or subconscious level.

  • It also includes the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

  • It may be described as a conduit between the manifest mental activities and the dormant ones, between the conscious and the unconscious.

Source: Living Buddhism 01/05 v.9 n.1 p.33


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The Nine Consciousnesses

  • Eighth Consciousness (Karmic Storehouse):

  • Alaya consciousness - Storehouse of our karma.

  • Alaya literally means ‘accumulation’. All our experiences are filtered through the initial seven layers of consciousness and stored in the eighth, which exists as an unconscious memory of all our previous actions and reactions.

  • This influences our reactions at any given time, based on our past experiences, including those of previous lifetimes.


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Buddha NatureNinth Consciousness

  • Nam-myoho-renge-kyo – the basis of all spiritual functions and is identified with the true entity of life.

  • The fundamental, original and absolutely pure consciousness which is universal and constitutes the essence of our lives.

  • Without tapping the ninth, our destiny lies in the eighth – and is fixed.


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Cause and Effect are Simultaneous

  • The doctrine of karma clarifies why people in the present age, which Buddhism calls the Latter Day of the Law, in which life is strongly influenced by the three poisons, which cause people to take incorrect actions resulting in disasters within the three areas of human activity.


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Transforming Karma

  • When we practice we still experience the effects of our karma.

  • Those hidden things that cause us to suffer start to surface because we are changing them.

  • We are tapping into the ninth consciousness, underneath the storehouse of karma.

  • The flaws have to come to the surface in order to be purified.


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Awakening to Our Mystic Reality

We, living beings, have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But now that we have become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, we will without fail attain the Buddha’s entity which is indestructible as a diamond, realizing that our bodies and minds have existed since the beginning less past are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature, and thus awakening to our mystic reality with our mystic wisdom (Major Writings, Vol.2p.55).


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Two Approaches to Overcoming Suffering

  • A Buddhist Podcast http://abuddhistpodcast.com/past-shows/

  • On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime. (11:08-14:05-3 minutes) based on SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s lectures in 2006 on the letter written by Nichiren Daishonin.

  • http://cdn.libsyn.com/abuddhistpodcast/A_Buddhist_Podcast_-_On_Attaining_Buddhahood.mp3

  • Two approaches for overcoming suffering:

  • Before the Lotus Sutra - Transmigration, You suffer again and again in lifetime after lifetime because of your desires.

  • After the Lotus Sutra - Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, You commit to guiding everyone toward enlightenment. We are born to bring out the best in ourselves.


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Study Resources

  • sgi-usa-southbaycc.org/regionstudy.htm

  • abuddhistpodcast.com/past-shows/

  • sgi-usa.org/


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