Karmapa, shares some thoughts on karma - 31.07.2020

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail


Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares some thoughts on karma, as he continues to respond to students’ questions.


After a few days of experiencing a creative block, the other day my chair gave way under me. The instant I fell flat on the ground, I had a stroke of inspiration. I quickly jotted down a few paragraphs on my mobile phone.

However, when I got up to attend to something else, I accidentally deleted my note, losing it beyond recovery. In the first instant, a flash of shock and anxiety, almost like a blush, coursed through my being, as I realised that I wouldn’t be able to retrieve it ever again.

The very next moment, however, I tried to console myself by allowing the thought to arise: ‘It wasn’t meant to be’.

What a habit! How powerful this habit is, and yet it powers in ever such a passive way!

This habit where, when things don’t go according to plan, we comfort ourselves by thinking that ‘It wasn’t meant to be’ – as if there were a destiny for all of us. This is a misapplication of the notion of karma, I think. This kind of habit is no doubt comforting, but we should not underestimate its strength.

If we treat this kind of habit as something beyond a source of momentary comfort, then there is a risk of conceptualising something else entirely and setting up a trap for ourselves: that there is a fundamental place to belong and not to belong, a fundamental destiny that is meant to be or not to be.

I think ‘karma’ simply means it’s you. It’s me. It’s us.

It’s a delightful thing to realise that we don’t have to wait for a destiny.

On the other hand, if we say it’s ‘your doing’ of course it has a hint that it’s ‘your’ fault somehow, so feelings of guilt may arise.

Instead, we can simply focus on this understanding of karma: it’s you, it’s me, it’s us. We are this wonderful thing that flows as all of us, without a destiny.

We can see our past and future only as ways to arrive at this present moment, where we see that the idea of destiny was just a comforting thought. Nothing more and nothing less.

Maybe this is where I should have landed, and what I should have realised, when I fell flat on the ground – a ground where ‘destiny’ was not written somewhere, or anywhere.



Wir verwenden Cookies, um unsere Website und Ihre Erfahrungen bei der Nutzung zu verbessern. Für den wesentlichen Betrieb der Website wurden bereits Cookies gesetzt. Weitere Informationen ueber die von uns verwendeten Cookies und wie Sie diese loeschen koennen, finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklaerung.

Ich akzeptiere Cookies von dieser Seite.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk