22 March 2010


All results come from causes that have the ability to create them. If we plant apple seeds, an apple tree will grow, not chili. If chili seeds are planted, chili seeds will grow, not apples. In the same way, if we act constructively, happiness will ensue; if we act destructively, problems will result. Whatever happiness and fortune we experience in our lives comes from our positive actions, while our problems result from our own destructive actions.

According to Buddhism, there is no one in charge of the universe who distributes reward and punishments. We create the causes by our actions, and we experience  their results. We are responsible for our own experience. The Buddha didn't create  the system of actions and their effects, in the same way that Newton didn't invent gravity. Newton simply described what exists.  Likewise, the Buddha described what he saw with his omniscient mindto be the natural process  of cause and effect. occurring within the mainstream of each being. By doing this, he showed us how best to work  within the functioning  of cause and effect in order to experience happiness and avoid pain.   

--Thubten Chodron, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, vol. 6, #3

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