No arms, no legs? No worries! (attitudeisaltitude.com)
Karma in Buddhism never means the result of past actions, even though we use it that way. Those results are called phala (fruit) and vipaka (resultant). Karma means willed or intentionally performed deeds of mind, speech, or body.
The idea that we are victims of our past is exactly the corrupted idea (taught by some ancient brahmin priests and other independent teachers in India) the Buddha was trying to root out.
Karma is what we do right now. Our responses to the fruition (phala) of our former actions is our karma, not our circumstances.
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Superman (Christopher Reeves) got thrown from a horse. That's what happened. What did he do? Did he sulk in bed getting drunk and taking it out on everyone? Did he cry in anger to an all-powerful God chanting "Why, why, why...?"? No. His deeds were inspirational. He was grateful for his "miserable" circumstances.
We have the choice to be happy -- even if we don't have the choice of our immediate circumstances. We have the choice of how we look at anything, regardless of how others tell us to look at or feel about it. The Buddhist teachings of karma, a very complex subject, are ultimately very uplifting: We can do it.
We can be free. We can be happy in an instant. We can help others and help ourselves and help everyone involved all at the same time. Because what happens to us RIGHT NOW depends on what we do, say, and think. We probably can't afford the luxury of a negative thought. What we will be depends on what we do. But what we are right now depends, in part, on RIGHT NOW. All we ever are is NOW. All that ever happens happens NOW.
Therefore, Eckhart Tolle realized that there's power in NOW. That's the only place we have power -- whether we are passive and receiving or active and giving -- we are always choosing now. To prove that karma teachings are uplifting, we should know that there are many kinds and classifications of karma. We don't need to know them or to know which ones are operating for us right now. It's enough to know that there are many, and this will fill us with hope.
- Wholesome karma, skillful karma, profitable karma, intervening karma, frustrating karma, redounding karma, rebirth-linking karma, exalted karma, karma rooted in generosity, compassion, wisdom, mindfulness, clarity... All of these forms benefit one for a long time. Their detailed names and functions with examples can be found in a dense tome called The Workings of Kamma.
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