What is Karma?

karmaThe purpose of understanding and believing in karma is to prevent future suffering and to establish the basic foundation for the path to liberation and enlightenment. Generally, karma means ‘action’. From non-virtuous actions comes suffering and from virtuous actions comes happiness: if we believe this, we believe in karma. Buddha gave extensive teachings that prove the truth of this statement, and many different examples that show the special connection between the actions of our former lives and our experiences of this life, some of which are explained in Joyful Path of Good Fortune.

In our previous lives we performed various kinds of non-virtuous actions that caused others suffering. As a result of these non-virtuous actions, various kinds of miserable conditions and situations arise and we experience endless human suffering and problems. This is the same for all other living beings.

We should judge whether or not we believe that the main cause of suffering is our non-virtuous actions and the main cause of happiness is our virtuous actions. If we do not believe this we shall never apply effort to accumulating virtuous actions, or merit, and we shall never purify our non-virtuous actions, and because of this we shall experience suffering and difficulties continually, in life after life without end.

Read more about Karma in the free eBook Modern Buddhism.

About Kadampa Meditation Center NYC

Located in the heart of Chelsea, Kadampa Meditation Center NYC provides meditation classes and teachings throughout NYC and the greater New York area.


We offer evening meditation classes on Mondays, TuesdaysWednesdaysThursdays, and Fridays, and morning meditation classes on Tuesdays and Sundays that are suitable for newcomers. Our lunchtime meditations and after-work meditations are only a half-hour long and a great way to get a taste of meditation. We also have monthly introductory classes, Awakening the Heart and How to Meditate, as well as regular day and weekend meditation courses and retreats.