Understanding the Concept of Kamma (Karma) and Its Impact on Our Lives

It is an opportunity to spread the message of this universal law and its effects on our lives.

By cultivating positive habits and making mindful choices, individuals can create a more tranquil and harmonious life, which includes a sense of peace, calmness, serenity, and contentment. Each person has complete control over their decisions, and these decisions have a direct impact on their life experiences. This is known as “Kamma,” the principle that our actions shape our experiences and ultimately, our destiny.

Not only does establishing a righteous view necessitate familiarization with the Three Universal Truths and understanding the Four Noble Truths, but it also entails understanding the Natural Law of Kamma. This basic understanding of Kamma will prove fundamental in realizing our full potential and in establishing Right View, which is the first step on the Eightfold Path. This understanding can help us take responsibility for our actions and avoid blaming others for our misfortunes.

Kamma is a universal law that governs everything in our lives. It states that everything we do, say, or think, has a cause and effect or an action and result. Our intentions, speech, and actions, whether wholesome or unwholesome, have an impact on us. Kamma can be thought of as the result of our own decisions, and it can affect us in this very lifetime, the next existence, or on some subsequent occasion.

You may have heard the word “Karma,” which refers to the same natural law but in a different language. Karma is from the Sanskrit language, while Kamma is from the Pāli language. The Pāli Canon is the most complete source of The Buddha’s teachings, and those who learn and practice from it will typically use the word “Kamma” instead of “Karma.”

Kamma, also known as Karma refers to the fact that our actions have results, and these consequences affect our present and future experiences.

According to the concept of Kamma, every action we take, whether it is through speech, a thought, or physical deed, has a ripple effect that can influence our lives. For example, if we engage in actions that are kind, compassionate, and helpful to others, we are to experience the result which may include happiness, joy, and peace of mind. On the other hand, if we engage in harmful actions, such as lying, stealing, or hurting others, we will experience the consequences, which may include guilt, shame, suffering and discontent.

It is important to note that Kamma is not a system based on punishments or rewards. Instead, it is a natural law that operates independently of any divine power. It is not about being judged by a higher power, but rather about taking ownership for our own actions and their consequences.

Every action we take has a ripple effect on our lives and the lives of those around us. Its good to be aware.

The Power of Personal Choice and Its Impact on Our Lives

In life, we are faced with countless decisions that shape our experiences and determine our paths. Each person has the ability to make choices and the power to create their own destiny. These decisions are personal and unique to each individual, and the effects of these choices are experienced by no one but ourselves.

It’s important to recognize that every decision we make has outcomes, both positive and negative, or even neutral. Whether we choose to take action or not, the result will be felt in some way. Our choices have a ripple effect that can impact our lives and the lives of those around us. And it is that ability, to make choices and decisions, referred to as Volitional Formations in ancient text, that are one of the five things or aggregates that make a living sentient being, a living sentient being.

This concept is known as Kamma, which is the wisdom that our actions have consequences and that we are responsible for the outcomes of our decisions. This idea is present in many cultures and religions around the world, including Buddhism and Hinduism.

When we make choices that align with our values and goals, we experience a sense of fulfillment and purpose. On the other hand, when we make choices that go against our values or harm others, we may experience negative consequences such as guilt, regret, and conflict, let alone the actions of others in return.

By taking ownership of our choices, we gain control over our lives and create opportunities for growth and transformation. When we make conscious decisions that are in line with generosity, loving-kindness, and wisdom, from a place of compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity, we pave the way for a more fulfilling life.

The power of personal choice is immense, and our decisions have a lasting impact on our lives. By recognizing our ability to make choices and taking responsibility for their outcomes, we can create a more purposeful and satisfying existence. Remember, the choices we make today shape the life we will live tomorrow.

Based on the personal choices we make, the resulting effect will be experienced. This is the concept of Kamma. By understanding and accepting the concept of Kamma, we can become more aware of our actions and their consequences. We begin to cultivate positive habits, such as kindness, generosity, and compassion, and avoid harmful habits, such as greed, anger, and willful ignorance, which is a refusal to acknowledge or accept information or evidence that conflicts with one’s beliefs or worldview.

By practicing, we can initiate a positive cycle of cause and effect that ultimately leads to a more serene, content, and joyful state of mind, contributing to a peaceful existence. It is never too late to start making positive changes in our lives. We can start by taking small steps such as practicing meditation, performing acts of kindness, practicing mindfulness, and cultivating gratitude. These simple actions can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.

The Natural Law of Kamma teaches us that our actions have consequences, and that we have the power to shape our lives through the choices we make. Every action we take, every thought we think, has an impact on ourselves and the world around us. By cultivating wholesome habits and refraining from harmful ones, we can create a more peaceful and joyful existence. This may not always be easy, but with awareness, intention, and practice, we can gradually transform ourselves and the world around us. So let us each take responsibility for our own happiness and well-being, and work together to create a more peaceful and harmonious world, knowing that every action we take has the power to make a difference.

Here are some recommendations from The Buddha on the cultivation of positive habits and making mindful choices:

  1. The Buddha taught that every intentional action, whether it be physical, verbal, or mental, has a result. He taught that cultivating wholesome intentions and actions leads to positive outcomes and the accumulation of wholesome karma, while unwholesome intentions and actions lead to negative consequences and the accumulation of unwholesome karma. (AN 3.99)
  2. The Buddha encouraged his followers to cultivate the habit of generosity, which is a powerful way to create positive karma. He taught that giving to others with a pure heart, without expecting anything in return, leads to the accumulation of wholesome karma and the development of a generous spirit. (AN 7.49)
  3. The Buddha taught that mindfulness is key to making wise choices and cultivating positive habits. He taught that by being mindful of our thoughts, emotions, speech and actions, we can learn to recognize unwholesome tendencies and cultivate wholesome qualities like kindness, compassion, and wisdom. (SN 47.35)
  4. The Buddha also taught that developing wholesome habits requires effort and persistence. He encouraged his followers to practice regularly, to reflect on outcomes – their causes and effects, and to learn from mistakes. He taught that by cultivating wholesome habits over time, we can gradually transform our minds and our lives. (AN 11.2)

Overall, the Buddha’s teachings emphasize the importance of cultivating wholesome intentions, speech and actions, practicing mindfulness, and making wise choices in order to create positive results with wholesome karma to live a fulfilling life.

Experiencing the Truth of Kamma in This Very Life: Examples from the Five Precepts

The Buddha teaches that every intentional action, whether physical, verbal, or mental, has a result. By cultivating wholesome intentions and actions, we can create positive outcomes and accumulate wholesome karma. For example, practicing generosity leads to the development of a generous spirit, while mindfulness helps us make wise choices and cultivate positive habits.

Following the five precepts is an excellent way to significantly reduce the production and return of unwholesome karma. For instance, murdering, stealing, engaging in unchastity, speaking falsehood, and taking substances that make us heedless create negative karma, leading to negative consequences such as imprisonment, loss of trust, anxiety, and lack of concentration.

it is worth noting that these guidelines are not merely a set of restrictive rules, but rather a way to live a fulfilling and positive life. By avoiding unwholesome actions and cultivating wholesome ones, we create positive karma that leads to positive outcomes, such as good health, happiness, and success.

For example, the first precept, which is to refrain from killing, is not only about avoiding harming others physically but also about cultivating a mindset of non-harming towards all beings. This includes animals, insects, and even plants. By developing compassion and respect for all forms of life, we create positive karma that leads to a more peaceful and harmonious existence.

Similarly, the second precept, which is to refrain from stealing, is not just about avoiding taking things that do not belong to us but also about cultivating a sense of contentment and gratitude for what we have. By practicing generosity and sharing our resources with others, we create positive karma that leads to abundance and prosperity in our lives.

The third precept, which is to refrain from engaging in unchastity, is about respecting the sanctity of relationships and avoiding behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and others. By cultivating loving-kindness and mindfulness in our intimate relationships, we create positive karma that leads to deeper connections and greater fulfillment.

The fourth precept, which is to refrain from speaking falsehood, is about cultivating honesty and integrity in our communication. By speaking truthfully and avoiding gossip and slander, we create positive karma that leads to greater trust and respect from others.

The fifth precept, which is to refrain from taking substances that make us heedless, is about cultivating mindfulness and awareness in our lives. By avoiding intoxicants, we create positive karma that leads to greater clarity and presence in our thoughts and actions.

By following the five precepts and cultivating pure and wholesome intentions, speech, actions, and livelihood, we can significantly reduce the production of unwholesome kamma and create positive outcomes such as good health, happiness, and success. We are the owners, heirs, and creators of our actions, shaping our present and future. By embracing these guidelines as solid advice, living mindfully and compassionately, reflecting on the outcomes of our actions, and persistently cultivating wholesome habits, we can gradually transform our minds and lives. Let us, therefore, work with The Natural Law of Kamma to live a fulfilling life and create a brighter future for ourselves and those around us, starting with establishing Right View and discovering meditation through the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. You do in fact, “You reap what you sow.”


  1. Dhammapada – Chapter 1: The Twin Verses: This is a scholarly collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form. Verses 1 and 2 describe the importance of our thoughts and actions in shaping our lives.
  2. Anguttara Nikaya – Book of the Tens: This is a collection of discourses by the Buddha. Chapter X contains several discourses on the topic of Kamma, including the importance of wholesome actions, the consequences of unwholesome actions, and the role of intention in shaping our Kamma.
  3. Samyutta Nikaya – Book of Causation: This is another collection of discourses by the Buddha. Chapter XII contains several discourses on Kamma, including the idea that our actions create our future, the importance of wholesome actions, and the nature of rebirth.
  4. Anguttara Nikaya – “All Beings” Sutta: This sutta emphasizes the importance of our actions and their consequences, stating that, “all beings are the owners of their actions, heirs to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions. Whatever they do, good or bad, they will be the heirs of that action.” It highlights the idea that our actions have an impact on our present and any subsequent lives.
  5. Galatians 6:7-8 (The Bible): You reap what you sow. This passage emphasizes the principle of cause and effect, suggesting that future results are to be experienced, both in this life and after.

****Establishing Right View: More coming on Kamma/Karma****


About: Coach Nick is a former Army Intelligence Pilot who discovered the teachings of the Buddha and experienced significant improvements in his life after choosing to learn, reflect, and practice. With a sincere interest in helping others discover the benefits of the Buddha’s teachings, he traveled to Thailand in 2021 to experience a Buddhist land firsthand during the pandemic. Coach Nick is also a martial artist, family man, father, and active practitioner on the path to enlightenment. This is the work of a practitioner, not a scholar, who has personally experienced the benefits of the teachings and is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge and experience with others.

Published by Nicholas Gerace 5D - Upstate New York

Nicholas Gerace is retired Army Officer, Pilot and Commander. Currently, Nicholas is a Professional Life Coach with niche's in Health, Nutrition and Spirituality.

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