SuttaCentral

Can Kamma replace itself?

Hi All, I have a few question, sorry.

I just read SuttaCentral
MN 136 and I am wondering if good Kamma can replace bad Kamma and vice versa? Does anyone has any suggestions?
I also would like to ask if anyone has (a) suttas in mind when life “is crashing down” on someone? How can one live mindful and fearless when one is in the middle of a storm? How can one cope when one is losing everything? Coping with death is one thing but losing everything else at the same time…this can be quite overwhelming at times.
Thank you very much for every person who takes time to answer.
I also hope this is the right forum - I am new here.
With metta
Alexandra

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Dear sister in the Dhamma
About the Kamma question: Kamma cannot be removed, substituted or change. What is done is done, and the Buddha was very clear about this

Sabbe sattā kammassakā kammadāyādā kammayonī kammabandhū kammapaṭisaraṇā.

When they act upon intention, all beings are the owners of their action and inherit its results. Their future is born from such action, companion to such action, and its results will be their home.

Yaṃ kammaṃ karissanti, kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā, tassa dāyādā bhavissanti

All actions with intentions be they skilful or harmful, they will be the heir.

Said that the Buddha explained, with the simile of the salt and water in the Loṇaphala Sutta that good merits like water can dilute the bad Kamma.

About the other question, I think you will benefit from listening to this Ajahn Chah’s teaching.

In the Shape of a Circle

With metta :pray:

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I don’t believe kamma can be replaced or overwritten.
In middle of a storm, if you need something quick, a mantra is fast and ez , suppose you don’t have other tools handy. Best mantra is to be found in your own heart, a short phase that you could bring up to convince the mind to calm down.

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Thank you very much, Gabi! Very much appreciated! I will sit down and listen. Ajahn Chah is a great teacher and often helps straight away with his wisdom.
I think the Sutta you referred to, is most likely what I actually had in mind - that good Kamma has an influence of bad kamma = “diluting”.
I started to write down of what I read and which Sutta it was, so I can find it better in later times.
With metta :pray:
Alex

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Thank you, Jacky! Yes, I have a mantra but during some hours the storm is quite overwhelming and the mind is just in sort of a “panic mode” and doesn’t want to move an inch away from that panic…
With metta :pray:
Alex

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Dear Alex
Thank you for your kind words. Yes that Ajahn Chah’s talk is full of the excellent points that helps to see the way out of suffering. I wish you lots of peace and calm. I know how difficult these times can be when things do not go as we hoped, particularly in a time with covid. I am in a difficult period as well since in transition between two careers and with some other problems.
I found that it is difficult moments like this that our practice can advance a lot. The challenges and the suffering are great teachers.
With metta :pray:

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Realize that after you stop living in the ways of karma you will have a new beginning, not end. Make that day today.

Dear Gabi, I am sorry to hear that you have challenging times as well. At the moment I just (more than ever) really wish peace and happiness for every being from the bottom of my heart.
To watch your best friend (and husband) for 33 years suddenly dying is an immense experience to say the least. As you can imagine there are more things happening at the same time.
We can both live with the death part through our believes and for myself, using the Dhamma as a guide. Difficult times ARE a wonderful teacher but at the moment I just really wish life would slow down a bit with “the lessons”.
I just read the Sutta you gave me and that was great! It answered my question to the point. So really thank you again for this! :slight_smile:
I now sit down and listen to Ajahn Chah.
Take care for now and much strength from me to you
:pray:Alex

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Yes, that’s what I am trying to do. I guess you saw my answer to Gabi which explains my situation a bit.
I am grateful that people in this forum take the time to answer. Thank you very much.
:pray:With metta
Alex

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Dear Alex
I send you lots of metta. Losing such an important person in one life is an incredible challenge and great suffering. Your answer shows me you have strength and faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, Shanga, and I trust your heart will find peace and calm even during this storm.

Also, do not think that this may be related to your own “bad” Kamma. Things are complex in the Kamma law, and not all that happens to us (but in particular when what happens to others affects us) is linked to a “personal” Kamma. Sure it is Kamma because we are born humans, and as part of this, we inevitably have to depart from all that is dear. But do not think it is just your Kamma or feel responsible or concerned. You are doing all the right things. You are a great inspiration.

Spreading metta towards all beings in this sea of suffering samsara is what the Buddha taught us to help ourselves. Feel free to pm me if you need. I am always happy to speak to people. I am finishing in November to study counselling (my career change), and one of my specialisations is in loss and grief; if I can help you by listening to you, just pm me.
With metta :pray:

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Dear Gabi, wow! Thank you very much for your kind words and your offer!
I am not sure if/when I want or need to talk but I certainly keep your offer in mind. :sunflower:

Yes, after the total unexpected diagnose and the slamming “4 months left” I thought a lot about Kamma. As you said above, I came to the same conclusion: The four noble truths; of course the first one being “there is suffering” / not mine, not yours, just “there is”…

I pdf-ed the Dhamma talk so I can read through it more than once and it reminded me already of where me thoughts should be - ideally.
It is great how every time you need something it comes to you, in every aspect.
Thank you again.
:pray:Alex

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@Alex70 @Gabi73 In difficult and distressful times I do meditate and send metta and karuna to the situation, myself and others. It often softens the energy and impact to make things workable for me. Also the non-buddhist Serenity Prayer (i suddenly found in a greeting card) worked like a great mantra for me. I say it like this:
Dear Universe: Give me the serenity (samatha) to accept the things I cannot change (external situation/people), the courage (viriya) to change the things I can (my habitual response), and the wisdom (insight and discernment) to know the difference between the two

Repeating this prayer often for 3 weeks actually pulled me deep into the mindfulness path when I faced multiple challenges both at work and home. Help often comes from within by following one’s own heart.

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Thank you very much, Nava, to take the time to answer :pray:
Yes, I agree, the spreading of metta and karuna works mostly wonder and makes things more bearable straight away. I also think of all the suffering around me. At the moment i.e. Afghanistan, which shows me how much worse people are off. It also shows me again and again how little we are in this whole universe of worlds and realms.

I like your little prayer. I often send my thoughts out to the universe but not in an “organised” manner. I will most definitely give it a go.

You are right, help comes from the own heart but sometimes a little light from somebody else can help to keep going :sun_behind_small_cloud:

Much metta :sunflower:
Alex

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A person may reduce the effect of bad kamma and create good kamma by good wholesome actions.

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Kamma has momentum. Although we cannot replace bad kamma with good kamma, we can delay bad result ( vipaka) by doing good kamma more. Kamma produces vipaka( action produces reaction).

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Thank you for your answer, Michael. Yes, I was thinking (hoping) something similar. As most of us, I have done lots of mistakes in my life and wondered how that all comes together once one realises her own mistakes and “turns the whole ship around”.

Well then, let us make lots of good Karma and share the merits :upside_down_face:

With metta
Alex

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With unconditional Love, Karuna and Metta, you can Transcend the limits of karma and cessate the fire of conditioned life, building up the Bodhicitta to attain Buddhahood while no longer being tossed to and fro by the waves and results of karma, being freed from it’s bonds, only to act in Metta, no longer a slave to action and reaction, living the life of no outflows on the stage of no regression for your search for Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.

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Thank you very much for your input, Bodhisattva. Yes, that’s what I dedicate my life to. Following Buddha’s teachings as much as I can.

May we all be successful in our journey towards Nibbana :pray:

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