Of all the Buddha’s teachings, kamma is one of the best known and at the same time one of the most misunderstood. So before presenting what the Buddha taught we’re going to clear away a bunch of preconceptions that commonly give rise to confusions. Get your beginner’s mind ready, and prepare to have your beliefs challenged.
Here are some of the “myths” that we’ll be looking at. Find out which are true and which need busting!
If you have any other kamma “myths” you’d like us to look at, mention them below, and we’ll try to include it.
- There is no in-between state.
- The realms of rebirth only refer to psychological states; rebirth is a matephor.
- It is better to be reborn as a human than as a god.
- Collective kamma.
- Everything is due to kamma.
- Your last mind moment determines your rebirth.
- Rituals are powerful kamma.
- You can burn off your kamma by meditating on pain.
- Mahāmoggallāna’s death.
- The law of attraction (good attracts good).
- The Buddha taught rebirth and kamma because of the cultural views at the time.
- Consciousness enters the embryo at the moment of conception.
- Transference of merit.
- Birth as a woman is because of bad kamma.
We are not supplying a list of suttas for this workshop, as we will be covering a whole range of different issues. But feel free to get started on the readings for the subsequent workshops. Instead, here are some general summaries of the Buddha’s teachings on karma, by Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhante Dhammika.
- Questions on Kamma, by Bhikkhu Bodhi: http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm
- Good Kamma, Bad Kamma, What Exactly is Kamma? by Bhante Dhammika: http://www.bhantedhammika.net/what-exactly-is-kamma