Karma- action

- Buddhists believe their actions have meaning and the meaning they gain will have an impact on what happens to them in the future.

- the meaning of future is complicted in Buddhism because they believe we live many lives as we are caught up in the cycle of rebirth called samsara. A person can feel the effects of karma in their present life or in a future life.

- Its only the actions with intention that carry meaning. eg actions you think about or actions that are motivated by a wish to achieve a particular goal.

- karma is like an energy that a living being generates, dependent on their intentionl actions. The nature of this energy is therefore imperminent. Your actions are changing all the time.

Law of Karma- the moral law of cause and effect related to intentional action. Can not be seen but is present in our existance and have an impact on it. Actions have consequences. A natural law.

Good actions- develop positive karma

Bad actions - develop negative karma

The Three marks of existance(Lakshanas) / Three universal truths:

Anicca-the imperminant nature of all living things

Anatta- no independent or permanent self.

Dukkha- suffering

kandhas- the five elements that make up a human being: form, sensation, perception, mental formations and conciousness. A theravadan buddhist teaching. A human is a collection of ever changing parts.

Samatha- calmness or breathing meditation

Pratitya- dependent origination; everyting exists only because of the existance of other phenomena in an incredibly complex web of cause and effect covering time past, present and future. All things are interconnected. An individual thing or person is always changing because its existance is affected in the web of cause and effect.

Mettabhavana- the development of loving kindness, usually through meditation.

Vipassana- insight meditation enabling the individual to see the true nature of things.

mahayana- great vehicle

Therevada- the way of the elders

Bodhisattva- an enlightened being who seeks enlightenment for others.

Arhat- enlightened disciple, the fourth and highest stage of realisation recognised by the Theravada tradition. One whose mind is free from all greed, hatred and ignorance.

metta- show loving kindness to all lovin being beings.

Karuna- compassion for all living beings. To share lovingly in the suffering of others.

Ahimsa- the practise of non-violence. Show no violence to all beings.

Uppekha- having the same concern for all other beings. To seek equality for all living beings.

Anatman- no soul. Buddhists do not believe in a soul.

Sunyata- emptiness.Mahayana Buddhists use sunyata to show their belief that all things, including the self are empty of their own nature.

Human nature and the mahayana belief that buddhahood is possible for all:

-Mahayana buddhists believe that buddha-nature is within all beings.

-Having buddha-nature means that all beings may realise enlightenment.

-This is described in the term ' tathagatagarbha', which literally means


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