Karma & Wake Up

Zen Master Seung Sahn
Extract from The Compass of Zen

So karma is very simple: Right now, what do you like? That mind makes your next moment, next moment, next moment. All of this makes your next life, like pearls strung together on a necklace.

In this world, cause and effect are always very clear — not only in the human realm, but in everything you see. If rain comes, flowers appear everywhere. If there is no rain, the flowers do not grow. When the sun comes out, it is warm; when the sun is hidden by clouds, it is cool outside.

The same is true of human beings' life. If you want to take away your karma, strong practicing is very important. Then your karma cannot control you and you can use your karma to help all beings. That is a very important point.

Since you share similar karma with certain other people, you can use this karmic affinity either to hurt or help them. Nearly everyone is deeply attached to their thinking, so they are attached to their karma. They are completely asleep, and cannot help other people.

If you cut off all thinking and all desires, you will wake up. If you keep a thinking mind, however, then your daily life is a dream. Waking up from this dream is more difficult than waking up from an ordinary dream, so you must try very hard.

When you wake up, then you can control your karma. With no special effort, this helps those around you. So we must wake up!