Question

We produce karma through our actions and thoughts and our life is influenced by previous karmas: this I can understand. But I feel it is a universal karma, I do not see the individual aspect of a karma which would be personally transmitted.

Parents and ancestors of course transmit elements that determine our physical and psychological state, which influences our lives at several levels; our social and cultural environment coming from previous generations have the same effect through our education and the principles and prejudices that we are instilled with . . . but the idea of karma "inherited" from our parents and ancestors has no echo in me. Because an ancestor or a parent would not have respected the "do not kill" precept,  a baby of their descendants will be stillborn, or because one of his ancestors would not have protected the first kaï, one will have a car accident (examples cited by Deshimaru in "Zen and daily life")? Because my father was a soldier and has certainly killed or has had other people kill, did one of my sisters die at 21 in a car accident?

I can not understand karma in this way. I rather understand it as a general karma generated by each one and of which we all inherit (partially? at random?).Also, to the question "Helping the person to whom you think", and more specifically to "can we lead those virtuous karmas, through thought, towards someone who is in difficulty, to help him. Broadly, one has to give up the benefits brought by karmas accumulated in zazen to hand them over to people whose sufferings are higher than ours.", you answer "This is perfectly efficient and pure." Here again, karma is indivual. I can not imagine that karmas can benefit specifically someone we choose, how much less ourself; I regard them as essentially geared toward the human race as a whole, whether past present, or future (on the other hand, I perfectly understand that "bad" actions can immediatly influence my life).Can you help me  carry on thinking on the indidual/universal aspects of karma (I am still far from being able to "embrace opposites")?

Answer from Master Kosen

Congratulations for your answer, it is absolutely right.


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