Karma – It’s Not Fate!

Probably few Buddhist concepts are more widely misunderstood than karma.  As Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes:

“For most people, karma functions like fate—and bad fate, at that: an inexplicable, unchangeable force coming out of our past, for which we are somehow vaguely responsible and powerless to fight. “I guess it’s just my karma,” I’ve heard people sigh when bad fortune strikes with such force that they see no alternative to resigned acceptance. The fatalism implicit in this statement is one reason why so many of us feel repelled by the concept of karma…”

I just updated the “Wisdom” page of Metta Refuge with the complete talk this excerpt comes from. If you’ve ever wondered what Buddhism really teaches about karma, Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s “Karma” is a must-read.  You may be surprised at what a liberating concept karma can be, when seen and used as a skillful means and not a metaphysical fatalism.

See Wisdom

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) has been a Theravadan monk since 1976. The abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County, CA, he is a prolific translator of Pali texts and Thai meditation guides. He is the author, among other books, of Wings to Awakening, Mind Like Fire Unbound, and Meditations.


About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

3 Responses to “Karma – It’s Not Fate!”

  1. I am a trance channel for a Seraphim Angel by the name of Saron. His purpose is to put people on or keep them on the pathway to ascension or enlightenment. I channel publicly weekly at the Ganesha Center in Las Vegas, NV. You can find my blog at:

    I love your blog!
    Thank you for doing what you do!



  1. Yes, Karma Can Be a Real Bitch When It Comes “Back Around” « Metta Refuge - 2010/05/03

    […] Karma—It’s Not Fate! […]

  2. Karma-no big deal, just the way things work « Metta Refuge - 2009/11/19

    […] Karma—It’s not fate! […]

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