Karma is one of the most known concepts of Buddhism. At the same time, it is also one of the least understood. You may hear speaking about having a good or a bad karma without really knowing what it is about.
What is karma then?
Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning “act” or “action”. According to Buddhism, karma is a cause-and-effect law: to each action corresponds a reaction. For Buddhists karma is part of the natural forces of the universe, such as the gravity force, for instance. According to the principle of karma, all our actions, thoughts and intentions create energy: they are causes that have consequences. If we let go positive energy, we will receive positive energy. At the same way, if you send negative energy to the world, you may get problems and difficulties. Karma is simply an echo of what we do, say and think.
This does not mean that karma takes revenge! Karma does not take revenge when we emit negative waves. However, this is the general Western understanding of karma. We think that it is a kind of punishment from the universe for our bad deeds of the past. But karma does not work that way, it is neither a revenge nor a justice. Karma is reflected energy.
How to live according to karma.
To create a good karma, you have to send positive vibrations to the world. This does not necessarily mean that you have to donate all you savings to an NGO or quit your job to work as a volunteer. It is the small gesture of daily generosity that count, such us giving up your seat on the bus, inviting that friend you have not seen for a while to drink something, or helping a colleague in difficulty.
Do not forget to express gratitude when others take care of you. What matters is to act selflessly, not to expect anything in return. Simply appreciate doing a good deed without a hidden agenda, even if you just keep the door open for your neighbour.