Friday, November 23, 2007

The Different Types of Karma

Among the different types of karma, we can further distinguish propelling karma and completing karma.
Propelling karma, as its name suggests, propels one into a state of existence, whatever that may be.
Completing karma determines the specific circumstances within that state of existence; it fills in the basic outline produced by the propelling karma.
These two types of karma can combine so that
" ... if the karma propelling a certain mode of existence were positive and the completing karma that fills in the particulars were negative, we may take birth in a higher state of consciousness, but we would experience unpleasant conditions in that lifetime. For example, although we might take birth as a human, we would be poor.
Conversely, a negative propelling karma associated with a positive completing karma would cause us to take birth in a lower-realm existence in which we would enjoy good circumstances. For example, we might be born in the West as a domestic animal that had very privileged living conditions."
Khyabje Kalu Rinpoche (d.1989) discussed two forms of karma in Luminous Mind, (Wisdom Publications:)

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