See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

Understanding Karma

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

Understanding Karma

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey friends, welcome

to your Daily Mindful.

You know, few concepts are as

misunderstood as the concept of karma.

It's often perceived as this

kind of reward and punishment

system that's, you know, woven

into the fabric of the universe.

So people might assume that the more

good deeds they do, the more there'll

be rewarded with good fortune.

Some people might witness somebody

going through something painful

and say, it's just their karma.

They must've created this situation.

It's their fate.

So, you know, there's often this

feeling that the universe is judging,

condemning or elevating us for good

or bad deeds, but that's not quite it.

The word karma means action.

So it's a core concept in both Hinduism

and Buddhism that invites us to recognize

that all of our actions produce effects.

Now the understanding of karma

really helps us to become aware

that every the choice we make has

an effect, it leads to an outcome.

So when we dwell on a thought,

play out an emotion, indulge in a

desire, or take a particular action.

It has a ripple effect.

We set in motion a cause that will have

an effect in our lives and in the lives of

those around us and in some way our every

action ripples out and touches everything.

So in his book, The Wise Heart: A Guide

to the Teachings of Buddhist Psychology,

Jack Kornfield writes this, "A good

way to begin to understand karma is

by observing our own habit patterns."

So when we look at habit and

conditioning, we see and sense

how our brain and consciousness

create these repeating patterns.

If we practice tennis enough, we'll

eventually be able to anticipate

our next hit as soon as the ball

leaves the other players racket.

If we practice being angry all

the time, eventually the slightest

insult will trigger our rage.

These patterns are like a rewriteable CD.

And when they're burned in repeatedly,

the pattern becomes our regular response.

So, you know, modern neuroscience has

demonstrated this quite convincingly

that our repeated patterns of

thought and action actually change

our nervous system and our brain.

Now in the Buddhist teachings on

karma, the intention behind our

actions is of the utmost importance.

Actions taken with virtuous

intentions grow the seeds of

happiness and love in our lives.

Whereas actions that come from

intentions to harm or from greed or

hatred or selfishness will likely

move us and others towards suffering.

And again, all of our actions, whether

the virtuous or not, will ripple

out and affect everything around us.

So mindfulness enables us to choose

our intentions and our actions really

wisely and the inspirational message

of the teachings on karma is that

we're all connected, that our actions

and choices are a powerful force,

not only shaping our own lives, but

also helping to shape life itself.

All of our actions matter.

And the invitation of this teaching

is for us to take responsibility

for our actions and the quality of

our lives, to be custodians of our

bodies, our minds, and the planet,

and to keep choosing to follow a path

that can lead to kindness, connection

and genuine happiness and freedom.

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.