The creation of happiness

Lama Surya Das wrote, “If you genuinely repent, atone for, and renounce your negative actions—whether they were committed in the remote or recent past—you do not have to bear the whole karmic load. Moreover, if you vow not to do execrable deeds again, you have transformed bad karma into sterling karma and have begun to fulfill the Buddha’s deathbed injunction to his followers: “Work out your own salvation with diligence.”

Lama Surya Das reminds us in this paragraph that the cause of our suffering is not really outside of ourselves. The origin of our suffering is within us and it is within our power to eliminate. We can end our own suffering and create our own happiness.  

Karma is the result of our action. It is absolutely fair and balanced. Karma is created by intentional or volitional action; vipaka is the fruit or result of that action, and every action bears fruit – positive or negative accordingly. The kleshas, or poisons, pollute our lives with greed, hate, delusion, conceit, wrong views, doubt, and generate negative karma even if we don’t see ourselves acting on them. When we become greedy and lust after people or things our motives change. We begin to behave or speak in ways that are directed toward getting what we are thinking about, as if we were always leaning toward that person or thing. We fantasize about what life would be like if we got what we wanted rather than living in the life we have moment to moment. We begin to be dissatisfied with our real life, hating the way it is and longing for the times when we can go back to the fantasy… which can lead to restlessness and then to recklessness and then to shamelessness in our efforts to get what we want.

Recognizing the pull of greed, hatred and delusion is an awakening! When we do, and can tear ourselves away from them, we can build a life based on generosity, love and reality. The karma that we generate from these is as powerful in it’s goodness and brilliance as the darkness created by the kleshas


The three primary Kleshas, or poisons, are greed, hatred and delusion. In meditation, open your mind to see these as they arise in your mind and heart. Observe what happens when they arise. Be aware of the affect the Kleshas have on you. Just that. Just be aware.

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