Karma, Cause and Effect
Our birth was not merely the fruition of negative karma, but also the realization of the eighteen qualities with which we are now endowed.
Just being able to read and understand these profound instructions is the fruition of the virtuous karma we have accumulated—which can therefore be taken further.
This virtuous karma also affects the entire environment: a single positive thought can arise as peace in the environment; a single compassionate thought dedicated to sentient beings can arise in innumerable ways as the cause of happiness for limitless beings.
Just as the power of negative karma can create unhappiness, the power of virtuous karma can create happy circumstances for sentient beings. We need to understand this.
The distance between this moment—sitting with the assuredness of a meditator reflecting on these sufferings [of the three lower realms]—and actually experiencing the suffering of the lower realms is the distance of a single breath.
Between inhaling and exhaling, your breath could be disrupted or lose its life force and death would occur.
Your accumulated karma could then lead to such experiences—believe it or not, it’s absolutely possible.
Reflect therefore on the ground of your experience and really strengthen that ground with awareness.
Exert effort to overcome any little problems or obstacles and to transcend any fears or confusion.
At this moment, you have the possibility of purifying the ground of negative karma. It’s essential to go in that direction.
Source: Rinpoche, Khandro. This Precious Life. Shambhala. Kindle Edition.