Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
Buddhism teaches that everything in the universe embodies the law of cause and effect.
Modern science, of course, uses a similar framework to account for those things that can be seen or measured, but causality in Buddhism also embraces the unseen or spiritual aspects of life, such as the sensation or experience of happiness or misery, kindness or cruelty.
The accumulation of causes made in our past and present is often referred to as "karma," which can also be seen as the patterns of behavior we tend to repeat, the ways we habitually react to certain situations in our lives. However, this is not a doctrine of passive acceptance or resignation that "what will be will be."
The purpose of Buddhist practice is to transform our basic life tendency or karma by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, in order to realize our total human potential in this lifetime and beyond. When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we tap into the deepest level of consciousness, the pure Buddha nature that is free from all karmic impediments, and thus we are empowered to face our destiny and change it.
We create our own present and future by the choices we make in each moment. Understood in this light, the law of cause and effect empowers us, as our every action can serve as a cause that will contribute to creating a better world, both for ourselves and for all around us.