When the Buddha talked about the process of being alive, he talked repeatedly about the nature of action and its results, called kamma. One of the implications of kamma is that actions undertaken with intention always carry an ethical charge: either the intent to help or bring about well-being, or the intent to cause harm. It’s the ethical aspect of our actions that determines their kammic direction, including our future lives. Because not every action has short-term results, they must bear fruit not only in our individual lives but potentially far into the future. Without this teaching, it’s very difficult to speak of the path from suffering to liberation, because so many of the actions of Dharma practice—generosity, learning to be kind, working with the afflictive emotions—take time to develop and bear fruit.
 
Sean Oakes, The Six Realms: Action and Identity in a Conscious World
Sean Oakes

Sean Oakes

Guest Teacher

Sean Oakes, PhD, teaches Buddhism and Yoga focusing on the integration of meditation, trauma resolution, and social justice. He received teaching authorization from Jack Kornfield, and wrote his dissertation on extraordinary meditative states. His current research explores identity, ancestry, and rebirth, and working with the body in contemplative inquiry.