Karma. Its common and most simplistic translation is "action." For me, if I were to leave it there, that would be a super shallow way of understanding karma's meaning and not do it justice. By way of experience karma is the actions we take based on personal choice. What I'm living through right now, is the result of an action I personally took, that is a result which can be traced back to a choice I've made.
And so my choices have the ability... the power to move me in a particular direction, but it could be negligent to point out that my choices, and actions have the ability to influence you. Put another way, our choices and actions are always meeting each other.
This is one reason mindfulness and understanding the fact that while I am what appears to be an individual wave on the ocean of existence, this wave known as Seiho is connected to every other wave riding on the same ocean of being... and that can be epically important to remember and reflect on. The principle of effort to respond with wisdom rather than react with simply being smart alone has served me well.
For me personally, when I'm making a "choice" or "decision," my tendency is to look around and see who it could effect. Sometimes I literally ask myself out loud, does this choice at a minimum have the benefit and intention of kindness... compassion... generosity... unity... friendliness for myself and others? Why? Because those are a part of my core values. If it doesn't I'll usually re-examine my options. As my mentors have encouraged me throughout my life, "Do your best to come up with a choice root in maturity rather than immaturity."
Based on that remembrance, I will tend to look for another choice if it doesn't strike me as wholesome. That can include the choice of doing nothing... which in Zen world counts as still doing something, because doing so has a result not just to myself but others.
SIDEBAR for those in Twelve Step Recovery and Familiar with Step 8... my sponsor has drilled into me... "Harm is not a result of thinks that are merely said and done. Harm can be caused by leaving things unsaid and undone." Welcome to clean up on aisle eight.
This is why having some level of awareness of "what is my True intention," has been important for me. I need to have clarity in what I'm intentionally choosing to do or not do, because as we say in Buddhism... Living in the Way of Universal Loving Presence... at the beginning, middle and end of the day... I'm the owner of my actions. Nothing is here by accident... it... whatever it is... is here... as the result of a choice... which means choice is a powerful super-power... because it can help and it can harm. May your choices be wise and filled with carefulness rather than carelessness.
We All Share the Same Sky
聞思修證 | Mōnshishū-shō | Study... Reflection... Practice... Awakening...
This expression was used by Zen Master Dogen Kigen to describe the nature of Zen training that encompasses... the conscious choice to intentionally study... the conscious and intentional choice towards reflection... to conscious and intentional choice practice... which results in Awakening... as a choice.