Eightfold Noble Path–Karma as a Moral Order

Topics Include: 1) The relevance of the concept of karma to the Four Noble Truths. 2) The reason for right action or abstaining from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct in terms of the karmic consequence of these actions. 3) Understanding the world view out of which the idea of karma emanates and its importance in defining the Dharma. 4) Bhikkhu Bodhi and the definition of non-killing and the degree of karmic consequence. 5) How life and death is part of our lives and no one is free from death or killing. The notion of a moral karmic ledger for individuals and an interconnected karmic network for how we affect others and they affect us. 6) Understanding our physical biological selves as a process of birth and death: the definition of metabolism. 7) The historic roots of the law of karma in Indian Vedic culture and the central principle of ahimsa: do no harm. Understanding the law of karma as a system based on the reverence for life: the essence of the law of nature. 8) The primacy of the individual and the primacy of the group: the idea of self and non-self. 9) Four fundamental characteristics of this moral order: Justice, Compassion, Impermanence, and Agency. 10) Justice: No deed, good or bad is unnacounted for. It is a system of merits and demerits based on our actions. 11) Compassion: A system that takes into consideration our intentions, even for unskillful actions. 12) Impermanence: It acknowledges the passage of things. All things, including ourselves, arise and pass away. Coming to an understanding of death in our lives. 13) Agency: We create and are responsible for how our lives unfold. There is no one or thing outside of ourselves who is responsible for our suffering or our happiness. 14) The Dharma is a moral and ethical code for understanding our life and actions. It is not a religious system based on beliefs and obedience to an external authority of any kind. 15) Understanding our existence in the karmic moral order as the foundation for the meaning of love and compassion…the ultimate expression of our interconnectedness. 16) Drawing on the power of the Dharma to empower our lives.
March 13, 2021
60 min.

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