Cause and Effect

Buddhism teaches that everything in the universe embodies the law of cause and effect. Modern science uses a similar framework to account for things that can be seen or measured, but causality in Buddhism also includes the unseen or spiritual aspects of life, such as the 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. Rather, it acknowledges that 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 each of our actions can serve as a cause that will contribute to creating a better world, both for ourselves and for everyone around us.