From the point of view of those who understand the workings of karma, everything that happens to you — the stuff you like as well as the stuff you hate — is the inevitable result of your own actions, maybe in this life, maybe in previous lives. But the point of seeing that isn’t to try to figure out if your eczema is payback for that slave you mistreated back when you were Cleopatra (even if that is indeed the reason). The point is rather that, understanding this to be the case, you learn to cultivate the compassionate mind states that lead toward happiness starting right now.

— Venerable Thubten Chodron

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