Your next few lives, from Zero to Eight

Every budding Buddhist’s question:
How does Karma pass on from one life to the next?
How does it work?
To understand Karma and Rebirth, we begin with the Right View.
To have the Right View means to understand Karma and Rebirth.
Zero: Right View
Wholesome begets wholesome.
Unwholesome begets unwholesome.
To understand what you are today, look at what you did yesterday.
To understand what you will become tomorrow, look at what you do today.
One: Right Thoughts
To think kindly of others, to show care and concern and love,
In future lives you will have a charismatic personality and a healthy mind free from mental illnesses.
To think unkindly of others, to harbour ill-will and curse others in your minds,
In future lives you will inexorably be of detestable personality or inherit a mind tending towards depression and agitation.
To be magnanimous in your thoughts, not to be attached to fame, gain or blame,
In future lives you will have a sharp mind and intellectual capability.
To be covetous and miserly, hankering after credit and fortune, plotting, calculating,
In future lives you will have a dull mind or be of inept abilities.
To be clear of one’s situations, mindful of reality, heedful of wise advice,
In future lives you will have discerning wisdom and intuitive knowledge.
To indulge in fantasies, mindlessly engagin in mental proliferation,
In future lives you will be aimless, clueless and feel meaninglessness.
Two: Right Speech
To value the truth and uphold it,
In future lives you will always hear the truth.
To value falsehood and be habituated to it,
In future lives you will be always lied to.
To value kind and gentle speech and uphold it,
In future lives your tongue will be eloquent and persuasive.
To indulge in harsh language and cruel words,
In future lives your tongue will be reviled and your speech will stutter.
To rally people with words of harmony and togetherness,
In future lives others will always rally under you.
To divide people with slanders and rumours,
In future lives people will plot to overthrow you.
To speak at the correct time, with the correct words,
People in future lives will always enjoy listening to you.
To chatter idly and talk nonsense all day long,
People in future lives will not bother and ears will turn from you.
Three: Right Actions
To respect life, to do kind and helpful deeds,
Your future bodies will be healthy and your lifespan long.
To take life wantonly and cause bodily harm,
Your future body will be ugly, diseased and your life cut short by calamity.
To respect the possessions of others, to donate generously with deeds of charity,
You will receive riches and rewards in return in future lives.
To hoard and steal and pocket without being given,
You will be poor and what little you have taken from you.
To respect chastity and practice sexual contentment,
Your future family will be complete and happy.
To rape and betray,
Future passions will be spurned, relationships unfulfilled and tumultous.
Four: Right Livelihood
To work in upright labour, careers contributing to the Welfare of the greater Society,
You will be born as a scion to a wealthy household or a crown prince to a mighty throne.
To be a burden on Society, feeding off it, in butchery, slave-, arms-, poisons-, or intoxicants-trade,
You will be born in the gutters, your fate to beg for the mercy of others.
Five: Right Effort
To strive to dispell anger, greed and delusion that has arisen,
In future lives, the mind will easily reduce doubt, agitation and cloudiness.
To strive to prevent anger, greed and delusion from arising,
In future lives, the mind will easily reject doubt, agitation and cloudiness.
To sustain kindness, generousity and wisdom that has already arisen,
In future lives, the mind will easily maintain confidence, peace and focus.
To arise kindness, generosity and wisdom,
In future lives, the mind will easily regain confidence, peace and focus.
Six: Right Mindfulness
To be aware of the body, the warmth, the solid, the liquid, the gaseous, the rising and falling,
To be aware of feelings, hot and cold, hard and soft, cohesive and dispersive, expansion and contraction, pleasant, unpleasant and neutral,
To be aware of the mind, contact of six sense bases with the six sense objects, giving rise to six consciousnesses,
To be aware of mental objects, perceptions, pleasant, unpleasant and neutral, impulses, wholesome, unwholesome and neutral,
In one’s next life, one has heightened awareness and is drawn to spiritual progress.
Seven: Right Concentration
To enter into absortion, of joy, applied thought, sustained thought, bliss and one-pointedness,
To shake off the hindrances of doubt, ill will, restlessness, torpor and desires,
In one’s next life, one will enter into absorption easily.
And Eight? Right View!
One is convinced of the shadows of deeds, good and bad.
One however does not rely on the shadows of deeds, good and bad.
Fruits ripen without warning, not of reliable control, not at your time of choosing.
And so:
Only that all conditioned phenomena are Impermanent,
Being attached causes Suffering.
If “I” am shifting, impermanent, insubstantial,
What is there to attach to?
Indeed, whose Karma is it that is following “nobody”?
And so there is No I, No Me, No My, No-self.
From Right View springs the Path, at Right View, the Path is accomplished.
Accomplish? Who accomplished? What accomplished?
When “I” relinquish all good karma “I” have gained.
When “I” put down the bad karma “I” have owed.
Without a me, a my, a self, one renounces the world to attain Stream-Entry, Once-Returning, Non-Returning, Worthiness.
Attain? Renounce?
Without a me, a my, a self, one re-immerses the world to relinquish attainments, Non-attain Nothing, Non-awaken into Being.
Relinquish? Non-attain? Non-awaken?
The Eight Spokes return to a Single Wheel.
Where does the Wheel return to?

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