Karma can be looked at from several different perspectives.
Simply, it can be said to refer to habitual patterns of the mind. We engage and strengthen some patterns, and don’t engage with and thus weaken other patterns. Through this, we create the conditions of our own experience – in the current and future nows.
From a slightly wider perspective, we can say that when we operate from a dualistic view – when we see one end of the polarity and not the other – then we create consequences for ourselves that allows us to see the other end of the polarity, and invites us into a more transdual view.
And it also seems that even when awareness awakens to its own nature, there is still karma. There are still some patterns of the small self that are strengthened, and other patterns that are weakened. But since we are now functioning in a more transdual way, we can see and embrace both ends of each polarity – we are not bound by exclusive attachment to one or the other. So this karma just comes up as fluid expressions of Existence, not as separate from us or as a “problem”.
I see other people as noisy and insensitive in their behavior, but do not notice how noisy and insensitive my thinking is in this situation. As long as I am stuck in seeing these qualities only in the outer world, I will continue to be caught up in situations that trigger these patterns and I will continue to be caught up in this particular suffering. This is a personal suffering.
I see muself as separate from the wider world – the larger social and ecological whole – and act in ways that seem beneficial to myself while ignoring the consequences for the larger whole. But I am an intrinsic part of this larger whole, so whatever influences this larger whole comes back to influence me. By seeing a separation between myself and the larger whole, and acting from this view of separation, I harm that which supports my own life. As long as I am stuck in this view of separation, I suffer twice. Directly from the sense of lack of connection, and indirectly from the harm I inflict on the larger whole which comes back to myself in various ways. Today, this takes the form of a collective suffering – although of course experienced and created by each one of us.
I see the body and mind as separate, and act from that view of separation. This creates disease or at least dis-ease, until I see and experience the larger body/mind whole.
I see the Buddha Mind as separate from this mind. Again, this creates dis-ease until I realize there is no separation; until I experience and familiarize myself with them as one and the same.
Any time we have the view of separation, we create a dis-ease for ourselves which persist until we realize there is no separation.
There are clear distinctions and ability to act in the world on these distinctions, but no experience of absolute separation.