I wanted to get everyone's opinion on Karma. For some time now, I've heard people in many different traditions speak about karma, but what does it really mean? Some have said that karma is your past life deeds catching up with you, while others have said that if you consciously commit wrongs in this life without attempting to better yourself, then you'll need to answer for the karma in the here and now. I bring this up because I've heard some people (Buddhists and Non-Buddhist alike) speak about the tragedies that we all have witnessed in the last few years. We have leaders from Christian views that believe these horrible global disasters are a pack with the devil, or that September 11 was a punishment by God for people being homosexual. From the Buddhist thought, some have said that these tragedies are because of some collective karma by everyone impacted by these disasters. For example, the earthquake in Haiti happened because the populous had negative karma as a whole, so the disaster was a way of "punishing" (lack of a better word) those misdeeds. I don't really believe this to be the case, but I really wanted to get more of an explanation on karma and what everyone in the sangha believes. I for one think that karma is real, but only impacts your current life. If you do bad now, bad things will happen to you now. However, if past lives do exist, then I would have to still believe that karma only impacts our lives now. If my life is being impacted by my past life karma now, then am I not a slave to karma? I believe that if past lives do exists and we are on this earth again because of our choices in a former life, then wouldn't that be like getting a second (third, fourth, etc.) chance to do right in this life? Thank you everyone, and I look forward to reading your replies.