A. It can be seen in both ways; the point of view of the realm of forms and that of Emptiness, the true-Self.
From the viewpoint of the realm of forms, karma is the law of cause and effect. Your question is like asking, “Does my today’s life govern my tomorrow’s life?”. Taking your today’s life into account, what you are today is the karma of how you lived yesterday. Compared with what you were yesterday, you today are not what you were yesterday but the result of rebirth. In the same way, how you live today will be the karma of what your life will be like tomorrow. If you, for example, go to bed without dinner, you will be reborn as a hungry person tomorrow. What is certain is that how you live now will govern what your life will be like in the future, which shows that karma governs our rebirth.
However, from the viewpoint of Emptiness, everything is empty. There is nothing that is not empty. Then, not only karma but also rebirth is empty. Once you have realised that everything is empty, even when faced with an unfavourable result of karma, you, not caring about it, are untroubled by it because you are aware that it is empty. That is said to be escaping or being freed from karma.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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