Through our desire and fear the world becomes populated with phantoms of our anxieties. To the extent that this description remains only conceptual it is open to argument and debate and many scholarly interpretations. However, what interests me is a gradual transformation of my own perceptions as I realize the truth of such descriptions from my own practice.
Every instant is an opportunity to notice another form of perceptual transformation. Meditation helps hone attention and loving kindness. But these capacities must be brought onto the path we make every day through our actions. Every moment is a moment of choice, once we begin to shed the skin of habit based on preference and placing the ego at the center of everything. A process that keeps going...
Through practice one begins to be able to observe one's own choices and their consequences. One can start to follow the momentum set in motion by such choices.
This is a description of what Buddhist's mean by karma. It important to observe the influence of cause and effect (choice) is its complexity at the three levels of action: body, speech, and mind. Of course, you cannot trace this back to a first cause. But you can start to see how patterns emerge, become fixated, and how they can transform too.
To do this one must open a window into one's own psychic reality, to turn the spotlight of attention away from the myriad distractions of the outer world and start to observe what this mind is doing right here and right now.
Buddhism and psychoanalytic practice share three aims. They each help a person to (1) register experience (2) reflect upon it and (3) reply to it. Over time, this kind of practice opens an "internal work space".