How does karma truly work? I believe in karma but did not believe that we carry it from lifetime to lifetime. I practiced Nichiren Buddhism through Soka Gakkai for a short time. I found that chanting is the only meditation that works for me as far as focus and concentration. I loved the people and their kindness and positivity drew me in. There didnt appear to be much in the way of teaching Buddhism, but chanting was viewed as the answer to everything. Not much was spoken about the wisdom and enlightment of the Buddha, it was chanting and then testimonials of the members. One day, i was talking with another member about a mass shooting that had just occurred in Orlando. She indicated that the shooting victims must have done something to the shooter in a former life. That concerned me a great deal, because it seemed like she was saying that these people somehow karmically deserved what happened to them. It felt like the blame was being shifted from the perpetrator onto the victims. I am sure that my limited understanding is to blame for this misunderstanding. This is important to me as I have experienced trauma off and on throughout my life at the hands of other people, and know several others who have as well. This member never spoke to me again after that. I went to a monastery to tour it and more importantly, ask questions. The monastery was beautiful and a completely different experience than I had with SGI. Yes, meditation is important, but I needed to understand the wisdom and philosophy behind it or I dont feel as if I am truly practicing Buddhism. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the culture and although the people were friendly, I felt like my questions were discouraged. They encouraged me to take a class which they offer there, but I didnt feel like I could ask the questions I wanted to ask in a classroom setting. I meant no disrespect. I was asking with a goal of understanding, not criticizing. Can anyone explain the law of karma to me? Also, can one practice Buddhism and still believe in a deity?