When someone says “sour,” it may remind us of biting into a lime. Just hearing the word sour, our face makes an expression as if we were eating a lime or lemon right now. Habit is formed out of memory, from that point of view. We often shape our present situation according to those habitual memories. Instead of starting fresh, we go back to what we’ve done in the past. That is easier for us than fighting our way through foreign territory. Habitual patterns develop in that way.
Condensed from "Karma and Rebirth," Talk Six of The Tibetan Buddhist Path, a seminar at Naropa University, Summer 1974. Edited from the raw transcript. DVDs of this seminar are available here. To see this and other talks in the series, go here.