Since the workings of Karma are dynamic,
so is your destiny dynamic.
In the Lonaphala Sutta (Salt Crystal Discourse), the Buddha explained why it is erroneously fatalistic to assume that one who creates certain karma (intentional action) will surely experience it in a mirrored as-it-is way. For example, ‘sowing’ a seed in wet cement will never not bear another similar seed, much less any fruit. Such a person would be unable to end suffering due to delusion. However, if one believes that whoever creates karma will only reap its appropriate experienceable results, liberation would be possible, due to being on the right track of understanding. For example, sowing a seed on fertile soil bears new fruits. It is thus important to know which deeds are crucial in furthering the spiritual path and which are worthless.
Thus, there are cases when a small evil deed results in a terrible rebirth for one, while the results of the same deed might be experienced in this life itself by another, and only for a short while. This is so when the first is undeveloped in body and mind (lacking mindfulness of both), unrealised in virtue (goodness) and wisdom (truth), making one self-limited and small-hearted, dwelling in suffering. The latter is however developed in the above, making one unrestricted and large-hearted, dwelling within the boundless states of loving-kindness, compassion, rejoice and/or equanimity. This is why the Buddha encouraged expanding one’s heart and mind with practice of these Four Immeasurables – because vast present goodness can limit past evils.
The Buddha next elaborates on the above. If a salt crystal is dropped into a little water in a cup, it would become unfit to drink. However, if it is dropped into a big river, its waters would not become unbearably salty due to its great mass. As such, the results of one’s deeds are ‘flavoured’ by one’s present state of mind. We choose whatever salty (negative) or sweet (positive) karma to drop and dilute in the dynamically changing river of life, while how deep and spiritually quenching it is depends on how well we develop ourselves in the wisdom of large-heartedness. As wholesome and unwholesome karma mix in this river we drink of, its ‘cocktails’ never taste like their individual ingredients alone!
Mindfulness of [Amitabha] Buddha averts a hellish rebirth
by diluting one’s heavy but limited negative karma
in his immeasurable ocean of merits, that he shares out of pure compassion.