Karma is basically habit. It’s the momentum of repeated actions that become habitual. It’s in our best interest to develop as many positive habits as we can. In the Mahanama Sutta, the Buddha said, “Just as oil rises to the top of a pot submerged in water, your virtue, your goodness, your faith, or generosity will rise to the top, and that is what will carry you to your next destination.”
Try to get to the point where your emotional default is into bodhichitta. In other words, what is your automatic reflex to life situations, especially difficult ones? Do you think about yourself, and how you might profit or escape from a situation? Or do you think about others, and how you can help? Progress on the path, and a sign that you’re well prepared for death, is when the former changes into the latter, when you default not into selfishness but into selflessness. If you’re uncertain about what to do in a situation, just open your heart and love. This is training in bodhichitta.
From Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition by Andrew Holecek, page 16