The Buddha did not teach fatalism – the idea that our experiences are inevitable and fixed, that we will have to undergo helplessly certain pains or pleasures. And, on the other hand, he did not describe the universe as uncaused or accidental. Instead he explained how phenomena arise and last only as long as their supporting conditions are present.
We make choices and commit actions that provide the conditions for later happiness or misery. Although we habitually or even automatically give way to craving and other unwholesome tendencies and consequently experience suffering, we don’t have to.
Even within the round of birth and death, right within this very life, we can reduce suffering and gain increase peace of mind and happiness by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
– Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, Night and Morning with Bhikkhu Tissa