Traleg Kyabgon gives clear commentary on how our mental conduct has implications on how we act in the world.
Sometimes a negative emotion is present, a strong intention to do harm is present, and we might even have prepared to undertake the action, but if we do not carry out that act, it will not be a fully karmic act, and will not produce complete negative karmic fruition. In other words, we create negative karma through coordinating body, speech and mind. We need 1) the object of an action to be present, 2) a negative state of mind, 3) the motivation, preparedness or strong intention to do harm, and 4) we have to perform the harmful action. When all four things come together, we create negative karma through body, speech, and mind. Letter to a Friend explores coordinating body, speech, and mind in such a way that produces positive karma and good outcomes. The Buddhist approach to ethical values is not so much moralistic. Our moral and ethical values are part of a moral psychology, what is happening in the mind and what type of attitudes and actions does this activity produce. Our personal psychology is seen as part of our aspirations and orientation. It is not just about conduct.