Buddha Weekly: Buddhist Practices, Mindfulness, Meditation

Advice from the Teachers: How do we purify negative karma? Do you have advice for people confused by karma?

In the first of a new video series, Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche answers a question from a student about Karma:

Do you have any advice for people who are confused about karma? How do we purify negative karma?

 

Transcript of Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinoche’s answer on the question of Karma.

Okay, question about Karma. It’s a very good question. The word Karma you can find in the dictionary, online, Wikipedia and so forth. A lot of people in the west use the word Karma now.

Many years ago I was travelling in Alaska, between Anchorage and Fairbanks, we gave a ride for a young hitch hiker. We didn’t say anything about Buddhism. He doesn’t know I am a Lama, because I wasn’t wearing Lama dress or outfit. When he got out of the car, he said, “Thank you very much. Good Karma for you.”

Not Just Body Karma, What You Think Creates Karma

So, I thought, wow, this man knows about Karma. He somehow assumed that we know about Karma. So many people use the word Karma. I think understanding Karma is important, because Karma actually means “action”: action of the body, action of the mind, cause and effect. We call it Law of Cause and Effect. Whatever we do with our bodies. And whatever we think about in our mind, how we perceive, how we judge, how we interpret things — that has effect in our mind, and effect on our daily life. That’s why we call it Cause and Effect.

There is positive Karma and negative Karma. If you create positive Karma then virtues and good things will happen to us. If we keep creating negative karma, then suffering will come, sooner or later to us. So, in some ways, Karma is not that hard to understand. In some ways it is very difficult to understand.

Karma is Not About Punishment

In the West, sometimes people misinterpret the word Karma. People say, “Well, that’s your Karma.” Then, people think, “This is your fault!” or “You deserve it” and you are being punished — kind of like that. You don’t have to be punished. You don’t have to suffer all the time. Before Karma “Arrives” you can purify “Karma.” I’m not saying all the Karmas of the past. We don’t know how many Karmas we created in the past. Sometimes you may have more Karmas than you thought. Sometimes you think you have less (than you do). We don’t know.

Only way to find out — you look at your mind. If your mind is clear and good, then that means your mind didn’t create so many bad Karmas in a past life. If you look at your body, your health, and your life — if you have a good life, good health — that means you haven’t created too many bad Karmas, physically, in the past lives.

Karma Can Take Years to Ripen

Of course, some things we cannot judge. Some Karmas cannot be interpreted. We don’t know. It takes a number of years, many years, and many lifetimes to process the Karma, Cause and Effect, and to experience the result of Karma. We don’t know, it may take many lifetimes.

In any case, even if you have a Karma that will ripen in the future — maybe one life, two lives down the road — you can purify it now.

 

Vajrasattva visualization, and mantra, including the practice of the four opponent powers, can purify negative Karmas. Related story on Purification of Karmas>>

 

You Can Purify Bad Karmas Now

This is why we do purifications such as Vajrasattva practice, and meditation on loving kindness, and do meritorious actions: practice generosity, giving food and medicines, give Dharma teachings for other people. You can always create Good Karma to purify unwholesome Karma of the past.

I want to say a few words about Karma. There’s another word, you could say, “Instant Karma.” Some Karmas are not really instant. [If they are] you can see, right away, the result of Karma.

The Hitch Hiiker Karma Test

If somebody says “How do I know that Karma works? Just go down to the highway and hitch hike. Then you’ll find out your Karma. That’s quick Karma. Almost like “Instant Karma.” Or, if you’re driving carelessly, going through a red light or whatever, you could have accident, or at least you get booked, get a ticket. (Snaps finger). Those are almost “Instant Karma.”  You can see the results right away! So, therefore, sometimes Karma is not that difficult to understand how it works.

In Part 2 of this Series, a student asks Rinpoche “What advice would you g for a student who is dealing with the loss of a loved one?”

This is the first in the new Buddha Weekly video series:

Advice from the Teachers; Questions from the students.

Each five minute video will take a question from a student — including you, if you send us your questions (here>>) — and ask an authorized teacher for a short answer (five to ten minutes) video recorded.

PREVIOUS BUDDHA WEEKLY ADVICE FROM THE TEACHERS VIDEOS:

Video 1: Advice for Students on Karma>>

Video 2: Advice for Students dealing with loss of a loved one>>

Video 3: Advice for Students coping with memory loss, Alzheimers or early dementia>>

Video 4: Advice for Students coping with the loss of a beloved pet>>

Video 5: Advice for Students coping with aggressive illnesses such as cancer, looking for supportive practices>>

Video 6: Advice for the New Student to Buddhism>>

Video 7: Advice for Keeping Motivated in Your Daily Practice>>

Video 8: Purifying Negative Karma>>

Video 9: Advice for Advanced Vajrayana Students on Managing Commitments>>

TEACHING SCHEDULE OF ZASEP TULKU RINPOCHE

Mongolia

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche just returned from a visit to Mongolia, where he was welcomed at the Ulaan Baatar School for the Disabled. He is spiritual director of Gaden Relief, who donated new kitchen equipment for the school. Rinpoche visits Mongolia for both teachings and relief efforts each year.

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche on a previous trip to Mongolia (2016). He is currently teaching in Mongolia 2017, then on to Zuru Ling, Vancouver BC (April 2017) and Gaden Choling Toronto (May 2017).

Zasep Rinpoche is currently in Mongolia on an extended round of teachings

Vancouver, Canada

Rinpoche will be teaching at Zuru Ling, Vancouver in April: “Zuru Ling is extremely pleased to announce that our precious teacher Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche will be teaching in Vancouver in April 2017:

  • How to do personal retreat, setting up an altar and torma making. Wednesday April 26th, 2017 starting at 7 til 9 pm.
  • Green Tara Initiation – Friday 28th April starting at 7 til 9 pm.
  • Black Manjushri Initiation – Saturday 29th April 2 til 4 pm.
  • Teaching on healing and protection of the Black Manjushri practise – Sunday 30th April starting 10 am til 4 pm.
  • Information: Zuru Ling website>>

Teaching Schedule of Zasep Tulku Rinpoche for spring 2017 at Gaden Choling Toronto, Canada.

Toronto, Canada

Rinpoche will be at Gaden Choling in Toronto, Canada in May for two weeks.

  • Mahamudra teachings: Saturday, May 20th, 10am to 5pm
  • Lama Chopa Guru Yoga: Sunday May 21st, 10am to 5pm
  • Hayagriva Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation: Thursday, May 25th, 7pm to 9pm
  • Green Tara: Friday, May 26th, 7pm to 9pm
  • Black Manjushri Initiation: Saturday May 27th 2-5pm
  • Black Manjushri Practice and Commentary (requires initiation) Sunday May 28th, 10am-5pm
  • Information to be posted soon at Gaden Choling website>>

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2 Comments

  1. Hilary Shearman on January 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you very much for making these teachings available online in this way. I greatly appreciate them
    Could I ask, when choosing the music for the introduction, what was the general concept?
    It doesn’t bear any resemblance to Tibetan music, rather more Chinese style.
    I hope you don’t mind me pointing that out.

    • Derek Derek on January 4, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. We are using stock music library, nothing really Tibetan in the service we use. We’ll keep an eye out for a source in future. Thanks again.

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