How do we transform our negative actions into positive actions that benefit others?

A student writes:

In your recent teaching on the Seven Branches of Prayer you say that our negative deeds and the harm they have done and will do, can be transformed into positive connections and means to benefit others.

I understand that it’s connected to the ego mandala and it includes letting go of the negative deeds, but don’t understand how this can become a positive action which will be of benefit to others?

Lama Shenpen responds:

The answer relates to mandala principle and to our personal mandala and how it interpenetrates with everyone else’s personal mandala.

We are uniquely connected to all other beings in the same kind of way that every point in space is uniquely connected to all other points in space. If we damage our connection with others through our unskilful actions their mandala registers that. When we repent those actions and replace the harm we have done with a strong wish (pranidhana) to make up for that in future, we have actually changed the shape of the universe.

When those recipients of our actions encounter us in the future there will be a positive connection due to our repentance and pranidhanas – instead of their reacting negatively to us and thus in danger of increasing their bad karma, they will be pleased with us and we will both make good karma because of our good connection.

So although in this life our actions harmed them, as a result of our repentance and good wishes (pranidhana) they will actually benefit from the connection in the future.

Thank you for your very interesting question.

Lama Shenpen Hookham

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