Karma is indeed a big question – it involves the whole Buddhist cosmological view quite foreign to a modern western way of thinking about life. The world of our experience internally and externally is a reflection of our own past wishes, intentions and deeds of body, speech and mind. To that extent you could say we are choosing our future all the time… Continue reading How does Karma relate to what is happening in the world at the moment?
It would seem that we are doomed to fall further and further into a vicious circle of increasingly intense involvement in negative actions and results. This is true except for the fact that we have the power to uproot negative tendencies and we need to train in exercising that power. Continue reading Article: How can a change of heart change our world?
There are three ordinary ideas that we have that make karma seem particularly strange but which are ultimately called into question in Buddhism. The first is that people are very separate from the material world; the second is that the present and the future are very separate; the third is that different beings and different locations in space are very separate. Continue reading Three Ordinary Ideas Called into Question by Karma in Buddhism
In the video below Lama Shenpen introduces the story of Karma Thinley Rinpoche and the Snake, and describes how she likes to leave some of the stories in her book open ended, in order to ask the reader, what would you have done? What spiritual teaching would you have received if you were in Lama’s place? What have you taken away from the story? Read the full excerpt below: Continue reading Excerpt from Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories – Karma Thinley Rinpoche & the Snake – what would you have done?
You are right that we have to strive for the good and reject the bad. The question here is what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. It means we have to give up the mind that gets attached to what it perceives as good and that reacts against what it perceives as bad. From the point of view of that kind of reactive mind, it has to learn to just relax and let whatever happens happen… Continue reading Why does it sometimes say in Buddhist teachings to give up both ‘the good and the bad’. Surely we should strive for the good and reject the bad?
Many Western Buddhists struggle with this. It is not so much that we have to believe in life after death as to give up our belief that life ends at death. Instead, we need to be honest about the fact we are unsure what life means anyway and that is what we are looking to Dharma fo Continue reading Do you struggle with believing in rebirth and karma?
This power of making pranidhanas – the power of our intention and our resolve, is important for us to understand right from the start of the path because it’s is the same power we use when we decide we are going to do anything at all, such as meditate every day, or follow the path to Awakening. This power of our resolve is a power inherent to our awareness and something we have immediate access to. Continue reading Introducing the Power of Pranidhanas – the power of our wishes and intentions
It is not that some people are good and have only good karma and some are bad and have only bad karma – this life’s circumstances are not the sum total of our past karma but a random ripening of certain things… Continue reading Student’s Question – Understanding Karma, it’s not about crime and punishment
The continuity in essence is in the openness, clarity and sensitivity of our being – and that is not in time or in space. It is continuity because it doesn’t change. This is a very deep point to ponder on. How is there continuity between a person in one life and their rebirth in a future birth? That is a question about how we can appear to manifest in a world in time and space even though in essence we are not limited to time and space. This is a very deep question. Continue reading A Student Asks: What is it that continues after death? What is that continuity that passes from life to life and how does it do that?
Lama Shenpen answers a student’s questions following the recent allegations of sexual misconduct by Buddhist teachers in the Shambhala community. A Student writes: How can we hold on to the precious teachings of the Guru despite his behavior which appears to contradict some of the teachings especially around ethics? Lama Shenpen: It is good to always remember that all of us, whether Guru or not, … Continue reading When the Guru Misbehaves