In this series, Karma, you will be listening to lightly edited audio teachings by Gelek Rimpoche given between January and March, 1994 at the Jewel Heart Center in Ann Arbor.
Descriptions of the fourteen sessions are listed below –
Understanding the karmic system is essential to Buddhist study and practice. Karma is the root of all happiness and joy, and the root of all difficulties. In this session, Gelek Rimpoche discusses karma as the effects created by our actions and our speech.
Two characteristics of karma are that it is definite and whatever karma we create, we will meet with its results. Our actions and our deeds are our own responsibility. In this session, Rimpoche also introduces that negative karma can be purified, and positive karma is subject to destruction, particularly by anger.
The four main aspects of karma are: karma is definite, karma is fast-growing, one will experience the results of karma if one has created the cause – negative or positive, and one will not experience karmic results if one has not created the cause. In this session, Gelek Rimpoche discusses karma as fast growing. He also says that karmic causes and effects move more quickly in contemporary times than in the past.
Speaking within the concept of reincarnation, our karma does not end at our death. It continues into our future lives. Therefore, it is imperative to develop clear awareness of our actions now. Gelek Rimpoche emphasizes that the effect of one seemingly tiniest action can create a strong result. Whether through our profession or casual activities, we need to always be aware of what we are doing.
In this session Gelek Rimpoche focuses on when we will experience a karmic result. He says that we will, without a doubt, experience the positive or negative effects of our actions, while we will not, experience a karmic result if we have not created its cause.
Karma is deeply connected with the mind, so watching the mind and training the mind is extremely important in how karma is created. Gelek Rimpoche tells us it is important to protect our mind. With every thought we act on, karma begins to function, and the result will be experienced. Positive karma is what gives us a positive life. Rimpoche also points out that karma depends on proper conditions to come to fruition.
According to Buddha, suffering arises from non-virtuous actions, and happiness arises from virtuous actions. Our lives are truly our own responsibility. How do we embrace this power and shape a peaceful experience? In this session, Gelek Rimpoche emphasizes that we bring an understanding of the karmic principles into our awareness with self-responsibility. This awareness demands effort and a positive motivation.
In this session, Gelek Rimpoche expands our understanding of karma and presents a path to develop positive karma. When we bring positive motivation, great compassion and the influence of wisdom into our awareness, then we bring the Three Principles of the Path into our daily activities. Like a cloth made of cotton, Rimpoche says every karma we create is produced by the material coming from these principles.
Gelek Rimpoche discusses the relationship between positive and negative karma, and how one effects the other. Our strongest ally is our own awareness. Rimpoche shares how mental attitudes such as anger and motivation influence karma and advises us to develop awareness without the burdens of denial or blame.
If karma is definite, how can negative karma destroy positive karma, and how can positive karma purify negative karma? In this session Gelek Rimpoche explains that this manageable aspect of karma comes about because karma is impermanent, depending on conditions in order to come to fruition. Rimpoche calls it “dependent arising.” This ability to purify negativity, as well as to strengthen positivity creates a path for us and supports our growth toward awareness and personal responsibility.
In this session Gelek Rimpoche explains that purification practices reduce our negativity, and mindfulness of our motivation can transform every activity into spiritual development. Rimpoche begins a discussion regarding the karma of prosperity and states that generosity is the cause for prosperity.
Understanding the concepts of karma paves the way for us to minimize our negativities as well as maximize our happiness. In this session, Gelek Rimpoche explains that the prosperity we earn through our work is ours to enjoy. We do not receive any more than is karmically possible, and to reject it is to reject our own karma. On the other hand if we don’t work, we become lazy, and laziness is one of the worst negativities we can develop.
Gelek Rimpoche takes questions and discusses spiritual practice, difficulties with one’s practice and how to deal with everyday life.
Continuing with questions, the focus here is on bringing our practice into our daily lives. The full idea of practice is to steep our lives, our minds and our habitual patterns in the positive energy of spiritual practice. When we soak our thoughts and attitudes in universal compassion and love, then every action that is not negative by nature becomes a part of the practice.
Fourteen sessions in total, they range slightly under 20 to approximately 40 minutes in length.
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