Karmic Weight from H.H. the Dalai Lama’s “Way to Freedom”

“We should always be aware of the relative gravity of karmic actions. When the deed is motivated by very strong delusion, the deed is said to be very grave. The way in which the deed is actually performed also determines the karmic weight.

A single moment of anger directed toward a Boddhisattva would destroy all the virtuous collections that you may have accumulated over the last thousand EONS!

The result of an action can ripen within this lifetime or within the next lifetime or after many lives.”


What is Non-Virtuous Speech?

The following description of the 4 types of non-virtuous speech are from “The Way To Freedom” by the Dalai Lama:

“ The next four negative actions are deeds of speech.

The firs is telling lies. This includes speaking contrary to what one has seen, heard, or knows to be fact. Lying can be motivated by attachment, hatred, or ignorance. The intention is to confuse the other person, and it can be carried out either by speaking or nodding the head and gesturing with a hand. Any action done out of the intention to confuse someone constitutes the negative action of lying. If the other person hears it, that constitutes completion of this act.

Next is divisive talk. The intention is to cause dissension between friends or people in the spiritual community for one’s own sake or for he sake of others. Whether one succeeds in causing dissension or not, the moment the other person hears the divisive talk, that constitutes the completion of this act.

Next is verbal abuse. The intention is to speak harshly, and the deed is complete when the abusive words are heard by the person to whom they are directed. Abuse includes insulting others, speaking about their faults, whether true or untrue; if one does it to hurt the other person, it is abuse.

Next is senseless gossip. It is frivolousness without any purpose, and it can be motivated by any of the three poisons. One’s intention is simply to chat without any reason, to just gossip without any purpose.The execution of this act does not require a second person. You do not need a partner; you can do this by talking to yourself. Idle gossip would include talking about wars, the faults of others, or arguing just for the sake of argument. This would also include reading unimportant books out of attachment.”

A Treasury of Wisdom and Blessing

The following are some teachings from other Lineages:

Terton Sogyal Rinpoche: On Ignorance

Surely one of the most heart-breaking aspects of our lives is that we cannot recognize the fundamental cause of our suffering. Isn’t it curious how we can not detect ignorance at work? But, you see, this lack of awareness is exactly what ignorance, ‘ma rigpa’ in Tibetan, is.

For full teaching go to: http://www.rigpa.org/en/teachings/extracts-of-articles-and-publications/more-articles-and-publications-/view-and-wrong-view.html

From Khenchen Palden Sherab: Cause and Effect

Now we shall explore the third attitude, the cause and effect system. This is also known as the understanding of the system of the cause and effect. Everything really depends upon the cause and effect system. The law of cause and effect is always working. If a cause and condition are present, there will definitely be a result. Results must come from their causes and conditions. Right causes and conditions produce right results or effects. This never alters. This always operates. If we don’t have the right causes and conditions, there will not be right results no matter how much we hope or expect them. If we have the right causes and conditions, definitely the right results will come. It is inevitable. Even if we say we don’t want them, the results will definitely show up. Inwardly everything is like this also.  Positive inward causes and conditions bring positive inward results. Negative inward causes and  conditions bring negative inward results. Mixed positive and negative inward causes and conditions bring mixed inward results or effects. Knowledge of the cause and effect system is very important in Buddhism. Karma is the name of this system. You are the one who gets the results of your own causes and conditions. You are the producer of your own causes and conditions; you are therefore the producer of your own effects. Whatever you do, the results will come to you. By understanding this system, we can learn the importance of having more positive attitudes. Reduce your negative activities, and learn more positive activities. This is the lesson of this line of the text.Cause and effect are inevitable.

For the full teaching go to: http://pbc-tn.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/NgondroCommentary.pdf

From Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche: Cause and Effect

The third ordinary foundation practice is the truth of karma, cause and effect. Unfortunately, many deluded people believe that although death may be a very harrowing experience, after it has occurred, one is then completely free. Some believe that once you’re dead, things are all taken care of for you, as if somebody picks you up and puts you in a very enjoyable place where there are all kinds of pleasant entertainments. Other people believe that after death there is nothing, all experience just abruptly ends. There’s no good or evil, it’s just ashes to ashes and that’s that. Of course, such attitudes are the epitome of ignorance, and reveal a total lack of wisdom. It is utter delusion to believe that there will be no suffering, only pure enjoyment awaiting you after death. It is grievous that people do not realize that we are experiencing this life and its various conditions because of our conduct in previous lives.

Sometimes we think that once we are dead we will experience a very magical realm, and that even if we face suffering we’ll have the ability to immediately transform it. But how could this possibly be done? We should use our intelligence and other abilities now, while we have time, to see through our delusions. For instance, if it’s winter and you want it to be summer, no matter how much you long for the seasons to change, you are powerless to do anything about it. And if you are sick and want to be healthy again, you can’t just miraculously cure yourself. All suffering and experiences of the phenomenal world are caused by our habitual patterns and our karmic accumulations, and these are the materials with which you must work.

Furthermore, when somebody says that nothing exists after death, that you are free of suffering because you’re dead and it’s all finished, that is a very ignorant attitude. It’s something like standing before a blazing fire and telling somebody that if they close their eyes and jump into it, it’ll be okay. This will of course just make the situation worse. It’s a simple refusal to acknowledge reality, a wishful desire to escape the order of things. But it doesn’t change anything. It will only make reality that much more difficult to face. It’s also akin to playing around on the edge of a cliff, believing you won’t fall off. But then, once you’ve fallen, and you’re in midair, it’s completely useless to say to yourself, “Oh no, I hope I land softly.” No matter how much wishful thinking you do at that point, it won’t help you at all.

For the full teaching go to: http://www.kagyu.org/kagyulineage/buddhism/dha/dha03.php

From “The Way to Freedom” Beings of Great Scope

This is from Kyabje HH DalaiLama.

The Buddha’s activities- from the beginning of his cultivating the wish to help others to the accumulating of merit and his eventual achievement of enlightenment- were ALL done for the sake of other sentient beings.

The welfare of other sentient beings is classified into two types: Temporary welfare, which is the achievement of favorable rebirth, and ultimate welfare, which is the achievement of liberation and the omniscient state. All the teachings associated with the achievement of favorable rebirth in the future are said to belong to the category of small scope.

When talk of our ultimate aim, it is of two types. Liberation from suffering and omniscience. All the teachings related to the practice of achieving personal Liberation are teachings of the middle scope. For this purpose practioners of middle scope engage in the practice of ETHICS, concentration and wisdom and then ELIMINATE the delusions and achieve liberation from suffering and rebirth.

All the teachings that outline the techniques for achieving the omniscience of Buddhahood, including both the Sutra AND Tantra vehicle are teachings related to practioners of great scope. A being of great scope is someone whose mind is motivated by great compassion for all other sentient beings and who wishes to achieve enlightenment FOR THEIR SAKE.

Thus one group can think only of a future life; these are people of little scope. People in the second group are not preoccupied with the concerns of the future life alone but are able to think of something more distant, liberation from rebirth; these are beings of the middle scope. Yet other people are not concerned only with their own welfare but are more courageous. They are concerned with the welfare also of other sentient beings, and THESE are the beings of GREAT scope.

From Kyabje His Holiness the Dalai Lama, extracted from “The WAY TO FREEDOM.


Excerpt From The Way to Freedom

by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

There are no physical markers by which to measure progress between positive and negative forces in consciousness.  Changes begin when you first identify & recognize your delusions, such as anger and jealousy. One then needs to know the antidote to delusion, and that knowledge is gained by listening to the teachings. There is NO simple way to remove delusions. They cannot be extracted surgically.  They have to be recognized, and then, through the practice of these teachings can be gradually reduced and then completely eliminated!

These teachings offer the means to free oneself from delusion; a path that eventually leads to freedom from all suffering and to the BLISS of enlightenment. The more one comes to understand the Dharma, or Buddhist teachings, the weaker will be the grip of pride, hatred, greed, and other negative emotions that cause so much suffering. Applying this understanding in daily life over a period of months and years will gradually transform the mind because despite the fact that it often seems otherwise, the mind is subject to change.

Though we realize the harm caused by our delusions, such as damage done to ourselves and others when we act out of anger we still fall under its influence. Thus an untamed mind throws us recklessly into the abyss instead of stopping when it sees the edge.

All merit dedicated to the continued Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Gratitude for the great blessing of His kind words! All benefit!

Similarly even I have taught that self-honesty in viewing one’s faults and taking the necessary antidote is truly the way. -JAL

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