The dangers of allowing negative karma to remain on your mind

Our personal world is a dream world arising from our karma.  Because the karma that is ripening on our mind is contaminated karma, when these dream worlds ripen, they appear to us as being ‘real’ worlds.  Out of ignorance, we believe this appearance and experience our world as such.

The problem is this:  we have spend at least 99% of our previous lives in the lower realms, and 99% of our actions have been negative actions (while in the lower realms, basically all of our actions were negative).  It is true that in this life we are not engaging in significant negativities, though we are still engaging in some.  But this life is an exception, a brief period of relative non-negativity in an infinite history of non-virtue.  It is also true that I have done next to nothing to purify my negative karma.  Out of a false arrogance from the fact that little negative karma is ripening right now, I arrogantly assume that I do not have a lot of negative karma which remains on my mind.  Or I ignorantly become lulled into a false sense of security because things are OK right now. 

The reality is the only reason why I am not being crushed by my negativity is I am being protected by Dorje Shugden.  His protection circle holds back the fires of my negative karma.  He has provided me with the space necessary to create more virtue and to purify the negativities which plague my mind.  But the point is this:  for as long as these negative seeds remain on my mind, I remain in extreme danger of falling into the lower realms.  Once I fall, I will engage in almost exclusively negative actions, and I will be forced to undergo unimaginable sufferings for incalculably long periods of time.  I will lose everything I have worked so hard for.  Even if the risk is only 1% that this will happen, because the impact of it happening is infinite, this is an infinite risk.  It is just too dangerous to remain.  If I don’t use the space that Dorje Shuden has provided me to purify my mind of its negative karma, then the risk is always there. 

I must take the time and apply effort to purify my mind before it is too late.  It does not take much.  All I need to do is generate a strong regret about my negativities before I engage in my daily practice and then intend to engage in my practice as a means of purifying that negative karma.  It adds one minute to my contemplations before I start, but could save my life.

8 thoughts on “The dangers of allowing negative karma to remain on your mind

  1. Thanks, it is so releasing to know where we are stand up in this dream….
    To purify all our negativities is that easy?
    Shouldn´t we try to dedicate all our merits during the day to it?
    what about those who don´t know Dorje Shugden ?

    • Of course there are many things we can do to purify. For me, I have about an hour a day I can dedicate to my formal practice, and there is quite a bit I normally do in that hour. I can only rarely do a formal purification practice, like Vajrasattva. But VGL says that we can purify by generating a mind of regret and then engaging in any virtue as purification. So if we generate a mind of regret and then engage in our normal daily practice as a purification, it is a way of transforming our daily practice into a practice of purification.

      For those who don’t know Dorje Shugden, the basic idea is there are certain Buddhas which are Dharma protectors. Their job is to arrange all the outer and inner conditions for success in our practice. They are like guardian angels. We don’t always get what our worldly desires want, but we do always get what we need for our spiritual development. Since all things are empty, their conventional existence is defined by their name and function. Dorje Shugden is a name, but the function of a Dharma protector is what we need. So for those who don’t know Dorje Shugden, just know there are “Dharma protectors” and rely upon the function. The names come later.

  2. 99% of our previous lives in the lower realms isn’t according to Buddhist psychology quite accurate is it? Although i do agree on the gradient that it is easier to engage in negativity than virtue.

    If Dorje Shugden really loved you, surely he would ripen all the bad stuff now so you could work though it to create the perfect causes of enlightenment whilst working though negative karma?? Else, logically, you would then follow on to fall again to lower realms??

    Maybe you falsely believe in a protector, whilst in reality it is your own virtue which protects you from falling?

    Before you sleep, according to most Buddhist masters, is the best time for confession and purification since gross minds turn to subtle and settle on the very subtle mind like a sediment. The morning is particularly good to focus where the mind is to go via intention or decisions in the aspect of specific vows activating specific karma.

  3. How is something which, according to Buddhism, exists within the mind purified? It is said that mind is a formless continuum, having no physical characteristics. What is the difference between external causes and conditions and inner causes and conditions, how do they affect each other?

    Buddha said, mind is the creator of the world. This being said, it follows that all objects can interact in the same space of clarity to be perceived. If anything existed outside of the mind, how could mind possibly see all things as pure?

    More questions than answers!

    • Negative karma is by nature karmic potentialities on our very subtle mind. They are like small vibrations which have not yet been activated. When we purify, we effectively neutralize these vibrations by engaging in, more or less, their opposite action. If you have a wave, and then you apply the opposite of that wave, the end result is a flat line. There are some virtues which are orthogonal to all non-virtues. Bodhichitta and Vajrasattva’s mantra are two examples.

      The only difference between internal and external causes and conditions is their degree of subtlety and their conventional function. A dream world is a world, just more subtle than the waking world. Think again of a small wave versus a big wave. One rises above a certain threshold into the conventional physical reality, the other does not; but both are by nature the same.

      The answer to your last question is they couldn’t. It is only because all things are created by and are the nature of mind that all phenomena can be known.

  4. I spent a massive amount of last year on a purification project and understanding Vajrasattva but am now no longer doing a formal practice either. Venerable Tharchin advises to imagine any practice we do as an actual purification practice. Since the whole point of the path is to purify the mind. Which is why when most people go on long silent retreat they exclusively train in purification so they know ‘how to purify’ and actually use it in all their practices. There will be times when we are more inclined to practice one thing over another, integration is key.

    I’m currently studying quantum physics, it suggests how things interact on different levels due to forces and such. Karma is a bit like the forces that hold our life together, a bit like how gravity keeps us from floating off.

    Random analogy: Purification behaves similar to the particle model and wave model in physics. Particles of matter can become waves and vice versa. Solids can become liquids and gases etc. When we purify, we remove obstruction. We add virtuous inner energy. When this energy collides with negative energy an interaction takes place. Some absorption if you like. The way the particles and waves behave has been altered. They no longer function as they did before, there has been transformation but the effect is so tiny and unnoticeable it seems like nothing has happened at all. I guess this is why believing faith is the real currency of tantra.

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