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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Sep 12, 2019

The world that appears to us depends upon our mind: our mental habits, our views and beliefs. In this episode, Buddhist Teacher, JoAnn Fox, talks about how to purify our mind and specifically how to purify our negative karma. We can create a new mind and a new world by purifying negative karma and taking positive actions toward creating the life we really want. 

Karma means action. Actions that caused harm to others in the past create our present painful feelings and experiences. We can purify the negative karma we’ve created in the past through the following purification meditation, which also involves a special mindfulness practice in daily life. 

Meditation to Purifying Negative Karma has four parts:

  1. Power of regret (sometimes translated as the power of release). Generate the strong wish to purify a specific action in the past causing you suffering, that is perpetuating your current way of being that you wish to change.
  2. Power of reliance: Pray for help to any holy being you feel connected to or simply pray, thinking “please help me to purify this.” 
  3. Power of opponent force: means we do something to oppose the negative karmic. In this meditation, you can simply perform the following visualization as an opponent force. You can also recite the mantra of purification before the visualization. The short mantra of Vajrasattva is “Om Vajrasattva hum.” You might recite this many times, a few times, or 100 times using a mala (Buddhist rosary).  Then visualize a holy being of light comes to the crown of your head. This holy beings sends out liquid light, which enters your crown. The purifying light travels down your central channel, pushing the negative karma down and out of your body.
  4. Power of Promise: Make a promise to yourself to refrain from a certain negative or unhelpful behavior for a specific amount of time (a day or a week). 

Whoever recovers from doing evil 

By doing something wholesome 

Illuminates the world 

Like the moon set free from a cloud. (172) 


Whoever replaces an evil deed 

With what is wholesome 

Illuminates the world 

Like the moon set free from a cloud. (173)*

—Buddha, The Dhammapada


Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 43.

Yeshe, Thupten. Introduction to Tantra. (Audiobook). Wisdom Publications, Somerville, 2014.