We all want to know how to eradicate our karmic hindrances. What is karma?
Whenever we do, say, or think of something, we create a reaction, an influence, and an impact on other people’s action, speech, or thought. Impact, influence, and reaction are generally called magnetic field. Thus, karma is the magnetic field created by the energy in the action, speech, and thought of each person. When we do, say, or think of something that creates harmony, happiness, peace and joy to people around us, we are creating good karma or good magnetic field. When we do, say, or think of something that creates suffering, disharmony, conflict, or discord, we are creating bad karma or bad magnetic field.
All bad karmas lead to bad retributions. Because we don’t want to receive bad retributions, we want to eradicate bad karmas. To do so, we need to change the magnetic field that creates karma. The majority of these fields come from the egocentric consciousness, which always centers on the ego, full of insecure feelings and egoistic, selfish thoughts. Therefore, in order to eradicate our karmic hindrances, we should:
- Change the level of our vision and consciousness, from egocentric to altruistic. When our mind is altruistic, our karmic magnetic field will change, making us less attracted to things caused by the seeds from an egocentric consciousness.
- To raise the consciousness to the altruistic level, we should practice the conduct of dedication. This means that we practice on behalf of our loved ones, those who live with us but don’t yet have good conditions to practice. When we do it for them, it will be easier for us to develop altruistic loving-kindness. Doing volunteer work is a conduct that is very effective in helping us open up our altruistic consciousness.
- On the other hand, we should practice the conduct of repenting and dedicating our merits to those we happened to hurt, harm, or have made to lose face in the past. Reflecting on the past to be aware that we cannot repair old deeds, but the future is full of hope for improvement. Intentionally or not, it was done; now we repent and determine to change. Then the karmic force will transform with our mind.
- Practicing the conduct of dedication means sending all our merits to those we happened to tie knots with in bad conditions, who we hurt, harmed or caused sufferings. We even send merits to those who have hurt, harmed, resented, accused us wrongly or misunderstood us. That way blessings will increase for them, and hopefully one day both they and we will right our wrongs and untie our emotional knots.
- When life is denied, perhaps no pain is worse. If we happened to have an abortion or a stillbirth, we should practice for the fetus, give it all our love, dedicate our merits to it as well as ask for forgiveness and repent our mistake. This is called untying the knot of resentment for mutual understanding and empathy.
- While participating in the Amitabha Dharma Assembly, we should also dedicate merits to all those who owe us blood debt, monetary debt, and emotional debt in this life and many previous lives. When practicing in the Amitabha Mandala, we should be most sincere in dedicating our merits to all karmic hindrances in our bodies as well as in those in our web of karma.
- It is most important that we constantly practice and transform our egocentric consciousness to altruistic, then to selfless consciousness. We should never stop developing our loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity because they are the ground to eradicate our karma.