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During this 9-day residential retreat at Diamond Mountain Retreat Center, in the secluded high Arizona desert, Geshe Michael Roach will discuss this very simple, yet profound mantra about karma: Ever since we were kids, we heard about how we plant the seeds of karma: “Don’t step on that bug, child! Something bad will happen to you!”

It felt right, but we didn’t really get any details from our parents about how the karmic seeds were stored in our mind, or how they opened. If we have millions of karmas stored inside our head, then when does one of them decide to open—to give me a million dollars, or to give me cancer?

What makes the seeds open? Why is my life happening like this?

This is what we’ll be learning in our next retreat for the Lam-Rim, or “Steps on the Path to Enlightenment.” We’ll continue our careful study of Pabongka Rinpoche’s Gift of Liberation, one of the greatest books ever written in Tibet.

When we think about how karma opens, most of us think about “you get what you give”: If I’m kind to other people, then people will be kind to me.But every karmic seed opens in three other ways too. Seeds create our habits: so if we study the details then we can finally start a regular meditation practice, or eat better, or exercise regularly.And seeds create our environment: if we learn the details, we can make macro-changes in our life: help solve global warming, help create intelligent and capable political leaders.

Finally, seeds decide the place we will go to next—after we die. We need to learn these details now, because we never know how many days or hours we have left to our life.These then are what we call the “Four Flowers,” and we’ll be going deep into them.

During this retreat, we’ll also be going deeper to the next level of the Lion’s Dance Meditation that we started last retreat; you will have a chance to join a wonderful online meditation group that will finally help you get deep into your meditation practice.


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