We Create Our Own Reality: The Natural Law of Karma
with Venerable Robina Courtin

We spend our lives being seduced by the outside world, believing utterly that happiness and suffering come from “out there.” Even more fundamental than that, we assume that we are the handiwork of someone else, either a superior being or our parents. The experiential implications of this are blame, anger, and guilt, bringing ever-deepening levels of suffering and hopelessness.

Buddha’s view of reality is that the universe exists within the natural law of cause of effect, of karma. We come into this life at the first moment of conception in our mother’s womb fully programmed with our own tendencies and the seeds of our experiences in this life. As the Dalai Lama says, the view of karma is one of “self-creation.” We are, literally, the creators of our lives, our happiness, and our suffering. We are the boss.

And there is no negative karma that we can’t change; one of the main practices is that of purification, which, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “we’re insane not to do every day.” And as Lama Yeshe says, “We create negative karma with our minds and we purify it by creating positive karma with our minds.”

Buddha’s view of reality is that the universe exists within the natural law of cause of effect, of karma. The experiential implication of this view is empowerment, accountability, and the courage to change and, combining it with an understanding of the Buddha’s model of the mind, we can gradually loosen the grip of ego-grasping and, thus developing our marvelous potential for clarity, self-confidence, empathy and the other qualities that Buddha says are at the core of our being.

Additional Materials

We Create Our Own Reality (PDF)


About the Teacher

Venerable Robina Courtin has worked full-time for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since her ordination in the late 1970s. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom. Venerable Robina is known for her straightforward and energetic teaching style, helping people discover the potential of their own minds with clear explanations about Tibetan Buddhism and how to apply it to their lives.

Visit her website at https://www.robinacourtin.com.