Harmless talk?

At various talks, Geshe Michael Roach said:

I used to have a birth defect in my foot, a twisted bone. So I used the Diamond Cutter method to… on my foot, and now I do ballet…. So you can use those seeds on your body. You can remove diseases from your body, you can make your body strong if you know the [karmic] seeds…. And if you want to fix the bone in foot, you help sick people in a certain way, selectively.

Emptiness: A Deep Dive, 2010

And I’ve had other people come to me and say really I have a health problem, for example breast cancer or something like that, and they’ve come to me and asked me, “Can I use the Diamond Cutter principles to, for my health, or to stay young, and to remove sickness?” And so you can use the Diamond Cutter principles for all these things.

Karmic Management, 2011

It is no surprise that Geshe Michael’s chief disciple and former wife Christie McNally also held such view. In a talk right before leading almost forty people into retreat, McNally explained, “It is not that we go and we can take away somebody else’s pain just through that meditation, but the meditation does work. People have been given this meditation who have cancer, and they have actually cured their cancer from it!”

Did such way of thinking cloud Christie McNally’s and Ian Thorson’s judgment as they fell ill and thus were late to seek medical attention? While Geshe Michael referred to them as the “two people that screwed up”, perhaps the seeds of their undoing were sown in the hours and years of paying heed to his every word.

Since the tragedy, Geshe Michael has not shied away from such talk:

Everything is coming from you. You can change everything. Financial, you can make $250 million if you understand Chin-kang Ching [Diamond Cutter sutra]. You can make $250 million…. You can change it, if you have some cancer. I had a woman, she had a cancer in her breast and she said, “Can I change it?” I said, “Of course.” It’s coming from you. If it’s not coming from you, you can not change it. If it’s coming from you, you can change it. How many things are coming from you? Everything, OK, everything. Cancer is also coming from you, you can change it. She’s … that was how long ago? 25 years ago, I think, in New York. She asked we what to do, then now, I don’t know, how old is she? 80?…. She’s 80 years old and she’s still fine.

Karma of Love, 2013

While Geshe Michael has the chutzpah to repackage failed strategies for his relationship book, it’s not known why for 25 years he has not published this cancer cure. A Nobel Prize in medicine awaits Geshe-hla.

Further reading: On the five niyamas:

“The Buddha’s teachings on karma differ from those of other religions of Asia. Many people believed — and still believe — that everything about their present life was caused by actions in the past. In this view, everything that happens to us happened because of something we did in the past.
But the Buddha disagreed. He taught there are five types of factors at work in the cosmos that cause things to happen, called the Five Niyamas. Karma is only one of these factors. Present circumstances are the result of countless factors that are always in flux. There is no single cause that makes everything to be the way it is.
2. Bija Niyama
Bija Niyama is the law of living matter, what we would think of as biology. The Pali word bija means “seed,” and so Bija Niyama governs the nature of germs and seeds and the attributes of sprouts, leaves, flowers, fruits, and plant life generally.
Some modern scholars suggest that laws of genetics that apply to all life, plant and animal, would come under the heading of Bija Niyama.” Read more >

“The doctrine of kamma is probably the most misunderstood of all the Buddha’s teachings. The four most common misunderstandings are these. (1) Everything which happens to us is the result of our past kamma. In actual fact, Buddhism recognized at least four other broad causes of why things happen, including because of the operation of natural laws (dhamma niyama), biological laws (bija niyama), physical laws (utu niyama) and psychological laws (citta niyama, Atthasalani.854; A.III,62). Read more >

One comment

  1. Jerry kelly

    Thanks for the link,I wrote Amazon review as a follow up to true believer Chucks fawning 5 star one…Chuck lives in the Campground by himself in a abandoned looking trailer….the book is not working I guess.
    Posted publicly as G. Kelly | Recycled Magical Thinking that resulted in the death of a student. my take…his girlfriend leaves him for another man.Roach loses power to Christy and becomes envious of her new fame and love of this younger man.Our relationship guru then forces them out of a retreat he talked them into doing and one of them dies.The fact that he has the nerve to write a book on dating is just crazy.

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