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Buddhist Studies

Fall 2023:
Taking Care of Karma: Katagiri Roshi's Lectures on Karma


Karagiri Roshi with one of Compassionate Ocean's Guiding Teachers, Joen O'Neal. 1983.

Taught by Kikan Michael Howard

Karma as Buddha means that karma is really something helping you. You can learn about being human, and help all sentient beings.

The statement karma is emptiness means that you can be brave. You can move toward the future, day by day, without being stuck in the ‘ghost’ of karma. I don’t mean you should ignore the result of what you have done; of course you should pay attention, because your actions leave something as an impression in your life. But nevertheless, you cannot be stuck there; you should move toward life in the future. You can move, day after day, in order develop your life, in order to help all sentient beings according to Buddha’s way. That is Right Effort.

— from “Karma: Conclusion”, the July 12, 1980 Dharma Talk by Dainin Katagiri Roshi

In 1980, noted Zen teacher Dainin Katagiri Roshi gave a series of talks explaining the Buddhist concept of karma to his American students. Karma was not well understood at the time, and in many ways it is still misunderstood today. Karma is not simply action, or cause and effect; nor is it some kind of force that locks us into a certain destiny.


According to Katagiri Roshi, karma is great energy that allows us to live, to relate to the world, and to move freely into the future. Karma is not just an aspect of Eastern philosophy; it is something which concerns all humanity.

In This Class...

In this class we will read and discuss transcripts of Katagiri Roshi’s talks on karma. 

Each class will include zazen (sitting practice), presentations by the instructor, and discussion.


The class will be led by Kikan Michael Howard, a Zen priest-in-training in Katagiri Roshi’s lineage, who studies and transcribes Katagiri Roshi’s talks on the Katagiri Transcripts website (

Kikan Michael Howard.jpg
Registration Information

Wednesdays, Sept. 20–Nov. 8 (eight sessions) (#B107)

7:00-9:00 P.M.

$170 (members $150) 

This course will be held in-person at the Center, with an option for remote participation via Zoom if requested.

Member rates apply to members of all local Buddhist centers. Reduced fees are offered as needed; please contact the Center at (612) 781-7640.

Enrollment for classes is limited. Early registration is encouraged. 


You may register online using one of the buttons below—select the option for  your preferred payment method (online or check).

  • $170 for non-members

  • $150 for members

Upcoming Buddhist Studies Course Dates

Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00 P.M.

Winter:      January 24-March 13, 2024 (#B108)

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