Buddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 64. Foreign spirits and karmic obstacles

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Q: Dear Master Lu, on your radio program, you often talk about foreign spirits and karmic obstacles. We understand the general idea about what they are, but would you please explain it in further detail, as this could be a very important concept. Thank you very much.


  • When a person steals, speaks badly of someone behind their back, kills a person, or commits any wrongdoings, dark energy formed by the unwholesome negative energy fields will arise in their consciousness. This dark energy will enter their body. The severity and scale of one’s karmic obstacles will determine the areas where this dark energy dwells inside their body. Some will make this person undergo immediate retribution; some will remain as karmic obstacles in certain parts of the body. This dark energy is otherwise known as karmic obstacles; they have no consciousness. Until these karmic obstacles are activated, they will lie dormant inside the body and will not move or relocate to other parts of the body.
  • When performing a Totem Reading for a person, Master Lu sees karmic obstacles as patches of dark energy. If a person has a lot of dark energy and the colour appears very dark and dense, then it means that this person has committed many acts of misconduct in their past life, in their present life, or both. The more dark energy one has, the more misfortune they will experience with their health, career and relationships.
  • The best way to eliminate karmic obstacles is to recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 3-5 times per day, along with the recitation of Little Houses. Generally, you need to recite 3 or more Little Houses per week.
  • Foreign spirits are known as our karmic creditors, also known as “ghosts”. However, do not call them “ghosts”. Instead, it’s better to call them “foreign spirits” or “karmic creditors” to show our respect towards them. Foreign spirits could be our deceased relatives, friends, neighbours, etc. from our past or present lives. Foreign spirits have their own consciousness and are able to move around. Just like karmic obstacles, if a foreign spirit remains in a person’s body, then this person will suffer unfortunate experiences with their health, career, relationships, and their fortune, etc.
  • While performing a Totem Reading, Master Lu often sees that foreign spirits have a shiny silver colour. These spirits include both scattered or incomplete spirits. We can tell that silver is the typical colour of spirits. Therefore, it is recommended that we avoid wearing silver clothes, that children avoid playing with silver toys, and that women avoid wearing silver or platinum accessories, as they tend to attract spirits.
  • The best way to help the spirits ascend to a higher spiritual realm is by reciting Little Houses. For further details, please refer to Q&A 4: How do we know if there are foreign spirits occupying our bodies?
  • Suppose explosives represent karmic obstacles. When a person has accumulated a large quantity of karmic obstacles in their body, it is similar to having a lot of explosives stored in their body. Once this person has committed many wrongdoings and the storage is full, as soon as the karmic obstacles are activated and transformed into one spirit, they will then undergo karmic retribution. When all the stored explosives explode at once, this person will be “blown to pieces”. This may be the time that a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer, or is involved in a fatal car accident.
  • The relationship between foreign spirits and karmic obstacles is as follows: Foreign spirits are activated karmic obstacles, and karmic obstacles are foreign spirits that have not yet been activated.
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