Tendencies (excerpt) – His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

“Non virtuous actions have 3 types of effects according to Lord Buddha.
1)Ripened effect
2)Effect similar to the cause
3)Environmental Effect
So all non virtuous actions created from contaminated mind, contaminated mind means mind that thinks of oneself more important than the other. & all your actions are based on myself as opposed to others. That is contaminated mind. So contaminated mind creates contaminated actions, so contaminate actions have 3 types of effects. “
Ripened effect is the actions they ripened and they give us the effect. Example: if we kill, if we harm our parents, if we create schism, and it damages many people, example we talk negative things between 2 governments and they go to war, they kill millions of people, schism. If we talk and act in such a way that creates harm and damage to people in such an intense way, the ripened effect will be we take rebirth, the most severe is hell. One of the 8 hells. The next severest is to take rebirth as a spirit, or hungry ghost, the next severest will be as an animal.
So the immediate ripened effect, example killing.
Will be the 3 lower realms.
How we kill, the motivation whether we regret, the manner, on purpose or not, all effects how we take rebirth. Immediate ripened effect.
Effect similar to cause means what? Even after we have experienced number one the ripening effect, traces of that inclination will remain. Let me explain.
If we have killed, we take rebirth in hell, but we take rebirth in hells, to purify the karma of killing, but the intent to kill is not purified. The mind is still there.
So when we take rebirth again, we will be inclined to kill again and take rebirth in negative states of birth again and again. So what happens is: now the first karma is instant ripening of the result of the karma. Second is you still have to suffer the tendencies or the effects similar to the cause. So the very reason you went to hell was for killing, but when you come out of hell, you still want to kill. So what happens is: you still want to harm. Example: tigers. When they die, they collect tremendous negative karma for killing other sentient beings and creating fear, so when they reincarnate again, they will still have the tendency to kill.
Once they go down, they go down very low, that’s why some kids when you see them, they love to kill animals. They enjoy, they squeal! Some they can’t take it. They can’t take it at all, it’s very difficult for them. That’s the tendency resembling the original cause. They will suffer from that.
What’s the big deal about that? Because the tendency will make you do it again, even if you are in a new environment. So if you wipe your slate clean, and you start killing again. What’s the point? “
Another example that is stated in the text is:

If we always have sexual misconduct, we cheat on our partners, we lie to our partners, we use our partners for wrong things, or we do the wrong things with our partners that are wrong. If we have sexual misconduct, taking rebirth in the 3 lower realms is a given. And the ripening effect will be loneliness, cannot close our business deal, people we love don’t love us back, people create violence towards us. People want to harm us. People want to damage us. So when we have sexual misconduct, negative actions such as harm, damage, violence will come our way. That’s one, that’s what it says.

And even after you had purify your sexual misconduct negative karma, the effect similar to the cause, will ripen which is tendency. What is that? Let’s say that due to sexual misconduct, you took rebirth as an animal. After you take rebirth as an animal, when you come out, you’re human again, you will still have the tendency to not be true to the one you promised. So what happens? You create a lot of pain in their minds. And you know what happens is; this is your tendency. You will have strong attachment to other partners. What does that mean? You cannot be true. So that means you can be with one person, but you will be looking at another one and another one and another one … Plotting how to get them, plotting how to date them, plotting how to get close to them, plotting how to get intimate with them while you’re with that person.
Even if you don’t want to and you know it’s wrong, but you will keep doing that because that’s a residual tendency left which is in fact similar to the cause. Why? You didn’t hold onto your sexual misconduct vows.
So when you don’t hold onto your sexual misconduct vows, you have the ripening effect, which is the taking of rebirth in the 3 lower realms depending on situation.
Secondary, is, that even when you come out with a clean slate, the karma is clean, but the tendency is not. So the tendency is not clean, even if you want to go straight, you want to be with one person, one girl, one boy, one relationship, you cannot.
You will cheat, and lie, and cheat and lie, hurt your children, hurt your friends, hurt your neighbors, break the trust of your friends, and have a lot of enemies and people coming and beat you up, and they want to knock you over, they want to hurt you. Why?
Cause you can’t control yourself.
Why can’t you?
Cause tendency is there still. 
So holding onto the sexual misconduct vows are very important according to Lord Buddha, why? He is giving you knowledge. 
That’s why ancient cultures, truth is truth, never mind Buddhism. Truth is truth. That’s why ancient cultures like China, India, all these great cultures, very advanced, they are very strong about moral ethics.
If you have one person, you stay with one person. We don’t cheat, we don’t do all kinds of things, why?
They know that hurts people.
So Buddha goes one step further. The karma is very strong.
Environmental effect:
So I had explained to you the direct effect, the effect resembling the cause(the tendency not being able to get rid of it, the tendencies will grow)& what’s the horrible thing is; once you indulge in the tendencies, you will replenish that negative karma, clean slate becomes dirty again. So it’s like you filled up your petrol to hell, your car with petrol again, full tank. Think about it. So on the way to hell, your petrol keeps refilling. Why? Tendency similar to the cause is there.
So some people do retreats, they do retreat after retreat, they still can’t control their mouths. They still throw BF.
They still want power, they still want to be the top, they’re still greedy, why?
Maybe that karma for that action is purified, but the tendency is still there. So how to cut the tendency, we must hold our vows.
People say it’s very hard, why tell me why it’s hard, I know it’s hard, if you understand, easier to attack it.
This is Mind teaching by Lord Buddha by the way. “