Karma is a ubiquitous word, one that is tossed around a great deal. But for those of you who want to explore its meaning, lets have a look.
Karma literally means “deed or act,” but more broadly it describes the principle of cause and effect. Simply stated, karma is the law of action and reaction that governs consciousness. In metaphysics, karma is the law that states that every mental, emotional and physical act, no matter how insignificant, is projected out into the psychic mind substance and eventually returns to the individual with equal impact. For every action, there will always be a reaction. Our thoughts and actions are powerful and carry energy like an echo. We have all taken different paths in life but somehow we are linked. Whatever we do will always come back to us.
Thoughts and feelings shape the world within, and our words and actions shape the world around us. We are constantly changing our world, little by little.
The Law of Karma
Karma is a Buddhist term that comes from Sanskrit and relates to fate and action.
It is the law of cause and effect, an unbreakable law of the cosmos. We take responsibility for all that happens to us. Our actions create our future. What we are experiencing right now is what karma wants us to experience. Every feeling, every thought, has been prepared especially for each of us, so we can learn from our past.
However, in regard to our past negative karma, it can be altered into a smoother, easier state through the loving, heart-chakra nature and through dharma and sadhana. That is the key of karmic wisdom. Live religiously well and you will create positive karma for the future as well as soften negative karma of the past.
With intention, we create karma. Good intention will always create “good karma.” We can hide our intentions from others but not from ourselves or from the universe. If you take away intention, there is no karma. If you genuinely didn’t mean to harm or hurt someone, then the law of karma is now absent. It is your intention that invokes karma, good or bad. No one can violate nature’s law of karma. The universe wants you to understand the suffering of others. To do this you must experience life from many different perspectives. It is essential to understand why you did something and what the consequences were. A karmic experience allows you to reflect and correct your mistakes.
Many people believe in the principle of karma, but don’t apply its laws to their daily life or even to life’s peak experiences. Often times during personal crisis, we question, “Why has God done this to me?” or “What did I doto deserve this?” While God is the creator and sustainer of the cosmic law of karma, he does not dispense individual karma. We create our own experiences. It is really an exercising of our soul’s powers of creation. Karma, then, is our best spiritual teacher. We spiritually learn and grow as our actions return to us to be resolved and dissolved.
In this highest sense, there is no good and bad karma; there is self-created experience that presents opportunities for spiritual advancement. If we can’t draw lessons from the karma, then we resist and/or resent it – lashing out with mental, emotional or physical force. The original substance of that karmic event is spent and no longer exists, but the current reaction creates a new condition of harsh karma.
Can I Change My Karma?
You cannot stop karma but you can change the direction of your karma. Anything you did in your past can be“undone”by doing good now. You have reaped what you have sowed. You created your own destiny and now you can recreate it. By paying attention to past actions we can learn from the past. By taking responsibility first and then feeling remorse about our actions, we can send a signal to the universe.
Sincerity, ownership, discernment and learning through compassion are all steps in unraveling the “bad karma”we created.
How to Change Your Karma:
Accept: Practice acceptance of others. Remove judgement. In laws of Karma, if we judge, we will then be judged.
Forgive: Forgiveness relieves us from suffering and pain. It takes a great person to forgive. Revenge will harm you. Forgiveness does not mean you’re OK with being wronged. It means that you are kind and loving enough to move on. You will be setting a great example for others. When we practice forgiveness, we feel free and allow love to enter in.
Gratitude: Be grateful! Gratitude is imperative on so many levels. To reflect on what we are grateful for and then to express gratitude is a wonderful practice that will bring inner peace.
Reflection: The good and bad you see in others also exists in you. What you see in others it is just a reflection of yourself. Try to look for the good in everyone.
Energy: Give love and love comes back to you. The energy you send out ALWAYS comes back to you. If you radiate happiness and positive energy then that is what you will receive. When you are in a good mood, the world is beautiful. You are sending out wonderful vibrations.
Reaction: If you don’t help others in need, then you will receive very little help when you need it. The way others behave towards you is their karma. The way you RESPOND will determine your karma.
Chance: With understanding Karma, we realize nothing happens by chance. Everything happens so we can have an opportunity to learn. The Buddha said, “The greatest achievement is selflessness”.
Kindness: Kindness is the most valuable gift you can give. By lifting up someone in need, you automatically lift yourself. In that instant, you make the world a better place. Give without hesitating. You don’t have to be seen by others. I like to think of it as “invisible kindness.” You are being observed by the whole universe. The most important part of your life will be the unseen random acts of kindness you perform.
Receiving Gratitude: When you experience good karma, always remember to be grateful.
Gratitude means you understand that your actions were good. Most people only notice their bad karma. Notice your good karma and say, “thank you.” The more spiritual you are, the faster your karma will be returned. The more you know, the more responsible you are.When you are kind and loving, your karma is returned in the most beautiful way. The most powerful forces are with you.
Remember – when it comes to karma, do unto others what you would like to be done to you, because it is being done to you!