Karma is a law of action and reaction which connects with our consciousness. The word Karma means” deed or act” but in general it describes the principle of cause and effect. Quite often when something goes wrong in our lives we refer to it as being “bad Karma” and then when we experience bouts of good luck we may start to think that we are owed something, either from a previous life or from our goodwill and self belief.
Many of us have come to recognise that the world becomes our friend when we give more. And if you give, than you shall also receive. It is believed by most Americans that karma functions like fate — bad fate, at that: an inexplicable, unchangeable force coming out of our past, for which we are somehow vaguely responsible and powerless to fight. Most of us will deal with what life throws at us, learn from it and then move on, some of course experiencing more test trials whilst others more reward. In Buddhism, sin is largely understood to be ignorance. And, while sin is understood as “moral error,” the context in which “evil” and “good” are understood is amoral. Karma is understood as nature's balance and is not personally enforced. Nature is not moral; therefore, karma is not a moral code, and sin is not ultimately immoral.
It is believed that karma affects the birth of living beings in happy or unhappy circumstances and it is the knowledge of how living beings move from happy circumstances to unhappy circumstances, and vice versa. Going from unhappy to happy circumstances as a result of their karma - was part of the Buddha’s experience on the night of his enlightenment where he abandoned his wealth to pursue enlightenment through austerity. Perhaps in order to understand karma we must first experience a life in some form of sobriety so that we can appreciate and see life in a non materialistic form to make us more vulnerable to life lessons. Joanna Macy spoke about the earth as being part of us in the sense that we are part of each other, including all aspects of nature and animals.
"The perfumed flowers Are our sisters The deer, the horse, the great eagle These our are brothers The rocky crests The juice of the meadows, The body heat of the pony, and man- All belong to the same family "
In order to work out the laws of Karma we must first start with ourselves and ask ourselves how well balanced we feel within ourselves? Do we take from others without considering their feelings? Do we give well in one area of life but give very little in another area? Or do we give too much and receive nothing back? If the latter is the case, then perhaps it is time to work out the test. Remember, life in many cases is about balance, therefore if you give too much then life will teach you that it is indeed too much! Therefore the result will be non returnable.
Many people believe that Karma is also the working of our past life mistakes and perhaps explains why certain people come into our lives at certain times for unexplained reasons. We often hear about this in relationships where two peoples’ eyes meet across the room and they feel a sudden pull in energy, like a magnetic force. This is usually to do with unfinished business or in terms of Karmic creation, the need to provide love and other emotions through multiple soul groups such as family, religion, community, relationships. It is believed that the individuals or groups that act soulfully or maliciously towards us are actually the vehicle of our own karmic creation, meaning you attract whatever you put out to the universe.
Many people these days believe in the principle of karma but fail to apply it to their daily lives simply because they are unsure of how to follow their own unique cycle. Sometimes it is not always easy to understand why we go through such hardship and chaos and it almost feels as if we are being punished by God in some way. But according to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery God does not produce illness in one person's body and develop Olympic athletic prowess in another's. It is believed that instead we create our own experiences. It is really an exercising of our soul's powers of creation.
Karma, is then said to be our best spiritual teacher. We spiritually learn and grow as our actions return to us to be resolved and dissolved. Therefore it could be said that there is no good and bad karma and that instead it is self-created which then leads to certain opportunities which enhance our spiritual awareness. If we can not learn life lessons then we will become agitated, repressed and angry, some even take their problems out on others which can be another reason as to why we face so many issues in society. It is important however that we deal with our inner pain so that we can become free and understand our own karmic cycles. Thomas Merton said: “The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you actually suffer”.
Things to think about:
Perhaps think about the things you have experienced in your own karmic cycle so far:
If you have had bad experiences, how have you dealt with those experiences? Have you dealt with repression? Sometimes when we don’t deal with repression we use it instead as an outward force of negativity that makes others feel vulnerable so karmically this could be affecting you.
Be aware that whatever it is you are putting out into the universe will eventually come back at you, therefore It is important to deal with your own inner conflicts spiritually so that you can arrive at the right tasks in life at the right time with the right people.
Pay attention to your inner thoughts: If you go through hardship ask the universe to provide you with a reason for why you are going through it. The answer will soon come and you will then begin to understand your own karmic cycle.
REFS Coming back to life – Joanna Macy http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/karma.html http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/pamphlets/KarmaReincarnation.html http://www.gotquestions.org/buddhism.html