There is a word that once uttered creates powerful imagery and foreboding within the collective human consciousness much like a blood soaked Martin Scorsese film, that word is Karma. A concept readily spoken about in the media, at bus stops, Buddhist centres, and on TV soaps but seemingly misunderstood. Whilst in the East this prominent word is used in most faiths including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism it is normally strongly identified with Buddhism.
It is often misused in conjunction with the dramatic unravelling of our lives. Sometimes it’s used to justify illness, misfortune, heartache and a bad hair day.
What is Karma?
In Western society it is at times mechanically explained as cause and effect somewhat undermining the fluidity with which Karma breathes. For centuries Eastern philosophies have been moulded to Western frameworks naturally giving rise to misinterpretation and confusion. American Zen teacher Ken McLeod says “The full term for Karma in Tibetan is ‘las.rgyu.abras’ which in translation yields action-seed-result.”
We can view Karma then as actions/intentions that grow from seeds creating results. Sometimes we plant a seed with the best of intentions, but it may not receive enough sunlight or too much water and so we do not always reap what we sow as a result of conditions.
“Walking out the ladies I was oblivious to the fact that my skirt was neatly tucked between my butt crack.” is usually met with “Must be your Karma luv!” Really? I thought it might just have been a momentary lapse in mindfulness. We readily judge whether a person has good or bad karma within three seconds of finding out what they do for a living. If we view their life as virtuous we exalt this person to having had very good karma – with a smidgen of envy – This has happened on a few occasions whilst staying at a Buddhist centre in North England.
When I tell visitors and practitioners that I paint Buddhist deities in the art studio I’m met with doey eyed awe other tasks such as house cleaning and kitchen duties are subtley reduced leaving my cheeks feeling slightly flushed. We must remember that altruistic service to others takes many forms, from the amicable taxi driver who takes you where you need to be, to the bin man who collects your rubbish.
There is selfless service and a touch of the divine in all these endeavours, not just painting the whites of eyeballs on Buddhist statues (as enjoyable as I find it)
Karma from a Multidimensional perspective
Comments such as “You must have some strong Karma to be painting in the art studio…” are common but misguided however good willed their intention. What people don’t know about me is the emotional and physical trauma I suffered in childhood (which helped cultivate my empathy and loving-kindness towards others, particularly children) that my heart was repeatedly broken in spectacular fashion – it would certainly have put an episode of Dawsons Creek to shame – in a dark nightmare I thought I would never wake from.
Or that I’ve struggled with the shadow of depression from very early on in life when most children where playing hopscotch with their friends. Amidst the volatility I endured, around 11 years of age it was not uncommon for me to write letters to God, Source or a Higher Intelligence pleading for intervention.
So what do these combined events say about my Karma? Not many people know the full extent of these events, how they impacted my psyche and ultimately my life purpose. Now more than ever I believe I helped purposefully orchestrate some of these painful life lessons before incarnating. Not because I was a peadophile or Nazi in a past life or as a result of ‘bad karma’ or ‘karmic debt’ but to grow and expand my souls perspective.
The role of Karma works with us from a Multidimensional perspective. It is not limited by linear time, our belief systems, or our distorted perception of what we deem right or wrong. The Universe is without judgement or discrimination in human terms, it seeks to restore balance not retribution or punishment.
Sometimes we find solace in the notion that cosmic law will punish those who wronged us. However as too often is the case, through experience we see it doesn’t always work out this way.
Punishment is not something handed out by the greater consciousness, it is usually something we inflict upon ourselves.
The Multiverse is far more intelligent, benevolent and dynamic than we currently perceive. Those ‘wrong doings’ are gifts in disguise for our learning and souls growth. Your Karma is created in each moment with each thought and deed, it is not a burden to be lived but a seed of intention to be nurtured.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. – Gautama Buddha