Karma means action, deed and doing, willfully or semi-unaware. Only a fraction of karma is expressed in words and visible behavior. The rest plays out within the mind as wishes, secret urges, neuroses and our daily emotions. Each moment of intention spins a cord of karma that will pull events we face in later lives or within this life. Just because the inner life is invisible to others, it still has consequences, like a string on a puppet that moves its legs and mouth. Right now, this human body walks and talks controlled by karmic strings invisible to our eyes. These strings are spun from our thoughts and emotions, we call them habits, personality, and what I like and dislike.
Every single moment this stream of being is bombarded with uncountable impressions through the senses, through memories and the echoes of present thoughts. This colorful and multifaceted barrage that we call our life and world, is it fate, destiny, or divine intervention? Whatever the label, it is the infinitely detailed consequences of mental, verbal and physical actions created by former moments of the same stream of mind. That is the law of karma. Is it personal? Yes, it is. Is it created by the present you? No it isn’t. Is it created by someone else? Absolutely not! The present mind suffers or enjoys the consequences of actions created by earlier moments of mind. Not somebody else’s mind, but your mind. This is the ultimate conspiracy, but also the perfect justice. Moreover, it isn’t carved in stone; it’s a workable situation, because you can change your karma, by changing habits and direct your own destiny, in the present moment.
When we witness or read about cruelty, hear about rape or exploitation, trafficking, economical, social or psychological abuse, the first feeling is outrage, indignation and the wish to help the victims. Often we forget that the perpetrators create tremendous negative karma to become victims in the future, not necessarily in this life. We should take a stand out of kindness to help them stop. Every little act of kindness or cruelty matters and has consequences. The way to change the karmic pattern is to be mindful, and then to accept and reject. This doesn’t mean to be in a passive, neutral state of noticing, while hurting others, being a jerk or bitch, mindfully. It’s so important to take distance from the tendency to hurt another or oneself with the firm decision: I will not be this way. Otherwise the circle never ends, the strings are never broken. Don’t think that subtle aggression is fine as long as no words are spoken and no stones are thrown. Hate hurts the hater, it leaves a track that is easy to follow next time and next life.
It’s almost impossible to see what we did hundred lifetimes ago, but the echoes are played out daily in the form of likes and dislikes, preferences and inclinations, and it is here that we can directly step in and make a change. Softening the heart thins the veil of karma, making it easier to be free, open, kind and wise. Don’t be condescending, even jokingly, don’t tease by pointing out another’s faults; it’s not really funny. Verbally bulling undermines the self-worth in someone who trusts you, chipping away the trust. And what does it do to you? It damages your intuitive intelligence and empathy, numbs your sensitivity, making you one step closer to be heartless. This track leads to lack of situational awareness, both toward others and inwardly blind to one’s mistakes; therefore it’s better to be kind.
As conscious beings in a human body, we are not vacant space, and we are also not biological robots. We are embodied spirits. Part of our stream of consciousness is to throw balls out into our living dimension, incessantly. As the ball hits the wall, you hear that famous thump sound, and then the rubber’s yielding, compression and expansion allow the magical bounce sending it into space, following exact laws of physics. It’s unmistakable. It’s fun. Every child knows it. They game is to catch it as it flies right at you, the one who threw it.
There are two ways to deal with already created karma. One is to throw more balls of kindness and mindful presence. The other is skillful ways of catching previous thrown balls by handling the pains and the joys that we experience every day, emotions in all varieties, and in the form of people around us, moods of every kind, dilemmas and obligations. All that happens can be used as way to loosen up the knots of self. One way is to savor each moment, appreciating its uniqueness, it makes you more content and enriched. One way is to give room to every pain and pleasure; this makes you more balanced on an even keel. One way is to think, this is all magical illusions; this makes you less frustrated and more at ease. One way is to shoulder hurts, wishing others to be free; this fosters greater courage and a noble mind.
Usually people only think that the word karma means what happens to me, but not my present actions. But to master karma we have to change what we do, not what happens. Therefore if you want to do yourself a favor, stop yanking the invisible strings of karma that cause pain. Do not take the life of a single creature, no matter how small. Everyone wants to live, so let the living be. Save lives, set them free. Especially, help minds to be free. Don’t pull the strings that cause pain and suffering through abuse or manipulation. Don’t invest your pension funds in companies that make bombs or steal from others.
May every ball we throw be boundless kindness and compassion and every action noble and spontaneous, to pacify and enrich, to magnetize and subjugate, ensuring peace and freedom for everyone.Featured image: Fun in Galway by Barnacles Hostels. Photo of ball player by Moise Theodor, Romania.
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