Karma – unlike popular belief – is not PAY BACK for the bad things we’ve done in a former lifetime. Karma is the link between our actions/life and the co-reaction of the Universe. For instance – let’s say you murder someone – you have had a ripple-effect on the dead person, but you have also affected everyone who knew that dead person or loved that dead person. You have consequently affected yourself. There is a cause and effect in this action.
This is a truth about every action you take. The values you carry around in your material life will affect your spiritual life. It is hard to speak to God while you are cheating on your taxes, ripping off your customers, abusing your wife/husband …………….
It is not that the spiritual life is a difficult one at all. It is just an honest life. To do anything that you – deep in your heart – know is wrong will bring consequences you will not be comfortable about or in.
A sense of moral courage allows you to grow into a state of Grace – that state where you no longer create those ripples of karma but merely help others. If every action you commit is intended for the good of someone else – you have reached that state of Grace. Some religious beliefs hinge on the premise that you will not reach Grace until you are dead. For instance, the Christian religion. If I heard it once I heard it a million times from my mother – your reward is in Heaven.
I thought of heaven as existing somewhere in the sky with an old white man with white hair and a beard. Of course he was sitting on a throne. He was a fixed image – he never moved in my visualization. At the age of 11 – amidst a discussion with Mom regarding hell – I explained to her we were already in hell and no matter what we did we’d still be in hell. Mother was not amused having used Christianity as a crutch for all of her life. It is such a good breast-beating religion. The Bible even told Mom that she would be persecuted and oh boy did she love that.
Of course she never stopped to think that being angry with everyone or saying mean, nasty and obnoxious things to people whenever she felt like it had any effect on her life at all. I remember being shocked when Dad was upset that not many people came to her funeral. I looked at Dad and explained that you cannot ream people a new asshole and expect them to come mourn your passing. He even admitted that Mom did not have the milk of human kindness in her heart. No she did not at all.
This disconnect between who you are, what you do and your intentions creates karma. This may feel to some like punishment and it surely is not a good state in which to live. It is as pointless as trying to control or change everything in your life by sheer will – my particularly karmic lesson. It cannot be undone until you accept that what you do affects every molecule, every atom, every nano-partical in the Universe.
Some of use are lucky enough to catch on to this early. How I wish I had! Being aggressive, pushy and judgmental – I have spent most of my 61 years in this unreality trying to change unreality. It was not enough for me that everything changes anyway – I had to direct it onto the freeway and make it go above the speed limit.
I don’t struggle with that need for instantaneous change any more. I have not learned to let go – the hands I was clutching sure destruction in have been cut off. The Universe has repeatedly shown me that I will not get what I want when I want it – but I will get what I need when I need it. I can back off.
In meditation karma can be changed to Grace in an instant. It may take years of meditation practice – but the change will be instantaneous and blessed and awe-inspiring.
While chanting Hare Krishna Hare Ram – Om Namah Shivaya – Mere Gurudev – the Hanuman Chalisa – I cry in joy. Joy that the face of Sri Lord Krishna is looking at me with unbounded love. The joy that Hanuman is explaining how wonderful I am to Ram. The joy that Sri Lord Krishna feels seeing me adore Him so.
Grace is nowhere else than with you. You cannot chase him up a mountain or down a stream. He is not in the clouds or hovering over you. He is within. I know you’ve heard this countless times and I know because it used to piss me off too! I know how impossible it sounds that Grace can only be found in your heart. Open your heart – break down that steel door and Grace will creep in ———— you will know he’s there ……………