In reading Depok Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, I find myself dwelling on the concept of karma. Karma is a deep seeded notion that can be found in yogic and Buddhist teachings, but it is also a word that is thrown around without much thought. If I ask any of my high school students what karma is, they’ll reply with, “What goes around comes around.” In Radiohead’s song Karma Police, the karma police arrest one, “when you mess with us,” and who wants to have the karma police after them. While we find the negative ideas and personifications to be the most basic of understandings and explanations of karma, I know it is much more than that. Through reading, research and life experience I know karma to be an ingenious beast. However, we need to know what karma truly is in order for it to help us flourish in the most positive fashion.
Karma is a Sanskrit term meaning, “action or deed,” however it is also the consequence of the action. This brings us back to, “what goes around comes around” or as Depok Chopra states, “what you sow is what you reap.” Every action or thought in our lives, no matter how minute sets our karma into motion, whether we are conscious of it or not. These actions or choices if you will help create our day, our relationships, our lives and they are what allow us to change, grow and evolve. Every passing moment of our lives we are creating karma. We are sending messages via our thoughts or actions by way of how we chose to live our lives. Karma is much more than a boomerang effect; it’s a sonic boom that echoes out into the universe. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “If you want to know what you have done in the past, look at what your life is now and if your want to know what kind of person you will be in the future, look at what you are thinking now.” How have your actions or thoughts shaped your life? Have you ever really sat down and thought about it? Did you even realize this was karma?
Now bring yourself into the present tense bearing this initial lesson in karma, what thoughts and choices are shaping your life now? Is there anything you’d change? I am willing to bet good money that there is definitely room for improvement now that you’re that much more aware. Conscious awareness of your thoughts and actions will bring a new sense of peace to your inner self. In your heart of hearts you know what you want and you know how you’d like for your life to play out. You know whether or not your thoughts and actions will cause you immense happiness or grief. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll know what type of garden you’d like to grow (remember, “What you sow is what you reap.”) However, we are human and subject to our own pitfalls, but that is when we bear in mind that we can always undo what we have done. One of my favorite movie quotes is from Vanilla Sky, “every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.” Don’t worry if you “mess” up your karma and pluck out a few roses that should have stayed in your garden, you can always replant.