My view is that we are always living in our karma—it doesn’t just take place after we die. All our thoughts, words and actions are on a trajectory outward—and it is the nature of reality that these thoughts and actions bend back and return to us in kind.
Thus, whatever we think or do comes back to us in some form or other; perhaps not in this lifetime, but it will find us. It’s like that boomerang that is thrown in the air and mysteriously returns to the sender.
Thus our action this moment—our thought this moment—is going out into the universe and will return to us at some point as our experience.
My belief is that it will come back in the most appropriate way for our spiritual growth.
So how are we seeing the world? Not so much what we see, but how we see. This also creates our experience of life. How we see is the basis of how we react to the seeming injustices, tragedies of our world.
What is the lens through which we are looking at life? Will we react or respond, which implicitly implies choosing how we think and act.
When we respond in a helpful way, rather than react to an unpleasant event in defensiveness, hurt or anger, life gets much more rewarding.
It is encouraging to know that we can train ourselves, through mindfulness, study, contemplation, etc to be part of the solution and not the problem.
There are many helpful tools that rewire our brain and build skills.
One such skill is equanimity. This gives us balance that steadies us so that we can act with more wisdom.
I often use this equanimity phrase:
“All beings are owners of their own actions. Their happiness or unhappiness depends upon their actions and not upon my wishes.”
By contemplating this idea often throughout the day I restrain myself from trying to fix the lives of others. For their life is not my journey, and my getting entangled in it is not helpful (and most often harms.)
The question arises whether I trust others to live their own journey. Or do I see them as weak—so weak that they need my “expert” help? This is how I see.
Do I trust their Spiritual Essence or not? Are they created from the same Invisible Substance as I am? Including all beings?
This does not mean that I won’t lift a finger to help another. Of course I try to do what is helpful and appropriate, but without meddling. There is a fine line between the two.
What do I trust? Where do I place my faith? On what is seen, or that which is unseen and in the state of becoming? What if the dark is the darkness of the womb?
By contemplation on these matters I am constructing my future karma.
A question I ask myself before I decide on what action to take is whether this will be helpful, or will it be a detriment? In order to answer this question I only need to ask myself if I am coming from fear or trust. What am I seeing? Universal energies which always supply adequate resources—or lack?
The answers will come from my unconscious; thus I need quiet reflection before I decide. The first few answers I hear are usually from the ego (that part of us that clings strongly to itself as a separate identity, alone, which breeds fear.)
If I choose an easy answer it is likely that I am falling into old habits. It takes effort to make wise choices.
As Obama has said, “Cynicism is an easy choice. Hope is a better one.”
Wise responses take effort.
Reaction is easy. By simply reacting, we abdicate our true power—the power to choose.
It is wise to reflect on the patterns that lie deep inside ourselves that cause us to react in fear.
And restraining ourselves from reacting is very wise. In this way we create new karma.
Then we begin to see differently.
Our seeing lights things up. It’s as if we turn on a bright light in a dark room. (The dark room is our unconscious which runs the show, as neuropsychology has discovered.)
Awareness lights up the unconscious, so that we can begin to see the old patterns of belief that caused us to act in unskillful ways.
For the unseen and unknown are always greater than that which is seen and known. This is the realm of possibilities.
There is a something within us which has brought us to this place and will help us into the next moment. This is grace. It’s here. It’s within us right now.
And this is our karma which can bring forth a new world.
And we don’t even need to how this all works. After all, who really understands the great mystery of evolution, karma, life and love?
May you live easily in the mystery,