Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's Talk About ... Karma

Everyone has heard and spoken about karma at one point in their lives. The way I knew karma was related to a variation of the Golden Rule; "Do unto others as you would have done to yourself."

However, my conception of karma became misconstrued at one point, especially during high school, as I viewed karma as an almost vengeful energy that attacked people who had done me wrong.
Come on, we've all seen people we hated in high school who got fat and said, "Karma!" in THAT tone, shrugging our shoulders and secretly tasting the (let's admit it) sweet taste of revenge.
I've frequently used the phrase, "Karma will give them what's coming to them."
Well, no, that's not karma. That's me hoping for revenge and that someone's fiance leaves them at the altar, and that's toxic thinking... as sweet as that situation may be.

Okay, so the point I'm taking the long way 'round to is: Revenge and vengeance is NOT karma!!

Hinduism and Buddhism click in the instance that both promote tolerance. Karma, in both religions, is simply that everything has its effect, causing something else in turn. Aka - a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, and there's an earthquake elsewhere - heard of that analogy?
Yes, we all have.
Centuries prior to the Buddha, karma was taught as a part of "divine will" - not unlike God's will... enter 'smiting' - but the Buddha differed, and taught that we are all responsible for our own destinies.

So, the lesson learned for me here is that just because I was treated unjustly at the end of a prior relationship doesn't mean that "karma" is gonna swoop down on Mister Dude and ruin his future endeavors. He's made the new relationship for himself, obviously its a great one, and he has created a new destiny for himself.... just as I have. And I've created a happy one. I'm not going to rely on karma to exact my vengeful wishes, but I will embrace karma as it encourages me to make my own destiny; to send good energy out into the world and recieve good energy back. Think of the Lion King: "The Circle of Life".

However, I will not claim to ever be immune to thought of revenge and vengeance... I will vow to not let them consume me. I must practice tolerance, as it is so fundamental to following the Way and achieving nirvana.

Let's think again of the Zen teaching: "Hold onto a feeling, good or bad, and feel this feeling until it cannot be felt anymore. Then, simply, let it go."


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