Karma

Posted: February 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: meditation | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Karma

Last night I went to the final dharma talk of a series that David Nichtern gave at OM Yoga. It was about Karma – how to recognize our habitual tendencies and how to shift those habits with a dedicated meditation practice. I’ve always thought a lot about karma as a kid (and heard it about it frequently during dharma talks at temples, with Dad, etc). The whole idea of cause and effect was somehow reassuring to me since I felt empowered to control the future in a way.   And if you believe in lifetimes, then you can affect future lives.  It’s all so simple.  I think of it as a credit/debt system. You build up good credit or you build up debt.  And then you’ll have to pay up or redeem your good fortune. Sometimes, I feel funny about paying money to listen to dharma talks since I’ve always had free access to them. But I find David’s talks enjoyable and enlightening and filled with good reminders.  (Will be going to another one next Monday).   During the discussion, I asked David to talk about linkages and why there’s seemingly an uneven distribution of “karma.”  Since he made an analogy to washing dishes (if you don’t do the dishes today, they’ll be there tomorrow), I asked why it seems like we have to do other people’s dishes sometimes.   He thought I was dealing with a personal issue but I was really just thinking of the world at a macro level. Why does it seem like some people are just always down and out and others have good fortune even though it doesn’t seem like they deserve it? As an adult, I’ve often wondered why some people don’t “get what’s coming to them.”  Or maybe I just don’t see it. If I could have one superpower, it would be to see the inner workings of karma.  Like maybe there’s an app that let’s you see the direct effects of certain actions.  But I know it’s not a one to one relationship.  It’s just that when you hurt in some way or you see a group of people hurt (through no visible fault of their own), you want that hurt to happen to the perpretrator.

Meditation helps us to slow down and see what’s going on before reacting, and therefore shift “karma”.  It’s definitely something I need to work on.  Having a practice would probably have prevented the numerous battles I’ve had with family members and loved ones.   Yesterday, I hurt V because I unconsciously rolled my eyes as he was telling me something.   During the talk, I kept reflecting back to that moment.  Because of my action, I caused a bunch of negative emotions which didn’t have to happen. Yeah, karma.