Karma, according to Wikipedia, is the concept of “action” or “deed” in the Indian religions.
It is understood to be the reason that causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.
As a young girl, I thought this word to be “bad” or negative. I thought it was like a curse, when doing something negative or “wrong”, playmates would say, “You will get karma if you do that!”. It seems like a warning to veer away from wrongdoing.
At this point of in my life, I had learned to take the word and its meaning to steer me towards better thoughts, deeds and words.
It starts with being good to one’s self, to myself. I learned how to value health and wellness. I take time to build my strength and stamina through asana and pranayama practice. Aside from the physiological outcome I get from this, it also gives me focus, clarity and steadiness of mind. When I feel physically well, I feel happy and healthy. It makes me want to share the good feelings to others.
I believe that it reflects in my work; when discussing and dealing with others, preparing lectures and papers, treating patients and teaching students. When I practice yoga, significant people in my life don’t worry about me getting sick — my hubby, my parents, my siblings and closest friends.
Karma reminds you to always treat others well. When you exude the energy of giving and openness when meeting and greeting people, they respond to you in the same manner. In the past, I tend to be aloof (to cover my shyness) and closed to people, the responses I got were in the same manner. And this applies to each person you talk to; the president of the University, the Dean of the College, the student, mother of patient, the shrimp vendor, the lobby guard…it applies to ALL!
Karma, helps me make choices. Aside from the usual parameters in making decisions such as, “do I have the time?” or “am I capable of doing this?”, I usually think, “how can this help others?”, “how many will benefit, if i do this?”. When I get the answer to the last two questions, deciding to do something becomes more meaningful and less stressful. It also takes away from my mind of what will I get out of doing this activity. The decision then is more of giving than receiving.
Moral choices also become easier if one keeps in mind karma. It reminds you of your childhood and your parents and always choosing to do what is right, even when no one is looking. Karma reminds you that there is a higher being who “checks” on what you are doing.
I am not a “saint” nor a perfect human being always doing good…I have met others who are at a higher plane in that aspect than I am. I still do, say and think “things” that scares me of getting on the ‘negative’ side of that karmic cycle. But I am trying each day. And what helps me to shove me back to my senses or pinch me until it hurts, is the thought of karma.
Take each day to one at a time…to think, say and do good deeds…you don’t know what tomorrow might bring you.