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How to Change Your Karma
You Don't Deserve Any of This
Inmate #811 | Sep 17, 2014
Topic category: Zen Enlightenment
FROM:Type Zen

The word 'karma" gets misused a lot. Often times it's associated with "good" and "bad." Doing something "good" begets more "good" karma.

While the idea of karma is very simple, it is far more complicated than our notions of good and bad. "Karma" means your "actions." The things you do and say. Karma says you are a product of all your actions.

Of course, the saying "the devil is in the details" was made to describe the idea of karma.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no judgement in "karma." If someone associates the notion of "deserving" with karma they have made a grave mistake. They are really misusing the word.

There is no judge arbitrating whether someone's actions should bring them joy or sadness. If you steal something from someone, karma does not say you will come to regret it. There is no "karmic law" that says someone will then steal from you.

Nor does it mean that if you do something "good" you will get something "good" in return. It's not that simple.

So what is karma?

Well, it's easy to see how our "physical actions" effect us. Isaac Newton said, "every action has an equal and opposite reaction." The I Ching said the same thing about the Tao. Yin and Yang react with and against each other. Karma's physical manifestation is simply our movements and actions through time and space.

Anyone that exercises understands this. When we push our physical bodies in resistance to the background we become stronger. Whether it's the ground when we run on, the water when we swim in or the gravity of the earth as we hold poses in yoga or sit in mediation.

It's easy to see karma at work in the physical world, but think about all the countless physical actions we take everyday. Some conscious, most not. That's the vastness of karma.

But karma also has a non-physical manifestation. This is the where the details become particularly are important.

Karma is the combination of action AND intent.

It's our intent that poses the tricky part. Knowing what's in our heart.

And our heart can either be selfish or selfless. Is our intent to benefit ourself or others?

Remember, no judgement here. Like our physical actions, there is only our intent and reaction to our intent. Karma says when you promote yourself above others you will act in that way. In other words, selfish intent leads to selfish actions.

And karma says selfish actions lead to disconnection. A separation from everything that is not you. By definition, you are promoting yourself above everything else. As opposed to selfless intent that creates a connection with the world. A merging of yourself with everything else.

But karma takes no sides.

So if you steal something, karma says it's our intention that matters. Was it something that you stole for completely "selfish" reasons or was there an element of selflessness. Perhaps you're Robin Hood? That's very different than stealing to serve your own ends. It's your intention that shapes your actions and leads to your karma.

And that's why karma gets misused so often. Because we want to judge someone's intentions. We want to say, if you do selfish things like stealing, you deserve to suffer consequences.

But that's a trap. The only person's intention/heart you can know is your own. And most of us are so confused we don't even know that. So like the vast physical manifestation of karma, there is no way to know what our karma truly is.

Which means karma is something we can't control.

But we CAN change it!

We can choose to do selfless things, like help others or donate to worthy causes. To keep a "selfless heart."

And intention matters here too. Making an "anonymous" donation to a charity is different than writing a check and expecting some kind of recognition. The intention is different which means a persons heart are in different places depending on how you make a donation.

And just like going to the gym and getting stronger over time, selflessness will transform your karma overtime. Each individual act of kindness, love and compassion will beget more kindness love and compassion. Your selfless heart gets stronger.

And soon that will be your "good karma."

A life filled with love, compassion and connection.

Peace and love,

Inmate #811

The Zen Asylum

Tags: TypeZen, Stress Management, Stress, Type A, Type A Personality, Henry Kang, Inmate #811, Zen Asylum
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