Photograph: “A Closer Look Within” by P. Grodecki
This Week's Quote: “Electricity, like karma, is neither good nor bad; its effect is determined by how we treat it.” ~ N. J. Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga
We may often catch ourselves saying – and hearing others say – that a certain action brings good or bad karma. Many of us may believe that when we perform negative actions, they will come to haunt us in the future, as a form of payback. But what, exactly, is the meaning of karma?
Karma is intricately intertwined through our lifetimes and the lifetimes of those around us with whom we associate. I have found Nischala Joy Devi’s explanation of karma, in her book The Secret Power of Yoga, to be most logical. She explains that karma is dormant, potential energy that, when stirred, creates an after-effect. Our actions stir this potential energy, thus setting the wheels in motion. The potential of karma can either be beneficial or detrimental and it is up to us to choose wisely which action we should take. To make the matter a bit more complicated, karma also follows us from our past lives and the life we live now is determined on the basis of our past actions, which we may or may not recall. Of course, we cannot change what we may or may not have done in the past, but we can improve our judgment and act with care in this lifetime. Moreover, our family members, friends and loved ones affect our lives with their own karma, thus allowing our karma to be intertwined with theirs.
Having provided this explanation, I suspect you might wonder what comes next. What shall we do with this information? We could spend our time worrying about how our every action will influence our future and the future of those around us, but I suspect that the action of spending our time in a state of worry would only contribute negatively to our future. Instead, the goal of karma yoga is to transform our karma in order to open our hearts and give birth to beauty and love through selfless service, thus positively affecting our karma and the karma of those who benefit from our actions.
We may begin to practise selfless service by paying close attention to the needs of those around us and allowing our hearts to lead us toward the right answer. This week, I encourage you to begin thinking about how we can best benefit our community or another community that is in need of assistance – either financial assistance or assistance in the form of time that we can volunteer to dedicate to a helpful task. Likewise, please remember to also take some time, everyday, to engage in an activity that brings joy to your soul.
Affirmation: “I dedicate my time to selfless service to help others and to enrich my own life.”
Wishing you a happy week!