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Karma
It's Just a Fancy Word for Cause and Effect

Karma. To some the word still denotes tie-dyed hippies on acid, waving the peace sign and trying to be mystical. Others think Karma only concerns past lives - so if you don't believe in reincarnation, you don't have to worry about it. These limiting views of Karma completely ignore the fact that we are all subject to Karma every day of our lives, even if we think this life is the only one we've got. Purely and simply, Karma is the Law of Cause and Effect.

(Article continued below.)

Karma is a big part of Hinduism and Buddhism, so of course it's also a big part of Yoga. In fact, there is one branch of Yoga called Karma Yoga (it actually seeks to rise above Karma through selfless service). As most people know, Hindus and Buddhists believe in reincarnation. They say that your actions in your past lives determine the quality of the life you have now. If you were a thief during some long-ago era, then you can expect that someone will steal from you now. Were you a nasty feudal lord who was cruel to the peasants? Maybe that explains why you have such an overbearing boss in this lifetime. On the other hand, you could once have been a generous soul who shared her wealth and wisdom with others. Perhaps that's why your present life seems to be charmed. It goes both ways. Karma from past lives is also expressed by your overall character - who you are is the sum total of where you have been. There is nothing you can do about the Karma you have accumulated from past lives except experience its rewards or woes until balance is once again achieved.

But Karma is much more than a series of debts to be paid. Our mission on earth is not to just sit back and take whatever Karma we earned from lives we experienced before. It is far more important to remember that we continue to create Karma every day of our present existence. All our actions create Karma - acts of kindness and good draw positive events to you; bad actions attract negativity. The Law of Karma is quite mathematical in its precision - we are always receiving exactly what we deserve. If we don't see that, it's because we don't have the consciousness to fully see the big picture. The bottom line is we have no control over our past, but we certainly have the ability to do something about our present. The Law of Karma teaches us responsibility and accountability.

Next page >> The Magic of Karma >> Page 1, 2

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