Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Karma



kar·ma   
NOUN:
  1. Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.
  2. Fate; destiny.
  3. Informal A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling: There's bad karma around the house today.
I’d love to believe in karma – that the bad things people do will come back to bite them & that the good things people do will be rewarded. And I do believe that our actions have consequences. But bad things happen to good people. It’s not just a saying – it’s the truth. I don’t believe that their behavior in past lives is giving them grief now, and I don’t believe that God is punishing them in some way. Things happen. It’s up to us to live up to our own ideals (for me those would be the WWJD* ideals) and forge a path through life that leads to as few regrets as possible.

When I put karma on the gratitude list I think what I had in mind is that I’m really grateful for the life that I lead. I was given the opportunity to go to college. I’ve never had to go hungry (quite the opposite, in fact!). I’ve always had access to clean water and good health care. I married my soul mate (almost 21 years ago!). I am deeply aware of how blessed I am. And I know that things could change at any moment.

For today, let’s just savor what’s good in our lives. We can go back to our regularly scheduled kvetching tomorrow. 


*What Would Jesus Do. Although Who Wants Jack Daniels would be pretty darn interesting too :)

14 comments:

  1. WWJD? That's Who Wants Jack Daniels, right? Oh, I hope your hopes about karma are wrong cuz that one's going to come back and bite my behind.

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  2. I'm with you, blogger buddy. Savoring the good.

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  3. Since I've been without internet for most of the past month, I didn't know about your alphabetical gratitude list. How fun! Can I copy? :)

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  4. My wife is a firm believer in Karma. She believes that if you put out positive energy then that energy will come back to you. She has a lot of positive energy.

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  5. Alack, in general, one cannot expect karma to come back around in one lifetime. I'm sorry, dear Bug. Karma is about the sum of ones actions in life determining the station into which one is born in the next life. Live as best you can according to the principles of dharma, and you can expect to move up the existence ladder when you are reborn, with the ultimate goal of breaking free from samsara, the pattern of death and rebirth. Trying to live a good life regardless of all the bad stuff is hard, isn't it? And yet that is the challenge of karma. Buddhism is more straightforward than Hinduism, in general: all life is dukkha, suffering. Sigh.

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  6. I agree and disagree with you and with Dr. M. There is no punishment in karma. It is just the balance. What you do comes back to you. And it may take many lifetimes to come back to you. But...we also create our own reality (before and after incarnation). When we incarnate, we decide what life lesson/s we want to work on. Perhaps we think we need to work more on compassion and so we set up the circumstances of our birth to challenge ourselves to develop that attribute. We may choose, also, a life of suffering to atone in one fell swoop as it were for an accumulation of dishing out the same. Punishment and atonement are not the same. After incarnation, our belief system is the engine that powers the energy of thought. If you view yourself as a victim you will become a victim. If you view yourself as competent and strong, that is what you become. Still, things will happen that we don't understand. But that's the nature of the universe. There are seven billion of us in the incarnate world. we're bound to bounce off each other now and then. God is just the source that loves us from whence these bits of incarnate life and experience emanate. We (and by we I mean all living things, even things we consider inanimate have a sort of consciousness) are the individual beams of radiance from the one.

    How's that for esoterical?

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  7. I like both Dr M and Ellen's expositions.

    Dukha or suffering is born of attachment to things, people, ideas, etc. If we can like a life where we are not attached to all the material world has to offer, then we will be free of suffering - apparently.

    Being free of attachment does not mean being free of love and compassion, but the ability serenely to let go of things reduces the suffering. Golly, what a thought-provoking post!

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  8. I can`t say anything smart to this, because I simply don`t know. Yes, I`d WISH that my good energy comes back, and that all my kindness will have an effect, either on me or on others, and I`d like others who have done me good, will somehow be rewarded, but is it so? Still, why not behave as if it were? It is a pretty good philosophy.

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  9. To shift the dialogue just a bit, Puritan Calvinists, for all that we like to critique and criticize them, were onto something: one cannot know whether or not one is a part of the elect of God, according to Calvin, but one should live each day as if one is. There is a "golden rule" profundity to this that is often overlooked. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; put out positive energy and receive it from others; focus on who you want to be, and create that reality; let go of things that weigh you down, and live in the light of love and compassion. Why not?

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  10. On the other hand, the Puritans did try to exterminate the Pequot, and, well, there's that whole witch hysteria thing...

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  11. I'm with you, too, and endeavor to be mindful and thankful for the many blessings I have in life. On a daily basis, through my work and hospice ministry (for that is what my work is to me), I see multifactorial suffering, be it financial, physical, spiritual or psychological. I don't know why some seem to suffer more than others, but can only work to alleviate or ameliorate the suffering I encounter.

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  12. I am almost scared to comment after all those other smart people...ha ha.

    Love ya Bug, here's to Jack Daniels.

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  13. Amy, much of my smartness apparently resides in my backside, lol. Also, I do love Jack Daniels, and his less expensive cousin, Evan Williams, sometimes too much for my own good :-)
    Dear Rudee...you are the embodiment of grace. Love to you, my friend!

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  14. OK, now my head hurts :) But I think there's truth somewhere in these comments.

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!