In recent times, ancient eastern knowledge is getting recognition all around the world. There is a reason why these philosophies have lasted so long.
It does a world of good to anyone who understands them and lives life accordingly. People from all over the globe are starting to do just that and the results speak for themselves.
However, when people try to learn about these eastern philosophies, a lot can be lost in translation. It is usually observed that they are not able to grasp the great depth behind these concepts.
As a result, they are used in a more casual manner and suggested as Band-Aid solutions to modern problems. Take the concept of karma, for example. You have probably heard people use this term nonchalantly without even understanding what it truly means.
Karma means action. It is as simple as that. It doesn’t mean destiny or luck, which many people confuse it for.
As human beings, we perform countless actions daily. And although on a cosmic scale, there is no such thing as a good or bad action, we humans like to label things as either good or bad anyway. That is why it is said that the kind of actions you perform is the kind of karma you are creating.
Again, it is worth repeating that karma in itself is not good or bad. It is just that we view some actions as good and some actions as bad. What is good for one may not be good for the other, and the same goes for something bad.
The real insight that the concept of karma provides is that you will reap what you sow! If one can understand it truly, they can literally transform their lives.
How Does Karma Work?
In physics, you learn that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And while that was meant for the different forces in the universe, the concept also applies to karma.
The energy you create by performing any action, thinking any thought or feeling any emotion, will be returned to you in kind. The universe cannot and does not discriminate in this regard. You can think of it as something that is hard-wired into reality itself.
The time and place of this “return” are not fixed but you can rest assured that it will happen. The intensity of the return will be exactly the same as the intensity of the release.
This concept can really help you lead a mindful life. If you are aware of karma at all times, you will choose your actions, thoughts and feelings carefully and consciously. This is why spiritual masters are so zen all the time.
A deeper dive into this concept reveals why life seems to be cyclical. Good and bad times seem to happen in cycles, and karma might be responsible for it.
If you accrue enough good actions, you will witness a sustained period of happiness and contentment. If you accrue enough bad actions, you will witness quite the opposite. Karma denotes the causal relationship between our actions and their consequences.
That is why when people say “you reap what you sow” they are directly or indirectly referring to karma. This is the universe’s way of ensuring that you get what you deserve.
For those who ask why bad things happen to good people, well, there is this concept of carrying over karma. This means that the karma of this life may affect what you experience in your next life.
Why Is It Important?
If you understand the concept of karma, it will be immediately clear to you why it is so important. It is as if there is this cosmic accounting going on at all times where we make our credits or debits with our karma.
The resulting credit or debit depends on the type of karma we put out. It is really quite poetic if you look at it this way. It appears the universe has delegated the mechanism of reward and punishment to the karmic forces.
The awareness that the quality of the seed we plant will determine the quality of the plant that will grow, should be enough for most to be conscious of the seeds they plant.
In other words, being aware that our actions have real tangible effects and consequences can help us make decisions that produce the best results. After all, nobody wants to experience a life that feels like a painful chore or a huge punishment.
As with everything else, we hold the power of what our life will be like. We decide through our actions, thoughts and emotions what we will witness in the future. Sure, actions of the past may still come to haunt us, but if we react appropriately, their effects will end once and for all.
This is what spiritual teachers mean when they speak of attaining freedom. They want us to be free of the karmic cycles and live life to the fullest.
Ways To Create Better Karma
Now that you understand the role of karma in determining your life, the next logical step is to ensure that you only create the karma which will bring to you things, people and situations that you consider good. You don’t have to go out of your way to do the few things needed to build a better life.
In fact, these are things that you should have been doing in the first place. According to ancient beliefs, every human was supposed to live life a certain way with an understanding of how karma works.
Unfortunately, the ancient wisdom was replaced with modern-day scientific knowledge. But there are a handful of ways you can create better karma for a better life.
1. Be Mindful
This is the number one thing that you must do. Being mindful means being aware of the present moment and what you are doing. By doing so, you will only have the thoughts and emotions that you want to have.
You will only perform actions that will lead to something good. You will be empathetic towards others and live a much smoother life. Your mind and spirit will thus be more peaceful terrains.
This has a dual impact as far as karma is concerned. First, good karma will lead you to good things, people and situations. This is what we all really want.
The second impact is that this has the potential to soften the blow of bad karma and its consequences as well. So, if you have done something bad in the past, be sure to do good deeds and do a lot of them!
Meditation is a really powerful practice. More powerful than anyone can imagine or know. It is only those who practice intense meditation that understand the true potential of it.
Meditation allows you to do so many things. It can help you clear out unwanted thoughts and emotions. It can help you clear out your chakras of any negative energies. At the most fundamental level, though, it takes you from a state of activity to a state of silence.
When you have control over your thoughts and emotions thanks to meditation, you don’t allow negative ones to take over. As a result, you don’t put out anything in the universe that will come back to bite you.
Also, if you are able to feel intense feelings of bliss and pleasure, karmic law will make sure that you will get more of it in the future.
3. Practice Gratitude
Again, if you understand the core concept of karma, this one will be pretty obvious. If you practice genuine gratitude for all the things, people and situations that you currently have, you will get more of the same.
Even if something bad happens to you, you should remember that it might be a result of your bad actions in the past. If you accept this, you will release that old karma and it will be gone for good.
Being in a state of gratitude will make that acceptance much easier. In fact, you should also be thankful for the lessons that life teaches you. It only makes you much stronger and wiser. That ultimately helps you make better decisions, which result in a better life. That is what matters in the end.
4. Be Forgiving
We all have so many people in our lives. And where there are people, there are usually wrongdoings (or perceived wrongdoings) as well. Often, we get so tangled up in the wrongs that others have committed, that it creates a sort of invisible burden on our shoulders.
We begin to live life with a grudge for that person or in general, which just isn’t healthy. In fact, karmic law might repeat the same thing over and over again until you don’t learn your lesson.
The lesson being that the hurt you received is the return of some karma of yours in the past. Another lesson is that you should accept what has happened and forgive the person who has wronged you.
You must have forgiven someone at some point in your life and must have experienced the immense relief that it provides. It allows you to move on with your life minus all the baggage.
5. Be Courageous
Life is a rollercoaster ride. It makes you experience the highs as well as the lows. Challenges are a natural part of life. When faced with a challenge, you have two choices. You can either play the victim or you can courageously face them in the spirit of growth and learning.
If you choose to play the victim, you will create a lot of bad karma for yourself. That’s because your successive actions will be that of a victim.
If you face challenges with courage, however, you will create a lot of good karma. You will have the mentality of a winner and karmic law will present to you more situations where you turn out to be a winner.
6. Seek Spirituality
Spirituality is still a mystery to most people. They may not understand about the transformation that it can bring to their lives. You must understand the significance of spirituality and all the concepts it talks about.
If you are able to make it a part of life, you can rest assured that you will be creating powerful karma that will make your life more amazing than you could have ever imagined.
The world today is focused on the physical nature of reality. But the real magic happens in the metaphysical or the non-physical. If you really want to get the full taste of life, you must seek spirituality.
Eastern philosophies and concepts can be quite enlightening. They might require quite some time to learn and really understand. But if you are able to do so, you will achieve what you have been looking for your whole life. You will experience sustained happiness.
Understanding the concept of karma will take us many steps closer to our goal of a happy and balanced life. It helps us do what is right even in the face of difficulty and stay true to our morals.
All in all, it helps us become a much better version of ourselves.