The Law of Karma
“Growing is the most important and essential endeavor that a human being can undertake.” Swami Chetanananda
The Law of Karma is related to cause and effect. As we sow, so we reap. The energy we send out is the kind of energy that returns. When we choose, consciously, actions that bring success and happiness to others, then the fruit of our karma is success and happiness. The Law of Karma is often misunderstood and misinterpreted in the West. We often feel as though we are imprisoned by it. However, Sri Swami Satchidananda says: “It is the mind that performs all the karmas.” (THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI) If the mind performs all the karmas, we can change our minds – thereby changing our karmas. Dr. Deepak Chopra sees karma as “an assertion of human freedom.” We are infinite choice-makers: ” In every moment of your existence, the real you resides in the field of pure potentiality where you have access to unlimited choices. Some of these choices are made consciously, while most are made unconsciously. The best way to understand and maximize the use of karmic law is to become consciously aware of the choices you make in every moment.” (THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF YOGA)
For those of us who teach and/or practice classical Hatha Yoga we see our choices reflected as we move through our asanas (postures) aware of our reactions to them. If we push beyond our edge in a pose our body-mind reacts with strain. As Dr. Chopra says, “if your body is unusually uncomfortable the morning after a yoga session, it is most likely the result of your ignoring the Law of Karma. You probably pushed too hard, making a less than ideal choice, and the karmic cost is your discomfort.”
Finding ourselves swimming in darkness, however, does not always mean that we are experiencing karmic consequences. Sometimes lightworkers ‘dive in’ where others fear to tread – due to their particular life purpose. Lightworkers are frequently found in the trenches of life due to their empathy and desire to help. Diving in (with the proper protection and angelic assistance) and combating dark energy (think Luke Skywalker) and being a social activist is a great service to the planet. However, lightworkers who are here to transmute dark energy need to be as skilled, or more so, as those who use their powers for the ‘dark arts.’ Luckily, we all have spirit guides to help us with our lessons, which can be many and varied depending on our path and karma. And, fortunately, our guides are more advanced then we are! A spirit guide can also benefit by helping you – because it may help them balance out some of their own karma. As you are aware, every relationship is reciprocal, whether or not we ‘see’ it.
So, what would be an example of a karmic condition? Swami Sivananda Radha gives us one example: ” The child who comes into this life unwanted has a very tragic life ahead. However, at one time there may have been a karmic condition in which good parents were not appreciated, so in this life conditions are reversed, and now the child feels rejected or simply tolerated. It could also be that in a past life there was great attachment to the father and mother, so in this one there are parents who do not care, in order to help the individual break attachment to family. If we attach our emotions to someone and become possessive, in another life we may be given a chance to undo that; in this way we learn balance, loving without wanting to possess.” (FROM THE MATING DANCE TO THE COSMIC DANCE)
What does Sylvia Browne have to say about karma? Sylvia points out that motives are a major factor when it comes to karma: ” We’ve all hurt people in our lives and I’ll bet thirty to forty percent of my clients every single week spend part of our time together trying to work through the guilt they’re consumed with over one issue. In addition to asking if they have done everything they can to take responsibility for the pain they’ve caused and to make things right again, … my other question… is “Did you deliberately hurt the person or was it inadvertent?” Sylvia says ( and I agree) that genuinely inadvertent harm does not equate to dark karma. She also assures us that the opposite is true :”if you live your life with little or no regard for other people but have developed a talent for shifting the blame or creating inventive excuses when it looks like there may be consequences, don’t be too quick to relax.” (PHENOMENON)
During my classical Hatha Yoga Instructor training programme (thirty years ago now) we studied the Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, the Vedas and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – who is called the “Father of Yoga.” Patanjali observed that “everything is painful for the discriminating person.” James McCartney notes that increasing sensitivity is a mark of unfolding spiritual consciousness, developing Patanjali’s thoughts that “in transforming ourselves from a run-of-the-mill, unthinking, insensitive individual, to a sensitive, discriminating person our values have changed, and habit moulds (Sanskaras), developed over the years, will now find themselves under the stress of transformation to a new and more sensitive mould.” McCartney indicates that not only do we suffer pain from external sources through our sense perceptions, “but we are also under stress from the psycho-physiological changes which take place in our system.” (PHILOSOPHY & PRACTICE OF YOGA) I can confirm this from my own practice of classical Hatha Yoga – especially after it led to a Kundalini awakening during a yoga workshop with a few of my advanced students during the mid-90s. The result of a consistent, disciplined practice.
Hatha Yoga is only one of a multitude of practices and paths that can lead to spiritual growth and awakenings. However, yoga is a path where it is clear from the beginning of our practice that our goal is union with our Source. Nevertheless, it is not the goal, but rather the journey, that is emphasized. Thirty years ago I took to yoga like a duck to water! Thanks to amazing teachers who had studied with renowned instructors such as Swami Sunita and B.K.S. Iyenger & Sri Baba, among others. Of course, as with all our special teachers along the way – although we love them dearly – we often do not really know the depth of their knowledge and dedication and discipline until they are seen through our rear view mirror and we realize the full extent of what they taught us. Something my life-writers and I explored at Monterey Centre. As I sometimes tell my fellow yoga students, although I did not begin my yoga training until I was 35, I knew at 9 years old that I would someday do those “weird positions” and was secretly thrilled! I had found an old book at a flea market and browsing through it made my heart sing. I am feeling the original thrill that I felt at 9 as I write this! I just asked my angels if I was a Hindu in a past life? Yes!! It must have been one of the ‘good ‘ ones.
If we all remembered our past lives, maybe we would be less racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic etc. etc. There are so many lessons to learn from our past lives. I have remembered, spontaneously, only a small fraction of mine: a life as a well-off Persian (male) government administrator, a poverty-stricken, homeless man in Bulgaria who died cold and starving; a young female initiate in Egypt during the time of the female pharaoh, a young girl called Mercy who died of a respiratory illness during the Renaissance, a priestess called Livera, who lived in Atlantis and used crystal beds to heal; a Lakota Medicine Woman whose specialty was herbology, an African-American male slave (deeply devoted to Jesus) called Joshua. There are a couple more (I will save these in case I write a book about my past lives with my dear friend – we talk about that in the future!) Of course, as I always remind my clients, our current life is the important one and the life to focus on, however, we can heal and release past lives so that we can be free of past life destructive relationship patterns and health and financial conditions that are rooted in the past. Dr. Doreen Virtue teaches us that sometimes centuries of trapped energies need to be released – and this is why Doreen and Archangel Michael cut all our cords to past lives where we were persecuted in the past for practicing “witchcraft”. (Doreen did this at the very outset of the Angel Therapy (R) Practitioner’s course). This was done so that Doreen and the angels could help us all ‘open’ up psychic gifts that had closed down in an effort to allow physical survival. Nine million women were killed by the end of the Inquisition (if you are a male reading this, you too may have been one of them and if you are a female you may have been an inquisitor), as Diane Stein reminds us there was an effort to”put men in control of women and of healing.” (ALL WOMEN ARE HEALERS) Using our psychic/spiritual abilities to do readings and healings landed us in hot water in the past – both literally and figuratively. Tears flowed in the St. Regis ballroom and Kleenex was at a premium. Now, in this current lifetime, besides doing readings, I help other people open up their psychic gifts, as requested. As we continue our journey we dis-cover that as karma is balanced, we can feel compassion for another soul’s journey, while neither condoning their actions nor continuing a toxic relationship, including with those now on the Other Side.
Sylvia Browne’s body-of-work also included working with her spirit guides and angels regarding “cell memory and morphic resonance.” At one of Sylvia’s famous parlour evenings, her spirit guide Francine was asked, “Will my cells reincarnate with me?” Francine replied: ” No, but there’s a memory within your entire molecular structure that seems to come in with you. So if you’ve had an episode in this life in which you almost drowned at a very early age , don’t you think that your whole cell makeup would shudder at the thought of deep water? Of course it would. Compound that with all of the incarnations you’ve had and the moral or mental issues you’ve gone through – the debasement of self, the possibility that you might have been tortured in a life, the theme of ultimate rejection in so many lives – and you should be very proud that you’re even able to stand in an upright position, as Sylvia says.” (PSYCHIC HEALING). Writing this reminds me of my most dramatic past-life healing session years ago now, with a client who had been experiencing what I will call survival issues and was being influenced in this lifetime by a past-life of which she was clearly unaware until the angels showed me (through my clairvoyance) this Neanderthal-looking man . This made great sense to me as the imbalance in my client was predominantly being expressed through her root chakra. It was becoming physically debilitating and doctors, after extensive tests, MRIs etc. could not assist her. She said they figured it was “in her head.” My client, a woman very open to psychic healing worked with me and her guides and angels and we contacted this seemingly brutish kind of man (for which I felt great compassion as I saw him) and with Divine Magic of a sort that only the Angels and Ascended Masters can do – we ‘shrunk’ him so to speak, almost as an analyst ‘shrinks’ their patient – but – not before fully acknowledging him and his pain. As you must know – I cannot really describe in words what actually happened – but he seemed to shrink in influence – taking his place in my client’s past where he belongs. He remains in the heart of my client and now also in mine. Thank you Angels!
As an Angel medium, I realize now – at this stage of my life – that without following my path of Hatha Yoga – I would be unlikely to be communicating with angels, consciously. Because, the progressive concentration upon certain parts of the body during asanas, those areas of the chakras, open and bring to life certain psychic powers. This is definitely not a goal of yoga, but, a side effect of a consistent practice. “The personal mind is but a part of the Universal mind, being bound to the individual body by the nerve channels through which it operates. By loosening his own mind from his nadis (nerve channels) and doing Samyama on the body or mind of another, by virtue of the fact that “all is one”, the Yogi can transfer his consciousness into the consciousness of another through the universal Chitta.” (THE PHILOSOPHY & PRACTICE OF YOGA)
Karma Yoga, as all the other paths of yoga, has as its aim, union with the Absolute. Karma yoga teaches, basically, that in helping others we help ourselves. Based essentially on the law of Cause and Effect, it is recognized as being very similar to early Christianity. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi who lived by the precepts of Karma Yoga, is said to have carried a Bible with him most places he went.
Join the discussion 2 comments
Christine April 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm
I will always be grateful to Yoga, because that is how I was re-united with my dearest friend 30 years ago.
Yoga does change you , I know for myself, but also have seen a tremendous change in my husband since he started a regular Yoga practice only 3 years ago, he had never been to a class before, now he does not miss his 3 classes/week.
I loved this Blog , for many reasons, you always make me think and learn. And reading about the 9 year old Monica seeing pictures of Yoga poses and her thinking -knowing that she would one day do that again, made my eyes tear up.
Gillian April 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Good stuff. The Patanjali quote, “Everything is painful for the discriminating person” will help me understand a very sensitive teenager I know. And, personally, I’m on a news fast at the moment as I can’t bear to hear of one more murdered black man. I do hope you and your friend write a book together. TTFN.