While walking with a friend yesterday, she asked me if I believe in karma. I immediately replied, “Yes”. And I knew that it wasn’t a belief, it’s a presence or knowing within that in each moment there are new births taking place, and I need to be aware of the degree of wholesomeness or unwholesomeness, the leaning in or away with intention.
My personality generally prefers to stay in the background and operate independently. In fact, it was probably this aloneness that brought me in and through knowing the dharma on an ultimate level.
But now that I know the seamless connection with all beings there is a strong tendency to back away from any possibility that I might be involved in harm. Not wanting to create or cause harm is an even bigger motivation for my doing things and/or not doing them more than ever before.
Any unfinished business is here for review and to be seen. These meditative reviews happen all the time. Some listen and participate and some don’t.
Even the Buddha was continually concerned with karma. There is a story I heard about how the Buddha had headaches and felt it was due to an event that happened in a past life. There are levels of learning that continue after enlightenment that involve all kinds of karma.
Wisdom comes along in the most serendipitous ways if we are open to it.
Being more aware of this happening, I felt grateful for being with Steve Armstrong last month when he talked about this. He outlined eight different kinds of karma:
- weighty karma
- proximate karma
- habitual karma
- reserve karma
- reproductive karma
- supportive karma
- obstructive karma
- destructive karma
Here is a link to the talk on karma:
(He outlines the different kinds of karma during the second half of this talk).
This dharma really points out the necessity for mindfulness always, no matter what, no matter how enlightened you are or not! I need to look closely at my participation in each and every moment, each and every relationship. It can be beneficial to back away and review with compassion and patience so we can understand more about what is going on.
It seems to me that monastics who have gone through the stages of enlightenment continue to practice diligently for the rest of their lives because they know that the human condition is a condition of variable intensity and that awareness will pull one to greater and greater clarity all the way to the moment of death.
I’m not an expert on this. I just want to include this dharma talk as a gift to you to help you in your process. Allow this knowing of karma to lift you up with awareness and pull you toward knowing your true nature, and so that you can find gentler and more sane ways to be and operate in an insane world.