Transcending Karma: Just Don't React
Since karma is simple cause and effect or action and reaction, if something happens to you and you just don’t react, you can stop karma in its tracks. Of course, like many practices of a spiritual nature, this is easier said than done.
The key word here is practice, though. Once you become aware of something that you were otherwise oblivious to, change begins to happen immediately. This is the power of the mind at work. It’s like shining a flashlight at a shadow in the corner. The shadow disappears. Whatever you put your attention on will grow and change. So if you make the decision to observe your reactions to things over let’s say, a forty-day period, you’ll begin to see change in how your life flows.
As you become a new observer to aspects of your life that previously went on automatically, you’ll begin to marvel at how you acted in the past. Perhaps you have a habit of getting into a road rage when you’re driving. Maybe you have to have the last word in arguments. You will change yourself if you just stop playing the game of reaction. Reaction is almost always emotional. Someone says or does something and it triggers in you a train of thought, which you then engage with emotion. This emotion swells in you and propels you into a reaction of some sort. This process always takes up a lot of energy that you could use for better things in your life. This doesn’t mean taking no action at all. It means not re-acting when something happens to you or someone does something that makes you want to respond.
Everyone has a personality and a past history, which gives them a sort of momentum. This momentum is unique to you and it makes you who you are. Everything that’s ever happened to you now and in the past has served to give you this momentum of who you are. Most of this momentum comes from the sub-conscious mind, which is seemingly invisible to us and stores everything about our total make-up. It’s this momentum of the mind that makes you want to react when confronted and when you react, then you’re maintained on the wheel of karma, action and reaction, cause and effect.
Karma is often referred to as a wheel because it keeps on spinning. Every time something confronts you and you react, it causes another like event or action and then you react again and the hamster wheel keeps spinning until you consciously step off of it by not reacting. Each time you choose not to react, you take back a part of your energy that you once would’ve squandered on emotional outbursts, constant plotting and planning and strategizing over ways to handle some meaningless event.
As you take back more and more of this energy previously wasted on reaction, you can use it to make better choices. You can then take positive action, based on your whole being and what is important to you. You can use this energy to put your whole head and heart behind a purpose that resonates with you deep inside. This is known as dharma. Dharma can be described as action in line with your higher purpose. When you’re in line with your higher purpose, there’s no resistance because you’re in line with the higher part of your self and so your will power in action is supported by your soul and that propels you forward. Dharma is like those moving sidewalks at the airport. Let’s say that before you get on the moving sidewalk you’re just like everybody else. But once you get on dharma, on purpose, it’s like stepping on to the moving sidewalk and as you walk, the sidewalk which is also moving, takes you faster to where you want to be. The power behind the moving sidewalk that is dharma is your soul’s purpose.
It’s easy to get discouraged wondering, how do I find this dharma, this purpose? How do I take right action? The good news is you don’t have to think too much about it or even worry about it. Just decide to practice not reacting and stick to it with the power of your will. If you practice not reacting eventually your mind will calm and the power you take back will begin to guide you and the right events will appear. The key is patience and preparation. Live each day in the moment and take care of the body by being healthy, maintain and strengthen the mind through discipline and meditation. Practicing these things with patience and perseverance will begin to attract to you the teachers, people and events you require to live in dharma. Then you will transcend the momentum of your karma and move forward with the purpose of your life and that is always inspiring to those around you.
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