Saturday, 29 October 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 20 My Karma stinks

''Thats karma for ya!''

Ever caught yourself thinking that you've got some bad karma, especially when you've essentially been positively skipping along helping others and living by the 4 agreements and more A few hiccups along the walk of life the past couple days have got me thinking that I'm doing something wrong, and The Universe' is telling me so.
I got some bad karma going down man. So what do I do about it?? Look up what Karma actually is, and understand it.

'The word Karma comes from Buddhism but is so used these days in the West, but is the most grossly misunderstood. The idea that everything is a product of karma is simple-minded in the extreme, yet is accepted without question and even taught and transmitted by otherwise “respected” teachers. The commonly accepted usage of karma to represent the universal law of cause and effect, is often misused in a manner that serves to define a deterministic universe. In this way, karma is used to make logical sense of difference on social levels, providing a rationale for the varying degrees of pain and suffering different individuals experience. The idea shifts responsibility for such disparity from the “unknown” or “the will of God” to individuals who, according to the “the law of karma,” are held responsible for their own circumstances. This logic places blame upon people who experience hardship, and praise upon those who enjoy fortuitous circumstances, irrespective any direct knowledge of specific actions, particularly those allegedly committed in “previous lives.”

The idea that karma is the only force operating in the universe feeds into this determinism—in most cases subconsciously—resulting in social attitudes in many Buddhist societies that are far a field of the compassion taught by the historical Buddha. In many cases, the idea of karma perpetuates the status quo, reinforcing preexisting hierarchical social orders in ways that are reactionary, discriminatory, sexist, and racist.

The tendency to blame the victim is in no way isolated to Buddhist countries. Oppression veiled by wrongheaded ideas of “karmic retribution” mirror the way “the Protestant work ethic” has been used in the United States to scapegoat poor people for their circumstances. By rationalizing that, by virtue of their unwillingness to work hard, “the poor” are to blame for their own poverty, Americans can comfortably ignore economic injustice. After all, if “those people” are unwilling to lift a finger to help themselves, why should any of the rest of us? And, in a broader sense, why should the government support those who have only their own shiftlessness to blame for their situation? This position, of course, assumes that everyone who “works hard” will be economically fulfilled. The “rags to riches” mythology is a pervasive part of the American subconscious, while the stories of those who work their guts out all of their lives, yet never realize any economic gain, are conveniently glazed over. Those people and families are marginalized, and their life experiences forgotten, because they occur outside of the accepted “work ethic” ideology.

The message of Buddhism is to awaken compassion by courageously confronting reality.  The word karma, itself, carries many connotations. The word karma derives from the Sanskrit “karman” (“action” or “act”) and, in turn, the Pali “kamma.” Literally karma denotes action—specifically, “volitional action,” or deliberate, willed action. Colloquially, however, the term has come to refer to “the law of karma,” a concept the historical Buddha borrowed from the pre-Hindu religious cosmology that prevailed in India during his lifetime. The derivation of the term karma originates in the Upanishads, a portion of the massive body of Hindu religious writings known as the Vedas.

In India, the term “karma” has been used for millennia to rationalize the differences between people in their birth-status as male or female, short or tall, and a myriad of other differences, including whether or not people are born into slavery or are born free, what social and economic circumstances people are born into, what race they are born, and whether or not they are born with some birth defect or congenital handicap, among other issues. Karma is the foundation and rationale used to support the oppressive and repressive Hindu caste system.

It’s important to recognize that models, and even laws of the universe, are mere intellectual concepts of what is; they are not “tathata,” or “suchness,” itself. Buddhism is not about concepts. No concept can trump the pure experience of reality as it is.

In a community that has been devastated by a passing tornado, some houses are completely destroyed, some are damaged, and some are left completely untouched. A pseudo-Buddhist understanding maintains that whether one’s home is destroyed or passed over is a result of one’s “karma.” But how can one’s prior actions, volitional or otherwise, affect the path of a future tornado? Buddhist doctrine answers such questions by pointing to Irthu Niyama (physical inorganic order or processes, such as seasonal change phenomena, for example, winds and rains), natural chaos, as the causal agent in such circumstances. That the Jones family lost their home and the Smith family didn’t, does not mean that the Jones’ were guilty of some horrible transgressions in some past life. Although “karma” and the notion of “justice” are commonly viewed as intertwined, we do not live in a rigidly deterministic universe; chaos functions quite well where we live.'

Basically sometimes shit just happens!

So I dust myself off after a morning Hatha class with Camerons tattoed arms, eyes wide shut of course, I ignore my newly broken parts, and feel the air on my face as I freewheel down the hill home as parts of my bike fly off and smash, just great, I keep going. Free from TV slavery, Im dumped for one, fine. Grateful for new opportunites especially for yoga and nutrition but worn out from losing out on others, give it up. Body aches and feels sore, but I'm healthy! Aside from that weird rash....its fine. Its just life man, and my body knew that today my karma, my something, my toxic load, had definately had enough. Good food, some self love, reading, eating coconuts and golden berries (which are so lovely, another superfruit some Viking post, a little French and a good cup of earl grey in my reading window (just like home hey?) all remind me to GET A GRIP, life is great :) Good bed patrol is therapy for sure, but my own meaning of karma knows this isn't finished yet. Do I really have to start liking the silverfish??? Is that really what my karma is telling me??? URGH. Its my own free will to hate or to like them I suppose, but how is my life anymore important than theirs, why do I get to decide if they get washed down the plughole, is my life more important? 

How's your 'karma' doing lately?


  1. Learn to love the silverfish! They're quite cute really and look like mini prehistoric beasts. Sorry to hear you're feeling a little down. Eat some raw cheesecake with those little berries on top!

  2. Thanks for the positive YUM, the cheesecake really was a treat, thanks so much!!