From the Oxford dictionary: noun. /ˈkɑrmə/ [uncountable] 1(in Buddhism and Hinduism) the sum of someone’s good and bad actions in one of their lives, believed to decide what will happen to them in the next life. good/bad karma (informal) the good/bad effect of doing a particular thing, being in a particular place, etc.
Karma is a word used loosely by many, usually as a term for payback, as in: What you do will come back to you in some form at some time whether it be payback for wrongs or mean-spirited doings or reward for good deeds. But this is not exactly how karma works.
Karma is spiritual and it’s something we carry forward with us from previous existences. If bad karma has not been resolved in a past life it accrues and will have effects in the next life. Every action we perform has a consequence. Karma can be material, moral or emotional. The intent of one’s actions generates karma.
Since I was a young girl, I was aware of the word karma and relayed it to one of my favorite cliched sayings: — what goes ‘round come back! Karma is energy, and we are all made from energy created as an action, not necessarily a fate, but a result. We all have the opportunity to change our karma by changing our intentions. Karma is ethical consequences which determines what happens in the future of our lives. The punishment for allowing our egos to take over by wishing ill will towards an outcome or a person is really a psychological suffering as penance for bad actions.
Many people aren’t aware that most of their actions and desires are manifested by karma — acting out of past lifetimes -what we reap is what we sow. We are our own karmic projection. We’ve all heard clichés like ‘be careful what you wish for because it will come back on you’. Ill will and evil acts are paid back to us by suffering something in our own life, goodness gives us peace of mind. In essence, we perpetuate our own karma. It’s been said that the sum of a person’s karma upon their death will determine the form of existence they will take on in their next life.
An example of how karma works is perhaps someone stole someone else’s camera, that same camera may very well be stolen again from them. Or maybe, that camera may get them in trouble by some other means. Did that camera have photos of something illegal that the thief got caught and blamed for? Karma is a strange phenomenon that works with the universe. On the same token, you may have donated something to a charity and later find you won a contest, you found twenty bucks surprisingly on the ground somewhere. You get the gist here — thoughts and actions always circle back around.
Karma is never instantly repaid. It is also not an impending punishment. Like I mentioned earlier, we have the ability to change our karma. Spreading good karma is creating positive action through kind words and thoughts, good deeds and good intentions. The more good we do, the more good will come — a simple formula. To put it into metaphoric terms: If you plant beautiful flowering seeds you can expect beautiful flowers to grow. If you plant a bad seed, you can expect nothing from it. This is how karma works.
If you are at peace with yourself, you will enjoy a peaceful life. If you find your life in a constant state of chaos, you are carrying chaos within yourself. What we put forth into the universe with our intentions will find its way back to us in various forms. We are responsible for our own karma. Our pasts, present and futures all connect from our behavior. This all falls under the old adage–history repeats itself, we either learn from it and change our direction in life or we’re destined to live on the same spinning hamster wheel with the same outcome.
How we choose to live our lives will determine the karma we create. The universe responds to our actions and inactions. Most of the conflict and world suffering is because of either no action or bad action.
Below is a wonderful video that explains karma succinctly. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this quote: “The decisions of our past are the architects of our present.” ~ Author Dan Brown. Translation: Our past behaviors and actions will determine the now we are living in.