What is Karma and How Does It Work? – by Tana Hoy
When a person treats us unkindly, our initial tendency is to get upset, sometimes up to the point of secretly wishing that something bad would happen to the person who wronged us. We sometimes start thinking of thoughts such as "I hope they get their karma!"
They will get their karma, but in those moments, we need to pause and think about our karma too. Having the mere desire for "payback" sets negative karma in motion; and one day in the future, we will experience repercussions from holding onto these negative thoughts!
A Definition Of Karma?
Karma is not an external justice system. It is not a moral law of reward and punishment wherein you are granted a good life for good behavior, or a life of suffering for bad conduct. Rather, it is a natural Universal law that governs everything and everyone in the entire universe.
In very simple terms, it is the Law Of Cause And Effect. What goes around comes around. What you sow, so shall ye reap. And it not only affects people who do us wrong – it applies to everybody.
A Karma Story
When trying to understand what karma is, you can picture your action (cause) as a stone you drop in a quiet pond. It will send ripples all across the pond and, when they touch the edge, will bounce back to their point of origin (effect).
And in picturing your actions as seeds (cause): some seeds you plant will grow fast and produce sprouts (effects) quickly; while others will take a bit of time to manifest. But the effects will be there, nonetheless.
How Karma Involves Your Actions And Intentions
Karma involves action plus intention. For example, when someone holds a knife toward another person, is it to save their life or destroy it? So holding the knife in itself is not positive or negative – it is the intention behind the person holding it.
So what you desire, what you think, what you do, what your intentions are – these set karma in motion. These causes will have effects. And just as you are now reaping the effects of your actions in the past, so you will also experience the effects of your actions in in the future.
How To Set Good Karma Into Motion
Therefore, if you want to create good karma, instead of bad karma, then the way to do that is to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Constant awareness allows you to keep your thoughts and intentions in check.
This includes being attentive, before you take an action, or before you speak. It is making sure that you are not cultivating any desire of ill-will against other people, the environment, or yourself.
If you are attentive and mindful of your own thoughts, and you become more aware of your intentions and actions, you will stop setting negative karma in motion.
In stopping the cause, you prevent the effect from ever happening, and by practicing this new way of being, you can look forward to an even more pleasant future, both in this life and in the next.