Karma, a Hindu term, meaning act or deed. It is also commonly referred to as what comes around after a choice to act, or a series of acts – sort of a cause and effect. Some have described it as fate, determining your destiny in this life or future existences, based upon your own choices and actions. Karma has also been understood as the overall collection of choices in one’s life, which points them in a direction. I’ve seen in client’s lives, and even in my own, when making a series of decisions, surrounding the self with certain people, places and things – can result in very good outcomes, or destructive ones. Imagine engaging in criminal, antisocial acts. Objectively, these decisions and behavioral repetitions usually result in a “bad ending,” not only with loss of freedom, but more importantly the loss of the self!
The restless mind becomes attached to both the oblivious acting out behaviors and the thinking about bad karma as a punishment for bad choices. It fits well with the mantra of the restless mind that states “you have a problem” regarding karma, and the thought that you may be experiencing a “pay the piper” moment in the future makes the restless mind even more vigilant and on edge.
Mindfulness has the ability to change karma. Fundamentally, when we become a mindfulness practitioner, we understand that we are not our thoughts. We are not determined by our thoughts, feelings and actions. When we engage in a mediation practice, we stay in the moment and are less likely to impulsively act, or subscribe to any impending doom in the future. Mindfulness, or staying with non-action, can free us from acting, unconsciously, in a manner that could self-fulfill a prophecy or karma. The intentional mindfulness practice will also decrease the likelihood that we will engage in self-destructive behavior patterns, with restless-based thoughts and emotions. The result may be living a fully awake life with ease, while experiencing inner peace.
Take 10 minutes, possibly with the help of one of your mindfulness apps, to sit and begin to take an inventory of some past patterns of behavior. Understand this is in the past and commit to more life-giving choices going forward.