Dancing With The Cycle Of Karma, Huh?
The other day I was in Central Park West which I haven’t been since I left NYC to Asia. It was beautiful to see the neighborhoods again, the families, and children. Now here I’m going in depth into spirituality so bear with me if you don’t get it or make sense to you, that leaves you, huh? I write my posts for the wide audience and I tend not go in depth in other aspects because it may confuse you or leave you like, huh? So bear with me and if you are interested here we go with the storytelling before I explain a teaching. If you are a common reader of my posts you will notice I always have a storytelling. :-)
When I lived in Silicon Valley, I had a conversation with a Jehovah Witness. I’m sure you have seen them before. In NYC, sometimes you can find them standing outside or inside the subways. In Sunnyvale, they stood outside the public library. I always enjoy looking at them chatting about the Bible with people. I admired their dedication to bringing the word of Jesus Christ to the masses. They approach a lot of people and never approach me but only the day before I left Silicon Valley - huh? When I left the public library, it was a nice day which was rare because we had cloudy days for several days. It reminded me of when I lived in Peru! So I sat on the bench next to the Jehovah Witness stand because that is where the Sun was facing and I wanted to recharge my prefrontal cortex. A Jehovah Witness asked me if I was meditating and I said yes. So we began to talk about the city and she asked me where I was coming from. She was curious about my travels to India and Nepal and what I learned over there. Then she began speaking about the Bible. We had a good interaction and spoke about God and the sacrifices Jesus made. I grew up as a Catholic but never practice it and at some point, I just didn’t believe in any religion. But this year, I began to look with curiosity again the Bible. Well, it actually began last December when I was in Chennai (India) and I visited the Saint Thomas Church. Saint Thomas was one of the apostles of Jesus and settled in South India and built the Saint Thomas Church. I also spent Christmas Eve at the Church. When I lived in South India, I was surprised to see the largely Catholic community in places like Kerala or Chennai. I always enjoy celebrating the Christmas holiday season in NYC because the city becomes vibrant with decorations. So it was nice to see the celebrations in India. I mentioned to the lady that Jesus was a Yogi who conquered the body and mind. Similar to Moses they went through struggles but achieved enlightenment in their lifetimes. I said to her that when Jesus spoke to people he emphasized that he is the door to God and to take refugee on him. He never hated anyone or had any aversion but rather had compassion for everyone because he knew why people suffered. The mind and body create the suffering and the prison for those who have not achieved enlightenment. I said to her that there are other people today like Jesus who have achieved enlightenment and this is where she paused and said - huh? and was a bit confused. I also mentioned to her that we live in suffering and are a prisoner of our karma and we keep coming back to this world until it is all destroyed. She was also confused about being reborn and yes another - huh? So she opened the Bible and started reading some verses. I asked her, where is God. She said God is in a paradise and when we died we go there to be with him where there is no more suffering. I said to her that God is everywhere and it is here now watching every act that we do but unfortunately it is dormant on many of us because we are trap unconsciously with the mind and body. When I was raised as a Catholic we were told that God is in a paradise and will be with him after we leave this world. But the creator or call it Divine is here with us in the heart, and this is the paradise that Jesus spoke about. But I enjoyed hearing from the lady the teachings of the Bible because now I also get them. Before I started this self-transformation, I never understood the Bible but now it makes more sense. So, in the end, we had a pleasant conversation although there were times she didn’t agree, I welcomed her disagreement and I said to her that I admired her dedication to bringing to the Sunnyvale community the words of Jesus. She was touched by my words. Then she mentioned something funny, she told her husband before she came to the library that she had a feeling she will speak with someone and she will be touch by this person. And from my side, I meditated the day before and in my meditation, I had a feeling that I will speak to someone before I leave the valley. She gave me a big hug and wished me a great journey to Santa Monica.
So when I was in Central Park West I looked at the families and when I see the children I see another opportunity God gives you to come back to this world. This reminded the conversation I had with the lady in Sunnyvale. When I see someone who is old, I see compassion but excitement as well because soon he/she will come back with strength again in this world. In Buddhism, the Tibetan Book of Dead explains the death process and what happens when you leave the body (I will recommend those interested to read the book because it is compelling on the transition stages - Bardos - you go through, to the extent that you can see your future parents conceiving you. It is the period of the afterlife in between incarnations. To learn more, you can watch this documentary on YouTube: https://bit.ly/2N7ussB) Buddhism and Hinduism refer to the cycles of being reborn and the causes as Samsara. And what are the impediments that trap you in Samsara? Well two of them are the body and the mind. The body is the survival animal on us but unfortunately, we have giving the body just like the mind too much importance because we don’t know how to use it. Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri (Guru of Paramahansa Yogananda) said that all elements of the body and mind can be master. If you are in an unconscious state, the senses and organs of action act based on your memory. Sadhguru says that you see based on memory and front all else we are blind. We can give in to the craving of the body and the aversion of the mind. This builds the ego, the identity that keeps us living every day. But all of this is basically accumulated karma. Can I let go of my karma that keeps my holding? Yes, there is a solution to destroy your karma and it is “Knowledge”. Knowledge is your awareness. Awareness brings wisdom and burns all karma. We react in life based on Karma. Remember the Universal Law of Causation, "For every action, there is an opposite or equal reaction." So everything that you put out in this vast Universe will come back to you. Oprah Winfrey has a beautiful point when she says: “As you do into others they will do it into you - No, it is already done.”
Through awareness, you can let go of karma. Eckhart Tolle says that when you just see a negative emotion which rises from karma the negative energy level will begin to decrease until it is all gone. Karma means action but the trick to control the karma is to not be attached to the fruits of the action. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that yes we can do anything in this world with full devotion but the problem we encounter is we expect a result from the action. This attachment feeling gives rise to fear which leads to anger and other negative feelings. Or it can be feelings of satisfaction or celebration. These feelings are all temporary, thus all that is not permanent is not real. And thus Karma reaction feelings are not real because they never last. I had a conversation with a UX designer early this month and she said to me, “Am I supposed to be dull and do nothing?” I smile at her and said no. I said to her you come to work and give everything you can. I said to her, look at me, I’m bootstrapping my company fully involved or even Sadhguru a yogi who achieved enlightenment is fully intense running the Isha foundation and doing many activities. Whatever you, you do it because you have a devotion to your passion. You can have your strategic goals for the company and that is fine but you deal with everything in the present moment and the rest will come. Earl Nightingale author of the Strangest Secret says that your return will be equal to the amount of your contribution.
So, how to master your karma? You dance with it. How do you dance with it? Meditation is the best way to go head to head with your karma. Once you create a separation and begin to see the playfield in action (karma) then that is the beginning of the end of the karma that keeps holding you back. As you deepen your meditation, you will clearly see this separation and like Sadhguru says, even if is throwing you a bombshell, you let it play out on its own until it loses potency and disappears. When I lived with Tibetan nuns, I meditated before the presence of their master Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, a Tibetan Yogi who achieved enlightenment. They gave me his book “Songs of Realization” book which are meditative songs he composed. When the mind rose with illusions the great Yogi Milarepa composed songs to describe what is real and not real. When Steve Jobs left Silicon Valley and venture out on his own to Asia in the 1970's, he read during his trip Milarepa's famous book " The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa." Dancing and signing with the songs is a way to not take seriously the mind and body and subsequent actions that rise. It is a way of surrendering yourself to whatever "It Is." When you do, you become fearless and begin to rest in harmony with whatever rises. In a sense, is a way to laugh at yourself at what you created and this is the beginning of freedom.
Dance with your karma and you will see what you are letting go then the real beauty rises. Remember that you are your maker and the composer of your life. Once you take charge of your life with your arms, then you are beyond the mind, body, and yes, your Karma Friend!