Interacting with a Karmic World
"My mind is vast like the sky, and my actions are subtle like sesame seeds." - Padmasambhava
Karma. Its basic definition revolves around this principle: if you do good, good things will happen to you in this life or the next. Likewise, if you do bad, bad things will happen to you in this life or the next. I like to think of life as a vast garden of possibility. There are seeds of all shapes and sizes; some eager to positively impact the world and others who only wish to wreak havoc. It's important to step back and ask ourselves from time to time - which seeds am I watering with my actions?
Everything around us exists in karmic relationship with each other. My footstep in the sand displaces millions of tiny particles and literally changes the shape of the landscape. This is how trails in the mountains come to be established. Over time, as droves of people come to walk the same path, the forest begins to yield and the path becomes stronger, certain, and one with the landscape.
I find karma to relate back to interconnectedness. As we move through our lives we're constantly at play with the forces, environments, and life around us. Every action, thought, spoken word, gift of gratitude, hug, etc. sends a vibration out into the world that's received by everything it touches. Consider the simple act of picking up a piece of garbage on the side of the road. At face value, you've moved a piece of trash from the street into a garbage pail for collection - surely an act of selflessness however you look at it. But stepping beyond that, what if a young child saw you do it and became inspired to pick up a piece of trash here and there in her travels? She may then go on to study environmental conservation or sustainable energy and apply her potential toward a better world. She might also do nothing. Or maybe she'd simply log it in her memory and use it as an example of the good that exists in the world. Regardless of the impact on one individual, the action itself reaches far beyond.
This karmic relationship also exists right within our own minds. Constantly thinking negatively, or not treating ourselves with respect, will send those negative waves of karma through our bodies and minds. If I'm dressing like a slob, keeping poor hygiene, or constantly rushing around, the entire essence of my psychological, physical, and spiritual being is going to be impacted. Everything makes a difference my friends, so why not choose to respect yourself?
Walking with dignity is a choice - you're beautiful already.