When I was studying karam kriya with my teacher Shiv Charan Singh, he made a comment that had an impact on me. He said “If you want something to be different, what are you doing differently?”It made me think of situations in my life that were still playing out in a karmic way and what could I personally do differently to make a shift and bring new and healthier experiences into my life.
This blog is to briefly and succinctly explore the realm of karma and dharma. Karma being habits that you serve and Dharma being habits that serve you!
So lets look at karma and dharma through a Karam Kriya and Yogic lens.
The word Karma can be broken down into the words Kar (3),which means action and Ma meaning rebirth. Every action we take whether it is demoting or promoting will start a sequence that will have a consequence. It obeys the law of cause and effect. Karma belongs to the 3/7 quadrant in karam Kriya, which means generally, but not exclusively, karma will play out with members of your family, friends and work colleagues, which belongs to this quadrant. However we also know that some relationships with partners can also play out in a karmic way and you have been brought together to learn and grow through this relationship.
“Nothing is right or wrong. Thinking makes it so.” Shiv Charan Singh
Karma is a word that is sometimes passed around as something bad or negative. Something happens to you that is negative and someone may say to you “oh that is your karma”. Of course what ever action we take will have a consequence and will bear fruit, but can we view karma through a different and more aquarian lens of kindness and compassion? We think, say or do something. This creates a vibration, a shape, a form. At some point in time and space, sooner or later, the universe will give us feedback. The universe reflects and mirrors back to us the consequence of our thoughts, speech or action. Through a loving and kind lens, instead of making it wrong and that we are somehow bad for what has happened, we have an opportunity to learn, grow, make changes and apply them to our life and bring in new healthier experiences in life.
Karma are habits that we serve and if our consciousness is asleep (1), in a dream state (2) or caught up in hypnosis and in the realm of fantasy (3), we will keep repeating the same patterns time and time and time and time again and we will be on a seemingly perpetual cycle of suffering. Gratefully we have a chance! we can open a bud of consciousness (4) inside of us and become more conscious, aware and alert before we start any sequence and start to create sequences and consequences that are more dharmic rather than karmic.
For this shift to happen we need the heat and tapas of Discipline (3). To repeat some dharmic form that will help us grow in consciousness and make different choices (4) in our life. Instead of wearing a cloak of karma we can adorn a coat of Dharma: habits that serve us.
The word Dharma comes from the Sanskrit verb Dhr, which means to support or preserve. Dharma also means righteous action. This can be in the form of a spiritual practice; live a code of ethics, starting to meditate, practice yoga, study spiritual texts or do some form of practice to orientate ourselves to what is undying within us. We may also look at how we can make changes in our lifestyle eg what we are eating, what programmes we are watching, what company we are keeping, what choices we are making. Slowly and steadily as we take step by step on the dharmic path, we become a Disciple or our consciousness and with our regular commitment to our spirit, the universe responds and reflects this back to us, which inspires us to commit even more deeply on our spiritual path serving us to live a life of cherdi kala: Rising Spirit.