Monday, December 12, 2011

3rd Principle of Karma "The Law of Humility' Chapter IV

“When you have thrown off your ideas as to mind and body,
the original truth will fully appear.”
Zen Master Dogen

Chapter IV

The Law of Humility

      Let us now enter into the third principle of Karma. It is known as, the Law of Humility; it is truly magnificent in its precept and is the one principle which has assisted monks to simply be who they are, each and every moment of their life. Do you easily envision monks as a very gentle and easy-going people? This is readily affirmed as the depiction was witnessed at every monastery I visited. No matter the circumstance in which they may find them self, their demeanor and nature remains totally unfettered. They never were at odds with any thing or any human because they will simply stand aside in their humility. Monks are appreciative of life, honoring it in each moment, continually enjoying just being alive and aware of that life. Interestingly enough, the monks did indeed give up their own country in the name of this law because they believe so much in these principles, deeply committed to firmly live by them rather than merely think of them as a matter of convenience.

      Monks know they will live on, no matter the location, since where they live is not a concern, for there will always be a roof over their head and food to nourish their bodies. They remind me of a young supple tree, its limbs and trunk gracefully bending in the wind without any concern over the wind’s strength or direction. The Law of Humility is about learning to be humble, rather than being so gregarious about our selves and life, to honor all aspects of life for what we are, instead of what we are not. Contrary to the monks, we in this part of the world have become very rigid and brittle when the wind blows, snapping or breaking apart in direct proportion to wind speed. But do you realize that we can be just like the monks in the way that we live each day and without really giving up anything! By understanding the ideas of this principle, then to live it, our humble nature would be a breath of fresh air because the western culture is entirely consumed at being the best at whatever wherever with whichever. I am willing to bet that you may think humility portrays weakness. Not at all! In truth, it is from humility that we shall become aware of our divine nature and is the source of our sovereign strength. We call it flexibility. It was also once stated that the meek shall inherit the earth, could He have intended us to understand the law of humility?

      As you continue reading this book, you will soon realize the most significant goal of Karma, is to guide us towards that level of awareness, suggested above, when we simply transform to the best divine human we may possibly be. It is each person’s individual birthright to live. The bottom line truth is that these principles shall make certain of this outcome, assuring us of reaching this goal, whether it occurs in this lifetime or another, that is up to us. The sole reason for life is for each of us to overcome the pull of the body and the lower physical natures. In fact, the faster we master these principles, the easier our life actually becomes. Humility is an integral part of our divine nature and, to achieve this ideal, we must journey under the principle offered by its Law, a Law wherein many of our most significant lessons of life reside. I say the following with my full encouragement and support. When traveling under the Law of Humility, its path can become the most arduous one you may ever undertake in any one lifetime, purely because this Law is the greatest teacher as it reveals who you truly are. Is this really possible in one lifetime? Yes! From your perseverance and acceptance, this one principle is about facing your self for what you have become, which is exactly what most people do not wish to do! With this realization you can more easily shift into your proper direction. I now ask you a question, “Why is it best to use a map when undertaking a cross-country trip? Well, would it not be significantly more efficient and easier to arrive at one’s destination rather than to turn any which way at any which time?”

      Similarly, the principles of Karma are the road map to our full realization of life and who we are, but only if we follow them. The third principle will guide us to understand that it is not about what we are; rather, it is about who we are through realizing that we are not our things. We are not our hair, our partners, our children, nor are we our house, our car, our career. These are the “what’s” in our life. And they have created the “what” we have become in our lives. You see, even though these things may possibly contain the ability to power our divine creativity, if properly utilized but they have most certainly, however, diminished our ability to accept divine humility. The reason for this is because the “what’s” have done nothing more than fed our physical ego. When utilized as a tool, they are quite wonderful because we gain experience through the use of the “what” simply as a learning tool, assisting us toward our self-realization of “who” we are, not “what” we are. On the other hand, when used solely to accumulate more “what’s,” then this goes in the opposite direction of the original intention since the “what’s” totally diminish our Creator-given ability. Besides the “what’s” are what have created our illusions and judgments of life and of people. One could easily say that they now have become our very stumbling blocks in higher attainment in our world as the desire for more simply overpowers us and our ego based minds. In truth they bolster the ego in all respects.

      What is the Law of Humility? How does it work and how do we apply it? In answer to the first question, the law simply states: What you resist persists for you. Interestingly enough, as a start to the second question, the idea behind this law is that we not only choose our enemies, but we also give them strength. Oh yes, we do indeed choose our very own enemies, and we then bolster them into what appears as an infinitely strong and insurmountable position. This may sound very ludicrous to you; yet, it is an accurate assertion based on personal experience and understanding Karma. Before you balk completely, allow me to explain. First, though, a few questions may rightfully be in your mind now, “Why would I create my own difficulties? And why would I create a struggle when I do not even desire one in the first place?” Keep in mind that an enemy is not necessarily limited to an adversarial human, a person who is going to physically attack or thwart you in some fashion. An enemy can also (most likely) be a negative thought or emotion, such as sadness, frustration, anger.  It can be your career, partner, child, a family member, or even an item you own. Metaphysically speaking, an enemy is any thing, animate or inanimate, which takes away from your peaceful nature. It is any thing which pulls you from your divine source. It may even be you yourself, which reminds me of the old saying: You are your own worst enemy. Unquestionably, this is precisely the path we are going to venture on for the duration of this chapter, the concept of internal enemies. After all consider the idea of this principle, the law of humility now it should make sense to you.

It is sensed that you may possibly be a bit befuddled from the above paragraph; therefore, allow me to explain further by sharing an experience that I had with my own internal enemy. It is one that is probably the most common amongst humans. It also is seemingly the strongest in any given moment, one considered as the root of most enemies, if not all of them. This experience may also answer the second question: How does it work? Returning to my stay at the monastery in northern India, I remember Master Lobsang approaching me one day while I was planting rice. He calmly and flatly made a statement, “You are going to meet a great teacher,” and while looking straight into my eyes he asked, “Young man, what is your greatest fear?” Considering for a moment what I felt that would be, I looked into his twinkling eyes after a momentary silence, stating without hesitation, “Master, I feel that it would be a slow and agonizing death.” He responded with another question, “Do you actually fear what humans’ term as death?” “No,” I replied, “I just don’t want it to be slow and agonizing.”

He smiled thoughtfully, bowed in his humble manner, and then walked away, leaving me puzzled as I watched his graceful return to the monastery. After a minute or two, I shrugged my shoulders and resumed my planting without giving the event another thought. Do you realize that fear in and of itself is one of if not the greatest enemy of all our emotions? Even to the degree of physically immobilizing us? It can instantly turn success into failure. We would commit to a lie if we fear the truth. A person may even have a fear of losing their loved one, a situation occurring quite frequently nowadays, a fear so deep-seated that the one with fear will possibly be the first to leave the relationship, actually believing they can avoid what they fear! We simply cannot avoid what we fear. How do you avoid the emotion of fear? I will explain as we travel. Aside from the fact that each scenario above carries its own Karmic return action, the first associated with lying and the second with leaving, one must deal with the third principle: What you resist persists for you.

I continued planting when, a few days later, a runner greeted me in the field, breathlessly informing me, “The Llama wishes to see you!” Oh my, what a great honor to have an audience with the Llama, the head of a monastery, for they have such a wealth of wisdom. I knew in my heart this was going to be a very great lesson, coming from the great teacher! What I thought was absolutely correct, in a sense, but I had no clue what was in store for me. You see, when a teacher at a monastery has a lesson for you, that lesson will also contain the associated experience so that it becomes ingrained in your mind. In other words, the lesson is first spoken, and then experientially applied in a manner and at a time unbeknownst to the student. Such non-traditional teaching creates a rather exciting and mysterious process for the neophyte and, more times than not, the arriving experience unfolds quite humorously. Generally, master teachers use a variety of methods to carry out the lesson, from the use of words, to actions, even to the waking stick, each method being unique and extremely effective.

As I entered the Llama’s chamber, I remember distinctly how thrilled I was about my anticipated lesson, yet having absolutely no idea what it could specifically be I was thinking as I bowed. Based on previous discussions on this particular principle with Master Lobsang, it was only sensed that it would apply to my inner enemy, whatever that was. The Llama looked at me as I bowed, and while quietly handing me a piece of paper with a short list of items written on it, along with some rupees, the local currency, he said, “Please go to the local village and get the items on this list.” Whoa! I was startled as I said to myself, “I am just going shopping?” Okay, on one hand I felt let down because I was simply walking to the nearby village to get thread, spices, and some material. Big deal! However, on the other hand, I was excited because this shopping trip would provide me the opportunity to practice my Hindi linguistics while on my own. I bowed in acknowledgment and quickly headed toward the main door.

Shortly after I passed through the doorway, I unconsciously looked up from my feet to see the path ahead. Yes, there was the path alright. Uh-oh! Along with an adult Bengal Tiger staring right at me about a hundred yards away! I froze right where I stood but my mind was thinking that I must run back inside but still I could not move! Too late. My face flushed with hot blood from the adrenaline rush while my legs lost all motor function, for I just stood still, totally frozen with fear, peering into the eyes of my greatest nightmare.  And the door for my safe passage stood a mere twenty feet behind me! “Run Steven!” But I absolutely could not move an inch! Why not, for nothing was wrong with me physically, fear! My eyes remained locked with the tiger’s for what seemed like forever, and then he started pacing towards me. “Okay, don’t move and he won’t see you!” my mind informed me. My mind made no points in that moment because the big cat was now charging at me in what seemed slow-motion. I even lost my voice as I stood there, my feet super-glued to the pathway, watching in complete terror to what was about to occur. Have you ever seen a tiger jump into a full head-on leap? As you stand below it? I vividly recall his graceful, silent vault into the air, each front paw the size of my head reaching forever forward, inviting me into his grip. “I am going to die” was the last thought on my mind in that moment. A slow, agonizing death, for I was going to be eaten alive, the greatest of fears that I believe any one could ever have in their life!

Like all my fellow monks, my head was clean shaven. Here I am, writhing on the ground below the weight and jaws of a 400 pound tiger, his hind legs constantly pawing me into position while licking my shiny head. “Oh great, he is tenderizing my skull before he takes a bite out of it!” as I waited for the impending crunch. By now my voice returned in full volume as I was screaming and wailing at the top of my lungs, pleading for the big cat to just “do it” and get it over with.  Although the noisy commotion between the tiger and me could easily have filled a concert hall, I detected faint laughter in the background. I unconsciously moved the tiger’s mouth from my head…wait, this is amazing. What? The tiger actually let me! I turned my head slowly to look in the direction of the merriment and there I saw Master Lobsang, Master Kiela the Llama, along with two other monks uproariously howling, hands holding their stomachs, at a sight I did not at all consider funny. The tiger remained on top of me, his legs relaxed and sprawled outward, until he heard Master Lobsang slap his thighs. To this day, I have yet to observe another fully-grown tiger spring upward and forward as fast as my so-called attacker that day, jumping onto the Master, who laughed all the while he and the big cat rolled and wrestled on the ground.

“What a minute. This is not possible!” as I entered a shock of sheer disbelief over what I was observing right in front of me. After a few minutes I noticed Master Lobsang and the tiger gingerly walk towards me as I was washing my robes and myself down at the river’s edge. Lobsang looked at me with a gleam of humor in his eyes. “His mother had been poached by hunters and we found him just barely a month old at the front door to the monastery,” he notified me while the humongous cat leisurely lay beside us, just looking up at me. Lobsang continued, “Basically we all raised him from a cub until he was almost full-grown and could take care of himself. This tiger sees monks as his family. We are all brothers and we are one with each other. He would not harm a monk, or any other human for that matter he has only known humans even though he is wild. He was simply playing with you, intending no harm whatsoever.” Initially, fury and embarrassment enveloped me simultaneously as I exclaimed, “I cannot comprehend anyone perpetrating such a thing!” as Lobsang only continued to smile quietly. “Come, sit next to me here,” he requested. As I scooted over, the cat stuck his head between my forearm and rib cage, to which I involuntarily recoiled. “He just wants his head scratched,” Lobsang informed me. I returned to the position and, when I began scratching his head, I heard a deep, throaty rumble, a soft vibration coming from somewhere. Oh, he is purring! It is just a couple of octaves lower than a house cat but with volume that I think you can only imagine.

The big cat’s friendly purr and contentment rubbed off on me, for I regained my composure and cleared my mind, enabling me to then listen to my teacher as he began to explain the concept of fear. “Do you remember how you reacted in total fear the moment you first saw the tiger?” he asked. “Do you now realize what your greatest fear is capable of doing?” and, “Do you realize that fear, by itself, is your worst enemy?” “Yes,” I responded now having the full implications of the teaching and the full extent of what one emotion has the power to do over us. I knew in that moment that the relaxed tiger was not my fear, as he continued his “purr” concerto next to me. Fear, along with so many things the human creates, is indeed our worst enemy; yet, it is exactly the one we most need to face. We are all personally responsible for what is created internally and it may freeze you in place. I knew in retrospect that I could have gotten back in the door in plenty of time yet fear prevented it.

In truth, we must face all that we create, as each creation comes from within us. I now understood this critical concept. The magnitude of our circumstance is directly proportional to our level of resistance to an internal enemy. During my ensuing days and months at the monastery, that Bengal tiger and I forged a deep bond. I felt like “Tarzan of the Jungle,” knowing there was nothing to bother me because, whether I was running through the jungle paths or walking to my favorite meditation spot, he would always show up and approach my side, either running with me or laying beside me during my meditation. Oh yes, there were many an occasion when he and I would wrestle in fun, each in a zestful manner. In fact, he initiated most matches. And he never allowed me to win even a single one! From this experience it showed me the true danger of any emotion if it overpowers us. As each day passed into the next the tiger, Shanti Che was his name, taught me so many things of life simply by watching and I will share more of him as we progress through this book.

      Karmically speaking, if we resist fear, or anything else in life, then it has no other choice but to reveal itself even more strongly through a later experience and quite possibly be expanded. This may seem unreal but here is a very simple example of a physical experience in this matter. What happens when you get a headache and begin to fight or resist it? You are correct it gets stronger so why not simply allow for it, accept it and by so doing it will begin to dissipate and disappear. If this is true in this case then it would be true in all that we are offering in this principle and all of them to follow. To be sure, this is true in all things concerning our enemies, both internally and externally, hence the reason for the Law of Humility: what you resist persists for you.

The Christ once stated that when your enemy strikes you on one cheek, offer them the other. I feel He was talking of this very same principle because we create our own enemies within and without. In essence, His message tells us to no longer fight anything internally, for it will merely magnify itself, gaining strength to ultimately overpower us, with fear as the greatest of enemies. I admit I certainly and instantly metamorphosed to a human pillar, completely frozen as the cat bounded towards me on the village path that day; however, you must realize that the tiger did not freeze me in place; rather, it was my internal enemy, my fear of the tiger, which kept me transfixed. It is our fear that gives any enemy its power no matter what it may look like and my enemy the cat became my friend and teacher all because of the power of fear and using it.

When it comes to our life-long dreams, we are actually our own worst enemy, due only to how we feel about our dream actually becoming a reality by stirring up emotions such as our sense of unworthiness, doubt, and overwhelming fear in most cases. You see, we actually unseat ourselves innumerably more times than anyone else. And here we go on blaming them when, in the very first place, it is us! In my case it was me, not the tiger. When we sense fear as we focus on a magnificent dream, it enters from our sense of unworthiness or self worth, which are the same, to have the dream. So I now ask you, “What is the issue here? Is it the dream? Is it other people? Or our current circumstances?” The true issue, our so-called enemy, is simply our sense of unworthiness, not the dream, not anyone, not anything else. With the door of opportunity now opening for us to transform that seeming enemy into our internal teacher; otherwise, as we continue down the path of unworthiness, the odds significantly increase that our dream shall remain unrealized, for we create its opposite, failure. The vital key is where we place our focus. My intense introduction to Mr. Tiger transformed my fearsome enemy of a slow and agonizing death to my fun furry teacher as suggested, the friendship from which our bond grew deeply and wonderfully. From just that one incident, no fear rises within me even to this day, and I now answer every question thoughtfully and very cautiously because my desire is to give only truth. Fear and its subsequent trauma are both great teachers, though I caution you, you should be ready to use them only as your teachers; or else, do not create the fear unless you allow it to teach why you are afraid. Why are you afraid of your dream? Does love hurt? Is this what holds it away from you? Is this what keeps success at bay? Journey through fear as one of my teachers once said it is sometimes better to go ahead and climb the mountain instead of going around it.

      Aside from being an excellent teacher, fear is a very dynamic tool. “Fear as a tool?” you might ask, “What do you mean by that?” Fear really occurs from or through what we may term as the unknown, meaning that we simply do not know what the outcome will be. This is also why change is difficult as we journey from what we knew. Therefore, we hesitate or freeze-frame, immobilized as I was when the tiger playfully pounced on me. Looked upon another way, the unknown can truly be an adventure when absolutely no fear is involved in the process. Just where is the adventure and personal growth when we follow the exact same path or do the exact same thing over and over because we already know and are comfortable with both outcomes? There is an answer to this question which I will discuss in a few moments. First let us look at how our so-called fear may be used as a tool.  Because the status of material success is heavily reinforced in this part of the world, it becomes evident that harboring any fear of failure significantly increases the probability for that failure to occur. Failure, therefore, becomes the experience. If my supposition rings true for you, I offer an idea. Change your mind! Rather than fearing failure, allow yourself to harbor a fear of success, thereby increasing the probability for success to occur. This idea may certainly sound bizarre; however, it definitely has merit, does it not? In other words, if you fear failure and it happens time and again, why not simply apply the reverse by merely utilizing self-imposed reverse psychology? We obviously do this with each other, so apply it to your self in this instance.

Here is the next point: What do fear and humility have to do with each other? Their concepts appear quite the opposite, do they not? In truth, fear is one of the teachers of humility, and herein lies their relationship. If one is humble and operates from this arena they would fear very little, if at all, for a humble person is very flexible, contrary to being rigid. A rigid nature actually creates fear, Master Lobsang taught me, and it has proved itself over time and again. Rigidity creates an unbending nature; whereas, humility does not. “If rigidity or inflexibility creates fear, what then do fears actually tell you?” The answer is: You are too rigid in the arena of which you harbor the fear. Does this make any sense? Imagine a stiff, rigid tree. How long would it stand in high winds, no matter its age? I would venture to say not very long.  The same is true when it comes to the winds of fear, created purely by our rigidity, which means we are destined for a fall, all because of an internal enemy. Even during times of change, fear can strike as the old drifts away, thus immobilizing us into a pillar of salt while we venture into the unknown, even when the change is for the better. And it usually is, of course. When the wind of change blows, it is all about humility; therefore, simply apply the greatest level of flexibility in those moments by allowing the wind to blow upon you, by accepting the change about to take place, never blocking or getting in its way because, doing so, you are guaranteed a struggle.

We, as individual thinkers, do not necessarily accept change with any level of grace or ease, even though the reality of life blatantly reveals change as a constant, continuous, and harmonious aspect of nature. I find it interesting to observe how the unknown can instantly block us during a time of change as our innate fear rears on its hind legs to resist it.  Both personally and globally, resistance is futile, for the bottom line remains constant. Change is evolution. Yes, we seem to tenaciously prefer the well-worn path and all our creature comforts because, during times of change, we become stoically rigid. If we were to instead peer into the unknown as an adventurer, approaching the change with a high level of anticipation and excitement for entering yet a new experience, certainly flexibility will engulf our whole being; hence, fear and the resulting emotional trauma cannot exist throughout these moments. Though I had never been there, when I began my journey towards northern India, I was excited the whole time because of all the new adventures that would be encountered along the way. This remains with me much the same way to this very day, always looking to the new events. Do you know change can bring wisdom, whereas the same thing each day can only bring entrenched limitation? Remember, struggle is the old comforts colliding with the fear of new events to come; therefore, by objectively observing your struggle, it will plainly reveal where you have become rigid and, by so doing, you will derive the greatest of benefits that you could ever imagine, your dreams. As you progress through this process by always looking to the new, you would begin to anticipate change and effortlessly allow it to arrive totally free of all struggle, thereby experiencing your flexible nature. At the same time you will also head into a new direction in your personal evolution allow nothing to hold you from your change, no one or no thing.

There is another aspect of the Law of Humility which is felt important to share with you. It is this: what we object to reflects who we are inside. “Really? Where did this come from? How in the world does this relate to humility?” you may ask. In truth, the seat of our internal enemies rests with our outward objections or denunciations. You see, monks will suggest in their monastic teachings that if it is not in us first then we are unable to see it in another living being. In other words, it must be part of us before we see it in another. Conversely, if we know nothing of it in the internal sense of the word, then we would not be capable of seeing it in any other. Are you staying with me here? Let me put it another way. Simply because we leveled a criticism about another, that judgment had to come from or resonate within us first in order for us to even see it in the other. Metaphysically, we are actually admonishing something we dislike about our own self; therefore, when we view something in another person about whom we find fault, this is Karma showing us what we are or what we have become. Herein lies the key to this aspect of the third principle. More than likely, the objection is not only something we dislike about our self, but is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge it so we may then be able to change or remove that particular character trait from within us. In truth, at the same moment our denunciation is raised, the Law of Humility is also offering us an inner resolution with the exact same trait, but only if we do not object to what we see in the other being. My personal experience with the tiger was very humbling in so many ways, from my initial hair-raising objection of him through my fears to my awe and appreciation for him, a huge, powerful, yet gentle creature, my traveling companion. Keeping in mind this big cat weighed between four and five-hundred pounds, he moved in graceful silence, never hearing him in the forest unless he wanted me to, and became a great teacher to watch and observe. Aside from his natural ability as the fearless hunter, his behavior remained flexible and so gentle, very humble in each activity to the degree he seemed to actually honor life, taking only what he needed. What did I learn? Simply begin to accept my objections and, like so many other things, they will soon begin to dissipate. Let us take a look at how this all works in our everyday interactions.

I first recall the last principle that we covered: you attract to you what you are, not what you want. Are you beginning to recognize how these principles overlap and lead into the other? As an example, let us choose an everyday interaction. Suppose you fault another person for handling themselves in a glaringly arrogant fashion. In that moment of judgment, what you may not realize is that their arrogance may simply be stronger than yours, or they may be better at showing it, in which case you could feel a twinge of envy in that moment, the undercurrent. What if they are truly confident in what they do? Confidence and arrogance are two distinctly different ideas but may appear to be the same, when they are not. The first has its basis in truth and the second is based on fear or illusions. The first is solid and the second is actually weakness. The first does not explain itself and the second shall. You see, the essence of humility is when an individual is truly peaceful and loving life, applying absolutely no admonishments, always allowing others to solely be who they are.

Through our objection to the behavior or personality of other beings, we are essentially telling them they cannot be who they simply are and, when doing so, we have now transformed ourselves into a rigid, inflexible mode of operation. Of course you now run the risk of creating a physical enemy when initially there was none. In truth it is up to the other person to decide how they choose to act, not us. In fact, we have no right to determine how another person should or should not act. The behavior exhibited by every being is theirs alone, for it has nothing to do with us. We have no reason to judge them for whom they choose to be. Consider this, if we do not initially have that internal attribute to which we strongly object, how could it ever become an issue with any other? It simply cannot be an issue. We could all learn to not admonish others as much as we do and living humbly will create this for any individual while giving awe to life. There is one caveat in this and that is there are times when truth may appear to be judgment and the way to discern the difference is this; are you looking at the physical only through physical eyes or are you looking at it through your higher nature. Do not fool yourself by allowing your ego to answer this question.

      In this part of the world, it appears we have a high level of urgency to constantly tell other people how they should or should not be in any given circumstance, a compulsion to which I believe we have been conditioned. Who are we for doing this? What right do we truly have to do this? Do we really want others to be just like us? Would that not be a bit boring? Who knows you better than you? Wisdom dictates that we are better off tending our own house while leaving other homes alone. I am not surprised to see and hear so many disagreements, for we are all plowing malevolently through life, apparently behaving quite contrary to our truly humble natural nature. Another contrary behavior that has been observed is an individual’s insistence for being correct in all things. This begs the question, “Is it right to impose our right on another individual?” Just because other people do not see or do things our way does not imply we are correct to object. What is the bottom line here? Remember to be who you are, not what you are. If you spend all your time listening to what others are telling you about you, and you choose to change you only to please them so they like you, you have then lost who you are. At some point, because of this, you will not be a happy individual nor shall you ever become empowered in your own life by living in this manner and besides Karma says that at some point you will have to learn who you are. The message is to not give you away and this will not have to occur.

To read the rest of the chapter it may be found in my book:
‘The Twelve Sacred Principles of Karma’ my web site

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Law of Creation

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are,
Where else do you expect to find it?”

Chapter III

The Law of Creation

            To begin this chapter I would like to ask you a very real and truthful question? Did you receive an operator’s manual when you were born, you know, a manual instructing you how to work precisely with life, to live effortlessly in life? Do not feel embarrassed because neither did I, at least not until after studying under my Master teachers in the Far East. In the form of the twelve principles of Karma, I offer the manual to each of you in this book. Remember the Great Law, the first principle of Karma and the creative power behind all seeds we plant along our highway of life? The Great Law guides us to become aware of not only the present in which we are always involved, but also the number and types of seeds we set in motion, intentionally and otherwise. With the first principle now behind us, let us journey onward to the second, developing our ability to further enhance our knowledge in the true nature of life’s creative forces.

Karmic Law is indeed purposefully designed, helping us understand both ourselves and life on a much deeper level, developing a natural harmony or flow in all what we say and do thus the idea of an operating manual. In a sense, Karmic principles actually do provide our operating instructions, but only if we read, comprehend, and follow them; otherwise, they will just as easily create disharmony due to their natural precision and our unconscious interaction with them. Stop and take a moment to envision a life filled only with harmony, purpose, and complete abundance in all aspects. In truth, life is exactly this until we interrupt it, only because these principles remain unknown to us. Life is more real than we may have ever imagined, decisively purpose-filled, but not necessarily for the reasons we may think. Life is genuine and it is about growth, spiritual growth or awakening, realized or not, teaching us to be spiritually living creatures, reaching into the infinite divine, with Karma meeting this purpose in all respects. These are the main reasons why there is no way around the Law of Karma, for there are absolutely no loop holes in the principles contained therein. Rather, the Law is the manual from which we can elevate to this higher view of life. The principles themselves are as our teachers, assisting us to live in and honor all of life, to reach this supreme state of being, a loving, divine, empowered creator, which is a perfect segue for the introduction of the Law of Creation.

            In the eastern world, the Law of Creation is cited in this context to which I learned as I was walking with my teachers. Master Kiela looked at me and said, “Young man what if all events in your life are simply because of you? What if you draw the people to you that you do? Do you realize that you are responsible for all of the events that take place in your life?” I had to consider these for a few moments. Then he said this to me; “you attract to you what you are, not what you want.” Allow me to share this once again: you attract to you what you are, not what you want. “This principle is the very key to the reality of why your life is the way it is” he added; “Your life can be no different than you yourself are, because life is your exact mirror image, by Karmic Law. This is one of the primary keys since life is about magnetic fields of energy, the reason why it even exists in the very real sense. Humans are the only living beings able to shift the dynamics of life in any given moment. No other living creature may do this, for they are simply what they came in this world to be. A rose may not be a petunia and a cat cannot become a dog. We, on the other hand, may be anything we choose through the use of Karmic dynamics, the principles which also let us know we are the very first cause in our individual and collective lives.” My mind was now reeling with all of this information and I think that Kiela knew this by the smile on his face. This Law of Creation supports my assertion and magnifies from the last chapter on how we are a walking, breathing, thinking, electro-magnetic field generator, attracting every experience to us through what we plant each moment. Kiela went on; “This all is completely controllable and we are able to directly influence and we may direct it to any purpose we may see fit, keeping in mind that the intention is never about power over another, nor about power itself. Such intention would ultimately be a purpose of great error, only to create and perpetuate negative Karmic responses; on the other hand, Karma can make your life almost magical in your daily process when used wisely.”

            No human can actually gain power over another unless it is first given to them. Wait, I’m shaking my head on this concept because, the truth is, to believe we have power over another is to simply believe an illusion, one that we created in this reality. I suggested in my previous work “A Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible” that all things were created equally and if not then our Creator would be flawed. If this was not the case then the principles of Karma would be an illusion. However, Karma ultimately ensures equality with all things, human and otherwise. This concept remains uppermost and imbedded in all creation along with the second principle, to simply confirm that we individually live with what we create, in each and every moment, and to own the responsibility for it. After all, we brought it into our experience! I will go out on the other limb with you. Suppose inequality is the truth in our reality, known as the Law of Inequality. When living under this Law, by the concept of “better than,” one experiences difficulty in a variety of ways, especially if they attempt to cover it over in some fashion? And by covering it over, do they not actually create their own isolation from an emotional perspective? I ask you, have you ever met an emotionally cold person? The truth is they actually believe they have power over others, or so they think. This is truly Karma in action, not the Law of Inequality! Have you also met people whose actions remain oblivious to them yet are intensely clear to you, and are quick to support their denial of the action? These individuals have developed the “better than” approach and, in most instances, are completely unaware of the walls they have built around them, a Karmic return. You see, Karma guarantees equality in all respects since acting from “better than” can only return to the individual what they first created for themselves by their own actions, pure isolation behind immense walls while being surrounded by people who think they are “better than”. The Law of Inequality, therefore, is a bona fide ego created illusion by its very nature, working contrary to love and connectedness, the two true divine attributes of the human.

When you read the Law of Creation, the second principle of Karma: you attract to you what you are, not what you want, how do you respond in thought? Perhaps something akin to, “No, I did not ask for this! These things and events did not come into my life because of me.” Forgive me, for I must affirm, “Yes you did create them.” This at first was very difficult for my self to realize and internalize the truth of the matter. You see, your energy base as the human attracts every event and circumstance to you, and it is a combination of many things. This so-called base is not comprised of just your thoughts, for it is also made up of all your fears, all your moments of hesitation and exaltation, all your heart-felt emotions, and of all to which you hold on and let go. These are your individual dynamics, and their sum equals your beliefs. Test this out. If you believe you are going to fail, you simply cannot succeed. If you believe you are un-loveable then love will elude you or you will get a façade of it. This is also why the first law is so very important because we reap what we ourselves plant we are the seed itself we are the magnet that draws our experience to us.

These dynamics or beliefs develop through our upbringing and subsequent experiences, an unending cycle of experiences which only validates our beliefs again, and again, and again. From the monk’s perspective, this is why beliefs must broaden through flexibility, to ever-expand as we grow and change from each learning experience into the next. In a later chapter we shall discuss for you the law of change and this one may surprise you in its scope. In truth, beliefs should never be static; however, countless humans think otherwise according to their indoctrination, or so they believe. Forgive me, for this is simply a falsehood. If you are in doubt of this simply look at the world as it is and you will see the simple truth in the power of beliefs. As previously discussed, Karma is our guide, not our so-called enemy or punisher. Consider this, when one does not allow belief to shift and change there shall occur specific Karmic returns for it and they continually repeat, with the intent behind the returns to wake the person up, to shake the shoulders a bit to get their belief to change, a truth you shall realize when we journey further to the appropriate principle. We grasp onto old beliefs entirely too firmly when, in truth, we should be more flexible with them, which is what the Christ intended for us to understand when He suggested that we cannot put new wine in old skins. And this is simply another version of how Karma works as we interact with life and experience.

            Although your beliefs are direct influences from what your dynamics have become, remember that they are all changeable because only you have the full responsibility of changing yourself. According to my instructions from my teachers if we shift our beliefs then our dynamics will follow suit. This is ultimately in your hands. Without ever blaming circumstances, can you accept the idea that you have attracted all the events in your life, just as I and others have, through how we actually see ourselves, a belief? This does not have to be a complex process in fact it is simple by its very nature. You know what you like about you and what you do not and these are all changeable at your choosing. The Law of Creation actually suggests that living a healthy, abundant, and successful life requires absolute full participation by you the individual. Remember in the last chapter when we discussed doing things half-way or holding back? In reality we should never hold back from anything or anyone in life since life has very little to do with which race, creed, country or belief we have. Yes, these are external circumstances; yet, they do not have to define your internal energy dynamics, for your personal definition is entirely up to you. It is all about what we have become as opposed to who we are in all moments. We truly can control this, should we choose to, by taking full and active participation in all of it, pouring our full nature into it, holding nothing back! At first, like the mind, this takes great effort, but it does become easier as we work with it, truly learning our own nature rather than others’; otherwise, we actually ask to be short-changed in our experiences, which I am certain you have felt at some point. You now may understand the “why” of it.

            I have shared earlier in the first chapter how we are all connected in the idea of oneness through consciousness; yet, this is much more far-reaching than just the external ideas of connection. The second principle indicates we are also one with our self. While studying in Nepal, one of my teachers asked me, “Why do you see everything as separate from you?” I answered, “That is how I was raised and is how all Americans are raised. I see this person or that one over there. There is a tree over there or a plant over here,” I pointed, “They are all separate.” He offered me this, “That is simply an illusion. All things are one and the same.” I became deeply puzzled and he could see the perplexed look on my face. He continued by saying, “That, as humans, we are all the same physically. Other than how we look, which is the only true difference, we all think the same, feel the same, and act the same.” He even went so far as to say that if I was thinking of something then he probably would be thinking of it too, at the same moment. What he said next was interesting, forming the basis of the statement above that there truly is no separation between the internal and external. One of the prime causes of disease, or “dis-ease,” is our belief that we see and live in separation between the internal and external, basically meaning we are ill at ease with the external environment we created. This unsettledness or seeming separation is the cause of our illness. Put another way, if we are not connected internally then we have inner division, why because we are now disconnected. And if we are divided internally, does it not stand to reason that we would be the same with the external, our environment? He went on to say that this is why we find so much disagreement with ourselves and what we do, with each other and what others do, even with the world. He suggested that I practice this inner union and then observe my outer world. Once this is mastered it gives a whole new meaning to life and individuality. I am here to tell you it is deeply humbling when you not only experience the connectedness of life but live in this manner it is much more fulfilling because you live holistically.

It is understood that the difficulty you may have in comprehending this shift in perspective; yet, the whole basis of Karma rests on our union between the internal and external environments. You see, we are directly connected from the inside to the outside each and every moment. There is no such thing as separation. That is pure illusion. It is all one. Yes, every thing does manifest differently from any other; yet, every thing has its basis in the exact same energy streams. Only its physical manifestation gives the impression of separation, which is how the mind operates with it. Look at this concept in these terms. For us to even “see” there must first be the appearance of separation or void so we are able to walk between the trees instead of walking into them. Let me go even further by asking, “Why do you see the table or any other object?” Because there is nothing around it, correct? This “nothing” allows us to “see” the table, or any object for that matter, basically allowing us to more easily navigate and handle all objects; yet, this “nothing” gives us the illusion of separation. “Nothing” is one of the prime keys to how we learn and gain intelligence but, as you may now see, it may also offer a minor hindrance if you are seeking the idea of consciousness since the hindrance can enter your perception of individual separation. In truth, we are not even separated from earth since it is simply a different manifestation of matter supporting life. As the earth goes so does life. As the human goes so does life. The Law of Creation guides us to understand this very concept and, by unifying our internal with the external, we can “see” more clearly and easily what we individually manifest or create.

Allow me to throw a curve ball at you, revealing the depth and breadth of this principle. Even if we do not care for our experiences, even if we deny our relationship or physical connection to them, we still remain directly responsible for them purely because of our mental and emotional connection to those experiences. So when I talk of our internal connection, I mean there exists no separation between our mental and emotional arenas. Certainly they appear separate when they are discussed; yet, they are not, for both the mental and emotional aspects directly influence each other just as we directly influence each other. And because this is a universal principle of life, this concept applies not only to each of us individually, but also to all of us collectively. The Law of Creation is simply attempting to alert us to this fact of life, the connection between every thing and every experience. It is suggested that we learn to not see any separation from our inner being to our outer world. As the Law states, our outer world is precisely the way it is purely because of how we are on the inside.

If you feel your life is in chaos, it is because you are the same on the inside. If you think your life is not organized, then you are not organized on the inside, your mind is simply not organized. If you have a peaceful life then you are peaceful internally. Choices create these ideas in how we feel, so if we choose differently, then we change our internal self, thereby taking us in a new and different direction. And just because a certain choice worked once does not necessarily mean it will work yet again. In truth, we are surrounded by and directly connected with clues to our inner nature constantly and continually; yet, we may not even realize it. Our outer world is not separate from us. It is us! It is what we see and must accept internally before we may ever shift it externally. We spend entirely too much time working with and on the external giving it the power yet we are the very ones that actually hold the power yet many of us seem powerless. Do not give your power away and you will then take control of your life by working on the interior of self.

It is fully realized the challenge you may have in understanding this concept; nonetheless, it is the truth and it does apply to every single living thing. The outer world is our Karmic circumstance being shown to us in all respects. Interestingly enough, for the most part, we are not willing to accept this idea, that our true nature is signified by what we have all around us. We should now realize the truth to the idea that there is no sidestepping or escape from this concept, Karma being what it is and magnetism being what it is. Expressed another way, our outer environment is a direct reflection of how we are inside. If you know a person whose life is in disarray, they are in disarray on the inside. If you would like your outer world to become organized then become organized internally and the outer will naturally follow this path. Certainly it may take a few moments to catch up to you, but be patient and wait for it; it will come and your life magically becomes organized. To shift anything externally, the internal shift must come first, not the other way around as this part of the world has been taught.

One beautiful fall afternoon Master Lobsang asked me to walk with him, leaving the monastery and heading toward the forest. Now knowing my teachers may walk for hours before speaking, I simply followed along in silence and patience. Approaching the trees, I walked on a pathway while Master Lobsang wandered along beside it, moving gracefully and effortlessly around tress and bushes. We continued to walk in silence until he looked over at me and asked, “Why do you walk on the path?” I replied, “I can see it; it is well worn.” He nodded, smiled, and fell back into silence while continuing to meander around and through the foliage. A few moments later he looked at me again, stating, “If you continue to follow the path you are walking on, young man, it could become so deep you would not be able to get out of it.” He fell silent. I looked over at him, “Master, you are not talking about me walking, are you?” He looked at me thoughtfully, “I am talking about your mind and how it operates.” He went on to explain how mental routine could easily turn into a rut from which it would be extremely difficult to free myself. You see, if we are repetitive in our choices, it is more because of our mental routines, the most predominant type of thought process from which we seem to operate. I am not entirely sure why we do so, except that maybe we actually believe it will make our life simpler or more comfortable; however, in the eyes of Karma this is not so. Why? Mental routines are quite possibly the most dangerous form of habit we could fall into, whether we remain stuck in the rut for a complete lifetime or for only a tiny portion of it. So how may we climb out of mental routines? During my teachings, Master Lobsang suggested that I learn to do everything free of routine, such as starting with my left leg rather than my right when putting pants on, or cleaning myself in a different order, or walking off the beaten path. “If you break the small routines then the larger ones, like how you think, would also become easier to break,” he instructed. Being a typical young American I took his instructions to heart and went full tilt by becoming aware of my every routine and body movement. You know, after a short time had passed, not only did I perceive how my choices changed in a myriad of ways, but also realized I seldom made the same choice twice, thereby easily shifting my mind and thoughts. I still practice daily “non-routine” to this very day.

May I offer you a rule of thumb to assist you on your journey in this world? Just a simple one with which you may use to assist you on this Karmic path of creation. In a sense, we all know the idea of people liking people who like what they like. Do you like that last sentence? In essence, we like people who are just like us since they match us in personality, dress, music, diet, travel, or whatever it may be. The rule of thumb is, if you want loving people around you then simply love. Being loving becomes your magnet to subsequently and automatically draw this kind of person to you. Trust it. They will find you. It is who you are, so how can an unloving person be drawn to you? They in truth can not. In fact, it will never enter their so-called unloving mind to do so the odds would be that they would be repelled by you. If this occurs do not be disturbed as it is their choice so allow them to have that choice.

If you are routine-oriented then those people around you will be identically the same as you yourself are. Remember you attract to you what you are not what you want is the rule. Simply become the magnet to draw into your experience whatever it is you choose. If you desire to surround yourself with smart people then become smart in virtually anything. They will be in your life because it is who you yourself already are, or because it is who you have now become. If you want the perfect mate, simply develop the traits which you envision in your mate, then Life itself will automatically deliver your envisioned mate to you. Never build a façade because that is what you will get in your pursuit of the perfect mate, another perfect façade. There is no way around this, for if you do, the facade will ultimately be exposed at some point in time as it has to. This principle is about living the truth of our inner nature because, by not living in that truth, we are then living a lie, which we will be ultimately surrounded by through Karmic return. It would be better to admit this than to continue because Karma is relentless in its purpose and will fulfill your every desire. This inner truth is ever-changeable by its very characteristic because it is you and you have the direct influence upon it and if you do not realize this then that now implies other things are in control of you. There is no empowerment in this. Who you were is never as important as who you are, right now. But it is up to you to do the shifting; otherwise, it most assuredly will stay with you right where you are and your same cycles will continue as they have been. The message conveyed by this principle is the knowledge that we create our reality from within us, not from without. In other words, that which shows up outside of us is purely what we had originally created within us. Nothing may come into our lives without our direct influence on it. Whether a thief, abundance, poverty, or health shows up, it matters not to natural Law. As mentioned earlier, Karma is solely the mechanism; therefore, our belief, including our choices based on that belief, will determine what we draw to us. You will find this true one hundred percent of the time. If you desire a different life no matter what it may be then change you to match it and it will come because you will draw the experiences to you.

            You attract to you what you are not what you want is a very viable idea, which is why it is listed as the second of the twelve Karmic principles. Our seeds become us, for they are what we have planted, nurtured, and grown, first internally then externally, so it would stand to reason that the Law of Creation would indeed follow the Great Law. Let us re-examine the homeowner’s situation, the one fearing that their home would be broken into. Through fear, the owner attracts the very thing they fear the most: having their possessions stolen. Fear is actually a dual-edged sword. From one side of the sword, the owner, being fearful, attracts the reason for the fear to themselves and their home. From the other side of the sword, the idea that the owner’s personal possessions have power over them is clearly apparent for they are looked upon as more important than they are, thus the reason for home security. How can this be? Fear is the key, and through the sense and need of protection from the fear, the owner had to secure the home and its belongings! This simply shows us that their things have power over them, that they are not willing to let their personal items go; therefore, possessions are more important than they are.

            When thinking of monastic living, do you believe that monks do not desire anything? Only to a point is this belief accurate. In truth, the real idea is the power of desire and what it may do to a person. Trust me, from personal experience I know and believe the monks are fine and happy simply with themselves since they know this is something which can never be taken from them. On the other hand, a desire can be taken. You see, when we give a desire the title of ownership, what we think we own now actually owns us, so much so that it totally affects how we truly feel about our self, which now means we have completely transferred our power to external things. This way of living is absolutely contrary to the original idea of life. You are the one with the true ability and power until you give it away to external things or to others, which occurs much too often I can readily say. And you wonder why you do not feel empowered? Perhaps now you realize why. We all give it up! We may give it up to things, family, religion, even to a government. By giving our self away to anything or anyone, we no longer are the one we were born to be and, when living in this sense, we are separated from the connection between our inner and outer environment simply because the outer has been granted unconditional power to now control us. If left unchecked, desire can completely consume and overpower the individual, involving and allowing the ego to misdirect them entirely. Of course, once this occurs, frustration and anger swells within the individual as these two emotions and the Karmic return perpetuate this creative motion. To a monk, this is the biggest reason why desire is controlled and why they are filled with content in all they have: only them self. In fact, they are willing to give away any personal possession at any given moment since it is not as important as life itself. Life is the greatest of possessions one may have and it is the only thing that we truly require. Only when we own our self are we then fully empowered over all things.

It has been revealed to you that Karma may swipe both ways. Either while swinging in the negative direction or in the abundantly positive one for you, the principle remains relentless. These first two principles show us this because, if we plant selfish and self-serving seeds, then their like-kind shall return to us; whereas, if we plant with wisdom then wisdom abounds all around us. The Law of Creation though is more pronounced and profound in its effect because its purpose is to reveal our true nature, rather than our illusions of self. Through our experiences, the second principle guides us to realize what we in fact created, and if we do not desire our creation then we may change its direction. Keep in mind, though, we may not be able to change the set of circumstances so created; however, our creation may be redirected, thereby changing the set of circumstances and hence the experience. Like the Creator, we must also realize at this point that we may never un-create, that all we can do is take what has been created and shift the direction of the creation until it becomes what we originally sought. The words state that we were made as co-creators, not as co-“uncreators.” This is very specific even in Karmic Law. Once we have a thing or the experience, do not struggle with it. Just allow it to play out as it is; otherwise, it may easily become compounded, leading us only into complete confusion and disarray. Also, denial of any personal responsibility for the environment will not assist you or anyone else, in any way. Denial will only slow the progress of what you are attempting to create. It is far better, therefore, to simply create again through another set of choices until the choice is perfected. The truth is, if we do not claim responsibility, then we sink into the depths of self-denial and Karma, as you know by now, will take care of this also, continuing in its uncompromising fashion until we no longer deny our self and the events surrounding us. By stubbornly staying on the abysmal path of denial, Karmic action will actually increase the possibility of greater pressure from the events we experience; thus, I suggest self-admission as the shortest and least dramatic path.

When we deny our self, we actually acknowledge, in a sense, that our life is nothing that our life is an accident and it is not. Living in this mindset now implies there is no purpose in our lives. In truth, we do have purpose; else we would not even be here! But if we do live by this mindset then, in a way, we live haphazardly or are heading toward disaster in whichever endeavor we attempt, becoming neither easy nor simple for anyone because life would be erratic. And would it not make total sense, therefore, such life could lead us into thinking that we no longer have control over it? So what is the answer? Our emotional mindset is the creator of this lifestyle. Let us peer into typical moments through which we all live.

This is an excerpt from my book on eastern philosophy ‘The Twelve Sacred Principles of Karma’. To find out more about me please visit my web site at

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Great Law "What you sow so Shall you reap?

“The light of any lamp dispels in a moment the darkness
of long eons;
The strong light of the mind in but a flash will
burn the veil of ignorance.”

Chapter II

The Great Law

      Now that you have an idea of karma, how it works, and its true nature and purpose we shall now begin our presentation of the twelve sacred laws of karma and they will be presented individually. We shall use the term principles and laws as a synonymous interchange of words. We begin our journey with the laws of Karma by introducing to you the first of the twelve principles termed as the Great Law. This law was shared with me in this manner and with these words offered from my teachers, “What you sow so shall you reap.” There is almost more causality in this one principle than in all the others, so it may be considered the greatest of the laws, hence its name and place in the sequence. When you fully understand this first principle, not only will the scope in which you operate narrow it will also add greater flexibility to you and to your life as a whole. Through the understanding of it it will also help you to understand the other principles and they in themselves shall become much simpler, having less impact in your life than they now do. No they do not go away but you will now know what they are and how they operate and with this knowledge life does become easier at least in the sense of knowing outcomes long before they ever arrive. It is the key to all life experience that we bring to us. Oh, I can hear you, “What does he mean, ‘we bring to us’?” Yes, you read correctly, for it is as though circumstances come to us by our request, coming first as our individual experience and then expanding to the collective experience. What goes into life and consciousness first occurs through the individual human and how they deem their experiences and then they are simply reflected back to us.

      This first law determines how life shall progress or evolve individually and collectively, whether it creates turmoil, stress, even war, or the opposite as it creates love, compassion and peace. It totally depends on what we first decide to plant, individually. They teach in the East, if there is an effect, there is always a cause which created that effect. One simply may not exist without the other, which is precisely the premise behind Newton’s third law! So if you want peace and joy in your life, in your home, the neighborhood, all countries, even the whole world, simply start where you are, by doing something about you. I suggest, quite literally, that we place our focus on our self first, not on others as we do most times. When we are focusing on our self, we would be much more aware of what we do than what others do and this is one main key when it comes to Karma, you not them. Allow others to take care of themselves and their own responsibility in what they do. Besides when we are focusing on others it distracts from the most important part of any individual life, you. Here are three questions you might ask, “If I am helpless and fearful, do I really cause this?” “Do these subsequently really draw the like experience to me?” “Am I, in fact, creating negatives in my own life simply by focusing on the fears and helplessness of others?”  It is suggested that you truly consider these questions as they have a large impact on each of us individually and collectively.
      While studying with the monks in the Far East, I vividly recall the day when Master Lobsang approached me and stating in his simple manner, “It is time for you to learn the ideas of cause and effect in us humans, known as Karma,” and further impressed upon me that these were going to be some of the most important principles I would come to learn during my sojourn with the Master teachers. Further, he wanted me to internalize them in the order they were taught, learning one Law at a time, so that working with them would be simpler for me as they will for you. He said, “Once learned, you will know how your life will unfold before the effects or events even occur. You will also learn to realize how you directly are able to influence your life and with greater ease by internalizing and living them not simply think them.” Following his request, “Come walk with me,” I began my exposure to the ideas of Karmic Law and to circumstances created by cause. During our walk one spring, just before we passed by the fields beside the monastery where monks were busy planting and harvesting, Master Lobsang turned to ask me pointing toward the fields and the activity taking place there, “Young man, what do you see?” I confidently replied, “Why Master, I see my brothers tending the fields by tilling the soil, with some monks planting seeds while others are harvesting some early crops.” He stated that we should sit under the shade of a tree so that he could talk with me about karma to which I related to you in the last chapter and we were going to begin the principles now. He understood that I was, indeed, observing Karma in the physical sense; however, it does not simply end there. Karma runs much deeper as it intertwines itself in all things like the roots of a plant that we do not see under the soil. We merely see the results of the seed but not until after it has sprouted this is much the way that karma itself works. We plant the seed it spreads its roots to take hold and then it springs into life. “Do you know what your mind, emotions and physical self do?” a question he asked for me to ponder. “Well, yes I do!” I immediately answered. “You may know what your body does, as we all do, for that is obvious,” Master Lobsang offered, “most of us, however, do not realize the impact that our mind and emotions have on that body. They are, in fact, our most important part because they determine our life, both in the short and long run.” I venture to say, if we truly knew their degree of impact, would we not be more judicious in how we operate them? Would we not become more aware of what we are thinking or feeling? Would we not know what our thoughts were doing? Would we not be more focused on the types of thoughts that we emanate? If we were then we may not allow them to wander as we do. These are all things that are more powerful than we may have ever imagined they wield more power than the body.

      These two tools, mind and emotions, actually do determine our outcomes in material life and we never know, at least in the way that we handle them now, what that will be until they sprout and grow. As they begin to grow we now have what we term as the experience or effect of what we planted and at times weeks or months before we realize the growth of what we planted. The return action from our creation is actually known as our created cause and it is what we term our experience. Master Lobsang further stated that these two personal aspects not only affect us directly, but they also affect those closest to us, which then affects our community, continuing their ripple effect ever outward to the entire world as they move straight into the idea of consciousness, wherefrom they are shared with every human and their experience in life. The mind and emotional arenas of the human contain the true impact on the idea of consciousness and collective mind while the body is simply the executioner of what these guide it to. Master Lobsang simply offered, “This is the Great Law which all people should learn to understand, what you sow so shall you reap. It is the prime basis of cause and effect.” I feel certain that you have had at least one experience which you did not particularly care for, am I correct?  The truth is you created the experience through the return actions of Karma, whether or not you believe this is not as important as the fact that this is the universal truth behind all experiences.

      What is this so-called Great Law? What is this prime principle of life really about? How does it work? Allow me to share this as my teachers taught it to me because it is very important especially to come to realize that we can work with it but only through knowing how it works. The Great Law of Karma simply stated is: What you sow, so shall you reap as suggested. You may shrug your shoulders while thinking, “Oh yeah, Jesus says that in the Bible.” Although the Christ is the one who is most quoted for saying it, he in fact did not originate it, for He was taught the principle, along with the other eleven Karmic Laws, during His sojourn in the Far East. All twelve principles are quoted by Him but in different phrasing but they are in the Bible also. The Great Law was actually recorded in the Vedas, the oldest known philosophic text in the world, a text predating Jesus by at least two millennia, a text even older than Buddhism, a teaching which holds the greatest number of practitioners who abide by this very principle. It is written about in the Bhagavad-Gita and stated by Krishna, in approximately 150 BCE. If I were to choose only one principle to follow, the Great Law is by far the only one that we could ever practice through all of life because of the simplicity in its purity. So what does this ‘simplicity in its purity’ all mean? We tend to think sowing a seed as simply planting a crop or garden like the monks that day with Lobsang; however, where the human is concerned in life, sowing is not limited to only physical action and activity. In every action perpetrated by us, we plant seeds which, by their very nature, must come to fruition and bear their own fruits. For a moment, imagine this prime principle as strictly literal and it “is” more than we may be willing to realize. Now ask yourself, “Which seeds am I planting in all I say and do?” When answering, please be very truthful with yourself and, once answered, take an honest and open introspective look at every circumstance in your life, openly viewing it as an impartial observer. Doing so you are more easily able to see the fruits your seeds have yielded and, perhaps now, you can understand why your life is precisely the way it is. And removing every idea or feeling of blame is vitally imperative during this process, as you transform your weed-filled garden, to a luscious fruit-filled grove. It is not my fault. It is not your spouse’s fault or your boss. When we place blame it negates personal responsibility which we shall enlarge upon in a later chapter dealing with this exact thing, blame.

If not seen in the physical, then what exactly are the seeds we sow and how do we plant them? Do you realize that we plant them in everything we do, constantly and continually? Ironically this was part of creation and in reality is our divine gift. We have the divine gift of planting weeds or fruitful lives it is our choice but not until we realize what and how we plant thus the idea of these twelve sacred laws. These are planted in every act, action, thought or emotion in which we emit and to think that they are all under our control should we so choose. There is no way around this! In truth our own lives are our very own creation through this very principle according to Master Lobsang. In truth, the simple concepts and ideas of Karma are to get each one of us to become aware of what we plant, not how the planting may be avoided or even circumvented, which is actually not possible. There are actually three varieties of seeds for which we are responsible to plant, the physical seeds (the obvious ones) which are contained in our every physical action or activity, and the more subtle seeds, the very powerful mental and emotional ones, with the emotional seeds being pre-eminent since they contain unrivaled power. In a general sense, it is the latter two, interestingly enough, that actually create all the physical activity because they generate all of the physical response or actions to what we think or feel toward something.

Let us first begin with the mental seeds, followed by the emotional ones, only to end this chapter with the physical seeds as they are the easiest to realize the consequences that will return. The physical seeds are the simplest to weed through and they also seem to grow or materialize the fastest without requiring nearly as much nurturing as do the mental and emotional ones. The mental and emotional seeds are a bit more complex by their very inherent nature because, at first they are invisible, while at some future point they will manifest in either a positive or negative return. And it is here that is within our sphere of control as the physical actions follow these two. Human seeds are similar to plant seeds in that, once they are buried beneath the soil of our mind, they elude our eye until they sprout. Once they break the surface, are they a weed or are they what we intended to plant or desired to plant? Can we easily tell the difference? In this scenario we must wait until they sprout so as not to inadvertently remove what we actually desired to plant and have grow in our life. Our journey begins with the mind and its inherent nature “what you sow so shall you reap”.

      Do you believe mind and thought are synonymous? If you do, are you certain? You see, a monk would not believe so because mind is the store house; whereas, thought is the resultant activity of the mind. Mind and its activity create individual thoughts through the chemical activity of our body in relationship to experience, and a key factor to operate it with karma is to remain present with it, right-now-this-moment. By so doing we will know what our thoughts are doing as they echo through the mind, thereby knowing precisely what we are planting in that moment. One of the first things taught in a monastery is to always be present since this is the most powerful place in which to reside. Where does the creation of events actually occur in life? In the present! Initially, remaining mentally present is difficult because the unfocused mind has the tendency to drift like a butterfly, fluttering from one flower to the next without any rhyme or rhythm. So, to know what we are planting we must hone the mind to always be present in all we do.

      How do we accomplish this? Let an analogy be offered by using the wild mustang, a horse found in the western U.S. If you were to catch one and immediately place it in a very confined space, you would quickly realize your level of difficulty in keeping that horse contained. Here is a wild animal, roaming wherever and whenever it pleased during its entire life, much like the mind. The next moment – slam, click; the mustang is locked in the smallest of pens. You kind of think the horse would rebel a bit? Yes it would, as would also your mind which has been roaming freely all of its life as well! But if you gradually, slowly over time, rope and fence the horse in until it was confined, you would find this process much less difficult and the animal would be much calmer. The same holds true with our mental attribute. For our entire lives we are taught to control only our body and our emotions, but very seldom our minds, minds which flail almost perpetually, wandering hither and yon as the butterfly, all the while creating and bringing about return effects from “all things” that we plant by its mindless meandering. This reminds me of the story of Hansel and Gretel who left a trail of bread crumbs to mark their way home, only to have the crumbs gobbled up by the birds and forest animals. This simply implies that we forget or ignore our seeds and our thoughts, believing each as inconsequential, while in truth, each and every one carries a weight or return impact. Yes, all of them! Remember this universal truth, for it is not that some seeds will sprout and grow, but rather all seeds must come to fruition, each one carrying equal weight. I remember Master Lobsang thoughtfully asking me, “What if the one you call your God heard everything you thought and considered it as your request for It to do something for you? Would you change the way you think?” “Why yes, Master!” I replied in shock. “Good,” he emphatically stated, “for that is precisely what occurs as it is generated by our mind! Every single thought has the power of creation behind it. Even the most seemingly flippant thought carries the exact same weight and impact as the most loving thought. They each have the power to attract its like-kind, and to subsequently bring it to us for the experience.” This is truly powerful in its full scope! The mind is the most powerful aspect of the human as a steering mechanism for our lives, and to think we have the choice to either operate it in the divine sense by planting divine seeds or to operate it purely in the fashion of a simple physical human, completely alone and separate from the entire cosmos. Which is your choice? Choose wisely in this matter as it is literally life altering in its scope.

      It is my hope that you are still with me, just how do we go about training our flailing mind? From the perspective of the monastic teaching, it becomes simple after diligent practice: always keep our mind and thoughts where our body is. Another way of looking at it would be what Lobsang taught me and that is to keep your thoughts right where your eyes are looking. Have the mind follow the eyes and by so doing you are present. That is all. This is being present and by doing this we create presence and empowerment. Do you realize the basic principle behind meditation is keeping your mind exactly where you are? I fully understand many of you believe you do not have any time to actually meditate. In reality, you really do! I offer you the typical American mindset as one who goes about their daily activities as a busy butterfly. When at work, one thinks and plans for what they are going to do for the upcoming weekend. What’s this, a call from a friend and now they get excited about an upcoming event. Oh no, another call and, in the very next moment, they begin a shopping list for the evening supper. I ask you, where is “work” in all this? When they arrive home, they think and worry about the work not completed, which must now be added to tomorrow’s list of work tasks. These scenarios imply that we are not present in either situation; it is no surprise that we think we do not have the time to meditate. Generally speaking from a mental sense, because our minds are adrift in the ocean of life, we are perpetually undoing ourselves at every turn as we plant the seeds of our lives. We simply are not consciously aware of the seeds or the events around us until after the fact, overly reacting to most because of allowing our minds to operate in the above fashion. Could our reaction be the very seat of anger, simply because we are caught by surprise?

      We generally think of where we are not instead of focusing on where we are; therefore, we are surprised or startled by events because we are not focused on where we are in reality. Herein rests the issue. Are you with me? Right-here-right-now? Is your mind present with your body? Being in the present, we would have the ability to act on events, not react to them, while adding the ability to focus our mind on any given thing in each moment. The Zen tradition calls this mindfulness, which is one of its primary teachings, to always and perpetually be present with our body. Certainly this takes practice. And mind you, never force your mind for it will quickly behave as the wild mustang; rather, gently nudge it back to the present each time it drifts. If you find this difficult, then simply focus on your breath and breathing. Doing so will free your mind from drifting and return it to the present, wherein you will realize which seeds you are planting in your life. Rest assured life becomes easier.

      So how do we remove this mental flailing in order to train our mustang mind? First, just realize how simply being present may be. While driving, you are usually focused on your destination more times than not, right? By doing so, you are actually living in the future; thus, your mind is not where your body is. Because you already know your destination, I suggest that you simply stop thinking about it; hence, this mindset can be eliminated. Focus only on the driving, wherein you remain present, away from the future since it is purely a moment which will not arrive until the proper distance has been achieved, not one second sooner. A few good reasons to keep your mind with your body while driving: 1) diminishes your chance of getting in a hurry which only creates more pressure as its Karmic return, 2) diminishes any level of stress because you are operating in the present, thereby planting seeds of peace, rather than operating in a future moment which can only plant weeds of stress, thereby damaging your body in the long run, 3) diminishes any probability of an accident because you know what is going on around you at all times, 4) diminishes the possibility of road rage because, again, there is no stress. Road rage may occur when a driver feels that others are slowing them down, or are interfering or blocking them in some manner. Why? All because they are focusing on where they are going and not as much on what they are doing! There is another perk for focusing only on your driving. It keeps you out of the past since those moments have already occurred. Not convinced? Then keep this in mind. The future is a place wherein you are not physically able to live because your physical body may only be in the present, which is where you really are. Besides, living in the future keeps everything in a future moment, not the present! When it arrives, the future automatically transforms into the present, the time when all events take place and here is where we realize what we planted. Remember, the idea and real value of being present is knowing which seeds you are planting in any given moment by your mind. It is called this “presence” or “being mindful.” Karmically speaking, living in the future will only bring stress, worry, even frustration; on the other hand, living in the past simply replants the seeds of old experiences and herein lies the seeming cycles in which you encounter. The added advantage of driving in this manner is actually the purpose of meditation so in reality by staying present you are actually meditating and to think that most of us believe that we do not have time and here is one way of doing what you think you do not have time for.

      I ask you, “What causes us to worry? Why do some people do this more than others?” The true cause of this mental ailment is not being in the present behind your eyes. Consider this for a moment and just sit back and ask your self in this moment is there any thing to worry about. In this moment! Now this one! I think you get the idea. We worry of future moments or things from our past because in the present there is no time to get caught in worry. Try it out you may be surprised. First let us offer a point to ponder. Worry is just as powerful, if not more so, than focused, purposeful thought. You still plant the seeds and are scattering them everywhere, thereby creating evermore worries. You know most of us certainly have the propensity to worry. Interestingly enough, living in the future is the primary cause of worry. Okay, here is an example. What do you call it when a person looks at their current checkbook balance, then anxiously thinks of the bills that are due at month’s end? Here they are, only on the second day of the month! You can not tell me that they are not worried about how they are going to pay the month-end debts, which are weeks away. You see, they are mentally living at the end of the month, in the future, worrying over something that will not occur for another twenty-eight days or so from now. From this one worry, without even realizing it, they are actually planting the weeds of lack in their personal life for future growth, permitting Karmic return to plant even more weeds through other avenues of stress into their life. Would you not rather train to always live in the present, each moment free from worry and stress? I agree we have things to work with in the present; however, there exists no time to worry or even stress over anything or anyone else since we are presently working with precisely what we need to say and do in this particular moment. Maintaining our focus on the task at hand, such as reading each word in this sentence, we are simply in a state of meditation and no longer concerned about any harvest coming our way through the laws of attraction. Living in the future has never resolved anything ever in our lives; instead, it leads us into wishful (future) thinking which carries no true value in our present. Worrying over lack may only bring more lack into our reality. Why would we want that as our experience? Of course we do not! So stay focused on abundant living in the present, then it shall surely come by the same principles of Karma.

      Can we practice our presence and mindfulness when walking? Absolutely, for when you focus only on walking, you even add another dimension to the activity by also focusing on your breathing; in other words, not only do you focus on walking, but you also focus on the power of your breathing and its rate. I love to ask an audience if any one knows how they walk. By far the majority of people answer in the affirmative; however, once they are questioned on the specifics of their walking, they quickly realize they really do not. Even while walking we live in a future moment, only thinking of where we are walking to or drifting with our thoughts, which is not nearly as important as simply walking, aside from the exercise. When focused during our walk, we would know things like our natural stride, whether flat-footed or heal-to-toe, how our whole body moves, how we are breathing, whether labored or easy, allowing the body to tell us how it is performing aside from not stumbling over the root in the path if we are not present. Being present allows us to observe and know what we are planting physiologically, mentally, emotionally, and experientially, and is the very key to understanding this one single principle of Karma. This is why it is called the Great Law. It teaches presence, training our mind to not drift as the butterfly. Even if you are doing what is known as power-walking, it is far more beneficial to keep focused on the walking itself rather than on the idea of power-walking. Yes, I realize you are doing it for your health, but being in the present is by far the healthiest thing that anyone can do for themselves and consciousness. This also creates presence in consciousness and in truth one could easily state that this now becomes God or Christ consciousness simply because you now command presence.

      Why do I say this? The results of power-walking are future events; hence, at this moment, they are not so important. All pressures of life are of the future or future goals; being present removes them from your mind and you will notice there are very seldom pressures in the present. Do you truly believe that Olympic athletes train without stress or injury that they think only of their present training? You mean there is no pressure for achieving the Gold medal, a future event? There most certainly is, if they look only at the future of the Gold; otherwise, by remaining present, winning the Gold medal right now in this moment, their Karmic return shall “train” them toward that level of achievement. So which style of training can be considered the most powerful and most beneficial for the athlete? Practicing presence in what they are achieving. The truth is, any time your mind begins to drift, past or future, bring it back to the present by simply focusing on your breathing during any activity. Now, no thing exists for you to worry about. Breathing brings presence. A wonderful gift indeed!

      This very same principle of being present applies to every one of our events and activities, whether while we work, drive, walk, run, speak, or even cook. No matter what we may be doing at any given moment, do not allow the mind to drift. Be only present with what we do, for this helps train our mind in this ancient and powerful art of mindfulness. By implementing this one technique, do you realize you are actually meditating the whole time? We would also be aware of precisely what we are sowing along with the full knowledge of what we are going to reap according to my teacher, Lobsang. You see, once you harness this method of being present, you enter the realm of being in perpetual consciousness because you are consciously aware of your life and events as they unfold. Living in this fashion, by purely being present in each thing you do, brings a high degree of clarity to you each moment. Stop and say these sentences again to your self. A monk would never be out of the present, nor need any other human being, since this is all a state of mind, as is life after all our minds have created our lives.