Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Concept of Karma

Standard
A fundamental premise of Eastern philosophy is that our Karma, or the cause and effect of our actions, is a way or a tool by which we shape our current journey of life and all other journeys to follow.  There is no escape from this simple, yet powerful and guiding, rule of life. Christianity and all other religions, in one form or another, preach the same concept: What you sow you will reap.
Unfortunately, the concept of Karma, is widely misunderstood. It is often considered a fatalistic view of life. In other words, some interpret Karma to mean that each of us comes to this earth with a pre-written script based on actions from our previous lives and therefore we have no say in what happens in our life. This is a serious misconception. Karma is a very action-oriented concept. Far from being fatalistic, it encourages us to understand that all our actions have consequences not only in this life, but that the "rewards" of our actions or the "punishment" for our evil doing, will follow us for subsequent lives. It prods us to think, on a moment by moment basis, who we are and what we stand for. It encourages us to think before we act. It reminds us that a score is being kept, even if we cannot see it on the football field of our lives. Karma is a means to fulfilling your life’s purpose with courage and a way to freedom from the circle of life and death.
Advertisements

The Magic of Grace

Standard

Elaine St. James wrote, "There is a self expansive aspect of gratitude. Very possibly it is a little know law of Nature: the more gratitude you have, the more you have to be grateful for." At at time when the economy is reeling, cost of living is sky rocketing, and people are struggling to pay their mortgages, it is hard to think or practice gratitude. This is particularly true for so many single mothers working multiple jobs to put bread on the table. Yet history has repeatedly shown that if there is one common characteristic that binds all survivors and winners, it is this: they see the lessons hidden in their circumstances, learn their  lessons, and remain insanely optimistic that no matter how deep and large the hole they are in, they will come out. They believe they have wings that will take them to where they want to be. They live and breathe optimism, and remain eternally grateful. They find grace even where no one else can see grace in their circumstances. Inevitably, they win life’s important battles. Gratitude is a remarkable thing to own.

What Shall I Complain About?

Standard

What Shall I Complain About My Life?

When nearly half the human race lives on less than the cheapest Starbucks coffee (two dollars)

What Shall I Complain About My Life?

When my brothers and sisters in Africa die without a 10-cent malaria pill

What Shall I Complain About My Life?

When millions of children go to bed hungry in this great country of ours

What Shall I Complain About My Life?

When nearly half a million people are bonded slaves in today’s world!

What Shall I Complain About My Life?

When fifty million pray they wont fall ill for if they do they have nowhere to go.

What Shall I Complain About?

When there are more than one million homeless children (Try coming up with one million names!)

I could go on. I have a long list of things that are so terribly wrong with the world. So much sorrow and grief in this world. So many who need so little and yet don’t have it. They work all their lives for a meal, for a home, for a pair of shoes – but can’t get it. Life is just outside their reach. And yet they go on – hopeful of another new day; hopeful that human kindness is just around the corner.

I thought long and hard.

I looked at the problem different ways.

I analyzed it.

I reflected on it and stood upside down to get a different perspective on it.

But the answer is always the same – I am blessed. So blessed. I am bathed in grace.

I shall only cherish one emotion above all others in my life – and that is gratitude.

For if a moment should slip away without gratitude in my heart, understand dear Lord, that it is my old age – not my intent to disregard grace. Just to remember and embrace grace is itself grace.

Thank you, God.