Some Thoughts on Karma and The Four Agreements
Karma isn't something that happens to us, it is something we create through our actions. Karma is a universal law. It's a bit more involved than the simply put "Do good things and good things happen" philosophy of My Name Is Earl. But it's on the right track.
Most people just think of Karma as the stuff we did in a previous lifetime having an effect on our lives today. It doesn't have to be. We change every day, our actions form our lives through each moment. If I am someone who seeks a violent solution to my problems, I create a violent retaliation from the people around me. I would also associate myself with people who believed that violence was a solution and they too would seek out violence. Eventually, violence will come back to me.
Is Karma punishing me? Not at all. Karma is a very powerful teacher. It shows us that negative actions produce negative results and that if we want to change our results, we need to do things differently. There is no bearded man with a thunderbolt waiting to zap me with bad karma for my next four lives. I create my own reality, therefore my own Karma. If I create my own reality, then I am responsible for whatever situations I find myself in.
I have recently realised that my predominant life state is that of hunger. That means that occasionally, I have fits of jealousy and a desire to control. This state of being is not making me happy and is profoundly negative. I have created this negative Karma by reacting to similar situations in exactly the same way. Now, I feel it's time to change that Karma.
1. Doing things differently. It stands to reason that if I want to create a different outcome, my actions need to be different.
2. Chant: nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nichiren Daishonin has said that by chanting Daimoku, we can transform even fixed Karma.
I don't have to go back and try to 'fix' the Karma of all my previous lives. What's important in Nichiren Buddhism is the present, because what I create today will create my future. Being aware of Karmic tendencies is very valuable. They are very honest teachers that don't pull any punches. And I am the kind of person who likes directness.
And recently, I have been reminded by The Healing Room of the Four Agreements, according to Don Miguel Ruiz:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you wonít be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.