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Working Through Karma
Richard describes the redemptive value of revisiting the past and without indulging guilt or any form of self-attack accepting to feel and then transmute the hurt our past actions may have caused others. Eventually in our deeper meditations we will begin to meet and transmute the wounded places that reside in the collective consciousness thereby becoming transmitters of healthier potentials for everyone.
Karma is the most difficult of subjects to talk about, and so is the shadow. But what we do understand is that for every action, for every thought, there’s a consequence. A thought in our body can create pain, or it can create temporary happiness. An action that is destructive to ourselves can create temporary, or even permanent, damage to ourselves.
Same thing with how we treat others, how we speak to others. Our behavior has consequences. And as we become conscious, and as we commit ourselves to a conscious path, a spiritual, conscious path, a lot of that path is clearing up our karma. And the first step in that karma is clearing up the karma of the present day. It’s waking up and realizing that what I just said hurt me or hurt someone else. And finding a way to connect to your voice and what you said, your words, and turn around and say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what that’s done to myself, and I’m sorry if that’s hurt you.
Karma goes deeper. You find that you’re beginning to work on the karma that comes from your earlier life. You look back at past relationships and you see the choices you made and how that affected other people. And at the time, you weren’t aware of it, and at the time you were absorbed into who you were in your own self involvement.
But now, as you look back from a more evolved place in yourself, you look back and you go, ouch. Boy, was I selfish. Boy, was I self involved. Boy, was I unconscious. Wow, I have really hurt others.
And there’s no guilt in this, because when you look back and you see it, and you feel the consequence of that behavior as you imagine it was experienced by the person, the other person at that time , and you see your own unconsciousness, there is a sense of regret, a sense of, oh, I wish, I won’t do that anymore.
And so there is a healing of that past karma in the present moment inside of you. Because there’s a recognition of the pain you’ve caused. Even if, at the time, the other person didn’t feel it that way. You don’t judge yourself because how you behaved in the past was based on who you were in the past. So there’s no judgment. It’s simply seeing through the eyes of greater sensitivity, greater empathy, greater compassion.
As you work through your personal karma back into your past, you begin to realize that now you’re starting to work through the karma of your lineage. You’re beginning to look at your mother and father, and you’re beginning to see that the way you’ve judged them, the way you’ve blamed them, didn’t take into account the deeper sensitivity to their life journey.
And you begin to forgive them. And as you forgive them you are, in a sense, seeing them through the light of how they lived, what their possibilities were, what was available to them, or not available to them, in terms of mentoring or spiritual counsel. What, in their time, they weren’t even, they couldn’t even imagine they could work on.
There was a time when doing psychological work was either unheard of or frowned upon. And now we know that it is an essential part of our journey. So, you think you’ve worked through your personal karma, then you start to work on the karma of your lineage.
And you can find yourself looking back at how your great-grandfather or your great-grandmother’s life has left traces in you. Biologically we can talk about epigenetic effects, starvation or over abundance of food four generations ago can make you predispose to diabetes today. We know that that’s an epigenetic effect. But psychologically there are events in the lives of our families generations back that are affecting us.
Now you don’t necessarily know that that comes from the past. But what is happening is there’s a sensation in you, a fear in you, a feeling in you. Something that you don’t know how to say yes to. And as you’re working through this karma you’re finding a way to be present for that “no”, present for that resistance to life, that objection to life, that refusal. And you make a bigger space, and you say yes.
And you don’t realize it. You think, it’s all mine. You think that you’re doing it for yourself, but you’re actually doing it for previous generations. And as you work through the karma, and the shadow of the previous generations, and you’ve really cleared yourself.
You don’t really know that that’s cleared, because now you’ve gone to that level where someone like Mother Teresa, or Nelson Mandela, or Mahatma Gandhi was working with. They’re starting to literally, through their lives, their actions, their leadership, they’re helping to heal the cultural and collective karma of generations and generations, even millennium, of choices and behaviors. Patriarchal dynamics, oppression of women.
We start to work that through in our own bodies. So you may feel as if things are difficult. Don’t personalise them. If it’s your own karma, say I’m sorry where you can. If it’s the deeper feelings that you can’t even explain, don’t even worry about finding an explanation.
Get spacious enough. Find a way to hold these feelings. And as you do that, you’re healing yourself, you’re healing your families, you’re healing your lineage, you’re healing your culture, your society. And eventually working at the level of the collective consciousness and helping redeem it and heal it.
So never be afraid to feel profoundly. Don’t take it personally. Find a way for your heart to take it on and be big enough to hold it. Because I believe, and I’m certain of this, that we are all, at times, called upon to carry some of the healing work for our host species.
And it’s essential that we do it, and essential that we not run from it. And essential that we not personalize these states of suffering, where we are really doing something to redeem the unconsciousness of the past.
It’s really important, essential, heartful work. So keep doing it. We all must do it. We all must carry it. God bless you as you find your way to redeeming the karma of the past.
I just want to mention the deep work gathering in Minnesota, October 15th to 18th. The work we’re going to be looking at is readying our souls for the next step. The next step not only in our own life, but in the ways that we become contributors to the transformation of our world.
I know it doesn’t seem like we make a big difference, but we actually do make a big difference. Every time we come closer to ourselves, our field becomes an answer to the questions and the needs and the fears of the people around us. In ourselves, as we come closer to ourselves, come home in ourselves, we support the evolution of other people to come home in their selves. There’s nothing more important. So, deep work in Minnesota. Hope I see you there.