Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Karma (and How to Make it Work for You)

When people hear the word “karma,” most instantly know what it means. Well, they think they know. Here's a primer on the often-misunderstood spiritual concept.

134
Author Image
Meditation Advisor
SHARE:

Though karma is commonly-cited as a reason for having something good or bad happen in our lives, most people don’t understand the true significance of this spiritual concept that has been around for thousands of years. Here’s what you need to know about what it really is, how it works, and what you can do about it.

1. Karma isn’t a bartering system.

How often have you heard someone say, “Oh, it must have been bad karma,” in response to something inconvenient or a situation not playing out the way they thought it might? Or maybe you’ve heard people quip, “I guess I have good karma now,” after holding the door open for a stranger or doing a favor for a family member.

While your actions do have an impact on the quality of your life, this isn’t really how fate works. It’s much more subtle, much more complex, and much more meaningful.

This concept doesn’t just apply to human beings. It’s happening all around us. Plants, animals, trees, each of the five elements—water, air, fire, and so on—and more all have their own karma, and these forces work together, allowing flowers to bloom, birds to sing, and life to go on, as we know it.

2. Personal karma can be broken down into three types.

*Current karma (CK): This is closest to what is commonly understood about the concept. Anytime you put an action in motion with intention that is an act of karma, which, in turn, has consequences. It comes full circle, in some sense, as every action has a reaction. With CK, you have some choices to make; you are in control. If you imagine your karma as a farm, CK is where you can plant the seeds of whatever you’re going to grow. The farm is neutral and will nourish whatever you plant, so it’s up to you whether you choose actions that plant positive or negative seeds.

*Accumulated karma (AK): This type is already in the seed form, but has not come to fruition, meaning you haven’t experienced it yet. Not all AK will come to fruition in one lifetime. Think of it this way: In your karma farm, there are all different types of seeds, and some are harvested after 10 years, while others are harvested after 500. We have no control over this; the seeds—good, bad, and neutral—just grow and manifest at their own pace.

*Your destiny: When AK comes to fruition, it becomes your destiny. Then, you live your destiny.

These three types come together to form you as a person, your nature, and your overall being. Karma is not just your intentions, but also your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and heart intelligence.

3. You chose your own karma.

One thing that can help people put this spiritual concept in perspective is that you have chosen your own destiny. When you were born, your soul assumes a body, which it was able to pick and choose from different lifetimes and karmas.

Essentially, your soul uses its past life learnings to choose and create the life you are currently living. It knows what you can handle, and what you can’t withstand. It knows your past, present, and future. It knows everything. You choose to have a certain kind of life, and that allows you to gradually move toward your soul’s higher purpose.


Related: A Meditation to Clear Your Karma



4. Changing your karma is possible, but not simple.

If you have bad karma that you were born with or have accumulated over the course of your life, then you can’t just replace it with good karma. No amount of “good” actions will remove negative karma from your destiny.

So, what can you do? You can reduce the intensity of the negative karma you have by setting your intention very clearly and putting an action in motion targeted toward the negative karma. This is where all the spiritual practices come into play, like meditation as well as charity and giving. If you do this effectively, when that negative karma comes to fruition, it will be less intense.

Instead of putting energy into getting rid of bad karma, think about what you can do to plant positive karma seeds. What actions can you take to make the world a better place, make someone else’s life easier, or be a positive influence? Through those actions, you have a chance to impact your destiny.

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

An Expert Guide to Crow Pose

Download Sonima’s comprehensive guide to this exciting “reach” posture and enjoy the benefits of expert instruction at home!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Looking for a quick at-home workout? Try "The Tens" from Stacey Pierce-Talsma, DO, RYT: Start with 10 burpees, 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 10 lunges, and 10 squats. Then you do nine of everything, then eight, then seven, all the way down to one. "I like to time myself and see if I can get it done in record time. I enjoy this workout because it usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes, yet I’ve totally gotten a good workout in and strengthened most major muscle groups of my body," she says.

#homeworkouts #WorkoutFromHome #fitness #exerciseroutine
#athomeworkouts
  • During times of uncertainty, it can be a struggle to find time for self-care. But a few minutes of quiet can do so much for your well-being. In our guided meditation, Deepak Chopra, M.D., invites you to take a few moments of mindful attention so you can center yourself and make space in your mind to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Click the link in our bio. 
#meditation #selfcare #mindfulness
  • Many yogis chose to decorate their bodies with intellectual and emotional reminders of the practice. The symbology of the yogic tradition from chakras to Sanskrit letters has been paired with universal symbols of love, life, breath, and oneness to create a yoga-tattoo canon of sorts. The symbology has been overturned and reinterpreted over time, so that the scope of a “yoga tattoo” has actually become quite wide. Here we present a collection of body art, which honors the diversity of the many yoga lineages and the masterful and artful creativity of the modern yogi: https://www.sonima.com/yoga/inspirational-tattoos/

Check out the link and then tell us: Do you have any yoga tattoos?

#yoga #tattoos #bodyart #yogaart #bodyink
  • Start your day with this empowering mantra. "It sets the tone for the morning and can help me come back to my truest self and feel like I can take on anything," says @sophie.jaffe. 
What's your favorite mantra to kickstart the week? Tell us below!

#mantra #mondaymantra #quotes
  • Have you ever noticed that spas tend to smell of flowers such as lavender and ylang ylang? Studies show that these scents increase calmness, which is right for that setting. If you were to look for an essential oil that had the opposite effect—one that made you more energized and alert—choose peppermint. This distinct odor has the opposite effect of soothing essential oils, although it’s still a pleasant scent. Peppermint can even enhance your memory. #energyboost #boostenergy #essentialoils #memorybooster #naturalhealth #naturalremedies
  • If you find it hard to concentrate, try this practice from @alive.awake.empowered at least once a day: Count breathing cycles. Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale, three. And so on.

You may be able to get only as far as two or three at first. But with practice, you will improve, and so will your ability to concentrate. Do what you can, and when a thought interrupts, go back to one.

#meditation #concentration #focus #mondays
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!