When the word “karma” is used in the Western world, we often think of it as our past fears, deeds and mistakes coming back to haunt us. It’s about retribution. Or, a kinder definition is that it’s about the law of cause and effect. No matter how you define karma, it’s not wise to wander through the world oblivious to how our thoughts, words and deeds affect others.
Managing this can make you feel overwhelmed and on guard, because so much of what you think, say and do comes from your subconscious mind. This is the part of you that gets triggered when you are feeling afraid. It contains oceans of negative beliefs, confusion and troubled stories from your past. It also contains the fears and beliefs of your ancestors. With that heavy load, how can you possibly track your every thought and feeling in order to keep yourself positive and free from negative karma?
The truth is, you can’t. But, you can do something that will lift you high above the micro-management of your crazed mind into an effortless way of making your life exponentially better and free of negativity. It’s called sat karma (saht), which simply means doing good deeds. How many people can you make happy in a day? Focusing on generating happiness as opposed
to nitpicking your fearful, worrisome, attacking thoughts is a much better use of your time and energy. And it also quickly brings great results.
There are three types of sat karma:
Physical Sat Karma = Right Words and Actions
Opening a door, helping carry groceries, or taking the time to help a friend or loved one clean their garage or plant a garden are easy examples of
how you can increase your own happiness and well-being. Feel free to pour on the compliments, because using your words to uplift another is the best way to lift your own spirits.
Psychological Sat Karma = Right Thoughts and Emotions
Many people tend to think they are not causing harm to another if they think something negative and judgmental, but don’t say it out loud. This simply is not true. Every negative thought about another is like a drop of poison
in your own mind and heart. The great news is, the opposite is also true. Next time you find your mind headed toward judgment and resentment, turn it around and instead think about all of the wonderful attributes and qualities of that person. You can’t control every thought, but you can intentionally think positive, grateful, happy ones about yourself and others.
Spiritual Sat Karma = Helping Yourself by Helping Others Grow Spiritually
Share a great self-help book, uplifting movie or amazing art exhibit with a friend. Tell someone about a positive and affirming church you attend. Share your heart, and be vulnerable about your own trials and tribulations. Take
the time to really listen to someone and just be there as a witness to their journey. Any time you inspire someone, you are helping them grow spiritually, and you’ll be surprised how easily and naturally this comes.
If you’re going to focus on your karma, why not make it your sat karma? It’s a much better choice than trying to not be negative or worrying about how the “sins of your Father” might be haunting you. And, it’s something that you can do right now, exactly as you are and where you are. Sat karma will make your life happier and healthier, and miraculously, with no effort from you, the “negative karma” will dissolve.
Rev. Mark Anthony Lord is an internationally recognized author, speaker, teacher and founder of the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago, Ill. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he has founded Pride 2.0, a ministry focused on healing the world from homophobia. Visit his website at pride2point0.com.