Although I have sent this out before, I have added some to it, and it is always worth a re-read to help cement just what Karma is.
Karma has been much bandied about, with few really understanding the intricacies of this most obvious and yet subtle law.
Obvious in the sense that if you hit your fist against against a brick wall, your fist will be hurt. Subtle in the sense that what you did ten years ago can come back to haunt you. Both these aspects of Karma are a direct result of your own actions and your own thinking.
Karma is best explained to westerners by the Christian admonition, "As ye sow, so also do ye reap." This is not a willy-nilly statement. Plant a rose seed, you get a rose. You don't get a daisy.
When things are going bad for one, you often hear the remark, "Why is this happening to me?" No one ever thinks that they deserve what they get. No matter how bad it is.
The great argument against Karma is why innocent children have been placed under such duress or early death. Why should it happen to them? They are innocent.
In the obvious sense we can see the mechanical reasons for Karma, in other words, hitting your fist against a hard object is damaging. Most of us try not to do that sort of thing, but it is when it gets into the psycho-spiritual levels of the mind that we begin to lose our grasp on this wonderfully non-judgmental law.
Even in the sense of hanging on to negative thinking, or for that matter, even having a negative thought is damaging to us, as it is these thoughts that are the seeds of our future destruction or harm. The mind in itself is a huge karma factory, which from early childhood until our present age has been creating our lives for us.
An interesting thing here is that when we are young, we may think a certain aspect of life is bad or negative, and in so thinking, we will at some future date bring that "thought type" back in to our life. But here, it may take years for its journey to return home, and by this time, what we once thought was bad, we now think of as good, so in this respect Karma seems to have done us no harm at all.
Of course the reverse of that pattern is also true and in this way we can suffer and wonder from whence this suffering is coming from - or, "Why is this happening to me?" The Law of Karma could care less whether you think something is good or bad.
It is imperative in understanding Karma to get a handle on the intricacies of the mind. To undergo anger or even rage is at sometimes in our lives most normal and healthy and releases whole groups of hormones which keep the body and mind in a healthy state of balance.
What is unhealthy is to hang on to that rage or anger. Here it is easy to relate to the aforementioned garden. Planting a seed of rage is nothing in itself, as the seed will die out with out water and heat from the sun. It is the same with a seed thought. If you water that anger with attention and till the soil with concentration, and shine your attention on that seed thoughts of anger, then it will grow and become a part of your Karmic pattern, and relentlessly the admonition will come back to haunt YOU, for as you sow, so also you reap.
There is no escape from this Spiritual law. All you have to do is learn to become attentive to your thinking patterns to realize why your life is the way it is.
It is unfortunate that so much of the Karmic pattern takes so long to manifest itself, else we would be able to observe the direct correlation to what we once thought, to what we now experience.
An interesting thing occurs though as one becomes more and more awakened to the spiritual nature of ones life. At first while we are absorbed in the outward extrovertical aspect of this materialistic world, the wheel of Karma grinds exceedingly slowly, and we have a difficult time to witness its workings, because the time aspect is not closely enough related, BUT as we become more and more attuned to our Spiritual nature and how our thinking actually creates our life for us, Karma becomes speeded up. It gets to the point whereby should you have a negative thought, there is an immediate response to it. It becomes so inter-related that one wonders which is the cause and which is the effect - or is this effect going to be the cause - or if it is in fact the original cause and not the effect at all.
It is in this way it is said that a Saint or a Master creates no Karma, for his causes and effects are so intertwined and infinitesimally connected that he just IS without creating anything.
We do not get out of the wheels of our million or so lives without complete and total understanding of all its aspects, so say the ancient Sages and Seers, that should you have a prejudice against another, oh let's say for being a different color than you, then Karma, in order for you to have understanding will bring you back in another life as either that or another minority group, to feel and get to know the shame that others are trying to force on you - and in many cases do downright physical harm to you.
That at least is what the sages say - that we have millions of lives to live out, but is this true? Do we just accept these age old patterns of thinking because we might not be able to make any sense of some of the happening in this life?
What if, just what if, there is only one life time, and you began it with a whole bunch of genetic karma dumped on you by your parents. Does it not make just as much sense that we only have one life time?
What we find too difficult to answer, or that which doesn't suit us is nice to leave for another life time isn't time? This kind of passivity has caused a great deal of harm to so many starving karmic believers, who believe, "Oh well it is my karma." Can we really do nothing about our situations and our destinies? What is this thing called Free Will and SELF determination.
There it is in a nutshell. The SELF, the Atman, is determined to set you free, in this one lifetime, BUT YOU WILL NOT LISTEN.
For the moment though before getting into the law of synchronicity, let's just leave it there.
You only need one good experience of being singled out for a prejudice to begin to understand prejudice as a whole. Now when you see a prejudice arising, it is imperative that you try and understand from where that prejudice is coming from, understand it and totally eradicate it. Usually it takes some kind of communicative and social interaction, so that you feel at ease with a group or a person that you felt a prejudice over.
One of the reasons why hate crimes and strife is ongoing is because people just don't realize that they will at some point have to become the same as the person they hate. Life demands our complete understanding of it, before it lets us go. We either get understanding through the intellect or through direct experience - or we can die in ignorance. Take your pick.
Another subtle aspect of Karma is this: What you see in others is a direct mirror image of yourself. This sometimes is a hard one to understand, as so much of what we see in others we do not like. That is because we have suppressed those characteristics in ourselves, so it is impossible to see - yet when they are mirrored for us by someone else, it is then easy to blame that other person for having the very faults which you have suppressed in yourselves.
It is always wise when making a judgment to look to yourself first. I assure you, if you look deep enough, you will have understanding. "Judge not lest ye be also judged".
You are beginning to see how Karma ties in with our thinking and not just with our actions.
It is a nice part of the study of Karma Yoga to try and see the value of the above and begin to put it to work for you.
Another aspect of Karma, the extrovertical side of it, is when you perform an action, to perform it with love and with no thought of any reward from that action. It is to perform all duties with love. The results of those actions will take care of themselves, but they should have nothing to do with your interest in results. Your interest is in loving the act of doing. That is true Karma.
When thoughts other than love enter your mind - root them out. You have to begin somewhere. Begin here.
Oh yes! Synchronicity. It happens in nature. The sub atomic particle just happens to be here and there in no regulated movement, and by synchronously being in one spot at the same time as is a wave, the sight of the particle becomes known. Without that synchronicity the occurrence would not be possible.
So? Things happen! Without any reason at all. The tire blew on the truck just as you were rounding the corner. You collided and you were killed. Don't blame karma for everything.
Play it safe if you wish and do all your acts with love and without interest in the results of your actions - that is Karma - safe, pure, and simple. All the rest will take care of itself.
Doesn't it just make sense that when you love doing an act, there is no struggle in it - no strife! Heaven. You seemed to be energized when you are caught up in doing things you love. Master craftsmen who love the "art in their craft" become totally lost in their creation - time ceases, the need to fulfill their vision is an act of pure love. They really don't think of the outcome at this point of doing. Afterwards they may.
Practicing Yoga should be developed, if possible, along the same lines as a Master craftsman perfects his craft. By becoming lost in the love act of meditation or various techniques, one immediately enters the Dhyana state of meditation.
This is an wonderful place to be as it leads to samadhi. In the beginning, samadhi is much like that tiny particle (of particle physics) that is so evasive, yet turns up synchronously just at the moment we are not looking for it.
In so learning this love method of Karma we prepare the body for the onslaught of a love-bliss far greater than you have known, by preparing the body through this love practice of Yoga.
A great number of people don't have a clue just what samadhi is. It is the love act of preparing the body to be capable of receiving the shock of Love Bliss.
It would be impossible to achieve this state unless you had first gone through innumerable short burst samadhis. It is so inconceivable that all the religious people of the world can do is refer to God as love.
For a Gnani who may not have any personal God or gods, knows this experience as Satchitananda, for he experiences equally as the others but expresses it as ever consciousness, ever existent, and being ever blissful.
You see, in the pure consciousness of samadhi there are no attributes other than the three I mentioned. Otherwise we would be right back were we started, in attributable consciousness. It is this very thing, through the philosophy of Klesas that has brought us to trying to unite with SELF.
So approach Yoga with the love of the craftsman. Not everyone can be a so called Master. There are only a few every century or two, and usually these did not follow any rules, any sadhanas or any gurus. They were mad for love of the Divine, or in the case of the Gnani, made for SELF UNION.