Karma is a concept that originated in Indian culture, practiced by notable religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. For the purpose of this article, Buddhism will be referenced. In Western cultures, karma would be defined as, “you reap what you sow.” There is more to karma than that. The aim of Buddhism is to end this cycle of suffering, or “samsara,” and achieve nirvana, or enlightenment. If you let go of any preconceived notions of karma, and any preconceived notions at all, you will understand the true meaning of karma. Karma is not meant to be a punishment, but rather as a source for understanding on how you can achieve nirvana. The basic foundation of Buddhism is the belief that a sense of self breeds suffering, and if you let go of a sense of self, you no longer suffer and you have achieved nirvana, breaking the cycle of samsara. Buddhism will be integrated with the following 12 Laws of Karma:
1. The Law of Cause and Effect
This doesn’t only apply to negative actions. This applies to ANY action. A person’s actions determine whether someone reincarnates and lives a cycle of suffering or achieves nirvana. Remember that this law didn’t necessarily mention punishment.
2. The Law of Creation
Karma yoga comes into play here. This refers to selflessness in the sense of giving by creating and being a participant in the world. Be truly selfless by letting go of any self and any preconceived notions, and create.
3. The Law of Humility
To let go of any negativity is to accept it. When it comes to a sense of self, accepting any negativity or accepting what you cannot be is the key to letting go before achieving nirvana.
4. The Law of Growth
Realize where you have control: yourself. You are never away from yourself, and you have the power to grow by letting go.
5. The Law of Responsibility
If we see something wrong with our surroundings, we must change our frame of mind and perceptions because in Buddhism, there are no perceptions because there is no sense of self. Be aware.
6. The Law of Connection
We are connected to everything in the universe; we are connected to our past, present, and future. Experience a deeper connection by simply being and being deeply aware. Just be.
7. The Law of Focus
Elaborating on the concept of simply being, let’s use meditation as an example. Take the time out of everyday to sit, close your eyes, breathe, and be only aware of your breathing. Feel your spiritual growth by letting go your negative thoughts, your desires, your self, everything. Be where you are and breathe.
8. The Law of Giving and Hospitality
We are selfless when we let go of everything we thought before, and therefore, we reveal our true intentions. This goes along with karma yoga; when we give, we are closer to reaching our spiritual growth, or achieving nirvana.
9. The Law of Change
Changed actions break the cycle of history repeating itself. In Buddhist terms, changed actions break the cycle of reincarnation by achieving nirvana. By achieving nirvana, the individual is no longer suffering because they are truly enlightened.
10. The Law of Here and Now
Even though we are connected to the past, present, and future, we are in the present. A second ago is the past and every second from now is the future, but every second we experience is the present. Be aware of every second by letting go of your sense of desire and self.
11. The Law of of Patience and Reward
That constant meditation mindset is no easy task, and it takes persistence and patience. It took Buddha days of meditating before coming up with the Four Noble Truths. So it is no easy task. And there will be no reward if you meditating with the hopes of receiving a reward. Remember, let go of everything.
12. The Law of Significance and Inspiration
Significance can come in the form of great quality or little to none. Great significance is applying these 12 laws and achieving nirvana through persistence and patience. Little is rewarded with being reincarnated and living through samsara, or the cycle of suffering.