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Karma Knows Just What to Teach Us Next!

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Q: I am very interested to know more about the concept of Karma. However, there is a wide range of viewpoints about Karma among spiritual masters. On one side Indian (past as well as present) masters equate karma to the deeds (and intentions) of the individual. Good deeds will result in good times and bad deeds in suffering. Some even go to the extent of stating that everything a person experiences in this life is the effect of past karmas. Also, it is stated that if you harm others, you will have to pay for it. Please if you can, explain how that works.

In contrast, some present non-dual teachers (especially in west as well as present indian non dual teachers) tend to undermine these explanations and tend to ignore the whole question of Karma, or just give a vague reply.

Overall, I would like your opinion on karma.

A: You are correct that there are lots of different explanations and concepts of Karma. It may be like the story of the blind men and the elephant. Each individual has a hold of a different part of the elephant and so one has the tail and says an elephant is like a rope. Another blind man has a hold of the leg and says an elephant is like a tree trunk, and so on. They are all correct in their varying reports, but none of them has a view of the entire elephant.

Karma is such a large and complex phenomenon that is unfolding on so many levels and that involves so many lifetimes and so many lessons, that it may be hard to come up with a single definition that covers every possibility. However, one definition that I like because it is a flexible definition is that Karma is a great and benevolent teacher that is showing us the many ramifications of our actions throughout this life and beyond. A very good teacher would adjust his or her lessons to the student. If a student learns a subject quickly and easily, then the teacher moves on to more advanced topics. If a student struggles with the more basic concepts, then the teacher takes more time and repeats the lessons as needed.

If what we call Karma is the wise and intelligent functioning of life to evolve and advance our human souls, then like a good teacher, she would be flexible and only repeat lessons as many times as needed for the student to learn. So to use a specific example, lets say someone is cruel to their child or spouse, but the pain of that experience eventually sinks in even to the perpetrator and so they change their behavior and even make amends to those they have harmed. In that case, the soul or souls involved may have learned their lesson and can move on to the next challenge in life. But if someone keeps repeating the same mistakes, then they may need many more experiences or even lifetimes of experiencing cruelty both as the perpetrator and as the victim to really learn the lesson. There is no simple formula for how the lessons we need to learn will unfold so that we finally learn them. If learning is the goal, then it does not make sense to focus on "good" and "bad" as those concepts tend to actually interfere with seeing clearly all of the truth about our situations and our actions. As for "paying" for harming others, again this would only apply if that would truly help you to learn the truth about hurtful actions. You would only need to experience whatever it takes for you to really understand the consequences of your actions, and ultimately to be able to act from that understanding.

There also comes a time when the teacher's job is mostly done and the student has learned much and maybe even has learned how to learn. In that case, they will naturally have a very different relationship to the teacher. Similarly, someone who has moved through many of the human lessons we all seem to be here to learn may reach a point where Karma is not as important or necessary for them. This may be the case with some non-dual teachers, but I also think that sometimes we all have a tendency to bypass or avoid some of our lessons. Even some of the wisest and most profound teachers I have encountered also seem to still be learning more about the human aspects of their being. You might even be able to say that if someone is here in a body, there are probably still lessons that they need to learn. They may have moved well beyond some basic lessons such as how to be kind and loving, but there still may be subtle lessons of humility, true equality and integrity that they are still learning, even if they also are already functioning as a teacher themselves.

Life is a very rich and complex experience that unfolds on many dimensions simultaneously. Thank goodness we can take as long as we need in this school of life. Our true nature is eternal, so if we need to repeat a lesson here and there, that is really no big deal. We all literally have all of the time in the world to learn everything there is to learn. And like a kind and benevolent teacher, Karma knows just what to teach us next! And she also knows when we have learned how to learn, and so then she lets us find our own way.

Please note that any answer I can give is also limited by my own human viewpoint. Just like everyone else, I cannot always see the entire elephant. But if these words give you a more complete sense of how these vast and undefinable mysteries called life and Karma unfold, then I am glad to share.

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How to Get Back on the Horse of Acceptance

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Q: All along, I have had slight fear of getting old and then getting slow a incurable pre-death sickness (like cancer). But it never went haywire, until some months ago. Now it consumes me greatly and sometimes my mind and anxiety just go all over the place uncontrollably, although I'm not afraid of the death itself. These past few weeks, I've been trying to learn about spirituality and how to make peace with myself. I also do more talking & praying to Jesus, as well as my pastor, because I understand that "surrender" & "faith" are the only key words to find peace in my case. But there are still many things in spiritual lessons that I don't understand, and despite all of my efforts, the progress is very slow and I still can't surrender fully. Fyi, my life has been filled with a lot of tragedies, sadnesses & traumas, as well as many supernatural events & wrong paths. I'm a total mess. If you could find in your hearts to give me some help & guidance, I'll be extremely grateful. May you be blessed abundantly!

A: Thanks for writing. I will first of all share that what you are experiencing is not unusual and is very normal and natural, especially when someone is drawn to the spiritual path. It brings up our conditioning from all of the experiences in our life from early childhood on. And also, please know that none of this is your fault. You are not to blame for what happens to you in life, and so you are not to blame for any strong reactions that you may be having.

However, even if you are not to blame, the reactions are happening to you. And so they are your responsibility to work with and to heal. The good news is that what they need is simply attention and acceptance. That is the practice that can lead to true surrender. True surrender is not something you do, but rather something that happens when you come to rest as the simple witness to whatever arises. At some point, with full acceptance and awareness, you simply discover that everything is perfect and is the way it is meant to be in every moment, and that recognition is the experience of surrender. Again, you can't "do" it, but surrender does happen, and it happens every day in small ways and sometimes even in big ways. So you simply accept and pay attention and then when you see the bigger truth that whatever is happening is perfect, then you simply accept that moment of surrender also.

There is one little trick that can make acceptance easier whenever you find it hard to accept and simply be aware of your present moment experience, and that is to start by simply accepting and being aware of how hard it is for you to accept something. First accept that you find it hard or can't accept something. Just allow yourself to feel resistance and fear. Once you allow the fear and resistance, then it becomes easier to also allow whatever was triggering the fear or resistance. By accepting the fear, you create some momentum of acceptance that can then move on to accepting more of what is present.

And even if you can't accept the fear and resistance, then maybe you can accept that you can't accept the fear and resistance. If you are conflicted inside, then the simple truth is that you are conflicted inside, and you can start by accepting that.

What you may discover, as you start with whatever you can actually and truly accept in this moment and then again in the next moment, is that acceptance and awareness (or attention) are always here. The only trick is in finding what is being accepted already by your awareness. If fear is present, then it is already being accepted by something. If you are aware of fear, then awareness is paying attention to the fear....and is also accepting the fear. I often use the metaphor that if you fall off of a horse, then you try to get back on the horse where the horse is now...not where you fell off! Similarly, you learn acceptance by noticing what awareness is already accepting. If you are aware of something, then awareness is accepting it, because that is the inherent nature of awareness itself: it accepts whatever is present.

What we call unacceptance is when we move our awareness to something else in order to be less aware of something we don't like. But awareness is so accepting that it even accepts this effort to change our experience by redirecting our attention through judgments and distractions. But again, the way to get back on the horse is to notice this unacceptance and to start by accepting that you are in resistance, judgment or fear. That is where the horse is now.

This new habit of accepting your own reactions is a very simple but powerful practice that can transform your experience of life from the inside out. You can discover that nothing that is happening and nothing that you are feeling needs to change. You simply also accept that it is happening or that it is what you are feeling, and then there is no suffering....even in the experience of resistance, fear, doubt or worry. Your job is simple: just be aware of what you are already aware of. It is the nature of awareness itself that heals and resolves our inner conflicts. Any effort on our part simply slows down the process, but even that is OK if you can notice that you are aware of your own efforts to change or fix your experience. Awareness accepts that effort also.

The ultimate good news is that awareness and acceptance are your nature. You are not a mess at all because what you are is awareness itself. You can't harm your ability to be aware or your ability to accept, and they are operating fully already in every moment. You can notice what you are already aware of and accepting in any moment, and that starts this subtle momentum toward more and more acceptance and eventually the arising of surrender.

I hope this is helpful, and please keep me posted on how it is going. You will most certainly be fine no matter what happens.

Note: Nirmala invites questions he can answer in this blog or in the free weekly online satsang he offers.

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New Video: Excerpt from Jesus Speaking Audiobook by Nirmala's wife, Gina Lake

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Below is a video of a sample from the channeled audiobook by Jesus, Jesus Speaking: On Falling in Love with Life, which can be purchased on Amazon, Audible or iTunes. Or purchase below with Paypal, a credit card, or a check. If you have questions about the process of channeling, see FAQs here. Here is a sample for you to listen to:

Jesus Speaking: On Falling in Love with Life.  Jesus still exists and is and has always been available to those who are devoted to him. This audiobook is Jesus speaking from another dimension today. His message, as channeled through Gina Lake, is meant to bring you into greater alignment with the Christ within you, with Christ Consciousness. It is also intended to give you the experience of having a relationship with the wise and gentle being we’ve known as Jesus the Christ, as he speaks to you as if you were sitting in his presence. In it, you will discover how to become the loving, strong, and peaceful being you are meant to be, which Jesus exemplified. By doing a few simple things and shifting your perspective in small ways, which are explained in each of the chapters, you can become a lover of life. 4.5 hours. (An ebook and paperback of this audiobook are also available on Amazon.com.)

From the Introduction: “I am the one you have known as Jesus the Christ. I am speaking to you now through this channel to help you to know of my presence and to feel my presence in your life more fully. I want you to know that I exist here, in another dimension, that I am eternally present and continue to be the servant for all that is good, and that you—like me—are also eternal and will continue to exist once you leave this temporary body. You are so much more than you realize. I was but an example of what you are capable of as a human being. But in essence, you, like me, are much more than a human being. You are an eternal being. My intention in speaking to you through this audiobook is to help you realize your true nature and to live as the best human being you can be. The challenges are great in the human body, but you can overcome them and become the loving and strong being you are meant to be. By making a practice of doing just a few things, you can become more aligned with your own divinity, with the goodness within you. In this audiobook, I have laid out some of those things. These simple practices and understandings will help you be happy, more loving, and more at peace. These are the signs that you have arrived Home. You are meant to be happy, loving, and at peace. Allow me to be your guide Home.”

4.5 hours, $9.95 for the downloadable zip file. Eight mp3 files are contained in this zip file. You will need unzipping software on your computer, such as WinZip, to unzip the files. A high-speed connection is necessary to download this 180 MB file. MP3s can be played on your computer or MP3 player. Purchase and download MP3s of Jesus Speaking: On Falling in Love with Life through PayPal or credit card below.


Also available on Amazon and iTunes:
Purchase audiobook: on Amazon   on iTunes
 “Lucid and powerful, the audiobook Jesus Speaking was experienced as a continuous and seamless message, delivered directly to my heart. I felt as if I were sitting in the presence of the speaker, listening to the entire book in a single session. So direct—universal yet personal. A real gem. Remarkable!”  —J. G.

"The book is a joy and was successful in transmitting Presence.." —J. B.

Download Nothing Personal Today!
nothing personalBefore you leave, be sure to get your free ebook copy of
Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.

Nothing Personal leads you to the experience of your true nature and helps you explore its depth. Through exposition, questions and dialogues, it brings you to a place of realization of the Truth: you are the spacious Awareness in which everything appears.


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