By: Stephen Levine
Posted: August 17, 2011

I used to feel so much like “them” but I have slowly become myself. I have come to see that what some call karma is not, as so many would have us believe, punishment. In fact karma is not just what happens to us but how we experience it within. How we recognize our options. Our karma is our perceptual inclinations. A black cat crosses our path, if we see it with some fear we have been taught it can dampen our day, but if we see it as a cat with a white spot on its black nose it might make us laugh and foster a slight joy that effects our whole day. How we see, feel, hear, smell, taste has a great deal to do with what we see. Everyone lives in a different world, each may well experience the same thing differently. That difference is our always changeable karma. It is how we respond that keeps reconditioning, adjusting, fine tuning, our karma.

How the heart responds as opposed to how the conditioned mind reacts makes all the difference in the world.

It is a misunderstanding by some that people are inherently “evil” because of the cruelty and abusiveness, the cold- hearted brutality we are capable of. But there the facts disprove that understandable fallacy. First of all that when people are not stressed they are effortlessly kind and helpful, their underlying being expressing itself quite heartfully. Below our fear and anger, our selfishness and grasping something quite beautiful shines through. This is the reasoning behind the teaching that one need do nothing to awaken, to experience wisdom and mercy, except let go of what blocks it, the afore mentioned hindrances to the natural effulgence of the heart, the essence of mind unblocked is stunningly beautiful. Another proof of our inherent “goodness” is the more easily proven fact that when we do good, help others, provide service to those in need, we feel good, get a glimpse of what lies beyond our holding to our suffering. That kindness is its own reward. That is why as I raised myself up to extend a hand to others attempting to stand I felt the healing flowing through, through us each. Serving others serves ourselves.