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"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

"Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion." Robert Schwartz, Author: Your Soul's Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Karma: Some Considerations


Karma is a term that has much fascinated me over the years. Sowing and reaping always sent a shiver of dread ... and anticipation down my spine, because of course it could go either way, depending on your actions, at least in the sense it is commonly used.

In my 30's I began reading articles and other material about 'leaving the wheel of karma' and I found that just as fascinating because in some sense it implied:
  • if you live well and do good you might get off (I was just never sure 'how much' good you had to do to deserve this ... would Gandhi have been a recipient of the 'getting off the wheel' prize and Mandela not because the latter had not lived peacefully prior to being shut up in Robben Island?)
  • if you took on a great many 'challenges' or tasks in life you might get off (again, I was never sure how 'awful' those challenges had to be: did losing your children to hunger in Sudan count? Did getting raped by Russian soldiers during WWII count? What if you survived and then became a banker and embezzled funds? Would Job's suffering have counted?)
Believe me, I don't mean any of the above facetiously - I was truly trying to understand, so in some fashion, my doubts and questions were quite valid. What was the benchmark? How could I figure this out?

Then in my 40's I came across further information that resonated a great deal. In essence it said that more than 'doing good' and more than 'taking on challenges', getting off the wheel of karma had much more to do with how you reacted to the people n your life - any of the people, even the newspaper vendor or the girl at the check-out counter.

Why was I so keen to get off this 'wheel'? At an earlier stage - for me - it meant I could 'go home'; I no longer need to return 'here'. At a later stage it simply meant no longer needing to repeat any of the oft-repeated past in any future of any kind because I had already learned all of that. Much of this had to do with forgiving. Even more had to do with loving, with being kind and compassionate. This gave me a sense of peace. But, as you will see below, this striving for results, so to speak, still means being bound to the wheel, or chain.

Thich Nhat Hanh (a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk) translates 'interdependent origination' (karma) as:

This is, because that is.
This is not, because that is not.
This ceases to be, because that ceases to be.

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit some old Alan Watts (1915 - 1973) material. A much wiser soul than myself who had clearly done much more work on the subject than I, and so I would encourage you to listen to the six minutes of video below:

 

Watts states that as Hindus and Buddhists use karma it means action, slightly different than our general Western conception of the term: action to signify cause and effect. Watts points out that karma actually means the interdependent origination of all the forms and phases of life. Note the word 'interdependent'. He goes on to say that there are two visions of karma in Buddhism, where one vision does indeed, look upon it as a chain, a kind of vicious circle, where, as long as you are attached to the outcome (good or evil), you remain bound to the chain. The other vision of karma - the mutual interpenetration of all things and events - the deepest level of reality - this entire cosmos is a completely harmonious and blissful manifestation of everything in a state of total enlightenment and mutual compassion. So the task for everyone is to follow this path and cease from the illusion of separation.

Chogyam Trungpa, a Buddhist meditation master (1939 - 1987) wrote: "The four noble truths are divided into two sections. The first two truths - the truth of suffering and the origin of suffering - are studies of the samsaric (Samsara - the repeating cycle of birth, life, and death, or reincarnation) version of ourselves and the reasons we arrived in certain situations or came to particular conclusions about ourselves. The second two truth - the truth of cessation and the truth of the path - are studies of how we could go beyond or overcome it. [...] Suffering is regarded as the result of samsara and the origin of suffering is regarded as the cause of samsara. The path is regarded as the cause of nirvana and cessation of suffering as the result."

So the path is to seek enlightenment. Leave your ego at home. And move into non-attachment to results.

Also see my new website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may read quotations or download excerpts from any of my books. 

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

Click here to download the first chapter.
To see the Table of Contents click here

Reviews From the Back Cover:

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself 

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of: Ecstasy is a New Frequency

“Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 

Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


My new book: The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, is just out. Click here to download an excerpt. 

From the Introduction: It is your right to live a life of love. It is your right to understand that loving yourself first is not a selfish way of behavior, but one that allows you to live that life of love. However, it's highly probable that you never got the instruction manual explaining exactly how to accomplish this. Possibly your family - and it may have been a loving family - considered loving the self an act of selfishness. Or perhaps the members of your family simply didn't practice loving the self, and of course, what you didn't see - what was not shown to you - while you were growing up, meant that you just didn't learn how to apply it to yourself. The closer you are able to move towards loving yourself, the closer you will be to living a life of love - quite independently of whether you are in a love relationship or not. A life of love can be lived with or without a partnership, because a life of love implies that you know that it all begins with you by loving the self. The more clearly you understand how to love yourself, the more clearly you will see that it is very hard - if not impossible - to love others in ways that are unrelated to fulfilling any of your needs. Loving yourself first is - for so many of us - one of the hardest things we will ever learn how to do. But know this: the benefits affect you in every particle of your being - body, mind, and soul - and are greater than you will ever be able to imagine.


Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

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