Catch that karma and squash it!

I’m still in the process of listening to Mitchel’s lecture from two weeks ago.  Tonight will be our third which I’m really looking forward to (last time I learned many things the least of which is that you would have to be very talented to successfully meditate in jeans).  One of the topics that Mitchel brought up is about Buddhism and karma and what karma really is. 

The western interpretation is either a Groundhog Day model where you keep living over and over the same issue until you somehow resolve it and then you move on to the next level of issues until at the end of time, you find enlightenment.  The other model is simple karma.  The asshole on the freeway gets cancer and dies without friends.  That actually is wishful thinking for many of us.

But what if karma is actually a bunch of rubber balls?  Not a crazy ass rubber ball but ones that have a solid steady bounce.  Inside one of those  rubber balls, for example are your parents words and inside of those words are your grandparents words and on and on.  The karma is actually suggesting that everything, all of us, intentional or not are creating a cause and effect.  What if we actually stepped away from it all and lived on a remote mountain?  The water we drink, the logs we burn in the fireplace, all create an effect.

The reason this is occurring to me today is because of my Dad.  I love him so much and I am thankful to be his little girl.  He showed me the western United States, how to read stars, how to kill and clean a fish (not that I have put it into practice), how to wire a lamp, how to be a part of the land.  But karma comes into play.  His father was a complete and total ass.  He worked my Dad and degraded him as a child.  This is karma in action.  Unfortunately, as my Dad gets older, I am starting to get these emails that everyone hates to get – Fear the governement, stockpile your guns, this is a Muslim nation, etc.  I never understood this part of him nor karma, until I thought of the two together.  It makes total sense all of a sudden!  My great-grandfather was a complete asshole probably because of how he was raised.  He left my grandmother and their several small children in seattle for a woman in Vancouver and started another family.  This was in the late 1800’s.  He left my grandmother high and dry without any income to raise her kids.  So, BOOM, karma strikes and my great grandfather bounces the ball against the family, a bitter angry son is born that turns into a father and so on and so on.  In addition to the family karma, it really goes beyond that into every interaction that we have.  Are you talking on your cellphone at the check-out counter or are you making eye contact and acknowledging the clerk?  By ignoring the person, a casual social connection is missed.

This rubber ball metaphor really works for me and has really helped me be in my attempt to be mindful of each moment.

My Dad may never come around but I am attempting to slow the bounce of the karma ball by talking with him about the impact of his words.  In reaction, I am really working on not letting those emails ruin an afternoon where people would have to work with me.  I am choosing to see my Dad for his positive, awesome Dad-like side and hope that my outlook can somewhat squash out that little bit of karma.

With love and light,


2 responses to this post.

  1. I think you have it exactly right, here Kelli. So much of what people think of as karma is the “what goes around comes around thing”, a nice, neat, short term explanation that really misses the totality of it. Excellent post!


  2. Posted by Kathleen on March 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    As my parents’ visit approaches this is a good reminder to BREATHE and love them for all the good stuff, and quit focusing on the stuff that drives me crazy.


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