Some time back a student asked me to define karma. We were not in a yoga class. We were learning about model verbs and adverbs of the English language and how they work to modify the meaning of an action. My first instinct was the hasty response, “an Eastern philosophy concept revolving around cause and effect.” Though after thinking about it more, I digressed.
That was my patterned and programmed way to describe karma. With this, I began thinking that perhaps adverbs modified actions in English in the same way our definitions of things modify our understanding of concepts unknown to us.
For me to explain the idea of karma, (Sanskrit for action, work or deed) I must first take a look at the idea of consciousness. For if we are not speaking about it from that perspective then we are merely believing in an idea, a concept that experience has yet to prove to us. This is ego based.
So what then is Consciousness? It is everything you perceive without labeling it through a perspective, without placing it in the box of good or bad, without liking or disliking – it is no judgement. Nothing can happen outside this consciousness. This is what the bible means to say when referring to God as omniscient – everywhere – we are all made in his image. Consciousness is everything and you are conscious of yourself being conscious. This is the true sense of the phrase “We are all mirrors of ourselves.” We perceive ourselves perceiving, just like a mirror does with form.
So when asked about karma, I would say karma seems to be a concept that many people use to justify the “bad or good” things they have experienced in life and labeled as such. This label of good or bad is merely a cultural concept you host in your ego. If you take this labeling away, you bear only the experience, naked, with no opinion of positive or negative. This is burning karma. This is being present in the moment and when you do so, you will not repeat any experience for each experience will be entirely new.