Instant Karma?

You politely wave a car out in front of you then wait expectantly for the acknowledgement – the little wave, the flash of the lights. Nothing. You instantly think that person has just wished some very bad Karma upon themselves.

Thai budhas at templeWe’ve all done it under some circumstance – if not this then any other where we feel that someone isn’t obeying our preconditioned expectations, or the established laws of the universe – whatever they may be.

What is Karma?

In a very small nutshell, it’s a Buddhist belief that what happens to us is a direct result of our past and present actions – so effectively we are the architects of our own fate, creating our own happiness or misery through our deeds.

As I scroll through my Fakebook newsfeed, I am astounded by how many of my friends are Buddhists. They throw the threat of Karma out like an avenger. If Karma is lurking waiting to seek the revenge sought after, then it is a misinterpreted predator. I hate to be the bearer in the bad Karma news, but it doesn’t work that way.

Here are three ways I’ve noticed people abuse the whole notion of Karma:

Karma is a b!#ch. Referencing Karma as a female dog, and otherwise derogatory word usually directed at women, will not bring about good Karma. And I don’t think Karma really is a specific gender or animal.

Also, people who use this phrase are more than likely wishing negative Karma towards someone; they hope Karma will get their foe. By wishing negative Karma, you negate any good intentions.

You are bringing bad Karma on yourself through wishing negative Karma on others.

Wait till the Karma train gets them. This reference can go a lot of different ways. Sometimes the person will say “I can’t wait for the Karma Train to pull into their station” or they outright say “I hope they get hit by the Karma Train.”

No matter which way it is phrased, Karma is not a mode of transportation. If it was, I truly hope it is housed in something spectacular like one of the ancient pyramids. I want Karma to be a flying pyramid. But sadly, it is not.

Karma is our thoughts. It is verified by our actions. There is no train. And once again, by wishing bad Karma on someone else, you are bringing bad Karma to yourself.

I have one word for you. Karma. This one word cannot be isolated towards your enemy.

A person cannot be the judge and jury of another person through the use and threat of Karma. If you believe in Karma, then you should know it has been with you through all lifetimes. Yes, believing in Karma is also a belief in reincarnation. Because you carry Karma through lifetimes, both good and bad Karmatic energies are stored away till the next great adventure.

To hope negative Karma finds another human is a bad thought. You are creating negative Karma on yourself.

yin yang sphereSo essentially when we wish negativity on other people in the shape of our supposed friend Karma, we are creating a state where we’re actually bringing misery on ourselves too.

I just hope many who are misinformed and who misconstrue the word ‘Karma’ will stop. Preferably today. And start to recognize that even their thoughts carry weight.

Some very poignant words about Karma come from Beastie Boy, Adam “MCA” Yauch.

He was a Buddhist. This is an excerpt from his interview with Project Happiness, which was done about a month before he passed away.

Project Happiness: “What brings you fun in life? What’s fun for you, and what brings you peace?”

Yauch: “It’s such a simple question, I don’t know why it feels complicated. In terms of what brings me fun in life? Just goofing around with friends… laughing at myself.

As for what brings me peace? Just trying not to do anything that’s destructive to anybody else, or trying to do things that are constructive in the world, that really brings me peace.

The times when I feel unhappy, I can almost directly trace it to, oh, I shouldn’t have done that, or I shouldn’t have said this, or whatever.

That’s what would take away my peace, or make me lose sleep or whatever. If I feel like I’ve done the best that I can or conducted myself in the most constructive way that I can in a situation, then I feel peace.”

Karma, happiness, and peace are this simple.

Find out more:

Full interview Project Happiness with Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

More about Karma

Rachel E Bledsoe

About Rachel E Bledsoe

I’m an American Appalachian Mama who works at a local newspaper during the day. At night, I stay up late and write my blog, The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. I enjoy long walks on the beach, puppies, and Marie Antoinette biographies. You can follow me on my Facebook page or join me on Twitter @MisfitMtMama.

  • meredith622

    I love this post. I’ve spent time learning about and practicing Buddhism. It’s hard not to give in to the kind of petty or angry thoughts you describe above, but I totally agree that karma is a more serious concept and that negativity comes back to you. Love the quote from Adam of the Beastie Boys. Lots to think about here!

    • Thank you so much, Meredith, for reading! And I adored that quote. The entire interview was a wonderful inspiration and resource.