Karma Yoga – Anahata
Karma Yoga is a more subtle study of the laws of cause and effect as they apply to our personal life. In essence it is a study of how we have created the situation we are in now and subsequently look at what we would like to create in our upcoming years and lifetimes. Techniques involve self-analysis of thoughts, emotions and feelings, leading to insights about where it all comes from, and how to change the undesirable aspects. In practice it comes down to being helpful and compassionate with everyone, thereby creating positive karma.
Karma Yoga unfolds the 4th Chakra or Anahata.The element of Air and the force of expansion. This force can be found at many levels of life from the expanding universe to the growth of your own body. If you take the two north poles of a couple of magnets and try to push them together you will feel this energy. It is subtler than fire and invisible, yet a very powerful creative force in the scheme of life in the material world.
Lungs and heart both are connected to this energy and utilize it with every beat, with every breath and expansion and contraction. The endocrine gland plugged into it is the thymus. This gland is the center of the body’s immune response system; the energy spreading out from here sends out the white blood cells that sweep through the body looking for foreign invaders. If any are found they are systematically pushed out of the body, after being neutralized through whatever it takes. This system in itself is amazing and somewhat miraculous when it is functioning.
Developing the fourth chakra will bring the system to peak performance.
Touch and feeling is the sense related to this level of our being and this can become a very large arena when you consider all of the feelings we are capable of perceiving. When energy moves we can feel it. Energy in motion (E-motion). Any of these motions, which we deem unpleasant and do not want to feel, can be suppressed with the reaction of also suppressing the breath. At an unconscious level.
Green is the colour of this energy while a six pointed star lies in its center. This star is made of two triangles, representing two powers, which come together in this center, with every heartbeat and with every breath.
Physically this realm produces many of our feelings, from the most physical to the most sensual to the subtlest. All of those feelings which lie under the threshold of consciousness are also contained here – from your heartbeat to cellular metabolism. Etc.
Mentally we are still focused on feelings and also enter the realm of the subconscious where we may have stored years of unresolved events with all of the emotions involved. However, just as the breath is a subconscious process in the beginning, so also the whole realm of the unconscious opens up when we begin to take over the control of breathing. Be aware of what comes up for you.
West is the direction of this particular energy and introspection is its nature. By going in depth here it is possible to go beyond the normal bulk of one’s own stuff and to the level of intuition. Another chakra lies in this beyond, one called GURU HARIDYA MANAS, which translates as the “teacher within one’s own mind”. It is here that you can establish a direct link with the wisdom of the universe.
When I first encountered this thought, Karma is who we are, it appeared strange and very unfamiliar to me. But, over the years as my understanding of karma grew, I began to understand the full impact of this insight and I would like to share with you this awareness about karma in this article.
In the West we tend to view karma as good or bad or positive or negative. We think of karma as our past sins and very much view our time here on Earth as a living hell or payback time for the karmic “wrongs” of our past. Karma is usually also described as for every action there is a reaction or cause and effect. It is believed that an action now will have an opposite reaction in an incarnation to come. This is not true. For example if you were a victim of a robbery in this incarnation, it doesn’t mean that you have been a robber in a past incarnation. This view is simplistic and destructive for your soul evolution.
Karma is neutral, it is never good or bad, it is not negative or positive, it is just APPROPRIATE for whatever we have to learn during this incarnation with our set of karma. It is our human mind that colour our karma as good or bad, because we have taken incarnation on this planet where we have two polarities, the positive and the negative.
All is Energy
Think of your karma as energy. We acknowledge the fact that all is energy, even our bodies, some dense, some very light. If we view our karma also as energy, then the energy of your thoughts and acts becomes who you are. Therefore all your actions, positive or negative, will remain in your energy field as part of you, until you have have reached the evolutionary point in your life where you are ready to release the energy pattern as part of your awareness growing and evolution.
How does this release happen?
As a yogi we need to learn that the release of our karma is closely connected to our emotional response towards the specific energy from which we need release. When the Christ gave us a new law, the Law of Love, he was referring exactly to our emotional response towards all our karmas in life. Love is an emotion, it is the strongest emotion we are humans can harbour and express and when we allow the Law of Love to manifest itself above all else in our lives, it is then that we gain release from specific energy patterns.
At its core then, our karma is a process of healing damage to the soul as well as evolving from this healing towards our final enlightenment and release from the samsara of taking rebirth. By understanding the process of karma, we also assist the entire planet and all its inhabitants to evolve. Therefore in the bigger scheme our own undertsanding of karma, we aid the evolution and awareness of others who come after us.