I was reading a book recently where the author talked about her understanding of karma. It was interesting and got me to thinking about some of the things that I have been working on in my mission to become a better person.
The basic idea expressed in the book was that you create karma with every thought. She gave an example of seeing an unmarked car in a handicapped parking spot. The person seeing the car hoped that they person who’d parked there got bad karma, maybe their car would get keyed or towed. They took pleasure in the ideas of bad things happening to the owner of the car. According to the author, this would create bad karma in the person seeing the car.
When you think negative thoughts about someone or something, you’re planting seeds in your mind that will grow at a later time. The same is true of positive thoughts. So, wouldn’t you rather have beautiful things growing in your heart and mind instead of ugly ones? If you had a choice, would you rather plant marigolds in your garden or a briar bush? Your mind and heart work in a similar way.
In the example of the car, it is impossible for you to know why the person is parked there. Maybe they’re inconsiderate and shouldn’t be there, but there could also be many legitimate reasons. Maybe they don’t have their tag or window sticker yet. maybe the car broke down. Maybe they were transporting a disabled relative or friend. There could be a good reason, but there you are thinking negative thoughts about someone you don’t know in a situation you have no information on.
Those thoughts can drag your whole day down as they grow inside you, making you think more about inconsiderate people, revenge, problems and generally ugly concepts. That briar grows out of control. What if you’d just ignored it? Or what if you allowed yourself to consider all the legitimate reasons why they might be there? Thinking differently will allow other things to grow in you, like compassion, understanding, or at very least nothing would grow if you decide it’s not your business and not something you need to think about.
We should be aware of the seeds we plant in our hearts and minds. I used to have serious anger issues, and I planted some deadly stuff inside myself. I would spend hours thinking awful thoughts because of some little thing. It took time, but I learned to not allow those thoughts to take root. I changed my thinking and feeling. Now there’s no room for weeds and parasites in my soul garden. When I find one that’s crept in, I pull it out immediately and plant something better in its place.
I believe that mindfulness and conscious thinking are crucial to making ourselves and the world better. Consider the seeds you’re planting within yourself. If you don’t you may end up in a world of trouble in the long run.