The concept of the wheel of karma is one that seems to many as an inescapable cyclic phenomenon, a cosmic merry-go-round that leaves us locked in lives that wind up doing the same things over and over. For people who have had recall of past lives, one issue often emerges that is curious and telling, which is that from lifetime to lifetime, there are themes, recursive patterns that exist in one life into the next.  Much of these patterns are attributable to karma.  Some might be tempted to say that these are merely issues that the soul has to work out, so it naturally comes up in a myriad of ways. True, but these issues have a rooting in the soulself and they must be worked through if the portions of that soulself is able to fully realize what and who it is while here in this world.  Upon death, we are each returned to that realm of knowing, but we must enter back into the same world yet again all with the same backlog of material that must first be cleared up if a clear view of this soulself is to be seen, felt or known. For negative karma, this is the dross that filters and distorts our vision.  As a result, too, some “themes” are simply very difficult patterns in the self that recur and then become like deep grooves over lifetimes.  This, though, is not a linear process entirely, but is dynamic. The issue of time only plays in the old paradigm when you only see evidence for one motion through time which for us is forward from new to old, from ancient past to distant future.  This, though, is not how things work at all, and what one does in one life can have a very real effect on all other time lines, all other lives.

From your own perspective here now, you have already lived as a merchant in what is now called Lithuania in the twelfth century A.D.  That life, for you now, has already been lived.  And yet, there are countless other possibilities that are every bit as valid as the one you remember.  In the same way there are countless eventualities in the present that you know now.  All of them are real, and yet only one of them can you know at any given time.  If you only realized how you hopscotch from one line to another moment by moment, it would show to you the rich bed of possibility that exists for you.  Knowing this is one tool in the toolkit of releasing karma.  Being able to go into the past to help effect a release is an important tool that can change how you feel RIGHT NOW.  It might seem entirely imaginary and impossible, but you can begin to do this work right now through the use of dream suggestion by suggesting to yourself that you are going to embark on a series of adventures in your night-time dream scape where you will begin to encounter your past self in time in the dream world and begin interacting with it.  I know this is possible because I have done it and I know the effects that it can bring.

Perhaps most central to releasing karma is getting down into your beliefs and feelings about things.  This will be a very accurate mirror for a host of things and to know it requires a degree of self-reflection and some honesty.  The problem with karma is that it is born out of an impulse to turn away from our divine or essential natures.  When I say divine, I do mean the higher self that is not merely you here now reading this but a deeper bed of awareness that exists in potential and can be sparked into motion. It is that part of you that is aware of many other times, but in my experience this higher self, for me, exists in a kind of constant state of acceleration…..a state of awareness that is more expanded perhaps, a sense of no bounds placed on you.  It is a high level energy state in large part.   You can dissolve karma not merely by atoning for what lies in the past, but through a method that is even more simple.  Atonement is a technique which can do it, but there is not some rule that atonement must be the way.  This is a tricky little wicket simply because for so long this is how we have chosen to view karma.  It is all very much steeped in a sense of good and bad, of right and wrong.  This is very dualistic thinking and it will breed a distorted view of how things are.  We often treat karma as a punishment, but this idea goes out the window as something being done to you from some jut universe; it is what we each have done to ourselves…..what we have each chosen to wrap ourselves in.

Feelings have a vibration and karma very much is tied into this.  The definition of karma is action.  Very simple, yes, but my experience has been that karma is created as a result of a feeling that we have as part of our individuality….a wrinkle that is specific to us.  We then work that wrinkle out in a way that we align to the divine in a way that feels….perfect.  Since individuality continues to remain a factor at all levels of awareness and experience, there are always surprises as to what could or might turn out.  While we might think that there is some destiny that holds us to some script, the fact remains that individuality is the monkey wrench that creates a supreme state of puzzlement and surprise.  Individuality is a force that creates mystery just as surely as the great wide limitless soul does.  There are people who like to say the individual is something that is part of a false self, but I will tell you that I never saw it as false.  I merely see it as wrinkled…..immature….needing ironing out, perhaps, and some refining.  But imagine the surprise for those who speak of the false self when they discover that no matter how hard they try, they still maintain individuality no matter high up the cosmic ladder they go. I have been way out and what I can tell you absolutely is that your own personality and self are like a cone that starts small and spreads outward in ever increasing dimension,  there has not yet been a dividing line between my self and that of my higher self.  It has all been one beautiful contiguous whole, spreading outward into some amazing dimensions of awareness and experience.

Jesus was fond of saying that you will know the kingdom when you become like children.  In the gnostic texts he does one better and says you must be like children who take the garment of shame and learn to trample it.  Which is a way of saying that you are not shamed by your nakedness.  And certainly, the process of shedding karma feels like one is becoming very naked.  Perhaps vulnerable.  Surrendered.  WHat I found in my own experience was that this was very much on the mark.  Letting go of some past karma is not about saying you are sorry or going out and atoning by paying restitution.  The debt is not paid in this way.  The debt is paid when you are able to forgive yourself for feeling the way that you did.  That may seem way too simple, but consider what takes place when you forgive yourself.  When you forgive yourself, you are actually involved in a process of coming closer to the divine itself.  You let go of a hard feeling in order to be freed from it.  This letting go is total. Forgiving someone does not always result in really letting go.  Forgiving someone are words which can be bound by social convention not spiritual conviction.  I have known people who were very quick to forgive when in truth, they really harbored ill will or bad feelings.  To forgive means you let it ALL go.  All pieces of it.  We are beings that are notorious in how we will forgive in piecemeal amounts.  We seem to LIKE to hold onto grudges and perceived slights.  We will often identify with slights even when they are entirely unintentional. The forgiveness I am speaking about is directed at yourself, and when you do this, it changes you.  If you do not feel a change, a total and complete release from whatever it was that you felt had held you captive emotionally, then you may have only been going through the motions.  This forgiveness, seemingly elusive, is so simple that when it does happen it is almost too easy. We are simply making it too hard on ourselves.  In fact, I have observed that people prefer to keep their hurts in check since they have defined them for so long that they fear being without them.  This is simply more crazy feeling and will keep you from the truth.  It will keep you in obsessive behavior, in hurt and drama until YOU choose to let it go.  It is like trying to win an arm wrestling match and you realize you just have to stop always having to win.  Sometimes the way to win is to simply STOP and let go.  Perhaps we see releasing karma as this, which it very much is.  It is like a death, but like all death, it is immediately followed by a rebirth into a new life. In this situation, you do not have to give up your body, you just give up a small part of your behavior in the deal.

You are making a choice  of letting go of that which stood in the way of you and it. It was not uncommon for me to find myself forgetting completely about whatever the issue was that had dogged me for so long because the sheer joy, wonder and good feelings that I felt when in the presence of this divinity was many thousands of times better than any of the old arguments, problems, dramas or issues.  If you look at cases where people who have experienced clinical death, every concern they ever had simply goes out the window as if it were a puff of smoke.  The sense of peace and love is so total that they actually don’t WANT to come back.  Death, in this way, is not some dark scary experience, but a meeting of the divine, and this is something that when we are touched by it, we are never the same.  Curiously, those how have died and those who have awakened through kundalini all share similar characteristics once they come back to earth.  There are heightened psi abilities, there is a growing sense of wanting to be of service, and an awareness of that great oneness which everything is a part of.

Seeking forgiveness can serve to release you, but it is not the asking forgiveness that frees you.  What frees you is the mere presence of the divine.  Nothing false can exist in that great light and so is often the case, old patterns begin to drop like old dry leaves.

The way out of karma is simply exiting an old feeling.  By making peace with it at the deepest levels of you, there is no place for it to root or grow.  It is pulling the karma up by the root and it simply cannot thrive in you anymore.  Most often, people just prune their weeds instead of dealing directly with them.  Doing this keeps the karma in play because your position in the feeling is still the same. What is wrong with the karma is how it keeps you from flowing into the divine current.  That is all.  You cleave to a position about something, who knows what it might be, and then it solidifies in your awareness right alongside ego, which keeps it in play for lifetimes if need be. There, it is waiting for you at the docks as you return from your voyage into the afterlife.  Like old luggage, it is sitting there beside you until you open the latch and begin digging into it.  How long this will go on is up to you.  It is yours and no one elses.  Sure, the karma is what makes you feel like someone hurt you.  Certainly someone has done something that made you feel a certain way, or did something you thought was mean or terrible, but you had a choice in how you responded every step of the way.  No one makes you feel any sort of way.  You choose this.  Every moment you are making choices like this and only when you take responsibility for your feelings and cease making others responsible for how you felt, you actually get closer to shedding karma and can begin to feel very differently about something such as an early childhood trauma involving, say, abandonment.  It is only here that you are able to see the issue for what it is.  Only in this place of honesty that you can see it for what it has been all along and let it go.

I will give you an example.  When I was an infant I had a father who contracted cancer and he was dying the moment I was born.  He wound up having a year and four months with his family before his body gave out and he died.  During this time my Mother was having to deal with the reality of having to care for four small children, one of whom was in diapers.  She was on edge, she was worried, she was grieving her husbands demise probably before he actually ever died.  When he got towards the end of his life, she spent her days caring for him until he was gone.  This was a pretty formative time for me and I grew up with a deep sense of anger at my Mother.  I actually had a hard time understanding why I was so angry at her.  I knew it had to do with those early days. This anger lived in me until about four years ago.  That would make this an anger that dwelled in me for about 43 years.  By going into the anger I found that the anger was not the original feeling.  It was hurt. I was hurt because I felt like I did not get what I so needed, which was her presence, her love, her Mother love.

What I was able to do was to use my rational mind, the Observer, to step back and really look at my life closely.  Surely, my Mother DID love me.  Yes she was out to lunch, and yes she was probably not as attentive to me in the way I wanted or needed.  But this was how life was.  She was doing the best she could and I believed this was because there was something wrong with me, that I was not lovable or dear to her.  Once I was able to untangle my identification through ego with all of this, I began the process of healing this, but it all began when I was able to go deep into the feeling to get past the anger. No, anger was merely a by-product of all of this. What I was able to see was that this was merely how life was.  I had in truth not been abandoned.  I had chosen to come along at a very challenging time.  Perhaps I could just as easily have seen myself as an adventurer who was willing to step into the breach at a time that would test me in every conceivable way.  My karma, then, was very much tied up in HOW I was choosing to see and respond to the world. I suspect that many early childhood traumas of this sort could be cleared up in much the same way.  A parent has to move away to work in a new location before sending the family to be with him or her.  The child thinks there is something wrong with him or her, for why else would the parent choose to go away like that?  By knowing the fuller story, we can often gain a perspective that we never had but simply assumed based on HOW we are rather than on how everything was.  But HOW we choose to respond IS our karma.  Erasing it is an act of self love.  Not selfish love, not narcissism, but a willingness to do that which will bring you closer to the divine.  Always this presence of the divine if felt as the most intimate part of you touching the most expansive part of what you are, which is the universe.

Letting go of karma is letting go of HOW you feel.  By allowing yourself to surrender and let go your old postures and positions, you can change the very composition of your being.  This is a life changing kind of event, and it can happen over and over many times.  Once you are done with all of the methods for getting you to the place of feeling the divine, all you really have is a simple and sublime experiencing of this force inside of you, a realization that it was never outside of you but was there all along. You had simply been blocking it from view.

The curious thing is that often the dropping of one karmic thread can lead to a cascade of other threads slipping away.  It gets easier to let them go.  You begin to realize that THAT wasn’t so bad at all, and now you feel lighter and you no longer have that old issue to worry about. You are FREE.  It can lead to a kind of hunger for doing more.  One drop leads to another drop and before you know it, you have filled a giant jug up with all of this stuff.

Ask yourself how you can choose right now to think and feel differently about something in your life.  Is it possible that you could benefit from a different perspective in all of this?  And if you DO go for a different perspective, be sure that you allow anyone giving you their perspective to be heard.  Give them the benefit of the doubt because most often we discount the very truths that will set up free by taking on a different perspective.  Am I saying that releasing karma is merely a change in perspective?  Well, in a fashion, YES. People who see things differently or respond to things differently will simply feel differently about the exact same event or issue, so yes their karma will be different.  Consider especially those people who are not effected in the same way you are with the same event.  Let them be a teacher to you, let their perspective inform your own.  A wise Aristotle said that the mark of a wise person was that they could take on ideas and not entirely buy into them in order to try them on.  Being able to have this kind of neutrality and openness to things being different is a very important first step to cleaning up the mess of karma since karma IS changing how you respond to things.

I know; many people want to say that karma is what you do.  In truth, karma is what you ARE.  If you feel like mosquitos should not be allowed to live, you will quite naturally find yourself killing as many of them as you can.  All of this is based on a belief.  If you believed that all creatures deserve to live, you will find yourself resisting killing the mosquitos and moving indoors or putting something on that drives them away.  So karma is itself how you are and how you are will govern how you behave.  If you change how you are inside, your behavior will also change.

This is a simple and direct means to unraveling karma in your life.  By letting your rational mind to step in when emotions get high, not to mask your upset, but to see things in an unemotional way, you can be better equipped for seeing things less as you are and more AS they are.  Then, after that, you are ready to sidle up to the great divine and feel into this great wonder that we are all connected to.

UPDATE:  10/24/2013  I recently went in for a Reiki atunement for the first time and was amazed at the result!  I will be writing about it in a post entitled Reiki that you might want to check out.  There are many methods for helping to shed old latent material that can leave you more healed, free, and feeling more unified, happy, and at peace.  Some of these are methods of movement, energy work that can be found in Qi Gung (also spelled Gong) and other movement methods that all have an effect on the body’s electrical system where it is now known the self stores old emotional material.

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