I have been aware of the concept of karma for so long. I read about it as an adolescent and wondered about it for years. I went through all manner of permutations of relating to it, understanding it in a purposeful way in my life. For most people karma is reduced to a simple “what goes around comes around.” It has become a way to shame people, to communicate disgust in other people. It has become what people have needed it to be for them instead of what it is at its core.
When you understand what negative karma is at its root, you can pretty easily dig it up by its root. This post, while long, is intended to provide you with the issues surrounding negative karma and how you heal it. Saying someone is “gonna get theirs” is itself negative karma because it completely missed the boat on just what negative karma is. Corrected, negative karma melts like snow before the sun. It is for freedom, it is redemption, it is escape from negativity and the feelings and beliefs (false though they are) that releases us from a self-imposed slavery to that which is small or limited in us.
My relationship to karma was changed at a deep and fundamental level after I had an awakening experience that was initiated in late 2006 and further developed in early 2007. This is significant in that it changed how I related and perceived a whole host of things in my life. It also served to help me to relate to what we call karma in a much deeper way, a way that stripped away the finger-pointing and judgement. A lot of people qualify their judgement by saying that karma is not judgement, that it is just….a law…while continuing their judgement. The reason why I am mentioning this is that when you can begin to see and understand how you have gotten into negative karma, it becomes a much easier job of resolving it, in actuality, cleaning it up. It turns out, I have discovered, that I am in good company; Gutama Buddha also discussed how to clean it up as have others like the Jains in India. So there you go.
One powerful force in helping clear negative karma is the flow of prana or qi that is at a highly sustained and consistent level which some refer to as kundalini. What we call kundalini, though, is nothing more than an abundance of an energy. The effect of this abundance is that it creates some significant changes in your physiology, for one, changes that go on to support a new way of being and feeling. Since your brain is part of your mind, it also has a deep impact on how you can see/perceive things. The presence of this energy can open up latent pathways in the mind that leads to a kind of pulling back the curtain on issues that had up until that time appeared elusive or not even known to the individual.
There is a very real world of hidden emotional material that has been the result of “shoving down” or repression. This repression goes on in big and small ways in life that is pretty astounding the day you become aware of it. In my case, I was shown how much there was when I began a dialog with the energetic presence that had, as I was fond of saying, had “set up shop” within me when awakening came along.
The result for me was deeper and deeper inquiry into what was taking place within me. This force of energy had the effect of releasing stored emotional energy and what I observed as being karmic material. I observed this over a series of hundreds of these releases and how each of them impacted me and how they helped to changed how I felt, related, and felt drawn by a host of people and events. When released, the stored material left me feeling lighter, freer, and clearer. In each instance there was no one judging me, but instead there was an inner compass that became clearer and clearer all the while. So often, we follow rules without ever truly understanding why it is we follow them. These might be societally-learned from family or friends, for example, but they can also be more personal beliefs about who you think you are, want to be, or hope to become. When you are able to internalize what something is, you become that thing. It accrues to this compass-point awareness within. That sounds like a pretty useful thing, I think….so long as what is running you comes from a healed and authentic place. If it’s no, it can lead to error and misperception.
I have chosen to share what I know based on my own direct experience in the hopes that it might resonate and trigger some of your own inner awareness. I am not here to say what is best for you, only to share my experience.
I spent most of my young life seeking and feeling as though I had lived an examined life. It wasn’t until awakening came, however, that I found that my examination from my earlier life was left in the dust with the acceleration that took place in my own spiritual process. This represents, in my experience, to a very rapid release and removal of the backlog of a whole host of material that is emotional and karmic in nature. This swept up every part of myself in the net of this experience, from rational mind to holistic mystic mind to body and soul. All of it.
So let me break it down as best as I can.
We store unprocessed emotion in the body. My introduction to this happened when I was told in a conversation with a gifted intuitive that I was blocked energetically. Really? I had many insights, releases, I was progressing, wasn’t I? I had no idea, not really.
She explained that there was someone in my community that I needed to find, and then went on to describe this person who was a teacher and his characteristics. This person, she explained, would help me in unblocking this material that had me stuck. Through a series of synchronistic events, I wound up finding this person the very next day and his teaching studio was a block from my house.
When I began my work with this teacher, the results were dramatic. I had no idea what to expect, but I thought that I’d come out of it feeling better somehow. But how do you know when you…..don’t really know? The effect of the releases were so rapid and so deep that I wound up feeling physically sick for a time. To top it off, the releases that were happening were not something that I thought were possible using the methods he was teaching us. But there I was, feeling all of this material falling away. I could feel it taking place not in my feelings or thoughts, but in my body.
Whenever I would allow myself to get “close” to this stored material, I could feel the emotion that was surrounding it. It was easier to bypass the emotion and just allow the material to fall away. There is this idea that you have to deal with these things a certain way. I am telling you that there is a much faster way, and it is permanent. In fact, many disciplines throughout the world have employed these methods.
When this happens, there is a corresponding change in how you relate to the world and to your life. What triggered you that is connected to a block that existed in the past no longer triggers you after the release has taken place. Bear in mind, I am saying that this is specific to the block that is released. You can still be triggered by other blocked emotional material, yes, but when a block that deals with being, say, skape-goated falls away, you are no longer reactive to anyone who might try to try and shift the blame onto you. The other very important side to all of this is that, in the case of the skape-goated energy, events connected to this tend to nearly dry up. There is something in you now that just does not draw or attract that energy anymore.
Blocks can be removed in large clusters of individual smaller blocks in a region of the body, often in major chakras areas (for one), and they can be released peace-meal, in individual small blocks.
In my case, the easier ones were removed first, and then there was a pause in the process where the energy of prana went into a kind of “waiting” mode as it stood like a doorman outside the center in my body where the next block stood. Yes, there were other releases, but they were not as substantive as the period when I acted on the counsel of my intuitive and friend, Ali.
Maybe you are wondering what this has to do with karma, right?
To help you to understand how I knew that this was karmic material, I will explain a most curious effect that this clearing period had on my life. I was 16 years into a marriage with a person who was chaotic and abusive to my children and to myself. This woman was what I later learned was what is called in the psychiatric community a “professional victim.” This is a person who is so unable to own their actions and feelings that they make their problem seem to be about the other person who has become the focus of their emotional abuse. When I began my awakening and began to release the stored material that I had, I saw how my wife would go through these “melt-downs.” These melt-downs were entirely independent of anything that was happening in the real world that might have triggered them. Now bear in mind that all of the work I was doing was internal. I did not mention anything about what was going on with me at this point. I had already caught on to the fact that I was living with a person who had this dysfunction. I was keen at this point to just fly as under the radar as I could just to keep her emotional chaos and irresponsible behavior at a minimum. I learned to stop talking about my process because of how she would criticize me, unable to understand or relate to what was happening. So I fell silent and I noticed that as a release took place I could feel her presence in the midst of many of these inner events. It was bizarre at first. I felt her from a distance, and I could feel as though her awareness was somehow there in front of me, pulling on what amounted to a cord. It felt like an etheric rope that had, up until that moment, been unknowing held in a tight position within me, and apparently, within her. It was like a tight rope had been cut as the cord would go slack. I could feel her pulling on this cord hard, trying to get it back into its taut position. By this time, even though I could feel her pulling hard on it, it no longer effected me. This is what I mean when I say that when you release something in this way, it’s just gone! It’s as if it had never been. The block and the karma was erased in me to a level that goes all the way down to the cellular, no; to the subatomic level. Not a hint or trace was there. Poof!
Within about 24 hours of one of these releases, I noticed that she would have a melt-down. Basically, this was a tantrum. It always involved something that appeared real, but at the end of the day, it was her getting upset, impatient, or something. It was always about someone else, you see. Let’s just call a spade a spade: it was an excuse. This happened each time that these cords were dropped.
It was strangely interesting to watch and to know I was observing this thing that she knew nothing about. This happened nine times over a period of a few months, after which I stopped counting. They continued for some months after. It helped me to understand that there was a causal connection between my release work and how she felt unsteadied for no known reason. So she found one. Or created one. We had karmic threads in common that had held us in what had become, or perhaps had always been an odd dysfunctional relationship.
What I can tell you is that each block is emotional in its source, and represents a feeling that has not been fully processed. You do not need to go back into the feeling, though. Prana and energy work, like Chi Gung, allows you to simply release it somatically from the body without needing to listen to the old tape, or reliving some hard old memory. In a few cases, feeling the emotion very intensely did trigger some releases, but these were always hard experiences.
The problem with going into the feeling again is that you can get “captured” by it again and remain stuck. The idea that you can release something by diving into the emotion is largely a fool’s errand for most of this store material. Too often, we are just too addicted to our stored junk. Our relationship with it is love/hate. Our head says it’s terrible, but something deeper down, which might be a broken part of it secretly loves it because of the rise it gives us, even though it is entirely negative in nature. This is what I describe as like trying to help yourself out of a tar pit. You go in with the best of intentions, but wind up getting stuck in the process. Every push or pull only gets you deeper and deeper. The way out is to simply desire to exit the tar pit and just never look back. This has been the single biggest trap for me in my process, which is thinking that I am capable of healing this kind of thing myself. The healing comes by way of grace, and the One, which you are a part of.
I am, consequently, getting closer to explaining how this all relates, directly, to karma.
We move from an awareness of ourselves as 3-D creatures of physical senses to beings that are made up of energy and who never really die. We exist both in and outside of time. As a result, we have access to our higher, more developed selves, you see? There is a good bit of resistance to this idea, though, but I can tell you that this awareness does indeed exist and it represents the equivalent of having a cosmic parent who is much more knowledgable than you are here that is on your side and who can help you immensely. People tend to think that talk of our having a god-self within is somehow human pride or ego. It isn’t. It is something that is born of an awareness that comes after you are willing to let go of enough of your limiting beliefs to see more that is beyond the earthly mind.
The god-self confers upon you what it is and can accelerate your journey in releasing karmic material. To do this has meant that I have had to have an unwavering willingness to trust in what it has been telling me. This has been hard for me to do because it invariably means that I have to trust in something that is not yet a part of my experience. My own cognitive dissonance (beliefs that blind me to a bigger more inclusive picture of my own reality) has often gotten in my way. This is a willingness to think and feel beyond your own subconsciously imposed limits. So much of our old way of being and feeling is not rational and cannot be dealt with in that way. Again, grace is the way.
Negative karma represents a misalignment with your own divine self. This part of you, which I have just pointed to in Awareness #2 is the source of all negative karma. Karma is described as “action” and so many, including myself, have thought about it as physical action. My problem with understanding karma as described in this way has been the disparity between my experience and the definition most commonly held by the culture that conceptualized the word. For me, negative karma comes about as a result of our inner feelings first, which then governs our outward actions.
Recently as I thought about this I considered that the person(s) who thought this up may have been considering ALL action. This means that action can be of an inward nature, too, and this brings in the issue of your own intent. Do you know and own your intent? Do you know the ramifications of that intent/inner action? How you act out on those inner actions is your karma and how others react to what you do is their karma. Being able to really examine yourself and know yourself is an important step in self awareness and becoming cognizant of your own “triggers” which are little more than those things that keep you from realizing your higher potential. Until you clean up this stuff, you remain on an emotional merry-go-round that can go on for lifetimes. This has happened to every single person on the planet. For as hopeless as this condition might seem at first, the solution is simple and very effective. You just need to have a set of strategies that will help you in resolving this material within once and for all. You have to train your mind to be different.
When karmic material is resolved, it does not come back. The curious effect of healing negative karma is that the self sees or has a clearer connection to its own higher self, and the experience of that self is always far preferable to the old ways of being. When enough of this material is dropped, it can lead to cascading events of more and more material being healed until the self craves the lighter side of being. This results in a lack of attachment to all manner of issues. At first this process can lead to a sense of emptiness, especially in people who have the fire of awakening moving in their lives. It is a fast and often bewildering process and it can sometimes lead to our getting stuck or stopping forward movement for a time. Sometimes you need a little time to catch up with yourself. So be easy on yourself. Trust the process. Instead of being the cook in your kitchen, let the cosmic cook do its work and focus on being grounded while also feeling the soaring sense that all of this brings. This is a very balanced way to be and is the way of all physical life.
The next thing that ties into this is how to keep from picking up new emotional material. It is simple: allow yourself to feel the feeling. Whatever it is, just allow the feeling to move through you. If you feel hurt, don’t push it aside; feel it completely. When you do, you do not shove any of it down for later. If you are angry, feel anger, but don’t direct it at people. Even when you turn your attention to someone who is not physically there, you can cause harm with your thoughts, so be careful. The stuck part is when you feel like the feeling you have has not had any resolution. The resolution is not with another person. Ever. The resolution is in your feelings about a person or situation. Your feelings flow out of a belief, as hard as that may sound at first, about yourself and about others.
To explain what I mean by this, consider the following scenario. In a past life you are stabbed by someone and you die. As you die, you have this feeling as though you were not done, and you find yourself clutching to a feeling of incompleteness. You had more to do. The reality, though, was that you were killed, stabbed in the back as you were on the battle field in, say, 720 B.C. and that was that. You then come back in other lives carrying this feeling of incompletion as well as a sense of injustice done to you by whomever killed you. Often, you will wind up being drawn to the person who killed you in that other life. It will feel like a powerful attraction, but now what is actually happening is that the karma is creating chemistry. This is the hardest thing for people to understand or to get because it feels so counter-intuitive. All of these hitches lead up to a feeling of needing to somehow complete something. But what? This is now the merry-go-round of the “karmic draw.” This can leave you stuck on that merry-go-round for lifetimes. Worse, it can wear deep grooves in your mind that appear inescapable.
If you had simply accepted the fact that you had been killed, there would be no tangle. You would be at peace with it. The person who killed you could be free to go about their merry way with their own baggage and never enter your life again. instead, what you do is you attach yourself to their karma by being willing to engage with them in a complimentary way by being the victim. Do you see what just happened?
This can all be changed entirely by choosing in a deeply authentic way to just let someone else’s stuff just be theirs. You go from stuck in a feeling of wanting to somehow balance the terms of engagement from that past life to suddenly entering into a far more enlightened approach. This is hard for most people because the ego gets so involved in having been done wrong. There is something larger here that can just as easily be felt, and it does not involve the ego in quite the same way.
Remember when Jesus was being crucified? Did he scream out, “You bastards! How DARE you kill the son of God!!!” No. He saw that these people really did not know what they were doing. He said as much. His awareness and acceptance that this was happening led him to a bigger picture. Like children, they were doing this and they really didn’t know what they were doing. He could have fallen for the small feeling, which was that these were mean and evil people and that they were wronging him, but his awareness led him to a different place. As a result, he did not create a hitch or glitch emotionally for himself. Now I know what you might be thinking: where is the justice? As long as there is “justice,” the cycle of hurt and pain will not end. The path out of this is to simply stop….to forgive….to see things in a new way. Whatever a person does is their business and is their karma. There is nothing wrong with speaking truth to power, or correcting a distorted view, but an eye for an eye is simply giving a green light for still more abuse.
When a child is there slapping you on the cheek, you give him the other cheek. You know that they do this out of a lack of awareness. It is not a big deal, you see? The glitch is in how you choose to react and feel. THAT is the source of negative karma. Until you resolve that block in you, you will continue to feel it over and over each time a new event comes up that serves to be the compliment to that feeling. You have to choose to feel that you are a victim in order to be victimized. Otherwise, the experience is indeed very different.
“But they did me wrong!”
“Yes. But by staying in this place of anger and upset, you are only continuing to hurt yourself: forgive them so you can move on. Don’t let what they did poison your life, too.”
There are numerous ways to clear these blocks that represent the emotional compliment to your negative karma.
- One approach is through movement.
- Chi Gong (also spelled Gung) can be very helpful.
- But so can deep tissue massage with a therapist who is practiced in energy work.
- Kahuna medicine is a therapy that balances both side of the self, but anyone with a deeper awareness can help you with the work. Acupuncture and acupressure also are helpful since they can release the stored material that “sticks” along points in the meridian system. When I write about stored material in the body, I am actually writing about the meridians (or nadis in the Indian tradition).
- EFT, also known as “tapping” works in a similar way, tapping the meridians while bringing up an given hard emotion.
- Reiki is another method, too, that can lead to healing these blocks. However, your practitioner may not be able to always sense the blocks that you can, so some direction can be helpful to them. I once had a practitioner exclaim that there was “nothing there” in an energy center that in fact was still blocked. She just was not able to sense that deep. To be fair, I had spent close to ten years clearing a lot of this material, so compared to most people, I may have felt clearer than most people. That might have been “good enough” for her own inner sensing.
- Ho’oponopo is a therapy that comes from the Polynesian tradition that can be especially powerful for cleaning this up. I suggest that you first listen to an interview given by Hew Lin to know how beneficial this type of healing is.
- Pranayama yoga has within it similar movements that serve to “massage” the body through movement, which is all designed as a preparation for awakening. When you see yogis pumping their stomachs, this movement helps to stimulate the nadi’s or the meridians that have the stored material in them. In the Indian system, they are all about preparing for awakening. Awakening, though, is very useful for removing large blocks of material. Awakening can, though, make material big when it is actually small. This can be hard for people.
Be present. Awareness can expand by being present. By being mindful, you are more able to allow yourself to drop into what I call the “watcher” self. This is the same as the “witness.” When you can do this, you can see how silly some of your own reactions are, and this awareness can lead to release of karmic material. You can also resist falling for entering into karma that is negative to begin with. You simply give up your dug-in investment in a way of feeling that has kept you trapped in behavior that has hurt yourself for a long time. Also, by being present, your own awareness expands and can accelerate into realizations that you did not have before. You look at yourself from a new perspective, then. Some of this work can take months, some can take years, but the investment always pays off when you release something. Some difficult blocks can take years and have to be, literally, whittled or chiseled away. The more the ego is identified with a hurt or wrong, the longer and harder the block can be. And most often, these hard blocks are also present in most of your past lives. Releasing them now also releases them in all lives both past and present. I know this may be hard to believe, but I have already done work that involves how past lives were actually changed. It’s really quite huge when you think about it.
Become aware of resistance in your body. This is most often the best and most subtle clue for a problem. When I say resistance, I mean that sometimes in movement, you can wind up feeling the energetic signature of a stuck emotion without realizing that its tied to a given movement. In Qi Gung, for example, you can be moving a certain way and feel a heaviness, or a small stab of pain or a feeling of tension in the belly or legs,, or the torso, or really, just about anywhere. This is often energetic in nature and is material that is being “referred” to the mind as a very real physical effect. Being able to discern the difference between real physical effects and these referred feelings is key to identifying trouble spots in the body. Most often a feeling of pain, if you go into it, will reveal itself to be a form of tension. In this case, it is most often energetic and points to something karmic. The root of the feeling is karmic. The emotion, the resistance, that is the symptom, you see. Then, when you feel the spot, imagine loosening it up, or letting yourself feel loose in that area, or free. If you can’t infuse it with feeling, infuse it with motion. Move freely, maybe swinging your arms to a fro, dance, flow, do Chi Gung movements, have a practitioner work on that area with deep tissue massage, prayer, laying on of hands, or Reiki.
You can also focus on each of the seven major centers and visualize those centers clearing. When you focus on any part of your body, you DO send energy to that part of your body. In the ancient world, kundalini was awakened by focusing on certain key centers as a way to infuse them with more pranic force, which can lead to triggering awakening.
Clearing karma is not hard to do. You can do this. Ask yourself what remains, then ask to be led. You will be guided when you do not have any competing beliefs that this is not possible. When you do, you can shift how others who are “in” on a given karma react and respond to you. The effect is most often immediate. I have seen that some people who were in on a given karma who did not change were themselves just very stuck and also have other issues that are not tied to my own karmic stuff with them. Be careful not to let these people draw you into their stuff, though. You can be clear about who you are and where you are in all of this stuff. You do not need to ever let anyone guilt you into feeling a certain way. Be clear. Be strong.
Karma is not really about physical action as much as it is about the intent behind an action. Negative karma is always about a fundamental turning away from being anchored in your highest truth. Your highest truth is very simply that you are love. This love is the “light” that so many experience as the blast of light that often travels up the spine and initiates the process of inner transformation. Anything that is less than this juicy and beautiful light that is you will always serve to insulate you from an awareness, the direct experience, as being this light. So now you know why it’s so important and helpful for us to know how to effectively release this stored material. While those who remain stuck in a rather provincial concept of karma will keep on hoping others will “get theirs,” this only shows that such a belief is itself limiting and only piles on more karma disguised as righteousness. True righteousness has never been about being showy, but has been about being truly centered in love as the liberator. These rare people, then, are “right” with the indwelling divine.
I wish you all the healing in the world!