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Excerpt from "The 11 Karmic Spaces, Choosing Freedom from the Patterns that Bind You"

Chapter One: What Is Karma?

by Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati


A Continuous Flow of Thought

We forget our freedom, but we never stop longing for it.

Do you ever wonder why you make the same mistakes over and over? Do you feel that you could be more than you are now? Do you yearn to become your true Self?

This yearning means you have forgotten something that is waiting to be awakened, and it tells you that you are more than you think you are. You long to know and become your true Self. From your misunderstanding of that yearning, you may start looking for something or someone to grab onto, something to fill the emptiness within you. When that fails, as it usually does, you look for someone to blame and, in the end, you blame yourself, which leads to self-hatred or acting out. Then it all starts again—pain, seeking, attachment, blame, self-doubt—and you are right back where you started: trapped. Over and over again, you degrade yourself by being attached to a drama that has no reality.

This is karma: the thoughts, emotions and actions that have become a pattern within your being. That pattern is your trap. Karma is a continuous flow of thought with roots in the past, and it goes on for as long as we live and beyond. It flows from moment to moment and even from lifetime to lifetime. Just as each moment contains the birth of something as well as the death of something, karma can be birthed—or broken—in any moment.

Karma is a word in general use today, yet few truly understand its real significance. A word originating in Sanskrit and used in Hinduism and Buddhism, karma has been translated to mean the universal law of cause and effect. Like gravity and magnetism, karma is just how the world works. Actions have consequences. Karma is reflected in common sayings: “As you sow, so shall you reap” and “What goes around comes around.” Because it is a universal law, karma affects all of human life and is involved in every single thing we do or feel or think.

However, “bad” karma is not punishment or retribution, nor is “good” karma a system of rewards and prizes. Karma itself is neutral, a balancing out of the scales of universal law.

Every action may start a chain of effects that goes forward in time much farther than we can see. If you drink and drive, what is the effect of killing someone with your car? How does that person’s absence change the lives of everyone around him? What results from your absence as you serve time in prison? The chain of karma reaches backward in time too. When you were a child, did you ever see your father sometimes drink and drive and get away with it? What forces shaped his life?

To try to trace the chains of karmic action and reaction is a humbling experience, for if we are honest we must soon see that we are all conditioned by our pasts, our childhoods, our culture, and by the very fact of being human. Notice how quickly the number of karmic possibilities accumulates beyond the amount of information the human mind can grasp. Universal mind, or God mind, has no such limits.

Birth, Death, and Breath

Karma is written on the breath.

We’re all born, we all die, we all make choices, and we all carry with us the consequences of our choices. In other words, we all have karma. Karma enters into human life at birth, as the universal laws of order seep down from the great sky of consciousness to enter the human body and bind us to them. We take possession of our karma. We will either follow it blindly or learn to control our destiny by being aware of it.

Karma arrives with the very first breath, and each breath we take reflects upon the breath we have just taken. Then death comes and the breath goes out for the last time and the soul leaves the body. If you have worldly desires at the moment of death, you will write your desires on your last out breath. If you have fear, fear will go with you on the out breath. If, in one lifetime, you have left something important undone, then you will return, with last life’s lessons still waiting to be learned. If you did not live your life to its fullest, you must repay that debt to yourself. Karma is how you pay.

That final exhalation of breath into death holds your karma like a clothesline, with all the clothes ready to be worn again in a familiar pattern. With the first breath into life, you inhale all that you ever were, all that you ever knew; you breathe in those same desires, those same patterns of karma, like putting on your old clothes.

Past Lives

We’ve all been everything.

When I was first awakening to spiritual life, I had all this energy running through me, and I needed to give it away, to serve, to work, to touch. I talked to a priest who got me a volunteer job working with children who had leukemia. In those days, these kids had very little chance of survival, at five years old, six years old.

I would play with them one week, and the next week they were gone. It bothered me terribly. I had three healthy children at home, and it just seemed unfair. I was born a Jew, I was going to church with my Catholic husband, and I wasn’t finding answers that satisfied my heart. When I began to hear about reincarnation, my questions began to be answered. Or, I should say, my old questions were replaced with new ones, and that’s when I began to study karma.

When we begin to understand that every soul is a traveler through life and death, we start to have a deep understanding of what is real and what is not. Following Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, I have come to believe in reincarnation, even though the idea was very strange to me at first.

Is it necessary to believe in reincarnation to understand karma? No. Certainly it is not my aim to get you to accept the ideas of any particular religion. But consider this: Every night during sleep, a state that is mysterious to most of us, you die, or something within you dies. If you have made peace with your day before sleep takes you, you awaken refreshed. But if you carry a burden into sleep, the morning is laden with the same feelings you had the day before. It is similar with death and rebirth.

Some people want so much to remember their past lives that they go to psychics or they try past-life regression therapies. But if you remembered all your past lives, how would you function? Isn’t it hard enough to remember where you left your car keys? Knowing everything that has happened throughout many lifetimes would overwhelm your mind. And what would you do with the information? Do you really think that if greed seeps into you, you won’t act on it just because you remember how greed hurt you in a previous life? The last time you ate ice cream, you gained weight. Did you learn, and will you never eat ice cream again? Let’s not kid ourselves.

Most importantly, if you did remember past deeds, do you realize the implication? If standing here in your actual present life, you knew your mistakes from the past and you went ahead and did the same things again in this life, the karmic burden would be much, much greater. Your karma, which is now loose and flowing, would turn into solid blocks of stone.

No, you can’t remember your lifetimes, and you’re lucky you can’t. You are here. This moment means more than any other lifetime. In each lifetime, the circumstances are different. Only the patterns stay the same. Be in this one life; be in this most precious moment. Use it to conquer your confusion, your sadness, or anything that stops you from living a life of joy.

All you need to know about past lives is to recognize when something feels familiar. There is a part of you that holds a record of past lives, but it is not available to the ego mind. It is known only by your intuition and your heart, where the impressions have stayed. They will tell you when you are thinking the same old thoughts again or feeling the same old despair or doing the same old thing.

If you try to change your situation by examining it with your mind alone, you may get caught in “what if’s,” second thoughts, self-doubts, regrets, and blame—but did all that take you anywhere the last time you tried to think it through? Or are you right back where you started? The ego mind tends to lead us in circles.

Instead of looking at past lives, look at the life you are living now. Hear your intuition when it says, “Haven’t you been here before? Aren’t you tired of it?”

And ask yourself, If I died right now, would I be willing to be reborn as the exact same person as I am today? That’s the question to ask, not, What did I do in my past lives? If you don’t like the answer, then begin to make changes. It’s a new choice every time. Every single moment is a birth; every single moment is a death. It’s all in you—now! You are the ruler of your life.

Ego Arises

The ego knows only separation from God.

Karmic patterns are innate, but for karma to become active, ego must arise, and this happens soon after birth. An infant is born with a very quiet bliss that covers him or her in the womb. When the child is born, the harshness of reality breaks through and the child cries out: “I am hungry, feed me. I am uncomfortable, clothe me. I’m in need of love, love me.” This feeling of need is not yet ego, attachment, or karma; it is just the simple reality of being alive.

When these needs go unmet, as surely they will at times, we allow a crack to open in the ocean of bliss; we create a separation. The very first ego thought now enters the infant mind. The ego’s first thought is not “I need,” but “I want,” and this is the beginning of duality. Our natural state of bliss is now divided by the idea that something is missing: If I have this or that, then I’ll have my bliss back. This mistaken idea takes hold. The thought “I want” now takes countless forms, countless ways to keep the soul separate from its birthright.

That’s what ego is—our small self, born of forgetting, held together by hunger, and separated from bliss. This is the ego as it is understood in most Eastern philosophies, although Western psychology uses the word differently.

In its failure to remember anything greater than itself, the ego acts out of its own willfulness. It is through the ego’s willful actions that karma is birthed. Day to day, lifetime to lifetime, karma accumulates. With this accumulation, patterns emerge as the ego makes the same mistakes over and over. Then karma solidifies.

Ego is the aspect of the individual self that keeps us limited, confused, and out of touch with the universal Self. Ego and karma are closely linked: The greater the karma, the bigger the ego. The bigger the ego, the more karma clings to it. That’s why the goal of many spiritual practices is to loosen our habit of identifying ourselves with the ego.

Craving

The hungry heart has no beginning and no end.

Desire for the great sea of bliss that we felt as newborns begins to spread out in the form of attachments. The primal hunger for this oneness gets tangled up with our hunger for lesser things. Attachment is often confused with love, but this kind of love is only possession.

What if we were attached to everything in our lives and clutched so tight we didn’t let our lives breathe? What if we clutched at our children, our possessions, our ideas, our religion, to life itself? Could we even recognize our original bliss?

The child who once knew bliss can spend his whole life searching for wholeness and clutching at illusions. He may have hunger growing so deep in his heart that, as he grows older, he will look everywhere but in that heart to fulfill the yearning that he feels.

Perhaps you were raised in poverty, or perhaps your youth was comfortable but devoid of love. Thus, you don’t know how to create love or accept love, so you search all your life and you cannot find it. What do you find? Food. Drugs. Alcohol. Dependency on someone who hurts you. So many things to find in the world! You may even find religion to fill up the hungry heart. But something is still missing.

The hunger, still burning within you, moves from one moment to the next, from night into day, from one life to the next. It is powerful and demands to be taken care of; the thirst must be quenched. In the quest for what you think you need, you sometimes hurt others, even if you try not to. And so, new karma forms. Hunger drives you, then regret drives you. Yet the hunger continues, this craving for oneness that takes on many disguises. In the end the question for some of us comes down to this: Where is God? We do remember God—but we remember in the form of a great hunger.

Then you may ask, How did God let this happen? How did God let me become an alcoholic, or obese, or so terribly depressed? How did God let me waste my life in the pursuit of pleasures that don’t last? Eventually you may give up on God, or the hunger itself may become your god.

We are all given glimpses of a higher reality, whether we choose to act on them or not. There are times when we are reminded of the primal bliss, times when we sometimes dare to believe that freedom and wholeness are possible. By then, most of us have gotten used to our karmically conditioned life and we’ve become comfortable. We settle into this place of comfort because it is familiar. Even pain can be comfortable, compared with the fear of the unknown. When we move too far toward freedom, we become afraid.

Perhaps you’ve moved a little closer to your heart’s goal—to Christ, to universal spirit, to the gods and goddesses of any tradition—or maybe you’ve just grown closer to love, to kindness, to beauty, to whatever it is that will awaken you to the very truth of who you are. And then you back away.

We are torn between fear and longing. Meanwhile, the karmic ties keep tightening.

Karmic Patterns

The ego plants seeds of suffering and waters them with self-doubt.

Even a tiny baby determines how tightly her own past karma will wrap around her. How completely will she identify with duality as it arises? How quickly will she forget the oneness? How eager will she be to embrace the attachments of earth? It’s certainly not a rational choice—it’s not even a choice of the conscious mind—but there is choice nevertheless.

After we have tasted duality and the beginnings of ego, and after our old karma has settled in to surround our souls, new karma now has a place to cling. We create new karma through our own actions. But as young children, before our actions carry full karmic consequences, we encounter the judgments of others: “You’re clumsy.” “You’re just like your father.” Or perhaps judgment hasn’t even been spoken, but we feel it.

Karma adheres to karma. Picture how Velcro sticks to itself but not to a smooth surface. Karma works like that.

If, for example, you have a karmic pattern that consists of you continually telling yourself that you’re no good, then you will embrace every experience that reinforces this belief and reject every experience that challenges it. As children we constantly pick up clues about who we are. We absorb these clues, developing deep habits that hold karmic value; in other words, they have grown a karmic root. For example, a child proudly brings a drawing home from school and her mother ignores it, once, twice, ten times. Every child eventually gets a message from this. A child who has a deep pre-existing karmic root of self-doubt will be more deeply wounded than one who doesn’t. She will think that she isn’t worthy of her mother’s time. She may stop drawing and never return to it again. But another child, without such a root, may not feel it so deeply.

We absorb others’ beliefs about us until we are conditioned to believe in our false personalities, which we continue to build ever more elaborately as our lives unfold. After a while we just ride the waves made by the judgments of others, allowing them to take us where they will.

Meanwhile, beliefs give rise to actions, which in turn become habits. Thus, we create new karma. Karma arises in our interactions with people. The rule is simple: If you hurt someone, you will have to pay for it. If you cause pain, you will have pain. As the ego carries out its projects, its plans for getting what it wants in the world, new karma is laid down over the old and becomes intricately entwined with it. We become ever more tangled up in karma.

The Rig Veda, an ancient sacred text from India, calls these patterns samskaras. They are not ordinary habits, but habits you do over and over and over again until they feel like part of your psyche, part of your being, something you have had with you always, because indeed you have. At the base of them, further back than the pains of childhood, and beyond the reach of psycho­therapy, there is a karmic root. So to give up a root feels like you’re giving up a part of yourself.

No matter what words we use to describe the process, our ego minds use our karmic patterns to trap us in a small life. We are well and truly stuck! We are conditioned by our childhood and our culture, we find ourselves in a world where most events are beyond our control, and when we seek freedom, fear grabs us. Is freedom even possible?

As long as we bounce along in the world of action and reaction, the answer is no, we are not free. We will need to look at a hidden dimension of our lives, where karma has no power. That dimension is the soul.

Destiny and the Soul

Your soul is waiting to be remembered.

The scriptures of every religion tell us we have free choice, but if everything is conditioned by previous actions, who or what can stand apart from destiny long enough to choose, or to lay claim to, our freedom? The answer is the soul. In its perfection, the soul has no characteristics, it conceives of no time, and it perceives no duality between heaven and earth, the physical and the spiritual, itself and its maker. It is simply what it is and was always: perfection. Hindus call it the Jiva-atman, the individual soul, because they know it to be part of the great Atman, the universal soul. As we enter into the world of life, of earth, of breath, we begin in the womb to put the physical around the soul—bone, blood, arteries, veins, skin, and mind. Duality arises, and we forget the perfection and simplicity of the soul.

While the soul, in its perfection, can’t be touched by darkness, its radiance can become darkened by clouds of karma. Our deeds add to, or subtract from, these clouds. However, this is not the same as sin, and karma is not punishment; it is just the way the universe works.

Everything is destined, or everything is conditioned—everything except the soul. It is the soul that overcomes destiny, and it is the soul that chooses freedom. With the soul’s perfect knowing, it can recognize itself; it can also recognize ego’s choices as what they are: separation from the universal soul.

Paying Again

If you learn from one mistake, then you can learn from all mistakes.

God loves you, and the universe embraces you, just as you are right now, in your soul’s perfection. If you live well, if you try not to hurt anyone, you will burn off past karma in a natural process; it’s all very fluid. But you can make it solid by denying or forgetting the karmic lessons you already learned and repeating the same actions again and again. It’s as though you bought your groceries, paid for them, loaded everything into the car, and then went back in and said, “Here’s another hundred dollars.” You just hand that money to the clerk, but you get nothing for it; your packages are already in the car.

You already paid for this life. You already breathed—lived—life’s great mistakes of anger or jealousy or pride or desire, and here you are. Why keep paying?

If you relive parts of your life by blindly repeating old patterns without awareness, you will suffer the same consequences and you will pay over and over for the same mistakes. You will become imbalanced. Paying again for that which you have already paid compounds the karma or the negative tension. The karma that is fluid then becomes solidified, and from that solid material you build stepping stones for yourself that make it easy to follow what’s familiar, easy to walk along the path of your predetermined destiny, easy to forget free will.

No Excuses, No Blame

God does not judge. Do you?

Sometimes we try to hide behind karma because it’s comforting to think, It must be my karma to have cancer, so there’s nothing I can do about it. This is illusion. You are responsible for your life now, karma or no karma. Everyone will experience pain at some point. How you deal with it is your responsibility. Hiding behind karma takes you out of your own life.

I have seen people make themselves miserable because they blame themselves. “I’m sick because I am so negative,” they say. Then they train themselves in positive affirmations in the hope of curing themselves. If that fails, they only blame themselves more and spiral down into despair. They miss the point by confusing responsibility with blame. Cancer happens, accidents happen, misfortune strikes; sometimes we can recognize the causes, but often the reasons are unfathomable. Whatever the cause, karmic or not, blaming yourself will not create the freedom you seek.

Gradually, through awareness, it is possible to develop a feel for your own karma and how it acts in your life. Once you can recognize it, you can start to unravel it. However, you can never know or understand anyone else’s karma.

Many people make the mistake of judging others who are suffering. They tell themselves, “Those children must have bad karma, or else they wouldn’t be orphans.” Believing that you understand the karma of others makes it easy to judge them. To think you know the mind of God or the mind of the universe becomes an excuse to not help the suffering.

Karma can cause suffering, yet not in the way you might think. I’m always asked questions such as, “If a baby dies in a plane crash, is that his karma?” Sometimes it is, but rarely. You would have to believe that all three hundred people on the plane had the same karma, and somehow they all decided to get on the same airplane together. That’s just not how it works.

Yes, there is cause and effect, and perhaps, in the big picture, lifetime after lifetime, time beyond comprehension, there has been a specific karmic root of every bad and good thing that happens, but so what? Does it really help you to know? Even if your mind could trace that baby’s karma all the way back to the very beginning, how does it help either you or the baby? It doesn’t; it just distracts you from what you need to do.

Good Karma, Bad Karma, No Karma

Good karma may make us happy, but it does not make us free.

Karma accumulates, both the positive and the negative. Our natural state is to be one with God, or in tune with the ultimate spirit, and all karma suppresses this oneness as it creates separation. Anything you bring in from past lifetimes or even the

past years of this lifetime weighs heavy on the soul, whether good or bad. The goal is to become empty of karma, positive as well as negative.

Karma explains why one person is born with a gift for music and another with a gift for carpentry. It explains how young children can manifest extraordinary abilities. We say that they have a gift, forgetting that the gift came from themselves. Although good karma may seem to be a great gift, it can actually unbalance your life and hold you back. We would be better off with no karma at all, just living the purity of the soul. Until we reach that state, it’s important to use good karma wisely.

If you take your talents for granted or rely on them and just coast through life, you fail to take on life’s challenges and learn new things. Your life may become flat or one-sided. You may feel as if you are in a rut. This is a karmic pattern as well.

If you have a gift that you do not use, if you are not where you are supposed to be in life, if you have neglected to nourish your talents, you experience great pain. This seems paradoxical—the goal is to free ourselves of both good and bad karma, yet we must also be sure to develop our karmic gifts. How can we do both?

Find karmic balance by doing what is new to you, even if it might be challenging. Try not to travel the same old road; welcome the movement of change. Develop new gifts, or add to the old, and, above all, be sure to share your talents. Take care that you don’t become stuck running along the same old track, positive or negative. You can free yourself from good karma, not through self-denial but through gratitude for the gifts given you, by sharing your good fortune, and by finding ways to grow in new directions. In this way, you will move towards freedom from karma of all kinds and toward the emptiness and contentment that is your birthright.

Karmic Boredom

You are not your past.

We are comfortable repeating familiar patterns, and after many years we become so exhausted that we’re not even walking the path anymore. Instead, the path is walking us. Nothing changes. A new day, a new year, a new lifetime, and yet accumulated karma has seeped into the present moment, and at some point we know that what we’re doing is going to have the same result that it had before. Maybe you don’t know this, in your conscious mind. Yet at the cellular level, your thoughts, your actions, your reactions may become just as steady and predictable as the action of your heart and lungs. When you cling to that which you already know and hide from the new, the cells of your life become overloaded, and with that comes pain, disease and addiction in all its forms. There’s a flatness to everything you do. That’s karmic boredom.

When you awaken each morning with this karmic boredom, you may sigh, “Just another day.” You feel you’ve seen it all, and in a sense you have. Yet, if you learn to live in the present moment, every morning is brand new. Maybe there’s an interesting cloud in the sky, maybe there’s a quarter moon, maybe there are raindrops, maybe there’s a sparrow chirping, or a squirrel running. Every single moment is a birth. Every single moment is a death.

So what happens when you have the choice to do something new in your life? This is when you can choose freedom. This is when you can let your intuition speak to you, if you’ve learned to quiet your mind: I’ve been here before. I won’t do the same thing again.

Another Way: The Gap

When you are in the moment, you are in eternity.

There is a gap in the universal order, there is a gap in karma, and that gap allows you to change your destiny. It is the Now.

Our existence is a continuation, a weaving through three states. There is life, there is death, and there is the little space between life and death, or between death and life. In that space are all possibilities, not yet crystallized into destiny, a gap in the universal order. This fluid state occurs not just in the space between life and death. There are many of these gaps, interpenetrating all time and all matter. This is why there is free will, and this is why the world does not run only in the tracks of destiny.

Everything moves, everything changes, all things flow. Compared to the past and future, the present moment seems fleeting, insubstantial, ungraspable, so we let it go by. But reality has a dimension of depth in both space and time, and time is not as we perceive it. In the transitions between life and death, in meditation, in prayer, in mystical experience, even in the space between breaths, the present moment blooms forth and we can become aware. Awareness is not past, it is not future, it is not some after-death state. Awareness is now. It is the key to freedom.

The gap, the moment, is outside of time.

When the ego comes and pulls you away from the moment, you are returned to the conditioned world of cause and effect, which is the world of karma. You are bound again by both ego and time. It is the limited concept of time that makes us confuse karma with destiny.

However, our innate wisdom presents itself in the moment of hesitation. I don’t mean indecision or procrastination; I mean the tiny hesitation before action that offers the choice of not blindly following your destiny. This is the moment where intuition says yes or no, before every action, large or small. This power of hesitation represents the higher mind in battle with the lower mind. The higher mind longs for freedom; the lower mind, controlled by ego, clings to its habits. If you hesitate and use that moment to refuse the ego its will, you can change your destiny.

When you place yourself with awareness between that which is and that which was, even in seemingly small choices, you force the universal godhead to open a path so alien to your old destiny that you can then take control. You have found a gap in the universal order. You have willed yourself to find grace. The perfection of that universal order that was birthed in the heavens now rains upon you through free will. Your whole being shudders with anticipation and the thought of taking another way.

Find Your Soul

The soul speaks to us again and again, if we listen.

The ego keeps us trapped in our karmas. But you can learn to listen to your soul instead of your ego. The first step is to develop your awareness so that you recognize the karmic gaps when they arise. Your mind, a creature of karma, chatters along missing chance after chance. Start by quieting the chatter of the mind through meditation.

The goal of meditation is to open a space within your being that is outside your mind. Through meditation, awareness will grow, the gaps will become clear, and you will begin to unravel your karma. You will become the master of your destiny. There are many ways to meditate, and I will say more about them as we go on. As you grow in awareness, you will hear the voice of the soul speaking to you of compassion, of courage, and of kindness to yourself and others. Listen to it.

The Physical Connection

Karma can block the free flow of energy.

Karma has a physical connection to our bodies as well as our minds. There are seven main energy centers, or chakras, in the body. Spiritual energy flows upward from the base of the spine to the top of the head, and each chakra expresses a different part of our being.

The first chakra, at the base of the spine, connects us to the beauty of the earth. The second chakra, located in the area of the sexual and reproductive organs, governs creativity. The third chakra, located at the solar plexus, is the seat of our personal power. Some systems of yoga refer to these three as the “lower” chakras, and some teachings advise us to avoid them. However, all chakras contain light, all are connected, and eventually all will come into balance.

The fourth chakra, in the center of the chest, is the home of love and compassion. The fifth chakra, in the throat, is where we use words, art, or music to express everything we have learned on our journey. The sixth chakra is located in the center of the forehead. It is comprised of thousands of particles of light, and it enables us to perceive Spirit more directly. The seventh chakra, at the crown of the head, is where freedom from the small self begins as we become one with the ultimate reality.

Quite simply, karma affects the way our chakras work. Visualize the chakras as turning wheels of light one above another, from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Now imagine that someone comes along and jams a stick in between the spokes of one of the wheels. That’s what karma does: stops you short and keeps you stuck.

There are three places where we most easily notice the blockages made by karma, because we can feel them as physical tension in the solar plexus, the chest, and the throat, each corresponding to one of the chakras. Make a habit of checking with your body to sense any blocked energy. This can lead you to an awareness of where you have become stuck.

Pieces of a Puzzle

The moment of truth comes when what you want is what you need.

Imagine that all your lifetimes together make up one great puzzle. In each individual lifetime, you have the task of completing one section of the puzzle. Sometimes when something just feels off in your life, even if nothing specifically is wrong, it’s because you are karmically imbalanced—you can feel it intuitively. You feel as if there is more you must be or do because you aren’t working on the puzzle.

To find the pieces of your life’s puzzle, the real questions you must ask are these:

· Am I focused on what I want instead of what I need?

· What shall I do with this life that has been given to me?

· How will I develop my intuition to recognize the right choices when they come to me?

· How can I refrain from causing harm?

· How will I sustain the ability to be kind to others?

· Who can I serve?

· How can I develop the quiet within myself so that I can find the answers to my questions?

Seek your inner answers, and you will begin to have a new understanding of what you truly need in your life. Gradually what you want will begin to match up with what you need. Instead of living a dead life of mental chatter and obsessions, or a sterile life that is just a cycle of desires and addictions, you will have a new life, a very alive life.

As you begin to recognize karma around you, it can feel as if you stepped into a different universe. The old rules don’t apply, you see your problems with new eyes, and nothing is quite what you thought it was. It’s almost like seeing double—the eyes of the ego see the world one way, the eyes of the soul see something quite different.

All that exists is inside you. All that you seek is available. There is a life, a death, and a resurrection in every moment, in every molecule, in every breath.

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati was an American born spiritual teacher and founder of Kashi Ashram. She taught for over 35 years in the tradition of her Guru, Neem Karoli Baba. Ma Jaya founded Kali Natha Yoga and was widely known for her compassionate work with death and dying, and for human rights and equality advocacy. Ma Jaya died on April 13, 2012.

Paperback and ebook versions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore and Ma’s India.


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