Archive | May 2013

Karma and the Law of Attraction

SpiralThe law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of cause and effect are all essentially descriptions of the same law in different terms. What you put out you get back, what you sow, you reap, yadda yadda. Although these laws are framed in different ways, and people hold different beliefs around them, they are in essence the same. Karma is unique mostly because it’s proponents believe that it follows you from life to life; this is not generally what people think about the law of attraction or cause and effect. However, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, and whether you believe that Karma follows you or not, no matter how you look at it, it is undeniable that there is a force which attracts to you the energies which you put out. These ‘energies you put out’ can be thoughts, intentions, words, actions, or a combination of all of the above. I believe that Karma is more forgiving than most people think. This is evidenced by the fact that positive thoughts seems to have so much more power than negative thoughts. Positive intentions often manifest in ways that are greater than what was ever imagined. Most of us have examples of this in our lives if we are paying attention. Aren’t many of the truly good things in your life even greater than what you would have expected? Aren’t many of the bad things in your life not really all that bad when you look at them in perspective? The system is rigged toward the positive. Positive feelings and thoughts will always create more and create faster than the negative. The problem is that most of us are caught in the negative so much of the time that we are still manifesting the negative – what we don’t want. We are still creating negative karma even though it is easier to create positive karma.

Karma often seems like something that we are a “victim” of, but that is only because the negative karma we create is usually done in unconsciousness. It happens when we are not paying attention. Lama Surya Das gives an example of a pickle jar. Imagine that you open a jar of pickles and become distracted after opening them (the phone rings, you get a text, etc.), then while you are distracted you put them back in the fridge without sealing the lid. What happens? The next time you go to the fridge to get the pickles, the lid comes off and you drop them. Now you have shattered glass, pickles and pickle juice all over the floor. You probably curse. If you don’t remember doing this yourself you might even instantly blame someone else like your spouse or child for being careless. Most of us have experienced something like this. Our action that we do in unconsciousness, (while we are distracted) causes an effect that is undesirable. In “The Secret” they discuss how the law of attraction is working all the time, even when we are not paying attention. Karma is the same, since we are essentially talking about the same law in different terms. It is working all the time, each moment of each day, with each thought, each action, each reaction, we are creating new karma, new manifestations. Thus, when you drop the pickle jar, remember that you still have a choice. You can react in anger and blame, or you can simply clean up the mess and move on. The latter decision will not create any more bad karma on top of the mess.

The unconscious stream of dialogue that most people have running through their heads is creating their karma, it is setting the law of attraction in motion. For most of us, it is difficult to pay attention 100% of the time, but regular meditation can help you learn to quiet and control your thoughts. What is going through your head most of the day? Are you thinking good thoughts about others? Good thoughts about the past or future? Or are they disparaging thoughts about others, and negative or fearful thoughts about the past or future? Whatever you are thinking will create more of the same, your thoughts are an energy which will attract like energies. Your feelings are a feedback system, so if you have trouble tracking your thoughts, which most of us do, pay attention to your feelings. They will tell you if what you are thinking in any given moment is in alignment or out of alignment with your highest self. When you feel “bad” it is generally because the thoughts you are having at the moment are not in alignment with your highest self. How do you turn that around? Listen to your favorite music, take a bath, meditate, breath, slow down, laugh, whatever you need to do to find your center. From the still place inside you, from the place of pure presence and awareness, you can hit the ‘reset’ button. Once you’ve made a new choice on where to focus your thinking, you are instantly creating new karma, and attracting new manifestations to your reality. Thank goodness for the ‘time delay’ of these laws. The effects do not happen instantly, and this gives us time to stop and hit the reset button when we need to, in order to create something new and better. This allows us to create from a place of consciousness instead of unconsciousness. That means no more broken pickle jars, it means you become aware that all things are your own choosing.

Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

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I Will Not Die An Unlived Life

71447_10151641182743185_1132745737_n“I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
… to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.”
― Dawna Markova

What is Love?

Fire-heart Ah, love. It is a simple little word that encompasses so much that it becomes nearly impossible to pin it down with a definition. I love ice cream. I also love my cat. I love my daughter. I love orchids. I love to dance. I love my husband. I love God. (Note these are not in any particular order). Each of these feelings I just described using the same word, has very different qualities. I can tell you that the feeling I have for ice cream is very different from the feeling I have for my husband, and yet I use the same word to describe it. This is in part a fallacy of our language. Some languages have different words for love which distinguish romantic love from platonic love, from God-like unconditional love. But even these distinctions do not capture the full diversity of feeling that is expressed by what we call Love.

Love can be defined in many ways, but in the end the definitions themselves are hollow, because love is something intuitive. It is not something that the left brain can fully quantify or clearly define. It simply is. You know it when you feel it. However, if I were to attempt to define love, I would express love as any reflection of the unity behind the duality. It is a deep longing for connectedness, fueled by the soul-level recognition of oneness. It is a desire to merge from separateness back to wholeness, equally matched by the desire to remain separate in order to share the space which allows the delicious experience of loving another. Any feeling that reminds us of the connection to divine essence from which we all emerged and to where we all return, we then call ‘love.’ This can express itself in many ways, and thus we have many different varieties of love, and many different qualities to the feelings which are associated with love. Even my simple love of an orchid flower is a reflection of the unity behind the duality. Every small act of love draws one closer to their source and to oneness, for no type of love is greater or lesser, all love is from the same source. When love is expanded even to the point that one learns even to love the enemy, then love becomes truly limitless, an ocean of unity within duality. There is a Sufi saying that love is the glue which holds the universe together. That is very accurate, as without love, in our state of separateness all would drift apart, there would be nothing to hold it together. Love creates the glue, it is the divine connection which holds all things together so that even when we are in the illusion of separateness, we know through the experience of love that we are still one, connected, united being.

Namaste,

Rhea Jamil

Self-Worth and Vulnerability


“Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and the struggle for worthiness, but it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.” -Brene Brown

It takes courage to be imperfect, to be who you are instead of what others want you to be, to allow yourself to be comfortable with uncertainty, to love yourself so deeply that you know your true worth no matter how the world treats you. But doing this is also the key to living fully and living with meaning and joy, it is the key to knowing true connection with others and with all there is.
Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

All As Truth – Wisdom from Story Waters

Rainbow-2
Freedom is not superior to limitation;
with this realization I am able to choose freedom.

Happiness is not superior to suffering;
with this realization I am able to let go of suffering

Abundance is not superior to poverty;
with this realization my abundance flows.

Nothing is superior to anything;
with this knowing I step out from
hierarchy, competition and struggle.

In this state I do not judge life;
therefore I do not feel separate from it.

I am so glad of the diversity in the world;
in its reflection I see my own freedom
to be whatever I wish to be.

We are not here to be one;
we are here to be many.

Through seeing that beyond this illusion we are all one,
we free ourselves to be the many.

I am not tied to any singular path to be a certain way.

I am diverse.

I am ever changing.

I am an explorer of All As Truth

~Story Waters

Why?

StarsWhat is it about humans that makes us unique? Although we are very much like a more ‘intelligent’ version of our ape cousins, we also have an awareness that there is something about humans that is distinct, beyond just having bigger brains. Scientists and anthropologists have grappled with this question. Each time we think we have the answer it proves false. We used to think it was our ability to make and use tools, but then it was discovered that apes make and use tools. We thought it might be our capacity for language, but it was discovered that apes can learn language easily, showing their brains are wired for language as well. Finally, scientists found something humans do that apes do not, and it was rather surprising: Humans ask why. In an experiment conducted at the Cognitive Evolution Group Research Center, apes were given a simple task – they had to set two L shaped blocks upright, standing them on the long end, and they would get a treat. After learning this task, the scientists then gave them a trick block which was weighted on one end so that it would always fall over. The apes would then enter the experiment room, try to set the block upright in anticipation of a treat, and the block would fall over. They would try again, and again and again until they eventually gave up. When human children were given the same experiment, they would set up the weighted block and it would fall over. After a couple more tries, the children would begin to examine the block, turning it over, observing it, shaking it, hitting it, doing various things to it to try and understand why it was falling over. They were looking for evidence of the unseen force which caused the block to fall. They were trying to find the why behind it. This is something the apes do not do, it is a human trait.

This desire to understand why has driven humans to discover many things about the world and the universe, looking for the unseen force behind what we see has driven both religion and science to try and explain our existence. It has driven us to discover the science of physics, to understand gravity, to find everything from quarks to other galaxies. It is also what makes us search for some reason behind our very existence. The animal does not question its own existence, it simply is. This is a beautiful state of being and one which allows the animal to be in present moment, and we have a lot to learn from them in this way. In spite of the fact that the animal’s life may be one survival struggle after another, the animal does not question why, they simply experience what they experience in the moment – good, bad or ugly. We, on the other hand, need to know why. Why are we here? Is there some deeper reason, some unseen force which drives my existence? From this line of questioning we discover the soul, and from the soul we re-discover our connection to all things. We are a kind of consciousness which questions itself, it questions why it is conscious in the first place. What is my purpose? Is there a reason for my existence or is it just random and meaningless? Why are things this way, and not some other way?

If you find yourself on a spiritual quest, it is usually driven by these types of questions. These questions are powerful catalysts for growth. In many cases the journey of the wondering soul begins with questions that come from a place of deep pain – questions such as “Why is there suffering? Why is there death?” These were the questions which drove the Buddha, among others. This type of question comes from the child within, the joyful and playful spirit which simply wants to Be, who has been suddenly confronted with a paradox it cannot sort out and cannot ignore. This paradox is the dissonance between what the person feels and ‘knows’ from some deep intuitive place inside themselves – that the universe is a good place – and the apparent evidence before them which seems to show the opposite. Confronted with this paradox, it is human nature to ask – why?

Sometimes as the ego gradually matures it will leave the childlike innocence behind in favor of a more dour view of the world; a view where life, meaninglessness and suffering are part and parcel to one another. From this point of view, nothing has meaning. Since the pain one experiences seems to have no meaning, then by extension nothing else does either. With no meaning, all appears random, nothing seems to connect and there appears to be no God. In other words, there appears to be no ‘why’ behind one’s existence. Because thinking creates reality, things keep showing up in one’s life which further confirm this ‘truth’ that it is all meaningless and disconnected. This is the dark night of the soul, the place where connection to the whole is lost. But, as the Persian mystic and poet Rumi so eloquently says: “Many have died searching for You as You hide behind the scenes, but this pain is not for those who come as Lovers.” The lover is the one who is not in resistance, and seeks beauty. Beauty opens the heart chakra which allows unconditional love to return, and from there you return to the joy of being. The answers to the why questions then become less important than the truth of love and connection. It is true many become lost in the dark night on the journey of life, but the key is maintaining the child-like innocence, the connection to unconditional love and joy of being that we all come into the world with. The pain is not for those who come as lovers. As we resolve this paradox, as we follow beauty through the jungle of ‘why?’, the way will become clear.

Blessings on your journey,
Rhea Jamil