not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Karma (and Lila)

In lecture this week we have been covering Karma, from a (Rajanaka) Tantra point of view. From the tantric perspective, we actually study two words that create the whole...."Karma & Lila". Karma is something that we often talk about, but Lila is the (neglected) red headed step-sister. They are different sides of the same coin. Ya dig? Karma is the invitation to take responsibility and Lila (pronounced Lee-La) is the idea that anything can happen at any time, for no reason whatsoever. The three considerations of karma are causality (the relationship of cause and effect), accountability (if you strike a match, you'll get fire), and consequence (taking responsibility). The Tantric view of Karma believes that good things can happen to bad people, and bad things can happen to good people- and there's no rhyme or reason to it. This is Lila. The belief is that there is no one keeping track of the good and the bad, no karmic "tally" determining your rebirth. You could be a great person in this life and you could come back as a rat or horseshit in your next life.

Let's get back to Karma. We do have a certain "karma" in this life, as in, we have certain innate gifts that we were given. Alas, it is up to us as to whether or not we want to cultivate, hone, and pursue these skills. Notice that effort must be put in to co-create the life we want to lead. We live in an entropic Universe....where everything is falling apart. [Therefore] we have to actively and skillfully engage and participate in the world to create our existence.

So my Karma is to be a teacher (my innate gift). I'm a kind, fun-loving, outgoing person- which opens a lot of doors for me (this is an example of causality: cause and effect). I teach a great class, so my classes are full (accountability: trusting cause and effect to create results). And I work damn hard (consequence: responsibility), which has helped me to get where I am today.

The other side of the coin is Lila. Oh Lila, you little bitch. Again, Lila is the understanding that anything can happen, at any time, for no reason whatsoever. On a light hearted note, it's just like synchronicity, or serendipity. There's three elements to Lila which are entanglement (the Universe is innately playful, and everything is connected), randomness (stuff just happens...without reason, cause or purpose), and the lucky (sometimes life simply lines up). Lila invites us into uncertainty...which, if you asked me one week ago, I would tell you freaked me out. But now I don't look at uncertainty with as much anxiety. "Maya" means illusion, and it was always used in a negative context- but tantra sees it as good. Maya (Illusion) is an example of "rahasya"'s an opportunity for some truth to be revealed. Basically you can bake bread every day, using the same ingredients and same oven, but every once in a while you're going to have a loaf that turns out a bit different than the usual. Yes, the ingredients were the same. The process was the same. You did everything correct. There's no reason for it...simple that anything can happen at any time for no reason whatsoever. And this brings me comfort. Tantra says yeah- ask up- engage the higher power- but know that sometimes shit happens. Sometimes the bread doesn't turn out fluffy and chewy and delicious like usual.nAnd you're not being punished, or rewarded. It just is what it is, and in this entropic universe in which we are trying to create order, sometimes shit just happens. Just because. And today, this brings me comfort. To know that when things go wrong it's not because it's the will of God. It's not because I'm being punished by the higher powers that be because I was an a-hole in a past life, or speaking more presently, that I was having negative thoughts about someone I knew. No, sometimes when things go wrong they just do. So kudos to me for keeping it together in a world that's naturally falling apart. And hooray for the good luck that has simultaneously fallen into my lap. Life is amazing!

No comments:

Post a Comment