Karma is the principal of cause and effect. All one’s thoughts and actions have a direct effect on one’s life and the lives of others in some way. There are three types of karma. One is the karma that has been stored and will manifest in the future, usually in a future lifetime. The second is the karma that was created in the past that is playing out now, and the third is the karma that is being created now through current thoughts and deeds.

Karma is benevolent, not vindictive. It is as simple as tossing a stone in a pond and creating ripples that vibrate out from the point of entry. The movement of one’s mind creates karma. There are impressions, both conscious and unconscious in the mind, that continually create new thought waves. The action and impressions of these thoughts result in forming new impressions, in Sanskrit called samskaras.

Karma allows for healthy transformation and liberation. It gives opportunity for practicing patience and presence. One is never a victim to karma if one understands that having created our current experiences we have the ability to create anew. The key is to view feelings of pain or pleasure with neutrality, since they are passing, and to realize that as the habits that created these experiences are gleaned one can begin to alter rather than repeat the cycle. We are never bound by the situations we created, because we have the option in each moment to choose and shift our karmic experiences.

Karma is open and expansive. Even though it manifests from an individual’s choices no one creates karma alone. It is an interconnected experience. There is responsibility and opportunity in each present moment as it affords a set of options to choose from. After acknowledging the present situation, there is a great opening to build the energy of favorable karma for oneself that will inevitably affect the well-being of others. Choosing an altruistic way is a good investment for the future.

Remember, karma is not something that is done to you to harm or punish you. There is no judgment in karma. It is more like a mirror that reflects what is. It is best not to have any attachment to the outcome of intentions or actions. Neutrality and nonattachment diminish the tendency for creating agitating karmic waves or samskaras. Karma has its own timing. Being interdependent, karmic results will happen when the right set of circumstances appear. A steady practice of meditation is helpful for giving one the discipline of presence to watch the nature of experience and have the clarity to use will or volition to progress in health and balance.

If the idea of karma has crept into your life and brings you fear or anxiety, remember its nature is innocent and changeable. All sentient beings work in the realm of karma, which is nothing more than the movement of energy. It is an available tool for evolving if your perspective and understanding of it is not based on superstition, but rather free will.