Wk 118 – Three Karmas – Yoga is Skill in Action with Loving-Awarenss
Action in Sanskrit is Karma. Karma carries the notion the fruit of your actions, comes back to you, you can’t escape the consequence of your actions. There is always a cause and effect, for every action has a reaction, for every choice has a consequence. The cause behind your current situation is your past Karma. This way of practice is seeing that life is not just happening to you, it is happening for you. That your’e a sum total of all your choices and actions. That your current life is a continuation of the past.
Our opportunity in any given moment is to be mindful of what is (Cit Shakti) listen to our innate wisdom (Jnana Shakti), tap into the resource of energy we have (Iccha Shakti) to make better choices to serve our intention, purpose, desires that lead us closer to spirit, our truth and lasting fulfilment in our lived experience and it is said to have an impact on the quality of our future and future lives.
Hatha Yoga becomes a creative, dynamic activity that you can refine the physical, energetic and mental bodies and gain the ability to spontaneously manoeuvre without hesitation to take make things happen. We discover, in this practice, that to accomplish one’s intentions there has to be effort, practice and exertion, empowered by loving-awareness which is said to be our true nature.
3 Types of Karma
- Prarabhda Karma – Active Karma
- Sanchita Karma – Dormant Karma
- Kriyamana Karma – Potential Karma
You as the Yogi is likened to the Archer. To be a good archer, one needs to practice over and over again refining the skill in making bow and arrows, storing them, choosing the right arrow for the job and aiming then releasing them to the target. Your mindset, posture and what is motivating you all has a place in how skilful you take action to shoot your arrow or not.
Prarabhda Karma is Active Karma likened to the arrow in the bow, the arrows that are in flight and the arrows that either have missed or hit the target. Some of these arrows were released in previous life times as it is the Karma you need to resolve in this lifetime, some of these arrows are of those of your family’s Karma and most are of all the choices you have taken. Some of these arrows miss their target and it is our job to rectify and make amends of the fallout to our poor aim. Some hit the target and fulfils that life affirming purpose.
Sancitta Karma is Dormant Karma. This is represented by the different arrows stored in our quiver of the many different ages in which we have learned how to react or respond to life. For example: If you get triggered by a partner, family member or colleague…you may pull out an arrow of a 6 year old reaction – Tantrum. Or of a 16 yr old reaction – sulk and feel self-piteous and turn into a duvet. Or of a 21 yr old reaction – go to the pub and get bladdered and send drunk emails to everyone having a moan. Or pull out an action of your current age – you breathe, (maybe have a little cry), speak to someone trusted to reason it out and then take wiser more loving action that is aligned to what is most important to you as a Yogi.
We can apply this to the small things and big things. How conscious are you when you react to things in life? There is a saying that the first 35 years of our lives we create our habits and the last 35 years our habits make us. We habitually react as we consistently grab the same arrow when we are emotionally triggered, stress and threatened. It takes a lot of HEAT (Tapas) to wakefully change which arrow we choose. Think about how you immediately react to a bad traffic move, your reaction to someone cancelling last minute, your reaction to unexpected bad news, your reaction to your most triggering family member, your reaction to an asana you don’t like, can’t do well or that opens memories you find hard to manage. You know your predictable arrow you choose. What would it be like to slow down, pause, breathe and consciously choose wisely then respond from a calm space informed by what really matters to you and what would be the best for all involved. What is important? What is most essential? What is useful? Does this bring me closer to what my heart desires or farther away?
Kriyamana Karma is potential Karma that we make. The arrow heads, feathers and sticks we have to assemble the arrows to store in our quiver all to depend on the quality of our mind and presence in the moment of forming those actions. This is why it is important that we practice on and off our mat. We study Yogic Philosophy and apply it to our practice and our life.
There are 5 essential ingredients to be the Archer – Yogi
1. Shraddha – Faith Trust a direct connection to Source
2. Virya – Courage, Quiet Confindence, Self-Belief, Willpower, Stamina
3. Smiriti – Keen Memory to recall what is most important and everything that you have learned
4. Samadhi – Fully Absorb in it all, physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual
5. Prajna – Light of intelligence, unfailing discernment as you have direct access to innate wisdom