By Ruth Lera
The life you are having only exists in this moment.
Conceptually we know that there were moments in the past, and other moments will probably arise in the future (we can’t be completely sure, but the odds are good), but the manifestation of our karma only actually happens in the right now.
However, we don’t need to stress about this because karma isn’t punishment. It is opportunity.
This moment, the only reality that exists, is so very ripe with opportunity. It is ripe with availability to be heart-centered, compassionate, open and aware. An availability that is here for all, but of course only some will harvest.
Mostly we live not in the moment. Our minds are constantly remembering the past or projecting into the future, and this is all illusion—as in it is not real; just a movie playing on the screens of our inner minds.
All of our thoughts are not real. All of them.
Last weekend, as I was walking along the river, I saw an older man sitting on a bench. Looking closer, I saw it was Michael, a man I once knew as a local Real Estate agent. I remembered him telling me he meditated often, and even once lived on the intentional spiritual community of Findhorn.
I went up to him and said hi and reminded him who I was.
I joined Michael on the bench, and he told me he is 84 years old now, and every day he walks to that bench by the river and sits quietly for an hour. He told me he has been on a spiritual path since he had a near death experience crashing a stolen car at the age of 14 years old.
He said he has loved being on a spiritual journey in this human life. In the moment I got to sit next to Michael I knew my positive karma was being harvested. What a gift to get to meet such a man by the river. I offered as much gratitude to whatever parts of the Universe listens to our inner thankfulness for the experience to sit with him.
Then I decided to ask Michael the most profound question I could think of.
“Michael, now that you’re getting closer to the end of this particular journey, and knowing everything you’ve learned, what is your priority?”
Without hesitating Michael answered, “I focus, I just focus.” And then I watched as his gaze drift back to the moving water in front of us.
What else does this moment—the only moment there is—ask of us? It only wants us to focus.
This moment is our karma, and when we focus, we can be intentional with the choices we make. Because our choices matter.
In the book Inner Revolution, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman explains, “In karmic evolution, the successful actions that lead to positive evolutionary mutations such as human life are those of generosity, morality, tolerance, enterprise, concentration and intelligence. Their opposites—stinginess, injustice, anger, laziness, distraction and ignorance—are unsuccessful actions, which lead to negative evolutionary incarnations.”
It is no accident that we are here as humans—every single one of us. We are here to improve our karma. Every moment is an opportunity to do this, but only if we focus can we know how we are directing our karma.
This moment, the only reality there is, holds within it the seeds of all of our past, and all of our future. This moment is our karma, our soul patterning, a reflection of everything that came before this moment, and impacts everything to come in the future.
This moment is crucial, that is why we must ensure we aren’t missing it by disassociating into states of trauma, suffering, blame or shame.
The true goal of the spiritual warrior is to take responsibility for everything happening in our lives. Once we are willing and able to stand in our own power and say, “Yes, this is my life, and I take responsibility that the things happening are my very important personal path, and are no one else’s fault, and can never be someone else’s fault,” then we can do the next very important step towards awakening.
We can relax. And we can trust. That this moment, no matter what karma it holds, is perfect.
Yes, this moment might be challenging. But just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean we need to add the karma of worry and anxiety onto our path.
This contrast of taking full responsibility for every moment of reality while simultaneously completely relaxing is exactly as difficult as it sounds but will brings profound transformation to not just the comfort of your day-to-day life but to the manifestation of your future karma, as well.
This moment is all that you have. Can you relax into it just as it is? This is what this human life asks of us.
Editor: Dana Gornall