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The Dream of Karma

21st August 2018, Author: Nic Higham

The individual can’t let go; letting go is already happening. Surrendering is not a choice or practice; you are surrendered.

Rather than continuing to replenish our storehouse of karma (conditioned patterns of energy, thought, and behavior, along with associated unfulfilled desires and elusive fears) through restless inadvertence and indifference, we live meditatively and inquiringly with a heart of radical mindfulness. Gently investigating our storehouse, even if it feels painful or frightening, makes space for healing and righteousness. We find that our patterns don’t define us, that our fear is due to estrangement from Self, and that our desire is actually a deep longing for Self. Only when this is seen does the karmic dream dissolve. Don’t struggle to relinquish anything; just discern emptiness and impermanence. This has been taught in the ancient Vedantic texts which talk about life’s inherent non-duality (Advaita) as well as in Buddhist sutras. 

Every form yields to the majesty of life

The individual can’t let go; letting go is already happening. Surrendering is not a choice or practice; you are surrendered. Knowing this is true renunciation—it’s the humble detachment from the results of fear-desire actions. To put it another way, surrendering is not an act of will. It isn’t a passive submission but a wise and sane “handing over” to Self; it’s a clear seeing of the actuality of the present moment.

Being at odds with reality, fear avoids surrender because it thinks that is a final death. Desire resists surrender because it sees it as ultimate dissatisfaction. We become afraid of disappearance, and we try to hold onto our imagined personality. This resistance to the normal ebb and flow of things is restless inadvertence. What fear and desire don’t realize is that surrender is perfectly natural: evening surrenders to night, the caterpillar surrenders to the butterfly, breathing in surrenders to breathing out. Even the original embryo surrendered to become your body which will itself one day let go and transform. This deeper understanding of death is the start of true spirituality.


From ‘Living the Life That You Are: Finding Wholeness When You Feel Lost, Isolated, and Afraid’ by Nic Higham

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