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Transcending Karma (#25)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there were 2 holy men traveling together through the countryside. They came upon a beautiful young woman sitting and sobbing by the side of a stream. She said she was afraid of drowning and asked them if they would help her cross to the other side of the water. Without saying a word, one of the monks picked up the girl and carried her to the other side of the stream where he gently put her down. She thanked him and went on her way. The two men then continued their journey. After a while, the monk said to the one who had carried the young woman, "How could you do such a thing? We have taken vows of chastity. It is forbidden to even talk to a woman let alone touch one." The other monk lovingly replied, "When I came to the other side of the stream, I put her down. Why are you still carrying her?"

What have you been carrying around that you should have put down and left behind? Do you still harbor feelings of regret, anger, hate, disappointment, or any other negative adjectives or adverbs that apply, for events, people, or things that are not here, now? Why do you do this masochistic activity?

Life can be equated with a boat ride taking you from one shore to another. As the boat goes across the water, it leaves a wake in its path. This wake represents your past. And just like the wake a boat leaves behind doesn’t propel the boat forward at all, your past doesn’t drive you towards the other shore. What’s done is done if you will be done with it. If you don’t face the front of the boat and place your attention in the present moment, you will not be able to avoid running into the icebergs and other potential hazards that could jeopardize your trip through life. Your karma is fulfilled and up to date at all times. Your clinging to the past and fantasizing about the future is what keeps you paying a karmic debt. Simply attend to this moment and witness the path your boat is traveling. This is action free of reaction and further karma.

Relax. Melt into your most comfortable meditative posture. Focus on your breath and feel and witness its entry, retention, and leaving. Let your body establish a comfortable rhythm. Visualize your great grandparents in your mind’s eye. See them be born, have events take place in their lives and eventually give birth to your grandparents. Visualize your grandparents be born, see them have events take place in their lives and eventually give birth to your parents. Visualize your parents being born and see them go through the events in their lives that eventually included giving birth to you.

As clearly as possible, without reacting physically, emotionally, or mentally, allow the movie of the events of your life to unfold on the inner screen of your mind’s eye. Witness the events as unattached as the monk was who carried the woman over the stream. And just like him, leave your attachments to all the events that have resulted in your being here, now. Know that you are now in the boat ride of your life and that to look back is to reattach to your ancestors and your own karma and all the suffering that clings to it. Look ahead free of karma, enjoy the ride, and live happily ever after.

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