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Page 2: Accounting for Good Along With Bad

We are not only accountable for our actions but also our thoughts and words. All actions, good and bad, have their origins in the mind. If you entertain thoughts of anger and hatred, if you indulge in them and allow them to grow, then you will attract that in your life. If you speak harsh and accusing words, or spread gossip, eventually it will come back around to you. Strike out and someone will strike back. There is no way to escape this. If you feel you have been the victim of an unjust act, think back on all the times in your past when you thought you got away with some unpleasant behavior. None of us have lived spotless lives. If you are truly honest with yourself, you will find that you have earned the quality of life you have now, good and bad.

(Article continued below.)

The wonderful part of Karma is that it works in a positive fashion, too. If you spread good, good will return to you. Positive acts work two ways - they help erase past bad Karma and they create good Karma. If you are sincerely kind to other living beings, you will have kindness in your own life. If you can freely be generous, then others will be generous with you. Help and you will be helped. This goes for speech and thoughts, too. Your thinking completely determines who you are. Consider your Yoga sessions - a lot of your ability to master a pose depends on whether you really believe you can do it. If you are able to find a way to overcome negative thinking patterns in general, your life will improve immensely.

There is a secret to creating good Karma, however - you must do good without expecting anything in return. This is the ironic aspect of Karma - you only receive good if you don't ask for it. Most of us have seen the way this works in our own lives - when we expect something, it makes us feel somehow impure, as if any good deeds on our part have been contaminated. And as soon as that feeling seeps in, we almost always don't get what we were expecting. Those who practice Karma Yoga come to understand this on a very deep level. In addition to responsibility, Karma also teaches non-attachment. Karma Yogis take this to heart in their search for enlightenment. They truly know that the world we live in is illusory, and they devote all their good work to the only reality - God.

Those of us who persist in clinging to the beautiful illusion we call life can still reap the benefits of good Karma, as long as we keep expectations at bay as much as possible. Maybe what you've done has negated some bad Karma, or maybe some good will come to you in the future, but does it matter? These are merely side effects of creating good Karma. Any good acts on our part are really their own reward. Look at it from this perspective: any time you've helped someone in need, hasn't it felt great? It's energizing and uplifting. Where does this feeling come from? What does it connect to? And is anything more important than that connection?

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