Does Karma Exist?

Karma is a word that has its roots tracing back millennia to the Buddhism and Hinduism religions. It’s also becoming a word that’s being widely used these days as well. I have heard many in recent times using the phrase “karma’a a bitch…” and have often wondered if those people know what they’re really saying when they verbalize those words. Ironically, many of them are doing behaviors themselves that would constitute the concept of bad karma.

So what is karma? Simply put, it’s the law of cause and effect. Or in easier terms, “one reaps what one sows”. I have been delving into understanding this belief much more over the past few years of my life since making the decision to clean my whole life up on every level.

Up until March of 2010, I had functioned in what could be labeled as doing a lot of negative karma daily. I was very selfish and self-centered and went out of my way to get what I wanted at whatever the price, even if it hurt others. My words were often vicious and nasty to those closest around me. I seduced and maintained relationships with married men. I often lied, cheated, and backstabbed to “move ahead” in life. In doing all of this, I took what Christians label as “free will” to the fullest extent possible. But eventually, I grew more and more miserable. In the midst of all that misery, I prayed to God to go through whatever I needed to go through, to rid myself of all the pain I had caused others and myself, so as to heal and never repeat those behaviors ever again. Within a month, my life had become riddled with tremendous pain and has persisted ever since. Many of the healers and practitioners I have seen, as well as the Shaman I currently use as a spiritual teacher, have all said that my pain is the release of all that negative karma, because I essentially had asked for it in prayer.

Given that it seemed like such a big word to me, I chose to understand karma in a much easier way by making it synonymous with the word energy. Good karma became positive energy and bad karma became negative energy where each could be stored in and around my whole being. So during all those extremely selfish years of my life, I believe I took on a lot of negative energy and unfortunately, I wasn’t doing much in the way of putting out the opposite of that with positive energy. What has been even more frustrating is when I think about the idea of reincarnation. Many of those Eastern religions also believe that a soul can be re-birthed again and again, life after life, solely to learn new spiritual lessons and become more enlightened. Having already had a few past life experiences occur about ten years ago, I have accepted truth to this concept as well. Sadly, though that I have had to come to the belief that many of the negative behaviors I was doing in this life, I was also doing in my previous ones as well. Thus, this has led me to believe that my negative energy release process is both of this life and all previous ones.

So far, I really have no hard core proof to the concept of any of this that I am writing about. But frankly, it is something that keeps me going now because there have been no medical or scientific answers to all the pain and suffering I’ve been going through for over three years now. If truly all of what I am going through is the release of all that negative energy I conceived in this life and previous ones as well, I’m totally for it. That’s only because I believe that on the other side of that release process will be a closer relationship with God where I’m not blocked by desires to go out and live in free will and act out more of the “bad karma” I once regularly did.

If anything, I’m trying to put positive energy, or the “good karma”, out into the universe now through most of what I do each day. The main reason why I write articles, such as this, everyday is to send out more love, hope, and spiritual healing into this world. I often speak about my recovery from addictions at places such as hospitals and detox centers to provide that same thing for those still suffering from addictions. I also try to do kind deeds all the time to brighten up other people’s days. But most importantly, I take time everyday to pray, meditate, and recite mantras to assist in my own release process, and I do everything I can to maintain a healthy body, mind, and soul as well.

So does karma exist? I can’t answer that. But what I can answer though is that at least I know I’m doing now what I can to correct all those former behaviors and actions that I did which added nothing but more pain and anguish to the world and myself. And I’m also doing what I can to love everyone equally a lot more than I ever used to. From taking this new path alone, I can at least say I’m a lot happier than I ever used to be when I was doing what those Eastern religions would classify as a lot of “bad karma”.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Don’t Forget Your Inner Child

I may be in my 40’s now but that hasn’t stopped me from tapping into the little kid that still lives within me. Each and every one of us has a little boy or girl still inside. Unfortunately, too many of us are told to put on our “big boy or girl pants” or to just plain grow up. While in some moments that may be important, there are plenty of others where it’s equally as important to remember and honor one’s inner child.

For years, I neglected my own. During all that time, I hung around people who I allowed to abuse me. In each of those terrible moments, I could feel a little kid inside me crying and wanting to feel loved and accepted. I ignored those pleas and cries and avoided doing most of the things that this little child within liked doing. My whole world gravitated towards being a strict and closed minded adult. As a result, I grew more and more miserable and found it harder to smile about anything. When I finally removed all the people in my life that told me I had to be a certain way, that were toxic, or that didn’t accept me for me, I began to honor my inner child. As time has moved forward since then, I have tried to do things daily that honor this little kid that lives within me.

One of those happens on many mornings where I wake up and grab myself a bowl of some type of cereal and watch cartoons, mostly superhero based. It was something I did throughout all of my childhood that brought me great joy and truthfully still does. There are many other things as well though that I do now to respect the little boy that lives within me who I once did my best to keep tucked away. I go out for gooey ice cream sundaes. I jump up on shopping carts and ride on them when I’m leaving a store. I make goofy faces and odd noises. I play board games. I mix weird food combinations together just to see what it tastes like. I like to make roaring fires and toast marshmallows. I sleep next to a teddy bear. I enjoy telling corny jokes that an eight year old might say. I take great pleasure in playing in the sand at the beach. And well, I could go on and on.

It’s not that I am a kid all the time either. I have learned in my closer relationship with God that life is all about balance. There are times I know I need to be a grown up and there are times I know it’s ok to be a kid. The main point though is allowing both to exist equally. Too many adults are doing what I did for years where they feel as if they need to “act their age” all the time. I have found in doing so, it only brought on more sadness and misery because I neglected a part of someone still living inside me.

I encourage everyone today to take a moment, breathe, and do your best to find and spend some time with your inner child. I’m sure there was at least one time in your life where you loved being a kid and were able to find great happiness and delight in doing something simple. Try to focus in on remembering just one of those things and then do it. You might actually find it brings a huge smile onto your face and allows you to feel something you haven’t felt in a very long time…the joy of being a kid again.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Body And Blood Are For Everyone

On my most recent visit to my partner, I decided to attend his brother’s Catholic church for a Sunday morning service. It had been the first one I had gone to since Christmas. I struggle with organized religion and the structure that comes within most of them so I rarely frequent any service, but given that my partner was working all day, I decided to tag along with his brother’s family.

During the car ride with them to the building where the church service was at, I asked if communion was being held that morning. While I thought the only answer was either going to be a “Yes” or a “No”, what I received instead surprised me. They thought that communion could only be done for those that were Catholic. I had never heard of such of thing as I’ve attended many church services in my life who opened their communion tables up with words stating that everyone was welcomed to come up and receive the sacraments.

I can be a Google fanatic when it comes to not knowing such things so I decided to look up the factual information based upon their claim. Sadly, there was great truth to what they were saying and then some, at least based upon the Catholic religion. From what I read, the long and short of it is that there are a set of five requirements that one has to adhere to in order to receive the sacraments of communion. They were listed as follows:

1. One must be in a state of grace.

2. One must have gone to confession since their last communion.

3. One must believe in transubstantiation (which means one believes that conversion of the body and blood from within occurs when taking them).

4. One must have fasted at least one hour prior to taking communion.

5. One must not be under an ecclesiastical censure (which means not being excommunicated form the church).

I read in more depth about each of those five requirements and frankly, it exhausted me. I definitely failed to meet several of those requirements as based upon the language I read. One description even said that no practicing homosexual was ever supposed to partake in communion. This is the main reason why I continue to refrain from taking part in any organized religion on a daily basis in my life.

In my spiritual path with God, everyone is welcomed, all the time, to come before an “alter” of God and take part in any practice that helps bring on closer to God, such as communion. Each and every day, I ask God to guide me in all my thoughts, words, and actions, and at the end of the day, I do my best to account and pray for release from anything that I may have done that wasn’t in love and light. I also have come to the belief that God brought me here as a gay man to learn how to love those who may not love me and to understand the pain of racism and prejudice. In my heart, I know God sees how much I do everyday to grow closer to him. And to be denied communion because of rules and regulations seems like something that doesn’t come from God, it comes from man.

So ironically, I chose to go this church’s alter and take the sacraments. I asked God as I took them, to bless the Body and Blood as they entered me. I believe that God always welcomes me and continuously has open arms to embrace me. Unfortunately, as I continue to see in society today, organized religion conforms people to restrained mentalities which only persist the fear out there that not all are welcomed before God.

It pains me to say this but there are many people out there who are so misguided and fail to ever find a close relationship with God solely because they are pushed away due to the rules and regulations that organized religion brings. But I will continue to accept things differently in my spiritual journey by trying to help those who might not feel accepted at God’s table. I believe God loves everyone, at all tables that come before God. I believe that everyone, from all walks of life, can receive the Body and the Blood or any other message of love from God. The only rejection that comes at any table before God is what man defines and no one else.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson