Good Karma – Bad Karma, What is it All About?



Many of us have heard about Karma throughout our lives, but what is it all about?  There is good Karma and bad Karma, but how and where does it all come from you might ask.  Let’s take a deeper look at it here and see if I can help put some perspective on it for you.

Definition of Karma

First we will take a look at how Wikipedia defines Karma:

“Karma – means action, work or deed;[1] it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).[2] Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering.[3][4] Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Asian religions.[5] In these schools, karma in the present affects one’s future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives – one’s”

Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Asian religions.

This to me is a very interesting definition, as it touches on the well known side of Karma but also clues you in to it’s deeper side.  I think that most of us look at it as if we do good things then good things will happen to us or visa versa with bad things.

However, I think the most important part of this definition is the first 4 words:  action, work or deed.  What this is stating is that for everything that we do, every action we take, all the work we do, all of the deeds that we have committed will have an effect on our lives.  Whether they are positive or negative, we are creating our lives with our choices.

Karma is a Lot Like Farming

Karma is a lot like farming where all of your actions are like seeds being planted in the ground.  As we continue along our life’s journey, we are constantly planting new seeds, tending to the ones that have begun to sprout and grow, and finally harvesting the results in the end.

Being mindful is a very important step in learning how to plant better seeds of Karma.

This is how you can create a much more positive life for yourself by being mindful of the seeds that your are planting.  Remember that everything you do is putting a seed in the ground and the more positive you are with this, the better your odds will be to have a good life.

Let’s see if we can apply some numbers to this here to help hone in on the right perspective.  I will use round numbers here for the sake of easiness.

Let’s say that in a given day you have 100 actions or seeds to plant.  If half of the seeds are positive and half are negative, then you will have a 50/50 shot of creating positive moments in your life to come.  Half of the time you will get good effects and the other half will be negative.

Now though as you begin to practice being mindful you increase the positive seeds up to 75 and only have 25 negative ones.  Now you have a much better chance, 75%, to have a positive effect versus a negative one.

I think you can see now why it is important to tip the scales into your favor with your daily activities.  Keep in mind that it is a process that you will have to learn, but with each step that you take it is another positive seed planted.

Karma and the Golden Rule

Karma is the great enforcer when it comes to the Golden Rule.  You see if you live your life by this rule, you really cannot enforce it as you would then be breaking said rule.  However this is the part where Karma steps in and takes care of things for you.

Learn to accept and let go of any grudges.

The biggest challenge to allowing Karma to be the enforcer is that we normally do not get to see it come to fruition.  That has to be something that we accept and learn to let go of any grudge held against the other.  When you learn that the universe will sort all things out as needed, you will be one step ahead in the process of enlightenment.

There are times though when you will get what my family and I like to call an “instant Karmatic reaction”.  This is when karma steps right up to the plate and serves itself up immediately after the initial action.  A nice light hearted example of this would be:

“My youngest son Alex came into the room where several of us were sitting around socializing.  He had this odd little smirk on his face as he was trying to play cool as he inched closer to his mother.  Then he snatched up her cell phone from her and turned to run out of the room quickly, however this is where Karma stepped in.

He received an instant Karmatic reaction as his foot got caught up on the rug on the floor.  This sent him spiraling to the ground and he was caught!”

We all had a good laugh, but I did also take the time to explain to Alex that this is exactly why he should have just asked nicely to borrow his mother’s phone versus trying to make off with it like a bandit.  My oldest son coined the phrase that it was nice to see an instant Karmatic reaction like that.

Allowing Karma to do the Job

It is important for you to forgive other’s for their negative actions.

One perspective that I would like to bring up here is that it is very important to allow Karma to it’s job without willing it to do so.  What I mean by this is that it is important for you to forgive other’s for their negative actions and to move on in your life without wishing ill will to them.

When you are actively trying to create the Karma for the other person you are not only breaking the Golden Rule yourself, but you are also gaining negative Karma for yourself that will need to be resolved.  When you are unable to forgive the other party for their transgression it is just like spinning your tires in the mud, you don’t end up getting anywhere and just make a big mess.

All Karma Needs to be Resolved

All of the good and bad Karma will come full circle to be resolved.

Every seed that you plant will grow, whether it is quickly or slowly, and will be harvested by you at some point.  All of the good and bad Karma will come full circle back to you to be resolved and that my friend is why it is so important to always be striving to plant the positive seeds.

This is where Karma can also take a much deeper aspect as it has been linked with reincarnation.  I have seen videos, read books and researched in general about this topic and I can very easily see how it can transfer from a previous life to a current one.  For example:

“In a previous life the soul was incarnated as a man that was a very heavy womanizer.  He never learned from his mistakes in that life and died before that Karma was resolved.  Now in his current life the soul has reincarnated as a woman with very deep insecurity issues.”

As you can see here Karma can wrap around from life to life and have a profound effect on our current state of being.  So again, whether or not you believe in reincarnation, I still want to stress how important it is to be mindful of your daily actions and the Karma that will need to be resolved from them.

Sharing Our Stories

Share your perspective and help others see the puzzle!

While writing this article, I had many little synchronicities to help reinforce what I was doing.  I found myself in a couple tricky situations over the last few days, but each time a simple and easy answer presented itself to solve each problem.  This to me was a reinforcement of living my life by the Golden Rule and allowing Karma to sort things out.

I would love to hear how Karma has played a role in your life and how understanding it has allowed you to grow.  Please share a story with us in the comment section below.  Each story shared adds a new perspective allowing all the visitors here to learn just a little bit more.

Still looking to learn more about Karma?  Try this Karma Guide Audio Series.

James W D

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10 Replies to “Good Karma – Bad Karma, What is it All About?”

  1. Great outlook on Karma! You are so right about the farming analogy. It’s true, when you plant positive seeds they grow! It’s crazy how I can set a goal/feel for the day when I wake up, and by keeping the positive going, I have a great day. Easy too though for the opposite, and boy can it be tough to get outta the negative places.

    My favorite instant Karma is getting passed rudely by a car and seeing them pulled over a few miles down the road:)

    • Abrielle, I have always thought the farming analogy was a great way to help people understand Karma. I also agree that it can be hard to get out of a rut when you find yourself in a negative run. However, the first step in that is becoming aware of the situation and then taking conscious steps in a positive direction. You don’t always have to flip the switch and go to all positive, but just start taking those steps and it will lead you back to where you want to be.

  2. I love the idea of Karma, and try to live my life well so that I always have good things come back around to me. It’s hard to tell you of a story of how I’ve been effected by good or bad Karma because you really don’t know when it comes back.

    When good things happen however, I look up to the sky and say thank you, and when I have bad things happen, I work hard to remember what I could have done that would inflict me with such a negative situation or event.

    I know I need to work on “letting go” and “forgiveness”. They are my 2 worst traits. Reading your post here about good Karma and bad Karma just reinforced the need to do so.

    Thank you for such a valuable post

    • Debra, I can understand how letting go and forgiving can be a challenge. However I know that you can do it as I was able to overcome the same challenge. One thing I will point out is to be mindful of the words you use. Stating that they are your worse traits is telling your mind how bad it is at them, where as stating that you are working on improving them tells your mind that it is getting better at them! See the difference?

      • Absolutely, stating that they were my worst traits reinforced that they will continue to be that because I recognize them as such. A rather vicious circle!

        Stating “that I am working on these traits or that my goal is to be better at releasing resentment or anger and forgiveness” is a positive affirmation that I can and will do it; that I can envision the action.

        I do understand your point, and I appreciate your insight. I think I’ll keep you around. LOL I look forward to reading more of your posts.

        • Glad that I was able to get through to you and that you appreciated my perspective. It is something I learned a long time ago when it came to remembering people’s names. I always said I was bad at it until someone told me to stop saying that. When I changed to saying I was working on it I got much better!

          Looking forward to being able to share my perspectives with you and I hope that we can continue to grow together!

  3. Thank you for this great post, very well built. 🙂 I understand Karma much better now.

    The comparison with farming reminded me of the quote by Charles Reade – “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

    • Ken, I am glad that I was able to help build your perspective on Karma! A big thank you for sharing that quote as well, I really like it!

  4. I go through spurts of believing in Karma and not believing in Karma. I think the moments I don’t is when I see someone who has always been a pretty horrible person get everything they want while I struggle with everything. Then there are those times where I have done a lot of good deeds, but I don’t seem to be getting any good karma. Maybe I just did way too many bad things when I was younger? Karma just doesn’t seem to work for me or I am just a very unlucky person. LOL!!

    • Kristena, I can certainly understand your viewpoint. All too often it is not easy for us to see, however with time taken to really reflect on your past I am sure that you will see it. Also, don’t forget that we need those bad people in our lives at times to act as a catalyst for us to become better ourselves.

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