Friday, November 4, 2011

Introduction on Karma "My Journey"

“When all things are seen equally the timeless
Self-essence is reached”
Introduction on Karma

I have written this book because it is deeply felt and believed that it contains the knowledge to change your life towards a much more positive direction and to potentially lead us all toward global peace. I realize this is a bold statement; however, at the very least, it will most assuredly guide us to individual peace. Why? Because we simply do not fully understand the long term impact each of us has upon the other, upon our world civilizations, and upon consciousness itself. You may ask me, “Well, how do you know?” May I share with you how this idea came to me, or more precisely, how I came to this idea? I was taught this knowledge by several extraordinary teachers and Masters in the Far East.

Just how did I end up in the Far East, 14,000 miles from home, as a neophyte under the direct tutelage of the Masters? My journey began as an Army sergeant while serving in a Vietnamese village, Quang Ngai, in support of the Vietnamese 2nd Armored Division. During a walk in the village one morning, I turned a street corner and instantly locked eyes with a robed man walking on the opposite side. He scurried across to meet me and softly stated matter-of-factly, with our eyes still locked, “Young man, if you do not learn to use your gift, it will destroy you.” Without question, he got my attention. With the personal invitation by Master Hanh, what began as a benign curiosity quickly became my place of refuge and inner growth as I settled into a schedule of frequent visits to his Zen monastery, nestled amidst this war-torn country and close to the village. From this benevolent, humble teacher, I came to understand and value my inner tuition, or intuition, to follow my heart and the urges or impulses from within me. What can now be admitted through hindsight, intuition has further led me into very interesting experiences critical to my inner growth and understanding as it could for each and every one of us in our world. It is the old adage of follow your heart or more importantly follow what you feel on the path of life. Little did I realize how this experience was going to affect my life in a few years to come as most of us do not either? We simply do things without realizing the long term effects. Yet we could if we use what is contained within the pages of this book because all the effects of our lives are our cause!

The GI Bill provided me the opportunity to attain an undergraduate degree after my service enlistment; yet, six months prior to my graduation, I began to feel an urge to go to a place I had never been, India, let alone thought of. As my graduation date approached, the urge grew so strong that I just knew I absolutely had to make this journey, that there was much for me to learn. I realized it was that intuitive sense guiding me and for me to follow. Having sold all my worldly belongings except for a few personal effects, a sleeping bag and a backpack, I bought an open-ended ticket and flew to India three days prior to my commencement ceremony! As I found out later, I had bought the trip of a lifetime.

Although it appeared I was just following my nose upon landing in Delhi, in truth my intuition, the urge, was guiding each step of my way, for I simply departed the plane, walked to baggage claim to pick up my gear, then headed out from the terminal not knowing what was ahead, for either a mile or an inch. Following only my inner guidance, I was not consciously thinking about my destination, for I simply traveled either by foot or hitchhiked. One day I entered the state of Rajasthan, skirting the edge of the desert region known as the Punjab. “Whoa, how did I get here,” I asked myself when I became aware of my surroundings. I reflected upon days past and realized an inexplicable pattern had taken shape. As each night approached, I would find myself arriving at a village wherefrom a family would invite me to join them, offering me food and a place to sleep. To this day, I remain most grateful to all the families which were so wonderful and giving to me, a young American stranger. Each morning, just before I was about to leave the village, an elderly man (a different man each day, mind you) would approach me, only to squat and begin drawing a stick or finger map in the fine silt in front of my feet. Not knowing what else to do or where else to go, I took a leap of faith with the “road” map in my mind, following its direction. By accepting this so-called daily ritual, I had reached the northern fringes of the Punjab. One day, I was thirsty for some tea and just so happened to walk by a roadside shop which offered green tea, so I placed my order. With my cup of hot tea in hand (no Lipton’s Iced Tea in this part of the world,) I sauntered over to a shady, tree-side table next to the silt road and became transfixed to the scene before me, watching travelers pass by on whichever mode of transportation they used, be it an elephant, camel, horse drawn cart, rickety bicycle, on foot, in a bus. As long as it worked and as long as they traveled, moving ever forward, I sensed their mode of choice was irrelevant. Having become so engrossed by the dust swirls and eddies created by this advancing human menagerie, I never noticed the two monks approaching, sitting down close behind me.

I was awakened from my reality show when I heard someone announce, “We have been waiting for you.” Paying no mind to his statement since no one knew I was there, I figured the man was greeting a friend, so I continued watching the passersby. “Your name is Steven, is it not?” the same voice asked. The hairs on my neck sprang full upright as the hair on a cat’s arched back as I slowly turned around, expecting Rod Serling to begin his narration for the next Twilight Zone episode! However, my eyes gazed into the softest, gentlest, deepest brown eyes I had ever seen. After the shock wave dissipated I answered warily, “Yes? How do you know my name?” The peaceful monk looked at me with an approving smile and simply repeated, “We have been waiting for you.” I’m certain I looked totally dumbfounded at the gentle monks, as I had not realized anyone knew I even existed there. Yet, here they were sitting behind me, two monks claiming they have been waiting for an American named Steven who had never been to this part of the world! “We began focusing on you six months ago,” the same monk informed me. “What? -- NO! -- Wait a minute,” I shouted to myself in shock when I remembered my inner urge had also begun precisely six months prior. I know how incredulous this all sounds and I totally understand your skepticism. I admit again that, as each day progressed during that six month period, my inner urge overwhelmed logic and reasoning to the point that I simply had to go to India. My first teachers taught me to follow what I felt and here I was in complete shock now knowing why I was told this.

            So it came to be, at a roadside shop in “No Town” India, that Master Lobsang and Master Kiela came to greet me, introducing themselves and informing me that I had come to learn ancient knowledge, traditions, and a human known as Issa. I asked, “But how did you contact me? No one called.” They settled into a talk on consciousness, beginning with “We are all energetically connected in this higher realm.” You see, consciousness was behind it all, from my six-month urge, to the village families, even to the men giving me directions. Consciousness is an extremely powerful tool in order to connect all these events, which at first would never seem to fit; yet, they did work together, perfectly merging to create my individual experience. Needless to say, my eyes widened as I became intensely riveted on this idea. How can anyone use this? Why was this not more commonly known?

I had many questions which they desired to answer, so they suggested I follow them. What I had initially thought to be a two to three-month trip turned into one which lasted for many years, traveling and spending time in many different eastern monasteries throughout India, Nepal and Tibet. While there, I learned hundreds of ideas and concepts, including the twelve principles of Karma and our interaction with them. Once internalized, these principles changed my life forever, giving me such a remarkable perspective on myself, people, and life, showing me why events actually took place and the precise manner in which they occurred. It has allowed me, as it will for any individual, to see all others simply for who they are, not by how we judge them to be. In truth, it actually removes the ability for us to judge, totally, because we begin to look through the eyes of truth. It is my personal desire to share this information with you. If each individual took the time to not only learn the principles, but also to live by them, they could attain self-mastery, learning what self-mastery truly means and to which it entails. Let us begin this journey as though we are learning to become a monk by what they are taught in the Eastern world; in other words, our first class, Monk 101, starts our journey through the twelve steps to self-recognition and self-mastery.

            It is time to introduce you to the prime Principle of Life, the principle most of us seem to disregard; yet, we should not. It is as real as the human itself, and just as real as my initial experience in India. The Prime principle is that of Consciousness, not only individual consciousness, but also mass consciousness. Do you believe in the idea of consciousness? If not, please realize that Quantum Theorists now use this very principle in many equations! In Monk 101, we all learn that we are pure consciousness in the flesh and that we are purely and simply connected, not only to each other as human beings, but also to all things, including flora and fauna, the animal kingdom, our world, even stretching out into the entire cosmos. I understand how this may appear improbable; yet, it is the truth. Whether you accept this concept is totally irrelevant. Truth remains, for all things are inseparably connected. One may not live without the other, for this is how we realize life and learn, through this inner-connectedness we each possess. If not so, then how do we know at times what another person is feeling, or know what another person is even thinking? Consider what happens when you think of someone you have not seen for quite awhile, perhaps asking yourself, “I wonder how he or she is doing?” Do you not run into them seemingly by coincidence, or hear from them in some way? Playfully put, you made a head call, whereby you connected your consciousness with theirs in essence you matched their vibration in that moment and connected! I personally know because of how the initial contact began and grew when Master Lobsang and Master Kiela first connected with me, joining their consciousness to mine.

So what is this consciousness thing? How and where are we all connected because of it? As an example, do you realize each grain of sand must be connected to the other, that only from this connection can the grains of sand make up the beach?  Do you believe the waves are separate from the beach?  They are not actually.  The waves must also be directly connected because they fashion the beach to exactly what it is, constantly shifting each grain of sand on and off the shoreline during the ebb and flow of the tide, as we gaze upon it. The beach may not exist without the waves because each requires the other, one creating the other, to provide the beautiful scene before us.  They are simply connected. Are there any other connections out there? Absolutely! The entire cosmos operates in the exact same manner. Would life exist without the sun? Would our planet keep its orbit without the magnificent gravitational pulls from the moon, the precise number of planets, and the sun? Though we are millions of miles apart physically, we remain connected. This holds true for all things, even though we honestly think all things are separate simply because they appear that way. This sense of separateness is, in fact, an illusion. Let’s now go a step further. We, as the human observer, are also connected to the beach, the waves, and the entire cosmos. Why? We are one with them because our view has created the whole scene as our reality.

Now, how about the clarity of consciousness? Imagine if you will a crystal clear pool of water wherein we can easily see the bottom no matter its depth. Now imagine that each thought we have is either a crystal clear drop of water or a fine brown speck of silt, the drop representing higher divine thought forms such as love and peace, and the speck representing lower thought forms such as hate, anger, fear, hurt, “I am better than you.” Both the higher and lower forms contribute to our personal pool; however, if we place more specks of silt into our pool than clear drops of water, accumulating over the days, weeks, months, and even years of our lives, we will eventually replace our clear pool of consciousness with silt, thereby becoming trapped within this quicksand of individual consciousness. So ask yourself now, which have you placed more into your pool, crystal clear water drops or fine brown specks of silt? The truth is, for the vast majority, our pool contains nearly equal amounts of both. Can it be filtered and cleansed to its original crystal clear state, or are we stuck with what we now have? I answer in detail this question as we progress through Karma and its principles. I’ll give you the simple answer right now: yes it can!
I would like to give my readers the overall picture by taking this concept of connectedness yet a step further, moving from our individual pool of consciousness to the idea of mass consciousness, the accumulation and contribution of all our mind and thoughts, converging in one gargantuan global pool of pure, crystalline consciousness. Each living human, without exception, contributes to this original magnificent pool of clarity, the crystal pool of collective mind, adding to it each moment every day through our every thought. Aside from our spiritual self, we are each indelibly connected through mass consciousness, and considering what we individually have furnished this so-called super mind, one can easily understand the state of our world, for all our thoughts accumulating over the millennia have simply produced the Karmic return for the world’s current condition! Ask yourself; are you at peace or at odds with our world? Peace contributes crystal clear drops; whereas, the other contributes specks of silt, both kinds creating a return action as suggested in a variety of ways, in many languages, by all Masters throughout time. Put another way, this global pool is affected by what we contribute to it, and contains the power to create global peace through our clarity, or global conflict through our silt, a purely conscious choice which each of us make perpetually. You see, if we exist, so does collective consciousness. If we have life, so does consciousness. If we have consciousness, so do all things; therefore, global consciousness itself has life. Truly, consciousness gives us life.

I sincerely hope every individual who welcomes what is offered within these pages may attain this higher level of self-realization and their individual connection with not only others, but also with all life. The apparent difficulty we have in readily accepting this idea is that we look at other humans and all things with a pair of eyes through which we physically view separation. In truth, however, separation is an illusion. Yes, just as the pillars of the Parthenon are separate, so also are we -- physically speaking. But, in every other aspect, we are connected with each other for the purpose to create collective strength and inner growth, contributing only clear drops of water by living in divine grace. This is the idea of living within the walls of a monastery and is the essence of Monk 101, to understand that we all, individually and collectively, contribute to consciousness, thereby creating our individual and global reality, respectively.

Being part of the whole, as grains of sand are part of a shoreline, we have yet to fully realize our ability, the ability to think and choose with the unwavering understanding that each choice drops and accumulates in the pool of consciousness, creating a direct ripple of consequence based in the ever present twelve Karmic principles, of which the Masters are relentlessly aware. In truth, whether we place a brown thought of drifting silt or a clear thought of crystalline water into the pool, its like kind returns to us. Need any return consequence be filled with silt, or negativity? Absolutely not; in fact, only clear, crystalline consequences may return if we simply have only loving intentions behind all we think, say, and do! In general, Western culture does not because, unfortunately, no one thinks a return consequence will happen unless they make it occur, which is a great falsehood, for the ancients have told us there is no thing and no one above the Law, the Law of Karma.

Under this Law there are twelve separate concepts or principles which all work in union. The purpose of this book is to not only share them with you, but to also offer as much detail as possible, explaining how they work and relate to each other. May this book offer you knowledge of the ancient traditions by monastic teachings from the Far East, expanding you and your purpose in reality. The last question to consider before I continue is this, “What do you contribute to the overall consciousness of our world?” This dynamic alone could totally shift our world if we simply realize what we do contribute, and that we can change our contribution! This alone is such a simple and infallible concept in all its respects.

In the Far East they have a meaningful two-word phrase, Shanti Satyam, which simply means that truth brings you peace, freeing you from the bonds of life. Become peace. Do not just think it. Don the cloak and clothing of a peaceful being and your life will transform into one filled with peace and, as each individual adorns themselves thusly, the entire world could become enveloped in peace from our connection to mass consciousness, thereby ending conflict for all time.

From “The Twelve Sacred Principles of Karma” by Steven L. Hairfield