A to Z: Karma

Week two, day five of the A to Z Challenge: a quick look at Karma and how it connects to writing.

In perhaps overly simple terms, Karma is the law of moral causation. The Buddha spoke about it. The Bhagavad Gita addresses it. I’m going to stay fairly superficial with it here and just say that Karma recognizes the interconnectedness of all things and that, although the idea of instant Karma is appealing, especially in the west, it isn’t really how it works. Think of Karma as the planting of seeds. Everything we do — every action, thought, word — is a seed, either positive or negative. We are planting all the time. We can’t know when the seeds will ripen. (And we can’t always know what the blossom will look like when the seeds ripen — there’s a whole lot of universe out there to which we’re connected — but we can be sure that the time and bloom fit with the logic of the universe).

Now, think about your story (especially longer ones or novels). Your characters are also wandering about planting seeds. You, the writer, choose which of those seeds to show the reader. Your story is the universe in which your characters operate. Some are more aware of what they are planting than others, but they all fit within the logic. They must. And you must be aware as well. Your readers certainly are. 

So, as you go about your day, try going slowly enough to consider what seeds you are planting instead of operating on automatic as so many of us do each day. Thoughts count. So does your intention in each action. Try on different lenses with ordinary activities and see if you feel that it alters what kind of seed you are planting. For instance, try walking the dog through the lens of just needing to get it done, through the lens of bonding with a fellow creature you love, through the lens of elegance. See what you learn about yourself. See how it might deepen your characters. Imagine your seeds ripening. See what blooms in yourself and in your writing.

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11 responses to “A to Z: Karma

  1. I like the idea of trying to do things and see things through a different lens. Maybe it’ll help me not hate driving to and from places so much.

    Happy A to Z blogging.
    pensuasion.blogspot.com

  2. i really need to watch myself more… its hard!
    and i like your other thoughtful posts and how you relate them to writing. great advice!

  3. This is such a good, and timely, reminder of the workings of Karma. I also love the writing analogy. The A – Z Challenge is great fun; I’m glad to be doing it. Good luck with the rest, Heather; hope to see you around often.

  4. Interesting! I may try that last bit with my poetry… great blog.
    Good luck with the rest of the A-Z! I’m doing animal poems and facts and often a drawing as well, I like to make things hard for myself.

    Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    • Heather Marshall

      Thanks, Liz. You are making things hard, with writing and drawing! Keeps it interesting, though. Good luck to you, too, on the A To Z challenge.

  5. I totally put Karma in my books, although I call it “justice.” I think that’s why I like to write – so I can mete out justice to the deserving.
    Welcome to the blog hop! 🙂

    • Heather Marshall

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I definitely take joy in writing good Karma (or justice) that my characters deserve.

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