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.