Living in Karma

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under blog, Chapter 12

While visiting various people in Nepal and Bhutan we were told repeatedly by both Hindu and Buddhist how they strongly believed in Karma—the concept that there is a fundamental law of nature that rewards or punishes a person because of their “thoughts, words and actions” in this life and sometimes in the next life. In my opinion, this belief system is more sensible than the common Western religious focus on a reward or punishment you’ll receive in the hereafter. With Karma, the focus is on what you can do to make your life, and the lives of those around you, better now, in the life you’re presently living.

We saw the results of this belief many times through the wonderful actions of the people in both Nepal and Bhutan. We actually ended up in a light-hearted disagreement with our very friendly and funny cab driver, Mr. Pandey, while he drove us around in Kathmandu. The issue was how much we would pay him for driving us around all day. We were trying to pay him more and he was demanding less–bet that doesn’t ever happen in New York City!

I think Mr. Pandey truly understood the value of karma and how what he did now would come back to him in this life. I’m sure that thought was what motivated him. What he probably didn’t know, was that his generosity also encouraged the creation of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin which gives a major boost to our sense of well-being and fulfillment. (I talk a lot about this in chapter 12 of “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. See on page 145 in particular). I’d guess Buddha was a bit of a scientist way back in the 5th century BC, even if he didn’t know exactly what the ‘energy’ that flowed through a good and generous person was.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone believed in, and acted on, the concept of Karma? I believe we all need to think more about Kama so our thoughts, words and actions help the world and ourselves now and maybe not think so much about our rewards in the next life. Because if there is an afterlife, there would be no better measure of a person than how well they lived each and every day of this one.

The $2 High

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under blog, Chapter 12

Last week I went on a hike to get some exercise, looking forward to the great feeling that the increase of serotonin and dopamine bring on from the exercise. In my pocket I had a handful of $2 bills which I give out to kids because it always brings a huge smile and a sincere thank you and I get a big boast myself from seeing how happy it makes them.

So while enjoying the beautiful sights of Millcreek Canyon, I passed a couple and their daughter. The little girl was crying because she had fallen on the trail. As I passed by I told the her “Be sure to keep your eyes on the trail for paper litter and if you pick some up you will be TWO lucky.” I then dropped a $2 bill a few feet on. The girl saw it, picked it up, her scrapes forgotten, and excitedly showed her parents. I kept on hiking, a big smile on my face, but soon heard them talking to another hiker about what I’d done, which made me smile even more.

A little while later I passed a slightly older girl and told her the same thing. When I dropped the $2 bill she very sweetly let me know I had dropped it. I told her to keep it for good luck. I passed this girl and her parents on the way back down and her parents stopped me, thanking me over and over and again and said their daughter thought I was an angel. That made my broad smile into an even broader grin that just wouldn’t leave my face.

By the time I’d gotten to the end of the trail, I was incredibly high on all the joy my little gestures produced as well as from the exercise. I couldn’t stop thinking about how something as small as a $2 bill could make both the giver and receiver so happy. We all go to great lengths to find a little happiness, something that makes us feel good or let’s us know what we do is worthwhile. And yet some of the smallest gestures can do this very thing, not just for you but also for others.

Take a look at Chapter 12 “The Benefits of a “God- Eye View” in my book, “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. And take a moment here and there to make someone’s day and yours as well.

The Benefits of a “God’s-Eye View”

August 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Chapter 12

A few years ago I watched the twoWilliams sisters (Venus and Serena) duke it out in the Finals of England’s famousWimbledon Tennis Tournament. I couldn’t help but put myself inside their father’s head as he watched his two daughters battle hard, one trying to beat the other. All I could think about was that the only way Richard Williams could sit and watch the match was as if he were God. Obviously, he cared about both his daughters, and loved them both equally and deeply. He couldn’t help but cheer for both of them—be proud of both of them. And, it probably didn’t matter to him who won the match. When you’re a parent, you start learning the “God lesson” or you begin to develop a “God perspective” on many things—or what I call a “God’s-Eye View” or simply GEV.

Having a GEV allows you to see both sides of most, if
not all issues. You can rejoice with the winner and at the
same time you share the pain of the loser.