What is Karma?

Here is a million-dollar question. The best analogy I have for explaining karma is the ocean. It is an ecosystem of tides, currents, waves, etc all in continuous motion. If you have ever watched the ocean over long periods, you know that it is only loosely predictable and if you do not respect its power you will eventually be shown. Living in Hawaii not a month goes by that a surfer, fisherman or diver isn’t taken by the ocean. These are not tourist they are locals who have grown up with and have intimate knowledge of the water. Rouge waves, quick storms, sharks or most often an unknown cause catch even the best prepared off guard or unable match the opposing forces. Even the most prepared and confident of us can have life overwhelm or catch us off guard.

Relationship to Karma

I was once sitting out on the pier at Daytona Beach early in the morning having a cup of coffee. The day is sunny and the wide gradual sloping sand beach is marked by waves lazily lopping ashore and running up the sand. This broad expanse allowed people to find their own comfortable relationship with the ocean. Your relationship to karma is much like this.

There were three souls who ventured out into the cool water that morning and even they were of two types. The swimmers using it as a force to train against and the surfer who was hoping, if only for a moment, to flow with the action.

Then there were a couple dozen who had waded out waist deep and were trying it on for size. I want to be out here, I want to float, swim or surf, but it is strange and there are so many unknowns. There might be sharks, I’m not that good of swimmer … an entire head full of self-talk as fear and pleasure negotiate. The numbers show that most will retreat while a few will venture further out.

A little further back in the thinning waves and wet sand, running to and fro, are the many children. They have no fear and they have no goal, they are merely having fun while they are allowed. This is also the preference of loose dogs. This is the space many fantasize of occupying permanently and turning into a life. Some even give it a good run for as long as it can last.

Where wet sand meets dry sand are the first fortresses of man, blankets, chairs, umbrellas and coolers. On the blankets are the watchful eyes of both worried and gleeful adults watching the children. Each watching with the eyes of their experience of the ocean. They are there hoping they can regulate the proceedings of the day and no one ventures too far or gets too burnt and remembers to eat and drink.

Behind them safely in the dry sand are gatherings of mostly good-looking people, muscled shirtless boys to men and bikini clad girls to women. They are there to be seen and have fun; there is a lot of distr‘action’ here, but they will never get wet on purpose.

A unique feature of Daytona Beach is behind them is a drivable hard sand road and rows of vehicles, a portable storage locker for some; tailgating at the beach for others complete with grills and TVs. These are the watchers; they want to be here but will only risk a little sand in the floor mats.

Finally, behind that is the ultimate fortress of beach front hotels 1000s of rooms and balconies to purvey the entire scene. Safe and sound with the illusion of ruling over the sands and seas.

Everyone finds their place and juxtaposition. Of course, the masses are in the cities sprawling out across the land and will never think of the beach or their relationship to it today.

Relative Reality

Continuing the analogy, nice calm and sunny days are only one of the choices at the beach. We all know … next


Thank you for reading! Please follow Everyday Karma and check out my other publication The Zentrarian.

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May your life go well.