The Best Reason to Practice

By Justin Stone December 1992, ©The Vital Force

KARMA is an important and frequently-used word, so it is important to understand what it means. In the Sanskrit language, KARMA means “action”, that and no more. So, when we glibly speak of “our Karma”, we really mean the fruit of our action, not the action itself. Even this is not totally correct. The motivation behind our action is what establishes our Karma which is a result and not blind destiny.

Usually the motivation that causes us to act is the result of our established Habit Patterns (“Vashanas” in Sanskrit). This is Cause and Effect. We establish patterns of thought and reaction, and these, formed by ourselves, coerce us into acting in certain ways. So we have created the very force which molds us. Should we not be careful in our thoughts and the habits we create?

There is always a result, neither “good” nor “bad” (which can be seen as “favorable” or “unfavorable” from a personal viewpoint) that is appropriate to the action. When a gun is fired, there is a recoil commensurate with the force of the shot. This adequately explains KARMA for us.

People usually believe, not what is logical, but what they want to believe. Thus their actions are rationalized. This has no effect on the inexorable KARMA, which is not concerned with sentiment or rationalization.

As one practices [T'ai Chi Chih], the quality of the CHI definitely changes. So many say “I really can’t remember what I was like before TCC.” As the CHI is circulated and balanced, habit energies tend to fade and one no longer feels compelled to follow dubious paths of action. One now feels more in control of (and responsible for) his or her actions.

This is “burning the Karmic seeds.” It is the best reason I know to practice TCC, aside from the joyful feeling such practice brings. The serenity and better health are the results of this balancing and circulation. And it is so easy to accomplish!

Justin Stone
Reprinted with permission from The Vital Force, December, 1992