How many times have you heard the word karma and yet find that most cannot really explain exactly what it means?

The majority of people think that karma is only about bearing the consequences of negative deeds. There is more to karma than what we do unto others.

What Is Karma?

Karma is the memory of our deeds, emotions, desires, and thoughts. It is information that is stored in our body, and our auric field. Karma is mentioned in the Yoga Sutras as bījas or seeds.

Karma is memory imprints that we plant in all levels of our being. (Learn more in The Law of Karma: How Karmic Forces Really Work.)

Karma is not a theory, it is a reality of being a human. We carry, in our physical body, our DNA and our auric field, the imprints of actions and thoughts from our ancestors, whether we like it or not. Remember, energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another.

Science has shown that the entire universe is made of energy. This energy gets recycled. The energetic imprints of all we want, all we do, and all we go through are carried in our body. These memories are what make us repeat destructive patterns over and over again.

The bad news is that karma, in the form of trauma, can be carried from generation to generation until it is healed. Research has supported that trauma, if not completed and healed, is inherited and can become part of a person’s DNA. This is the reason there is intergenerational illness that runs in families. The longer it takes to heal it the more our predecessors will suffer. (Learn more in The Body Remembers: How Your Body is Storing Past Trauma.)

Dr. David Frawley writes about negative karma saying that it arises from wrong judgment, wrong use of senses, emotions, mind and energy. It is mainly a guna (an attribute of nature) that has been off balance and becomes stored in the psyche. Usually this begins with rajas (passion) and moves into tamas (darkness). It is through Ayurveda and Vedic astrology that we find relief from these karmic patterns, which are called samskaras.

Healing Karma

To get out of such patterns, and imprints, we must look at what western psychology has termed "our shadow" and find the things we have repressed.

Chances are, all the things that trigger us in our life are things we hide from ourselves. Thus, we create blind spots, or plant the karmic seeds, without knowing we did so.

That which we do not see must be brought into our seeing, making the unconscious conscious. Realizing the patterns that no longer serve us is the first step to healing our karma.

However, there are many more things we can do to assist the process of healing. The key is, to stay consistent and try to be the best version of our selves. (Learn more in How to Be Mindfully Aware of the Authentic Self.)

Many think they are ready to face their karmic seeds, and yet when given the chance, and the space, they get distracted and run. Some people will do anything they can to numb their pain. This may be in the form of drinking, shopping, eating when not hungry, mindless talking, or many other things.

You have to be ready for this work. It does not happen overnight.

Here are some suggestions that may help get you started. There is no need to do all of these things, but the more of them you can incorporate into your healing journey, the faster you will see results.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Healing Your Karma

  1. Do not take yourself too seriously.
  2. Be willing to let go.
  3. Be willing to see and understand yourself.
  4. Understand that the karma, or seeds that you planted years ago will have to take their course and there is nothing you can do to change that, what you can do is change how you react to your daily reality.
  5. Know that you can plant better seeds for the future.
  6. Know that your future is composed of choices you make in the present moment.
  7. Try to choose unconditional love, as much as you possibly can and to learn and grow from every experience, encounter and event. (Learn more in How to Choose Love Over Fear With Each Thought.)
  8. Step outside of yourself. View everything that happens to you with equanimity.
  9. Self-Study. Find your triggers, even that which makes you happy, and especially that which you do not want to admit.
  10. Investigate those triggers. What triggers you? Why? Try to find the origin, when was the first time you felt that way?
  11. Learn to see life as it is, not as you were programmed to see it. (Learn more in Escaping the Maya: 5 Tools to Reconnect With Your Inner Self.)
  12. Be honest with yourself about what you learn about yourself, and take steps to heal those things.
  13. Try to make the best possible choices for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others in your life.
  14. Use yoga, meditation, pranayama, and, especially, mantras to help clear and heal the mind.
  15. Incorporate deep sadhana in to your daily routine.
  16. Begin to be the best expression of yourself that you can possibly be.
  17. Offer all your actions to the divine, see yourself as a conduit of divine expression.