Sunday, April 27, 2008


I did this Karma test and posted the results over at the memes. The longer version is interesting, though:'ve earned 769 karma points out of 1000 potential karma points.

Of all the ways you've been building your karmic future during this time, your noble nature is your strongest asset. Doing good deeds seems to be your strong suit and such kind actions are an important way that you've earned your karma up to this point. Perhaps being helpful simply comes naturally to you, or maybe you've worked to develop this trait over time. Regardless of how you achieved such nobility, you appear to be one of those rare individuals who can truly appreciate others. This can give you a powerful sense of community with not only your friends and family, but even with strangers who cross your path. By giving your time to the people and causes you care about most, you enhance life for your community as a whole. Being willing to lend a hand not only strengthens your current relationships, but also comes back to you positively in the future. In your concerted efforts to do what you can for the greater good, you generate positive karma for yourself and the universe.

Noble actions represent the most direct and literal expression of karma. In other words, when you do something good for someone else, something good will come back to you. Over history, humans have universally acknowledged those who do good for others, whether they are called saints, held up as religious leaders, or considered activists and volunteers. Each of us has the potential to rise to the occasion. Whether you're helping a lost child in a department store or working with those less fortunate in a homeless shelter, your noble actions will both help others and ensure that the equivalent of your actions will come back to you at a later date.

When we act only for ourselves instead of taking the time to do good for others, we become disconnected from those around us. Life can become hollow and lonely. On the flip side, the more good we do outside ourselves, the more connected we become and the more good that can come to us in return. Sometimes it helps to look at a real life example to understand karma in action. Take Maggie, for instance:

Like you, Maggie's karma is most beneficially impacted by her nobility. Maggie is the kind of person who always tries to assist others in need, even if it inconveniences her at times. To Maggie, helping people simply feels good.

For her living, Maggie works for an ad agency. Deadlines at the agency are tight and the hours are often long. Recently, Maggie's entire team had been working on a large presentation for an important new client. However, on the Friday morning before the meeting, Maggie arrived at her office to find that many of the project's computer files had been corrupted and left unopenable. A large part of the team's work would have to be reconstructed over the weekend. Luckily for Maggie, her work was intact. Maggie's supervisor let her know that she wouldn't be one of the people called in to work overtime.

One of Maggie's co-workers, Seth, wasn't so lucky. He was going to have to log many hours to redo his part of the project. Seth was extremely distraught because he had already promised his fourteen-year-old daughter that he'd go to her state-wide soccer championship that weekend. He really hated to break his promise to his daughter. Without being asked, Maggie volunteered to take over for Seth and redo his part of the presentation that weekend, provided that he'd be available by cell phone if she had any questions. Maggie's kind actions thrilled Seth and allowed him to be there for his daughter. Her initiative also impressed Maggie's co-workers and boss. When it was time for her quarterly review at the company, Maggie was surprised to receive a substantial raise. Her boss said that one of the deciding factors had been her constant willingness to help others on her team.

Karma revealed
What exactly is karma, anyway? When you run into a friend who you've been thinking about calling, is that karma? What about when you find out that your co-worker was born in the same hospital you were on the same day? Or when you meet a new sweetheart at a place that neither one of you normally go — is that karma?

Actually, none of these scenarios would be directly related to karma, although many people would mistakenly think so. Karma is different from coincidence or destiny or luck. Karma is the universe's infallible justice system. According to karma, what goes around comes around and you get what you give. Karma states that nothing is by chance or luck. Instead, karma is based on anything you intentionally think, say, or do. According to the laws of karma, your past actions have determined your present life, and your present actions are shaping your future. The generation of karma is an ongoing process. This means that your actions today, or on any given day, will directly affect your lifetimes of tomorrows.

Karma is known as "natural law," which means that your actions will bring equivalent rewards or punishments regardless of whether another person ever knows about them. In this way, your future is always in your own hands. You have the opportunity to reform or enhance any area of your karma in any given moment. It's believed that by building your individual karma, you guarantee that good things will come to you in the future. Achieving good health, financial well-being, abundant love, and overall satisfaction are felt to be linked to your thoughts, words, and actions. However, according to the Buddhist principles of karma, the effects of your personal karma spread far beyond yourself. Buddhists believe that your karma also impacts the collective karma of a group — be it your family, your community, or the world population. Therefore, the ultimate goal is to use our karma to eliminate suffering for as many people as possible, in addition to ourselves.

Karma can serve as a clear and practical moral gauge that you can use in your everyday life. For example, when you're having negative thoughts about someone else, consider how these thoughts negatively impact your individual karma, as well as the collective karma of the world. Instead of simply indulging in your negativity, you may decide that everyone would be better served if you transformed these ideas into more positive and constructive thoughts.

Karma is like an extension of the Judeo-Christian golden rule: "Do unto others as you'd like to have done unto you." Imagine a future for yourself that entails a bounty of kind thoughts, compassionate words, and caring actions streaming toward you and from you. According to karma, this is an entirely possible outcome, completely in your own power.

You've earned 139 karma points for Nobility. It's believed that noble actions directly impact your karma: When you do a good deed for someone else, good things will come to you in return. Noble actions can be powerful in several ways. They help alleviate the suffering of others, make you feel better about yourself, and enhance your karma, all in one fell swoop. Your high score on Nobility indicates that you've done your fair share of good deeds over the past year. Everyone needs help now and then. By doing noble acts, you help to assure that on a grand level everyone gets the support that they need. Your generous actions are helping to make the world a better place. Keep up your good works. More and more good will come to you as a result.

True nobility
Karma is not just about what you think, say, and do. It's also about the intentions behind your thoughts, words, and actions. Doing a good deed solely to impress others or reap the personal benefits isn't going to boost your karma. Genuinely noble actions are more about helping others than about one's own profit.

Take Action
Noble actions can be large or small in scale. Here are a few that you can undertake in your own life:

  • Dedicate your time or money to a just cause.
  • Drop some change into the meter if you see a car that's about to get a ticket.
  • If someone's car breaks down, offer to call a tow truck or help them push their car to the side of the road.
  • Helping someone else in a small way each day doesn't take much time, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Good will
This past year, you've earned 135 karma points for Good Will. Exercising good will is a sign of possessing strong values. According to karma, the more respect you show others and the more integrity you display, the more you will experience the benefits of these traits in your own life. Your high score in Good will is a sign that over the past year, you've used sound moral judgment in your decision-making. It isn't always easy to do what's right. However, your choice to do so has enhanced your karma and hopefully left you with a good feeling about yourself. Acting honorably in your personal life encourages others to do so as well. This slowly builds the momentum needed to positively impact society as a whole.

True good will
Is there something you've done to someone else that you still feel bad about? It's never too late to apologize. Give them a call or write a letter. As you think about what you're going to say, focus your intention on good will. Be honest about your feelings, without placing blame or continuing the bad feelings. Owning up to your actions and apologizing can be a freeing act of good will.

Take Action
Having genuine good will necessitates that you have the right intentions. Here are some ways you can use karma the next time you're faced with a difficult moral dilemma:
  • Ask yourself what's right, as opposed to what's easiest.
  • Take a moment to sense inside yourself which decision seems more just.
  • Finally, align your intentions with your actions. This means that you should do something because it feels right, not because you're afraid of getting caught or feeling guilty.
  • Intentional good will fosters high self-esteem, strong relationships, and excellent karma.
You've earned 130 karma points for Caring. Nurturing others through caring acts builds both strong relationships and good karma. It also reminds the people you care for how important they are in your life. This encourages loved ones — and even strangers — to care for you in turn. Your high score in Caring indicates that over the past year you've worked quite diligently to nurture those around you. Meeting others' needs not only strengthens their ability to thrive, but it also helps you to thrive through others' support. The laws of karma state that kind acts will be reciprocated. Sometimes it's the little things that matter most. You appear to be doing a great job at those important small things that make those around you feel loved. Keep it up and good care will come back around to you.

True caring
Sometimes caring can feel like an obligation; it becomes something you think you should do, or something you feel is expected from you. Seen in this light, nurturing others can become a burden that builds resentment over time. To avoid this outcome, check in with yourself regularly to make sure that your intentions are pure. Being nurturing should feel rewarding, not like a task. When you're caring for others, ask yourself if you're acting simply to get something in return or to alleviate your responsibility to them. If so, take time to step back and find your compassion. Decide only to do and say those things that come from a place of tenderness and love.

Take Action
It doesn't take much to show someone how much you care. Here are some easy ways you can be extra caring:

  • Call or send cards to people you love on a regular basis.
  • Contact people on special occasions. Tell them about the traits that you think make them truly special.
  • When loved ones are sick or stressed, cook them nourishing meals.
  • Remember, grand gestures are always welcomed, but it's the little things in life that can really keep your relationships going strong and rack up those karma points.
You've earned 131 karma points for Selflessness. Making sacrifices for others when it's warranted is one of the benefits of being human. When you act out of love and kindness to assist others, it's believed that the karma you accumulate will bring you the help you need just when you need it most. Your high score in Selflessness attests that you've often been able to put the needs of others before your own over the past year. Acting unselfishly is a sign to the people in your life that you care deeply for their well-being. In addition, tending to those in greater need helps to strengthen our communities and builds deep wells of karma. Over time, your selfless acts will also ensure a steady stream of good karma all your own.

True selflessness
Being selfless doesn't mean entirely neglecting your own well-being. On the contrary, giving up your own fundamental needs on a regular basis isn't healthy. Such behavior compromises your feelings of self-worth and your ability to maintain positive relationships. True selflessness is about putting others before yourself because you can handle the sacrifice. After you've taken care of your own basic needs, sacrificing some of your time and energy for others is an act of generosity that will be justly rewarded through karma.

Take Action
Putting the needs of others first can help you keep perspective on your own blessings and challenges. Here are a few ways to boost your Selflessness karma:

  • When you're at the grocery store or pharmacy, if the person in line behind you has a crying child or looks exhausted, let them go ahead of you.
  • Make dinner or offer to run errands for a stressed out loved one.
  • Do favors for people without expecting reciprocation.
  • It may not always be the most convenient thing to do, but putting others before yourself is an act of loving compassion that can bring you many good things in return.
You've earned 134 karma points for Compassion. The ability to truly feel for another person because you understand their perspectives and experiences is a generous gift. By offering the people in your life your genuine compassion, you prevent them from being alone during times of sorrow. The laws of karma dictate that through such acts you'll receive the emotional support you need in tough times as well. Your high score in Compassion indicates that you've regularly offered your sincere warmth and concern to others over the past year. Being able to share someone else's emotional burden can help in vital ways. In times of trouble, people often need a compassionate shoulder to cry on more than anything else. Being able to truly put yourself in others' shoes encourages you to treat them with the respect and care they deserve. If you stay on your current path, your compassionate nature will continue to bring you good karma in the years to come.

True compassion
It's one thing to act in a compassionate manner by offering words of condolence or sympathy when the occasion clearly warrants it. It's quite another to be truly compassionate. For that, you need to feel the emotions behind your actions. For instance, social rules dictate that we say, "I'm so sorry," when someone loses a loved one. The next time you're faced with this situation, take a few minutes to really think about how the grieving person must feel. By experiencing those emotions yourself — even by imagining them — you can connect with a deeper, more genuine concern for the well-being of others.

Take Action
Sometimes a little compassion is the best gift you can give. So when the opportunity arises, try one of these compassionate acts:

  • When people are sharing their heartfelt feelings, truly listen so you can get in touch emotionally with what they're going through.
  • When someone tells you a painful story, ask yourself how you'd feel in that person's place. It will help you better empathize with them.
  • Express your genuine regret for the pain and loss of others.
  • From time to time, situations arise where there's nothing you can do to fix a problem. In these cases, it's compassion that eases people's burden and brings you good karma in your relationships.

You've earned 100 karma points for Forgiveness. Forgiveness is the thing that allows you to maintain your belief in others and have hope, even when faced when people's mistakes or misdeeds. According to karma, finding the generosity within yourself to forgive means that you, in turn, will someday be shown mercy or granted good things. Your lower score on Forgiveness karma indicates that you may have found it somewhat difficult to be open and flexible in the face of others' mistakes this past year. If you'd like to increase your Forgiveness karma, try concentrating on all the positive effects forgiveness can create. In your personal life, being forgiving can result in strong, loving connections, trust, and positive communication. On a larger scale, forgiveness among people and nations can be a path to peaceful human coexistence. Remember that karma is an ongoing process; it's never too late to open your forgiving heart to others.

True forgiveness
While forgiveness is sometimes mistaken for passivity, you don't have to be a doormat to be forgiving. Instead, you can be a welcoming mat. By communicating fair but firm boundaries, you can better protect yourself from continued mistreatment. In addition, by stating your needs and conditions, you provide yourself with a safe space to forgive and offer others the chance to make amends and reconnect with you.

Take Action
It's easy to get worked up if you feel like someone is getting in your way or making life difficult for you. Being forgiving is sometimes a challenge. However, sometimes a little forgiveness can go a long way. If you're faced with any of the situations below, why not try out these forgiving gestures:

  • The next time someone makes a driving mistake or cuts you off in traffic, try giving them the "No problem" wave instead of an angry look.
  • When a loved one unintentionally says something that offends you, simply let it pass without comment.
  • If you have a long-standing grudge, try writing a letter to the person and offering your forgiveness. Even if you're not ready to send the letter, focusing your intentions on being forgiving is a step in the right direction.
  • Offering people tiny measures of forgiveness every day will rack up your karma, while alleviating tension and making others feel good.
It would/will be interesting to see how I score next year.

I do think this is skewed a bit high. I wish it weren't so long. It's a lot to wade through.

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