There is no such thing as karma – or how anything can become dogma bullsh*t

Via Aminda R. Courtwright
on Aug 1, 2011
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Many weeks ago I learned more about Dogma than I ever wanted to, I wanted to make sure I was using the word properly; it will suffice.  If you want to learn more go here.

I started this particular article/blog about a month ago based on a facebook interaction and I didn’t know where it was going and recently the conversation has been renewed in my life so I guess that means its time to resurrect it and finish it….

So I used to read/follow nearly worship Abraham (via Esther Hicks).  Over time I entered and left the church of the Law of Attraction.  I can’t say I stopped believing in the concept of the law of attraction.  I do believe to a certain extent what we reap we sow…but I also came to believe that sometimes things just happen.  I stopped feeling like every negative thought or reaction was the reason for this or that. I stopped seeing it as the ONLY thing to study or focus on, I found more meaning and happiness in my yogic and meditative practices. I find myself caring less about outcome (maybe the gita talks did that to me?) Any way the point being I stopped reading/listening to Abraham with any regularity, part of the reason was also the repetitive nature of the information.  I spent some time studying Kaballah wisdom.  I did a few retreats and cleanses. I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about diet as I learned about Raw food.  I went super strict Vegan for a year.  I nursed myself back from an SI injury and spent a lot of time thinking about body mechanics and less about thoughts as things.  Taught a lot of yoga and wrote a lot of blogs. Over that time I would read Law of Attraction/The Secret/Abraham Quotes posted by friends and I usually got a lift from them but I knew that I was no longer “enthralled”. So when I read this post:

‎”There is no such thing as karma.”

– Abraham Hicks

I was sort of taken aback. I knew it had been a long time, but from what I remembered Abraham wasn’t usually prone to making statements about what one should believe…They were usually a bit more
“well meaning this”, or “look at this way”. How this statement was explained to me was that we come straight from source and therefore would never carry anything back from being “in source”. OK I get that I really do…if you are at all curious about my take on Karma you can visit my post here

But here is the real point — This was stated as an absolute fact no margin for discussion or varying opinions. And since that is one of my pet peeves… righteousness….I wanted to start a dialogue about this idea of dogma.

I see people getting really hurt, angry, upset and otherwise hacked off when others don’t agree with their way…I see teachers completely unable to accept that their way may not work for everyone and well it’s getting a bit old. If your way works for you and makes you happy can’t I have my way?  I’m sorry but no one…absolutely no one has all the answers…

Here’s my take — their is no such thing as:

a panacea; a universal principle, one size fits all, a single path, a way to know the absolute truth,  law

In my opinion there is only:

experience, questions, feelings, ideas, interactions, relationships, happenings, growing, changing

So if a student doesn’t take your advice put your ego aside and let them have their experience.  If I learned to pull my shoulders down and you think they should go some other way — you can give me that info but in the end it’s my experience not yours.  If doing yin yoga rocked your world and hurts my sacrum? It doesn’t make it wrong, just wrong for me.  If you think hot yoga is dangerous and a bad idea, go ahead let me know but don’t harp…if you think hot yoga is the ultimate and it makes me hurl? I’m not stupid I’m different!! And that’s OK, isn’t it?  Jiminy Christmas I have read things that say only one form of meditation is the right one…really? really people?  Lets be a little softer, a little more open….

Let’s be careful out their folks, lets share what we know with a humble understanding of grace and love. Let us be the first to work on removing ego from the equation.

Dogma is dangerous. Righteousness leads to division.  There is space for all…there really really is.

In the end I do not discount the possibility that karma is no more real than the Easter bunny, that hot yoga may be the cure for cancer, that anusara principles can fix broken bones, or that god may not even exist-  but for me it’s a matter of how we discuss, share and view ideas. It’s a belief that spiritual people have a duty to remain open minded and respectful and not tear down others views out of hat…


About Aminda R. Courtwright

Aminda is a wellness facilitator and founder of ARCreated Wellness, LLC. A yoga teacher, transpersonal hypnotherapist, and Reiki Master, she shares her own healing journey with others in hopes of inspiring and uplifting those she meets. Her yoga classes are gentle and workshop style to invoke a real sense of learning and designed to be truly accessible for all levels. Her biggest hope is to help others take their yoga practice off the mat and into everyday life where it is truly meant to be experienced. (and can be most useful) Refusing to settle into the middle path just yet she prefers to dally on both edges and can be seen swinging right and leaning left. A devoted animal lover and activist and a humanist she is prone to rants and believes strongly that life is to be savored and that “we are all in this together, shouldn’t we enjoy it that way? “ When she isn’t teaching yoga, hypnotizing people, adoring her husband or doting on her grandson she is out riding her motorcycle—promoting the image that yogis are rebels and are a force to be reckoned with! You can also find her on Facebook. To join her for free classes online follow her here.


15 Responses to “There is no such thing as karma – or how anything can become dogma bullsh*t”

  1. Ema T says:

    exactly! You are so right. It amazes me how fast people can slip from spreading information to pontificating.

  2. ARCreated says:

    OH that is the perfect line for that "from spreading information to pontificating"

  3. […] yeah…I think you should just refer to my blog on Dogma for my take on […]

  4. […] angle as well as from your own. Henry Ford Uhh yeah…I think you should just refer to my blog on Dogma for my take on […]

  5. AnnetteVictoria says:

    Another great post, Aminda.

  6. tanya lee markul says:

    Thank you Aminda! Well written! Too much of anything is never a good thing and it's even worse when that good thing puts blinders on us!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
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  7. tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  8. ARCreated says:

    exactly 🙂 thanks tanya!

  9. ARCreated says:

    That's a great take on karma…for me it wasn't about whether Karma was real or not but how the person who person that posted the quote completely degraded others who do happen to believe in karma…it's not about whether it's real or not but how we discuss it… and if you say "there is no such thing as karma" and someone respond – well I kinda think there is and the response is "you are an idiot that believes in fairy tales" well that's the issue not the quote itself. The person that read that quote and rather than took it as information took it as dogma and that's where I take issue!

  10. ARCreated says:

    why thank you 🙂

  11. Padma Kadag says:

    There is a very excellent Tibetan text which can be found at any good bookstore, "Kunzang Lamai Shalung" or The Words of My Perfect Teacher. This is a commentary on the preliminary practices written by Patrul Rinpoche in the mid 1800's. There is no better explanation which has been written about Karma than here. One thing you may consider about karma is that it does not start and stop based on your considering or thinking about it. Your very body speech and mind which includes your thoughts and emotions and how you look are a result of previous actions. We are experiencing everything we have ever done and are currently doing this very moment. Take a look at the reccommended book.

  12. iloveginger says:

    yes! yes! and i was there too re: jerry & esther — love, a fellow ex-secret'er

  13. tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  14. sveta says:

    Excellent debunking of a this widely-held dogma. I read a similar piece a while back when searching for historical info on how the dogma of Karma got started. I especially liked this author’s view that:

    “Many thousands of years ago the doctrine of Karma was unknown. Man lived freely and happily as the birds in the air or the lilies in the field, taking no thought for tomorrow that never comes, and not bothering about yesterday that is over and done with. Then one man had an idea. We think he was a priest and we are sure he must have been a Saggitarian as they always want to change everything, calling it “progress.” He communicated his thought to his fellow priests and showed them that, if only they worked together and gave this new idea to mankind their power as priests would become so strong that eventually—through fear—they would rule the world and all its riches.”

    I loved the bit about “sagittarians”. My mom is one and boy is she just like this!

    You can read the whole article here:

  15. Solomon says:

    Lol, EGO..? Improve/develop it, don't remove it… that's self deprecation & an excuse to let it stay the same. Namaste