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Do I Pick Up Karma When I Heal for Free?

Article by Ashwita Goel, Reiki Master

One of the most common questions I receive from students is whether they pick up karma from others when they heal them, especially when it is free. Some go a step further to ask whether we pick up good karma or bad karma when we do this.

But before we begin, what is karma?
Karma is attachment. There is no such thing as good karma or bad karma in my opinion – all attachments bring pain. Basically, when we do free healing, we tell her person that they don’t have to pay a price for their actions- that we are here to clean up their mess. Whatever a person is experiencing, is a result of his or her karma. You have a problem with these consequences of their karma, enough to step in and interfere without taking anything in return – so you are directly participating in their karma.

For example, if a boy stole chocolates from the school canteen, and now he has been punished to carry a 100 books from the library to the classrooms. You feel bad for him because you love him and you don’t know that this is punishment, and you carry the books along with him – you have shared his karma, right? Now you might have wrist pain as a consequence. And it is a possibility that you will get punished for helping him out because this way he does not learn his lesson either and you have delayed his learning process. When we help out of sympathy, we pick up even more karma because we subconsciously convey to the person that they are too weak to face the given situation, thereby slowing their progress down further instead of helping them at a soul level.

Do I Pick Up Karma When I Heal for Free?

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Of course, for spiritually ‘un’conscious people, it often makes sense to share karma. Everyone shares each other’s karma (giving unsolicited advice and telling others what they should be doing with their life is one of the best ways to take up karma and happens commonly in small towns where everyone knows everyone else) and hope that that will reduce their individual burden. Usually, in this equation, the weakest ones – the most sensitive ones, suffer the most. You will see this in many families, that there is one person who is completely a nutcase – doesn’t ever get a proper job, hides from people, is basically a failure in every aspect of life and everyone is trying to fix him/her all the time – this person has taken on everyone else’s karma in a greater measure than others and has crumbled under pressure. They are not necessarily the sort of people who give free advice, but they take on karma from others in different ways.

But if you are on the spiritual pathway, it will slow you down if you keep sponging up everyone else’s karma. Of course, after you reach a certain stage you can process karma faster, and you can take on people’s pains and process it for them – when you get to this stage you often do it automatically, or life brings you in touch with the appropriate methods to do so. Mahayana Buddhist practices often include such methods in their journey as they are more focused on self-realisation benefitting all sentient beings.

Now, this opens us up to another question: Does this mean I should not be helping anyone at all? Because this isn’t just Reiki we are talking about, as you would have surmised by now. Have you ever had the feeling where you thought “I’ve done so much for this person, and is this what I get in return?” – This is an example of karmic helping. Most of us don’t realise it, but we almost always have ulterior motives when we help others. In the initial phase of your practice, it is probably a good idea to keep your focus on helping yourself until you reach a stage where you are stable physically, emotionally and in other ways. Once you get there, which usually takes a few years of practice, you will also be in a position to know whether it is alright to give healing for free in a particular instance, or help in any other way, because your intuition will be strong enough by then.

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Ashwita Goel
Ashwita Goel

Having learned Meditation as a child, Ashwita incorporated Reiki into her life during her early teens. After a decade of witnessing the magic Reiki, she felt compelled to take up Reiki professionally, and ended her corporate career in 2007, taking up Reiki full-time. She eventually incorporated EFT, hypnotherapy and past life therapy into her work. Apart from her healing work, she teaches Reiki and meditation, and her book ‘Healing Through Reiki’ is available on Amazon. You can connect with her through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Reiki.Bangalore,
her website http://www.reiki-bangalore.com/ or visit her blog http://www.ashwita.com/zen/

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • EL October 20, 2018, 8:19 am

    Wow… Your term of “karmic helping” is nothing more than providing a “transaction” (<you doing something, "expecting" something in return!) to someone… Rather than the true meaning of a "gift", where "nothing" is expected in return (you may hope for a thank you and a smile, but nothing else)! Huge difference! I would recommend for your evolution to see the movie, "Pay It Forward" made in the year 2000, USA…\ There is also a huge difference between "enabling" (<basically doing for someone who "should do" for themselves)… And "gifting", simply because it feels good to do so (<through Divine Inspiration), not for the purpose of gaining some merit~! Another misnomer is that "you give Reiki"… Reiki is "Universal Energy", meaning it is literally "everywhere" All the time!… The purpose of a practitioner is simply to Be a focused vehicle for an energy that already exists, helping the other to re-member who they truly are too! In fact, we don't help folks, instead we remind them of what they forgot (by example!), and/or was programmed out of them through cultural conditioning! True healing happens to someone because of their; agreement, choice and relationship with "Universal Energy", i.e. Reiki… I don't know what else to say, simply because I'm shocked… I learned long ago, abundance exists everywhere in unlimited quantities, therefore it is a joy to give, because at the same time I receive!… Namaste…

    • Letty March 16, 2019, 1:43 am

      I seldom give a session for but I disagree with this article. Some believe that we just channel the energy and others believe there is an energy exchange that takes place. But whatever your view point, I find this article to be misleading. If absorbing karma is a concern you have two options.
      1. Clear yourself with a reiki session.
      2. At the end of each of sessions, ask reiki to transmute or destroy any energy that was exchanged or released and return in to its rightful owner full of divine grace and healing.

  • EL October 20, 2018, 8:39 am

    P.S. From Wikipedia: “Karma (/ˈkɑːrmə/; Sanskrit: कर्म, translit. karma, IPA: [ˈkərmə] ( listen); Pali: kamma) means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).”… There maybe more explanations, but for now this is enough… Namaste…

  • Rinnku Patel October 20, 2018, 4:52 pm

    Love this article Ashwita .. totally agree…

  • M October 21, 2018, 3:52 pm

    I feel you worked your way around without giving a straight answer.
    When practicing therapy you will most likely pick up some ” heavy” energy from your patients that you need to transcend in any way you know.
    If you are fasting the day you are doing therapy (not eating, only drinking holy water) you will definitely get less.
    Lighting candles and dedicating them to you God/Protectors/Ascended Masters etc will definitely help transcend the energy you pick up.
    This process, in time, will give you some spiritual gifts as well.
    Also, the healing you will help a patient obtain will also heal the part in you that resonated with his problem.
    So no one should be scared of anything that comes along therapy, in the long run it is for everyone’s greater good.
    Love and light!

  • Mahadev M C October 23, 2018, 1:35 am

    Thanks for sharing meaningful and motivational article.

  • H January 8, 2019, 6:53 pm

    Nice of you to explain about karma in detail. I have a question though. What about we healing ourselfs with reiki for our problems. Aren’t we interfering with our own karma. How do we pay back in this case?

  • Robin halbet December 25, 2019, 1:39 am

    Hmmmmm. Not sure if I totally agree with this. Reiki as I understand it has no back change of energy or karma. The healer is the conduit/ vessel for the reiki energy once the healing is done there is no back change of energy, it stops completely. There is no karmic change, the recipient still has to work out their karma. Healing doesnt negate that, and doesn’t add to your own karma. You only add to your own karma if the healing is done against the recipient’s wishes.

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