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.
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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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/