I don’t belong to a specific lineage, and so my understanding of key terms have a variety of influences. For example, there are a number of different chakra systems with placement of the centers in different areas of the body. And each of those systems makes sense within itself, but it’s very rare to be able to reconcile them with any other system.
Similarly terms like karma and kriya. So. Many. Definitions. Who is right? Hard to say. So many perspectives.
For many years I was at sea with concepts like these. I found it frustrating that there wasn’t this golden road to God that was easily understandable and consistent. Thirty years in, I can say that I believe there is a golden road to God that is easily understandable and consistent, and that my frustration with all of the traditions, or their seeming lack of reconcilability, is like getting mad that all of the fingers pointing toward the moon are coming at it from different directions. The important part isn’t the finger. It’s the moon.
Karma has LOTS of definitions, but in general it refers to the cyclical nature of birth and death, cause and effect, and reaping what one sows even if it takes a few lifetimes. Karma is the fuel of the wheel of samsara, or being locked into this birth and death pattern. What can you do? It’s karma!
Turns out karma has a liberator, and it’s called Kriya. Kriya yoga has a number of different lineages and interpretations as well. But, Kriya yoga is different. Kriya yoga is the actions taken for God. The actions taken to consciously to move towards God. Consciousness is the key differentiator between karmic action and kriya action.
Karma is contained and executed by the unconscious patterns in our minds and bodies that keep our lives working in cyclical patterns. It will continue endlessly until consciousness is applied. Applying consciousness is Kriya yoga. Taking this pattern, untying it and setting it free is the solution to karma. It’s the Zen Circle. Stop the cycle. Therein Lies Freedom.
This paradigm is transforming my life and my health. When there is a problem, we take that as a sign of karma, we apply consciousness to the karma and we keep working different angles until we can interrupt the cycle.
It is hard for me to understand contentment with karma when the possibility of kriya exists. I am actually identifying this as a pattern to work on, because not everybody is interested in leaving the cycle. Some people are far more content on the wheel. It is absolutely out of my sphere of understanding, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Just different.