Karmic Muscle Group: Awareness, Effectiveness & Redemption
Today’s Exercise: Embrace Your Inner Moron
[Preparatory Note: we all do foolish things from time to time. We can be incredibly thoughtless, rude or irresponsible. Sometimes all at once. When we look back at our lives, especially to our youth, we often come face to face with mistakes that so painful that it is difficult for us to even acknowledge them. We can see clearly in hindsight the great harm that we have done that was indiscernible to us in the moment. This can often immerse us in remorse and sorrow. We sometimes feel guilt and other self-deprecating thoughts that act as a form of self-punishment. It should be noted, however, the the purpose of punishment is not torture or retribution, it is a training method that is designed to provoke behavioral change. Simply beating up on yourself is good for nothing.
In this exercise we are going to pick a moment wherein we utterly failed to be the person we hoped to be. For some of us, this moment is very hard to be with and can be a challenge to even bring to mind because of our desire pretend that it never happened at all. If you have a moment like that, this is the place to train. What we are going to do is change our relationship to a moment of personal failure by acknowledging it as a moment wherein we accumulated precious wisdom. Rather than run from this moment, we are going to embrace it as the moment that a fool gave up his existence as a fool to become possessed of some measure of wisdom.]
- Find a quiet place to think and turn off your cellphone.
- Establish meditative breathing with long and slow inhales followed by equally long exhales. Clear you mind.
- Take 2 minutes to contemplate one of the worst mistakes you every made. You want one that did harm to others and embarrasses you.
- See yourself in your mind as you were when you made the mistake. Notice that you look different in your mind’s eye than you do today.
- Now spend at least a minute recognizing that you are not that being anymore. Literally and physically you are not that person. That person has transformed into someone else though is very much part of a single evolutionary thread.
- Now spend at least 2 minutes seeing that former self as someone outside of your present being. Treat that former self as third person with compassion and forgiveness.
- Consider that you never have to be that person ever again.
- Take 2 minutes to thank your former self for allowing you to learn from the mistake. Thank your inner moron for showing you the way to illumination.
- Take another 2 minutes to conduct a personal inventory of what you have learned and how it has changed the way you behave. Notice that your behavior now and in the future is a redemption of your mistake, but might not have come to mind if you had not made the mistake.
- Notice that the karmic consequence of the mistake is a new way of life that hopefully brings benefit to yourself and others because you have learned from the mistake. The implication of this is that the mistake itself was an essential part of the evolution of wisdom and wisdom could not have been had without the mistake.
- Promise out loud that you will honor the wisdom born of the mistake to cause benefit. This is the transformation of a mistake into benefit and unleashes incredible power in the world of being.
- Make Every Moment, Even Your Darkest Ones, Useful: we should never avoid responsibility for our mistakes, but by the same token, we should never simply punish ourselves for them either because that produces nothing but emotional damage. Truly being responsible for a mistake means transforming it into wisdom that can benefit all. Thousands of people died in the process of developing automobiles and airplanes. Each death taught us how to make these things safer. We do great harm until we gather the experience necessary to transform harm into benefit. Transformation does not get us off the hook for the damage that we do, but it at least makes mistakes useful.
- Waste Not, Want Not: it is great foolishness to run away from a mistake and not learn from it. When we run away from a mistake, we are usually not running way from the mistake itself, but rather, the embarrassment or negative self-assessment that arises when we consider the consequences of our actions. This is egotistically motivated and not useful. Never waste a perfectly good mistake. Get over yourself and turn it into knowledge and useful experience.
- When Mistakes Become Opportunities, Wisdom Is Everywhere: with practice we can turn our essential relationship to mistakes into a consciousness that perpetually spots opportunities to gain wisdom. Wisdom does not come from reading books or reading, but and not doing Karmic Workouts. Wisdom comes from experience. When we remove our egotistical concerns from our consideration of mistakes, we create the opportunity to have them become failed experiments that inform us as to how life really works. Mistakes become valuable sources of insight. When we embrace our inner moron, we have ready access to this insight without being blinded by guilt and remorse. Taking responsibility for a mistake may lead us to compassion for those whom we have harmed, but we must include ourselves, to some extent, in the list of those damaged by poorly made decisions and ill-conceived action. A word of caution is appropriate here: there is a risk that we will forgive ourselves and then forget. It is better to forgive and remember forever what we have learned.
It May Be Fiction, But It Is One Heck Of A Karmic Workout.
Read The Lotus Blossom, D. M. Kenyon’s fictional account of a teenage girl who turns off her cellphone and enters the very real, but mystical world of Budo warriors. Humorous, irreverent and heart-wrenching, The Lotus Blossom is an unforgettable tale of a Midwestern teenage girl’s transformation into a budo warrior in the midst of the turmoil of the Information Age. Available in all digital formats, paperback and soon to be released in hardcover.
Share Your Experience:
Leave a comment when you have completed the exercise.