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Karmic Obstructions

Looking Directly at Karma
Episode No. 91

What are karmic obstructions and how can we work with them skillfully? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

First Words from Podcast

Hi! The announced topic tonight is working with karmic obstructions. So we’ve talked a lot about what karma is. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve heard me say that karma is patterns of consciousness and energy moving through time. That sounds pretty innocuous, but we all know what it feels like to try to change even a small habit of body, speech or mind — it’s not that easy!

Attachment is what makes karmic patterning something other than just fun. We actually are having fun with our karma at first. Then we realize we’re enslaved. What we thought was pretty fun turns out to be something that we don’t have a lot of control over. That’s when we start thinking we have an obstruction. That’s when we discover that karma has us in its grip.

So what does the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism have to say about karmic obstruction? Well, as you can imagine if you know me and know the tradition a little bit, it says there is no such thing. There are no obstructions — there is only an experience of obstruction. Everything that’s happening here is just Shiva nature. Every patterning of karma is equal to every other patterning of karma, whether it feels good to us or bad to us. From the perspective of Shiva nature — from the perspective of your own enlightened nature — every aspect of karma, or every aspect of patterning of oneself, has one taste: eka rasa.

Flour and water shaped into a little piglet tastes the same as flour and water shaped into some other shape, right? It’s just different artistic design, but part of that design is that we experience things in a certain way.