Planting the Seeds of Good Karma to Enrich Your Business and Life
When I was first starting my coaching business, I heard one of my mentors at the time say that there’s no better personal development plan on the planet than starting your own business, and I couldn’t agree more. Building a business is not for the faint of heart. It has the potential to inspire at the highest levels and also raise from the depths our most potent hidden shadows of fear and doubt.
As I’m sure is true for many of you, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced on this journey has been to integrate my desire to serve and make a difference with the necessity of making a profit. Before launching as a coach, I’d spent just over a decade working as a counselor and therapist in various arenas of mental health. In these arenas, money and service don’t mix easily and as an employee I rarely had to give it a second thought. When I became a business owner, it almost felt wrong to charge money for helping people and it’s been quite a quest to find a path in business that happily marries service and money. I often wondered if it was really possible to create the kind of success I desired in business without sacrificing integrity, values, meaning, and fulfillment.
I also found that the constant preoccupation with generating self-employed income began to lead me in a direction of self-focus that started to become tedious and insular. At a certain point the relentless focus on MY business, MY money, MY projects started to feel really tired.
A little over a year ago, after coming to an end of a lucrative contract with one of Canada’s top five banks, and with no new prospects in sight, I had the opportunity to learn an approach to business that finally satisfied my longing for a path that embraced both the deep ethic of service and the healthy need for profit. While shopping for a meditation cushion, I discovered an advertisement for a talk being given by Geshe Michael Roach, author of the books “The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life” and “Karmic Management”. My husband had read “The Diamond Cutter” a number of years before and I remembered that he found great inspiration in it. So, I put it in my calendar and excitedly anticipated the event. It turned out to be a major turning point in both my business and life.
In the talk, Geshe Michael Roach shared his experience of creating a hugely successful business from scratch using ancient Buddhist principles that are rooted in the understanding that we are all One and that we create success by shifting our focus out of the “me, me, me” and into thinking about helping other people become successful first. He refers to this approach as “Karmic Management”.
I was so inspired by the talk that I bought and devoured the books and then introduced my friend and coaching colleague Tom Rausch to the work. He was so lit up by it and the results he was experiencing, that he suggested we launch a Mastermind. And so we did.
After almost two years of walking this path and taking other people through the process of learning and implementing it, I can say that it’s one of the most powerful paths of personal and business development we’ve each experienced. It’s enabled us to clear out some major blockages and evolve into the next level of expressing our purpose, attracting incredible new opportunities, and creating a level of peace, ease, clarity, and confidence that we didn’t know was possible. We’ve also had the joy and privilege of seeing others do the same.
I find it’s rare to get that much out of one approach, and so I’m both honored and excited to have this opportunity to share with you some background on it and give you a quick tour of the major components to get you started.
A Good Karma Success Story
In the talk I attended, Geshe Michael Roach shared his story of being a young Princeton grad many years ago in search of greater spiritual meaning and understanding. This quest led him to study in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery for twenty-five years and become the first white person in six hundred years to achieve the title of ‘Geshe’, which designates him as a Master of Buddhist studies. The final assignment given to him by his teachers was to start a business since they felt that this would be one of the best ways to demonstrate the powerful and practical value of the ancient wisdom.
By his own description, Gehse Michael Roach had absolutely no interest in starting a business and he put it off for over a year before deciding to move forward. When he finally accepted the challenge, he was guided to start a business in the diamond industry, which is no small accomplishment in itself. In this highly guarded business sector it’s typically only those whose families have been in the business for generations who have any clout or opportunity to start a company. Yet, in spite of the barriers he encountered, he persevered, studied gemology, and eventually found a business partner that was willing to take him on in the venture of starting a new diamond company.
He diligently applied the karmic principles and practices and it soon became the fastest growing manufacturing company in the history of New York City, often doubling their profits every year, which is virtually unheard of in the diamond industry. At the same time that he started the diamond company, he also established a charity that assists Tibetan refugees and preserves their ancient Buddhist texts. He attributes the success of the diamond business in large part to the fact that he channeled the fruits of his labor into this charity. A few years ago they sold the diamond business to Warren Buffett for $250 million dollars (not too shabby!) and Geshe Michael Roach continues to share the karmic principles and practices with people around the world by offering training and talks at a very minimal cost.
What Exactly is Karma and How Does This All Work?
“Karma” is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days so let’s start by clarifying what it actually means.
Firstly, it’s not some distant and mysterious force that punishes you! It’s simply the accumulated effect of everything you say, think, and do… and the overall quality of your life experience in this moment is a direct reflection of your habits of thought, action, and speech (or karma).
I’m guessing that, like me, most of you are fairly mindful of how you conduct yourself, but in spite of this, I was still amazed by how profoundly I had underestimated the consequences of what I say, think, and do. I was also surprised to learn how even the smallest, seemingly insignificant ripples of thought, action, and speech can manifest in quite powerfully unexpected and unpleasant ways.
Drawing on over two thousand years of observation and insight, the Karmic Management system outlines in detail the correlation between specific negative karmic habits and how they manifest as specific types of problems in your business and life. The correlations are not often what you’d imagine them to be and it’s worth studying this material for these insights alone!
The good news is that with the awareness of how to strategically and effectively take charge of your thoughts, actions, and speech, you can awaken even more of your potential as a powerful change agent and cultivate an even richer and more fulfilling life that you can be thoroughly happy and proud to call our own.
Planting and Weeding Your Karmic Garden
The overall process of putting karmic principles and practices to work is like planting a garden. With every thought you focus on, word you speak, and action you take, you’re planting the seeds that become your reality. So, this is ultimately a path of radical personal responsibility in which you assume the role of chief gardener by consistently weeding out negative seed-planting habits and consciously cultivating positive ones instead.
If you want to create more positive outcomes in your business and life, think of yourself as a karmic seed detective, forensically investigating the results you’re experiencing for clues as to which habits of thought, word, and deed are negatively influencing your reality. From there, determine which seeds you need to plant instead and get on a plan (pronto!) to start consistently planting seeds for the kind of reality you want to experience. This is a really essential part of the process and you can find loads of great guidelines for doing this in “The Diamond Cutter” and “Karmic Management”. It’s also an area we spend a great deal of time focusing on in the Karmic Mastermind.
With this basic understanding of karma and planting your karmic garden in mind, let’s move on to some additional core principles and practices to help get you started on the path of gardening for your success.
Cultivating Your Karmic Garden
All of Karmic Management rests on the First Law of Karma which says, “Whatever you want from life you must do for someone else first.”
In this tradition, this is a law that governs all of life and if you choose to live by this principle you will experience true, lasting, and fulfilling success.
Ultimately, this law is connected to the underlying truth that we are all deeply interconnected and that the idea of a “me” that is separate from “you” is ultimately an illusion that creates disharmony and suffering. From this understanding it also follows (since we’re not as separate as we think) that the success of others is also our own success and this frees us up from a sense of being in an isolated, competitive, or comparative business mindset.
To illustrate how this works, let’s pick the example of wanting to grow your business so you can amplify the positive impact you feel inspired to make in the world. In this model, you’ve got to first focus on helping other people do the same. The main idea here is that you get what you give, and you must start with giving and not see it as something you’ll get around to doing once you’ve “arrived”. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can give of your time, energy, and talents. The point is to get started on giving what you want to receive and helping others who also want to expand their business and impact.
As a heart-centered, socially conscious business owner, this first law of karma resonates deeply. I also find that it has challenged me greatly to take my commitment to service, generosity, and trust to a much higher level.
Since it takes a radical shift in outlook and a new level of inner discipline to consistently approach success from this mindset, I’ll wrap up by giving you five additional key components that are integral to making this shift and following this path effectively.
1) Take Very Good Care of Yourself and Stay Healthy in Body, Mind, and Spirit.
The aim here is to maintain the energy you need to consistently plant positive karmic seeds and minimize negative karmic habits, so you can serve others at a higher level. This is a powerful, sometimes even magical process, but it requires energy, commitment, and focus.
Most of us are typically about one negative circumstance or one bad day away from getting triggered back into the habit of unconsciously reacting, planting negative seeds, and letting the first law of karma fly out the window (I speak from experience here!). Effectively managing your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual fitness gives you the energy and focus to stay alert and persevere in planting the seeds that will generate the kind of soul-satisfying success you desire in business and life.
2) Choose Your Karmic Partners
This involves setting up what’s called a karmic project and selecting karmic partners. Your karmic project is grounded in a main objective you have in your business and life, let’s say for example, to grow your business so you can amplify the positive impact you’re here to make.
Your karmic partners are the customers, suppliers, colleagues, and charitable endeavors that share a similar goal as you. These are the people who you’re going to focus on making successful first.
Every day you start your day thinking about how you could support your karmic partners to be successful in one small way or another to grow their business and expand their impact. This may mean doing something for just one or two karmic partners, or all of them depending on what inspiration you receive and what kinds of opportunities you have to serve them. This is not only a fantastic way to begin the day but it’s also a really effective way to focus your habits of thought, action, and speech, and plant the seeds for the reality you want to experience.
3) Set Up Daily Practices to Maximize Success
Once you have your Karmic project set up, you also do the work to consistently clean up your karmic ‘bugaboos’– meaning the negative, sticky patterns of thought, action, and speech that are creating unwanted results in your work and life.
Once you determine your top bugaboos, you track them daily. You set up a plan to bring them to mind every morning and you think about ways you can break unfruitful habits, respond differently, and plant more effective seeds.
In addition to this practice, you’re also starting the day thinking about how you can help your karmic partners. The combination of these two practices- tracking your bugaboos and contemplating how you can serve your karmic partners- keeps you focused on minimizing negative habits and maximizing positive seed-planting opportunities.
At the end of the day, review how you did. This end-of-day review keeps you focused and accountable to your seed-planting efforts. As you review your day, celebrate your successes and bring to mind the joy of serving others. It’s very key to focus on what you did well since this strengthens the mind and heart with a sense of accomplishment and positive momentum. Also compassionately note ongoing challenges. By bringing compassion to any areas you need to strengthen, you avoid planting the negative seeds of getting down on yourself. Thankfully, beating up on yourself is no better karmically than doing it to someone else!
4) See Your Problems As Your Friends
This is a critical piece but it’s also one of the toughest to actually do since it runs so contrary to much of our social training, not to mention our lightening fast defensive reactions.
It’s often very challenging to not resist, feel defeated, or fight back when challenges and conflicts arise. In the karmic view, your problems are a gift because they give you direct feedback on what kinds of negative karmic seeds you’ve been planting, and they also give you the opportunity to stop, examine your habits, and take charge of choosing new ones. As an example, if you keep encountering angry or irritable people in your life, the solution is to take an inventory of all the big and small ways in which you get stuck in angry/irritable thought, action, or speech, and start cleaning up these habits.
When you fight and resist a problematic person or issue, you generate more negative karmic seeds that then manifest later into further (and usually larger) challenges and problems. So, the idea here is to increase your capacity to use every circumstance, no matter how negative, to clean up your karma and plant the seeds for a better reality.
5) Re-Invest the Karma
This is the process of funneling the positive karmic results you receive back into your project. When your business generates profits or other benefits, you distribute them amongst your karmic business partners as a way of cultivating a cycle of generosity and sustainability.
This could mean sending a special thank you note or gift to your customers or suppliers, treating your colleagues to a nice meal, and/or making a donation to a charity that you’ve selected as one of your partners.
Going back to the analogy of planting your karmic garden, it’s a common practice in the farming business to set aside ten percent of the seeds generated by each crop yield to ensure sustainability. It’s the same principle here when you allocate a percentage of your yield to distribute amongst your karmic partners. If money is tight, simply share whatever you can of your funds, time, energy and talents as an offering of thanks. The most important point is to celebrate any success, no matter how small, and include your karmic partners in that celebration, because after all, your success is their success!
Taking it Further
If you’d like to learn more about how to plant the kind of karmic seeds that will create the results you desire, we recommend that you pick up the books, “The Diamond Cutter” and “Karmic Management”. You can find Amazon links to purchase these on our “Resources” page http://karmicmastermind.com/resources/. If you are Canadian you may prefer to access Amazon.ca
“Karmic Management” is a great way to get started since it’s a short and easy read that pulls together the core principles from “The Diamond Cutter”. Some of you may want to take the deeper dive from the get-go, in which case, “The Diamond Cutter” would be the best bet. We personally refer to both depending on whether we want a quick reminder or more in-depth understanding.
The Karmic Mastermind
Karmic mastery is ultimately a technique and with all techniques you only get good results when you use it effectively and consistently.
We’ve witnessed powerful transformation and results from the support and accountability our group members receive in the Karmic Mastermind, and if this is calling you, we’d love to take the journey with you.
You can learn more about the karmic Mastermind and sign up to receive a powerful guided meditation at… www.karmicmastermind.com
I’ll also be hosting a No-Fee 90-minute training call on Tuesday February 12th at 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific.
“Harnessing the Power of Good Karma to Take Your Business and Life to the Next Level”
The goal of this call is to share principles and practices that you can implement right away.
On this call you’ll learn…
- How it helped me (Angela) to break through hidden barriers that I would never have imagined were holding me back and how it can help you too.
- The mechanics of how we create our own roadblocks to success and what to do to clear them.
- How to set up your own karmic project and get started right away.
- Why creating community and accountability on the journey of mastering the art of good karma is so essential and what you can do to support yourself.
The call will be recorded, so be sure to register even if you can’t attend live so that you can access the recording.
To register go to: www.karmicmastermindcall.com
This is powerful, transformative work and if it’s calling you we encourage you to listen to that inner voice.
Wishing you abundant karmic gardening and much soul-satisfying success,
MSW, CTA Certified Coach