Luck and Karma

Lucky Karma!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I became curious about The Luck of the Irish and how it intersects - or doesn’t with karma. What makes one lucky or not - or to have good karma or not? Is the Luck of the Irish Good Luck or Bad Luck—or Dumb Luck?

The Luck of the Irish is used to describe someone who is extremely lucky and has good fortune. During the California Gold Rush (1848-1855), many of the most successful miners were of Irish descent giving birth to the American phrase the Luck of the Irish. Another theory is the phrase stems from Irish folklore or possibly Celtic mythology which bestowed a special kind of luck on the Irish people.

The phrase itself is used to express good luck and good fortune, but it’s easy to see why one might think it is used ironically to express actual bad luck. The history of the Irish people is anything but lucky. Over the centuries, Ireland has been wrought with famine, civil wars, foreign invasion, and the oppression of its people. Finally, its origins also have a slight connotation of dumb luck, as if to say the only way an Irishman could be successful is due to luck and not through hard work, skills, or intellect.

What about Karma? The Sanskrit word karma means “action,” but the word implies actions that have consequences. That concept is an everyday idea. However, according to Deepak Chopra, there are deeper implications for karma: Every action leads to a result. These results are calculated by a kind of cosmic power than balances everything. The consequences of your actions are not randomly good or bad—they are organized in an evolutionary way to move your forward.

“Good” karma means evolution. “Bad” karma suspends or delays your forward motion. This goes beyond “everything happens for a reason.” The reason is evolution. This is why the doctrine of karma originated, so that despite the ups and downs of everyday life and the random reactions we have to everything that happens to us, there is a larger karmic pattern.

Perhaps it’s true, the harder you work, the luckier you get. And to grow, you must become aware of your experience, interrupt negative patterns and choose positive ones. This is the opportunity. We do yoga to become more aware. Full stop. The power is in the pause to act for the highest outcome in every situation.

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