Good Karma


Dear Artist,

Good karma is a creative tool. By contrast, bad karma can interfere with your work, slow your progress and spoil your fun. Your words and deeds are your honour and your glory. Future power is needlessly given away every day by thoughtless moves and ignorant remarks. It’s sad to realize that most of the world’s evil begins with our mouths. Here are some karmic tips for artists:


“Brahmacharis” 1937
oil on canvas
by Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941)

Make sure you stand a reasonable chance of following through when you say you are going to do something. A legacy of unfinished or incomplete projects or promises weighs on the soul and derails further productivity.

Giving your own stuff away is the seed of good karma. You have been gifted with this joy; why not share your gift? It’s been my experience that exuberant giving powers invention, creativity, and further unlocks earth’s bounty.


“Bride’s Toilette” 1937
oil painting by Amrita Sher-Gil

When you are asked to donate your art to a charity, think about the charity before you do. Some are better run, more cost effective and more valuable to society than others. You have the power to influence progress.

Realize that, because of art’s permanence, you will continue to be around for other incarnations. Make sure your works are worthy of this immortality and not just the fashion or expediency of today.

Give every one of your associates their dignity as well as respect for their boundaries and capabilities. It’s the marvel of humankind that we all have something different to offer.


“Camels” 1941
by Amrita Sher-Gil

We are our thoughts. Positive thoughts give positive results. Do not be for long with those associates, dealers or other artists who have negative thoughts. They conspire to weaken your own karma and make you miserable like them.


“Ancient Storyteller” 1940
oil painting by Amrita Sher-Gil

Best regards,


PS: “The wise ones work for the welfare of humanity. The enlightened ones inspire others by performing works efficiently.” (Bhagavad Gita)

Esoterica: The idea behind karma is that every being contains an eternal spirit that is working out its destiny over many lives. I like the concept, but like many other artists I’m into karma in the here and now: “You expand your consciousness, your ideas, your perceptions. You break away from self-adopted restrictions. You grow as you learn to step aside from limiting conceptions and dogmas.” (Seth)

This letter was originally published as “Good Karma” on June 11, 2002.


Download the new audio book, The Letters: Vol. 1 and 2, narrated by Dave Genn, here. Proceeds of sales contribute to the production of The Painter’s Keys.

“Take a chance on your own abilities clearly, neither exaggerating them nor under-assessing them.” (Seth)



  1. Heather Hawthorn Doyle on

    Once again you give me the words I need to hear, exactly when I need them. Creativity and the willingness to take the hard to road in order to finish, accepted! Thank you

  2. We participated this weekend in what is probably the best Czech Crafts Market, outdoors in a park but good work and good people. In the end excellent sales, the best pieces all found new homes. The best was Eva & I heard several times, ‘We only come to see you.’ DAMN validation at age 79.

  3. Glen Bitter on

    If we receive God’s gift for music and/or art, it is not for us to hold, but to share with others.
    Good stuff today.

    • Lisa Aarflot on

      Thank you for such an inspiring letter . It reminded me of a Hindu proverb I read somewhere. ……..Rivers do not drink their own water ….. Trees do not eat their own fruit ….Clouds do not soak up their own rain ….What great ones have is always for the benefit of others.

  4. Thank you, Sara! Good words to live by and grab hold of.

    My yoga teacher expressed the importance of not becoming too routine and complacent but rather to branch out and try new things, visit new places, and stretch ourselves away from the routines of life, By doing so we would feel a renewed sense of vitality.

    By choosing and supporting a just cause, we are giving to a gesture of generosity in a positive way to keep the circle of art on a continuum.

  5. Thank You for this article. My mind is lazy, and am behind with my work, missing opportunities to show them. I needed to read and to hear this today. It’s a wakeup call for me to change my situation. I tend to blame situations and make excuses for not keeping my word and not doing the work I promised to do. The result is that I have many unfinished or incomplete projects – that yes, “…weigh on the soul and derails further productivity…”. What to do I asked, and Seth responded: “You expand your consciousness, your ideas, your perceptions. You break away from self-adopted restrictions. You grow as you learn to step aside from limiting conceptions and dogmas.” Easier said than done! When I encountered new ideas and new inspiration, I get excited and ready to make it happen for me. Then the doubt and anxiety came in, “Could I do that? Could I really make that?” So, this last advice is best: “Take a chance on your own abilities clearly, neither exaggerating them nor under-assessing them.” (Seth.) Brilliant, great Advice! Just Be Yourself. Thank You. :-)

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to late afternoon sun on the tip of Savary Island's Indian Point highlights the design elements of the logs and the summer surroundings of the island.

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My enjoyment in representing the beauty of our world with strong design and bold colours is what drives my passion for my landscape painting of Savary Island and other parts of our amazing planet.

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