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  1. Karma yoga: A path towards work in positive psychology
  3. Karma yoga: A path towards work in positive psychology
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  5. Karma Yoga

What even is that? While karma yoga can mean a lot of different things to different people, the general idea is taking the philosophy of yoga and putting it in action. This means stepping off of the mat and into the world. It means humbling your ego, serving your community, and being part of something bigger than yourself. Union of the mind, body and soul. Union of the self with the divine. There are four main paths of yoga: Raja yoga is the yoga of mind and body control. Its focus is on meditation and energetics.

It is from Raja yoga that hatha yoga and modern asana practice developed. Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion and focuses on devoting yourself to worship of the divine. Jnana yoga is the yoga of wisdom and encourages people to study the ancient scriptures such as The Upanishads. Karma yoga is the yoga of action. Through karma yoga we learn kindness and compassion without an expectation of gain.

The idea being that learning these lessons helps us to step away from our ego, freeing us to move one step further on the path to enlightenment. Service can be a powerful means of releasing yourself of your ego, learning to act from pure intentions, and connecting with the bigger picture.

Karma yoga: A path towards work in positive psychology

Service is at the heart of karma yoga and it is this belief in the power of karma yoga and the importance of giving back that is at the core of our company. T here are many ways to embrace karma yoga in your life. If an action cannot be avoided at the physical level, at the psychic level, it can be done with a kind of neutrality, detachment, and dis-identification from:.

In this way, the action itself starts having different dimensions. The act in itself becomes a modality to remember what we are. Therefore, it is a ritualization of the activity in which every gesture is charged by sense, significance. Karma Yoga combines the qualities of efficiency, renunciation, equanimity, egolessness, and duty in one action. The aim of Karma Yoga is to harmonize the actions seen as expressions of Prakriti, Shakti with the pure radiance and light of the Supreme Self. When we are successful in attaining whatever it is we want, we usually experience a rush of satisfaction and happiness.

Things change, situations change, we change. Karma Yoga is the science of learning non-attachment through practice. It is learning to perform all acts without selfish motives or expectations. In its highest form, non-attachment is the same as unconditional Love, Stillness, and Pure Joy. The doer is that part of the ego that takes credit for accomplishments and blames others for or laments failures. The doer brings the feeling that we are the agent of action. It is the sense that we are in total control, that we are making it all happen—envisioning, planning, and executing the different aspects of our lives.

The feeling of doership is based on the misperception that we are the body and mind. When, in fact, we are not the body and mind, but the owner of both. That part of us that never changes but is constantly aware of all changes, that Awareness itself is who we are. But, as long as this illusion persists we are bound by karma.

Upon enlightenment, actions are experienced as simply arising spontaneously, without an ego identity. Karma Yoga means performing an action with meditative awareness, from moment to moment. Not only is an action performed consciously, but our attitude toward an action is also transformed. Usually, acts are motivated by a desire for self-satisfaction or gain.


Thus, the ego is reinforced. Therefore, to put awareness into a task is to put our mind and soul into the work, our being into the work, without selfish involvement— to find ourselves free in the work.

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Ordinarily, what happens is that although we put our attention into a work or an action, we are not fully interested in that action. Typically, there are very few actions, if any, in which we are wholly present. We have only a small percentage of awareness because our attention is conditioned by many other factors and the mind is agitated. When we have an unconditioned awareness of something, our whole mind and psyche are present. This is the meaning of Karma Yoga.

Karma yoga: A path towards work in positive psychology

This is ultimately the secret of any spiritual practice—it is the essence of yoga and the meaning of meditation. In ordinary undertakings, our complete attention, mind, and soul are not present, for different reasons. The extent to which unconditional Pure Awareness—the Heart—is present in an action is the extent to which that action becomes Karma Yoga and does not bind us or create other samsaric limitations. In this way, we realize how Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga the yoga of direct knowledge support each other. Without Self-Enquiry meditation, there cannot be any real success in any field of life.

Real success in an action ultimately means performing it harmoniously and efficiently without being bound by it. Therefore, we put our mind and soul into a task or action because where they are, consciousness is. And, it is only when there is no personal interest to interfere that we can be fully present. In the Zen tradition of archery, the limited egotistical condition is expressed in a very suggestive way: What comes is a kind of intuition, a mystery, in which the sacredness of our being is affirmed.

It is an intuition of Stillness—that Stillness which is not touched by our willingness to be good, competitive, afraid of outcomes, etc.

What is Karma Yoga and How Can You Practice it?

This understanding of the sacredness of our being also means that the responsibility for our actions and their consequences is increased. For example, if we are responsible for keeping the yoga hall clean and one hour after we clean it it becomes messy again, we simply begin anew.

At the same time, we are not just lost in our activity—we see it from a higher perspective, finding creative ways to inspire people not to make the hall dirty so quickly. We are not just caught blindly in a job. In performing any action, we externalize our inner being.

karma yoga

Therefore, our actions are a reflection of ourselves. Every action acts upon ourselves and molds the entire structure of the person we tend to be.

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In order to generate a profound inner transformation, we can practice sitting meditation, walking meditation, and working meditation as well. Our entire life can become a meditation… A very important factor is the awareness of where our mind is, and then maintaining the awareness of Awareness itself.

From an external perspective, real Karma Yoga might be seen as acting continuously with great exertion. In reality, because we become more and more open to the Spiritual Heart, to what we are, we can work for many hours without feeling tired or exhausted or psychically depleted. There is a constant feeling of joy, enthusiasm, and passion in our heart and mind. What seems exhausting or impossible for others becomes easy for us. In this way, Karma Yoga teaches us a new attitude to work and life in general, and we become convinced that nothing is impossible for us.

Additionally, our sense of ourselves becomes less selfish, more open. If we are in tune with the Heart, we are in tune with the universal energy that is passing through our structures and energetically, psychically, and mentally sustaining the action that we are engaged in. Thus, we will discover something astounding: Not just from acting serving , but in it. When we are able to let go of the anxieties, fears, expectations, and cravings that attend most acts, our minds are free and our heart is open.

We discover a way of acting naturally out of enthusiasm and generosity. When we are totally present in what we do, it is not that we become the work, but the work becomes us. It is not the same as when we are absorbed completely in an action and forget about ourselves—as happens, for example, when someone is passionately involved in a computer game. Instead, the work becomes one with us, it is not separate from the Awareness that we are. This is the essence of Karma Yoga. As a consequence of this, we will not be tired of the work, because we cannot be tired of what we really are, the Heart.

Any action, task, or function that is bereft of the soul-element easily becomes tiring and annoying because we act using our personal energetic resources. On the other hand, any action or function in which the Heart is present cannot be tiring, because it is connected to the universal source of power, Shakti. Any natural thing is not tiring. For example, we are not tired of or annoyed by breathing.

In Karma Yoga , actions themselves are not considered the most important aspect. Rather, the focus in on the inner attitude , the harmony of mind with which the act is performed. The awareness of the action is what is emphasized. The quality of the work itself is simply the consequence of this inner attitude. It is this change of attitude that eventually creates change within ourselves and in the world. It is not just what we do that matters, but how we do it. There is a story about three brick masons.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga is a way of acting and thinking based on pure intentions. We orient ourselves towards realization by first acting in accordance with our sense of harmony and duty dharma. Karma Yoga is not just an offering of the fruits of any action, but a self-offering, or the surrender of the ego. Thus, Karma Yoga involves considerably more than just doing our duty. It goes beyond conventional morality and animates a profound spiritual attitude.

It is not by what you do, but by what you are that you will be judged. We should meditate deeply on this wise comment by Saint Paul Corinthians Actions done with a lack of awareness and love do not count; it is our awareness, our being that counts. Practicing Karma Yoga with a devotional attitude turns our whole life into one unending ritual.

It is indeed a ritual, since every action is performed as an offering of devotion to the Divine, not in the hope of personal gain or advantage. Love for, and devotion to, God sheds another light on this approach. Acts are performed selflessly for the benefit of all human beings or in the name of God. Also, the fruits of the actions are consecrated to God.

This perspective is also emphasized by Krishna the Divine in the Bhagavad Gita: