Is your mind consumed with fear, negativity and unforgiving thoughts? Are you tired of all the worry, anxiety and stress? Do you feel drained, like you live in a whirlwind of constant exhaustion? If you feel like you just get by, day-to-day, then don’t fret. There is hope. And it comes in the form of an ancient Indian technique that reduces and ultimately eliminates anxiety, fear and stress.
That technique is called Karma yoga. Yet it isn’t the type of yoga we’re familiar with. Karma Yoga isn’t about breathing or standing on your head. It’s about standing on your own two feet and working in a spirit of love and service towards a higher ideal and a purposeful life.
Yoga Equals Union
Yoga means to unite, to join. The implication is that we have separated from something. And that something is our essential Self. So all attempts to get back to the Self is called yoga in Sanskrit, religion in English.
People the world over do not realise their real worth. The absolute state of Being that lies within them. The infinite happiness of the Self. They have discarded the nectar of Divinity within and are trying to find peace and happiness in the world. All the pleasure and joy derived from the world would not be worth a drop in the ocean of bliss within your own Self. —A. Parthasarathy
We don’t understand what we are worth. We’ve lost sight of who we really are. And we’re chasing petty things—just to feel complete. To fill the emptiness we feel inside, we are doing all sorts of crazy things. But the problem is, we gain temporary pleasure and satisfaction. That’s all.
Instead of chasing instant pleasure, we must look within and realise our true worth. And how we do that is through the ancient practice of Karma yoga.
Karma yoga is an essential spiritual practice. It is the yoga of action, ideal for an active (busy) person. Broadly speaking, action can be divided into three categories:
1. Actions performed with selfish, egocentric desires.
2. Actions performed with unselfish desires.
3. Actions performed without desires, meaning selfless action.
Karma yoga falls under the third category. It envisages actions dedicated to a higher ideal. Actions that are free from ego, egocentric desires, attachments and expectations.
A person who practices Karma yoga is known as a Karma yogi. A Karma yogi commands enormous power and gains supreme peace and happiness in life. Through the practice of Karma yoga he (she) reduces and ultimately eliminates all fear, stress and anxiety that plague human existence—and enjoys a blissful state, even in the most challenging situations.
For more information about Karma yoga you will find a list of references below. If you live in Perth, then please join us on the 4th June for the Karma Yoga Retreat. We would love to see you there.
What distracts us from inner peace and contentment is our ego and expectations. The ancient spiritual practice of Karma Yoga reduces ego and quietens the mind by offloading expectations and other mental baggage.