Karma Yoga or Service Without Ego for Inner Peace
Karma Yoga has been defined in various ways: as the yoga of action, selfless service, work without ego, right action, and work done according to one’s own nature.
How karma yoga is practiced is in the following steps:
- 1) Do your work with concentration and attention on the work at hand in the present moment, and with love in your heart.
- 2) While you are doing your work do your best and think of nothing extraneous to the task at hand.
- 3) When the work is complete, let go.
- 4) Do not be attached to the outcome or the results of your work.
- 5) Do not be attached or concerned about any gain from the work.
The work is yours to do, the results of the work are not yours. Surrender the results of your work to the divine.
Why practice Karma Yoga?
Karma yoga is a way of working that liberates you from anxiety and stress. Every thought is a disturbance to that inner peace. Work done with attention on the present moment free of doubts and worries brings happiness.
How to Apply this in the Workplace?
Whether washing the dishes, walking the dog, changing the tire on your car, painting a house, solving a difficult mathematical problem, performing on the stage, answering e-mails, teaching a class, controlling traffic at an intersection, or practicing homeopathy —the key is to be present with your work.
Focus your attention on the work at hand. Employ your intuitive mind if there is a problem to be solved. Trust that whatever you need to do or know, you know how to do it, or you know how to seek the answers.
Everything you need to do or know is already inside of you. You don’t have to effort with the mind to get the answers you need. Rather let go of the mind and the answers are there.
At every moment, and inseparable from you is the indwelling God, which is identical with your very Self. The wisdom of the indwelling God is not limited by your ego’s knowledge or experience. It is one with the entire ocean of knowledge, experience and wisdom of the universe.
When you quiet your thinking mind and access your intuitive mind all of that is accessible for you and usable by you for your work.
Do you ever wonder how a small child can pick up several languages and speak them fluently by age three? The answer is she doesn’t try. She does not effort. She does not use her mind, so it all just happens for her. I see this with my granddaughter. For an adult using the mind to learn a foreign language decades can pass before they gain that same fluency. The difference is the child learns by not efforting, and the adult learns with the mind by efforting.
Work without effort. Do not employ your mind when you work. Instead clear your mind, be an empty vessel, so that you are able to intuit what you need to know.
How Do You Empty Your Mind so that you can Work Without Effort?
From my own experience I have found that a daily meditation practice is the best tool for learning how to be in the present moment and work without effort.
Work done without a meditation or mindfulness practice will invariably be work done through the ego. That means that if you are writing an e-mail you will effort at it, any work you are engaged in you will effort at.
Work done with a meditation practice will flow much more easily, accurately and effortlessly.
Here is a link to an article I wrote on How to Meditate: Click here
Letting Go of the Outcome of Your Work
This is the last step of Karma Yoga. This means that no matter what activity you are engaged in, the moment that activity ceases, do not permit yourself to think about it. It is now in the past. Do not doubt your performance. Do not worry about whether you did a good job. Do not worry about what the person you worked with thought of you. Do not worry about what the results of the work will be. This is service without ego.
Remain pure in your heart. Your heart is free and not touched by the activity you were engaged in. The work is released to the universe, and you are left unaffected by it.
The Benefits of Karma Yoga to You
The ultimate goal of life is to be happy and to understand who you really are. Every one of us wants inner peace and contentment. Every one of us wants a heart that is not agitated by anxiety, fear or worry. These great jewels are to be found nowhere but inside yourself. They are always with you as the core of your being.
By training the mind to stay present with yourself and the task at hand, you will learn to quiet the thinking mind, which is the source of most of your unhappiness, and increase access to the intuitive mind, the doorway to inner freedom.
Any activity you are engaged in affords an opportunity to practice present moment awareness. Take advantage of that opportunity. The present moment is the moment in which peace and happiness resides. Surrender your thoughts of the past and the future to that present moment awareness, and the flower of grace, love and peace will blossom in your heart.
In love and service,
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Peace be with you,
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