How Karma Yoga Can Help Us

Author: Didde Thomsen

Didde Thomsen

Karma yoga can help us be aware and conscious of our body and mind in a stressful daily life. Karma yoga means to do action in a selfless way, without any expectation of reward or appreciation from others. In Karma yoga, we let go of all fruits of our action, both physically, mentally, and intellectually. We accept our thoughts and we are unattached to objects, thoughts, or actions. 

We know that there is a lesson to be learned in any situation, and whether it is positive or negative, we must accept every person, action, thought, or situation. We should not strive for a great outcome of our actions but should do the best we can. We must be involved, responsible, and dedicated to our work.

In this hectic, busy society we live in, it can be difficult to integrate Karma yoga as a part of our daily life. Generally, we strive to earn more money to achieve a higher materialistic position. Everything must look good from the outside; a big and beautiful house, an expensive car, nice clothes, well paid job, etc. At the same time our family must look harmonious, living a happy, comfortable, and even luxurious life. We overwork our body and mind to maintain this “perfect” lifestyle. We are stressed by our will to achieve high goals which are within the limit of our own resources. We do not see this pattern because we are too busy adjusting and adapting to achieve these ambitious goals, and to get acknowledgement, appreciation, and rewards for our efforts. Still we are not content. We need something more just to please our ego and to accumulate our status. We think we need more comfort and luxury instead of thinking about how to acquire health, enjoyment, and happiness in our life. We are slaves of our own possessions and desires instead of being our own master. We are not really content with our possessions and attachments. There will still be a fear of losing what we have, or a feeling that we are missing something. 

To have peace in our life, we must try to reduce desires for results, achievements, status, and money- all things that strike our ego. It is difficult not to crave these things because we like rewards for our actions, but as written in the Bhagavad Ghita, yoga begins at the moment when you are terribly angry and are trying to balance yourself.

If we let go of our attachments, we will no longer be afraid of losing them, and while fear of losing will decrease, we will lose expectations and attachments to results of our actions. The work will become our duty which we enjoy without involvement of the ego. This is just as natural as when a mother in a selfless way nurses her baby with love and compassion, without any attachment or reward.

How do we become aware and conscious of our mind and bodies in our actions, thoughts, reactions, and behavior? How do we develop immunity from things that affect us, and how do we manage not to try changing things which are unchangeable? How do we release negative thoughts? How do we let go of personal obsessions and desires, which we create within ourselves? How do we become free, with awareness and peace in our mind, separating our real needs from our wants?

In our everyday life there will be both success and failure, even if we always do our best in every situation. These ups and downs are natural, but we must not let them disturb our mind. We must try to reduce our own expectations and try to keep balance of our mind in both success and failure. We must control our mind to have positive thinking in any situation so we keep the balance in our mind and body. We must see the beautiful rose instead of all the thorns, or see a half full glass instead of half empty glass. We are the architect of our own life, and the more detached we get from the outside world, the more freedom and inner peace we will find. 

For me, living in an ashram is a start of this journey that will go on for the rest of my life. I will focus especially on these parts of the yogic lifestyle; Jhana yoga- the practice of knowledge (self-inquiry- the swan theory), Omkar chanting, Karma yoga- selfless action without any expectations, Ashtanga yoga, Patanjali’s eight limbs, Hatha yoga- Balance of body and mind. In striving to live selflessly without self-centered perceptions, I will become more aware of living my life with compassion and awareness, connection with my true self. I will be more pleased and content with my actions and thoughts, without worrying about other peoples’ opinions of my thoughts and actions. I am going to become more free of my desire for acknowledgement of my actions, and attachment or obsession of objects. I love and accept my thoughts and actions, and I do not need anything in return. I am satisfied with who I am and what I have. The aim of my life is to be aware and conscious of my mind and body, and live a happy, healthy life with my dearest family including my husband and our beloved three daughters.

Wake up, Darling, wake up
Forget not your essential divine nature
Abandon I-ness and mine-ness,
Doership and enjoyership
Thou at emperor of emperors
Thou at light of lights
Realize this and be free.”

 “The views expressed above are solely those of the author. may or may not agree with these statements.”

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Maharashtra, India.

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Village Talwade, Trimbak, Nasik

Phone - +91-9822770727

E-mail - or

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