Karma Yoga (or selfless service) is a wonderfully liberating practice.
If you engage in service to others without an attachment to your ego, you’ll find that you gain freedom from unwanted thoughts.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the feeling you get from doing random acts of kindness. But it’s much more than that.
In addition to detaching from your ego, Karma Yoga teaches you how to connect with deeper feelings of compassion and kindness.
Karma Yoga is something I’ve been experimenting with lately. And I’ve found a great deal of peace and joy from it.
What Is Ego?
Karma Yoga is the process of acting selflessly. Your actions are carried out mindfully but without attachment to the ego.
The idea may sound simple, but it’s a little more difficult than you’d think.
Not letting your ego get in the way when you engage in behaviors is hard. Your ego controls that critical voice in your head that tells you that you need to make a good impression, gain respect, and guard against anything that could impact your image.
But just remember… underneath your ego is a being that is ready to be enlightened and autonomous.
Most people are able to drop their ego on occasion — resulting in wise, beneficial actions that are not propelled by the desire for personal gain. However, regular freedom from the ego is a hit & miss thing unless you understand how to practice mindfulness.
What Is Mindfulness?
When you’re mindful, you concentrate on an action or a thought.
You recognize unrelated thoughts and those generated by your ego, but you allow them to pass. By focusing your attention on what you are doing or thinking, you’re able to be present in the moment.
Most people are used to their minds wandering constantly.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to be fully in the moment — without thinking of what I’ll be doing 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days from now.
If you want to practice Karma Yoga, then you need to recognize your thinking process. Focus on a subject, and notice it when unwanted thoughts pop into your mind. When they do, choose to release them by not concentrating on them.
If you need help in order to let thoughts go, imagine that they’re being spoken by someone else rather than stemming from your own inner voice. Dissociate from your mental chatter. As you become detached from unwanted thoughts, you’ll be able to observe them without feeding them with mental energy and they will fade.
What Is Selfless Service?
Before you carry out a task, you adopt a selfless frame of mind:
- Focus on your physical movements and helping others.
- See the process of carrying out a task as important — rather than forming an attachment to the result.
Not doing jobs and chores for praise, money, or simply out of necessity will lead you to feel balanced and joyful. All of the stress that accompanies things like having to reach targets, be successful, and look good to others disappears.
One of the reasons practicing Karma Yoga feels so positive and uplifting is that there is no pressure to be anything other than yourself as you engage in daily tasks. You’re not concerned about being judged by people or being critical of yourself. All you care about is performing the action.
In addition, if you’re doing something for other people, then you’ll ultimately experience feelings of compassion. Being able to help others and simply enjoy doing so is liberating — especially when you’re unhampered by thoughts about what you can gain.
Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas
- 50 Fun Ideas For Random Acts Of Kindness
- 6 Unexpected Ways To Make Someone’s Day
- What Will Fill Your Happiness Jar?
- 16 Unbelievable Acts Of Kindness
- 50 Random Acts Of Kindness
- 50 More Random Acts Of Kindness That Can Be Done From Home
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).