As we stretch, bend and twist in the yoga studios, we seldom think that the path to yoga is much more than we can learn through asanas and meditation. Karma yoga, selfless action, for example, is one of the four yoga paths that promise bliss and satisfaction. However, karma is such an inflationary (and often misused) term that it’s time for a bit of karma education.
Who is this karma and if so, how many?
Karma is the law of cause and effect and states that each of our actions will have a consequence. This is true not only for what we do, but also for our thoughts and words. This law is mainly present in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, but has universal validity.
The core idea is that all our actions seed and make something out of it. But beware! Karma is not about guilt and atonement, Karma itself is completely neutral. We are the ones who place actions in contexts and so decide what we do with past karma. And more importantly, we have it in our hands which present and future karma we create.
Karma in action – selfless action
Karma is complex. Very. Basically, however, it can be said: There is no instant karma. That is, the consequences of the actions do not occur immediately, but at some point. For those who believe in rebirth, maybe even in another life.
But if we want to influence present and future karma, it still makes sense to do good for others. The karma we have sown always comes back to us, so we should always act as if “the whole balance of the universe depended on it” (Dalai Lama).
So Karma Yoga means selflessly acting for others, putting down one’s own ego and many small needs. Be happy by making others happy. Do that, however, within your means. With pseudo-niceness and involuntary sacrifice nobody is helped.
Because: When we practice Yoga in Karma, we should expect nothing in return. In short, do your best, but do not be disappointed when things are different. It’s great to be nice and it’s nice to receive the smile back in the subway. But if you’re turned on stupid, keep smiling! Disarmed by friendliness so.
5 Tips to practice Karma Yoga
“We are just visitors on this planet. We may be here for a maximum of 90 or 100 years. In this time, we should do something good and useful. If we fortunately contribute to others, then we have the meaning of life recognized. “(Dalai Lama)
Better said than done. Here are a few easy tips to earn karma points.
1. Become aware of your actions
The most difficult step is at the beginning: Become aware of your thoughts, words and deeds! You will soon realize that we are very much about ourselves and are busy to make our own life more pleasant and beautiful.Or that we often do things for which we expect something specific. Find out what does not really suit you and where you might think a little bit more about others.
2. A good deed every day
The old scout rule also works well in karma yoga. Imagine doing one thing each dayon for the benefit of others. Sometimes these can be very small things that do not cost much time. But every day, look for a thing that can enrich the lives of others. For example, bring chocolate to your colleagues or a coffee to your loved one in the morning. You’ll be amazed what great ideas you’ll get after a while!
3. Engage in a social or political project
We do not have to look to the other side of the world to realize that people can use help anywhere and everywhere. Whatever touches you and is close to your heart, make it your business to make a difference! Give a child free tutoring lessons, a refugee German class, the homeless shelter your unused clothes or go on anti-war demonstrations. If this is too much effort, it can provide donations to clubs and NGOs so that they can do their important work.
4. Wish the best for others
No money to donate? No nerves for political discussions? No time for reading aloud at the retirement home? Then regularly take a few moments to bless other people with good wishes. Focus on the well-being of a loved one and imagine what the person might need. By the way, such well-intentioned wishes also do wonders for those you are angry about right now!
5. Rejoice over it and let go!
Karma yoga is only a round thing if you can let go of the results of your actions. So you should not state after serving in the soup kitchen or issuing the donation check and expect recognition. Because the nicest thing that Karma Yoga can give you is contentment. Doing something good for others is a proven way to raise morale and make us happier. People who help others often radiate much satisfaction and happiness. So just enjoy the liberating effect of making your little world a little bit more beautiful.
Well, I’m going to bake cakes for my girlfriend, who later comes for coffee. Karma cake, so to speak. A nice proof that Karma Yoga makes you happy, too.
What is your good deed for today? I’m looking forward to your ideas!