The Path of Karma Yoga: Acting with Selfless Service

Learn to let go of self-interest and embrace your divine nature with the path of Karma yoga…

According the ancient spiritual philosophy of yoga, there are 4 philosophical pathways to a yogic lifestyle of peace and enlightenment. Today we will explore the pathway of Karma Yoga, or the yoga pathway of action and selfless service. Karma yoga gives us the means by which to shake off the tendency to be motivated by self-interest – or “Mala.”

According to Ekhart Yoga, Mala is “what drives us to ‘be somebody’ in the sense of fame, respect, accreditation, wealth, and material success… It is this ‘selfish’ attitude, which, according to Vedanta, makes us forget that we are so much more than our bodies, emotions, and the identity that our minds think us to be.”

Practicing the path of Karma yoga can help us to move beyond Mala and remember our true purpose of reuniting with our deeper selves as pure consciousness – or our divine nature, if you will.

Karma yoga is the path of action. It is the intention woven within our actions, which perpetuate more actions and the ongoing state of our minds (also known as karma). When we act, we often do so with the underlying question, “How will this benefit me,” expecting results or appreciation of our efforts.

Karma yoga suggests that we eliminate that attitude and act with an attitude of selfless service, without any anticipation of credit or result. In other words, we act simply for the delight and joy of being ABLE to act, with no attachment to a particular outcome…

However, in today’s busy world, it this is a lot easier said than done! Most of our outer world is based around achievement of goals, or attainment of a desired result, so it can be very difficult to let go of our expectations and just allow things to BE. So how do we practice the Karmic path in the real world?

Start with small acts that you do every day, like washing the dishes. Or do something kind for someone else, without any expectation of thanks or reciprocity. Build on these small acts, letting go of expectation gradually, and after a while you may notice that the intentions woven into your actions start to transform. A connection to the deep truth in your heart becomes re-established as the Mala loosens, and perhaps your whole experience of living becomes more vast and expansive and less dependent on the identity that your mind thinks you to be, as you reunite with the direct experience of the Consciousness that we all are.

Read more about the Karmic path at


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