Why Would I Want to be a Karma Yogi?

Why would you want to be a karma yogi?  Here are some thoughts from our community of students who practice Karma Yoga.

Personal Experiences of Karma Yogis:

Much of my life I’ve been a nice guy on the surface, and aggressively competitive underneath.  I wouldn’t like to hold people accountable or get into conflict on one hand; and on the other I would roll over people to get what I wanted.  Particularly through Catherine Sensei’s integrity and compassion, and in the context of the melting pot of working together doing karma yoga with the Sangha to create and grow Clear Sky, I eventually hit a point where this ego strategy simply stopped working.  I had to finally witness these blind spots, and start to see the huge cost this was having on me and others.  This was immensely healing as I began to see these patterns drove so many unhelpful and unhappy patterns in my life.  I’m not sure how I could have brought these crippling blind spots into awareness and start to heal and transform them except by the path of karma yoga and the compassion of my dharma trainers.

Duncan Cryle, Toronto, Canada, 2017

Video: Cara Conroy-Low, Calgary, Canada, 2017

Through Karma Yoga, I have worked through an incredible amount of resistances and blocks. I will always be a work-in-progress, but the biggies have gone. The weight of heavy generational suffering has gone. The self-hate, shame and guilt has lessened a lot. Today, I hardly have a bad day. When I said bad day, I mean, I let things go more quickly, I don’t hold on to things as much as I used to. There is hardly any vague sadness, depression and anxiety with me today. I laugh more. Well, actually, I can laugh today. I don’t take myself so seriously and the tendency to take things personally has decreased a lot. I feel a lot lighter, less of a victim, and feel more confident that I actually have something to contribute to the world.

Karen MacAllister, Toronto, Canada, 2017

Video: Christopher Lawley, Calgary, Canada, 2017

Being part of Planet Dharma’s Karma Yoga team has changed some views I had about Karma Yoga.

  • To observe one’s state of mind while doing Karma Yoga is the key for me. It is about not just blindly ‘doing’. The path, process and experience of ‘doing’ is as important as the results.
  • The process of communicating with my karma yoga colleagues slowly uncovers the blind background programs that are running in the mind and body. I usually love to work alone, doing “my thing”, “my way”. But reflecting with another being is so much faster to uncover the unseen. The ego doesn’t like it very much at the beginning. But more minds simply see more things. It is therefore very enriching.
  • Everything is Karma Yoga, the moment I put awareness into it. When I do that, on a physical and emotional level the sense of prosperity and generosity that I get from Karma Yoga expands into my so called “normal daily life”.

Andrea Netscher, Germany, 2017

Video: Ava MacLean, Calgary, Canada, 2017

I’ve been practicing karma yoga at our retreat centre, Clear Sky for over ten years.  The benefits are ripe – for example now I am more able to see what is needed in the moment and take action to address it. I am less frozen in self conscious thinking. Karma yoga is a practice of not getting stuck in my feelings, emotions, mental thoughts.  I’ve learned to communicate better with my community – keeping team members informed as well as reframing and rephrasing until all parties feel understood.  Rather than staying passive I’ve learned to take control and direct as needed.  I’ve learned to act quickly to listen, problem solve, forgive emotional upsets and move forward to addressing what needs to be addressed.  I don’t get as stuck in views of who is right or wrong. I’m able to take on more responsibility, and get comfortable with both leading and following.

Maureen Smith, BC, Canada, 2017

Interested in this path?

If this resonates with you, then subscribe below to receive a taste of the Path of Awakening in Action. Read more about us, and visit our dharma blog page for our videos & writing. If you’re still wondering what Karma Yoga is, read: What is Karma Yoga.

Want to experience the path of karma yoga first hand?

One of the many benefits our having our own base at Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies is the opportunity for people to experience karma yoga in a supportive and focused setting.  Led by senior students, Clear Sky offers a 3 month karma yoga immersion program that we have found to be incredibly transformative for participants.  You can find out more here.

Karma yoga can also be done online.  If you are already a student of Doug & Catherine Sensei, you might consider this Karma Yoga Training opportunity.