If you have come here, do seva. Do the Karma Yoga. Do it with your hands, and your mind, and your soul. Do it with your Self and your Self will be exalted. Yogi Bhajan
Karma Yoga literally means ‘union through action’. At the Festival, everyone signs up for a same-language Karma Yoga group, and each group contributes to important tasks to help run the Festival. In this way, the Festival runs on the combined efforts of everyone present.
Karma Yoga is an essential part of the experience of the Festival – just as much as participating in sadhana, the cleansing diet, the workshops. It is the part of the Festival that invites you to group consciousness, to be part of something greater than yourself. Take it as a training – a training to serve, a training to step beyond limitations, beyond your burdens, and to serve the group. Karma yoga is a chance to play an active role in community, and to do it with enthusiasm.
The terms ‘karma yoga’ and ‘seva’ are often used interchangeably, but in fact, they are subtly different. Karma yoga is your duty; seva is what you offer from the heart.
Through the Festival, there will also be spontaneous opportunities to help out – for example, you may see someone who needs some help, or we may ask for 20 additional people to help out with veggie chopping. Make yourself available for these when you can.
Tips for a good karma yoga experience
- Approach karma yoga with enthusiasm, zest, energy.
- Actively participate in your group – arrive on time, stay until the end.
- Bring an apron or some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (you don’t want to cut beetroot in your whites!)
- Whatever is going on inside, do it with a smile.
- Connect with your karma yoga group at the misl meeting times; get to know each other; share your experience.
- Know that you don’t need to do everything, all the time; there are also moments to rest and allow yourself to be served by others.