A common misconception about the spiritual path is that it is only attainable if we remove ourselves from “the real world”. The cliché is that consciousness is found in isolation, where we practice yoga and meditate in the mountaintops. That may work for some, but there is a different spiritual path that is far more accessible and practical—the spiritual practice of Karma Yoga.
Karma Yoga is selfless action and service. It means giving, doing and creating without calculation of what you get in return. Those who practice Karma Yoga (myself included) know that the value of what we give, do and create will probably be returned in some way—but that part doesn’t really matter. Our purpose, meaning, and happiness is found in the unconditional giving part.
In truth, giving and receiving are the same act. Creating something valuable, beautiful or useful will naturally result in financial abundance and other rewards—but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to focus only on the quality of doing within an ongoing, conscious state of presence.
Karma Yoga really means acting in love. You don’t need a different set of circumstances and you don’t need to remove yourself from this place and time. Your only opportunity to practice love exists right where you are, right now. This is where you are needed. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.