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He who controls his actions, but lets his mind dwell on sense-objects, is deluding himself and spoiling his search for the deepest truth. The superior man is he whose mind can control his senses; with no attachment to results, he engages in the yoga of action (pgs. 62-63).

The practical values of Karma-Yoga are many. According to Vivekananda (1955a), the true character of a person can be seen by watching their actions. Those who work for work’s sake, just because good will come of it, and who have given up any sense of self or attachment to their works, has achieved the ideal of Karma-Yoga. As difficult as it may be to take control of one’s life, in other words to direct one’s own karma, it can be done. If we learn to look at our past and present bad circumstances simply as facts that have happened, it is really our own opinion that allows those circumstances to affect our self-image (Schied, 1986). If we can look past those negative circumstances, indeed even look for the positive aspects in all situations, we can begin to act in positive ways that will create good karma for our future.

“In the end, these things matter most: How well did you love?

How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn

To let go?” – Kornfield, 1994


Mantra-Yoga is the Yoga of sound or vibration. The universe is believed to be in constant vibration. Om , the most sacred mantra, is believed to be the word representing the fundamental vibration of the universe. As such, meditating while chanting Om is believed to have almost magical transformative powers over the body and mind (Feuerstein, 2003). It is also common to chant short prayer phrases, such as Om Namah Shivaya (I bow to Shiva), the Hare Krishna mantra (the mahamantra, or great mantra), and Om Mani Padme Hum (a Tibetan Buddhist chant that has no direct translation). The CD Pilgrim Heart, by Krishna Das (2002), offers both insightful description and a modern musical presentation of some of these chants.

Connections Across Cultures: Franchised Yoga Centers in America

If you take a look at the magazine section of a major bookstore, you will find several magazines devoted to the practice of Yoga. In those magazines, you can find dozens of Yoga training centers and retreats. Many colleges and universities in America offer courses in Yoga. Yoga is very much a part of life for many Americans. But has it made its way into the mainstream? There is some interesting evidence to suggest that if it hasn’t yet, it will very soon. The days when Yoga centers were only individual operations, run by a small group of devoted yogis, appear to be over.

In 2003, internet entrepreneurs George Lichter and Rob Wrubel (formerly with the search engine Ask Jeeves International) were looking to move into a new business venture. When the two men realized that both were practicing Yoga (primarily the physical aspects of Hatha-Yoga), they decided to create a chain of Yoga centers across America. Beginning with the purchase of an established yoga center in Los Angeles, they have plans to expand to a variety of major cities, and ultimately to smaller locations around the country. Although a business model may fit well with American capitalism, can such an approach fit with Yoga? They hope that by having the company focus on the business aspects of running a Yoga studio, the instructors can be freed to focus on teaching Yoga to their students.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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