Another awesome book by Yogani. It's a must read if you have a very strong desire toward a chosen ideal or action, or if you feel that you cannot seem to be attracted toward a chosen ideal or action.
If you are feeling overwhelmed because you have strong bhakti (spiritual desire), or if you are feeling frustrated because you seem to have no bhakti at all, he explains how to learn to transform emotions (positive or negative) to bhakti toward our chosen ideal (ishta) rather than getting frustrated. This can be done while still being completely engaged in this world. He emphasizes the need to self pace bhakti so that our journey is as smooth as possible. He talks about karma and explains how it is cause and effect and how the effects can be altered by changing the underlying causes. Hence we don't have to leave our lives in the hands of fate and can bring about positive consequences to ourselves and all around us. This, he says, is karma yoga.
We may feel guilty or shame due to our conditioning or the judgment of others on certain actions we may take that are labeled as "sin" by our society. Sin is considered an offense against religion, moral laws and/or God. This too can be let go of by surrendering this guilt to our chosen ideal. Meditation helps in loosening the grip that the label of sin has on us. In AYP, deep meditation is used to cultivate inner silence which penetrates every aspect of our lives. This silence helps us transcend karma. Karma does not go away, but our relationship with our karma changes and we become the master of our karma, rather than a servant of it. He explains how karma yoga is fulfilled when we have become "stillness in action." Then we do without doing, and this is the best place to serve from and then we can serve without attachment to the fruits of our actions. There is a difference between service and servitude. Service is done freely, while servitude is imposed on us by our own minds. When service is done as a rule of conduct and not from the heart, it can be counterproductive.
Also, balance is important. He talks about how to deal with the confusion that may arise when there is bhakti rising and at the same time money and praise for "being spiritual" may be coming. It is better to go with the inner calling for service while cultivating inner silence in deep meditation. He says "move as stillness moves, not as fear would have you move". Also, service does not have to be done in a big scale, service can be done from where we are in family and among people we know.
There is a misconception that enlightenment is impractical and after enlightenment we stop thinking, desiring, doing. Enlightenment without action is not enlightenment. One of the paradoxes of enlightenment is that the one who is enlightened is more active than ever before, because they are engaged on many levels, the visible and invisible. And yet, they will be doing nothing at all.