Karma Yoga - San Ramon, California Ashram

Karma Yoga : San Ramon, CA
Steve, Karma Yogi, M.A.Center
Adriana, Karma Yogi, M.A.Center

“In this age of selfishness, selfless service is the only soap that truly purifies” - Amma

The Amrita Karma Yoga Program was established to create an opportunity for individuals to practice Amma’s teachings of spiritual growth through selfless service.    At MA Center - San Ramon, Karma Yogis are immersed in an environment where they can deepen their spiritual relationship to Amma and their connection to the community by participating in the Ashram’s daily routines and supporting Amma’s charitable activities (known collectively as Embracing the World). 

Nestled in the hills just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco, California, MA Center San Ramon lies on 140 acres, and is the only place where Amma has spent the most time outside Amritapuri - Amma’s Ashram in Kerala, India.   Deer, turkey, owls, and other wildlife share the land with us as a constant reminder of our connection to Mother Nature.


"Serving the world with love and cooperation, you will find your own true self.  As you help those in need, selfishness will fall away, and without even noticing you will find your own fulfillment." - Amma

Karma Yoga is integral to the sadhana (spiritual practices) prescribed by Amma for individuals seeking spiritual growth.  Along with Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Raja Yoga (meditation) and Jnana Yoga (self reflection), Karma Yoga is an ancient path to the expansion of consciousness - i.e., to knowing one’s higher self and realizing one’s connection to all of creation. This is done through performing service without expecting any personal reward.  The ultimate goal is that, while performing all actions selflessly and with awareness and love, the mind is purified of negative impulses, and every one of our actions becomes a meditation.


The Karma Yoga program starts with an initial two-week trial period where the individual is introduced to the various departments and gets to experience Ashram life.   After the two-week period, the applicant meets with the Karma Yoga Committee to determine if the program is a good fit for the applicant and to discuss the possibility of extending their stay for up to two months. 

All of the karma yoga projects benefit Amma’s humanitarian activities.

“As you perform good actions selflessly, true love will blossom, which will purify our emotional mind.” – Amma


Karma Yogi program includes 6 hours of seva per day in a 5-day week. The remaining two days are free for the Karma Yogi.

To gain a well-rounded experience of ashram life, the karma yogis also participate in the daily Ashram schedule, as well as many of the special spiritual and educational programs held at the Ashram throughout their stay.

Karma Yogis have the opportunity to serve in three different areas:

Green Friends Farm Orchard  - Connect with Mother Nature by helping to implement sustainable agriculture through planting, trimming, harvesting, and caring for the nearly 1000 fruit trees at the Ashram.

Maintenance and Construction Projects - Let your handy worker skills shine.  Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, weed whackers, novice or expert, you will get plenty of hands-on experience helping to keep the Ashram buildings and grounds in tip-top-shape. 

(Karma Yoga seva hours fit within this schedule according to the needs of the project(s) at hand)

5:15am Morning Archana (chanting)
6:15am – 7:00am – time for meditation/IAM practice
7:00 - 8:00am breakfast
1:00pm – 2:00 pm vegetarian lunch
6:30pm – 7:30pm dinner - delicious vegetarian meals
7:30pm – 9:00pm evening bhajans, classes
10pm – bedtime


*    Saturday programs - Folks from all over the Bay Area come to the Ashram on Saturdays for a day of seva, lunch, and our evening program which includes chanting, satsang (talk), bhajans (devotional singing), and delicious vegetarian dinner.
*    Special Programs and Festivals - Celebrate the many Indian festivals and celebrations from other spiritual traditions that are held at the Ashram throughout the year. 
*    Retreats – full-day programs of meditation, chanting, satsang, bhajans, and more.
*    Satsangs and Classes on various topics including Amma’s Teachings and studies in Vedanta
*    Yoga Classes and Workshops - learn gentle Amrita Yoga integrated with Amma’s teachings
*    Spiritual/Inspirational Movie Nights
*    Bi-weekly meetings with Br. Dayamrita Chaitanyan or Bri Rema Devi
*    Opportunity to learn Amma’s Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique - IAM - during your stay

Karma Yogis also participate with the residents in the general cleaning and upkeep of the Ashram common areas.


Accommodations are in dorm-style rooms with shared baths.  Meals are vegetarian and are communal.  Eggs are permitted.


The MA Center - San Ramon community extends throughout the Bay Area, with many satellite satsangs.  Individuals and families come from all over to participate in programs, and to help with projects, and perform selfless service throughout the year.

Ashram Residents have chosen to dedicate their lives to selfless service and to helping support Amma’s charitable activities.  We live together in community - learning and growing from each other under the wings of Amma’s teachings and direct guidance. 

As a Karma Yogi, you will become an integral part of this active community.

"One should see any opportunity to serve as a rare and precious gift...and never waste such an opportunity.” - Amma


Because of the requirements and commitments of participating in the Karma Yoga Program, it is not feasible or practical for participants to work or attend school while in the program.

No alcohol, or drugs are permitted on the property.  While enrolled in the program, KY participants are expected to abstain from alcohol and illegal substance use, including marijuana, both on and off the property.  Participants also are expected to maintain celibacy while on the property.

The Karma Yoga program is entirely voluntary, and at any time, for any reason, the KY participant may choose to leave the program or MA Center may elect to terminate the participant’s stay.

Please note that submitting your application does not guarantee a placement in the karma yoga program. 


If you would like to apply to the Karma Yoga Program in San Ramon, please click on this link to the on-line application form:


Individuals are always welcome to come to the Ashram to participate in the daily programs, to perform seva on seva days, or to attend any of the various programs held at MA Center throughout the year.   More information about programs at MA Center can be found at www.amma.org/sanramon.


MA Center San Ramon does offer opportunities to stay at the Ashram as a guest for up to two weeks.  Space is limited and based on availability.  If you are interested in coming as a guest, please send an email to guestvisit@amma.org


ABOUT EMBRACING THE WORLD (Amma’s Charitable Organization)www.embracingtheworld.org

For questions or further information, please email karmayoga-macsr@macenters.org

"The beauty and charm of selfless love and service should not die away from the face of this earth. The world should know that a life of dedication is possible, that a life inspired by love and service to humanity is possible." - Amma



"I came here with the intention to perform selfless service for Amma, to be a part of the community, to cultivate spirituality, and to develop my sadhana. I feel it’s helped me to maintain the right attitude to be able to make progress on my spiritual path. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and I am grateful to be here serving Amma. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to excel in their spiritual life." - Stevie

“The karma yoga program in San Ramon ashram was a very nice and deep experience that I keep very close to my heart. My days always started and finished with spiritual practices that made me stay focus in my spiritual goal thought the day. The residents and other karma yogis were very nice, welcoming, open and loving, always willing to help out and made me feel part of the family right away. Everybody had something to share , lessons kept coming pretty much out of each interaction. My work days at the orchard were very rewarding, I felt closer to Amma, while dedicating my entire day to serve my heart felt really open and full of love. By the time my program was over I felt very accomplished and inspired to do more seva. It made me realize not to take for granted how fortunate I am and must give back to those that are suffering inspired by Amma's love and message. I am very grateful for this experience and can't wait to go back!” - Adriana

"Karma Yoga at the M. A. Center has been positively life changing for me. I've been part of the program on and off since 2011, doing seva with both the organic orchard and the AIMS project. The kind, devotional atmosphere, and the ashram's natural beauty helps me to go within and deepen my connection to Amma. Service is purifying to my mind and helps me feel more selfless and expansive." - Kalpita