by the lazy Buddhist
Sravasti Abbey is an American Buddhist monastery that came up on my YouTube feed. I watched the welcome video on the home page of their website and there was a sentence that has stayed with me – We try to instil every task with the Buddhist values of non-harming, mindfulness, compassion and service to other sentient beings.
What a lovely way to go through the day and particularly cultivating an attitude of service. Being of service is rewarding and being able to contribute and add value often gives us a sense of accomplishment and belonging, especially when we are contributing to a Dharma Centre. However, amongst all the demands of daily life, being of service can also be exhausting.
Drupon Rinpoche says that without at least a little sacrifice on our part, we will not be able to help another in any significant way. And this is where things start to get interesting, because service is one thing, but service with sacrifice is quite another.
How easy it for you to give up something that you really want for the sake of someone else? For most of us, it depends entirely on how important the thing we are being asked to give up is to us. If someone breaks into your house and steals something there are some things that you are able to give up fairly easily, but there are likely to be one or two irreplaceable or very precious items that are incredibly hard to let go of.
This is where sacrifice comes into play. What are we willing to give up in order to achieve ultimate happiness? During meditation it can be difficult to give up a thought that you really want to think, never mind giving up worldly concerns for the sake of our own happiness. And to sacrifice for someone else is even harder.
In my own life, starting my day with a reminder to instil every task with the Buddhist values of non-harming, mindfulness, compassion and service to other sentient beings has had a profound impact. I am starting small, if there is some small action that I can do for someone else that will make their life easier in some way, I try to do it.
What could you do to be of service?
Till next time,