The scope of service is not limited to heroic acts, great gestures, and huge donations to public institutions. They also serve who express their love in little things. A word that gives courage to a broken heart or a smile that brings hope in the midst of gloom is as much service as heroic sacrifice. A glance that wipes out bitterness from the heart is also service, although there may be no thought of service in it. When taken by themselves all these things seem to be small, but life is made up of many small things. If these small things were ignored, life would not only be unbeautiful, it would be unbearable…….Meher Baba
the grace of humility lies in its quiet response to naked truth……may we understand our power to be healed and then to offer that healing…..
I had lived many years in a small protected community. Then it came to me that it was time to go back to society to serve. I began an integration, going back and forth. I worked at an AIDS hospice and crisis center. Once a month I would return to my community, my heart longing for silence. I would stand in line when the gift of food was presented, and feel how each thing there, even the most ordinary, was held in a holy way. This is actually how it is all the time; this is the mystery of grace. I knew it wasn’t just the prayer or meditation that was important. It was the silence, stopping and taking a breath, opening the heart, seeing that the whole planet, and everything on it, is holy. I want to bring this beauty with me to everyone I touch. So I return to silence regularly. I know if I can stop and remember this, life will fulfill its promise to me…..Christian contemplative teacher (from After the Ecstasy, The Laundry; Jack Kornfield)
After I had trained in India with my guru, a highly revered Rinpoche, I developed such respect for the lineage, the group of masters he represented. These men had carried the pinnacle of Buddhist realization for centuries until he brought it out of Tibet. On one of my last days with him I was walking the three miles out to cottage practicing the taking and sending of compassion. All at once my understanding of the lineage grew. It wasn’t just the high lamas, but it was the devoted tea ladies who fed the pilgrims on the way to the lama from their roadside stands. It was the old herders and the Tibetan traders who visited and supported him. It was the clothes washer pounding clothes down by the river, the cook in his kitchen, the herbs that grew in his garden. The world was serving my lama and he was serving them…..a Western lama