Adventures in Service
A few weeks ago, Stacey and I spent 10 days at a silent retreat doing what most call ‘meditation’. The retreat had over 100 participants, all whom had decided to observe how their own thoughts shape their lives, and ultimately shape the entire planet.
During my periods of silence, my thoughts passed over many of the people that I have been fortunate enough to know. I recognized how beautiful and unique each individual is. Some people give the warmest hugs, others have the kindest hearts, and some have unending energy to help others. For some their strength comes from their calmness, others make us laugh, and some just make us smile :)
I hope to gather all these good qualities that I notice, incorporate them into my life and have them transform who I am. In return, I hope to offer these same good qualities back to everyone I know, so that everyone can see how truly great we all are. A thought arose wondering if there was anything original that I had to offer. Thankfully, I found nothing. Every gift that I have to give already exists.
But reflection is not only about positive thoughts; it is about understanding reality as it exists. As beautiful as the planets, stars and oceans are, sometimes Tsunamis occur. As beautiful as our lives are, sometimes storms naturally occur. I felt ashamed for choices I had made for my own self benefit that in-turn had harmed others. In the Jain tradition, once a year after the holiday of ‘Paryushana’ they practice ‘Micchami Dukkadum’ that seeks forgiveness. I apologize to the entire universe, and everything in it, for any harm that I may have caused other beings, intentionally or unintentionally.
In a following thought, I saw a vision of the webpage for the upcoming Compassion Cells. I thought about how the Compassion Cells are one of the purest forms of service I have ever come across. In the last 3 years, we have taken an illusive concept like ‘Compassion’ and turned it into a physical reality that has impacted many countless lives, including my own. This Compassion Cell in Orange County has been the bloodline for Be the Cause, mainly due to the relentless efforts of one volunteer, Jeska :)
Now, the Compassion Cells are sprouting a life of their own. Melisa started our first Compassion Cell in Los Angeles County on Friday March 25th and one of the participants actually got her picture in the Los Angeles Times. Maushmi is getting a Compassion Cell rolling in Houston, Texas and we still have Orange County on the map.
Needless to say, I am profoundly grateful for the compassion that surrounds me, and for the company I keep.
Thank you for coming along with me on my journey, and for taking me along on yours. I know our paths are different, and yet I believe they are the same.
Adventures in service (and silence),