the context for the deep personal inner work necessary to unveil the perfection
of the individual soul....Western culture's current view of service is
turned upside down. Individuals and organizations need to view everything,
all of life, as service. In this new definition, service is not limted
to some - the poor, the disabled, the sick, the dying; it pervades every
encounter and every action.
is the mirror of our relationship to God, for we cannot love God any more
than we love others; and we cannot love others any more than we love ourselves.
This concept of service challenges the individual to accept responsibility
for the sculpting of his or her own soul; it challenges religions to focus
on the deepest and most mystical truths of their teachings; and it challenges
the culture as a whole to shift from an outer directed search for happiness
to an inner directed experience of peace.
the giving and receiving involved in every encounter
INNER WORK: the work with the shadow
side of ourselves, that part of ourselves, positive and negative, that
we disown and deny.
"In the context of service, the shadow
consists of our hidden motivations for serving. Becoming aware of
WHY we serve raises our consciousness and brings us closer to God.
We can choose to participate in our own development by increasing our willingness
to meet the shadow, to use the "blows" of our life experiences as the tools
for removing the obstacles to the discovery of our innermost selves.
"We must move through the castle of our
souls to the inner room in which we are reborn as mystics, as selfless
servers, as One with the Unknowable Absolute.
"Nothing is required but our willingness
to let go, to fall unencumbered. For most of us arriving at the jump
site is the result of an arduous journey and the decision to jump the result
of great inner conflict and struggle. Only when we feel driven, usually
by despair, to fill our yearning for wholeness, do we surrender to the
understanding that who we are is not determined by what we do in the world,
but rather by our state of being. We then see that there is a reciprocal,
dynamic, and ever-deepening relationship between our process of healing
of ourselves and the depth and breadth of our service to others.
"To plunge into the intensity of exploring
service is a way to become free from the entanglements and attachments
of personality and to live in harmony with the soul's true nature.
"We are born to learn, to
grow and to serve."
Peggy T. Millin
"In the process of my journey I have learned
a very important lesson: being of service means doing whatever needs
to be done with no attachment to the form of the task and with no investment
[self-gain or interest] in its outcome. I have also learned there
is an integral relationship between service and my own personal healing
Susan S. Trout
"From my own limited experience I have
found that the greatest inner tranquility comes from the development of
love and compassion.
"A close, warmhearted feeling for others
automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears
of insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any
obstacles we encounter. If we remember that it is not just ourselves,
but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this realistic perspective will
increase our determination and capacity to overcome difficulties.
"Whether people are beautiful and friendly
or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just
like ourselves. Like us, they want happiness and do not
want suffering. Moreover, their right to overcome suffering and be
happy is equal to our own. When we recognize that all beings are
equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it,
we automatically feel and empathy and closeness towards them. Through
acquainting our minds with this sense of universal altruism, we develop
a feeling of responsibility for other: the wish to help them actively
overcome their problems. This wish can be selective; it applies equally
to all. As long as there are human beings experiencing pleasure and
pain, just as we do, there is no reason for discriminating between them
by altering our concern for them if they behave negatively.
"We have become so engrossed in the pursuit
of material development that, almost without knowing it, we have neglected
to foster the most basic human needs for love, kindness, cooperation, and
caring. But the development of human society is based entirely on
people helping each other. If we lose this essential humanity, what
is the point of pursuing only material improvement?
"Because we all share a wish for happiness
and identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet,
in whatever circumstances, is a brother or a sister.. We do not need
to become religious; nor do we need to believe in an ideology. However,
at every level of society the key to a happier and more successful world
is the growth of compassion and the active wish to help each other.
The Dalai Lama