Access the Course: The Yoga of Heartfulness 4-Week Course • Ram Dass
We all serve in various and often unseen ways. Sometimes serving comes from great joy. Sometimes it comes from a place of obligation. Other times martyrdom or self-righteousness. Yet, service feeds us and others best from what Theologian Frederick Buechner called “our great gladness.”
Knowing that “our lives have something to do with each other” and recognizing the interconnectedness of all of life, does it change your motivation for serving others? What kinds of service are also your “great gladness”? Where could “your great gladness and the world’s great hunger meet?”
Share examples here. Claim it and inspire yourself and others!
Currently my “great gladness” in service is parallel to my occupation as a teacher. I teach third grade. Showing up everyday with patience, kindness, and organization of lessons to teach has been a great pleasure. I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Another “great gladness” is walking my father home. He has a terminal illness and I’ve been very active for the last 8 months in mindfully being open to how this unfolds. I’ve been reading books (the best so far has been Frank Ostaseski’s book “The Five Invitations”) and have subscribed to the courses at Love, Serve, and Remember (the Death and Dying Course is wonderful). These awakenings have enriched my life, helped to open my heart, and most importantly now, allowed my awareness to truly be with my father. It’s been the greatest gift!
Over the years I’ve volunteered in many arenas. For now this is enough. I look forward to living in service when I retire in 3 years.
I love being retired because I have the opportunity to continue to serve others as I did in my working career, but it is totally voluntary which opportunities I may choose on any given day. This course has been rejuvenating and inspirational for me. One day I attend to a friend in need, listening to whatever he needs to share. Another day I may come upon someone suffering from mental illness sitting alone on the curb and just smile and offer them a decent meal. Another day I may be a hospice volunteer doing bereavement work by phone or sitting with a Veteran who is nearing death and pondering meaning of his life and spiritual questions. At other times, I am engaging in sadhana more intensively, which ultimately is for the benefit of serving others, which is my life’s mission at this latter stage of this life. In my recent youtube explorations, I came upon a videosession of Nina interviewing Mirabai Bush, Parvati Markus and Radha Baum - what a powerful 4 some ! Rahda shared a story about Mr Tiwari when he was visiting US was bowing his head in namaskar to everyone he was meeting for first time and saying a short prayer. Radha asked him what he was saying. Mr Tiwari replied “I bow to you Maharajji in this form that you have taken”. Seeing Maharajji / God / the Divine in everyone you meet - Oh what a beautiful amazing practice!