Service (Seva)

Service (Seva) July 1, 2013

Doing volunteer work to help others is called seva and I have not been doing as much of it as I would like to. Life gets busy and finding opportunities to volunteer can end up falling off the priority list.

But seva is really important. It connects us to our communities and it helps us get out of our heads and stop wallowing in our inner struggles. Not to mention it actually helps others.

For people like me who tend to think and write and try to change the world from behind a computer screen, it’s especially good to get out and physically lend a hand sometimes.

I’ve done seva with the Chinmaya group (in fact, the first time I met them I showed up for a seva day).

This past week I got to start participating in the seva with the Sathya Sai Baba group I recently started attending. They have several service opportunities such as helping at a food kitchen and socializing at a home for elderly people who need a lot of care.

Over the weekend I went to play Bingo with the elderly!

I’m so glad to get back to having a service activity. I just really think it belongs as part of the landscape of my spirituality. In fact, in some ways my spiritual life is like a Bingo grid that I’m trying to fill in, making sure that I have a balance and variety in each day or week: meditation, service, positive thinking, prayer/puja, having fun, spending time with family, playing with the dog, etc.

If you were making a grid of activities for yourself to have a balanced week, what would you include?

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  • It is interesting that this is present in many religions, notably Sanaatana Dharma. Without knowing about it, I started doing it last May when I volunteered for four months last summer on a ranch as a ranch hand for a very new ranch not far from where I am presently. I have been volunteering on an organic produce farm just south-east of that ranch for over 7 months now. This is about learning new skills for me. I wonder what I can do next… Any suggestions?