Sunday, July 5, 2009

Serving others

The Dalai Lama's message on Human Approach to World Peace

When we take into account a longer perspective, the fact that all wish to gain happiness and avoid suffering, and keep in mind our relative unimportance in relation to countless others, we can conclude that it is worthwhile to share our possessions with others. When you train in this sort of outlook, a true sense of compassion - a true sense of love and respect for others - becomes possible. Individual happiness ceases to be a conscious self-seeking effort; it becomes an automatic and far superior by-product of the whole process of loving and serving others.

Another result of spiritual development, most useful in day-to-day life, is that it gives a calmness and presence of mind. Our lives are in constant flux, bringing many difficulties. When faced with a calm and clear mind, problems can be successfully resolved. When, instead, we lose control over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy, and anger, we lose our sense of judgement. Our minds are blinded and at those wild moments anything can happen, including war. Thus, the practice of compassion and wisdom is useful to all, especially to those responsible for running national affairs, in whose hands lie the power and opportunity to create the structure of world peace.

Sharing The World

Too many times I feel I have to stop myself every once in a while, think hard if I have actually give thanks to God and the universe for the blessings I have received in a day or a week. And I wonder if I have shared my blessings with the world around me. It's so easy to take gifts and receive things, thinking we deserved it because it's in our own right to take. Perhaps, the worse we can do with the day's blessing, in any form it comes in, is to keep or hoard it to oneself.

I can be very much like that, sometimes, thinking I still don't have enough, I need more. It could be anything, from food to clothes shopping, money, e.t.c. A lot of the insecurity or inadequacy and 'not having enough' stems from the way we've been brought up to think.

Question is, do I have enough? Looking at it carefully, yes, I have plenty. I look at it 'all' and see abundance in everything, from the clean and fresh air I breathe, to being 'alive'. The bare necessities are always there, it's free and it keeps me going. The universe doesn't hold back her beauty, even the smallest seed in the ground shares its beauty when it blossoms. So what I do have as a person, experience, love, knowledge, country, money, food, time, possessions are expandable and can be shared. What I do in this life time does matter. What I do today does matter, maybe not to me, but to someone else, maybe not to somebody else but to God. So as the saying goes, live for today and not just tomorrow.

The abundance is right in front of all of us all the time, grab it, embrace it, smile at it, share it and give thanks.

Here's some inspiration from Daily Om

The Wisdom of Sharing

Stone Soup
There are many variations on the story of stone soup, but they all involve a traveler coming into a town beset by famine. The inhabitants try to discourage the traveler from staying, fearing he wants them to give him food. They tell him in no uncertain terms that there’s no food anywhere to be found. The traveler explains that he doesn’t need any food and that, in fact, he was planning to make a soup to share with all of them. The villagers watch suspiciously as he builds a fire and fills a cauldron with water. With great ceremony, he pulls a stone from a bag, dropping the stone into the pot of water. He sniffs the brew extravagantly and exclaims how delicious stone soup is. As the villagers begin to show interest, he mentions how good the soup would be with just a little cabbage in it. A villager brings out a cabbage to share. This episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, and beets—indeed, a substantial soup that feeds everyone in the village.

This story addresses the human tendency to hoard in times of deprivation. When resources are scarce, we pull back and put all of our energy into self-preservation. We isolate ourselves and shut out others. As the story of stone soup reveals, in doing so, we often deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast. This metaphor plays out beyond the realm of food. We hoard ideas, love, and energy, thinking we will be richer if we keep to them to ourselves, when in truth we make the world, and ourselves, poorer whenever we greedily stockpile our reserves. The traveler was able to see that the villagers were holding back, and he had the genius to draw them out and inspire them to give, thus creating a spread that none of them could have created alone.

Are you like one of the villagers, holding back? If you come forward and share your gifts, you will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many.