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Serving The World: Attach, Detach, Sigh

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IMG_9903Learning about how serving the world can be a spiritual practice was made easier when I encountered these four helpful shifts in awareness:

From Doing To Being
From Attachment to Nonattachment
From Obligation to Love
From Duality to Oneness

The first, the shift from doing to being, represents a change in focus from being task oriented towards being mindful of the attitude with which I approach my service.  Someone coined the phrase “never move faster than the speed of love,” which to me describes the attitude I aspire to when service.  When I am tasked oriented, I can sometimes be rough with people, and leave an unpleasant emotional wake behind me.  I’m learning to focus on how I am being while I am doing what I am doing.

The second, the shift from attachment to non attachment, reminds me that I want to get to a place in mind where I don’t let disappointment degrade my engagement.  A paraphrase of what Krisha said to Arjuna when asked what kind of people he favored might be: those who are neither buoyed up by praise or cast down by criticism are loved by me.

The third, a shift from obligation to love, prompts me to acknowledge that some things in life are not pleasant, and yet we have to do them anyway, and invites me to discover whether I can engage in the unpleasant activity with my focus on love.  I am trying to not let my aversion to discomfort stop me from being open heartedly engaged in serving the world.

Finally, the shift from duality to oneness, to me is about the realization that although it appears that I’m doing something for someone else when I’m serving, it is also true that I’m doing it for myself, or the self of me that lives in all beings.

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