Can Anything Be Service?

I’m one of those people who was trying to help people. I wondered things like: is this really helping? Am I doing this just because it makes me look good? Do these people want my help? What are we trying to help these people do? Am I just trying to make them more like me? The list goes on. It seemed like in order to help people I was arrogantly declaring that I knew the right way to live. Who was I to tell someone else how to live their lives?

Then I was introduced to Vipassana and I thought I had the answer. This technique meets individuals where they’re at and helps them grow into healthy saintly lives. I didn’t need to tell anyone what was right and wrong. The technique would teach people for me. Then I realized that most people aren’t interested in sitting in silence for 10 day straight or sitting in silence 2 hours a day. So I was stuck. I thought I knew the right path but no one wanted to walk it with me.

After grappling with this for a little while I’m wondering if everything I do that is guided by dhamma could be considered service. Early on I accepted a lot of the rules like the five precepts on faith, but I’m starting to truly feel the difference between right and wrong. In my daily activities I can feel what is in line with dhamma and what is not. So are all the acts I perform while feeling dhamma helpful to me and to those around me? Have I grown past the point where I need to separate work from service? Do I need to raise my personal expectation to alway feel the guidance of dhamma rather than taking breaks when it’s hard?

I’m not sure I have a choice. As I continue to meditate, my mind becomes sharper and more equanimous. Slowly I become more aware of my sensations throughout the day which guide me to act in wholesome ways more frequently. As I live more wholesomely, I’m benefiting myself and those around me. This all just seems like part of the process. The main lesson for me is to be a little less rigid in how I define things and enjoy the ride. Time to meditate.


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