We must realize that children are the earth’s most precious resource. -Vanessa Stone
I’ve done those long meditation courses where eight hours of Samadhi makes your head twist up. I’ve been eating purifying diets all my life. I’m often found saying that I need to volunteer less, and actually get a paying job. You might say that my life has been one, grand series of random acts of kindness.
My latest evolutionary act, though, revolves entirely around seva. It’s the kind of work that moves mountains- inner and outer. The kind of work that benefits not only those that you serve, but the Self as well.
Being from Texas, I tend to do things big. My current source of inspiration and devotion has come from the Amala Foundation- located in Austin, Texas. Spiritual founder, Vanessa Stone, speaks of “coming to serve, just as you are” and reiterates the power of selfless service. This non-dogmatic approach to the Path, works for me, in a big way.
As a volunteer “space-holder” last week at Camp Indigo (an annual day camp that uniquely offers kid-centered experiences without adult obliteration to learning, loving and being), my lessons became larger than just working with children, playing games, singing songs or creating fun crafts. A deeper practice was at work, one that settled into my core, helping me to realize some valuable personal insights.
In my quiet thoughts, I caught myself repeating the camp mantra “love and respect” to my inner child- speaking far more compassionately to my self than I had in quite some time. I left our joyful day-camp-bubble, cultivated meticulously throughout the week by vibrant souls eager to serve children with compassion and vigor, then stumbled home to Houston.
Everything was fine, great actually; my heart felt the size of Texas and my Path re-inspired. Then the rumbles began, the deconstruction. Suddenly I was identifying with the children who longed for their fathers, who were already experiencing difficult family situations at such a young age. My heart had a hole in it too. I, like some of the kids at the camp, had experienced the loss of my father at a young age and have since witnessed its enormous impact on my entire life. Now, like never before, I recognize the inner work that needs to take place. I see my heart more clearly. The reflections from the children have been my mirror.
Camp Indigo was invaluable for me, life affirming and clarifying. August brings the Global Youth Peace Summit (an equally valuable week-long camp that serves teens, local and international, many of whom are refugees or from war-torn regions around the world.) Last year at GYPS rocked my world, and all I was doing was helping the kitchen to chop and clean! This year I hope to be working with the kids directly. What kind of mind-altering experiences will transpire? What will my heart look like after co-creating a space of peace and respect for a group of global teens?
Life is a thrill and the best way to walk the Path is with open arms, a loving heart and a pocket full of Seva.
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