Friday, April 17, 2015

Dhamma Service

Over the last 10 days I had a unique opportunity for which I’m feeling very grateful!  I attended a 10 day Vipassana retreat with my partner Anne-Marie and both my parents.  While it was not Anne-Marie’s first time with this, it was for my parents, and as I’ve shared before, it can be an intense process. 
For the first time, I experienced this course from the perspective of a ‘server’, which meant I was in the kitchen mostly washing dishes and chopping veggies for 10 days.  It was a rare mixture of work and concentrated practice, as I’d get 4-5 hours of sitting meditation daily, and 10 hours of kitchen time.  While I came grateful to be able to serve my family in this way, I quickly realized that I had it reversed.  Their choice to be in the course was actually in service to me so that I had the opportunity to offer to the 140ish other people at the course.  Thousands of dishes washed and hundreds of pounds of veggies chopped later, I’m feeling so many of the benefits of this way to serve.  Additionally, every night we would have time with the course teachers to learn more of their perspective, which was especially valuable for me. Picture below taken on the final day (when noble silence ended)
dhamma servers
Beyond my own experience, I have been inspired to see how much my family has been moved by what this practice of Vipassana is, especially my parents given it was their first time.  At this point, we are all meditating a couple hours daily, we’ll see how that evolves over time Smile Many more insights as is always the case, I’m left with a quote by a monk I met in Dallas – ‘you don’t know if you had a good meditation until afterwards – are you more compassionate? more loving? more equanimous? more aware? then yes, you had a good meditation’
In gratitude for the practice!