My musings today are not in chronological order...I just finished my post meditation reflective reading and the article talked about seva, self-less service. As I read I was thinking, as always, about how I need to look outside of my life and find some way to be of service. But as I continued reading, the interviewee stated that there are many ways to do seva, and many rhythms to seva. I realize that right now, the best seva that I can do is to continue along my path of organizing my life, continue to study the spiritual and social justice issues that I am studying, and continue to teach my students and those around me, using the skills and knowledge that I am acquiring. I am so lucky to teach future teachers...I get to somehow impact the lives of folk who will impact countless young people in the future. This is service. This is my path.
Well of course all of this renewed reflection comes from me having a wonderful New Year's Eve / New Year's Day experience. I traveled from my home to "A squared", which is about an hour away. There was a Zen temple that was having an New Year's Eve service. I contemplated going and not going for a while, but finally decided to go. I was really fearful of going cause I did not know what to expect, but once I realized that the only thing holding me back was fear, I knew I had to go. One positive thing that I can say about myself is that I am brave. I feel no shame in acknowledging fear, but I push on anyway! That makes me feel good; to know that I am brave!
So I went and got to partake in a beautiful ceremony where we burned our defilements (listed our bad habits on a sheet of paper and ritualistically burned them), we lit our lights, we meditated, listened to music, sang, and chanted ( I was not totally comfortable with the chanting, but I am warming up to it). There are so many things that I could write about concerning this experience, from the engaging in spiritual practice with non-black people, to the similarity of this experience to some of my other favorite spiritual rituals, to the great people that I hung out with afterward. I will say that I appreciated the kindness of Joe Reilly, a young musician that I had heard of but never met before last night. His music nearly brought me to tears and his spirit was just so warm and inviting...plus he was the first man to lead a car caravan without losing half of the followers! That was major in my book! I plan on buying his music in the future just to support his work and to gain some...I don't know....something from it myself. It was just so great to meet other people, face to face, that are walking similar paths....I just need to do more to seek these folk out. Happy New Year!!!