Seva integrates the essence of meditation practice with the activities of our daily life. Seva, which means service, is any action in which we selflessly give of ourselves to promote the highest best interest of everyone involved. It is achieved by cultivating discrimination and learning to act in ways that support our spiritual growth. Seva, in other words, is the natural extension of our energy once we’ve released our own tensions. The act of extending ourselves facilitates the release of tensions in whatever situation we serve.
Living a life of service guides and directs our interactions. We can serve by bringing the principles of genuine love and respect to all our encounters with friends, family, neighbors and those with whom we spend a good deal of our day. Acts of seva arise through our efforts to promote a flow in our interactions with others. While the results of our efforts may appear to be an act of kindness towards another, our intention is to act with an open heart, without desire for reward or recognition.
Service does not mean accepting only the tasks for which we're trained, or facing only the situations that are easy. Service means doing what's needed, even if it's difficult or unfamiliar. We grow when we approach things we know nothing about with an open heart. If the results aren't what we had hoped, as long as we stay open, we still come out ahead. Requests that challenge us represent opportunities to make big advances in the practice. When we face difficult tasks with the same joy and enthusiasm with which we face easy ones, we have the opportunity to grow a lot.
Another way to serve is to participate in our spiritual community, which exists to support our spiritual growth. Residents at the Movement Center all contribute to the ongoing operation and maintenance of the kitchen, building, gardens and programs.
For non-residents, spending part of a day helping at the Movement Center is one way to give back to that which serves us. Service days are held twice a month at The Movement Center on Saturday mornings, and there are a wide variety of projects in which those attending may participate.
Some examples of the kinds of activities that happen on Service Days are:
painting, carpentry, and general repair and maintenance work in the building
weeding, mulching and other gardening tasks
raking and other yard work
some office-related tasks.
Participating in Service Day is a wonderful way to get to know other students, learn a new skill or hone an existing one, and contribute in a tangible way to the welfare of a spiritual community. We start with an organizational meeting at 9:00 am, work until 12:30 pm, and then all participants are invited to stay for lunch.
For Service Day dates and updates, visit our Facebook events page.
Memorial and Other Ritual Services
We offer a number of ceremonial practices from the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in service to others both on and off-site, including the following:
Healing: Chöd is a practice that can harmonize an environment, alleviate internal and external disturbances, and promote healing on all levels. The 100 Handprint practice is an extended form of the Chöd that is more focused for healing.
Bereavement: Phowa practice helps the deceased to make the transition into the next stage of being and is often performed as a memorial service for those who have passed on. It uplifts the spirit of the deceased as well as the people close to them. Phowa is ceremony that people of any religious denomination can appreciate and benefit from.
Prosperity: The practice of White Mahakala promotes abundance and prosperity on all levels. It is helpful for those moving to new homes, starting new business endeavors or opening new locations, or anyone struggling with financial issues.
Long Life: The Long Life practice calls in the energy of the elements and directions, and is a support for vitality and longevity. It's a wonderful practice to do for someone on a significant birthday.
Contact us to learn more or to arrange for any of these services to be performed on your behalf or for a loved one.