I continued this path of volunteering as I grew into adulthood. I also became part of several groups in which my spiritual growth was nurtured. As part of my growth, I gained a deeper understanding of the concept of tithing of my time, talent and treasure. Initially, my mind was quite contracted and controversial about giving my time, talent and treasure. At some point I decided I needed to trust the process and “just do it.” My life grew from volunteering to serving, and from serving as an obligation to serving from a space of gratitude in which I live to serve.
When I became part of the Ashram, the opportunity of seva was mentioned. Initially I thought, “I do a lot of service in my other communities. That should be enough. I don’t have time for more seva.” When I would sit in meditation or pause and reflect after listening to an audio recording from Swamiji, my heart would swell with gratitude. In gratitude I was urged to serve. Initially, my mind did what it always does. Thoughts of doubt surfaced, “What do you have to offer? You are not part of the inner crowd. What if Swamiji thinks you are not good enough?” I moved forward and offered to serve. I trusted the process. I did not put limits on how or where to serve. I wanted to offer my love and gratitude to the source that was giving me so much, a path to discover my SELF.
I wanted to perform seva as a way of supporting the Ashram where it needed help. In offering my service without attachment I have been asked to serve in various ways. I assist Jennifer with typesetting. I assist on the gardening team, and I have recently been asked to assist with some of the administrative tasks on the gardening team. I am also on the special events team and helped create the Japathon last year.
In October 2013, I attended the conference as part of the seva team. Initially, when asked to serve in three capacities, I did resist. I did not want to commit too much! Once again my inner voice reminded me, “Just do it.” I can trust the process and know that I have all the time, energy and resources I need to serve. I want to give freely to the source that has given so freely to me. I give in gratitude, not out of obligation. I deepen my understanding and capacity to love and grow when I serve from this space of selfless service and gratitude. Thank you, Swamiji, for this opportunity.
If you, too, would like to undertake the ancient yogic practice of seva, send an email to our Seva Coordinator, Devapriyaa Hills, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will get you started on your skills survey. You can sign up for ongoing seva or for a special project. You will be contributing two-to-four hours of your time and talent per week. Not only will you be strengthening the Ashram organization through your selfless service, you will be adding a powerful yoga practice to your life. What new and wonderful fruits will you harvest?