The Joy of Seva

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi Heinlein
SVA Board President

When Swami Nirmalananda first asked me to do seva, I had a fulltime job.  Actually, it was the equivalent of two fulltime jobs.  I was living with a lot of stress.  She had just taken initiation as a swami and the Ashram was still in the early stages.  You might think that being asked to do more work would send me right over the edge.  On the contrary!  I chose to plunge in with both feet.  Surprisingly, seva saved me from my small-s self.  Seva continues to give me my Self.

I am not the only one who is having this experience.  Currently, approximately 100 sevites are actively working to support Swamiji and the Ashram mission. Their generous offering of time and talent is a priceless gift.  It takes pressure off our Ashram staff and helps operations run more smoothly.  Our 11 working Board members, all volunteers, have stepped into deeper levels of responsibility.  Their commitment has enabled Swamiji to spend more time teaching, writing, and traveling to support you and your local communities.

Why do sevites do all this? What is the payoff?  Seva keeps the sevite in the loving and transformational flow of Grace.  While Grace is always present in your Svaroopa® practices, stepping into serving the flow of Grace is another level of experience entirely.  Profound moments of transformation — spiritual breakthroughs — arise from supporting Grace through seva.  No matter what your seva is, you are making a difference for your fellow yogis, and even more for yourself. The more seva you do, the more you push through your limitations.  This increases your capacity for personal growth.  The more you surrender into “not having enough time,” and dive into serving, the steadier your inner state becomes.  It is quite amazing.  Pushing yourself beyond your limitations through seva actually gives you your Self!  Ask any sevite.  You will likely hear the same thing.  When you donate your time, your expertise, your hands and your heart, you will be reimbursed 100-fold.  You get paid in joy!

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