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Seminar Impressions: Service – The Path to Wisdom

Last weekend my wife and I made a short trip to Spain. At Montserrat, a famous monastery located about 50 km from Barcelona, our spiritual teacher, Dr. K. P. Kumar, was giving a seminar on “Service – The Path to Wisdom”. A friend from the Spanish WTT-group picked us up at the airport and drove us all the way up the mounting with its peculiar rock formations. The monastery is a magnetic spot, many visitors – pilgrims and tourists – flock to it to see the Black Madonna with the child. We also paid them a visit before the start of the seminar.

Friday evening the seminar started with the evening meditation followed by an introductory talk by Sri Kumar. Saturday and Sunday morning there were further talks, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon presentations of service activities of the groups. In between we had exchanges with friends and a little excursion on top of the Montserrat mountains. A highlight was the Sunday morning fire ritual. Here are some thoughts from the lectures:

“It is impossible to escape from service. You find it even with minerals, plants or animals, and also with the higher deva kingdoms. When the service is done with goodwill, it helps cleaning the mind and purifying the heart. So the intention to dedicate one’s activities to the well-being of the surrounding life is the basis for all growth. There is no end to service, the will to serve is therefore most important, so that service becomes a ways of life. In this we should not look for recognition and recompense, but to see how we can serve better in a humble way.

You can do service on many different levels, not only physical, emotional or mental, but also from higher planes. In the process of serving you come to forget your own needs, and nature starts taking care of you. Service gives a value to life, otherwise it has no value. Selfish service can be disguised as selfless service, if the motive is wrong. If you give preference to service economics also grow with the time.

Many have not time for service, because their daily life is full of non-essentials. They think they are already doing much, but it is wasting time. We have to distinguish between essential and non-essential activities. Don’t engage in activities which are not useful for others.

Many think they are doing the activities like business for themselves, but the truth is, they are doing it for others. They have to satisfy customers, employees, pay taxes, insurance, machines, materials, the cost for the rooms, electricity. From the remains of the money you pay for clothes, shoes, food. Even the food is not for us: The tongue takes it and gives it to the stomach, from there it goes to the intestines. It has to be passed on. If you see it or not, all is for others. What remains for us is the experience. If you don’t have the sickness of looking for you, you are healthy. When you think only of yourself and hot of others, you get bound by your actions, but even then you are doing it for others.When you reorient to service, you will get fulfilled.

Don’t see service only as small acts we do. A good idea helps many people, it can be all kinds of activities, making music, writing, working. All is service when you think of the people who benefit through your work.”

Saturday after the morning meditation Sri Kumar invited me to come with him for a little walk. He spoke a bit about the lectures he had given in Toledo and Madrid. Then he made some proposals for our local group of the Circle of Good Will, that it would be good starting to go out and to speak to interested people about the teachings, about meditation or other topics which the people might be interested in. We haven’t done so until now: If we done this before. He gave several inspiring suggestions, and now we are thinking of how to put them into practice.

You might like to read the Good Will in Action on “The Value of Service“.

KPK at Montserrat
Morning walk at Montserrat
Two pictures from last Saturday’s morning walk with Sri Kumar at Montserrat

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