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Reader comment on Allan Watts's passage ...

Serving Like The Mountain Stream


On Aug 16, 2006 Nipun wrote:

  • Serving like a mountain stream: its always changing.
  • Visit with 77 year old: biggest smile, happy to go to grocery shopping because it's an outing; smallest things matter.
  • Service: so many problems, can do so little. compassion -- it's Latin roots mean sharing the pain without sharing the suffering.
  • Busy doing good; you'll *just* get to heaven in next rebirth.
  • A meditation teacher used to say Boddhisattva's have nothing to do, but they go out looking for trouble.
  • You should be spiritual before you help. My friend would be disaapointed that he got only 80 people to donate blood that day.
  • Dream: skinny boy, I want to help but no one was listening; next morning I was giant and just being could create a torando.
  • Giving freely, without attachments, accounting.
  • Service was never a thing to do. All streams go towards the ocean.
  • Dalia Lama: "Be selfish. Be generous." Serving is actually the most selfish thing you can do.
  • How can you eradicate poverty?
  • I thought of NGOs. I went to Africa and saw that this model was broken; specific plans are limited. Visited 20-25 hospitals and none of them had sustainability plan.
  • People need to change their mind, then everything will change.
  • The more I teach, the more I learned. If you want to give, just give without attachment. Be natural.
  • Analogy of stream reminds me of Wednesdays. We all carry a little bit into Thursdays and Friday. There's a dynamism to it, with apparent permanence because it's always there.
  • I end up being lazy; sometimes, I'll just opportunities of service pass by.
  • Howard Thurman once said, "Don't ask so much what the world needs; go out and do something that makes you come alive because what the world needs most are people who have come alive." Incorporate service into what makes you come alive.
  • I believe in directly helping the needy, without organization. Each one, catch one. :)
  • Flowing stream made me think about gratitude towards parents, teachers and friends. I felt humbled by their selfless help towards me.
  • Running outdoors; was really hot; I stopped and looked up the enormous trees and saw how it is so constant.
  • I tried to give food to the homleess, but I kept getting rejected. :)
  • I appreciate the diversity in the room, and the perspectives I get on it.
  • It's very easy to give to somebody who's close to you. Looking after a bonsai tree vs. looking after the forest. There's a danger of making the giving condescending.
  • Giving is a way to absolve ways to atone for my sins at work where it is "kill or be killed". How do you deal with that contradiction?
  • I can't remember a time when I gave. Is that ok?
  • Be careful what you give, because you might just receive it. :)
  • Rivers and clouds, examples in the quote, don't really have a choice. Humans aren't in that state of choicelessness.
  • What can you really give? Time. That's the only thing in abundance.
  • Ads shouldn't be in textbooks. On TV, you can turn it off. Then you will have teachers spending ten minutes talking about the commercials.
  • To alleviate poverty, ultimately, helping people help people. The moment you make it big, it falls apart.
  • Keyword here is unselfish. Act of giving can be selfish or unselfish.
  • Teachers in India taught Algebra while selling vegetables.
  • Simple things which I generally call "cute", I now see value in.
  • Service can go in a religious direction, which can lose its essence, because the focus shift from the giver to the receiver.
  • Service shouldn't be an emotional game; can't be evaluated soley by those metrics.
  • Was in South Africa, was adopted by an old couple, and I was following them in the poorest province of the area. They wanted to touch my skin, because they've never seen yellow people. :) I was just "hanging out" but it helps me and the locals.
  • Ego revels in accomplishment. Is service just a manifestion of that same ego?
  • Sanksrit Verse gives thre role models of service: tree which takes the heat of the sun and gives shade without discrimination; flowing river goes as if it's own nature and while flowing it bends and purifies all who come across it; cows are the third example, even after its death its parts are used by all.
  • Do what makes you come alive. Material poverty isn't really a metric to judge need by. Middle class neighborhood help is just as good as any.
  • Service isn't something I talk about. I showed at 13 and doing little things, and it changed my life.
  • My dog teaches me how to serve and be with others. We go to a quadrapelgic ward, some of whose patients don't get out.
  • While serving be mindful of their motives.
  • Giving water ... that's how my grandfather gave. They would sit down under their tree.



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