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I-ness At Arm's Length

--by Meher Baba (Feb 05, 2005)


The activities you are engaged in of serving the nation and the people are good. But to acquire the full bliss through "karma yoga", there is only one way and method. And that is, while rendering service, there should not be the least thought or feeling of "I serve. I do this work."

Real service requires selflessness and should be done selflessly. There should not be the least thought of "I-ness" or "I do this." Because such egoistic thoughts create pride, which gives rise to extremely dense and deep sanskaras, and it is most difficult to eradicate these types of sanskaras.

People all over the world do some kind of service. Some persons serve their community and some their country. But in their service, the degree of egoistic self-respect and selfishness is immense. Some serve to bring their name into the newspapers, some with a view to be looked upon highly, some to gain prominence and applause, and some to appear good and decent in the eyes of others. Thus everyone serves with an ulterior motive of selfish ambition or superior pride, and this is not serving at all. What is done is all useless, worthless and totally meaningless.

Be true "karma yogis"; serve, but serve with absolute selflessness, keeping your "I-ness" at arm's length.

--Meher Baba

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On Jun 12, 2006 Yaniv wrote:

True service is not necessarily about doing good, it is about freedom. You can be bound by chains of iron or by chains of gold, but you are still bound. Vajra sutra - the true form of giving is giving when there is no giver, no given, and nothing being done. Dr. Vasant Lad often says "Samskara is that which leaves scars in your consciousness" There is no difference between the giver and the receiver. When caught up thinking "I am the giver" you are creating a seperation. How do you differenetiate between ownership or responsibility of what you are giving, and yet not being attached? In order to lead it is said you have to have at least a little bit of Ego and identification with your actions. In such roles with so much responsibility, how do you remain unattached? "Give like the rose gives fragrance, spontaneously and effortlessly" It's very difficult not to put the "I" into service. During service events it seems to come out more  See full.

  • True service is not necessarily about doing good, it is about freedom.
  • You can be bound by chains of iron or by chains of gold, but you are still bound.
  • Vajra sutra - the true form of giving is giving when there is no giver, no given, and nothing being done.
  • Dr. Vasant Lad often says "Samskara is that which leaves scars in your consciousness"
  • There is no difference between the giver and the receiver. When caught up thinking "I am the giver" you are creating a seperation.
  • How do you differenetiate between ownership or responsibility of what you are giving, and yet not being attached?
  • In order to lead it is said you have to have at least a little bit of Ego and identification with your actions. In such roles with so much responsibility, how do you remain unattached?
  • "Give like the rose gives fragrance, spontaneously and effortlessly"
  • It's very difficult not to put the "I" into service. During service events it seems to come out more in the setup and breakdown, but during the actual event, such as feeding sandwiches to the homeless, "I" seems to disappear.
  • Most of the time I'm trying to practice generosity and giving, as opposed to just doing it naturally and without much thought.
  • My husband and I gave away a lot of possessions recently. The next day, upon mentioning how good I felt about not having it anymore his response was "Yesterday you gave away the stuff, but today you still carry it"
  • Bruce Lee's criticism of Martial Arts schools is their focus on teaching many techniques of combat, but when really engaged you do not have time to consider techniques, you have to respond in the moment. He felt you have to be like water and take the shape of the container.
  • Taking care of another in need is a good way to let go of the "I-ness"
  • Letting go of "I-ness" actually makes you feel better.
  • There is a lot of joy in giving, we get more out of it than we give.
  • The root cause of "I-ness" is expectations of results.
  • One of the most selfless relationships is that between Mother and Child. We can learn a lot from that.
  • Yoga means "union" and "Karma Yoga" means being so at-one-ment with your action that there is nothing else taking place.
  • Is it desirable to let go of the feeling of "I" only when performing an act of service or generally in life?
  • Is letting go of "I-ness" limited only to individuals or organizations as well?
  • One can lead without "I" by example, not by claiming a role.
  • True acts of service, a couple of friends own a place and while traveling in the East (to Serve) they constantly open their house to inspiring events even without knowing who would show up.
  • What is the difference between ordinary giving and "saintly" giving? In the latter, there is no resistance to suffering, but an embracing. There is no judgement of what is good or bad, rather an accepting of the nature of existence. From that space compassion naturally arises and thus serviceful thoughts.
  • How to get rid of "I-ness"? If it's not clear how not to give things personally, then you can start by not taking things personally.
  • the Indian word "Ahankar" or Ego breaks down into "A" which is "I" and "ankahr" which is "doing" .. If I am not doing, who is doing? everything we do is a product of multiple circumstances, including service.
  • SO many millions of things have to happen just to talk, to think, to move a finger, how ignorant is it to think that "I" am doing it?
  • My son while travelling said instead of talking, the best is to read my blog and put your comments there - good selflessness.

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