Our first Treeleaf Global Service Day period starts tomorrow September 15! A lot of work, thought, discussion, and reflection have gone into preparation for our Engaged practice together.... I'm hoping that from a small seed a tall, strong oak will grow. Many Treeleafers have given their time, their inspiration, and their honest thoughts towards building this community event.
We are hoping that you will find a day during this two-week period to participate in a service activity that leaves the world a better place than you found it... and that soon this practice will become a regular part of your life. There are many ways to serve, and many fine ideas have been shared on our Engaged Projects Forum. Leaving the world a better place can take many forms - relieving the loneliness and suffering of others, whether due to illness, hunger, incarceration..... contributing to the opening of young people's minds by reading, mentoring, spending time being a presence in someone's life; easing the suffering of sentient beings by caring for and showing love to companion animals who have been abandoned or abused; exploring our connectedness in the world by caring for the environment. Furthermore, it is possible to perform these activities as a family, with our partners, our children, as a way of introducing our practice by doing and engaging..... not talking or lecturing.
I am really excited about this, and by all the support and enthusiasm shown by Treeleafers - imagine the momentum and impact of our practice when we go out into the world together.... this is where our practice manifests itself...
There are several ways in which you can share your experiences and reflections upon your Global Day of Service - feel free to share in this thread - if you wish to share anonymously, Kyonin and I will be posting Global Service experiences on a blog (soon to be launched). As moderators of the blog, Kyonin and I will submit these posts anonymously. We encourage you to share your experiences, in either this thread or by contacting Kyonin or myself, as it will motivate all of us..... I know there are folks whose practice is personal and private, and that is to be respected. We do encourage sharing if at all possible!
We fully expect that over multiple Global Service Days, and over time that folks will try various activities as they settle into an Engaged Practice. As our practice grows, so will our place in the world, and our understanding of the contribution we can make towards leaving things better than we found them. Lots of emotions, thoughts, and reflections will arise. I'm hoping we discover personal challenge, a feeling of fulfillment, as well as a feeling of discomfort as we challenge ourselves to witness suffering. If we are not challenging ourselves, we do not feel that feeling of "unsettlement." As a priest I know once said, the purpose of Engaged Practice is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Let's challenge ourselves.....
My gratitude to all my brothers and sisters at Treeleaf who have supported this project, bringing us to the eve of our kickoff!