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Thread: Our First Global Service Days (September 15-29, 2012)!

  1. #51
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I seem to have posted my actions elsewhere...but I was thinking about giving away the eggs my battery-rescued chickens spend hours laying to the elderly folks in my neighbourhood. This stemmed from the many chance encounters I have had where I have spent a lot of time just listening to their stories and problems.
    This week many tales involve children who can't get jobs; grandchildren damaging their lives on drugs;and the incomprehensible (to them) way that young couples in their families treat each other. I have given away 3 boxes of eggs so far and the effect of just listening is visible on their faces as we part. 'A problem shared being a problem halved'. What strikes me most is the extent to that their generation does understand the pressures and difficulties that life now throws at us, but feel powerless when things go wrong for their loved ones. Chatting has been a lovely experience for me so I hope to keep it going. The trouble is my wife seems to have picked up on this idea and is handing out my eggs (!!) to fellow (younger) students on her course, who are obviously in need of better nutrition! I think I may need to get more chickens!
    It's not a grand scheme but it has involved me more in the lives of my neighbours in a small way.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  2. #52
    Hi all.

    Oopss...
    I forgot to post about my doings...
    I have been involved in two ongoing projects, cleaning up an nearby park with Filur, my son, and am involved in a project concerning the redistribution and usage of all the apples and fruits around this time of year...


    Thank you for your practice.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  3. #53
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I am late in this. I will still do something of service, but I don't know what yet. My young mind has restlessly bumped around this month, especially this week, not focused on Ango.
    迎 Geika

  4. #54
    Hello everyone,

    Just an final update on the Girl Guides beach cleanup. All was a major success, we have amazing weather and a great turnout. I did not hear it myself, but I guess the local radio station and said something about it ... wonderful to see the community come together.

    I was also amazed at the amount of bags of garbage we collected ... it one way it was sad and frustrating to see the lack of respect for this beautiful place, but in the same time, great joy to see all the people who do respect it and each other.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  5. #55
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Well my oldest son and I went trail walking and picked up garbage today. He seemed to really enjoy doing it which makes me very proud. A couple things to share, first a photo:

    8031351087_eabcc261ec_n.jpg

    One of the first things we found...I had never seen this brand before, but it really says it all!

    The second interesting thing was at the end of our pickup. We had a woman behind us who walked up with a plastic gum wrapper and put in my bag. She said, "I've passed this same gum wrapper for 6 months and only now thought to pick it up." That made me smile!

    It was a very rewarding experience to say the least.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training
    Please take what I say with a grain of salt,
    especially in matters of the Dharma!

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    Hi all,

    Well my oldest son and I went trail walking and picked up garbage today. He seemed to really enjoy doing it which makes me very proud. A couple things to share, first a photo:

    8031351087_eabcc261ec_n.jpg

    One of the first things we found...I had never seen this brand before, but it really says it all!

    The second interesting thing was at the end of our pickup. We had a woman behind us who walked up with a plastic gum wrapper and put in my bag. She said, "I've passed this same gum wrapper for 6 months and only now thought to pick it up." That made me smile!

    It was a very rewarding experience to say the least.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ahhh emptiness!

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post

    So, if like me you are finding this service project to be a challenge, do not despair! My view is that this first go around will fall somewhere between failure and our greatest hopes of success (everything does!). The only failure that is possible is not trying. Do your best, keep it up, and if you find mountains to climb give yourself some slack. The Way can be a bumpy road at times...and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

    Thank you all for your practice and your service.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Thank you for sharing this Dosho! I have found myself coming up with so many ideas for service and am inspired by the ideas in this thread, but I am also really good at finding and giving into the challenges of actually doing the project. Good luck as you face the challenges!

    Gassho,
    Lindsay

  8. #58
    Hello,
    i must admit I'm a bit confused about the thread, probably I missed an important point. My understanding was that we post the results of our efforts on a anonymous thread. I understood that this is to built up some "I was better than you " or any kind of group pressure, which I think is both a good thing in my opinion. However, now it seems everyone is posting here ? I'm not having a problem posting my small projects here, however, I would prefer posting it in the anonymous blog as I feel its the better way.
    Gassho
    Myoku (who has only rare internet access next 10 days)

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Hello,
    i must admit I'm a bit confused about the thread, probably I missed an important point. My understanding was that we post the results of our efforts on a anonymous thread. I understood that this is to built up some "I was better than you " or any kind of group pressure, which I think is both a good thing in my opinion. However, now it seems everyone is posting here ? I'm not having a problem posting my small projects here, however, I would prefer posting it in the anonymous blog as I feel its the better way.
    Gassho
    Myoku (who has only rare internet access next 10 days)
    That was the plan, and we wandered from it this time unintentionally as folks started discussing their plans and projects in posts here. Next time, we will figure out a system to make it truly anonymous.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Hello,
    i must admit I'm a bit confused about the thread, probably I missed an important point. My understanding was that we post the results of our efforts on a anonymous thread. I understood that this is to built up some "I was better than you " or any kind of group pressure, which I think is both a good thing in my opinion. However, now it seems everyone is posting here ? I'm not having a problem posting my small projects here, however, I would prefer posting it in the anonymous blog as I feel its the better way.
    Gassho
    Myoku (who has only rare internet access next 10 days)
    Thank you Myoku ... You are right, I know for myself I totally forgot about that ... silly me. I am sorry for creating any congestion.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  11. #61
    I apologize for posting about plans and prospects. and will be more careful what (and where) to post in that regard.

    This ....
    "I was better than you " or any kind of group pressure
    ....anonymous or otherwise, in fact the whole day of service, has prompted reflection. I had an initial defensive reaction of " I am already going on all pistons?!".. but then looked at how I was engaging.. and how much self-centered wastage there is. It has been helpful...

    Gassho, kojip
    大山

  12. #62
    Thank you for the clarification, I just was a bit confused. My English is limited and I thought I might have missed something. I felt similar as Kojip, my initial response was rather negative (..."I dont need any additional commitments"), but it has been a good experience in various ways and I learned about myself and my thinking and opinions. I commitd to two rather easy jobs, each about 3..4 hours, helping at a school organising a sports and fun event and the second building a small garden shed for old people in a nursing home. Thank you everyone for your commitments, its amazing!
    Gassho
    Myoku

  13. #63
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Double post
    Last edited by rculver; 09-29-2012 at 09:43 PM.
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  14. #64
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Dirty boots and gloves from cleaning up a local public land park. Mine and my two sons'.

    Gassho


    Shugen
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  15. #65
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Shugen,
    Thank you for this and deep bows to you and your boys!

    Gassho
    Yugen
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  16. #66
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Wow!
    What a wonderful two weeks it has been - to witness your excitement, ideas, projects and actions - our first Global Service Period ends today - while our next Global Service Period is not until December 15, our hope is that Engaged Practice becomes a seamless part of your life, and not something you do four times a year. The Global Service Period is an opportunity for us to share in our practice and encourage one another.

    Kyonin and I will be starting a blog within the next week to share some Global Service "stories"- these will be anonymous. We'd like to encourage anyone who would like to share their story anonymously to contact Kyonin or me via PM. We would post your submission anonymously and edit to ensure that any identifying data is not present. We can discuss submission ideas/guidelines directly. We hope you will please consider writing!

    Thank you all for your commitment and hard work in helping us bring our first Global Service Period to conclusion (although there is never really any end, or beginning!). We are already planning the next Period (begins December 15, 2012) and will also in the very near future solicit your feedback as to what we might improve or change as we move forward. I'd like that discussion to take place in a separate thread.

    I am grateful to you all and humbled by the sincerity of your practice.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 09-30-2012 at 03:33 AM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  17. #67
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rculver View Post
    Dirty boots and gloves from cleaning up a local public land park. Mine and my two sons'.
    Fantastic photos, Shugen. Thank you.

    Gassho to you and your family.

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  18. #68
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Well this activity took my girlfriend and me by surprise.

    It turns out our home will be converted into an animal spaying clinic for a weekend. An animal rights group we belong to needs a place to work on our city sector and asked us to use our garage. Since we don't have a car, it was an automatic yes!

    The vets will come here and set their equipment so poor people come and have their pets spayed or vaccinated for free.

    My job will be to make sure everything is clean and proper for the vets to work. They'll need water, energy, bathroom and food.

    This will happen in mid October. I'll keep you posted!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  19. #69
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    My dear friend and I having hot chocolate today. I thanked him for everything he gives me in our time together - he replied that all he had to give me was "the power of optimism and spite."

    Deep bows,
    Yugen
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    My dear friend and I having hot chocolate today. I thanked him for everything he gives me in our time together - he replied that all he had to give me was "the power of optimism and spite."

    Deep bows,
    Yugen
    Beautiful, thank you Yugen.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  21. #71
    Hello,

    I split my activity into four consecutive days with 90-120 minutes each dedicated to help a particular person, where I sat with/next to someone who was very very weak and in the process of dying...it was basically just sitting there next to someone's bed and making sure there was a friendly face (uhm..mine) waiting for the short moments when the dying person would open his/her eyes to look around once in a while. Some people feel very much alone during these last days of their lives and sometimes it is too much pain for their loved ones to stay with them all the time. Just sitting in the presence of someobody dying...being surrounded with by strange and often unpleasant odours...well, if you ever get the chance to help out during times like that ( so the family can have a coffee or something), you should do it, because it is a wonderful way of expressing the oneness of giver-receiver-gift (and to me it seemed clear it was the person there in front of me who was the giver).

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Last edited by Hans; 10-01-2012 at 04:21 PM.
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  22. #72
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Hans wrote: "it is a wonderful way of expressing the oneness of giver-receiver-gift (and to me it seemed clear it was the person there in front of me who was the giver)."

    Hans, thank you for this. I feel a remarkable sense of gratitude and humility when I spend time with my friend - he has ALS and is in a wheelchair - it is abundantly clear to me that I am receiving far more than I give; and I am careful in expressing this because my friend does not see it this way.... he alternates between gratitude for life and sorrow, regret, anger at his condition... I hope that in the act of just being with him, listening, and providing companionship he intuitively understands that.

    Thank you....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  23. #73
    Sorry I'm a little late to this thread. It has reminded and inspired me to rekindle a weekly ritual I had for a long time of walking the roads, trails and beaches with my trash bag.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  24. #74
    For the Global Day of service I contacted a group of people, who organises a Fair Trade Feast in my home town (different social engaged organisations and churches). I got the opportunity to hand out Fair Trade chocolate at different tram stations for almost the whole day. I also talked with interested people about Fair Trade at the stations.

    I also got the opportunity to talk with some people about Buddhism in general-very funny, because I didn't start this topic.

    My personal impressions are, that it is very nice to make a present to people completely unknown, it hurts, when people are unfriendly (but most were very friendly). I was surprised, that it is difficult for me to treat everyone with equal friendliness, that I was even a bit afraid to go to some people and address them. But the people I was most afraid of, were often the one with the greatest gratitude (perhaps there aren't normally treated well by the people around).

    And I was a bit perturbed, because most of the children thought, I was just doing this for a company as some kind of marketing strategy! Clever kids, but I explained to them, that it was not a marketing strategy in the first place, but an opportunity to inspire people to think about Fair Trade.

    Gassho,
    Bianca
    Gassho,
    Bianca

  25. #75
    Looks like the program is a go, but in dialogue with the agency it has changed in an interesting way. There is in this city, a network of deep wild river ravines, crossed by bridges overhead but untouched except for some paths. They are home to deer and coyote, and very lush. The social workers say they simply cannot get young people to explore these ravines because it is "other", ie. mysterious and not a basketball court. So once a week I will be leading kids who are interested in learning art into the ravine system , to create in-situ work, inspired by this artist......

    http://www.ucblueash.edu/artcomm/web...EST/index.html

    This all just came together today... and will require budget of 0.


    Gassho. kojip.
    大山

  26. #76
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Congratulations and Good Luck Kojip! It sounds very interesting.
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

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