I hope you are having a marvelous summer season - Treeleaf Global Service Days are upon us again - from July 6-20. I'm really looking forward to sharing our activities and experiences from our engaged service work this time around. I am including Jundo's description of the Global Service concept below, for those who are not familiar with it. I will be writing shortly with a project of my own that I hope to launch in July, so stay tuned!
And now, to give Jundo center stage:
I think we should give a little more detail, especially for new folks ...
--- We ask everyone to undertake a project where they are actually out helping "hands on" folks in need, not merely writing a check (although you can do so in addition). So, if there is some physical activity in your town or community you can undertake that day ... from planting a garden in an abandoned field, to working in a soup kitchen, to visiting the elderly at an old age home, to running a race for cancer prevention ... please do so. HANDS ON, and the dirtier the better!
--- For folks with physical restrictions due to disability or age, there have even been many ideas in the past that folks can do right from home or online. Please check our previous Days of Service for project ideas.
--- For our busy fathers and mothers, this can be turned into a family activity ... bring the kids and make it a memorable day and a time of sharing, learning some important lessons.
--- For folks who are already volunteering in their communities, it is fine to include and re-dedicate that existing activity to out Global Day of Service if you do not have time to take on an additional activity.
--- We ask all our members to work for the benefit of other Sentient Beings, in a spirit of giving. It is not about you or us.
--- We encourage everyone to discuss their projects in this thread as a way to "share ideas for projects", inspire others and build a sense that we are doing this as a community. So, we encourage you to discuss what you are doing. However, (1) even if you write here about your projects, remember that it is not "about us" or taking any credit, or (2) if you truly wish to remain semi-anonymous, feel free to send an email to Jundo and I will repost it here without using your name (you can even send an anonymous email if you wish! ). So, please post here your ideas and plans for projects, and stories about "how it went", so that we can all share as a Sangha in the experience.
--- We do have a blog where we collect these projects designed by Kyonin (what is the link?), where we may repost some of these stories in order to inspire others, but only after removing most names.
One final word ...
I do not collect donations for being part of Treeleaf because THIS is the donation! (What, you thought Treeleaf was free? It is freeing ... but not free!). I cannot say in stronger terms how much we all hope, depend on and expect everyone who is partaking of this community ... from our newest folks to our old hands and priests ... to join in this effort. It is really not optional, for it is our Practice here ... as much as sitting Zazen or any chanted words to save the "Sentient Beings". It is expected of those who wish to be part of and partake of this Treeleaf community, our request that you give back for what you receive in this way, the bill for any benefit received. EVERYONE is expected to participate in some way (and there is a way for all of us to do so).
THIS is ZAZEN TOO!