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Thread: Treeleaf Global Service Days: October 5-19 2013

  1. #51
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I am humbled by all your efforts!

    I will again be doing trash duty with my son as it has become a ritual of sorts which I hope will continue with my younger son for years to come.

    Deep bows to all.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Björn View Post
    Hi All

    Tomorrow I'm going to have some teambuilding activities with a couple of kids. Tomorrow's keyword is trust and teamwork.
    This youths have had or have problem to get employed or just some trouble in their life because of mental illness or other causes. Usually I charge the community for a day of work, but this time I want to give back to my society. Hopefully I can give this people a great time and something to think about at the same time.
    I'll give a report from the event tomorrow night.

    Gassho
    Björn
    Hi.
    It went pretty well. Of Nine people, with two leaders included, only four showed up which two were the leaders. Great!
    It ain't easy to make a event with only 2 people. All I could do was to tell em about me and what i had planned to do and what team building is.
    We changed the routine and started the paintball earlier and gave them some extra rounds, scenarios, reviewing and laughter instead.
    And of course, I had to play in lack of team members

    Gassho
    Björn





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  3. #53
    Hello folks! Thanks Yugen and Jundo for the inspiration.
    Here are my ideas and projects:

    1. Every Saturday I give a free Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditationClass in a park near my house, everyone is invited and is in a part of the park, somehow adondoned by the park caretakers, so we clean it when we go and we hope to spread some "good energy" on it. A tae kwon do teacher, a little football team and a group of girls that volunteer to share time with kids with special habilities have joined us on the same spot on saturdays without an explicit invitation, so the thing is moving. Every two Saturdays my kid and my girlfriend come to teach with me so it is a family practice, we´ve doing it for almost two months and we will continue.

    2. Visited an uncle of mine who is dying from lung cancer, my aunt, he and me meditated a litlle, we shared laughter, tears and a meal. Also will share with them some Qi Gong and meditation materials so they can practice on their own, they live real far from me. And also will assist my uncle so he can "leave the building" with a clear mind, free form fear and regret at least.

    3.Since I have limited time to phisically share with other people due to my daily job and my parent duties, I decided to make that my service practice: Being fully present, aware, connected, free form judging with all the beings I daily meet, so my service is to BE complete and awate for them at the given moment.

    Read you soon.

    Gassho.
    Meditate and Defy.

  4. #54
    The Teachers and a few of us volunteers at the school took the kids to Tokyo for the day on the train, to a restaurant and then a boat ride. It was a lovely day. The teachers are amazing in the constant attention to the needs of the the kids (I say "kids", but most are young people in their twenties).

    Here is to teachers of challenged young people everywhere!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2013 at 04:31 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #55
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    So many wonderful and inspiring ideas here, thank you all for sharing!

    Yesterday, my boys and I gathered clothes, books, board games, dvd's and some school supplies and together we delivered them to our local Battered/Abused shelter for women and children. They were so thrilled with the books and school supplies as they were both needed by the families staying there. My boys were very happy to do something for these families that have been through quite a bit in their lives.

    We are on fall break this week, so later today we are also going to go around the neighborhood and pick up trash.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  6. #56
    Change of plans:
    Since I am ill at the moment and have to spend much time in bed, I decided to do one of the online projects that were posted here at Treeleaf.
    My original idea of physically helping the local animal shelter will have to wait till I am completely back on track healthwise.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  7. #57
    We will sit for your health, Timo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Change of plans:
    Since I am ill at the moment and have to spend much time in bed, I decided to do one of the online projects that were posted here at Treeleaf.
    My original idea of physically helping the local animal shelter will have to wait till I am completely back on track healthwise.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Yes, feel better soon Timo.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  9. #59
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Timo,
    Gassho - please get well.

    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

  10. #60
    Thank you, my friends!
    It's really nothing serious though! Basically, it is another opportunity for practice.

    Thanks and Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  11. #61
    Hey everyone,

    I supported the community this Thanksgiving holiday by helping out at the local food bank/shelter. Helped with serving food, cleaning dishes, and general clean-up. I have to say that it is a wonderful feeling to have direct action/contact like that ... feeling that you are making a difference, right then, right now.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  12. #62
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I have begun volunteering at Spindleworks here in midcoast Maine - I am including below a summary description from their website-

    Spindleworks is a non profit art center for adults with disabilities and a program of the Independence Association, whose mission is to help children and adults with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community.

    Spindleworks uses art as a medium for expression, communication, and learning in its programs. There are classes in fiber art, painting, sewing, quilting, photography, woodwork, among others. The participants are called "artists" and the work they produce is sold in the community in galleries and at Spindleworks. 75% of the proceeds are returned to the artists, and the remaining 25% is used to purchase more art supplies. The philosophy of the place is amazing - the word "disability" or "can't" is nowhere to be heard - the participants / artists are treated as responsible adults and a good deal of training is done with staff and volunteers in the area of boundaries and avoiding enabling behaviors / encouraging self-reliance.

    Again, a few words from their website explaining the philosophy and spirit if the place:
    -------------
    “HANDICAP, I HEARD ABOUT IT BUT I AIN’T GOT IT NOW”
    - Rita Langlois
    This is probably one of the most famous lines written/spoken at Spindleworks, and so telling of the outlook of the artists here who break down stereotypes with their unique and wonderful view of the world and their expression of their place in it.
    Over 35 artists work in a variety of mediums, including painting and drawing, ceramics and woodworking, weaving and other fiber and fabric arts. In addition, the artists write poetry and stories, and express themselves through acting and other performing arts. Their work has been exhibited widely, and they are well known and respected members of Maine’s artistic community.
    ------------

    It is housed in an old Victorian home, painted a bright sky blue! It is a very cheerful and welcoming environment. I thought upon becoming involved that I was going to contribute something, but I have learned very quickly that I am the one who is going to be the beneficiary of a lot of cheerfulness, love, and openness. All my own preconceptions regarding people with disabilities are being challenged. My first day I left with tears in my eyes. We take for granted the full use of our sensory and physical capabilities - I am learning that the artists at Spindleworks have learned to communicate what they see in the world through their art - and they have very rich and vibrant internal landscapes. The Program Director there has thanked me profusely for volunteering, and I am trying to say to her "please do not thank me - I must thank you for this opportunity to have my eyes opened -"

    I am volunteering two-three days per week for three to four hour periods. This is a big time commitment and I have to balance my other responsibilities but it is hard to stay away! In any given time I might be taking part in an acting class, sewing with others (I can work on a rakusu or okesa there!), sit in on the writing of a murder mystery, or walk with a group downtown for exercise to go out for coffee/hot chocolate. Oh yes - and as a good Unsui I can pull weeds in the garden or dust the nooks and crannies. On a more serious note, the organization is publicly funded so help with grant writing may be in my future. I have noticed that working with the artists does require my full presence and attention, and I have come home afterward very tired from the focused awareness and concentration.

    We have discussed the idea of a weekly meditation group - which I would love to organize - but this will require some original thinking - these are folks who might not be able to sit still for more than a minute or two - so how can we organize meditation here? A modified form of Kinhin? Silent art or drawing to reflect what is in the mind at a given moment? I will need your help brainstorming here....

    It occurs to me that this is a place of practice - in some ways it is a real world zendo - and that my practice is really out in the world - I wonder if I will be an anonymous itinerant priest who practices out in the world, where the zendo has no walls or boundaries.

    Gary Lawless of Gulf of Maine Books told me that Spindleworks is a life-changing place. I am beginning to realize he did not mean just for the artists.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 10-16-2013 at 03:38 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

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    ... I've known more than one person who did service work outside of home while neglecting the needs of people closest to them. That always struck me as a bit lacking in kindness and compassion. I agree that starting with ourselves and our loved ones...it radiates out from there. For example entering a drug treatment program could be global service (in my view). Getting ourselves happy and healthy means we are bringing more love and kindness into our interactions. I always felt the greatest service I could do for the world is to do Zazen, to work on ending my own suffering. Zazen is not a selfish pursuit,when I do zazen I do it for the sake of all beings. ...
    Thank you Bunny,
    Gassho
    Myoku

    ps.: did my global servive in a home for elderly, disabled and poor by repairing, cleaning and gardening

  14. #64
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    My cleaning at home project has been slow. I have not been able to do as much as I´ve thought from the beginning but at least I´ve cleaned the upper part of the house and will continue to do the rest of the house later. Time has not been on my side these days I think.
    Gassho
    Ed

  15. #65
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    Ed-
    I applaud you for taking on such a big project!! Congratulations for what you have managed to do!! However, I detect a note of discouragement in your post. I am wondering if I might be able to help. I might have a suggestion or two for you if you are interested. I worked as an organizer in the past and am just generally a "clean freak" and very organized person. I don't wish to offer unsolicited advice, but wanted to extend the offer to help should you want some extra support. I am very hesitant to hit the send button on this post as I don't want this to come across as giving unwanted advice in any way. I simply saw that there might a way I can offer a little help. Then again, I might not have any good suggestions even if you want them-lol! Shoot me a message if there is anything I can do to support you in your wonderful undertaking! And please accept my apologies if this offends you in any way.
    With much appreciation and Metta-
    Bunny

  16. #66
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    Also...I finished my sewing of simple pet beds and toys for the local animal shelter. I made 4 beds and 6 kitty toys. Nothing fancy, but I'm sure that the 4 kitties that get the beds will be happy to not be sleeping on wire. The woman I contacted with questions about donations told me that there are 1,000 animals in their care!! That was such a huge reality check for me. I knew the need of assistance was immense, but seeing that number in black and white was shocking. And of course that is just one shelter in one part of our city. My boyfriend will take me to the shelter to deliver the goodies I've sewn at his convenience. I'm looking forward to visiting the shelter and not looking forward to it at the same time-I am sure to cry!

    Working on the pet beds made me realize my goal of sewing for a different charity every month was not realistic. I always want to do so much more than my body can do these days. With some sadness I decided that I will have to reduce my charity goal. I will aim for doing some quarterly (4 times yearly) sewing for charity. That's a bit more realistic for my abilities these days. Still, I will have to keep from being rigid in this (and all that I do)...always checking in each day and each moment to see what is the kindest thing to do for myself as well as for others.

    So much appreciation to all who are doing service and sharing about it here. It's been incredibly inspiring and great fuel for my own aspirations.

    Gassho-
    Bunny

  17. #67
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Ed-
    I applaud you for taking on such a big project!! Congratulations for what you have managed to do!! However, I detect a note of discouragement in your post. I am wondering if I might be able to help. I might have a suggestion or two for you if you are interested. I worked as an organizer in the past and am just generally a "clean freak" and very organized person. I don't wish to offer unsolicited advice, but wanted to extend the offer to help should you want some extra support. I am very hesitant to hit the send button on this post as I don't want this to come across as giving unwanted advice in any way. I simply saw that there might a way I can offer a little help. Then again, I might not have any good suggestions even if you want them-lol! Shoot me a message if there is anything I can do to support you in your wonderful undertaking! And please accept my apologies if this offends you in any way.
    With much appreciation and Metta-
    Bunny
    I think I really need all the help I can get with this.
    Very kind of you!

    I think think you´ve done a wonderful thing sewing for the animal shelter. I worked on a dog "day care" center some time ago and we and the dogs where really glad when someone brought along something to play with or sleep on. One of the dogs´actually ate the bed she got. I think that your gifts are appreciated both by the animals and the personnel.
    Gassho
    Edward

  18. #68
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Something I think about doing is crocheting blankets out of all my leftover yarn and donating them.
    迎 Geika

  19. #69
    Senior Member Bunny's Avatar
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    Amelia-I think that's a great idea! The pets would not care if the blankets are made of mismatched yarns. I am just learning to crochet and enjoying it very much.

    Edward-Thank you for allowing me to (attempt to) help! I will take a few days to see if I can come up with some thoughtful suggestions and then I will send them via private message. And thanks for the encouragement for my animal charity sewing.

    Gassho-
    Bunny

  20. #70
    I finalized my volunteer work late last week -- I will be volunteering with a local nonprofit hospice. This idea has been sitting in my head and heart for the past few years, but circumstances finally worked to allow it to happen. I'll be providing companionship for people in the process of dying. Went through my first training tonight. Seems odd to be excited, but I am -- as well as nervous, apprehensive, etc. I feel I'm on the right path at this time. Will see...
    Gassho,
    Dan

  21. #71
    Hey Dan,

    My wife and I were hospice volunteers bedside for several years. Mongen Hans is too. Wonderful, beautiful, rewarding. It may be a surprise, but often I left that place with a smile on my face ... sometimes in tears ... sometimes both at once. All that is often needed is to listen, hold a hand, offer a glass of water.

    Lovely.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #72
    Thanks Jundo,
    I think the combination of tears and smiles really nails this. And it is likely the reason for my trepidation -- the intensity of the feelings, the honesty about the moment, the power of facing mortality and life -- scary and exciting at once. I'm looking forward to the path.
    Deep bows,
    Dan

  23. #73
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Hospice is good work.
    迎 Geika

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    Hospice is good work.
    Yes, I also agree ... hard at times, but so wonderful to be able to impact people in a positive way.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  25. #75
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank you all for your ideas, your work, and your inspiration. Our next GDS period is not for three months, but maybe I can ask you to keep in mind not only ways that you can be of service on a daily basis, but begin acting on them. It need only be a smile or a friendly gesture as you pass someone on the street. From small acorns do tall oaks grow.

    Simon, congratulations on your wedding!

    Bunny, thank you for your wise words - service and compassion begin with those closest to us -

    Edward, keep up the good work and let us know how the cleanup goes!

    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

  26. #76
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    Hello!
    Here is a small cleanup report.
    With the help of Bunny`s help my project went from very ineffective and slow to effective and fast. She was kind enough to coaching me and show some tips about how to go about cleaning a house. There is still much to do but it feels more doable now. For the moment I´m not at home as I have a autumn break from school and is spending it with my fiancee who lives far away but when I come home I will go back to the hoover and the dust rag.

    dusting-smiley-emoticon.gif
    Gassho
    Edward

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