29 August 2011

Do I Serve Enough?

Yesterday I was very happy to hear what I'd always hoped was really the case but had never actually heard stated out loud: "progress" in Zen is marked by ever deepening and expanding levels of service.  It's not that I hadn't seen live examples of that; I have, and to be honest, if I hadn't I wouldn't still be hanging around.  It's just that in between "insight" and "enlightenment" and "awakening" and "praj├▒a" and all the rest, "service" doesn't come up explicitly very often.

But why shouldn't it?  Service is nothing other than ego-attrition manifest.

As was pointed out yesterday, the opportunities for service are limitless: simply by virtue of signing on as a sangha member, one is saying, "I place myself at the service of all beings."  To the extent to which one is saddled with more responsibility in the sangha, one is agreeing to open one's life up more and more and more to the service of all. 

I've never been much fond of "awakening" and "enlightenment" talk.  Now I have a better way to address the matter.  Rather than wondering how deep my insight is, I can simply ask, "Do I serve enough?"

And yeah, I know the answer: "Not by a long shot.  Not even close."

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