An Orientation to Serve
Being an embodiment of service is central to the founding principles of One Spirit
All of the great wisdom traditions embody an ethic of service, one of the six common values found in every spiritual tradition. Being an embodiment of service is central to the founding principles of One Spirit, and is an overt component of all our programming, offerings, and workshops.
Spiritual paths move us in two directions: interior and exterior.
The interior movement encompasses practices such as meditation, contemplation, prayer and self inquiry.
The exterior movement includes practices such as seva, tikkun olam and karma yoga. These practices, from different traditions, are examples of love in action enacted in the communal field of relationship, the “we” space.
Service becomes skillful when it starts by finding the wellspring of the Infinite inside, and then aligning our outer actions with that experience. When we offer to serve we nurture a direct experience of Oneness and Interconnectedness that fosters the growth of our soul and opens our heart to others.
A service ethic encourages us to take care of each other in the same way we take care of ourselves.
As we grow in the experience of our True Nature our circle of concern naturally widens beyond our immediate relationships, growing large enough over time to see our neighbor in every face we encounter. This ethic is clearly expressed in:
- The Christian parable of the Good Samaritan
- The Buddhist practice of metta or lovingkindness
- The Talmudic teaching that to save a single life saves the world
- The Bhagavad-Gita asking us to engage in service without attachment to the outcome
- The Sufi understanding that one’s primary life task is service to humanity
- The lives of Pope John XXIII and His Holiness the Dali Lama, who both understood kindness and inclusiveness as being central to the religious principles of the world
Expressing service in the individual and the collective
To the degree that every one of us involved with One Spirit can work, play and pray in a spirit of service, we naturally bring that spirit into the collective consciousness of the organization. In turn, that collective consciousness nurtures the interior life and the exterior behavior of each of us and sends a positive flow of influence into the wider world. At the heart of our commitment to skillful service is an attitude of, Willingness, Openness, Dedication, Non-Attachment, and Good-Natured kindness.
One Spirit’s intentional embodiment of service as the foundation for all of our offerings provides us with another powerful opportunity to use our life experiences and our relationships as a spiritual practice, allowing each of us to continue to become an expression of our Truest Nature, and in the process make a positive contribution to the world.