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Love and Light

Region 4 – Leicester Central Annual Service Meeting

The Leicester Central service wing held their quarterly gathering for active service members to overview their activities on Saturday 2nd March 2013 at Belgrave Neighborhood Centre. The aim of this event was to emphasise how, and with which attributes we should be carrying out service activities. We identified the ways in which the service group can service the centre as well as the wider community as a form of practical spirituality.

The programme started with prayers and a bhajan, followed by a short video on Swami. Thereafter a small story [1] was narrated about the hungry poor man who had not eaten for few days, visits the house of a householder who had always practiced ‘revere your guest as God’. As the man was famished he forgot to say his prayers before eating the delicious food. This enraged the householder and he took away food and asked the man to leave. That night God appeared in the householder’s dream and said ‘I have been looking after the man for 60 years and did not mind he did not remember me even once. You should have served him food with love and should not have lost the quality of forbearance. First and foremost, give importance to humanness. You can teach spirituality to a hungry man only after offering him food and satisfying his hunger'. Every now and then God subjects people to such tests. Thus the moral was to be careful not to lose forbearance in any situation. We, as service members should always be eager to serve and learn to be patient with whomever we are serving as it is God whom we truly serve.

A few members of the service team spoke of personal experiences of service activities in which we are all able to participate, in Prashanti. These activities included helping at the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum, catering in the canteens and general help within Swami's hospitals. Everyone who spoke emphasised the amount of love there is in serving and how peaceful vibrations are created.

We then had a lively discussion on how we can improve and further develop on current activities that take place in the Centre. For example, “meals on wheels” service is more than just delivering home cooked food, but it is an opportunity to sit, talk and listen to those that we serve.

This led us to talk about introducing new service opportunities, such as visits to residential and nursing homes, working with other organisations, such as helping to improve the environment.

We realised that it is very important to have these regular gatherings so that we can all learn from one another as to how we can continue to carry out all service activities selflessly, happily and lovingly..

SWAMI SAYS:

To serve selflessly and silently with the feeling of oneness towards every individual, community and humanity and to offer every act to God.

[1] Sanathana Sarathi April 2011

Sai Ram