Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

A field of mindfulness

Monday, July 28th, 2008

In a family, if there is one person who practices mindfulness, the entire family will be more mindful. Because of the presence of one memeber who lives in mindfulness, the entire family is reminded to live in mindfulness. If in one class, one student lives in mindfulness, the entire class is influenced. – Thich Nanh Hanh

While I intellectually understand that all beings arise within one’s own mind and that we vow to liberate all beings within our minds. Thich Nanh Hanh‘s idea above fits with my own experience a lot better.

And it truly inspires me as indeed did the movie “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana” ( which I managed to find at Vipassana Publications Aotearoa for only $6.50), in which a new inspector general of prisons puts officers and inmates alike on a ten day vipassana course. The transformation of the inmates lives seemed wonderful. Also inspiring were the volunteers that gave the course.

I’m not sure what it is that I want to do, but there is something around giving to the community that I’m in, wherever that may be. I find it so reassuring that my practise benefits others that it gives me the confidence to extend that somehow. Yes, I give money, but I haven’t given time.

So what will it be? I don’t know. I’ve discovered that sitting and waiting for inspiration can take some time, but doing and allowing inspiration to occur within the doing seems to work better. Something around stillness within activity.

Anyway I checked out the Auckland City Mission and it seems they’d rather have donations than volunteers and that’s fine. I guess these organisations develop their own ways of doing things and to avoid chaos people need to fit into their structures; theirs is a business hours one. They can have some money. So what is it then?

I then found Volunteering NZ, which appears to be a great resource. And I learned that over one million New Zealanders are actively involved in volunteer work. That’s almost one quarter of the population that feels it has enough time to contribute to the community. It is wonderful. Let’s see what they suggest.

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