7 May
Posted in: Retreats
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Venerate and Serve.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote that 2 phrases seem to have “come home with me” from the retreat with Ajahn Sucitto. One of the phrases is: Simplify and Enjoy, which I wrote about yesterday. The other is Venerate and Serve.

In the talk on the first morning of the retreat, Ajahn Sucitto said, “The Buddha himself, that great being, after his awakening and deciding to teach…one of his further recollections was: ‘One lives miserably if one has no one to serve. No one to venerate. But I have no teacher. Who can I venerate? Who can I serve? I see no one who has given me these qualities. And yet… So I shall revere and venerate the Dhamma.’” (You can listen to the full talk here.)

One lives miserably if one has no one to serve. No one to venerate. I heard those words…and I’m not even sure what “serve” and “venerate” would mean for me, in my life, but something in me was stirred. Something in me sat up, took notice, and said Yes! That’s right! But it’s not about serving some one — some teacher or guru or god of some kind — it’s not even about service to a philosophy or ideology or religion or anything like that. For me, it’s about something much bigger. Some primal truth that’s deeper than that.

Sucitto said, “Within the intimacy of one’s own karmic flow, there is the possibility to live beautifully. Graciously. Modestly. Without demand and without resistance. Without a kind of slumping, and without forcing. This is the servant of the Dhamma.”



(image from: Offerings, by Danielle and Olivier Follmi)

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