I was fascinated by all of the places we went on the Interfaith Fall break trip, but after reflecting I discovered that one of my favorite parts was the service work at the Shambhala Meditation Center. It was a beautiful fall day in Atlanta, and a few of us got to work outside. The best thing about the whole day, service included, was the simplicity of it all.
During the meditation that we did we were instructed to take step back from our own minds and let our thoughts pass by, not stopping them to judge or ask questions, but to simply acknowledge that “I am thinking thoughts” and then let them go on. It was this perspective that stuck with me for the rest of my time at the pleasant, clean meditation center.
Our task outside was simple: to help create a path for walking and meditation through the small piece of grassy land that the center owned. The movement of my arms and shoulderblades, twisting and straining as they shoveled dirt and leaves into the wheelbarrow, was simple. “I am using my body (a gift) outside on a gorgeous day (a gift)” – Just this, I thought. “I am moving and breathing;” I appreciated being human, simply. And in doing so I understood why humans came to meditate at the Shambhala center: to step outside of the worries and craziness of life and just be breathers for a while. And if they can do this better while walking on a path that I helped make, God I am thankful that I could be of use. Just this, as I turned my face to the sun with a smiling gratitude.”