When you serve at a Vipassana course, you listen to a talk on how to serve. Every time I have listened to it, different things stand out to me—based on what I am ready to hear. The statement that stands out feels as if it is the first time I have heard it despite having listened to the talk so many times. And it is evident, like a beacon of light on a foggy day. So, what stood out to me this time? 

Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.

Before that, an example: At work, there are people who, for some reason or other, do not do what they are supposed to do. And it bugs me; I get all worked out. It happens all the time. I have never had any role where everybody is perfect, even though I keep wishing that wasn’t the case. I give feedback to the person and the person’s manager and then fume over that person who needs to do their standard work.

The insight I gained from Vipassana was, ‘If somebody else is doing what I don’t like, then why am I generating negativity?’ Think about it—this person is not doing their job, and I am generating anger. Very illogical, correct? But this is what I have been doing—somebody does something, and I react positively or negatively. When you serve, the guideline is ‘When some conflict arises with others, retire, withdraw from service. If you say the fault is not mine, it is the other person’s, it doesn’t matter what the apparent cause is. My Mistake Is I Have Started Generating Negativity. 

Realization must be amidst all the turmoil of life. If you make yourself comfortable and go to bed, you will fall asleep. Face the troubles, but keep yourself steady in meditation.

The more I thought about it, the more sense it made—probably because I was not taking it personally. I am good as long as the person does something that does not bug me. But the minute the ‘me’ comes into play, I generate negativity. For, if somebody in my friend’s company is not doing their job well – I will advise my friend on how to keep calm, but when it comes to me, I am annoyed at that person, I want them to be replaced, etc etc.

Some of you are thinking, how will we fix the problem? We cannot just sit like vegetables because we don’t want to generate negativity. So, what’s the solution to such issues? The solution remains the same; what changes is how we do it. We do it with compassion, no negativity, and inner peace. I hope my words can convey their significance. I have discovered a peaceful way to address the problems in my life without getting worked up over them. This also includes not getting annoyed with people who get worked up over such items. All I have to do is ensure that I do not generate negativity in myself over other’s actions. It is wise to turn inward and see what part, if any, I played in the situation.

I have had a couple of situations at work where, before serving, interactions with such a person would result in me gritting my teeth internally. After serving, I found myself having the same conversation without any angst. It was so – freeing! It’s still early days – who knows, I may return to reacting, and if that happens, so be it. After all, change is the only permanent thing in the world. In the meantime, I am not going to generate worry over something which has not happened – LOL.

Did this blog spark something in you?

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