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Nature of Bodhi Academy [2016-05-17 11:33]
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Does voluntary work really take up too much of my time?

In Bodhi Academy, studying the Buddha Dharma at least three times a week is the minimum necessary requirement, and I did not reach this required standard recently. And I attributed this to doing too much voluntary work. I thought if I took less voluntary work, I would have more time to organize all aspects of life, such as thinking more deeply about my job, and doing exercise every day.

This week, there were no reading clubs for me to host, no regular meetings for me to attend, no business trips for me to take, and no complicated or urgent tasks either. I should have done exercise, studied the Buddhism Dharma, and pondered upon my work this week. It should have been a perfect week with everything going well on schedule.

However, it didn’t happen at all!

I didn’t study this week’s Dharma courses enough, so I didn’t have a deep and complete understanding of the content. Nor did I finish the report that I meant to write. I neither did exercise as I had planned nor cleaned my bedroom. I didn't do the clothes-washing until 11 p.m., and didn’t go to bed until midnight. I had to make up the missed Dharma course by staying up late and getting up earlier. I seemed to be busy and diligent but actually I had been trapped in a vicious circle.

It turns out that what really took up lots of time and wasted my life was actually seemingly important but purposeless and meaningless things and I was not aware of this until now. My life is in a state of confusion and chaos. The so-called “Samsara”, for me, is my repeated yesterday, today and tomorrow.

If this is my normal daily life, I wonder whether voluntary work really takes up my time.

Every time I participate in voluntary activities, the preliminary part helps me to adjust my intention. While doing the voluntary work, I use other Dharma brothers and sisters as role models. In the end, self-reflection in front of other volunteers enables me to return to my original aspiration. When looking back to this, I realize it is when I was busy with voluntary work that I made the biggest improvement.

A reasonable time schedule comes from proper mind management. All the chaos in my life are actually due to inner turmoil. I haven’t realize the truth of life, and didn’t prioritize tasks by urgency and importance. As a result, I was often busy all day long and even mistook this kind of busy life for diligence.

If you aren’t busy and don't spare time studying the Buddha Dharma or doing any voluntary work, you will end up falling into the trap of complacency about yourself in the ‘Samsara’.

However, while you are busy doing the voluntary work, then you can  constantly adjust your mind during the process.