The spirit of ‘veyyavacca’

The spirit of ‘veyyavacca’

Every Sunday morning, devotees and volunteers gather to learn Dhamma and also offer their time to serve the community.

On Sunday 31 July, Nalandians gathered to learn, practise and reflect on the spirit of ‘veyyavacca’ during the Sunday Morning Service at Nalanda Centre.  In the Dhamma sharing, Sis. Nandini relayed that ‘veyyavacca’ is part of our spiritual cultivation to develop liberality and kindness while supporting the community.  The spirit of service is based on thoughtfulness and consideration; when we are  sensitive to others’ need, we will try to help in whatever way we can.  It is not just an act of service but the idea of being in service to others.

This virtuous practice is an important value to understand and embed in ourselves, and indicative of the maturity of our spiritual practice.  We would usually start with doing what we enjoy or prefer doing, and then progress to do what we are able to do.  When we feel truly connected to the cause, we commit ourselves to do what is required, and even skill-up to contribute.

With reverence and understanding, devotees offer water, lights, flowers & fruits to the Three Jewels.

The practice of chanting also helps to build mindfulness, as we take our refuge, precepts and recite the virtues of the Three Jewels.

When we are of service to others, we are ready to help even if it’s not convenient to us and we have to relinquish our pleasures.

In service, we can benefit from having a learning and reflective mindset.  By observing our thoughts, we take note of our judgement, criticism and complaints, and actively replace them with values such as patience, understanding and gratitude.  When the mind is open and accepting, we can then experience the deep joy of helping others.

Sis. Nandini also reminded us that while we commit ourselves to service, we should also have time to cultivate the foundations of dāna, sīla and bhāvanā.  Cumulatively, these aspects help us to progress on our spiritual journey in a balanced manner, and uphold our part in the wider mission and outcome.

Youths also gathered to maintain Nalanda Youth Centre, which serves as the venue for their activities and also for Free School classes.

Volunteers help to maintain the indoor foliage which creates a conducive environment for all at Nalanda Centre.

Volunteers carefully clean and maintain the Buddha-rupam, practising mindfulness and attention.

Taman Sari Nandanavana is often maintained to beautify the compounds outside Nalanda Centre and K. Sri Dhammananda Centre.