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{Seva} for the {Sangha} at Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic

Many may wonder why devote time as a volunteer. Not as "let me volunteer once in a while", "check off the box", or "I did my good act for the year." But as a regular activity.

In the Indian tradition of seva, or selfless service, a service to others is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. I grew up learning this as tradition in the Indian Sikh culture. In our main temple in Amritsar, India, the Golden Temple, up to 50,000 people a day are given a free, hot meal. It does not matter what religion, gender or wealth of the individual. Any Being is welcome to this nourishment.

When I first moved to LA in 2016, I was overwhelmed by the extreme disparity of wealth and poverty, the beauty of palm trees and art next to rows upon rows of people living in tents and hungry for food. I thought I was in a City of Demons, with so many living without the comforts or basic necessities all humans deserve. Los Angeles rates as having the highest number of homeless in all of America. I was shocked to learn from the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority that of the 58,000 homeless, there are 4,000 elderly and 5,000 children.

I discovered the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic walking by on their birthday celebration a little over two years ago, seeing a decorative display of balloons. I stopped and asked if there was any need for volunteering and teaching meditation or yoga classes. Soon I started teaching the staff and patients in this community. I learned of the history of this community, and the great efforts to establish a unique and what many would say is a seemingly impossible establishment. Living to manifest the Truth - that every Being be healthy, happy, safe and free.

What would happen if we all spent a few moments helping each other a little more?

When we truly Care for others, we look across and see the Human in every Being. We all have eyes to see, hearts beating, hands to hold. We all have lungs to breathe this air, bodies craving nourishment. And hopes, dreams, desires. Walls of separation immediately break down, and bridges of sharing, community, and love are instantly created.

To see groups at large living this practice feels like a surreal miracle. If we all put our hands to these efforts more often, carved out time for seva or selfless service, maybe this would become as much of a standard normal as going to the movies or a day at the beach. When our hearts open up to helping each other, we Create a Positive Force of Action, a world where truly any dream is Possible, and all may be Well.

This past summer, I was asked to be the new Medical Director for this clinic. I have taken this position in honor as Service {Seva} and with the hope of continuing to proudly serve the community {Sangha} at large, to carry on the Spirit of Care - true Health Care, with the compassion and dedication of the current staff and volunteers. Their mission is: To promote the well-being of the underserved by providing access to high quality health care for all regardless of the ability to pay.

To continue support, donations may be made directly to the clinic. So many individuals have come for basic needs and concerns, and every little bit will help.

May we continue the tradition of Seva, and resolve to continue our efforts for Care, with hearts open and solid in the Oneness of Life.

See Wellness Within

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