Journey into the Heart of Seva and Hurricane Harvey


This article is courtesy of Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma, and was written by Tera Gian

Due to Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, several small towns and larger ones like Rockport were in great need of help. I was feeling a strong urge to help in some way, but not sure if I would actually do something or even how I would help.

The thought kept coming to me, “How can I be a Sikh if I don’t help those in need?”

One of my friends at work mentioned that she had just come back from checking on family in Refugio and she may be returning on the weekend. I told her I would like to go with her if she could go on a Sunday. She agreed. I was very excited to help, which is unusual for me to want to put forth such an effort. I went shopping for supplies. Spent about $250 and feeling like I wished I had more to give ( another unusual thought for me) One of my clients wanted to help but couldn’t go so she donated money and I was able to buy more and take a lot of bug spray which would be greatly needed.

I came home with all these items and my daughter thought she had hit the jackpot for groceries only to realize no food! “Mom, she said, I am surprised, It’s not like you to volunteer.”  Again, I am thinking, “While this isn’t like me, it’s what a Sikh would do.”

I separated, labeled, packed, and boxed supplies and come Sunday we were ready with a truck full of items donated. My friend and I headed south and ended up in Rockport. We could find no place to drop things off, but we did see a couple in a Walmart parking lot. They had brought supplies and had tables. We asked them if we could set up with them and offered to work together to get people what they needed. They agreed and we opened up shop and people started arriving.

Buying supplies was one thing, but staying to hand them out and meet the people who needed them, gave a far greater happiness for them and for me. One lady who came by had ten people staying in her house and she looked so exhausted, like she couldn’t even think what supplies she needed. Just being able to give her a hug for support was probably the thing she needed most that day and was one thing I’ll never forget about that day.

Since I have such a growing interest in Sikhism, I originally was motivated to help because I felt it was something I needed to do on an external level to be a good Sikh. I knew I wasn’t quite into the Seva part, but something kept pulling at me to go forward. I am very glad I had that original thought of being a “Good Sikh” because it gave me an opportunity to go on a journey and experience  a deeper satisfaction and connection with others. This experience has made me want to do more Seva, as what I do for others, I also do for myself.

This was an assignment from the Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma tele-course.

Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma is a small group class, meeting together via telephone biweekly with an expert presenter and the course facilitator.

This course will allow you to delve more deeply into a relationship with your spiritual path, and will also enrich your practice and understanding of Kundalini Yoga – it is a perfect complement or follow up to Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.

The course involves an investment of time leading up to each session. Short reading, experiential, and written assignments are given. In addition, between classes, you are invited to explore your relationship with the material with another participant in your section. Your assignments are sent to the facilitator before each class. Highlights from each person’s reflections are shared during the class for learning and feedback.

Also, all students choose seva projects to do during the course as an offering to integrate the learning to the living experience.

Visit the JHSD website for more information 

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