Serving Others

Lama Yeshe said that if you have compassion, you never get lung. As much as you are able to meditate while suffering from lung, it is good to meditate on love and compassion, in a relaxed way, in your bed or in a nice place, where you simply think about love and compassion. However rather than forcing yourself to do meditation, I think the best thing you can do is to physically serve others. This can take the form of helping in a Dharma Center, cooking, cleaning, serving your friends and family, and so forth. These activities will bring joy and ease to your mind and will help to heal the lung. Serving others should be the core practice for everyone, not just for those who have lung. Instead of getting upset because you are not able to do formal practice, such as meditation, study, and so forth, serve others: give others the opportunity to study and meditate. 


It is always important not to push, even while serving others. We tend to push ourselves, thinking, "I'm bad; I should be doing more," "I'm hopeless," and so on. Don't destroy yourself;do your best, and there is no problem. If you can only help for one hour, or even one minute or second, it's okay. That is what you can do. The point is not to do more than you are able to. Another way to serve others is to serve those who are ill. By helping to heal others, you help yourself to heal. It is especially good to help those who suffer from lung like you, in whatever way you are able.


by Ven. Thubten Shakya

(excerpt from Balanced Mind, Balanced Body)