I have been busy lately getting ready for AngelRide https://www.angelride.org – an organization that raises funds to support the Arthur C. Luf Burns Camp. This camp is the ONLY one for children with serious burn injuries in United States. The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp is a safe, natural outdoor environment for kids ages 8 to 18 from around the world who have survived life-altering burn injuries and the opportunity to make memories that will sustain and inspire them through difficult times ahead. It provides important life changing experience that allows serious burn injured kids to be kids – all free of charge to them and their families. Kids come from around the country and even the world to have a life changing summer experience. A large group of firemen form the core of the camp volunteers. Others, even some of the former campers, become counselors to pass down their experiences and inspiration to the next generation. http://ctburnsfoundation.org/arthur-c-luf-childrens-burn-camp/
There is a lot of work as you can imagine in planning and putting on an event of this size and the number as well as the energy and passion of the volunteers is amazing- I am glad to be a small part of it. I volunteered to run the ‘SAG’ or support and gear group. Our job is to travel the route encouraging the riders, as well providing any support we can such as directions, drinks, snacks, or a lift if in need.
The burn camp is a beautiful setting and I counted myself lucky to be a part of this. The burn camp volunteers and counselors are just amazing people who dedicate so much to this important cause.
The Friday before the ride, a 70-mile bike ride by the way, is filled with getting the camp ready, bringing supplies to all the rest stops, as well as many other activities. Looking out over the camp lake, I thought now this would be a perfect location for a quick yoga practice before the activities start!
So Friday night, I set my alarm and looked forward to doing an early yoga practice. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the lake with my mat, I was running late. I had to start the day’s planning and make sure everything was ready. I felt disappointed. “Rats, I am missing out” I thought “what a bummer” Then, I thought about those kids that were coming this summer and the hardships they face each and every day – how could I be thinking about me! I was a bit embarrassed. This day was really all about them, as well as giving the riders the best experience that they can have during their long ride.
In Sanskrit, there is a term Seva that means the act of selfless service. Seva is composed of two words saha “with that” and eva, which means “too”. Together it has a meaning of compassion for others and to uplift others together.
If there was any time for seva this was it – a time to serve and not think about myself. I put away my yoga mat and threw all I had into the service of the day. The funny thing I realized is that I wasn’t alone – all the others involved in AngelRide were also performing seva. The many other volunteers and participants were all in this together. The more I supported and cheered the riders, the more I enjoyed the experience together with my fellow volunteers and riders. By each doing our individual seva we were making something greater for the community.
The ride was a great success and we were all happy to help this worthy cause. I did my yoga practice that night and found myself more centered, more at ease in body and mind. The gifts of seva are given to both the ones we give service to as well as to the ones doing the serving. What a yogic lesson in life!