#34 – August 2, 2017 – Sevadar Stories!

Dear Friends,

The first phase of summer construction work has just been completed! During the last three weeks, sevadars have excavated the foundation for the Dome Meeting Hall, as well as creating much of the support infrastructure, including building sheds, burning huge piles of brush, installing fences and gates, outfitting the ISHA construction office, installing the water pump and the electrical service, building lodging for future volunteers, and much more.
As the work wound down, some of the sevadars attempted to capture their experiences in short essays. Here are their own anonymous words:
Ishwar Ji’s dream/vision/project has always been dear to my heart, and I feel immensely blessed and grateful to be able to contribute and do seva in a small way. The sevadars that feel pulled to come here and help are a source of inspiration to me, as well. In the spirit of love, selflessness, and dedication, so much gets accomplished – often times in miraculous ways. It seems like the “hidden conductor” waves his wand and we all perform in harmony and manifest the impossible. It is all His grace!

It is amazing to see this circular hole take shape. All the sit down talks, announcements, and even stories from Ishwar manifesting before our eyes. The smell of the site also, sandy, gravel earth transmits this realism, off the drawing boards sort of speaking. The circle measures approximately 110 ft across, and 8 to 10 ft deep at original grade. Although, when in the site, it seems much deeper. The bulldozer is 10 to 12 ft high, and seems with the mounds of gravel much smaller, this illusion of space only accentuates the overall sense of the wonderful mystery of the Dera’s unfoldment. I hope this small excerpt can convey some of the unseen magic that accompanies seva the master has given to the disciples. I know so many have been waiting for a physical sense of movement in accomplishing this endearing task.

Enlightenment and enjoyment. I experienced joy seeing the changes in the two weeks I was there. Plus, the friendships that also grew during this time.”

The experience of working on the land where the tribute to Great Master will be built, in direct service to Ishwar, cannot be adequately described. There is a great feeling of connection to Ishwar, and a wonderful sense of camaraderie with my fellow sevadar friends. The work is rich and rewarding, and there are many different ways each person can contribute. And none of the work seems to be hard, as we all help each other and Ishwar helps us all. I am grateful that I took time to work on Ishwar’s dream and will never forget it. And I hope I will be back there soon.

The day was hot, muggy, and buggy. Our group was tasked with picking up little sticks and throwing them into a pile of wood that was as big as a house and made of full trees. At first, it seemed a tedious task, being that at first glance there appeared by my approximation 1 million plus branches to pick up. Luckily, however, there was some steadfast satsangis doing Seva as well that served as good guides. I started thinking about Ishwar and his mentioning that the value of Seva comes not from the effort, but the love for the master. We all seemed to be working in concert with each other, and despite the bugs and heat, seemed fulfilling. At the end when I looked over the grounds again I was surprised by the difference. It looked like the ground had been vacuumed yet it did not seem like that much work. Masters Grace was in effect!

I never had given high priority to physical seva (service with body), and never went for any kind of service before. A month or so ago, I was seriously listening to my Masters satsang where he happened to sing a shabad from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji,
the holy book of the sikhs. The shabad in its english translation goes like this “If anyone wants to get spiritual benefits, economic benefits, fulfillment of desires, and Salvation, then he should go into the service of realized beings.” I considered this the order of my Master, and went to do the first physical seva in my life.

I am honored to be present and able to help in the construction of the dera. There is a special feeling that grows in the group of individuals who are all focusing on the same goal, and offering their time and expertise with Love and Devotion. This feeling grew daily. At the end of the first three weeks, individuals who hardly knew each other had coalesced in a community where the work itself exceeded individual desires and preferences. This feeling was so strong that many found it difficult to leave. The confusion of the first several days had transformed into quiet efficiency.

I myself had no prior masonry skills, but lending a hand and the willingness to help were needed throughout the entire construction process, and I learned so much over a few days. Anyone who volunteers, no matter what skills they possess, will find their role, and ultimately that their abilities are useful to this project. Moreover, it was wonderful to encounter fellow sevadars contributing to this beautiful vision.

Having the privilege to be a part of Master’s Dome Project has allowed me to be a part of something that, in time, will inspire thousands of people to have the benefit of NAM and to see and witness the Master’s Presence. For us sevadars, it matters not that we benefit from it, rather we find the benefits from the perspective that many, in the future shall benefit, not just those who have worked on this project. I hope all of you can find the opportunity to be part of Great Master’s and Master Ishwar’s dream!
The next phase of work will begin in several weeks (late August), and continue at least through September. We expect to need many sevadars during that time. If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to isha.seva@gmail.com. Include your name, phone number, address, the dates that you are available, and any construction-related skills you may have. Note that construction skills are not required … everyone is welcome!

If you can’t make it to Wisconsin this year, consider making a donation to the ISHA Building Fund. Because the project is funded entirely by donations, we can only move forward with construction if more donations arrive. Click here for info on making donations:  https://ishanews.org/ishwarsprojects2/donations/
With Warmest Regards,
Paul Bauer
Chair of ISHA Building & Fund-Raising Committee