Everyone who takes a 10 course can certainly give dana (donation).  By giving Dhamma service in a course, one starts understanding: “I received Dhamma because somebody gave service in the course. If I do not give Dhamma service in return, I am becoming more selfish, I am working only for myself.”

One starts understanding the real teaching of Buddha, which is not only for one’s self-liberation but also for the liberation of many others.

It is Guru ji’s own  personal experience that before being appointed as an assistant teacher or  as a full-fledged teacher by his teacher, he had been giving such service in Dhamma courses for fourteen years. Giving Dhamma service, serving people in a Dhamma course, gives so much strength in Dhamma to oneself.

When a course starts, there is so much melancholy on the faces of the people who have joined. Everyone has some misery or the other in his day-to-day life. But after ten days, on the closing day of the course, the face of every meditator starts glowing; everyone is smiling and there is so much happiness on the faces of the meditators.

Seeing this big change in the people who have participated in the course, not only the teacher but also the Dhamma workers are filled with joy. This joy cannot be compared with any kind of sensual pleasure. This joy is pure joy-full of Dhamma, full of mettā, full of karuṇā, love, compassion.

There is another reason why Vipassana meditators should give service as Dhamma workers. When one takes Vipassana courses, one tries to change the habit of the mind. Instead of reacting to situations, we learn how to remain equanimous in different situations. While in the course, one is training its mind to remain equanimous with the help of the sensations. That is the root level of the mind.
But it cannot be said that one has really become equanimous just by taking course after course. One becomes perfect in Dhamma only when one starts applying this equanimity in the day-to-day life in the outside world. And if a student is not very ripened in Dhamma, is quite raw in Dhamma, it becomes so difficult to apply this equanimity in day-to-day life.

One gets a very good training-ground to develop equanimity when one comes to give service in a Dhamma course. In a course, a Dhamma worker has to face many kinds of meditators, many kinds of situations. Some meditators may be very short-tempered. Some of them may have a lot of negativities. While serving in the course, one learns how to deal with such people who are short-tempered or who have a lot of negativities. In the atmosphere of the Dhamma course, there is not so much negativity as one finds in the outside world. A short-tempered student of meditation might have a lot of negativity in his or her mind, but will not express it as strongly as in the outside world.

Still, some negativity is shown by short-tempered students coming to the course. The worker learns how to deal with these people. He learns it very easily because the entire atmosphere is a Dhamma atmosphere. In this Dhamma atmosphere it becomes easy for the Dhamma worker to maintain equanimity, in spite of all the provocation, in spite of all the negativities being exhibited by a student.

A Dhamma worker is not giving service all the time while in the course. Whenever service is needed, one gives service. The rest of the time, one gets the opportunity to meditate. So sometimes even if a Dhamma worker generates irritation, having come across some negativity of the student, he washes it out by meditating and starts generating love and compassion again.

This is how a Dhamma worker gets a training-ground, where one can easily train oneself to face the negativities of other people and to generate nothing but love and compassion for them. So by giving Dhamma service in a course, it becomes easy for this person to face the world outside, which is full of negativities, full of vicissitudes, full of ups and downs.

Therefore Students are encouraged by Guru ji,

“If you really want to get established in Dhamma, if you really want to apply Dhamma in your day-to-day life, give some service in Dhamma courses and get proper training.”
By giving Dhamma service in a course, you are fulfilling the teaching of the Buddha which is not just to help yourself to get liberated but also to help others to get liberated. Therefore, I keep recommending to my students, As you find time of ten days for purifying the mind for your own development in Dhamma, one must also give at least ten days in a year to serve others so that both the aspects of Buddha’s teaching become stronger in you. I want all of you to keep growing in Dhamma, not just to take courses and then to forget about it. You have to apply Dhamma in life. And to apply it in life, serve at least one course a year to get the strength to apply it in life. May you all keep growing in Dhamma-not only for your good and benefit, not only for your liberation, but also for the good and benefit of so many others, for the liberation of so many others.”

May all beings be happy!

Log on to www.dhammavani.org  to listen the Talk given on Metta Day by Reverend S.N Goenka  about “Benefits of Dhamma Service” in the Audio section of  Resource.