Many a times, Sadhguru has mentioned that Isha Yoga is run largely on the strength of the volunteers. Here, the Master explores the essence and importance of volunteering

Sadhguru: The whole process of Yoga is just to give yourself. When I say give yourself, people may not know how to simply give themselves. People need some kind of means to give themselves. Whatever you may give in your life to anybody – you may give money, you may give food, you may give education. All the things that you give, actually do not belong to you, yes? Whatever you have today, everything including your body, you gathered it from this earth and when you go, you have to give it back.

Volunteering is a way of learning to make our lives into a process of just giving and being willing. Not just willing to do this or that, simply willing.

All that you have today with you is something you have borrowed from this planet. It is not really yours, you can use it, you can enjoy it. Though you believe you own it, you cannot really own it. You believe you own your house, you believe you own your clothes, you believe you own your children, your wife, your husband. They are here for you, you can enjoy them, but when you have to leave, you have to leave them and go.

Nothing really belongs to you. What doesn’t belong to you, you cannot give. There is really no giving. There is no value to this kind of giving but you need a means to give.

Fundamentally, the only thing that you can give is yourself but you do not know how to give yourself simply, so you give using things as a means. You are using activity as a means to give yourself. If you are not aware of this, then giving becomes a great problem. If you do not make yourself willing to give yourself, it becomes a very painful process.

When you understand giving as giving only things, then naturally fear will come into you because “If I give away everything what will happen to me?” It is because of this understanding, we fear giving. People have become stingy, miserly with their love, with their joy, simply because they only think that giving means things. How much, how many things can you give?

No spiritual process will happen to any human being unless he becomes willingness. Thus, volunteering is a tremendous tool in creating that willingness.

From this economy, slowly we have become less loving, less joyous, less peaceful, because we are afraid of giving.

Volunteering is a process of giving yourself. It’s an opportunity to give yourself. You can simply sit here, close your eyes and give yourself to the world. It is possible but that level of awareness is not there in most human beings. Unless there is activity, people do not know how to give themselves. They need action to give themselves to something. Normally, what little work we do, calculations are there, “How much should I do? Why should I do? What will I get out of this?” In these calculations, all the beauty of doing is gone and the very process of life has become ugly. Most of the things that you are doing in your life are things that you have chosen to do. In spite of that, we are doing simple activities with so much struggle because we are unwilling to give. Somewhere we have forgotten that we started this willingly.

Volunteering is a way of learning to make our lives into a process of just giving and being willing. Not just willing to do this or that, simply willing.

No spiritual process will happen to any human being unless he becomes willingness. Thus, volunteering is a tremendous tool in creating that willingness. This kind of willingness to start with is better when it happens in a protected atmosphere. That is why the whole process of Isha is happening as volunteering to just provide you with that necessary protected atmosphere where you can be 100% willing and not be exploited. We are always stressing on volunteering, so that you use the atmosphere to become willing. Then it will extend into your daily life also. Above all, it will permeate into your being, that you become willingness.

Editor’s Note: Please email volunteering@ishafoundation.org or call 8300098777 if you would like to support Isha’s activities in India.

Image Courtesy of Cristian Bernal @ flickr