This is a guest post by Shahjahani. She is a personal friend of mine and a fantastic educator.
I originally heard of these precepts when speaking of death and dying. I elaborated on them then to help myself understand my place in the death and dying process. I shared my thoughts back then with those that I worked with, as we encountered end-of-life issues often. Recently I reviewed these five Precepts of Service, and I realized they have relevance in other dimensions of life, such as my current relationship with my Master as his submissive. Meditating on these precepts offers me inspiration and guidance. I think of these as five bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened. They are not linear and have no value as theories or concepts. To be understood and realized, they have to be lived into and communicated through action.
The First Precept:
Welcome Everything. Push Away Nothing
In welcoming everything, we don’t have to like what’s arising. It’s actually not our job to approve or disapprove. It’s our task to trust, to listen, and to pay careful attention to the changing experience. At the deepest level, we are being asked to cultivate a kind of fearless receptivity. This is a journey of continuous discovery in which we will always be entering new territory. We have no idea how it will turn out, and it takes courage and flexibility. We find a balance. The journey is a mystery we need to live into, opening, risking, and giving constantly.
The Second Precept:
Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
We must be open to both our joy and fear. In service, we draw on our strength and helplessness, our wounds and passion for discovering a meeting place with the other. Professional warmth doesn’t heal. It is not our expertise but the exploration of our own suffering that enables us to be of real assistance. That’s what allows us to touch our Master's needs and inner being with love and desire instead of with fear. We have to invite it all in. We can’t travel with others in territory that we haven’t explored ourselves. It is the exploration of our own inner life that enables us to form an empathetic bridge to the other person.
The Third Precept:
Patience is different than waiting. When we wait, we are full of expectations. When we’re waiting, we miss what this moment has to offer. Worrying about what the future holds for us, we miss the opportunities that are right in front of us. Waiting for the perfect moment, we miss so many moments of living. Don’t wait. If there’s someone you love, tell him or her that you love them. Allow the precarious nature of this life to show you what’s most important then enter fully.
The Fourth Precept:
Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things
We often think of rest as something that will come when everything else is complete, like when we go on a holiday or when our work is done. We imagine that we can only find rest by changing the conditions of our life. But it is possible to discover rest right in the middle of chaos. It is experienced when we bring our full attention, without distraction, to this moment, to this activity. This place of rest is always available. We need only turn toward it. It’s an aspect of us that’s never sick, is not born, and does not die.
The Fifth Precept:
Cultivate Don’t-Know Mind
This describes a mind that’s open and receptive. A mind that’s not limited by agendas, roles, and expectations. The great Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi, was fond of saying, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” From this vantage point, we realize that “not knowing is most intimate.” Understanding this we stay very close to the experience allowing the situation itself to inform our actions. We learn to look with fresh eyes. Our minds stay clear to accept that which comes from our Masters
My name is Shahjahani, and you can find me by the same name on Fetlife. I am a submissive living in a 24/7 relationship with my Master. I am new to the lifestyle, but not new to kink. I have always been an introspective person, with much of my life dedicated to meditation, looking within for strength and in the service of others, as service brings fulfillment and peace in my life. I am open to questions from anyone, and I love to teach (another passion of mine). If you would like to get to know me better, please check out my blog Blood and Fire at http://shahjahani.kinky-blogging.com, or you may message me on Fetlife.