In my book From Leaf to Life (page 308),I wrote – The false self is that part of us that wants to fill the emptiness in life with pleasure, power.. and even a busy life. This aspect came alive in our recent stay in Pokhara, Nepal.
We initially visited Shanti Rani school in Godawari (a village in Nepal, near Kathmandhu). Shanti Rani school provides education for children from mainly poor families or belonging to perceived low caste category in Nepali society. Contributions from SLC, clients and friends are used to support school fees for scholarship, stationary, teachers’ salaries, facilities improvement such as addition of white boards, book shelf, wall clocks etc and books and CDs for the library. Additional support is needed to improve reliable electricity supply and also musical instruments for music lessons. The school’s principal and staff are deeply grateful to your kind support and love.
Next we visited a child care centre run and founded by a religious sister from Japan, Sister Elisabeth Kawoka Toshiko (see photo). We were invited to a simple dinner of Mo Mo (Nepali dumpling). Thereafter, Sister invited a village girl to sing for us while Sister herself played the organ.
As we sat there listening to the songs, we could not help but felt the joy and peace in that moment. A joy indescribable which surpasses any sermon or ‘high’ feeling associated with motivational talks. I realised that true spirituality is much more than saying many prayers, sitting in a meditative posture or even cultivating loving feelings but the fruit of the Spirit – unconditional love in action; as a result of turning from our false self to true self.
She alone came to Nepal some 18 years ago to establish a child care centre for poor children. Sister Kawaoka wanted the poor children to have a Montesorri education (which normally the rich can afford to pay). Sister chose to live a life of service (true self) rather than luxury (false self). By taking the vows of poverty (sisters don’t receive a salary but live in a community) and dedicating her life to the poor, I could not help but feel deeply grateful for these people. They truly inspired me to relook at my life. They never gave up hope even in the midst of difficulties and are always full of smiles and joy. What about us? What can we do to turn our life from false self to true self?