by Eunice J Minford
Over the last few years I have travelled to Australia to see friends and partake in Universal Medicine courses and events. During my visits to Australia I have had the pleasure of being invited along with other guests to share dinner with Serge Benhayon and his family.
I grew up in a tradition that said, ‘put others before yourself’ - which for things like dinner parties translated to treating guests as ‘special’ and different to one’s family.
That is until I first heard the presentations by Serge Benhayon on this subject and then had the lived experience of a different way at his home. The nature of true love is such that it holds all equally – no-one higher and no-one lower. Therefore, with true love we cannot love one person more than another and any such differences just show how we are caught in human emotional love that is needy, rather than living from what love truly is. As such, the most hospitable way to entertain is to lovingly welcome everyone as an equal member of your own family (providing you truly love your family of course!). There is no need for creating difference or specialness or putting people on a pedestal to be served hand and foot. No need for special cutlery, glasses and plates.
The specialness comes by being held in and with the same love as the host loves their own family – no more, no less. Being met and held in and with that love is the blessing - and no amount of special plates, cutlery, glasses or super tidy house can usurp such a blessing.
And so it was with this quality of deep love, equality and appreciation that I was welcomed in to the Benhayon family home – as one of the family. No need for special airs and graces or put ons or pretense of any kind, no best face or false face, no elevation nor pedestals – but a warmth and depth of welcome that was natural, easy and free flowing. It was an extension of the grace and love with which Serge and his family holds everyone when attending Universal Medicine presentations. It’s not a case of one face for the workshops and another for the home – it is clear to me that the true respect, love and honouring that the Benhayons bring to the workshops is but a reflection of how they are at home with each other. These qualities are then just naturally extended to guests like myself as they are just how they live every day and so it is easy to relax and feel part of the family. It’s just ‘the way it is’ – the lived way of love in action in every day activities of making dinner, cleaning up or whatever the activity is.
It is unusual to find a family where there are no issues, no underlying tensions, no emotional exchanges be it even in a look or a glance or a word – yet that has been my experience every time I have visited. The family relationships are free, clear and clean – free of emotional entanglement. I have no doubt that even if an issue were to arise in the family home (as no-one is perfect!) the depth of love is so great, that it would be rapidly and lovingly resolved and harmony restored.
The Benhayon family home is a home where the fun, light-heartedness and harmony are palpable and it is a joy to witness a family that interacts in such loving ways. They take it in turns to cook dinner for the family so the work is shared and others willingly help out to do whatever is needed to prepare for dinner. I too will join in if there are any tasks needed – like setting the table or slicing lemons for the water. There are no battles over who is doing what or who did it last time or whose turn it is – indeed it seems quite ridiculous to even mention such a thing!
The food is always plentiful, fresh, nutritious and delicious no matter whom the head chef for the day has been – indeed second helpings are usually a must! A little indulgence perhaps but at least I know it’s with food cooked with love! And yes, I get up and help myself (as others do) just as one of the family. Of course, it’s not just that the food is cooked with love, but there is care and attention to detail every step of the way – not in an effort to please or to try hard – it is simply an expression of the love that is embodied and naturally lived every day.
In the world today, alcohol traditionally plays a big part in many dinner parties and of course the ambience and nature of the conversation is without doubt affected by the amount of alcohol consumed as voices grow louder and compete for air-time and I too was once a willing participant. I stopped drinking over ten years ago and thankfully dinner with the Benhayons is an alcohol free-zone – there is no need for any false stimulation, no need for something to ‘get the conversation flowing’ or ‘to be sociable’ or any of the other reasons that people use to consume alcohol. The conversation is easy, natural, and free-flowing with no competing for air-time and perhaps unusually for a dinner table it is void of gossip. Serious topics may be discussed and of course there is always some light-hearted banter and fun.
This is a family that in one sense is just like every other family, in that they go to work, pay their bills, cook the dinner, take out the rubbish, do the cleaning up and all the tasks that come with running a house and yet in another sense I have never met a family like it. Not because they are special or gifted but simply because they have all committed to making their lives about love in every way – and in the world today that is what makes this ordinary family extraordinary. How many families truly make life about love, about true love that loves all equally, before everything else?
The Benhayons dedication to live in and with love is reflected in everything they do and say such that my experience of dinner with Serge and his family is truly dinner with Love – pure and simple.