Attaining enlightenment should not end your spiritual quest. The Buddhist saying goes that when you reach enlightenment then go to the marketplace and serve the people. What you shouldn’t do is preach to people how enlightened you are or sit on a hilltop and meditate. How is isolating yourself going to spread the light?
Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco embodies compassion in action. In their own words, it’s “a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.” Everyone is welcome, and they don’t judge anybody. They feed the homeless, rehabilitate people who have been discarded by society and create a loving and welcoming refuge. They preach through their actions and lead by example. That is compassion in action.
The whole point of enlightenment is to spread the light to others. The joy of service is in the dirt of everyday living. It’ll test you and push you even further, but isn’t that the point?
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.