Dalai Lama Honors ServiceSpaceIn late February, Dalai Lama awarded Nipun with an "Unsung Hero of Compassion", award and he graciously received it on behalf of ServiceSpace. Read More »
Seven Emergent Questions From India TripMultiple events practically everyday, across diverse communities -- sharing stories in fronts of many thousands, sitting in dozens of Awakin Circles in living rooms of kindred friends, cultivating many-to-many networks in 10+ retreats across India, and nurturing umpteen transformation-driven projects. None of it was planned. Read More »
Casa de Paz: House of PeaceAn inspiring video about Casa de Paz, which was recently honored by the Pollination Project. Read More »
SilenceExperiencing the magic that can happen within silence. Read More »
The Middle is the PathRagu reflects deeply on the principles of the ServiceSpace eco-system and its implication on design. Read More »
Recent Blog Posts
Miles Of Smiles License Plate? Posted by Bhoutik Mehta, Apr 24 2014 Came across a license plate that brought back memories :) from last year when we hosted "Miles of Smiles" in Fremont and Berkeley. :)
A Belgian Couple At Karma Kitchen Posted by Keith Stevens, Apr 24 2014 Last month at Karma Kitchen, we met a Belgian family of compassionate consultants that were blown away by our motivation and spirit in building the gift economy. The connection is sure spread the seed across the Atlantic Ocean soon. They video'd me, Ram and Ron -- and we later learned that they posted this beautiful blog entry: "All volunteers are people like you and me; we meet an IT entrepreneur, a consultant and a Berkeley student who believe there is something to gain from serving others – something intangible that they do not get from the usual business transactions. The experience, for them and for us, continues when you go back home."
Mother Teresa And Dan Rather On Listening Posted by Dr. Sri, Apr 24 2014 Dan Rather, CBS anchor, once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers. She answered, "I listen." So Dan turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say?" Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, "He listens." For an instant, Dan didn't know what to say. "And if you don't understand that," Mother Teresa added, "I can't explain it to you."
Just Returned From A Few Days ... Posted by Birju Pandya, Apr 24 2014 Just returned from a few days in Austin where friend in ecosystem Raj invited me to share stories of kindness and generosity to his students at the MBA program in the University of Texas. The first half of the class were team presentations on 'random acts of kindness' that were practiced and filmed. The students were asked to think of a constituency that could use more kindness and to be of service to them in small ways that maximized connection. Some really inspiring stories followed and I'm hoping Raj will share some of it with the community! My share garnered some interesting responses from strong interest to deeper systemic questions (eg, 'so are you saying money is evil?', 'what about using due process, laws, and policy to enact change?', 'how to be a 'giver' and not be taken advantage of?') Was a rich dialogue to be a part of and speaks to the wonderful prompts that Raj has been able to develop in a business-oriented education setting. In gratitude to the broader circle, of which I shared many stories - from Uday bhai's rickshaw, to small gifts at Karma Kitchen, to businesses practicing gift culture for their own transformation. Onward!
Awakin Calls Team Member And New ... Posted by Birju Pandya, Apr 24 2014 Awakin Calls team member and new resident of Canticle Farm, Zilong, just posted this beautiful reflection on 'non-status-quo' economies: Beyond the materialist confines of "economy" and "capitalism," there are nascent movements (always built upon timeless wisdom and ancient traditions) to create a new collective consciousness, a new culture. As someone wise one said, "there is no system so good that the people in it do not need to be good." Two inspiring models are the Giftivism embodied by ServiceSpace community, and the Great Turning showcased at Canticle Farm in East Oakland, California. In these two communities, I have seen more "truth" than anywhere else, because the people here are leading their outer transformation with inner transformation, and are being the change they want to see in the world. They are guided by spirit such as: Service doesn't start when you have something to give, but rather when you have nothing left to take. and: To provides ... Read Full Story
Unsung Hero Posted by KarmaTube.org, Apr 23 2014 Last week's featured video on KarmaTube received 5801 views and 15 comments. "“Unsung Hero” is a tearjerker that will leave you astonished that this level of emotion is elicited by a Thai Life Insurance commercial. It depicts a story of a man who helps people, animals, plants and the world simply because it makes him feel better when he gives to others. “What does he get in return?” a narrator asks. “He gets nothing. He won’t be richer. He won’t appear on TV. Still anonymous. And not a bit more famous.” "What he does receive are emotions," the narrator continues. "He witnesses happiness. Reaches a deeper understanding. Feels the love. Receives what money can't buy. A world made more beautiful." This commercial will take you on a journey of recognizing it’s not about being well known that matters, it’s about being someone worth knowing." ... Watch: Unsung Hero
After A Dinner Outside Today, I ... Posted by Somik Raha, Apr 23 2014 After a dinner outside today, I asked for the food to be packed, and have been practicing using the opportunity of eating out to also find someone to share with. Walking up and down Castro St, it was almost like a deep prayer to have someone accept an offering, and then finding someone sitting with his head down, with a soft voice ask, "Do you have some change?" It feels like a prayer has been answered and I have been blessed. Each time. And yet, there are so many layers. Handing over the food, nodding and leaving. This time, I felt moved to ask the restaurant for napkins and a fork, so it would be easier to eat. After handing over the food, explaining that the food was hot and that he should eat soon, I left. And then realized, I didn't explain what was in it. For someone who doesn't have familiarity with Indian food, it would have been nice to know what was being offered. Life offers such great invitations to slow down and savor the connections, however short they may be.
Overcoming The Creative Block: Advice From Artists Posted by DailyGood.org, Apr 23 2014 ""Inspiration is for amateurs -- the rest of us just show up and get to work," Chuck Close scoffed. "A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood," Tchaikovsky admonished. "Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too," Isabel Allende urged. But true as this general sentiment may be, it isn't always an easy or a livable truth -- most creative people do get stuck every once in a while, or at the very least hit the OK plateau. What then?" [Full Story]
Karma Dosa Posted by Deven Shah, Apr 22 2014 Our friend, Divyanshu from 21Fools, wrote this beautiful reflection on the goodness that prevails ... While I was served the hot Dosa, a Broom Seller who was carrying all the brooms on his cycle was passing by with his small daughter who was sitting on the cycle while he was walking with it. The Dosa guy asked the ‘Jhaduwale Bhaiya’ – Idli khayega? The guy stopped and said yes. The wife took almost 6-10 idlis from the container and started frying it with Masala and asked the ‘Jhaduwale Bhaiya’ to give her a carry bag or some container in which he can carry the food to home. The broom seller unfortunately didn’t have any. I opened up my bag, took a carry bag out and handed over to the women making the Dosa. After the broom seller left with his dinner, I asked the man who was making Dosa for his wife – Why didn’t you ask for at least half the money? The guy replied, "Sir, If he would have something to give back he would have given it to me himself."
What Do You Want Your Credibility Based On? Posted by Birju Pandya, Apr 22 2014 I was recently speaking with a young woman who spoke about one of her turning points in life. Graduating from Harvard, she asked her professor about various options in front of her. The professor said: "It comes down to this. What do you want your credibility to be based on? Your bank balance? Your Ivy League background? Your social network?" She thought about it for a second and countered, "What did you base your credibility on?" And he replied, "The moment. When you base your credibility on what's in front of you, in the here and now, generosity and kindness become the most important lever. And what you create is a very different web of relationship and a deep kind of resilience.