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
Yesterday We Had A Talk By ... Posted by Anup Bagla, Feb 11 2016 Yesterday we had a talk by Seetha of Ananda Foundation at MLA Colony, Hyderabad on 'Eat to grow and grow to eat' about how to go about building our own kitchen garden @ home and taste the nectar of pure organic natural farming and feel the touch of inner feeling of bliss by eating our own home grown veggies - greens in nature's own uniquely unifying ways ! Am grateful to Seetha and Usha and others ...
Activism And Nonviolence Posted by Somik Raha, Feb 11 2016 In a workshop last year, I came across one wonderful piece by Rev. Thomas Merton from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Activism and Overwork "There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence. (And that is) Activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful." This piece was so profound that i made me realize how easy ... Read Full Story
The Power Of Presence Posted by Roshni Shah, Feb 11 2016 As a student nurse, it can feel frustrating on the floor. With limitations in how much we know and how much we are legally allowed to do, there are moments when the eagerness to "do" far outweighs the demand to just "be". I consider this to be an opportunity to practice presence whole-heartedly. After all, if we can't practice meditation and mindfulness in real life, then why bother with it at all? I have found, time and time again, that there is beauty in limitation (even if it takes me a while to see it) because in my lack of doing, I am able to pick up things others miss. Without the stress of juggling multiple patients, charting, or the weight of legal obligations over my head I am allowed to spend my day focusing on the 1-2 patients under my "charge". I am able (and often will) sit with these ... Read Full Story
Reflections After The 2016 Earth Activist Training Posted by Xiaojuan Shu, Feb 11 2016 It’s been two weeks since I returned home from the 2016 Earth Activist Training (E.A.T.) in Black Mountain Preserve in Cazadero, CA, but some part of me still lingers there… It feels like a “hangover” from taking in too much the goodness from an overwhelmingly enriched collective experience. It was also my closest encounter with the land, physically and spiritually, and I found it hard to put down in words. What really happened there? Where should I start if I am to recount that experience? How can I piece together such a rich experience that’s impacted me from so many levels, known and unknown? Then everything began to boil down to one word--connection. Connection to Self “Xiaojuan, the only thing you need to worry about is studying. I would do anything to support you going to school, even if I had to climb the mountain that’s sharp as a knife or jump ... Read Full Story
What If Schools Taught Kindness? Posted by DailyGood.org, Feb 11 2016 "The school environment can be very stressful; in addition to any issues they bring from home, many students struggle to make friends and perform well in class. Being excluded, ignored, or teased is very painful for a young child, and we thought it could be impactful to teach empathy and compassion. When other kids are suffering-- like that boy who split his chin-- can we understand how they might be feeling? Kindness bridges those gaps and helps build a sense of connection among the students, the teachers, and even the parents. Learning to strengthen their attention and regulate their emotions are foundational skills that could benefit kids in school and throughout their whole lives." [Full Story]
Restorative Attention Posted by Neil Patel, Feb 10 2016 In an email thread today, I was reminded of this beautiful essay ... Mayan temples, along with the aqueducts and reservoirs of the Mayan golden age, are wonderful feats of technology. They are a testament to the human capacity to make great things. They are also, equally, a testament to the availability of trees. To heat one square meter of the limestone plaster used to make these temples, the Mayans needed to burn 20 trees. Today we live in a golden age of software. As the Mayan temples were fueled by trees, our software is fueled by another natural resource: attention. I remember reading, a few years back, a wonderful book by the psychologists Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, in which they developed a theory they called Attention Restoration Theory. In this book, they introduced something they called soft fascination. As opposed to hard fascination, which refers to patterns that grab our attention — ... Read Full Story
Awakin Chicago: New Beginnings Posted by Roshni Shah, Feb 10 2016 Today we had our first Awakin of 2016 and it was both grounded and surrounded in the spirit of transformation. A beautiful evening of sharing, eating and sitting in beautiful harmony. Excited to watch our circles continue to evolve and grow along side a community adapting and shifting simultaneously. A tradition at our Awakin is to reflect on small gratitudes. Taking time to honor the small moments or the unsung heroes who enrich our lives in a myriad of ways. Despite the numbing cold and darkness that sinks into our bones, the light and warmth in these circles always leaves me re-energized. So grateful to continue to hold this space with my co-anchors in the city I call home.
Waging Life In A War Zone Posted by KarmaTube.org, Feb 10 2016 Last week's featured video on KarmaTube received 5549 views and 12 comments. ""From the stones of the destruction we will build plant basins to grow flowers." It started with one man's efforts to beautify his home with paint and flowers, but the initiative spread as neighbors came forward to spread the beauty. Using salvaged and recycled material, with some funding from a local and U.S. nonprofit, the densely populated neighborhood of al-Zaitoun in Gaza City, Palestine, is awash in color, murals, and flowers, bringing some much-needed comfort to an area besieged with war and destruction." ... Watch: Waging Life in a War Zone
Dr. Ramkumar And Vaidyagrama's Authentic Ayurveda Posted by Richard Whittaker, Feb 10 2016 One of the most rewarding experiences I had in India while I was at Vaidyagrama was getting to interview one of its founding visionaries, Dr. Ramkumar. I’ve just been going over that interview and here are a few excerpts… I asked him was the British influence in India had been very destructive for Ayurveda. He said the biggest changes have taken place in the cities, but that “still today 70% to 80% of India uses some form of traditional medicine, that is lay medicine, herbal medicine, grandma's medicine, folk medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy. All these systems together take care of 70% to 80% of India's health needs currently.” And that “in the far-flung regions, 80% of deliveries in India are conducted by traditional birth attendants. 80% to 85% of snakebites in India are treated by traditional healers. 80% of fractures in India are taken care of by traditional bone-setters. So while Western ... Read Full Story
The Anatomy Of Gratitude Posted by DailyGood.org, Feb 10 2016 Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk, teacher and author, speaks with Krista Tippett about gratitude -- a practice increasingly recognized as a key to human well-being. An early pioneer, along with Thomas Merton, of dialogue between Christian and Buddhist monastics, he sees mysticism as the birthright of every human being. And his anatomy of gratitude is full-blooded, reality-based, and redeeming. [Full Story]