Leading With Love To Find Our Middle Path
Posted by Deven Shah on Sep 23, 2014
Leading with Love to Find Our Middle Path
In the first teaching that Gautama Buddha delivered after his awakening, he describes the middle path as a way of moderation between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. In life, we all face situations when we are caught between two extremes. E.g. We value the purity of relationships in a gift ecology, yet at various levels we transact and deal with money that is part of a debt-based financial system. We support a local economy but to visit another country, take a flight run by an airline company that operates in the traditional, global economy. We aspire to dedicate our lives for a higher purpose and selfless service, yet there is an ego that wants to have some control. We want to operate out of love in every aspect of life, including our profession/business, yet have to steer through the market forces of competition and our need to sustain and regenerate.
When Mahatma Gandhi was asked to summarise his message to the people in a succinct way, he said "my life is my message". He led with inner transformation and strived to be a living embodiment of what can perhaps now be summarised as four key messages from his life: Sarvodaya (Prosperity for All), Swaraj (Self Rule), Swadeshi (Localisation) and Satyagraha (nonviolent revolution). His spiritual successor Vinoba Bhave led the Bhoodan (Gift of Land) movement which resulted in peaceful transfer of over a million acres of land being gifted to the landless people of India. What is most striking is not the scale, but the manner in which he led the movement to spread the message of our interconnected being and transformed thousands of land-owners with the power of pure love.
On Tuesday night, since we are going to be a motley bunch of folks involved with communities like ServiceSpace, MovedByLove, BALLE and others, it would be wonderful to have a circle of authentic sharing about how we are finding a middle path in our personal and professional lives. Being involved in experiments ranging from igniting startups with the spirit of love to integrating multiple forms of capital, I'll be happy to share some personal stories of finding a middle path with love and inner transformation. It will also be wonderful for all of us to share stories and suggestions on how a community of noble friends can provide invaluable support to each other.