17 Kids This Weekend (+ Colombia Visit!)

Dear Friends,

Over the last few weeks, Arun Dada gave us a lot, in circle after circle -- but at the airport, we got to surprise him with Olivia's superbly designed photobook! He was smiling wide. :) With his deep gaze, effortless joy and tender vibrance, he offered parting words: "Vinoba taught us to do deepcasting, over broadcasting. It makes me very happy that this is what you (ServiceSpace) do. Bless you all."

This weekend, 17 kids from under privileged communities of India have just landed, to offer us a theatrical ode to oneness! Jai Jagat ("One World") show can be seen on Friday in San Jose, and Sunday in Oakland. (You can also volunteer.) It's a glorious production about nonviolence and compassion, that leaves one with ample goosebumps. Hope to see you there!

Last week, I had the opportunity to be in Medellin, Colombia -- in what used to be known as the "most dangerous city in the world." What I encountered, though, were everyday heroes of great love. Luzma, who feed bats, rats and 16 other animals everyday; a professor named Enrique, whose response to what-do-you-do was "Mainly, I live." A 21-year-old fashion designer who went vegan; and finally, Ivan, who flashed a glorious smile despite witnessing some horrific atrocities in his 71 years of life in the heart of violence: "How did I survive? If someone slaps your left cheek, you offer your right. Love is stronger than fear." Even without words in the same language, we harmonized with the universal song of compassion. More stories in: Ser Con El Toro (Being With the Other)

With a bow to Ivan-smiles in all of us, :)


P.S. Our recent retreats have been quite powerful, and there's been a lot of interest. So, here's an early heads-up for next Banyan Grove retreat: "Hands, Head, Heart" on June 15-16. The theme will be familiar. :)