Archived Blogs

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Nuggets From Jeremy Lent's Call Posted by Pavi Mehta, May 20 2019 Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting an Awakin Call with Jeremy Lent. And it was a special joy to have past Awakin guest Terry Patten expertly moderating the call! An author and nonprofit founder, Jeremy Lent investigates how humans' search for meaning throughout history has led to its current crisis of sustainability. His book The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning (2017) draws on nearly 10 years of personal research and was called by The Guardian as "the most profound and far-reaching book I've ever read.” Focusing on questions such as, Is it our true nature to be selfish and competitive, or empathic and community minded?, Lent is on a mission to discover how we can consciously forge our own structures of meaning. Lent's own structures that had given life meaning shattered after the death of his wife and collapse of his company. "But ... Read Full Story

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Laddership News: Laddership News: Fearless Compassion Posted by Jane Murray, May 20 2019 This month's 'Laddership Newsletter' was just posted online. Reading Poonam's description of the recent evening with Arun Dada, I was struck by the connection between fearlessness and compassion. I had not seen it so clearly before, they are the masculine and the feminine principles of active love. To be compassionate we must be fearless, fearlessness allows for compassion to act. This month we hear about those two virtues from Poonam's story and from Tim Harrison's work on compassion.

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Reflect ... Smile And Give :) Posted by Deven P-Shah, May 18 2019 The conversation between our Awakin Call guest Jeremy Lent, moderator Terry, and anchoring host Pavi showed me a very simple and yet profound way to interpret and relate to the world that I live in. I got so many nurturing vibes in the paradigm of striking harmony with all that is around me. I feel so energized by simple ideas I can implement today to be part of the change that seem so nurturing, healing and deeply meaningful. Here are ripples from the call as they resonated with me. When Preeta emailed me introduction for Jeremy, the theme of "Patterning Instinct" intrigued me. Patterns we identify from the history give meaning to our lives, to our very existence; these patterns drive our values dictating what we accept and adopt as cultural norms. The insight that left an impression on me is about the shift in pattern that started about 500 or so years ago. What ... Read Full Story

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Magic Mirror At Our School :) Posted by Daniela Gunther, May 17 2019 Last June, Anne shared the stunning short film, Magic Mirror of Betty Peck, at an educators gathering where two teachers from our school participated. Inspiration was in the air. We knew we had to share that spirit with our students. Last Fall, Anne visited our school to brainstorm possibilities. We invited our Middle School students to construct a Magic Mirror for our school garden (as a surprise for the rest of the school :)) -- and they were in! Many other community members weighed in with many forms of support. They spent over half the year working on it! They made a few mirrors for different parts of the school -- and a special one to gift to another school that we work with! Yesterday was the grand unveiling. :) Here's a slideshow of the journey: It's incredible to witness how seeds of compassion, sown by one kindergarten teacher over half a century ago, continues to multiply into so many blooms of possibility today. So much gratitude to this ecosystem and the way we mirror life's abundant opportunities to each other. :)

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21 Day Kindness Challenge At Maher! Posted by Christine Lendorfer, May 17 2019 Inspired by KindSpring, I introduced the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to the children of Maher, a home for neglected children, street-children and orphans in India. 150 children and their house mothers participated in this. The first week was dedicated to create a sense of awareness of acts of kindness we do anyway... kindness towards myself, kindness towards other people, our environment, kindness towards animals and nature in general. Every house (20 children) got one book and was asked to write down acts of kindness they did themselves or they observed others to do. They could also comment on writings of their peers. At the assembly of all houses at the end of the week they shared their writings and thoughts about this challenge. Also shy children were encouraged to speak in front of a big audience and their empowerment was almost touchable. The second and third week the children were asked ... Read Full Story

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Community Capital In The Capital Of Diamonds Posted by Rohit Rajgarhia, May 16 2019 For the last year and a half, I have been soaking in and receiving in multiple ways from this priceless community. Below is an attempt to introduce myself to you online, through this extra-long post, and the context of this sharing is the circles which Parag bhai triggered, during my short visit to Surat to meet my sister. So my sister and jeeju were totally confused. The object of confusion is that their brother came to meet them on a short 3 days trip, but now is scheduled to hold 4 ‘talks’, different places in the city. Where are you talking, what are you talking, and most importantly, how did you get the audience? Some questions in their head, and mine as much. :-D My sister accompanied me for the first talk and in the concluding sharing circle she says that she has never heard me say many of these things, maybe ... Read Full Story

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Conversations: Work Of The Heart Posted by Richard Whittaker, May 16 2019 This month's 'Conversations' newsletter is themed Work Of The Heart. Each of our four offerings tell of a life of meaning. Each tell of deep relationship. How else could the heart be engaged? And there are so many ways. In "The Secret of Bayou Teche," poet Ron Hobbs tells of childhood experience. "That morning cormorants lazed around in the sky; two old pelicans stood sleeping on a rock, and the trees were full with flocks of chattering passerines. ‘Watch the birds, chere they gonna tole you lots of things.’"

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Love For Pancho From A 9 Year Old Posted by Kozo Hattori, May 16 2019 Yesterday, 9 year old Fox asked, "Dad, when are we going to get hugged by that Indian woman again?" "Oh, Amma, we can go this summer," I replied. "How old is she, Dad?" Fox asked. "She must be 78 or 80," I said. "Whose going to hug everyone when she dies?" asked Fox. This made me think about our dear friend Pancho who is on his pilgrimage for one earth family. Our dear undocumented love warrior is walking towards what some have designated as the border to show support for all who seek refuge. When I told a friend about Pancho's pilgrimage, he asked, "Isn't that dangerous to walk toward the border if you are undocumented?" Pondering the absence of Amma, I began to worry about "whose going to do Pancho if Pancho isn't around?" Then I realized that my fears were ego-based. Pancho will always do Pancho wherever the road takes him. I just ... Read Full Story

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Life Is Beautiful Posted by Ashima Goyal, May 16 2019 Life is beautiful and we are blessed to be part of such a loving community! We arrived in Houston last Sunday and since then almost everyday is a day full of gratitude. A day when someone or other reached beyond to embrace us in the warmth of human connection. Yesterday, we hosted our first Awakin Houston circle. It was just me and Sikander and an empty cushion for the invisible :-) We hope to re-start the circles from next week but we wanted to host one for ourselves before or rather host ourselves to ground us in the spirit of these circles before we are worthy of hosting others. For at least a month our home will just be a mattress and these few cushions until our stuff arrives from Romania. I was getting a bit conscious of starting Awakins without having any cushions for people to sit on but after yesterday we felt we should just send out the invitation and see how the universe responds. The space organizes itself so beautifully that we will be fine :-) Thank you for all your good vibes!

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The Illusion About Money That Is Destroying Society And Posted by Bill Miller, May 15 2019 Despite the range and complexity of the challenges facing the modern world, a fundamental illusion exists in the currency of society (in both the literal and figurative sense) that magnifies many if not most social and ecological problems. It lies in the universal medium of exchange known as “money”. Specifically, essential as money has been to the evolution of society, the nature and function of money itself has quietly evolved over the centuries, yet our conceptions of it have remained unconsciously, even superstitiously, stuck in the past. In brief, money originated as a claim-ticket for items of physical value. Many commercial items were difficult to bring to market (land, cattle) while others were dangerous to carry around (precious metals and gems), so it was useful to create a token medium to exchange in their stead. Over the decades and centuries, by a process of Pavlovian conditioning, money itself began to take on ... Read Full Story

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Life Is Like A Cigar. Posted by Yoav Peck, May 15 2019 Life is like a cigar. When it's fresh, just out of the box, a good cigar exudes a quiet enthusiasm. The whole ritual….smelling along the length of the cigar, biting off the tip, lighting it well, the entire end aglow. The cigar's intervening stages unfold, youth, middle age, as you approach the mighty finale of the butt end of the cigar. The essence of the cigar's youth and maturity is now mixed into the sharp taste of its last minutes, and its imminent demise. On one of Jerry Benjamin's many visits to Israel, he invited me to his room at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the by-invitation guest house facing the walls of the Old City. He pulled out two extremely delicious cigars, as he poured some whiskey for us. Talking with Jerry was an adventure, always full of a sense of possibility. What made him so attractive was this combination of deep wisdom and ... Read Full Story

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Arun Dada And Us Posted by olivia yu, May 15 2019 What a joy to offer this to Arun Dada, as he departed for India ... Words can't describe my gratitude.

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Jeremy Lent: Patterning Instinct Posted by Pavi Mehta, May 15 2019 This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Jeremy Lent: Patterning InstinctReflection questions: Have you faced a time where the structures in your life shattered that had given life meaning? How and on what foundation did you go about constructing new meaning?

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In Colombia: Ser Con El Otro (Being With The Other) Posted by Nipun Mehta, May 14 2019 When I got the invitation to support a conference in Colombia, I just had a cursory understanding of the country and its history. Coffee, Shakira, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I didn't know that the state of Antioquia had its roots in a matriarchical culture. Or that the country was home to 1849 bird species, most diverse in the world. And exotic fruits! Not having watched Narcos, or the more realistic, non-Americanized version El Patron, I was also unaware of the history-altering extent of Pablo Escobar's drug cartel influence. Nor did I realize that the city of Medellin, where I stayed, is starting a radical U-turn from being the "murder capital of the world" to becoming the most innovative city in Latin America. What I did remember, however, was a recent story that mirrored the Colombian culture's propensity towards generosity. In 2016, Colombian and Brazil football (soccer) teams were slated to play in the ... Read Full Story

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