All In A New York Evening

Posted by Nipun Mehta on May 29, 2008
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On a recent trip to New York, I emailed a bunch of friends for getting together for a Wednesday style evening of silence. I figured it'd be a great way for a few folks to get to know each other, particularly our NY posse of Ashish, Jenny, Birju, Amitabh, Adam, Shephali, Andrew and so on.

Except that 45 folks RSVP'd. :) As luck would have it, Philip had offered his place in midtown Manhattan that could actually fit all those people in a gigantic circle!  During the first hour, the narrow hallways of the apartment were full of meditators as neighbors were probably curious of this silence-without-agenda thing in the middle of New York city. :) It was beautiful.   Some were leaders, some were students, some had a clear vision and purpose, some were coming from far away, some lived next door, some were seeking, some were there to offer -- and for all, it was an experience of the gift-economy.

In the circle of sharing, people shared a bit about who they are, a recent moment of wisdom and an offering for the circle. There was palpable happiness in the circle, as some said they had never experienced an hour of stillness, some expressed gratitude for this thing called CharityFocus, and some shared delightful stories. And then Birju and Arvind had arranged for burritos for 40+ people, so we all had a blast eating it up (particularly Aravind's Gaucamole dip!) and gettin' high on the Odwalla juices. :) 

The whole thing was organized without overhead, and without any centralized cost, as humble gift from all who attended to all who attended.  People often look at the budget of CharityFocus and figure this effort has no mojo; but for those who experience the social-capital of CharityFocus, it all becomes quite clear. :)

We ended the circle with a few moments of gratitude, as Jocelyn (who's a singer by profession) offered this beautiful expression:

Servant Song (mp3):

And as it was time for clean up, we thought of taking a picture with several of us still hanging around the scene:

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