Do Nothing Circles :)

Posted by Ani Devlia on Dec 5, 2016
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A few weeks ago, about 20 young people aged between 16 - 25 years old came to-gather in a Circle of Sharing with Nipun, engaging in conversation, sharing inspiring stories of how small acts of generosity and kindness can plant seeds of goodness in ourselves and the world around us. The intention behind holding the circle, was no other than to simply allow young people an opportunity to share Nipun's presence.

Nonetheless, as the day approached, I wondered how it would all unfold, especially since Nipun's initial idea had been to simply swing by our home, on that Sunday morning, before we went to a gathering where he would be speaking at later that afternoon. And, when I'd suggested holding a circle with youth, without skipping a heartbeat, he'd said yes. :) Deep in my heart, I'd felt a tinge of something, something like guilt, for filling up 3 precious empty hours of his clock-time with "work". :)

Many of us, in this ecosystem, may have read about the "Do Nothing Farming" wisdom from Masanobu Fukuoaka where the Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka, does nothing when farming, instead allows natural laws to find the balance for natures emergence. In a way, it had felt that the youth circle was not unlike this. On the surface, it seemed Nipun was the "Do Nothing" farmer -- simply holding space as every one of the 20 people introduced themselves and shared an interaction with a stranger that had moved them.

Story after story shared, emphasised how it takes a big heart to expand our boundaries and be generous to different forms of suffering and giving. Some edges around generosity naturally surfaced -- such as trust, or our inhibitions. A few comments, and stories by Nipun followed as we closed the circle before lunch. Tightly huddled up in a group hug with beaming smiles, we felt the room charged with an almost palpable energy.

It's hard to say what had caused what.

We had only sat in a circle sharing stories on Kindness. What had caused the buzz to emerge? Could it be Nipun's presence... could it be the invisible power of a circle... could it be the natural laws which allowed inherent core human values of generosity and kindness to resonate and emerge ...

A few days after the circle, my 15 year old niece who also lives in Mill Hill excitedly told me she had gone into Costa, on the Broadway, to get a coffee on the way home from school. On taking her order, the girl behind the counter smiled wide, handing my niece a Smile Card and telling her somebody who had come before her had already paid for her coffee. :) My niece -- who is familiar with Smile Cards, often tagging school friends and teachers -- was totally blown over by this surprise gesture, had never expected to be on the receiving end of a smile card tag in a coffee shop. :) She naturally assumed it was I who had left a Smile Card in Costa. It wasn't. Who knows. Perhaps it was a person from the Youth Circle who had felt moved to tag somebody on the way home. Perhaps it was from a person not connected with any of us who had happened to receive a Smile Card tag. :)

And my heart lifts high to remember  other "Do Nothing Circles" that have happened and continue to happen now in India where Nipun currently is, to know others too are cultivating similar circles with no agenda except to hold space with faith for goodness to emerge. How beautiful to think of all the invisible seeds being planted -- the ripples of which we entrust onto the miracle of nature's laws.

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Comments (2)

  • Pavi Mehta wrote ...

    What a beautiful story of serendipity and Do-Nothing magic Ani! Thank you for sharing and for the heart behind all you do.

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    yes!