Mother Is The Reality Of Invention

Posted by Ragunath Padmanabhan on Jan 31, 2017
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Dear Fifth Monk,

If Gandhi was version 1 of leadership (one to many) and Vinoba version 2 (one to one), in version 3, there is a mutation: Leadership becomes Laddership and the representative is no longer a person but a character - A mother. Yes, Gandhi 3.0 is a mother that every person can find within oneself and manifest it in many to many relationships.

The heart of a mother is to make much ado about nothing.

This retreat was full of bigger and bigger ado's about smaller and smaller nothings.

Ado implies a (seemingly) confused bundle of activity, a considerable emotional upset (not downset) and a great deal of talking about... Who is going to pick up a guest?  Do we have enough flowers?  What if 89 recipes are not enough?  What if a guest walks into his room after lunch and finds his table empty? (my poor boy/girl)  What if someone finds out we missed the virtue Equanimity among the other virtues embroidered on the cushion covers?  OMG! we forgot who is the hugger at the door on day 3 morning  How dare you snatch my finished plate, I will ransack the next table!  I saw so-and-so looking admiringly at so-and-so's watch, I got a whole hour of sleep last night!  Who is shy? Who needs shampoo? Who has not teared up yet? and on and on and on...

Somewhere is the middle of this much ado...

There is hope that everyone will notice the characteristics in the fourth quadrant of the laddership engagement spectrum, got that?

There is hope that Systems Feelings can be married to Systems Thinking and give birth to them little systems rascals who will unleash a kindness riot with their hands, head and heart that will enrich the soil and root out the weeds.

There is hope that every three steps we take in any work or project, we will pause to bow to purify internally.

All the ado's are not directed towards grand goals, ambitions, visions and plans. 

There is hope that much ado about a million nothings will create a rich and nourishing field of love - The Mother Reality, in which everyone can find ones appropriate role to be uniquely and joyfully oneself - for others.

Given below are feelings and thoughts I encountered in my journey from my head to heart over the last four days. Some I shared with everyone in the circle and some one-on-one. I hope they seep into our consciousness and become reference points in our onward journey together.


The path is long and dark
But do not hesitate to embark
There are countless holy souls ahead
Burning through the impurities in their heart and head
Dispelling the darkness of the night
Casting behind them nothing but light


A point or a line or an edge is a mathematical construct. There are no real edges in reality, nature is always curved if we look close enough. If we know where to look and what to look for, then we will see only curves, waves, wiggles and vibrations.

A bubble does not wait to calculate the value to pi to create itself as a perfect sphere. It is not interested in the artificial mathematical perfection that does not exist in reality.

Nothing is perfect in nature as seen from our symbolic logic. What seems to be a geometric imperfection, upon deeper inspection reveals openings or tendencies to be flexible that allow one entity in nature to combine with another to create a newer entity with higher complexity and capacities.

A cell does not break into into two halves but wiggles and splits into two new wholes. So if we need to divide anything, let us find ways to create new wholes and not reduced parts.

A number of cells combine not to form on big cell, but a whole new organ with completely new capacities. Let us collaborate not to create a bigger and bigger center but a number of small groups, each with higher capacities.

Let us not wait to finish calculating the value of pi with abstract mathematics before we round up ourselves together for a common purpose.

Let us calculate the Value of Tie - the strength of the bond among us, many to many, with concrete Metta-matics, countless acts of loving kindness. These acts help, day by day and inch by inch round our abstract edges and relax the mind to stretch beyond its rigid boundaries.

The following came up as an idea in the Internal Practices for Collective Evolution group that I was part of on day 3.

Internal practices are the key to any real external change. But most people struggle to keep up the practices. One tool that helps us maintain our daily practices is Self Feedback - a form in which we record everyday a few basic indicators of well being and some core practices that affect them. This is conceived as a mobile app with which we fill this form within 2 minutes every day. This data can be collected and graphical reports generated and sent to the user which will reveal to the user his or her periodic patterns of well being and practices in different categories. Seeing these weekly reports is the feedback that can work magic as many long-time research efforts claim. Anyone interested in the creation of this app, let me know.

An insight emerged in the same session: Every individual or group/organization, if they find success in their work, sooner or later must face the question of scaling. To expand or not, how much and at what cost etc continue to bedevil all initiatives. These hard issues arise because of the way we are used to define scaling which is always taken to refer to size and numbers. Whereas, from examples like Awakin circles, we come to realize that there is another kind of scaling - Scaling in Time. It is commitment to keep a collective practice going, however small it is with no exit strategy. This continuity allows for countless experiments and collaborations creating countless ripples of goodness, often untraceable to their origins. So the first time and every time the question of scaling confronts us individually and in organizations, can we commit to Scaling in Time and allow nature to dynamically decide the appropriate sizes and numbers?

In the context of how to make space for "the other", the question of how to speak truth to power came up. 

One way is to indulge in the Power of Love to change hearts and merge with the other. Another way is to invoke the the Power of Law to control the other. That is, should we as strong communities learn to love and embrace the other and dissolves our issues or democratically legislate laws to control the issues. This way of looking creates the Love versus Law debate. Seen as incompatible and different approaches, each individually creates enormous delays and denies peace and justice.

Pondering over this, these words came up:

The law of love
Operates here and now
When our love for the laws (dharma)
Operates gently on our flaws

The laws of the land are external rules/practices for acceptable behaviours, The laws of ones path, Dharma, are internal rules/practices for acceptable states of being.

When we gently and collectively work on our internal practices, we do not have to Speak Truth to Power to bring about change. We can Seek Truth in Power (individual and collective), through love.

Love and Laws can coexist as verses in a poem and not versus each other in a battle.

Deep gratitude for all the love and friendship.

Do Nothings. Be Everything.


Posted by Ragunath Padmanabhan | | permalink

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Comments (2)

  • Khushmita Sanghvi wrote ...

    'Do Nothings. Be Everything.'

    Great reflections Ragu Bhai :)

  • Christina Lendorfer wrote ...

    Thank you for this, Ragu! Yes, I'd be interested in the App of Self Feedback. To pause after three steps, bow, reflect and purify the mind before deciding anything of importance or continuing the journey through this fast passing life is valuable a goal.