Full Circle
--Kozo Hattori
4 minute read
Feb 13, 2017


After a month of recovering from surgery, I felt strong enough to attend a ServiceSpace event, so 9 year old Jett and I attended the Valentine's Card volunteer event hosted by Kindful Kids editors Brinda and Kinjal. Brinda will post more about the event, but I wanted to share one of those magical, serendipitous events that happens so often with ServiceSpace.

When we got to Kinjal's beautiful home, a bright spirited woman smiled warmly at me and said, "I'm so glad to see you again. I attended one of your Raising Compassionate Boys talks a few years ago. I'm so happy you connected with ServiceSpace."

It turns out this woman, named Linda, was the one who told me about Awakin Wednesdays over 2 years ago. After giving a talk at a local school, I sat down in the auditorium because the school was having a meeting after the talk. I just happened to sit in front of Linda who tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You remind me of someone I know. Do you know Nipun Mehta?"

I had given another talk at the Ahimsa Conference a few months earlier where Nipun was one of the featured speakers. My talk was later in the afternoon on the second day of the conference. Most, if not all, of the guest speakers gave their talk and left, so I was surprised when I went to introduce myself to Nipun and he said, "What an amazing story you told. Thank you." And like all the other attendees swarming around Nipun, I fell in love with his humility, grace, and sincerity.

So when Linda asked me if I knew Nipun, I said, "Of course, he is an amazing person."

"Do you know about Awakin Circles?" she asked.

"No, what is that?" I asked.

"Every Wednesday in Santa Clara, they have a circle of meditation and sharing. Then they serve you a vegetarian meal. Nipun is usually there," said Linda with excitement.

"Oh, that must be a different Nipun because the one I met lives in Berkeley, and I don't think he would fight through traffic to come all the way out here every Wednesday," I said knowing that Nipun was a highly sought after speaker with a full schedule.

"Yes, he does come from the East Bay. The circle is held at his parent's house. My husband volunteers for ServiceSpace," said Linda.

This was how I discovered Awakin Circles. As the Valentine's Card volunteer event went on, I discovered that Linda's husband, Peter, was a high school classmate of Nipun's who has been doing much of the backend technical work for ServiceSpace for decades.

As we were nearing the end of the event, I felt like I had to tell Linda something. I had just finished transcribing an Awakin Call with Jeannie Kahwajy in which she says, "If you are in the know, it is your go," meaning if you have something to share, you must do it.

I approached Linda and said, "I just want to thank you. I can't tell you how much ServiceSpace has changed my life."

"I'm so happy. I knew you would resonate with them. But you don't need to thank me," she said graciously.

"To tell the truth, I owe you my life," I said. "I have been on a healing journey and I don't think I would have survived if it weren't for ServiceSpace."

Linda became concerned, "Are you ok?"

"I'm great, thanks to you," I said. I told her about my cancer diagnosis and how I had just gotten surgery in January.

"Just this past week, members of ServiceSpace came by my house and dropped off home-cooked food for me while I was recovering," I shared. [Afreen and Praveen had brought me delicious South Indian food on their way to Awakin Circle on Wednesday and Ram had brought freshly made butternut squash soup that me and my kids devoured over the weekend.]

I told her about some the acts of kindness I had received from the ServiceSpace community from guidance, deep listening, and care from Pavi to hospital visits from Anne-Marie, Audrey, Bradley, John and Mia to coconut water from Guri and Harshida-Auntie. I truly believe that without ServiceSpace, I would not have healed in the same way or as easily as I did.

Then today like clockwork, Afreen dropped by with her Karma-tiffins full of love-infused, home-made food. I told Afreen about meeting Linda and how the healing gift of cancer keeps giving.

"Sounds like it has come full circle, Kozo. I am so inspired by how you continually see the silver lining in your experience," said Afreen.

"How can I not see the silver lining with you bringing me these delicious meals in these beautiful silver tiffins," I replied noticing the polished silver container sitting between us. :)

So grateful for all the ripples that are coming full circle on this healing journey. I love you all and, quite literally, owe you my life.


Posted by Kozo Hattori on Feb 13, 2017

6 Past Reflections