Weekly Tidbits From Around The Ecosystem

Posted by ServiceSpace on May 18, 2017
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Lots of people gathered for Symphony of Peace Prayers in Japan last week. We don’t have the recording of the circle at the UN building but we did hunt down a recording of the main ceremony at Mt. Fuji (Preeta at 1:39:00, Joserra at 1:40:55, Parag and Mita at 2:09:55 and David Leal at 2:11:18). Parag eloquently shared a line to the thousands assembled: “We bow to you, we pray with you, we love you.” Exhibit A, and Exhibit B. :) It was David’s 30th birthday, so they also gave out fruits to strangers on the streets!

How to use a Smile Card? A college-student in Netherlands, Jonne, has just created a labor-of-love animation about it, in collaboration with the KindSpring team. (Pop quiz: 60 seconds of animation is equal to how many drawings?)  As a thank you to Jonne, few people are offering gratitude drawings. You’re invited too.

In China, Zilong and his parents returned from a 10-day meditation retreat. In case you don’t remember, Zilong’s father sat for twenty minutes of meditation about 20 months ago. Then he quit his job, quit smoking, quit drinking, became a vegetarian, signed up for 10-day meditation retreat. He spent the next year just sitting and serving. Last week, Zilong’s mom also sat a retreat for the first time (with his father). Now they all meditate together. (Post retreat, they spent three days with Mr. An, the Fukuoka of China.)

Couple days ago, whole bunch of people wrote to us about this quote arriving in their inboxes: “Grateful living is important in the world because in our constant pursuit of more and better we can easily lose sight of the riches that lay right in front of us and within us.” Five bucks (okay fine, Karma Bucks) to anyone who can hunt down the source of where Guri said that. :)

Aryae often gets teased by his wife as the Terry Gross of Awakin Calls. Here’s a recently published list of Terry Gross’s best-of interviews. Maybe we need a best-of list for Aryae’s Awakin calls. :) Till then, here’s a wow-story that Aryae recently shared in person: A Pause That Stopped a Fight

Speaking of Awakin Calls, DailyGood editors have been posting a lot of edited transcripts, and here’s a note Jeannie Kahwajy received from someone who read her conversation transcript: “My 18 yr old daughter sends me very angry texts that trigger anger in me. This night could have gone frighteningly wrong. Instead, I channeled Jeannie's mantras, and decided to find out what was really going on. She tried to get me to fight with her. My feet wanted to run. I stayed, and asked, and listened. She opened up about the perfect storm of a horrible day she had, cried, ate some food I brought up to her. Her heart heard my heart. The night ended with her asking me to lay down with her till she fell asleep. That hasn’t happened in two years.You might suspect that this kid isn’t the easiest to parent! When the smoke cleared, I reflected on what had happened, although I was exhausted, I felt like I had acquired a new super power.I had put my own anger and feelings of being treated so unfairly aside, and chose to be loving and curious instead.Thank you so much for teaching this eternal lesson in words that hit chords in me.”

Did you see the photos of Awakin Circle with Sister Lucy in London? Or the photos of Karma Kitchen launch in Hyderabad?

While we’re on the did-you-know series, did you know that we have been experimenting with a weekly Awakin Dialogues series? A more intimate, interactive and video-conference version of Awakin Calls. Our guest this week? Somik, speaking about his latest article: Deep Counting.

Guess who’s going to be in Cracow (Poland) hosting two Awakin Circles and a Karma Kitchen? Rev. Heng Sure, bunch of other monks and nuns, an international delegation from 30 countries, and Sheetal and Khushmita! Following that trip, they’ll end with a prayer circle at Auschwitz.

Also in Europe -- Nipun spoke about ServiceSpace in France last weekend. #Ripples

Ripples of Gandhi 3.0 retreat in January are continuing to pile on! Like this one that just came across the wires: “My daily practice since Gandhi 3.0 has been to bow down 3 times in gratitude as soon as I wake up. It’s a simple act which takes less than a few minutes yet has brought in so much peace, joy and contentment. Sometimes my "little magnet head" goes down and stays stuck there to the giant magnet we call Planet Earth for a long time and tears of oneness and gratitude flow effortlessly.”

Has protesting become too easy? #Hmmmm (Online course by “Craftivist” Sarah: School of Gentle Protest)

Imagine this: a patient parent leaves the children’s hospital and pulls up to the parking garage attendant, hands them their ticket, and instead of a dollar amount flashing on the sign, they hear these words: “Your parking was paid for!” 2000 people are getting tagged daily in Atlanta.

Birju points to this beautiful video on Buen Vivir (The Good Life) -- and here’s more on the founder: Meditating Minister of Ecuador.

An email from a filmmaker: “Dear Nipun, Yoo-mi, greetings!! I am in the Bay Area this week for screening my documentary film and a chance conversation with a Lyft cab driver, and he says you should reach out to Nipun!!! So, with no further delay, I am reaching out to both of you after almost 6-7 months since we last spoke.”

Sairam has been busy adding new member to our Tech Team. Vinit is the latest addition. In completely unrelated tech news, MP3 format is now officially dead.

Andrew Forsthoefel went on a beautiful "Walking to Listen" journey of 4000 miles, as a 23 year old. He says, "Listening begins with humility, I learned — the humility to ask an earnest question without assuming you already know the answer. And it is powered by authentic respect — respect for the struggles and complexities of a person’s life, and for the ultimate value of that life, value that remains undiminished by the abhorrent opinions that person may hold or even by the crimes they may have committed. Listening is audacious in this way, even unreasonable at times. It is to choose to love someone — or at least remain committed to the work of trying to understand them — even when they don’t give you any reason to."

Incidentally, latest research at Greater Good Science Center says … humility is good for your relationship.

Four concurrent Laddership Circles are marching on to Week 4. In Pavi and Ari’s circle, David Bullon shared this, “This week I created a little cash stash in my office and shared with my team that this money was for anybody that wanted to buy a gift for another teammate. And anybody who received a gift would pay it forward to another team member. I started off by giving one of my teammates some strawberries.”

We just figured this one out -- “Move By Love” retreats in India are laddering 50 thousand hours of (offline, and waking hour) volunteer participation every year. Whooa! Go gang, and especially Khushmita and Meghna!

It’s commencement season. Bill Gates told new grads to read Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature (and now it’s surging on Amazon). The thesis is: “our era is less violent, less cruel and more peaceful than any previous period of human existence.”

Audrey is prepping for summer internships. When Sophie was asked, “Why ServiceSpace?” the 20-year-old wrote this: “I am too ignorant to talk about the meaning of service because I have taken so many things for granted for the twenty years of my life. But I have been fortunate to always have the opportunities to cross paths with the noble ones who serve selflessly with wisdom and compassion. From them, I learned that service means becoming the light, which shines through hearts, and awakens the (embedded) goodness in each other. From the noble ones, I also learned that service means ‘life’. I believe that if we live our life based on service, we can turn each action, word and thought into service. When we have the opportunity to serve for, and/or with others, we take actions and serve wisely and selflessly. And if we are alone, or if our physical bodies are limited in particular space/circumstances, we can still serve that we serve by sending metta to all beings, by performing right actions and speeches, and by changing ourselves internally. As Rev. Heng Sure once said: “To make peace on earth we must want it. To stop harm and fear in the world we must change our ways.” To change our ways we must change our minds. The power is ours. Evil and good, selfishness or compassion all come from the mind first. If more people care for others, the world will spontaneously grow brighter." I am inspired to volunteer with SeriveSpace primarily because of my affinity with the noble ones and living heroes at ServiceSpace, who came to my life, shined through my heart, and called me to service. I also think that I am born with a nature that is quite sensitive to sufferings. ServiceSpace teaches me the way to respond to the sufferings in the world, and what to do to transform sufferings in a peaceful and profound way.” As Pancho would say, BAAMplex! Bold intentional.

Also last week, a line from another anchor: “I can’t really think of any more satisfying way to spend the remainder of my life – other than to focus on small acts, lead with inner transformation, and cultivate deep social ties by holding space for others. Nothing else seems real.”   

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