An Unexpected Friend At Our Awakin Circle

Posted by Neeti S W on Jul 10, 2017
2568 reads  
It was yet another Tuesday. My favorite day of the week, since its Awakin Day for our local community on the outskirts of Pune.

As is my regular practice, I finish up cooking in the first half of the day, then tidy up the kitchen, and close with the rest of the daily chores. On this day, 10 people had RSVP'd and everything was planned accordingly.

Then, at 4PM, I got a call from an attendee saying that he 7 visitors from Chandigarh are coming! I was suddenly flustered -- what to do now? It's already past 4PM and I'm not sure how to cook for 7 more people. As I try to be still, my neighbor Chumiki (also a regular at Awakin) calls for some small issue and asks, "Can I make pulav (a rice dish) for the evening?" It was as if the universe was listening in. I tell her yes, with the additional head count.

Our circle begins with an hour of silence. As we open our eyes, our room is full with many unfamiliar (yet familiar) faces that silently tip toed in throughout the hour. We read the passage, Enlightenment is Intimacy with All Things, in English and Hindi and our sharing starts. As the talking stick passes, each one shares for a little bit. Until the stick arrives at the hands of first-time guest, who seems to be about 25 years old.

He slowly takes a deep breath and looks at each one of us intensely and starts his sharing, "I am new here, and I don’t really know how I reached here. But today, after sitting in silence for an hour, I feel like I've entered a safe space. I want to share some things that have been bottled up inside me for many years. I'd never shared this with anybody before."

With a lot of sincerity, he continued. "I lost my mother when I was 4 hours old, right after I was born. I don't have a father either. He's alive but he's an assasin, so I've erased him from my memory. I dropped out of school, became a womanizer, and a drug addict. You name a drug and I've done it. Sometimes I've even had food from trash can that a dog would eat from. If I look at my life, I have a stock of everything that fits in a devil's syllabus."

After sharing some more details, he adds, "I wonder what makes you all trust a person like me at this gathering, how somebody can trust and open doors for someone who is carrying so much burden of his past garbage."

Room is in stunned silence now. As the host, I feel like I had to do something but wasn't sure what. I quietly prayed to my inspirations, that I'm guided to do the right thing. Suddenly, I hear myself saying, "Let's hold a minute of silence holding each other’s hands."

It felt like a very long minute. I could hear a silent chorus emanating from every heart in the circle, "Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu." (May all creation abide in deep peace.)

Unstoppable tears flowed from this young man's eyes for the rest of the session.

As soon as the sharing ended and just before the circle broke for dinner, everyone lined up to give him an individual hug. For the rest of the evening, his cup overflowing with gratitude for each one.

I'm reminded of a quote Sheetal often shares, "We're all walking each other home."

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Comments (30)

  • Kozo Hattori wrote ...

    Tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing, Neeti. What a wonderful insight to have a moment of silence while holding hands. Thank you for walking me home.
    Love, Kozo

  • Radha Ivaturi wrote ...

    Wow!

  • Aryae Coopersmith wrote ...

    Thank you Neeti. Your inspirations were so present with you here! Reading your story, my heart is open.

  • Atul Sahu wrote ...

    It was such an experience to be in that space on that day Neeti di....the shift and transformation i could see when i met him after two days was just remarkable...upliftment of soul is what i could see....Gratitude

  • Parkash wrote ...

    What a description. I felt like I was there. Thank you.  

  • Pavi Mehta wrote ...

    Beautiful Neeti -- your intuitive response was so powerful and perfect! A deep bow and big hug for the quietly profound ways in which you are holding space. 

  • Brinda Govindan wrote ...

    Big hugs to you for holding this space and being there for this young man. Your description made me feel like I was there too in your circle. We are all one.
    Peace.

  • Bradley Stoll wrote ...

    WOW, Neeti...just WOW💜 Thank you for sharing this remarkable story.

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    Wow, Neeti! Thank you so much for sharing such a powerful story. I'm always amazed and humbled by how much these circles hold. So grateful to get to read this. :)

  • Khushmita Sanghvi wrote ...

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful moment with all of us neeti :) your constant gardening at the awakins and in your daily life is such an inspiration to so many of us.

  • Bhumika Patel wrote ...

  • Nandini Iyer wrote ...

    I'm in awe, and so moved. I've often wondered this as well: "I wonder what makes you all trust a person like me at this gathering, how somebody can trust and open doors for someone who is carrying so much burden of his past garbage." Makes me think of this quote: "We are each other's keepers. We are the guardians of our own humanity."

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Sacred sharing _/\_

  • Trupti Pandya wrote ...

    Neeti didi thank you for sharing, lots of love and prayers :-)

  • Preeta Bansal wrote ...

    Speechless.... And in awe and gratitude.

  • Thu Nguyen wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing this story Neeti! I'm deeply inspired by the space Awakin circles hold for everyone and their stock of everything. Thank you.

  • Ameeta Martin wrote ...

    What a beautiful story! My tears flow over...

  • Vidhi Desai wrote ...

    Neeti did- its so heart warming to read this. Thank you for sharing it so beautifully.

  • Nisha Srinivasan wrote ...

    This is so moving Neeti.

  • Meghna Banker wrote ...

    :))) Just the perfect Aha moment for an Awakin evening! Deeply grateful for sharing this sacred moment!

  • Anuj Pandey wrote ...

    Beautiful...raw and enlightening share....thank you Neeti! :)

  • Patricia-C Prada Jimenez wrote ...

    so touching, thank you

  • Vinit wrote ...

    My eyes went moist as I read this, Neeti didi thank you for holding space for so many of us.

  • Trishna wrote ...

    Neeti, your intuition was such a blessing for this circle, in much the same way that this "unexpected guest's" presence blessed the circle. Indeed, we are all walking each other home and I'm so grateful to have noble friends like you to walk with :)

  • Ram Goyal wrote ...

    Inspired by the space that gets created for this to show, loved it, thanks for sharing it with us Ram

  • Kiran Gulrajani wrote ...

    How tender and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Where is this place on outskirts of Pune?

  • Kiran Gulrajani wrote ...

    How tender and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Where is this place on outskirts of Pune?

  • Kiran Gulrajani wrote ...

    How tender and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Where is this place on outskirts of Pune? There was a lump in my throat. Thanks Nipun and all of you wonderful people who are Awakin-ing love and peace. Hugs.

  • Kiran Gulrajani wrote ...

    How tender and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Where is this place on outskirts of Pune? There was a lump in my throat. Thanks Nipun and all of you wonderful people who are Awakin-ing love and peace. Hugs.

  • Deepak wrote ...

    Thank you . It was awesome . As a child I remember seeing the movie 'Do Aaankhen Barah Haat " by the well known producer V. Shantaram . The movie was about the transformation of the prisoners lodged in a jail from convicts to human beings . It was a powerful movie . My own life got transformed after my marriage broke up and with the traumatic experience of my own life the universe ensured that humanness was instilled in me through the medium of the Vippasana meditation and the various transformation workshops in which I participated .There is so much gratitude to all the facilitators and teachers for who and where I am today . God Bless .