Conversation: Charles Eisenstein And Nipun Mehta
Posted by Joserra G. on Jan 5, 2019
Charles: This conversation was filmed at Nipun’s home in Berkeley, California, but we are just using the audio since the filming conditions were not ideal. Nipun is the founder of Service Space and, in my eyes, the godfather of the “random acts of kindness movement.” Although he would never say it, he is a man who walks his talk. I encourage you simply to take in his stories, as well as the content and tenor of our conversation, and let them work on you.
Session 2.1: Conversation with Nipun Mehta
Session 2.2: Follow-up to Conversation with Nipun Mehta
Among the numerous follow-up stories, here was a sweet one by Jase McDonald ...
Two evenings ago, I was cycling my bike for some exercise and was listening for the second time to Charles' talk with Nipun Mehta.
On my way home, I was right in the middle of listening to the instructions for the experiment we were tasked with - to gift from a grounded place of love. At the ‘exact’ moment this was being instructed, I rode past an old man sitting on a park bench. He was obviously poor, and from appearances sake possibly homeless. He was 'there' but also kind of not, withdrawn from the world around him. What could I gift him? My pockets were empty, a bike seemed useless, an MP3 player perhaps?
I rode on, hastening to get home to put my daughter to bed. Then I realised time and presence can be a gift. I felt hesitation arise; it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go back or felt uneasy about talking to the man (in fact I often feel like talking to strangers, but just never really act), it was all these questions coming up like -- Would I offend him? Scare him? Intrude on his space? I felt into the grounded and deep sense of giving from love and became overwhelmed and compelled to just go back. So I did.
"Hi, do you mind if pull up next to you and have a chat?"
He was slightly taken aback, but at the same time welcoming. “Yes, sure”.
There was a long pause as I settled down next to him, and we felt into one another's presence. Then he spoke again. “It’s not very often someone would do this. It’s strange even. In this dog-eat-dog world, most people don’t have time for one another. There’s a hollowness in that, don’t you think?”
“I agree.” I said. “I definitely agree.” Smiling the biggest smile I’ve felt come over my face in the longest time. I could feel my heart beating with vigour. Something else was coming alive. I was actually very close to tearing up with emotion.
And thus the conversation continued. A deep, thoughtful, connected chat that covered so many topics we’re discussing in this very course. Malcolm was this fellow’s name. 74. Well read and as was soon apparent, deeply philosophical - we were discussing Rudolph Steiner within 2 minutes, Rupert Sheldrake within 5 minutes and several other topics that directly relate to the strange areas I’m acutely interested in. It’s so incredibly hard to find someone to share such concepts with, let alone in a meaningful way, let alone with this minutes-ago stranger. We spoke at length. Continuing to feel into and relate to one another, meeting in the mystery. At one point he even brought up synchronicity! I was well passed being shocked by this stage, but rather, genuinely locked into what was unfolding.
Malcolm shared with me his situation. Many many years ago his wife had fallen ill and soon after also developed a mental illness. He gave up his profession to care for her, rather than have her institutionalised. They had to sell everything as the years went by and ended up in public housing, barely surviving. She died about 15 years ago. Since then he has lived a quiet and isolated life. I could feel his loneliness.
But here’s where the synchronicity really kicked in. For a number of years my previous professional life as a designer, creative director was lacking, it took me a while to find the courage but about a year ago I let it all go. The past 12 months I have been studying a healing modality (that found me). It works with the nervous system, the brain, the spinal cord and the human energy field. It’s a dance between Osteopathy, some non manipulative Chiropracty, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Steiner’s work on the energy field and a few other things. It’s pretty woo-woo stuff and very esoteric, radical even. Turns out Malcolm’s previous professions were as a Chiropractor and Osteopath!! Ok, now I’m sensing the magical.
And it gets bolder. Apart from the situation with his wife, he also moved away from practising as he felt the over-medicalisation of both these professions. In the many years since he has been theorising, reading and in his words ‘intuiting’ ways to work that use energy with the bio-mechanical. Incredibly aligned to what I’m studying. To be clear, he was telling me all this before I had mentioned anything about what I had been up to this past year. I shot up straight, compelled to interrupt him and blurt it out. Malcolm responded with the word “Synchronicity” and then… “Perhaps now I have someone to teach it to”.
Is this an example of ‘synchronicity’ or ‘the gift’ directly feeding back to me? Sure feels like it.
But even though I’m incredibly charged and opened by the experience up I kind of don’t care what it is. I care more that I now have someone I’m going to try and spend more time with, to share with, to be with. I felt (and continue to feel) the joy and brightness of this event. It was clear as i walked him to his accommodation and when we parted that Malcolm was energised as well, alive with the connection. His enthusiasm blending with his humility and loneliness.
Update: In the past two days I have phoned Malcolm and had lengthy conversations. I will visit him tomorrow in person. We are learning more and more about one another and a friendship has developed. He has shared with me he very often goes weeks without speaking to anyone, living an almost hermit like existence.
Personally, I feel so grateful and privileged for the opportunity to connect with him, to perhaps bring something to his world that might otherwise never have occurred if not for engaging with the proposed experiment. I already know the aliveness that I feel in my being from this encounter, is my gift.