Bayarea: Wednesday's Special Guest (+ Mexico, Korea

Posted by ServiceSpace on Mar 18, 2019
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This Wednesday, we have the tremendous honor of hosting Arun Bhatt: RSVP here.

If Arun Dada had to be described in one line, I would say this: "An 83-year-old Gandhian who has never sold his labor in his entire life."

To pull that off, let alone as a husband and father of two children, requires *tremendous* virtue. It implies that you have served incessantly, trusted in selfless relationships over self-maximizing transactions and waited equanimously until someone's cup of gratitude overflows. And that is precisely what Arun Dada has done. For his whole life. Since his early twenties, he served alongside his mentor Vinoba Bhave. He nonviolently resisted oppression in courageous ways, walked through hundreds of villages to uplift grassroots communities, and supported countless projects whose ripples still continue today.

Most of the reputed leaders of his generation looked to him for advice, and yet, perhaps the most telling sign about Arun Dada is that none of us have heard of him. He serves invisibly. If you don't ask him, you won't ever know how he has profoundly transformed lives, how one of his heroes is a man convicted of murder, how he has memorized thousands of sacred songs that he sings as an "offering to the divine".

On Wednesday in Santa Clara, we have an opportunity to listen to Arun Dada's stunning life stories, learn from his penetrating insights, and feel into his sparkling eyes that shine brightest when he sings. To join, RSVP here.

In related news, our beloved brother Pancho just embarked on a local walking pilgrimage from Oakland to the Mexico border. More at earthfamilia.org -- there are lots of ways you can engage. In another corner of the world, Masami-san is leading a prayer ceremony on the border of North and South Korea, with Jung Ji-Seok. He once stood there alone, chanting slogans of unity. Then, he found another person and they held hands in solidarity. Then a third came, and another, and eventually 100 thousand, making a 500 kilometer long human chain of peace.

Such stories won't be heard on CNN, and yet its subtle echoes are precisely what uphold humanity.

P.S. On April 6-7th, we have a special retreat with Arun Dada, but also a remarkable array of nonviolence heroes, including Mark Dubois, Brenda Salgado, Kazu Haga, Maki Saionji and many more. Although the retreat is full, if you add yourself to the waitlist, you'll be notified in case of cancellations.

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  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    Such stories are definitely not on mainstream news channels but what a strong ray of hope and inspiration they're providing me. Thank you! Sending maitri beams to Pancho and Masami-san for their courage and actions.