[On Tuesday night, about fifteen of us came together to chop veggies for our local Awakin Circle. Well, except Sandy, who was busy making lemon cake. :) And last night, the whole community got to meet the remarkable wise elder that all of us had heard so much about. His gentle smile alone melted so many of us. He reminds me of the beauty I see and feel when I’m out alone in nature -- that ultimate unconditional, loving presence and equanimity. Of course, it’s not just his presence, but the stories he shared that allowed me to feel the depth of devotion-led-service! I will forever remember his formula of service = effort divided by ego. What a wise one ... one that you definitely don’t need a college degree to figure out :-) Thank you all for creating and holding the space for so many transformations. Jamie described it perfectly -- "an earthquake for my mind, so my heart could open!" Below are some of the notes from the follow-up email that you might enjoy as well!]
To meet in the sacred silence, to reflect on paradigm bending reflections about the power of love, and to embrace the grace of devotion via a simple meal together ... it all felt like a great gift. From all of us to all to us. Thank you so much.
"We are One
. The moment we see two is the beginning of our suffering." "For Vinoba, it is success that he was never in the lime light." "Service is meditation divided by ego. The humblest act of service can be infinitely more powerful than a thousand acts of service with a big ego." "People would stand in line to give precious land to Vinoba and I wondered if he had special gifts. But then, lots of people gave me land, and I realized that it wasn't Vinoba that was special -- it was kindness that was special
." You were married for close to sixty years. What has changed with your wife's passing? "Nothing. I wasn't just married to her, we were both married together to our shared values -- and still are." "Fearlessness isn't about you not being afraid. It's complete only when no one else is afraid of you." "In the warring regions of Cypress, two kids met me with guns, I met them with love, and they replied back with two fist full of almonds
." "My neighbor was violent, until I found a bridge of three magical words
. Then, a decade later, he said he could protect me from upto 10 people, and I asked, 'Why just ten?' If you were moved by genuine love, borne of unwavering equanimity
, you could be still even in front of an entire army." "There are no bad people. One of my heroes was a man accused of murder
." What is devotion? "Service."
In Arun Dada, we see what can emerge when we don't think of accumulating, transacting, or scaling -- we arrive deeply in the present, serve with profound simplicity, and smile in wisdom. You then don't aim to change a country with the power of law but by the law of love. You don't sell your labor, but walk 6 kilometers to the nearest farm, give away your labor and walk back home for another 6 kilometers. Life transcends greed and fear, and intellectualization of meaning, purpose, or impact. You simply live, and such a life is a gift.
And what a gift last night was. Thank you, all, for manifesting the energetic pull that brings such people into all our lives.