Unforgettable Three Days In Surat!

Posted by Lila Vasilescu on Dec 28, 2019
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After our Compassion in Education Symposium with Nipun beginning of November literally every single day ripples of unexpected acts of kindness and cheerful connections took place.

Yet little did I know that the best was yet to come.

It only took an email from Nipun letting us know about an Educators retreat that the Service Space community in Surat, India was organizing just days before Christmas that our adventure began.

Five of us said yes on the spot. Doina had no choice as it was her birthday present! 😊 It was a crazy decision as we would spend 3 days on flights and only 3 days there.







Yet that’s just details when it’s meant to be.

We left with no expectations, neither of us having been to India before.



An entire book could be written about our journey.



We were welcomed as family, cared for and loved in so many touching ways.

When you are immersed in such loving kindness, where before even speaking a volunteer is there to help and make you feel seen and heard the way you’ve probably never experienced this before, there is a gentle yet so powerful shift within.

Photos (and from my FB post) speak for themselves, we can truly say we have brothers and sister and an extended family in India and that truth warms our hearts.

Joining the everyday talks on Laddership and Education, the meditations, the singing, the silent dinner, the flower arrangements, the most delicious and nourishing food, the Karma Kitchen we attended, the 1200 educators conference , the night stories by the colorful luminated tree, all of this is just moments of pure joy and blessings we experienced.

And above all, the sense that when hearts are open, the sacredness of connecting with each other as human beings first can truly dissolve barriers of any sort.

We are here to take each other home.



To see the goodness in each other and when we see something else that looks like pain or anger or suffering, to support a journey of healing and love.

I am still overwhelmed with this serendipitous encounter. I remember how one evening at dinner I asked about the recipe for some delicious dish and by the time I got to my room at Leela Hermitage Farm, the ingredients were already on my pillow.

Or how when Doina admired the beautiful dress of one of our Indian friends, she also found it carefully wrapped in her room minutes later.

Every face …a story in itself.



We came back tired yet so refreshed.

Things are just beginning to settle in now.

If I were to share one single thing with you all, it would be to truly trust that when you care for another one, especially when that comes as the hardest thing to do maybe, we connect with that part within that is called humanness and that I feel is the only way we can really create a safer, kinder and more loving world for everyone.



Thank you Ashima for everything you are and share with this world. You know this was all possible thanks to your serendipitous encounter with a stranger on a plane!

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Comments (1)

  • Nilam Chauhan wrote ...

    Such a beautiful share Lila:) I missed meeting you in Surat.... hoping to see you soon in usa and waiting with open arms :)