Image Of The Week Artist?

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Nov 9, 2020
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On one blog post, I read a comment by a relatively new volunteer: "Typically, the more I dive into an organization, the less there is that I want to uncover. :) ServiceSpace has been the opposite experience. The deeper I dive, the more rabbit holes I uncover. And the roots are so intricate and beyond comprehension, that in the very process of stumbling into it, I somehow see a bit more of myself. Or perhaps a bit less of myself. It's almost mysterious, if you know what I mean. :)"

Awakin Readings illustrate this so elegantly. Having a newsletter in today's era isn't all that interesting -- just more content in an already information-overloaded palette. :) Yet, Awakin emails "feel" different. Sure, it's ad-free. Sure, some people have been receiving it every week for a couple of decades. Sure, Somik and I screen the readings each week to ensure a meta flavor. Yet, it somehow lands differently in our carbon apparatus, than it would for a Google bot. :) It's almost as if we feel the heart of Liz Helgesen who has offered hundreds of recordings -- one every week for the last 14 years. Or how dozens of people collaborate to create weekly translations in 5-10 languages, from Romanian to Hindi to Spanish. Sure, it is content, but you can almost feel how one daughter prints out the reading, and gives it to her Dad so he can translate it and then uploads it online. So many living rooms, and post-pandemic Zoom Circles, give wings to the readings by holding it in their hearts. Roots upon roots upon roots. :)

Like that, each week we offer an original artwork by Rupali Bhuva. Some might skim this art as literal prose, but it has been awe-inspiring to see an increasing number of people resonating with the tentacles of its subtle poetry. Indeed, Rupali is an unbelievably gifted artist who does wall-sized paintings. That's just scratching the surface, though. She is the kind of person who packs her daughters extra food so they can share it with 8-10 of their friends. After hosting Awakin Circles a few years ago, she started a "heArt Circle", where the circle of sharing compromised of sharing silently through art. (Very powerful. It has since been replicated in various places around the world.) When Somik sends out the Awakin Reading in advance to the translators and artists, Bhumika receives it and then sends it to Rupali through a mobile platform. Rupali then reads the passage 8-10 times to deeply understand it; more often than not, it becomes a dining table conversation; she will then transport her conversations and confusions to a wise octogenarian doctor in their neighborhood for even more nuance. Then she will meditate, and pray for an art piece to flow through -- and "tech" volunteers support her in humbly and silently sharing it anonymously on the website.

People feel that. We *routinely* get comments, from people appreciating it -- from someone last week inquiriring if her art can be bought as a poster to people just wanting to thank the anonymous artist. Like this comment today:

Subject: Image of the Week Artist?
Message: "An unusual synchronicity popped up this morning on my morning walk in Oregon. I looked into a freebie box on the sidewalk (something I never do) and picked up a mug that said: "Unencumbered By Thought Process". Oh, I must Google this when I get home! When I did, I arrived at the Awakin Reading about the truck driver -- and felt so at home. I started reading more and since I am named after a tree, this week's Image of the Week for "Now I Become Myself by May Sarton" caught my eye. The poem is beautiful too. Do you know the name of the artist of this tree image? The whole flow of serendipity made me very curious about your Awakin Circles. I intend to check them out. Thank you, Sequoia"

It's hard to thank "Rupali", because she doesn't find much meaning in identifying with her art. It happens through her, she says. She is a profoundly devout person, who can easily disconnect from worldly appearances on a moment's notice. Most recently, she's been sharing about sacred geometry. In my own naivete, I asked her if she's heard of "flower of life" shape -- turns out, she's been intuitively drawing that since she was a kid. :) Here is one of her renditions, from a couple days ago:



In our fast-paced world, this is a slow story. And slow stories have deep roots.

Thank you, Rupali and uncountable heArtists -- your offerings create a field subtler than what Google bots can crawl. :) It's an honor to meet you there.

Posted by Nipun Mehta | | permalink


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Comments (5)

  • Meghna wrote ...

    Indeed, what an honor to witness this slow story! Thank you for presencing such a gentle visual of the entire circle of how an email comes to our inbox each week :)

  • Richard Whittaker wrote ...

    Indeed. And thank you for these lovely ruminations and discoveries.

  • Dawn Kiilani Hoffmann wrote ...

    Thank you Rupali for your shining heart and example!

  • Smita Navare wrote ...

    Very inspiring and deep also written very beautifully. Just feel very grateful to all of you.

  • Rajalakshmi Sriram wrote ...

    Felt so so elated to read this ... behind the stage ...story uncovered...Grateful you shared it.. I have goose bumps and tears flowing freely...
    Thanks friends for being there.. dong this wonderful everyday work of positive dialoging for helping each ones inner and outer journeys