Sep 28, 2022 05:45 PM
Inviting you to this collective space to sit in silence and share some inspirational moments. No teachers, no agendas – just a wish for us to grow in Wisdom and Compassion, together.
5:30 - 6:00 : Coming in
6:00 - 6:30 : Sitting in Silence (Unguided, without any instructions or music)
6:30 - 7:15 : Reflections and Sharing (Reading in the RSVP Link)
7:15 - 8:00 : Dinner
Venue: 1st Floor, House No. 746, Next to Madhu's Inn, Ashwem Morjim Road, Morjim, Goa
Contact: Vineet Saraiwala
More Context: For over 25 years, in living rooms across 23 countries, people come together to sit in silence, share some inspirational moments, and have a light meal afterward. No teachers, no agendas. These circles are all volunteer-run and independently organized, with a simple wish for greater awakening of awareness and compassion, in kinship and community with one another. That’s Awakin.
Special Guest: And we are also joined this Wednesday by a dear friend, who has deeply supported my journey -- Rohit Rajgarhia. We studied together at IIM Bangalore and after a high-flying start in investment banking career, Rohit left his job in his late-twenties to cultivate a life of simplicity and kindness. He is one of the anchors of a fully volunteer run global community Servicespace, predicated upon the simple principle that by changing ourselves, we can change the world. You can read more here.
Reading For Reflection - Agent of Illumination
Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated with one another, with the world itself. Two men barked at each other about a shove that might or might not have been intentional. A pregnant woman got on, and nobody offered her a seat. Rage was in the air; no mercy would be found here.
But as the bus approached Seventh Avenue, the driver got on the intercom. 'Folks,' he said, 'I know you have had a rough day and you are frustrated. I can’t do anything about the weather or traffic, but here is what I can do. As each one of you gets off the bus, I will reach out my hand to you. As you walk by, drop your troubles into the palm of my hand, okay? Don’t take your problems home to your families tonight, just leave them with me. My route goes right by the Hudson River, and when I drive there later, I will open the window and throw your troubles in the water.'
It was as if a spell had lifted. Everyone burst out laughing. Faces gleamed with surprised delight. People who had been pretending for the past hour not to notice each other’s existence were suddenly grinning at each other like, is this guy serious?
At the next stop, just as promised, the driver reached out his hand, palm up, and waited. One by one, all the exiting commuters placed their hand just above his and mimed the gesture of dropping something into his palm. Some people laughed as they did this, some teared up but everyone did it. The driver repeated the same lovely ritual at the next stop, too. And the next. All the way to the river.
We live in a hard world, my friends. Sometimes it is extra difficult to be a human being. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you have a bad day that lasts for several years. You struggle and fail. You lose jobs, money, friends, faith, and love. You witness horrible events unfolding in the news, and you become fearful and withdrawn. There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light but don’t know where to find it.
But what if you are the light? What if you are the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?. That’s what this bus driver taught me, that anyone can be the light, at any moment. This guy wasn’t some big power player. He wasn’t a spiritual leader. He wasn’t some media-savvy influencer. He was a bus driver, one of society’s most invisible workers. But he possessed real power, and he used it beautifully for our benefit.
When life feels especially grim, or when I feel particularly powerless in the face of the world’s troubles, I think of this man and ask myself, What can I do, right now, to be the light? Of course, I can’t personally end all wars, or solve global warming, or transform vexing people into entirely different creatures. I definitely can’t control traffic. But I do have some influence on everyone I brush up against, even if we never speak or learn each other’s name.
No matter who you are, or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world will ever be illuminated, one bright act of grace at a time, all the way to the river.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author best known for her memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does being an agent of illumination mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you were an agent of illumination? What helps you be the light in a difficult situation?
All are welcome to join. There is no cost to attend. It will help with the preparation if you can RSVP here.
It will be wonderful to have your presence. :-)
With serviceful smiles,