About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I value having a community with which to practice 'inner work' while engaging in 'outer projects'

A good day to me is when ... I'm breathing :)

My hero in life is ...So many :)

My favorite book is ...So many :)

One thing I'm grateful for is ... Love

Buddha Root Farm And Understanding Mahayana Buddhism

Aug 07, 2019, 9 comments, 19 smiles "You have stumbled upon the 5 schools of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, in the lineage of Master Hua." After the first day of retreat, where I was constantly asking questions, Rev Heng Sure said this to me as a precursor to lots more sharing in the coming days. These were very meaningful days in my life. I recently returned from my first meditation retreat that was not in the SN Goenka tradition. Lots of learnings from this and I thought it would support me to process through writing. The retreat was in the tradition of Rev Heng Sure, who so many have been inspired by in our community. The retreat was their yearly 'Buddha Root Farm' retreat in rural Oregon (the picture above is the path to our campsite). Several folks in our ecosystem have attended before (including my partner!) but it was my first time. Master Hua lecturing in 1975 Master Hua ... Read Full Story

Ankit In NY Times!

Jul 23, 2019, 2 comments, 13 smiles Great to see Ankit in the The NY Times! The story doesn't start far enough back, but those in Laddership Circles would be quite familiar with it -- but inspiring to see the ripples onwards and outwards. :)    Feeling Lonely? Perhaps You’d Like to Talk to Some Strangers - The New York Times To fight isolation, several groups are working to create in-person connections by bringing strangers together.   Few stats from the article ... For public health officials, there’s an urgent need to heed that call. Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former Surgeon General of the United States, called loneliness an “epidemic” and told The Washington Post that its health impact was as severe as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Others have linked chronic loneliness to weakened immune systems, worsened cognitive function and an increased risk of cancer. Some researchers doubt loneliness is higher today than it has been in the past, but recent surveys reveal ... Read Full Story

Perfection Is Not The Goal. It's An Action.

Jul 13, 2019, 1 comments, 16 smiles [Beautiful reflection by Claudia Escorza, after a recent retreat at Banyan Grove.] Perfection is not the goal, it’s action. I have only been an Animal Rights activist for a couple of years, but ever since I became one, I’ve developed a keen interest in exploring myriad tools to help me nurture my mental and emotional health. In this line of work, you are confronted every day with the devastating suffering that animals endure; it can be debilitating and get in the way of the very contributions you intend to make for them. I am fortunate enough to work at an organization where the culture for self-care is booming, where everyone seems to be increasingly aware of the perils of burnout and the importance of avoiding it. As part of those efforts, all staffers were extended an invitation to attend a five-day silent meditation retreat at Banyan Grove. An incredible gift with obvious benefits for ... Read Full Story

Regenerative Living: The Banyan Grove Toilet

Apr 16, 2019, 4 comments, 15 smiles Banyan Grove is a relatively new gathering place in the ServiceSpace ecosystem. I think it's pretty great :) Yes it looks good, but for me, the approach is what really speaks to me, and I wanted to highlight one place in which that approach plays out - the toilet. In my world, we talk a fair bit about this concept of regeneration. It's used a lot in some agriculture circles. The concept is fundamentally about leaving something better than we find it. And the path there is about understanding nature - that over time, abundance inevitably arises when we surrender to nature. The below graphic is one that'll I'll keep referencing to this end. The Toilet System On the Banyan Grove volunteer team, I've been the one most focused on sanitation. I've felt like I won a sort of prize as that shook out, given that many of my inspirations focused on sanitation ... Read Full Story

From Listeners Of Parker Palmer's Awakin Call

Mar 01, 2019, 4 comments, 20 smiles Awakin Calls has been on a roll recently. Three weeks ago, we launched a revamped website. Two weeks ago, Alan Wallace set a record for attendance. Last weekend, Parker Palmer upped even that with 450+ RSVPs. And tomorrow's call with NY Times best-selling author, Mary Pipher, seems to be heading in that range too. For every Saturday's call, we assemble a crew of volunteers. It typically takes about 40 hours of volunteer work for each call, and last week, I got to play a small part in it. Our guest was the revered spiritual activist and community builder Parker Palmer, who first popularized “mobius strip” as referring to the integral dance between our inner and outer lives. Anna Skrzypczynska wrote the bio, Pavi hosted the call and posted the memorable "nuggets", and Preeta moderated the conversation, I did the live-streaming, Prabha managed the post-call editing (also on iTunes), and Gayathri and ... Read Full Story

Flashback To Ekatva 2010 :)

Sep 12, 2018, 2 comments, 12 smiles Just ran into this video from 2010, the first retreat we held at the Gandhi Ashram, called 'Ekatva' -- oneness. Since that spontaneous emergence, there have been well over a 100 such retreats around the globe, including the most recent Gandhi 3.0 retreat that Zilong wrote about. Anyhow, just wanted to share my gratitude for all the goodness that ripples out into the world ...

Banyan Grove's First Meditation Retreat

Jun 14, 2018, 1 comments, 17 smiles Banyan Grove has begun to offer space for short meditation retreats! Here's a share from a recent participant of a retreat offered to those dedicating their life to the welfare of animals- During just seven days, I learned to breathe again, how to effectively manage stress by responding rather than reacting, to better communicate, appreciate the little things and become more disciplined in my self-care – physical, emotional and spiritual. I learned to be more grateful, more generous, more kind. We walked through breathtaking wooded trails and meditated in peaceful gardens. We ate exquisite fresh local vegan fare and slept in comfort in the warm, cozy home nestled in the trees. We enjoyed fellowship amidst silence and gained an appreciation for reflection and mindful practices. We were richly blessed by the teachings of Buddhist Monk Tashi Nyima and the guidance and care of a loving staff. Since returning, I have found it ... Read Full Story

Owen Suilleabhain: Art, Hope And Wholeness In Troubled

Jan 31, 2018, 5 smiles This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Owen Suilleabhain: Art, Hope And Wholeness In Troubled TimesReflection questions: In challenging times where have you discovered hope and wholeness? Has there been a time in your life when art offered up an avenue towards transformation and healing, and if so, how?

Kingian Nonviolence, Smile Cards, And San Bruno Jail

Aug 07, 2017, 3 comments, 24 smiles A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tag along for an auspicious gathering at San Bruno Jail in San Francisco. Kazu Haga (here's his Awakin Call), who runs East Point Peace Academy, was leading a graduation ceremony for some men in the jail. That in itself is a rare occasion, but this ceremony was for a rare feat - completing a course curriculum (theory & practice), while in jail, on the nonviolent approaches of MLK Jr - or what is called 'Kingian Nonviolence.' Kazu himself is a rare individual (I'd recommend listening to the Awakin Call), having done spirit walks with monks, devoted his life to nonviolence, and choosing to live in the spirit of gift. And he greets me with open arms despite not having seen me for years :) We walk in through the security, and my eyes are opened as it's my first visit to a ... Read Full Story

The Gift Spectrum

Jul 06, 2017, 9 comments, 46 smiles Over the past few years of Laddership Circles, one of my favorite topics for inquiry has been 'wealth.' There have been many folks coming to engage with the ServiceSpace ecosystem - in part connected to a wish to evolve their relationship with money, and consequently, wealth. Perhaps a wish to more deeply align with values connected to love and interbeing. Of course, ServiceSpace has been talking about gift-based approaches for a while, and so it's a place to inquire. Over the many dialogues, one of the themes I've seen emerge is the value of naming the 'spectrum of gift.' Rather than approach it as a binary, such that either the approach is 'gift economy/ecology' or not, to dive deeper into the nuances. To that end, I've come across several possibilities in the inquiry, and I'm sharing with the intention of inviting that inquiry into a broader space. Without creating a hierarchy, ... Read Full Story