I'm joining Service Space because ... it feels like my community
A good day to me is when ... good day implies there are some that are not. I must be in denial about those, for every day seems good to me.
My hero in life is ...ordinary decent folks who just persist and do the right thing day after day .... ok, the Dalai Lama, Rev Desmond Tutu and others who laugh easily also tug at my heart strings
My favorite book is ...Ten Tall Tales by Dr Suess, The Little Prince, Stories from Panchtantra and many more
One thing I'm grateful for is ... a good enough life that enables me to serve
Jul 03, 2018, 1 comments, 7 smiles For the past several months, a young lady has attended poetry circles at my home, and the heartfelt conversations about poems have led to a friendship between us. Recently, as we were discussing something about the inequalities in this world, she expressed her frustration and helplessness in a manner that led me to spontaneously throw out a suggestion that we could do something, maybe cook lunch and take it to those near us who happen to be homeless. Her initial reaction was to say don’t sign me up for anything, but as the weekend approached, she followed up to ask if I was serious. I had wanted to do this for a while and only needed a companion. We agreed to do it. As we made plans, she asked why we couldn't we just buy some food to give away. I told her I want to offer home-cooked food, as they ... Read Full Story
Jun 28, 2018, 8 comments, 14 smiles An off the cuff remark made by Bonnie Rose during her talk at the Awakin circle stuck with me. She said "You guys are quite radical. It is very Nipunesque" referring to something she had solved, perhaps by thinking about: What would Nipun do? I am still thinking about "What is Nipunesque?" Smile, for no reason at all. Give, just because one can. In a world of mistrust and fear Be courageous enough to be kind. Listen, really intently. Remember it all. Celebrate joys. Trust, to amplify them. Notice every act of kindness anyone does. And thank them for it. Tell others about it. Out the quietly kind ones. Believe there are many. Gather and connect them. At home and abroad, In person and virtually, Virtuously. Tell stories. Laugh. Sit in Silence. Welcome strangers. Stay open and curious. Do the dishes. Work tirelessly. There is a lot of work to be done. Involve whoever wants to work, But expect nothing. Hug often, and don't forget the key: Practice random acts of kindness. There is a whole lot more if I ... Read Full Story
Jun 20, 2018, 40 comments, 13 smiles After a specially powerful opening of the Santa Clara Awakin circle with a new sister sharing her journey of being held by strangers, we listened to each other in the circle of sharing. As usual, there were other newcomers, two of whom were visiting all the way from China, Zilong's parents. When it was her turn to share, Zilong's mother said that she feels the warmth of everyone's shared stories and has a lot to say, but with a hesitancy over her English, she will simply appreciate the warmth and smiles. The lady sitting next to her immediately volunteered to translate from Chinese to English, so she could share fluently in Chinese. What are the odds that these two just happened to be sitting next to each other, to be able to spontaneously connect? At the end of dinner, Zilong's mother said to me that she understood my share had something ... Read Full Story
Jun 12, 2018, 10 smiles At last Wednesday's Awakin circle in Santa Clara we were collectively reflecting on the reading about three kinds of leadership, based on force, transactions and love. It reminded me of a short poem by my friend Lara, from her book 'Searching for God Within" written under her pen name Madhura Bhakti. The poem goes: You can't force love. Its not love. Its force. I offered up the poem to those gathered in the circle. Later I sent a short note to let Lara know that I had done so. I believe it is nice for a poet to know when her poems are shared and as an excuse for me to reconnect with a friend. I also told her about meeting author Gary Zukav and his wife Linda, who were among the 50 or so listeners in the circle that night. Lara promptly sent me an email back with her photo with the book she ... Read Full Story
Feb 22, 2018, 1 comments, 10 smiles Saw some pictures on India's DNA newspaper webpages, with Jayesh-bhai, that some friends here may enjoy seeing too, so sharing them, with the link to the website where the originals belong at the bottom.
Feb 16, 2018, 1 comments, 6 smiles I recently taught an intense immersive story telling course to college seniors who surprised me with the very positive feedback they gave for the course. On a question of rating the course on a scale of 1 to 5, several students wrote kind words which jumped off the page to hit me with the obvious: these were compliments that belonged to my noble friends and unknown teams of volunteers from ServiceSpace. So many ideas I used in the class came directly from my engagement over the past few years with the ServiceSpace community. My first experience of ServiceSpace was at an Awakin Circle. I started the class daily with a circle. Something magical about a group of 26 people holding empty space in the middle as they stand in a circle. Birju's idea of a minute of silence was borrowed to say, let us arrive fully in the present with a ... Read Full Story
Nov 10, 2017, 12 smiles Over two years ago, as part of the delicious meal served after an Awakin circle in Santa Clara, I was served a achaar/pickle that was delicious. After the silent meal, as I hung out in the kitchen, I thanked Harshida didi for the delicious homemade meal that she has been serving in her home every Wednesday for almost two decades, mentioning how much I had enjoyed the uncommon achaar. She told me Kunta had brought it as an offering. I knew Kunta as she is often in the circle, although she had already gone home that evening. I saw Kunta on another Wednesday night a few weeks later, and remembered to compliment her on the achaar. She told me how easy it was to make as long as one could get the cranberries, which have a short season around this time of the year. As I have taken to making ... Read Full Story