I'm joining Service Space because ... I feel at my best when I am surrounded by folks who live their lives with compassion, kindness, mindfulness, and wisdom
A good day to me is when ... I gratefully receive the gifts I have already been given
My hero in life is ...anyone who compassionately works to transform suffering (their own and others) into wisdom...
My favorite book is ...The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success
One thing I'm grateful for is ... this moment
Jun 01, 2020, 1 comments, 22 smiles My sixth grader wrote a letter to our local police department about George Floyd, race relations and police policies. It was dropped off today. Even though I have similar questions as he, when they come from a child they somehow seem immensely more poignant. Dear Ross Police Officers How are you? I hope you are handling this well. I am writing to ask you a few questions. Throughout the riots about George Floyd's death, I have been meaning to write to you about something. How do you protect against crime in our town without letting race be involved? How do you make Black Amercians feel welcome in a town where they are a minority? How do you not let any form of racism stop you from protecting fairly? I've been feeling like our town's lack of diversity means we have to be careful about making sure we are kind and welcome to all. I feel like there are corrupt and racist police officers out there. I hope I can make a difference by sending this letter. One last question, what can I do? Thank you for reading. Best, Jonah Jai Nessel
Jul 24, 2019, 1 comments, 21 smiles How would a ServiceSpace volunteer approach philanthropy? I’ve been pondering this question ever since attending a Gandhi 3.0 retreat in early 2017. Prior to ServiceSpace, I operated in a culture that saw finances as *the* essential form of capital required to initiate societal changes. At the time, I felt that if only the right people in the right places had sufficient money, the world would be a better place. Over the years of immersing myself into a gift-ecology, however, has enhanced my presence to various forms of wealth that I often overlooked and underappreciated. Alternate forms of capital -- like spirit-wealth of gratitude, equanimity and surrender; or service-wealth of acts of kindness and giftivism; or community-wealth, such as relationships and compassion -- have an architecture of abundance, regeneration and flow. I’ve seen how deepening in any one can create a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone; tending to those specific branches naturally ... Read Full Story
Apr 24, 2019, 3 comments, 17 smiles Over three decades ago, at age twelve, I was walking on the Venice Beach Boardwalk while on vacation with my family. A man had set up a booth of sorts along the boardwalk showing in graphic detail how “food animals” are caged and confined, separated from their families, physically abused and eventually slaughtered. I carefully read most of the literature at his table. About thirty minutes later, I went on with my carefree vacation and my merry life, seemingly unaffected. Fast forward to eleven years later. I’m now 23 and living in California, walking down that same stretch of beach. Looking about a hundred feet ahead, in the same location, I see the same guy in the same booth! I didn’t need to approach the booth because in that moment, everything I saw a decade earlier suddenly hit me. I realized that, by the choices I was currently making, I was perpetuating ... Read Full Story
May 25, 2018, 2 comments, 14 smiles [What's the best advice you've ever received? Here's what 24-year-old CEO of GiveTide, Pete Ghiorse, posted on Quora. --Ari] One day a few months ago, in the very early days of my business, I had a call with a man named Birju Pandya. We began the conversation by exchanging “hello’s.” Then Birju said, “Peter, before calls like these, I like to start with a minute of silence.” “Oh…Okay!” I replied. There was something about the way he said it that caught me off guard. It was powerful and confident, yet calming. Over the next 60 seconds, my thoughts would relax, only to be shaken by the fears and worries that dominated my thinking at that time in my life. A minute later, “So how can I help you today Peter?” Maybe it was that 60 seconds of silence. Perhaps it was my frazzled state of mind. Something about that moment made me feel comfortable. I felt it ... Read Full Story
May 22, 2018, 8 comments, 22 smiles This past Saturday my wife, Rebecca, was taking my son Jonah and a few friends put-put golfing to celebrate 🎉 his 11th lap around the sun. On the way there he saw a man with a sign asking for help. Jonah, feeling concerned for the man, immediately asked Rebecca to do something. She could read between the lines that it didn’t feel right to him that he’d be off celebrating with his friends while this man seemed unsupported. Rebecca told Jonah that she didn’t even know that money was what the man really needed. However, if Jonah wanted, on Monday (his real birthday), after school we could go do something to support people in a similar situation. Jonah felt much better thinking there was something he could do and agreed to the suggestion. https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOkG3cNaLhh4kGyZFgPtlMD4hVEEFL57WBWUBYK So this morning, his real birthday, Jonah reminded us what his birthday wish was, to help others. ... Read Full Story
Aug 27, 2017, 4 comments, 18 smiles "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened." --Anatole France I am used to the pleasant sounds that await me when I go by our chicken coop and chicken run beside our home. Each day the chickens will follow me from the outdoor run area into the coop to greet me. One of Popsicles (our name for the white hens) jumps up and down excitedly to see me. Red, the only one of nine that isn't white, lets's me pet here gently along her backside. All of them await me earnestly. This wasn't always the case. These girls were all rescued from egg farms where they spent the first two years of their lives in an area the size of a piece of paper with no access to the outdoors and no opportunity to exhibit any of their natural behavior. When they each arrived, they cowered ... Read Full Story
Jul 04, 2017, 3 comments, 8 smiles A couple of weeks ago I shared about a meditation retreat for activists I helped put together. During and after the retreat Tejas Doshi captured the experience on film in a way that demonstrated the depth of his own heart. This labor of love project will not only be a way for the participants to remember the experience, but it can be shared with other activist communities, such that they will long to match their capacity for inner peace with their need for outer peace. Who would have thought that such an inner experience could be captured so skillfully from the outside? In addition to this, Anne-Marie, Birju, Rahul and Bela created decorated name tags for rooms and inspiring quotes to place around the retreat center, shuttled participants to the animal sanctuary afterwards, and even gifted them necklaces with a medallion spelling the word "peace" in multiple languages. All of these offerings were another reminder to me of the support and friendships I have gained from being part of the Service Space community. Such a blessing in my life! FAAM Retreat.mp4 - Google Drive No Description Found
Jun 20, 2017, 6 comments, 19 smiles Earlier this year I was gifted a magical experience at Gandhi 3.0. Throughout my time at the gathering, along with my entire time spent with these love warriors in other parts of India, I felt like I was being carried by a cloud of kindness. I knew I would never be able to pay back the gift. Then again, I also knew that paying them back would be actually antithetical to what was offered. These love magicians were not seeking to receive back what they offered to me and others. Instead, I believe they longed for the seed which they planted to become an an inquiry around how we can similarly step into supporting and taking care of others in need in such a way. Lucky for me, the opportunity arrived a few weeks ago when I helped gather together a group of 38 animal rights advocates for a 5 day ... Read Full Story
May 31, 2017, 4 comments, 9 smiles Dear friends, this week I received the final cut of a ten minute documentary Animal Equality made about my trip to Mexico with them. While there are a couple of difficult to watch scenes, the video mostly captures me speaking of my experience and insights around bearing witness first hand to the animal agricultural system. This adventure allowed me to see just how powerful this intention of bearing witness to the suffering of others is with my own personal transformation. It is my hope that by watching this you not only understand my heart more deeply, but connect into your own heart more deeply as well.