I'm joining Service Space because ... life led me here.
A good day to me is when ... my heart is open and at peace.
My hero in life is ...a Chinese peasant who birthed me.
My favorite book is ...Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) by Lao-tzu at this moment.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... my free time to ponder over life.
Aug 27, 2017, 11 smiles On Saturday, a small group of us took the ferry from Larkspur in Marin to San Francisco to join the Love-Fest (themed "Peace, Love, and Understanding"). Inspired by the Kindness Rock painting that we did at the Kindness Circle at SF Waldorf High School this past Thursday, we painted some Love Rocks to give away at the Love-Fest. :) Bay Area musician Michael Franti inspired the crowd to sing, to dance, and to link arms with his heartfelt and love-provoking words and music, despite all our differences on the surface. People received our love rocks with great joy and even tears. "You Matter." "Trust Love." "Unleash Your Superpower." "Be the Change." "Love Rocks!" "Together, We Rock!" It was quite a Love-Fest!
Jul 31, 2017, 2 comments, 7 smiles [I was greatly moved by this story written by a Chinese writer, ZHAO Haining. I felt inspired to translate it into English. It's a story of an illiterate peasant mother who helped and transformed many lives with small acts of kindness and her willingness to give when she lived. At her funeral, the line of people who attended was so long that it queued from one end of the village to the other. She reminds me of the essence of my own mother.] To Receive is To Give（舍得） By ZHAO Haining Ten years after my father died, under my half begging and half forcing, my mother finally agreed to come to Zhengzhou to live with me—her youngest daughter. That year, she was 70, and I was 40. As age shrank her skinny one-and-half-meter-tall body by a few centimeters, she looked even smaller. But her face still looked bright and clean with few ... Read Full Story
Jun 14, 2017, 19 comments, 10 smiles I visit my family in China at least every other year. My mother always saves in the freezer the food that I’ve missed while I was gone, such as soybeans from spring, shrimp from summer, water chestnuts from previous fall, and the dumplings from the previous Chinese New Year’s dinner. “You were the only one who wasn’t home. I’ve been waiting for you to come home; if you eat the dumplings, it would be as if you’d never left,” Mother said. Last year Mother was very pleased that I would stay home for the New Year after being absent during the New Year for the past 12 years. But she and I struggled with my vegan diet because I had to reject many dishes that she had loved to make for me. It was also hard for my other relatives to understand: “How can you get enough protein?” “Vegan food is ... Read Full Story
May 22, 2017, 12 comments, 13 smiles About six months ago, I landed in Shanghai on my way to live with my parents for five months in Yancheng, four hours northwest of Shanghai. I arrived with a strong intention--letting go of my old perceptions about China, where I was born and raised and had lived until after college, seeing everything with new eyes, integrating different parts of myself that have lived on either side of the Pacific, and giving sincere thanks to my family, especially my parents, who made my human life possible. Also, for the first time, I began to consciously look for kindness wherever I went. In Shanghai, as I walked in narrow alleys, crossed busy streets, or interacted with breakfast vendors, I wanted to see beyond the masks of indifference, distrust, or even rudeness; I wanted to connect with the human hearts beneath those masks that might be lonely, wounded, and longing to connect. ... Read Full Story
May 07, 2017, 1 comments, 12 smiles Small Moments in Life I've been back to California for a month after five months in China. Yes, there are many moments that have greatly impacted me, but I don't know where I should start. This morning, Pavi's sharing inspired me. Small moments are big! Mundane moments like waiting at a print store can be transformed into a memorable moment if we treat each moment as an opportunity to dive deeper into life. I began to think of the small moments that had sweetly touched my heart. The brief eye contact with a burned-faced man on the subway in Shanghai, the quiet moment when I clipped my grandma's nails, the smile on my parents' faces when they washed their feet in one water basin before bed, the stranger who helped me carry my luggage down the long stairs at the station, the spontaneous conversation with a young man who traveled across China ... Read Full Story
Nov 11, 2016, 2 comments, 6 smiles In the dark, there is a beautiful, yet fragile, seed, longing for connection, freedom, joy, and that unspeakable unconditional love. That longing is so deep and so pure that the tiny seed sings in the dark its natural melody to its inborn rhythm and dreams of coming out to see the Sun. The seed begins to take root, but the hard ground of “convenience” and “norm” prevents it from breaking through. Day after day, the invisible force works its wonder, making the seed stronger and stronger. One day, the seed sprouts through the ground and sees the sunlight for the first time! She dances in the wind with so much joy. But a gust of wind that grew out of fear and greed, reinforced by shame and sense of feeling not enough breaks her... That seed is sent back down, weeping in a dungeon where is dark and cold. “I’m not worthy of ... Read Full Story
Nov 03, 2016, 4 comments, 12 smiles A little over a month ago, I decided to live in China for five months to help my mother take care of my father who suffers from late-stage Parkinson's Disease. Several days ago, I flew out from San Francisco and landed in Shanghai, where I rested for one day before I headed home. As I walked in narrow alleys in Shanghai, or crossed busy streets, or interacted with breakfast vendors, my heart desired to jump out to connect with all the seemingly indifferent faces that I saw. I wanted to see beyond the masks of indifference, distrust, or even rudeness because I know the human hearts beneath those masks are lonely, wounded, and longing to connect. I boarded the subway train with heavy luggage and sat down in an empty seat. A man with a severely burned face walked by with a begging bowl, followed by a blind man who played the ... Read Full Story
Aug 27, 2016, 3 comments, 5 smiles I spent 10 days in July at Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects (WTR) intensive workshop. Now Joanna Macy’s teachings, the Elm Dance, the poetry, the silence, and the deep connections we experienced over a month ago are encapsulated like a crystal ball, hung right in front of me. It’s so close, yet it seems unreachable. Thankfully, I found time to review my notes from the book Coming Back to Life and to reflect further. THE GREAT TURNING In this time, the most commonly held stories seem to boil down to three, three different lenses through which we see and live our own reality. As humans, we are blessed with the ability to make choices; and we can choose the story that we want to live by. Business As Usual is the story of the Industrial Growth Society, forever profiting from the Earth and from each other. There is little need to change the way we live and all difficulties ... Read Full Story
Aug 10, 2016, 1 comments, 8 smiles Being involved in ServiceSpace community has propelled me to think more deeply about community building. But by living and practicing day by day in a community like Casa de Paz has brought my sense of community to a whole new level. Happily, I accepted my book report assignment on Joyfully Together—The Art of Building a Harmonious Community by Thich Nhat Hanh. The book consists of innovative practices inspired by Buddhist traditions. Below are some highlights from the book that have left a mark in my consciousness. Sangha A Sangha is a community of people who walks the path of liberation together. The Sangha building practices are even more important than studying the sutras, practicing sitting meditation, listening to Dharma talks, or attending Dharma discussions. The best way of building the Sangha is to turn ourselves into positive elements of the Sangha body by the way we walk, stand, sit or lie down ... Read Full Story
Jun 27, 2016, 7 smiles Nature Walk Walking through nature guided by someone who is attuned to nature’s whisper is a treasure. We draw attention to the small bird’s nest under the exposed tree root near the creek bank, the unknown droppings on a broken branch, the dried silk cocoon hidden in fallen leaves, the grain-shell pile near the entrance of a busy ant farm, the startled birds’ calling, and the occasional crow’s cry. They are all nature’s calls to us, “Attention, please.” How much unknown we take for granted at each moment! Only such a tiny iceberg we notice in life that we can only live in awe with a lifelong wonder of why and how... Leaning against a madrone tree, I thought I would tell it my life story, but nothing comes out except tears. My shoes, shirt, jacket, and my body are all gifts. What did I do to deserve all these gifts? What ... Read Full Story