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.
Oct 28, 2018, 2 comments, 13 smiles [What a sweet surprise to see Pavi and Viral at DRBU the day before our weeklong Guanyin Retreat! I rarely saw them even when I lived in the Bay. Pavi asked if I had any recent writing, and I mentioned the poem that I wrote on death, which was prompted by a recent death in the extended CTTB community. An accident on Talmage Road (near CTTB) on 14 September 2018, killed Xamuel Lara, a 34-year-old organic farmer, activist, mentor and leader, who was on his way biking to CTTB to visit one classmate in our Classical Chinese class. Sophie knocked on my door one late evening, and shared what she witnessed at the end of the evening ceremony in the Buddha Hall--the wail of our classmate shook her deeply. I woke up early the next morning, thinking about that classmate and how she might be feeling in her deep sorrow, ... Read Full Story
Oct 20, 2018, 2 comments, 12 smiles It's been two months since I came to study at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. Every day, I feel grateful, knowing that many things that happen here will take a long time to really sink in within me. Though I'm not ready to share my experience here in more details, I'd like to share some writing exercises that I did for a class. :) These writing exercises consist of my incomplete thoughts, but the prompts may inspire you to write your own reflections. :) Prompt 1: What “authorities and tools” do you rely on and use to decide whether something is true or false, to be accepted or rejected, to be believed or doubted? How do I know if the source, from which I receive information, is “legitimate” or not? Habitually, I tended to accept things that made sense to me with the knowledge that I’d gained through my formal education. But this ... Read Full Story
Jun 15, 2018, 1 comments, 6 smiles My most recent trip to China this year has forever transformed my relationship with China, where I was born and raised, and had lived until my mid-twenties. In the past, visiting China often brought up my old shame of being a peasant's daughter, and aversion of the contemporary empty consumerism. During this trip, I met so many inspiring souls and was in constant awe of the vibrant life force that had led them to living their lives with such audacity and creativity. My old self-image and my view on China were renewed, again and again, in their refreshing presence. During one long phone call with brother Zilong while sitting on a swing chair in a courtyard in an ancient town in southern China, I couldn’t contain my overflowing joy and said “I wish I could just move back to China and live here now!” Though now I know that I’m ... Read Full Story
May 14, 2018, 2 comments, 3 smiles If we do everything with a noble intention, then everything we do is noble. Ask yourself three questions: Where are you? Where is really your home? What are you doing here? ----- Mu Deng Recently, we visited Crestone, a “spiritual vortex” in Colorado, with a group of Chan practitioners from China. How incredible it was to be exposed to such concentrated wisdom in a small mountain town with a population of less than 150! Being immersed in the true harmony among different world religions, spiritual practices, and conscious organizations was truly a treasurable rare experience! How profound it was to receive Chinese Chan teaching while absorbing teachings from all the wisdom traditions that we encountered! May such a vibrant and open-hearted spiritual community continue to evolve to its full potential for generations to come. The Crestone Prophecy Crestone is situated in the northern part of the San Luis Valley, a sacred land of natural ... Read Full Story
Apr 26, 2018, 2 comments, 10 smiles A few months back, I met Grace at an Awakin Circle at Banyan Grove, and was deeply charmed and moved by her wisdom, compassion, humility, and -- well -- grace. :) When I learned that a film had been made about her journey, I knew it'd be a gift to screen it in the community. Little did I know that Bradley had a similar thought after meeting Grace a year or two back! And many others shared the same idea! With many invisible hands helping behind the scene, the first film screening at Banyan Grove flowed organically on April 15, as bunch of us gathered in the new zendo on a sunny rainy day in West Marin. After the screening of States of Grace, the audience interacted enthusiastically during the Q&A session with Grace and the filmmaker, Mark! As the event invite read: The film captures the profound transformation of Dr. Grace ... Read Full Story
Apr 25, 2018, 1 comments, 11 smiles What a sweet and joyful way to start off my second week at Banyan Grove! I got on a road trip with Fab, Audrey, and Chris, to go with Nimo to The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB). For some reason, I thought it was the first time that I met Nimo in person; in fact, it was the third time. But it felt like the first time as I was able to see more deeply, the playfulness and thoughtfulness, the liveliness and stillness, dancing freely in him. Before we hit the road, Ari and Birju, who came by Banyan Grove for a meeting, saw us off. Driving through “the most beautiful place in the world,” as Fab would put it, from West Marin to Petaluma, we were in constant awe of such lush natural beauty. Whichever direction we looked, it was a potential postcard shot. Look! There came Fab’s favorite ... Read Full Story
Apr 17, 2018, 2 comments, 20 smiles Returning from China a week ago, I arrived at Banyan Grove four days ago. At the door, Fab, a yogi and a top-notch guitar-maker, now the current campus anchor, gave me a hug and a heart pin, and said, “Welcome home, Xiao.” Simple words, but went straight to the heart. This is home on so many levels. First, it's a home of generosity. Everything is a gift here, from the land to the toilet paper, from polenta to sunflower seeds, from smile cards to pictures on the wall…. And on a cold morning, the warm toilet seats could bring tears to your eyes! Though many more gifts are invisible to eyes of flesh, I can feel them in the air. Here are some “firsts” that I had the honor to witness and experience at Banyan Grove in the past several days. 'States of Grace'—First Film Screening at Banyan Grove Last Sunday, Banyan ... Read Full Story
Apr 11, 2018, 2 comments, 12 smiles [During my recent trip to China, I met a Chan Buddhist Master, Mu Deng, who, along with 30 disciples, is building a Chan Buddhist temple and Chan cultural center in Xilai, a small ancient town in Southwest China. Her lively and peaceful presence is rare to see in this world, and the community of over 30 Chan practitioners, mostly in their 20s and 30s, was filled with openness, love, and joy. Among them, I felt open, alive, and happy. After leaving Xilai, I began to pay more attention to all the details in life. Truly, life is to be lived gracefully, from moment to moment. Below I translated the story of Mu Deng. Bow with hands together, Xiaojuan] (Note: Chan is a tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, originated from India, developed in China, then spread to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, commonly known as Zen.) Chan Master Mu Deng Before Age 29.... She didn’t have any religious beliefs, ... Read Full Story
Jan 10, 2018, 1 comments, 5 smiles [Taking Capra Course was one of the most mind-opening learning experiences for me in 2017. It's an online course taught by Fritjof Capra based on his book--The Systems View of Life, which will certainly inspire more people to apply systems thinking in their organizations, corporations, and governments, and in all aspects of our lives. It can help unify series of social movements, such as the environmental and ecological movement, the feminine movement, the peace (non-violent) movement, the racial justice movement, and the holistic health movement, etc. Also through Capra's teaching, I understood conceptually how ServiceSapce ecosystem has been able to grow through relationships and networks and why ServiceSpace continuously holds space and circles for emergent questions and projects. Later last year, Fritjof Capra generously accepted our invitation to be on our Awakin Call in March this year. Deep gratitude for his generosity and humility, his love for teaching, and his gift ... Read Full Story
Nov 26, 2017, 7 smiles ( August 5, 2016) At Casa de Paz Awakin Circle in Oakland, Hiromi shared a story about her grandma, who was 83. When Hiromi visited her grandma some years ago, her grandma took her to the garden and pointed to the trees, said, "You planted those trees. Do you remember?" Hiromi didn't remember. She had been away from her hometown for years, studying and traveling to places afar. She had forgotten that she had planted those trees when she was a child. Her grandma continued, "When I die, you do not need to remember me. Remember these trees that you've planted."