I'm joining Service Space because ... I want to serve
A good day to me is when ... I am grounded in inner peace and in service
My hero in life is ...My favorite author is Thich Nhat Hanh
My favorite book is ...Thich Nhat Hanh
One thing I'm grateful for is ... The universe
Dec 26, 2019, 3 comments, 24 smiles I am so happy to share with you the news about our first Karma Cafe in Vietnam. On Sunday Dec 15, from 6-9PM, our team started the Karma Cafe in the most crowded and commercial part of Ho Chi Minh City. The place was packed and filled with joy. I will update with a long story after, but for now, I just want to express my deepest gratitude for the guidance, inspiration and support from you all.
Feb 15, 2019, 7 comments, 15 smiles Our local community in Vietnam recently printed a 21-day challenge booklet in Vietnamese! On "21 Days of Opening the Heart". :) We had a beautiful gathering of volunteers and wrote the text together (children, farmers, students, teachers, aged from 7 to 67)! The drawings were made by one of our volunteers. We have printed 150 books for our local community so far, and people love them. I think of this ecosystem often, with so much gratitude for showing me the path and laddering!
Feb 01, 2019, 4 comments, 8 smiles Vietnam Update: Welcoming the Year of Pig 2019 Dear ServiceSpace friends, The Year of the Pig is coming. Here in Vietnam we are busy getting ready: cleaning the house, decorating the altar of worshipping ancestors, cooking and travelling to be with our families. For us, ServiceSpace is a home, a family, so we travel to be with you in spirit. After I came back from the September retreat at Banyan Grove, it was imperative that I share the experience with friends. So we all gathered at a beautiful eco resort near a national park. Almost all friends who were with Nipun in the May retreat in Vietnam came for the gathering. Some of us are “back-to the farm” and laddering the natural farming movement. Some of us work with youth. Some of us are full time volunteers who are engaged in local initiatives. I talked non-stop for almost 2 days (there was so much ... Read Full Story
Nov 30, 2018, 7 comments, 19 smiles [The experience of offering “University Without Walls” as a gift has been amazing. Below are some recent ripples, inspired by so many of you.] We started University Without Walls in 2014. It was a program to engage youth in community work, and to create an experience for reflection of their roles as future professionals. Over the years, the program added GNH (Gross National Happiness), mindfulness practices and lots of immersion in life in community, businesses and non-profit organizations. As we continued, we saw more and more the importance of inner transformation as a basis for any service/contribution that youth want to bring to the world. Having been exposed to ServiceSpace values since 2016, we decided this year to apply it “100 percent”. So we said no to our donor who had generously supported us. We wanted to offer the program as a gift. Six of our former participants signed up as volunteers ... Read Full Story
Nov 02, 2018, 1 comments, 12 smiles Our ecosystem in Vietnam has been quite a blooming garden. As Hang Mai anchors the rural communities, I focus on urban communities, particularly with youth. Having engaged in Laddership Circle two years back, hosting Awakin Circles in various cities, and learning from Nipun's memorable visit in May, we are now engaged in farming permaculture and social permaculture in so many different ways. There is no way to express gratitude in words for all this, so we just keep paying it forward. :) Below is a summary of some of the local activities. In May 2018, we held our first retreat of anchors around Vietnam with Nipun. They came from major cities in Vietnam (Hanoi, Sai Gon, Hue, Da Nang) and from the rural areas. In cities, our anchors engage with local communities in building playgrounds, school gardens and community gardens. In the rural areas, our anchors are "back-to-the farm" and engage in ... Read Full Story
Sep 18, 2018, 7 comments, 19 smiles [My 13 year-old daughter, Clara, is one of my biggest teachers. :) She recently was prompted to reflect on her journey in inner transformation -- and this is what she shared.] Growing up with activists as parents (or vice versa), it was the norm to be switching from global politics to - what I ate at school - to why some NGOs need to stop relying on donors so much to - “can we go to the beach tomorrow?”. I read whatever my parents read, from pretty early on and I guess that shaped me into who I am now and shaped my views of the world greatly. ~But my family was my world~, things were simple. Looking back, it probably was around 6th grade when I started really feeling overwhelmed by outer forces. I read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and my bubble burst. To be aware ... Read Full Story
Nov 26, 2016, 4 comments, 11 smiles Our Laddership Circle recently discussed multiple forms of wealth, and I was recently reminded of this project we did here in Vietnam that unveils how, "as we build the road, the road builds us." :) In my work, I love the challenge of doing without money or with minimal money. Few years ago, there is a project to build a city park that got delayed indefinitely because the town didn't have enough money. My group proposed to do it. We had raised only 10% of the planned budget. The town officials were very skeptical but agreed anyway. So we started by inviting a well-known architect who gave a very nice design which actually saved cost. We couldn't pay the architect, so we asked a hotel owner to donate free rooms for the architect's family during holidays. With a good design, we came around the town asking for donations of trees and plants. ... Read Full Story