About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ...

A good day to me is when ...

My hero in life is ...

My favorite book is ...

One thing I'm grateful for is ...


NYC Boasts Silent Meal :)

Oct 18, 2013, 6 smiles NYC restaurant offers silent four-course meal, to promote meditative dining experience Quiet, please. Your dinner will now be served. That's the message being sent to customers at a New York City restaurant that prohibits any talking during an occasionally put-on $40 prix fixe, four-course meal.

Jenny Shares ...

Oct 16, 2011 My daughter Delilah and I spent a few hours yesterday at the Gowanus Open Studios, an annual weekend event here in Brooklyn in which some 120 local artists invite the public to view their work. As D. and I embarked on our tour, we were referred to a table blanketed with artists' business cards and promotional materials. And amidst the noise and voices of so many worthy, creative people crying out to be heard, what caught my attention in a corner of the table is this: six rows of colored pieces glass, each the size of a large button, their backs hand-written in silver in a language I didn't understand. A small sign below said, "Please take one." We never got to the studio of the artist who offered the glass, but as my own piece sits by a window and catches the sun while I prepare breakfast today, I'm reminded anew that my life's transformative moments have occurred in the face of generosity simply presenting itself. I can only say thank you, and do as the glass-maker has done.

Pablo Neruda On The Plane

Aug 08, 2011, 6 comments, 3 smiles Yesterday, on encountering an unexpected delay on the tarmac at O'Hare, I was reminded how our actions hold the opportunity to palpably influence the actions of others. While many of my fellow passengers involuntarily reached for their cell phones and began texting or speaking, the man next to me took from his bag a journal and a book of poetry and began to peacefully read and write. As it happened, I had a journal and a book of poetry tucked into my own bag, and his action strengthened my choice to bypass my cell phone and do as he was doing. Over the ensuing hour, I also looked out my window at the rain, then at the sun, summoned the courage to ask the passenger in front of me to turn his cellphone to "vibrate" in order to spare the rest of the cabin from the ceaseless ping of incoming texts, and noticed--in this grand pause afforded by a small decision--that my fellow passenger was reading the same poet as I: Pablo Neruda. We laughed and shared. His choice was my gift.

Jenny Shares ...

Jun 23, 2011 For years, a neighbor of mine here in Park Slope, Brooklyn expressed a passing interest in partaking of a Wednesday meditation. About six months ago, Joe showed up--and hasn't missed an evening sit since. Here's a just-received note from him: "Just wanted to once again say thank you for sponsoring [one of the NYC] Wednesday meditations. The effect of these evenings continues to reverberate through my soul. Something very unique and special is being created here and I know I am not alone in my sentiments when I say that the benefits have been greatly appreciated. A whole lot of healing is going on. Rock on, soul sister!" So easy to give, so easy to receive.

A Blind Date Ripple :)

Jun 07, 2011, 2 comments, 1 smiles Last week, I was set up on a blind date with a man about my age (47) who until a few years ago was host of a well-known public radio show on culture and the arts. I was ambivalent about going; a friend, knowing I'm on the lookout for work, suggested the date could prove useful to me. The man and I met at a Lower East Side bar at the appointed hour, and I could sense immediately that he was somehow distressed. I made a decision to simply be present to whatever life wanted to happen, and shortly thereafter found myself sharing the experience of my 10-day Vipassana sit. After an hour and a half or so, the man and I parted on a street corner outside. "I want to let you know that you may have changed my life tonight," he said. I skipped away with a renewed understanding that all I really want to do is keep my own personal lens clean so that I can be a vessel--and that life will then take care of the rest. (p.s. The man emailed me today to say he'd just been accepted at his 1st 10-day.)

A Mitzvah Moment At Costco

Jun 04, 2011, 2 comments, 1 smiles This afternoon my mom and I went shopping at Costco, and after passing through the register stopped at a row of vending machines to purchase a bottle of water. It soon became apparent that the machines weren't accepting dollar bills, as evidenced by my own lack of success with one, along with that of a middle-aged woman standing next to me. Fishing into my wallet for coins, I purchased bottles of water for her and myself---and handed her one. She tried to pay me a dollar and I lightly declined, telling her that the water was easily and happily a gift. The woman paused for a moment, looked me in the eyes, teared up and then said: "I want you to know that you've done a mitzvah. Two months ago, my daughter--just about your age--passed away. And since that time I've been overwhelmed by moments of kindness." The woman opened up her arms to embrace me in a huge lingering hug, and there stood two strangers by the vending machines of a random suburban Costco in complete bliss!

Jenny Shares ...

Apr 20, 2011 "Thank You for Our Marriage, Thank You for Our Divorce": my first HuffPo blog, just posted this morning, in which I express gratitude, very specifically, to my exiting husband.... http://huff.to/hNWApA

Jenny Shares ...

Apr 01, 2011 Two delightful ripples that can happen when one practices generosity "just because," and which occurred in the aftermath of my deciding to spend the month of March volunteering with India's Shanti Bhavan School: 1) my friend and neighbor Vanessa became infected by my excitement and is now also here to make a documentary film about the place. (It can't hurt that she won an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary Film three years ago.) 2) A lovely Mumbai-based filmmaker who sent me a spontaneous email expressing his gratitude for Karmatube is now serving as the documentary's second cameraman!

Jenny Shares ...

Mar 28, 2011 A month ago, I came to Shanti Bhavan--a boarding school in India's Tamil Nadu region serving its most impoverished children---to be a volunteer teacher of creative writing. And as I wind down my time here, I realize it's the kids here who have truly taught ME: to be my most fiercely generous, and to summon beauty, fortitude and resilience in the face of challenging personal circumstances. I am humbled, and I am free....

Jenny Shares ...

Mar 17, 2011 "Blossoming Through Shared Suffering:" Beautiful blog entry on acts of random kindness in Japan following the tsunami.... http://bit.ly/gHZflq