I'm joining Service Space because ... It was thanks to the hidden ways of things leading to my meeting Nipun.
A good day to me is when ... I find myself present to this miracle of being alive
My hero in life is ...Hard to single out one
My favorite book is ...Nearly all of Henry Miller's books and essays. Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil. Many of the writings of Laurens Van Der Post. And there are so many others.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... There are so many things. Having so many noble friends is a big one.
Mar 10, 2017, 1 comments, 8 smiles [My friend, John, came to an Awakin Circle for the first time this week, and shared a beautiful story. I thought some of might enjoy it too.] My name is John, and I'm here for the first time. Thank you so much for this time, sitting together and the stories. I was reminded of a story -- a true story that actually happened to me. I went to New York for a special interview with the hopes of this wonderful result for me, advancement and good things. So I had this interview. The man interviewing me, instead of offering me this position, disrespected me and even accused me of dishonesty! This was the complete opposite of what I had dreamed on the way to this interview. I was so angry and left with a purple cloud around me. Just a few minutes later, I was on the subway just thinking about what I'd do ... Read Full Story
Oct 22, 2016, 12 smiles It's been my good fortune for many years now to be acquainted with ServiceSpace's weekly Awakin Circle. The original circle began almost 20 years ago and has inspired many others around the world. Generally, the circles facilitate a rich quality of shared experience among the people in attendance, but from time to time a featured guest may show up and present his or her story and enter into an exchange with those in attendance. Over the years, remarkable people have regularly appeared in the living room where these circles began. Often they remain anonymous, but when I learned that Larry Brilliant would be sharing his story with us in a few days, I was quick to send in my rsvp. This was a man I'd heard about for decades, but knew very little about. The name, of course, stops one immediately. Was it a real name? And if so, how would one live ... Read Full Story
Apr 28, 2016, 12 comments, 24 smiles The amazing Yoo-Mi Lee. Read all about her. A while back Yoo-Mi agreed to an interview and finally, it has been posted. As I said in a brief introduction, when I first met Yoo-Mi I was much impressed by her intelligence and self-possession. That's never wavered and other wonderful aspects have been added to my awareness over the years. It's such a pleasure to share this interview.
Mar 16, 2016, 8 smiles Last night I went to hear Mary Evelyn Tucker talk at the Brower Center. She’s the co-director of the Yale Forum for Religion and Ecology. Here’s a short video of her speaking. It was quite an evening. There were maybe 60 people in the audience and I’d guess that half of them were already engaged in some form of working on behalf of the environment and the others all having a strong wish to be serving the greater good in one way or another. What attracted me is Tucker’s work at Yale. For several years, it’s seemed to me that a spiritual component in our approach to environmental sustainability is essential. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that in all traditional cultures, a vision of the sacred always underlies any understanding of human life and the realities of the natural world. I got to briefly meet Ursula Goodenough, Sacred ... Read Full Story
Mar 07, 2016, 1 comments, 9 smiles It was gratifying to see the Manuel Klarmann interview on DailyGood yesterday. And even more gratifying to see the way it's clicking with people. It's a good example of the ripple effect and how something that seems small can actually be big, although I hesitate even to mention the word "big" which can carry us off in the wrong direction so easily. It's a long interview and I wondered if it might just be too tedious to wade through even though it contains, in my opinion, a remarkably bright, shining ...what? Well, you can pick your own word--"hope" comes to mind.
Feb 22, 2016, 5 comments, 11 smiles Earlier I shared a few excerpts from an interview I did while I was at Vaidyagrama near Coimbatore. I hadn't planned to do any interviews, but two things happened. First, I was much impressed by the place and the people, and second, I happened to meet one of the founding visionaries, Dr. Ramkumar Kutty, and to learn something about the vision behind Vaidyagrama. The combination was so inspiring I felt I had to ask Dr. Ramkumar for an interview. He accepted on the condition it wouldn't be about him. Well, I accepted thinking, "How is this going to work?" Fortunately, after some negotiating, Dr. Ramkumar accepted to have his name appear. I have no background in Ayurveda, but am grateful to Dr. Eduardo Cardona for his persuasive campaign to get me to India for a direct experience of what Dr. Ramkumar describes as authentic Ayurveda. Here's the link to a very interesting interview.
Feb 10, 2016, 3 comments, 15 smiles One of the most rewarding experiences I had in India while I was at Vaidyagrama was getting to interview one of its founding visionaries, Dr. Ramkumar. I’ve just been going over that interview and here are a few excerpts… I asked him was the British influence in India had been very destructive for Ayurveda. He said the biggest changes have taken place in the cities, but that “still today 70% to 80% of India uses some form of traditional medicine, that is lay medicine, herbal medicine, grandma's medicine, folk medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy. All these systems together take care of 70% to 80% of India's health needs currently.” And that “in the far-flung regions, 80% of deliveries in India are conducted by traditional birth attendants. 80% to 85% of snakebites in India are treated by traditional healers. 80% of fractures in India are taken care of by traditional bone-setters. So while Western ... Read Full Story
Jan 27, 2016, 3 comments, 19 smiles At the end of last year, I spent three weeks in India, in a place called Vaidyagrama [Punarnava Ayurvedic Trust]. It’s near Coimbature. I went for an Ayurvedic cleanse, something I’d never even heard of two years ago. Well, one never knows what kinds of influences can appear in one’s life. There are a number of highlights. I got to meet Ragu and Nisha, [Seeds + Transformation] which was a great treat. Ragu and Nisha are farming organically -- inspired, as I understand it, by Fukuoka’s radical “do nothing” method of farming. Quite unexpectedly, Ragu and Nisha are friends with the people who founded Vaidyagrama and live nearby. It’s not exactly surprising, given Punarnava’s mission: to create an eco-friendly, green, sustainable community based on Ayurveda and natural farming outside Coimbatore. Near the end of my stay, an international conference on Ayurveda was convening sponsored by Vaidyagrama. Five hundred people were expected from ... Read Full Story
Nov 16, 2015, 1 comments, 14 smiles Not long ago I published issue #30 of works & conversations and just minutes ago issue #35 of the conversations newsletter was just posted. It feels like a time for a little reflection. It's been quite a journey--and continues to be. Connecting with Nipun and Servicespace [Charityfocus] almost nine years ago was the doorway into this astonishing community. I have to thank Paul Van Slambrouck for getting us together. The kind of nourishment that has come from meeting each one of you, the people in this community, is priceless and such an enrichment. It's the experience of the abundance of the gift[s] that circulate.Much gratitude to all...
May 27, 2015, 2 comments, 13 smiles [Excerpt from Jacob Needlman's book, What is God?, that I thought some of you may appreciate. Also excited about his Awakin Call on Saturday.] The year is 1943. I am nine years old. It is dark night, full summer in Philadelphia, hot, humid. I am aware that my father is sitting outside on the front steps. We have only just moved into these small rooms on this spare, newly constructed street pretentiously named Park Lane. The street is an island of low-rent apartments in a sea of wealth: leafy streets, large, gracious old houses -- and all embraced by Philadelphia's incomparable Fairmount Park with its stretches of untamed forest and its rushing, mystical Wissahickon Creek. I go down the thinly carpeted stairs and gingerly open the screen door, trying not to disturb my father's silence. I had thought to walk up the street into the sweet air of the park presence. But this time, I ... Read Full Story