About Me  

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.


Abundance Of Less: From Cornelius To Kogan!

Feb 28, 2019, 1 comments, 16 smiles [At a powerful New Story retreat recently, I was really touched Frank's flute performance, which I experienced viscerally with Shamanic overtones, as well as Cornelius's multiple performances. In a passing conversation with Cornelius, I told him about my friend, Andy Couturier, who had written a remarkable book titled 'Abundance of Less' in which he profiled a legendary flutist named Kogan Murata. And he just casually responds, "Oh Kogan? Yeah, I've played with him." Honestly, I was stunned. To give you a flavor, below is an excerpt on Kogan Murata.] "It was a complete coincidence," he tells me when I ask him now about coining to the path of playing the bamboo flute. "I had been totally inside the 'do-re-mi’ world of Western music all through my twenties. But in that house you first visited me in, one day by chance I heard the real sound of the shakuhachi on a classical ... Read Full Story

Conversations: HIdden Things That Glow

Jan 21, 2019, 5 smiles This month's 'Conversations' newsletter is themed HIdden Things That Glow. Having the opportunity to present a fresh issue of our newsletter always is always a lift. For me, spending time with our stories is like being fed. To start off with the newsletter’s new look, we have four special conversations. Just listening to Eduardo del Conde describing his journey into the world of Los Hombres del Arroz (the men of rice) was a rare gift... read more

Tea Leaves And Epiphytes...

Jun 24, 2018, 5 comments, 14 smiles I got a last-minute invite to join a small circle of individuals who were going to meet the next morning at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. It was good timing. At 9am I joined Rev. Heng Sure, Nipun, Audrey, Rev. Bonnie Rose from Ventura, Janessa Wilder (former CIA analyst and founder of the Euphrates Institute), Fran Faraz, (director of Peace Studies at Golden West College in SoCal), Sally Mahe, (one of the founders of United Religions Initiative, now with 900+ chapters in 105 countries!) and Jin Wei Bhikshu, the monk from Poland. Things got rolling pretty quickly and picked up energy from there. Rev. Heng added some fuel in the form of tea. Sitting at one end of the table, he was carefully setting out 10 cups. He held up a silvery bag to get our attention and announced, “This is a very special tea! A rare dragonwell that has never been ... Read Full Story

An Unforgettable Lesson On The Subway

Mar 10, 2017, 1 comments, 9 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

Transcript Of Larry Brillant's Remarkable Awakin Talk

Oct 22, 2016, 13 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

The Amazing Yoo-Mi Lee: An Interview

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. 

Last Night I Went To Hear ...

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

It Was Gratifying To See The ...

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.

Earlier I Shared A Few Excerpts ...

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. 

Dr. Ramkumar And Vaidyagrama's Authentic Ayurveda

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