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 ...


Harshida Aunty's Meal Plan: Wednesday-night Soul Food

Sep 14, 2020, 7 comments, 10 smiles Every Wednesday night, without fail, for more than two decades, Harshida Aunty – along with a rotating cast of selfless volunteers – have served up savory soul food for Awakin Circle attendees at the Mehta's home in Santa Clara. Imagine the intentionality that has gone into acquiring, scrubbing, cutting, slicing, dicing and cooking the few hundred thousand vegetables that went into preparing these savory meals over the years. Imagine the challenge of serving the various dishes warm from a residential kitchen, when the Circles are unpredictable in both length and size. Imagine all the glasses, plates, bowls, forks, spoons and knives that were washed, dried and stored away again until the process starts anew in a few days. Karma yoga and bhakti yoga commingling in a bowl of delicious dal for hungry ghosts. Is this not the highest form of sadhana? In one of the parables shared two millennia ago by Yeshua (aka ... Read Full Story

A Tale Of Two T’s

Aug 07, 2020, 7 smiles Each Friday, following the weekly book discussion in the ServiceSpace intern program, Tanvi, one of the interns, had encouraged us to draw upon some inspiration from the book we’ve read to seed an actionable item. Week two’s book was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. In Thomas’ book, the 16-year-old protagonist, Starr Carter, attempts to navigate between the identity she assumes at home in a predominantly-black and impoverished neighborhood, and the persona she assumes at her affluent, mostly-white private school. The discussion, skillfully led by Sonya, spurred a number of the interns to share stories around their own challenges in bridging cultural identities. Tanvi shared how she had mostly given up on trying to get people to pronounce her name correctly, which caused me to blurt out that just two days earlier I had been asking Vishesh, her internship mentor, how to properly say her name. Alas, a little back and ... Read Full Story

Back To Where We All Came From

Jun 11, 2020, 3 comments, 13 smiles [Some reflections that came up in last night's Awakin Circle, on the passage: Inclining Toward Freedom, Even Through Imperfections.] One of the practices that I've found instrumental in bridging the apparent gap between 'awakening and not awakening" is to map any angst, anger, confusion, or unease in me to conscious gratitude. So if I come across an article, a video, or have a conversation that causes me to become upset, the second I recognize that agitation, I say, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." And this effectively interrupts the conditioned narratives that would normally play itself out, and its concomitant narrow focus, and allows a vastly more panoramic menu of possible reactions to appear. For example, earlier today, a friend from the LA Awakin Circle shared on Facebook, a comment that was made on his petition to have a Ku Klux Klansman's name removed from a governmental building in the city of Fullerton. While ... Read Full Story

Song At Awakin: Door Of My Heart

May 17, 2020, 5 comments, 20 smiles Couple Awakin Circles back, I mentioned a story from India. It featured a young woman from Austria, now living in Salt Lake City. The Wednesday after that, Jordyn actually joined our circle. At the tail end of that circle, the hosts discovered that she sings! And lo and behold, last week, she closed our circle with a song offering -- while I played on thumb-paino, that she had gifted me a long while back. Many asked for the recording, so here it is: Your browser does not support the audio element. It's a song by the great sage, Paramhansa Yogananda, titled 'Door of my Heart'. Door of my heart, open wide I keep for Thee. Wilt Thou come, wilt Thou come? Just for once, come to me? Will my days fly away without seeing Thee, my Lord? Night and day, night and day, I look for Thee night and day.

A Holi Gram.

Mar 22, 2019, 1 comments, 6 smiles This is the first iteration of I know not what. Holi-Gram maybe. The general idea is to disrupt the recipient's day with a message from a total stranger, in the hopes it may inspire viewers to similarly break the traditional mold of familiarity. I love fostering unexpected connections. To paraphrase John Donne; I am involved in humankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the flute toots; it toots for thee ... When I first learned the featured flute player's name (Chandrapal, which means Master of the Moon), I burst into the lone Hindi song I know which makes reference to the moon — "Mere Samne Wali Khidi Mein" — causing the shopkeeper opposite the temple to start laughing uncontrollably. मेरे सामने वाली खिड़की में एक चांद का टुकड़ा रहता है अफ़सोस ये है के वो हमसे कुछ उखड़ा उखड़ा रहता है (In the window in front of me, Lives a piece of ... Read Full Story