About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... its good for me, its good for you, and its fun :-)

A good day to me is when ... I get to serve, sit, exercise, hug, listen, and love

My hero in life is ...Dr. V; and many of my friends!

My favorite book is ...The Great Disciples of Buddha; Autobiography of a Yogi

One thing I'm grateful for is ... I have a great idea about doing something beautiful

Finding Double Joy In Life

Apr 19, 2017, 15 smiles Though we’re not Catholics, we have a running tradition of giving up something for Lent, which we then try to carry through for the rest of the year. This year we eliminated every food that contained added sugar and replaced it with natural sugar through abundant fruit.  Fortunately, years ago we discovered the sweetest oranges around, “Song Hay” navel oranges-- which I’m told translates as “double joy” in Cantonese. They truly live up to the name, and every winter long before this sugar fast, we would anticipate their arrival and end up eating about 5 - 8 pounds a week at the height of orange season. This morning, I eagerly peeled a ‘Song Hay’ and took my first juicy bite—except it tasted tangy metallic with an undertone of bitter. The flavor distortion was courtesy of my toothpaste, whose artificial sweet makes other sweet things taste odd when eaten soon after brushing. ... Read Full Story

Hear The Homeless - During A Storm

Jan 24, 2017, 11 smiles A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of the biggest storm to hit the Bay Area in recent memory, a small-but-mighty group of love-warriors and changemakers gathered in Berkeley to offer sandwiches and warmth to those without homes. We began the day with a short meditation to remember and align with our deepest intentions. For many people, it’s easy to believe we are fundamentally different from the homeless. That our skills, smarts, and savviness keep us from ever having to endure the suffering of living on the streets. Yet when we dig deeply into the reality of the situation, the safety net that protects us from falling too far is our social networks. And I’m not talking about how many friends you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter. I’m talking about the people in our lives who are willing to extend us support, love, and inspiration when we’re both ... Read Full Story

Three Blessings And A Challenge

Nov 09, 2016, 8 comments, 16 smiles Six weeks ago, we were blessed to host Christine and Mathew for an inspiring talk about their 4,600 mile walking pilgrimage across India. What struck me most about this couple was the clarity and courage they have for their deepest values, and the rare vigor with which they pursue the highest version of themselves. Christine was raised as a strict Catholic, and Mathew in the Keralite Orthodox church that landed Christianity in India almost 400 years before it arrived in Rome. That strong traditional background didn’t blind them from recognizing the universal goodness expressed in the mission of the Walk of Hope, even when it came from a very different tradition like that of the Himalayan-trained Sufi Muslim who was organizing it. Another test came when Christine was offered a game-changing job promotion after her first month or so on the pilgrimage. It didn’t take her long to realize that ... Read Full Story

A Lesson In Love & Fear From A 3 Year Old

May 04, 2016, 5 comments, 25 smiles Last week my daughter’s pre-school had a ‘Career Day’ where they would be asking the little ones what they wanted to do when they got older. My daughter’s answer couldn’t have made me more proud-- but not for the usual reason that parents usually get happy about life choices :-) Just the idea of asking little kids what they want to do when they grow up seemed more than a little ridiculous to me. Why should they be in any hurry to grow up? What’s wrong with enjoying childhood by just being a child, totally innocent to the ways of the so-called adults? Yet school asked us to dress up our kid like the occupation she liked for Career Day. We decided to prepare by exploring the concept Uma held for her parents work. When Asha asked her if she knew what Mama’s job was, she said, “You go to the office.” ... Read Full Story

Whose Suffering Matters Less, And Why?

Feb 23, 2016, 6 comments, 29 smiles Our very own Doctor - Poet - Sriram Shamasunder recently gave a compelling TEDx talk tracing his own journey through poetry, medicine, and global health to arrive at co-founding the HEAL Initiative.  With nuanced themes of how narratives, race, poverty, power, and colonialism have cast their long shadows over our collective health, Sri's raw authenticity and anchored compassion are an inspiring light in the work to assure fewer deaths from preventable diseases in the most vulnerable communities in the world.  Check out the talk below:

Evening With Jayeshbhai Online

Nov 08, 2015, 1 comments, 17 smiles Few weeks ago, we felt blessed to host Jayeshbhai for an evening of heartful stories. He’s a man who lives on the other side of what was once a distant land for me: the place where one’s heart is at the center of every moment and service is the love-in-motion that flows from each step. While Jayeshbhai’s words are often simple, what is powerful about them is their harmony and rootedness in countless small steps he’s personally taken in a sustained continuity of gratefully loving service. His wisdom isn’t the kind that drops down from a Himalayan cave and inspires you to climb to a lofty place, but rather the kind that inspires you to bow to and dig deep for the ever present opportunities for connection in your life. To be in his field is to newly witness an ancient way to be and experience home. Those that missed the talk, and the dear friends from 'Across the Pond' that tagged us with audio equipment for future gatherings :-), can listen to the evening with Jayeshbhai online. May we all hear and bow to the voice of our hearts!

How To Scale Like Gandhi

Sep 14, 2015, 5 comments, 11 smiles It was the morning of what history would record as possibly the largest and most significant act of civil disobedience in history -- the Salt March. As the unelected leader of hundreds of millions of people, the eyes of the world were on Mahatma Gandhi as foreign journalists joined dozens of inmates of the Sabarmati Ashram from where he was set to depart on the 241-mile walk to the sea in defiance of an unjust and oppressive law. He had openly declared his intent to disobey with great love, and proclaimed that he would never return to his beloved Ashram until India was free. The stakes couldn’t have been higher and the air was filled with quiet but eager anticipation. Mahadev Desai, Gandhi’s personal secretary, entered his small room with another associate a few minutes before 6am when morning prayers were scheduled to begin, only to be stunned to discover an ... Read Full Story

A Few Months Ago, A Handful ...

Jul 14, 2015, 1 comments, 9 smiles A few months ago, a handful of folks from the Servicespace ecosystem were convened by our very own Tom Mahon to 'Rethink Technology, or Become The Tools of Our Tools'. Check out the video for a very lively discussion about this important topic of our times.    

Mindfulness & Compassion W/ The Dalai Lama's Translator

May 23, 2015, 2 comments, 13 smiles The Dalai Lama Fellows recently hosted a book reading with Thupten Jinpa, personal translator for the Dalai Lama himself for several decades.  Part of the event included an insightful conversation hosted by none other than our very own Bela Shah! I took the opportunity to speak to Thupten before the event and first asked him what the inspiration was for this book.  He said that given the surge in interest around mindfulness and compassion across academia, business, and the general public, he felt that it would be of service to bring out some key insights, anecdotes, and research into the practices from his lifelong exposure to them. Next I asked him if mindfulness leads to compassion.  'No'.  Particularly interesting to me because of western co-option of the technique, including by elite military units for heightened situational awareness on and off the battlefield. "Does compassion lead to self-compassion?"  'No.'  He then told me  they're all ... Read Full Story

Pancho Shared A Breathtaking Video Of ...

Apr 29, 2015, 2 comments, 10 smiles Pancho shared a breathtaking video of Yosemite that is almost too beautiful to be real. The composition, imagery, and music gently gripped me and filled my heart with an expansive feeling of connection. In the middle of the video is a clip of people climbing up the final leg of the ascent to El Captian- a formidable hike up a piece of granite that I've never felt compelled to make. Yet it occurred to me that there are all kinds of climbers with various motivations who do feel compelled to ascend. Of all these people, the one's who inspire me are those who make the arduous journey for the sole purpose of sharing the view with those who have not yet made that trip. May we all journey to the pinnacle of our capacities not for the awards, accolades, or honors bestowed by that hard path, but for the joy of gifting our sight and view to those who have not yet made the journey!