I'm joining Service Space because ... good place to dance :)
A good day to me is when ... I've used head, heart and hands in authentic service of truth, beauty and/or goodness
My hero in life is ...One hero is my brother, who quietly cultivates truth and consistently expresses love in his own way
My favorite book is ...One is Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
One thing I'm grateful for is ... A rock message I was once gifted that read everyone has something different to offer
Nov 16, 2015, 4 comments, 6 smiles Friends, I have a party invitation for you. A KarmaTube "work party." :) Anyone can attend, no matter where you are. Intrigued? Many of you are familiar with KarmaTube, and some of you will know that the backend volunteer process includes a number of moving parts, including scouts to find videos (in addition to user submissions), reviewers to vet them, writers to package them, and tech team to deliver the final live page. Here is an example of one that recently completed its long journey and went live: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2876 Recently, rate of videos coming in has outpaced rate of videos being reviewed, growing our queue to hundreds of videos. Thus the work party! It will be a first-time experiment, so open to ideas, but essentially it would entail a 2-hour block, a chat room to coordinate (google hangout?), and small groups of four each tackling a page or two from the queue ... Read Full Story
Nov 13, 2015, 3 comments, 9 smiles "Challenges are a part of life, as you know. Your mind is a powerful asset. Use it for positive thoughts and you’ll learn what I learned. I call it, getting on the plateau of positivity." I just watched the film "Keep on Keepin' On"--what a beautiful exploration of the power of music, mentorship, and the ripple effects of living the fullest, truest life one knows how. Clark Terry, born in 1920, blossomed from one of the greatest jazz trumpet players in history into a most gracious and authentic mentor/teacher, til his passing earlier this year at 94. One of his mentees, Justin Kaulfin (born in 1986 :)), exuded such humility and graceful courage in the film as he pursued his passion of unleashing his inner self through jazz piano (which he plays blind by the way), guided by the wisdom and melt-your-heart encouragement of CT. Such a gift to have ... Read Full Story
Nov 25, 2014, 8 comments, 17 smiles He was a big man, maybe 6'3" or so. At the corner of a busy intersection, outside a convenience store, he was asking passers-by, "Hey buddy, have a buck to spare?" His physical stature alone could have been perceived as intimidating, but his tone wasn't. I was on my bike, stopped at a red light, a few yards away. Our eyes met, so I decided to wave hello to him. Just a few minutes earlier, about 8 blocks away, I had passed a man balancing a large wooden piece of furniture on the seat and handle bar of a small bike, which he used as a makeshift dolly, slowly--and precariously, but successfully--rolling it up the street. I hesitated then, finally deciding that approaching with an open heart was worthwhile in an of itself, even if any offer to assist was unnecessary. It became apparent there was a language barrier, as "S'okay," ... Read Full Story
Aug 07, 2014, 1 comments, 13 smiles Touched by Siddharth's reflections from recent travels, including themes of acceptance and offering. Thank you for sharing Siddharth. A brief excerpt: Deep down inside, there was this tendency to validate my progress based on how unpleasant or tough the journey was. I found myself more accepting of myself when I could transform that scowling stranger or based on how many heart pins I could give out. In reality, these practices were meant to be a simple expression of our cup running over. A manifestation of the unity in my heart for the other. But when I noticed the tendency within me to ‘challenge’ myself through these practices, I could see just how hard-wired our neurons have gotten in the modern paradigm. There's this tendency to 'Go out and Do this' or 'Make it happen' which is really just thinking borne out of conditioning in the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps, for this emergence into newer paradigms, we will need to stop working from this space of coercion and more from the space of offering. I don't know when we'll get there, but I've begun to trust the beauty in doing simple things with a great love.
Jul 27, 2014, 15 comments, 11 smiles Last Friday, the 25th, was a momentous day in Philadelphia: Awakin Philly started up at Nandita's place! Felt like the perfect start with 3 of us sharing a cozy evening of silence, reflection and amazing home-cooked food. For one of us, it was even the first time ever meditating -- and for half and hour straight no less. Conversation flowed effortlessly, starting with a brief reflection on how it was to sit in silence and stillness, then picking up on the rich 'story-teller' passage, as we communed and laughed (at ourselves) over our versions of our 'lanes' that can arouse our righteous story-tellers. With our bellies, hearts and minds quite satisfied by the end of the night, we noted the simple power of these circles: no agenda, no trying to change or fix or manipulate anything or anyone; just sharing truth as we see it, in kinship, with generous and embracing spirit. Beautiful thing. If you're around Philly, or know folks around, feel free to spread the word -- next circle (every other week to start) will be Friday, August 8 at 7pm. (There should be an event page with more details up soon)
Jun 26, 2014, 2 comments, 10 smiles Moved to share a few tidbits about recent experiences with the Empty Hands Tour, which is truly a thing of authentic beauty and humbling, nod-your-head awesomeness. Seeing Nimo in action -- nay, being with him in action :) -- it's astounding to ponder the sheer level of inner-oriented practice through quiet, personal cultivation and simple, outer service leading up to this point in his journey... Which is intersecting so elegantly and serendipitously with so many other journeys. For example, at last night's gathering in Philadelphia, anchored by the indefatigable Audrey and creativity-superstar Lahar (who recently crafted these gorgeous gratitude journals), the space witnessed a wonderful confluence of paths with such wonderful souls as dear brother Chaz, recent awakin call guests Sunil, and Vilma (who drove all the way from Connecticut and back!), Karmatube volunteers Vicky and Shail, Nandita who wants to start an awakin circle in Philly -- even Drew who didn't know exactly ... Read Full Story
May 11, 2014, 2 comments, 9 smiles Jacob Needleman In Conversation with Rachel Naomi Remen Recently listened to this lovely, playful, and wise conversation between Jacob Needleman and Rachel Naomi Remen (who many might know via the now-famous "help/fix/serve" quote. Wanted to share this touching excerpt about what she calls "generous listening": The hard part of this, though, is to welcome people exactly as they are. That's the place from which all change can happen. And everyone is looking for someone to receive them that way. What prevents that? There's a thought: if I allow you to see me, you will see that I am not enough. And I have to have the courage to allow you to see me, to discover that I am enough. And a lot of us are packaging ourselves. We're trying to be somebody by changing ourselves, rather than surrendering to ourselves.
May 06, 2014, 8 smiles In processing another heartful retreat we had here on the U.S. East Coast (known as the "Super Soul Saturday" series :)), some of us organizing revisited intention statements we heartstormed a while back. We noticed how a clear sense of purpose going in, combined with openness to what emerges, can create some kinda magic! (like Bela and Sarika described in recent posts) While we write up fuller recaps, thought to share those intention statements here: - We gather in this space to support other people's journey's towards living from a space of deep authenticity, joy, and love and in doing so naturally serve our own journeys in the same way. - We gather in this space to collectively inspire each other to grow in awareness of the subtlest of barriers within us that take that take us away from a path of deep love and compassion for all beings. - Provide a space where ... Read Full Story
Apr 29, 2014, 8 smiles What makes the difference between you deciding to talk to a stranger or keep to yourself? Saw an interesting article about improving our commutes by interacting with the strangers sitting around us. Turns out some research shows that chatting with strangers created a positive experience for both parties, even if they went into it apprehensively. (For extroverts *and* introverts, interestingly) Engaging with others also motivates us to be temporarily cheerful, which actually helps us stay more cheerful even beyond that interaction. Eye contact helps too. In another study, one group was super efficient in getting their coffee while another smiled and had a brief interaction; turned out that the latter felt happier. [Source: Hello Stranger, NY Times] This reminded me of a recent expose on relationships being more important than ambition, which makes sense intuitively on some level; kinda nice to expand the importance of relationships to our "weak-tie" stranger interactions as well. :)
Oct 20, 2013, 1 comments, 7 smiles Spotted this t-shirt in a music video "Detroit Summer" by activist-rapper Invincible. It reads "change yourself to change the world." :) Really cool to see 1) understanding of interconnection between inner and outer transformation naturally spreading, and 2) positive influence of wise elders (Grace Lee Boggs in this case) on younger generations.