About Me  

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

Tway Began Finding Heart-shaped Rocks On ...

Jan 30, 2019, 2 comments, 11 smiles Tway began finding heart-shaped rocks on her long beach walks, and soon was finding dozens, and then hundreds. Locals who had lived there for decades remarked on how unusual that seemed, but Tway wasn't surprised--she took it as an affirming sign of the leap she had made years earlier. After listening further, she felt called to match each heart rock with a story about an act of kindness, and birthed the project: heartrocks. She's taking her time, waiting for the right stories to come in--maybe you know one? (Hat tip to a certain anonymous member of KindSpring for initially sharing this story :)) And here she is sharing some of the background story on a recent podcast called "The Kindness Podcast". In honor of the power of small, a couple related quotes: "There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic." --Anais Nin "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." --Howard Zinn

Flip Side Of No = Yes, And Other Learnings From

May 22, 2018, 1 comments, 12 smiles "I knew you respected me, because [instead of getting us in trouble right away] you asked what happened first." I had asked a middle school student how he felt in retrospect about our ad-hoc restorative circle process, following a brief fight that broke out at the end of the first talking circle I co-facilated at that school. Not one to mince words--as I would come to learn and love--he reflected back a gem. I've been processing many such experiences from my internship at a K-8 school last year, and would like to try to summarize some of the learnings, as well as invite other learnings. In the context of addressing school climate, particularly in terms of encouraging healthy conflict resolution/disciplinary process & positive relationships, here are three summary points: Finding The "Yes" For Every "No" One major learning can be summarized with the phrase: the flip side of no = yes. Which is to ... Read Full Story

Sharing Blessings From A Special Union

May 18, 2018, 1 comments, 7 smiles I was deeply moved recently to be part of a special union between dear friends Nandita and Fahad. They had asked me last year if I would officiate their wedding ceremony, and after quite some dialogue and deliberation, :) I realized that given our shared connection over the years (including hosting Awakin circles together in Philly) and their unique story, it was an opportunity of a lifetime and really the only thing to do was say yes and figure it out along the way. Many friends offered support in very practical ways (and many more in intangibles ways, I'm sure): Pavi along with Birju and Anne-Marie generously shared notes from their wedding ceremony, including their vows--which themselves had been inspired by Nipun and Guri and others. Jin Chuan Shi, a monk at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, also generously shared of his officiating experience. Nimo sent song suggestions that spoke to ... Read Full Story

3rd Graders Lead The Way On Earth Day

Apr 26, 2018, 2 comments, 6 smiles Rethink. Refuse. Reuse. Went to a brief press conference at Berkeley Recycling Center earlier this week, where these three words served as a powerful rallying cry by 9-year-old students in Jacqueline's (aka Ms. Omania :)) 3rd grade class at Oxford Elementary. It was an honor to witness them, after having had the pleasure to visit them briefly last week when Nimo stopped by the school for a return visit, on our way up to Ukiah--as Xiao just elegantly and humorously chronicled. :) Last week, upon arriving at the classroom, we were greeted with a mason jar's worth of trash. Hmm. :) The student greeter proceeded to tell us how that was the landfill-trash contents for the ENTIRE class for the ENTIRE year so far (about 150+ days). You know Nimo, not one to miss an opportunity to highlight the brilliance of children--the following picture emerged: The classroom visit itself saw sharing from ... Read Full Story

KarmaTube Volunteers' Top Videos From 2017

Dec 30, 2017, 2 comments, 16 smiles The KarmaTube team consists of video scouts, video reviewers, writers, syndication outreach, coordinators, tech, liaisons to KT community, and so on. Amazing to ponder the many moving parts behind the relatively straightforward concept of packaging an inspiring video with a description and three be-the-change suggestions. After recently enjoying some opportunities to collaborate across roles, we wanted to share one such mini-project--which has been done from time to time in the KT past as well--a collection of some of our favorite KarmaTube videos from 2017: I. Playing For Change -- Soccer Without Borders Abhinav writes: It is one of the many videos that showcase tragic suffering that children across the globe unfortunately face and how simple acts of kindness like just playing soccer can be so morally uplifting. The video to me is very moving considering the level of difficulties that humans have created in this world and also educating on how simply ... Read Full Story

Friends, I Have A Party Invitation ...

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

Keep On Keepin' On

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

Spare A Hug?

Nov 25, 2014, 8 comments, 18 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

Touched By Siddharth's Reflections From Recent ...

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. 

Last Friday, The 25th, Was A ...

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)