I'm joining Service Space because ... it's a space that nurtures values worthy of strengthening, not just for ourselves, but also for the ones coming after us
A good day to me is when ... I have the awareness of what wants to emerge from my core, and the wisdom to let it come the way it will
My hero in life is ...my grandmother for living a life of strong laddership
My favorite book is ...Gora
One thing I'm grateful for is ... an awesome world where everyone is my teacher of something
Feb 20, 2018, 13 smiles For our weekly Awakin readings, we typically get five language translations each week: English, German, Hindi, Gujarati, and Spanish. Few weeks ago, Aslinur added a six language: Turkish. And as of this week, Ashima's circle in Bucarest has now become our seventh language: Romanian.
Jan 25, 2018, 3 comments, 18 smiles My 6-year old daughter Samani was sad that a friend had spoken a little harshly to her. After the sadness lingered over two days, we tried talking her out of it, but it didn't work. Finally, I had this conversation with her. Me: Are you feeling sad? She: Yes. Me: Would you like to stop feeling sad? She: Yes. Me: Then you will have to let it go. She: How? Pause... Suddenly, I remembered a conversation with my professor. Me: Ok -- you will have to repeat what I say, and then the sadness will disappear. Will you? She: Yes. Me: "I am feeling sad." She: "I am feeling sad." Me: Actually, I am having the thought "sad". She: Actually, I am having the thought "sad". [Her expression partially changes from sadness to one of curiosity] Me: Actually, the thought "sad" is having me! She: Actually, the thought "sad" is having me! [Her expression fully changes to curiosity and astomnishment] Me: It is eating me up! ... Read Full Story
Jan 19, 2018, 1 comments, 2 smiles Deeply moved to hear this last night. A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In â And How He Got Out : NPR Christian Picciolini spent eight years as a member of a violent, white power skinhead group. He eventually withdrew and co-founded a nonprofit to help extremists disengage.
Jan 11, 2018, 19 smiles Some weeks back, we were with friends who had their own beeswax candle making set. We made a Buddha candle using a mold. It was so beautiful that for the longest time, I resisted burning it. Finally, in the last two weeks of December (last year) during some periods of solitude, I felt the irony of attachment to the Buddha's image and lit the candle just before going to bed. When I woke up, a strange sight awaited me. The Buddha's face was partially intact from the front. When I looked from the top, here is what I saw: After burning, the candle had hollowed out embodying an emptiness that had merged with the fullness of everything. All that's left now is a shell that allows the play of emptiness and fullness to be somewhat relatable. What a blessing to have this reminder of impermanence. This is the first time in my life that a candle has delivered such a deep teaching!
Dec 20, 2017, 1 comments, 8 smiles My friend Raghu Arur recently shared a gem about Swami Prabuddhananda, the head monk of the Vedanta Society in San Francisco who passed away in 2014. I have interacted with Swami P and was always struck by his powerful presence and wisdom. This story was shared directly by Swami P's acolyte with Raghu. This young monk-in-training found himself with a huge work burden and finally reached a point where he expressed his frustration to Swami P. "I came here to be a monk, but instead, I find myself being a glorified maintenance engineer." Swami P responded simply to him, "Aren't we all glorified maintenance engineers?" The profundity of that comment struck me. It feels spot on -- for any field of work that we may pick, legal, software, non-profit, etc., the moment we start caring, we become glorified maintenance engineers! The acolyte found that response truly freeing and he stopped fighting with the nature of things.
Nov 23, 2017, 6 smiles We recently ran a remarkable piece by Pema Chodron, Laziness As Our Personal Teacher, where we asked the following question: What helps you lean into your laziness? I really enjoyed the richness in the reflections. Liz shared how trust in herself helps her lean into laziness. It is easy to have tunnel vision when we are going through a patch -- Liz's sharing encourages us to take the long view of our life, remembering how many times we were going through such patches and were able to get beyond it. For David, it is "understanding that laziness is what I feel when I don't want to do something that I am supposed to do, as determined by someone else or myself, and my laziness has something to offer. Laziness can open me to new possibilities and to finding what I do want to do." Jagdish shares the importance of accepting the body's natural rhythms. ... Read Full Story
Aug 31, 2017, 1 comments, 7 smiles Awakin Readings recently featured a timely piece: Loving Your Enemy. I found the reflections to this piece quite remarkable and wanted to start a conversation on this. In response to the question, "What does loving your enemy mean to you?", Kristin Pedemonti inspired me with her reflections, "Love your enemy to me means seeing that underneath their anger or maltreatment is often fear and under the fear is hurt. Allowing oneself to sift through the anger, fear to get to the hurt often reveals common values and shared humanity. I've been seeking to hold this space of compassion for all for quite some time and especially since our election here in the US. I am saddened to see dear friends say hateful words of their opponents rather than see the human in front of them. I have posted as much as I can about holding compassion and understanding the hurt that lies ... Read Full Story
Aug 14, 2017, 2 comments, 7 smiles Reading a book on neuroscience full of gems (Descarte's error), and found this one: "Although we have the illusion that everything comes together in a single anatomical theater, recent evidence suggests that it does not. Probably the relative simultaneity of activity at different sites binds the separate parts of the mind together." Sounds like time is what causes the mind to function. When the simultaneity no longer works, the mind cannot function. Is this a linkage with death as well? Heard a sage recently mention that in India, death is expressed by the phrase: "time is up." Also remembered Prof. Ron Howard's definition of time: "Time is that which prevents everything from happening all at once."
Aug 10, 2017, 4 smiles This week, an Awakin gem floated from Sam Harris floated by, titled "To know your mind, pay close attention to it." What makes this special is Sam's own journey. It was a few years back when a debate at Caltech that included Sam Harris and Deepak Chopra got into a lot of heat. Sam was hugely annoyed by Dr. Chopra, didn't give any space to spiritual experiences, and at one point even commented that our mind was all a product of our physical neural cognition (if I remember correctly). The same Sam Harris, rooted his rationalist (by which he actually means atheist) background to delve into spiritual experiences and explain them in a powerful way through his own journey with meditation, chronicled beautifully in this piece: The Atheist Who Strangled Me. What makes this a great contribution to the world is that he has tapped into something very special without having to stop being an atheist - I believe that through this perspective, he is going to eventually deepen science and spirituality.