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Mindful Families Retreat: Day 2

Dec 25, 2018, 7 comments, 14 smiles [Follow-up on Day 1 Reflections] Did you ever have a day that featured a camel, deep introspective discussion on technology and food, cow dung, garba dancing, an inspiring session from an amazing family, candle-light, silence, goats, and puppets? Impossible, right? But all this and more were a part of the second day of the Mindful Families Retreat – I kid you not. In the morning, the posse of children (who now move around as one, single entity), left with some parents and the Bhaiya-Didi gang to the village of Lilapur. (If you can see the silent hand of Jayesh-bhai and others at work in this, the answer is ‘yes’). The parents who stayed behind had a Parenting Circle that was vigorous and inspiring. We talked about the challenges of technology and food. Both issues are contentious, there’s a ton of information about them out there, and most people tend to have deeply held views ... Read Full Story

Mindful Families Retreat: Day 1 (Reporting Live!)

Dec 23, 2018, 5 comments, 19 smiles A baby takes nine months, from conception to birth. How many months of gestation does it take for a Families Retreat? You could say it started when the early ServiceSpace volunteers first became parents. You could date it to when the Cubs newsletter came out (remember that?:) It could be when the original Awakin Circle Mehta household started the original Awakin Kids gathering, or when it started being held regularly in west India, or Parenting Circles in South India. Or it could be when the first conversations about this retreat started…two years ago. Whichever way you count it, one thing is clear…the kids are here and they aren’t leaving anytime soon! :) Where Does It Come From? The families are gathered from diverse cities: Ahmedabad, Baroda, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, London and Surat. Their experiences of their own childhoods and what they have learnt from their children equally so. “Satya and Ahimsa, are two words that my ... Read Full Story

Towards Better Health, By Nisha

Oct 12, 2018, 18 smiles As many of you know, Nisha and Ragu have been on a journey of learning about and sharing what they know on Nature Cure or Life Natural. Last week, along with the whirl of a Circle with Nipun, Meghna, Swara and Rohit on Gandhi in Today's World in Hyderabad, we had Nisha share with a small audience of 20 or so, on Towards Better Health. It was an engaged group of people that lead to a helpful Q&A and discussion afterwards. Nausheen Ahmed kindly summarized the session. Please read it at: http://akarma.life/2018/10/10/towards-better-health/ Many in the audience left with ideas for small changes or resolutions that they can make to their way of eating, their way of living. What's yours? :)

A Mindful Families Retreat, December 2018

Oct 19, 2017, 3 comments, 13 smiles A child brings so much joy. So much laughter and unexpected insight into the little truths of life. There is also, nothing like having a child to bring things tumbling down – sleep, time with spouse or friends, your energy at work, fitness, and any efforts towards community-building, service or meditation. As parents, we want to nurture values of generosity, kindness, ethics and much else in our children and our families, but often just getting everyone to eat a meal, making it to school and work, bed and bath-time, can seem like a victory. Have you struggled with any of this? Would you like to delve deeper into the world of values and see how to weave it into the rhythm of our lives? We hope to do this at a Mindful Families Retreat in December 2018, in Ahmedabad. How can we, as parents within ServiceSpace, tackle some of these issues? Here are ... Read Full Story

Inclusion Retreat: Dreams Take Flight

Dec 06, 2016, 9 comments, 23 smiles It is the little things. The little things that catch your eye and insist that you pause. “Welcome Home” said a beautifully hand-drawn card on each of our beds at the retreat centre. Inspiring quotes decked all walls, including those of the bathrooms. We wrote in notebooks with hand-drawn covers. And were tagged with anonymous messages and gifts. All the rooms had names, as did the buildings. We met in Maitri hall, my room was called Karuna. Inside the hall was more beauty. The little touches once again. A circle of chairs and cushions and in the middle a beautiful white-chalk rangoli of a tree with flowers and diyas. On the inner edge of the circle, right by the floor mats are words: “Pilgrim”, “Planting seeds”, “Serve”, “Kindness”… What does your tree look like? It is easy when one meets a person with disabilities to notice what is “different”. The dark glasses, the ... Read Full Story

Hyderabad Circle: One Year Old

Sep 04, 2016, 4 comments, 29 smiles "Even if nobody shows up," I said to myself, "I will sit for an hour, do a reading and reflect on it." I then added: "I commit to doing so for a year." I needn't have bothered. :) What started with four individuals became ten, expanding to twenty-five or more when we had speakers. A year ago, I decided to start the Circle in Hyderabad. The need for a group sitting was growing in me, and I remembered the beauty of the Circle at the Santa Clara home, and the ones that I had been to with Pavi on our book tour. Since our house is far from the city, I asked a yoga teacher who has a beautiful studio in a green garden if she would host the Circle there. She immediately agreed. We made some local tweaks: since many participants had young children we decided to host it at 3pm and ... Read Full Story

How Do We Strengthen Our Inner Conviction?

Jun 27, 2016, 9 comments, 13 smiles How do we strengthen our inner conviction? Saraswathi Vasudevan is calm, soft-spoken, confident and filled with a wisdom that is deeply grounded in everyday experience. Through yoga she is a healer, teacher and researcher. For close to two hours the Hyderabad Awakin Circle were the beneficiaries of her words. Saraswathi began her journey on the path of yoga and healing 25 years ago. She trained under Sri TKV Desikachar for over 17 years in the tradition of Sri T Krishnamacharya. It is a path that is strongly founded in the teachings of Patanjali and specializes in adapting yoga to the unique needs and abilities of the individual. In 2010, Saraswathi and her husband Sundar, founded YogaVahini, dedicated to specialised Yoga Training, Therapy and Research with centres in Chennai and Hyderabad. Here are the highlights of our afternoon together. (An audio recording of the entire talk including the question and answers session will ... Read Full Story

Space Greater Than Ego [Press Article]

Apr 14, 2016, 21 smiles Anyone who accompanies Nipun knows that a typical day is a sweet combination of hurly-burly engaging activity interspersed with moments of quiet and introspective depth. Last year Nipun was in Hyderabad for a day and among the many things we did was a quiet organic thali lunch with a local journalist.  She was amazed and moved by ServiceSpace values and the life Nipun leads. Here is the detailed article in a national magazine for breast cancer, Pink Connexion:   

Fruits Cleanse, Veggies Heal

Feb 23, 2016, 9 comments, 23 smiles Fruits Cleanse, Veggies Heal If you had come home two weeks ago, you would have thought that I run an organic market. The floor was covered with rows of thirty papayas, a hundred apples, a hundred chikoos, more than a hundred bananas and five big boxes of dates. A similar spread, of rice, greens, beans, carrots, raagi powder, jaggery, and cooking spices, was laid out in the homes of Abid and Shabbar (recent graduates of a Moved By Love retreat in Ahmedabad). Raghu and Nisha had been persuaded to travel from their organic farm in Coimbature and come to Hyderabad to lead a one-day course. Called, Hacking Health: How to be your own Healer, it would highlight what they have spent the past eight years learning and living – natural healing. When we first thought of the idea, my mother asked, “Should we rustle up our relatives to fill in the audience?”, sweetly concerned ... Read Full Story

Helping Nepal

Apr 27, 2015, 9 smiles A close friend in Nepal, Umanga Pandey, runs an NGO called Kehi Garoun, that supports poor, school-going children with simple but vital things: a healthy meal, a sweater, a notebook, shoes.... KG tries to tap into individual support (rather than institutional) and be volunteer-run. Here is a note that KG put out, especially regarding media coverage, that I thought would interest all of you. "We request that media facilitate healing for us, the injured people. As injured we all are - some through bodily damage, many through the loss of loved ones and many more through the loss of properties; still more through the shock of the ongoing earthquakes. We have lost much. But not all. And to heal, we must get in touch with that portion of our lives that is not yet broken. What is not broken? 1. Solidarity in our community and 2. Relief response from well wishers. 1. We ... Read Full Story