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Awakin Circles Now In Mauritius!

Mar 05, 2017, 2 comments, 18 smiles Many folks who came by last night were social change-makers themselves, and after some collective silence, and we opened with Tom Callanan's reading of The Fifth Monk to kick off the inspiration.. The diversity and richness in the room was amazing with folks representing many different parts of Africa, that made for some thought-provoking and deep dialogue - e.g. many regimes and terrorist groups would consider themselves doing the work of the fifth monk, so who do we place our trust to do that work? Or when it came to the call for climate action - what is the "work" that is needed when your country is carbon neutral/negative yet on the receiving end of climate devastation with rivers that are drying up and displacing entire populations not caused by your own action? A couple of reflections that ended the night for our own journeys - Have we asked "why" enough times to ... Read Full Story

Money, Social Good And Inner Transformation

Feb 09, 2017, 13 smiles Birju's latest interview on BtheChange, with Ryan Honeyman (partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook) ... Formerly a consultant for McKinsey & Company, Birju Pandya focuses on the nexus of money, social good and inner transformation and works with organizations on the cutting edge of this inquiry. He is a managing director with Armonia, a private equity firm specializing in “regenerative investing” using nature-based solutions. He is chief mindfulness officer for Nessel Development, working in ‘beyond sustainable’ real estate and also a senior advisor to RSF Social Finance, focusing on projects which facilitate “inner impact.” Birju is a longtime volunteer of ServiceSpace, a non-profit that has been popularizing gift culture paradigm. In this interview, discussion include: Blossoming into meditation and mindfulness with small steps; Whole-person development in the workplace; Dynamic interplay between inner work practices with transcending limiting organizational structures and linear-thinking approaches; Contrasting “ripple effects” with our concepts of “scaling”; The subtle yet profound ... Read Full Story

30 Girls At Karma Kitchen

Sep 26, 2016, 2 comments, 22 smiles Yesterday, 30 girls and their teachers from Singapore arrived at Karma Kitchen without any idea of what to expect. This was one of the few "mystery sessions" on their itinerary as part of a learning expedition on social impact. While we thought we'd arrive early "before it typically gets crowded", it looked like so many people had the same idea and we were off to a very FULL karma kitchen day with one of the smallest teams of KK volunteers. Straightaway we saw people springing into action to just fill in the gaps - Audrey orchestrating the flow with loves and smiles and somehow making sure everything just worked(!), Birju, Anne-Marie, and Vishesh holding space at various tables inspiring the girls with their stories, Richard and Anne bringing their wisdom and smiles at the community table, and Harpreet and the KK volunteers doing all the invisible work behind the kitchen! Even ... Read Full Story

At The End Of A Beautiful ...

Jul 27, 2016, 2 comments, 27 smiles At the end of a beautiful circle on nature's blessings, the meal seemed extra tasty tonight. Then our mother healer Aunty Harshida revealed the garden harvest that went into our nourishing meal, almost as tall as us!!   Also Pancho's giant pen ;)

Money + Transformation Retreat

Nov 17, 2015, 3 comments, 18 smiles Last Sunday, 40 of us arrived at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, stepping into a space of peaceful serenity. The setting couldn’t be more fitting to be exploring money’s role for inner and outer transformation in our lives. Why are we talking about money?? Rippling off inspiration from Jacob Needleman at our previous circle at Teance, we gathered to explore the topic of money not as a problem to be solved, but as a question to be lived. In that spirit, we went around in circle holding the question of how we can allow for our deeper values to be expressed in our relationship to money. So many times, the topic of money ends up being taboo amongst those who seek to live a life of meaning and service. Through not talking about it, we create the conditions for strife as we struggle with all the inner conflicts that arise from wielding a currency ... Read Full Story

Money + Transformaiton Circle

Jun 23, 2015, 6 comments, 19 smiles The second floor of Teance reminded us of an Indian Rickshaw, as forty people circled up to explore money as a lens for inner transformation. With money being such a hot-button topic, we were very quickly looking at a growing wait-list, and people tuning in via live stream! After a period of meditation and a round of tea, Birju opened the circle by inviting us to look inwards at our own relationship to money, and shared his practice of shifting his story through experiments in the workplace. A few powerful stories seeded the opening conversation. Jacob Needleman, whom we've affectionately come to know as Jerry, shared his understanding of the role of money as a quest for meaning in finding a balance between our two natures - one that is material, and one that is of a higher reality. Mark Finser spoke about his work in being a different kind of banker, ... Read Full Story

Compassion In The Classroom

May 31, 2015, 2 comments, 14 smiles I just returned from a circle exploring compassion and kindness in education convened by Audrey and Ward Mailliard who was one of the founders of Mount Madonna School. The school compound felt much less like a school and more like a retreat. The footpaths crossing 350 acres atop a mountain site inspired a sense of awe, adventure, and exploration, how rare for a school campus! I was humbled to learn that Ward himself built the school with his own hands brick by brick He shared how he embraces a philosophy of "not knowing" as the human story is constantly changing and we are all beginners. Curiosity is the doorway to empathy, and the values in world thought program embodies these tenets. While there was agreement that key to the educator’s goal is creating an environment that sets the context for learning to emerge, I was reminded that there exists an even more ... Read Full Story

Contemplating Our Relationship With Technology

Mar 31, 2015, 4 comments, 10 smiles This weekend, I attended a working discussion attended by spiritual leaders and technologists, who gathered to explore the role of technology, consciousness and the future. Convened by the good folks at the Contemplative Alliance, we sat in a circle, and were guided by the occasional gong to invite pause and reflection. Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee opened with a powerful idea - could the internet be a new model of universal consciousness? When seeing the Internet through it's symbolic and sacred potential, he saw a blueprint similar to the plane of self he experienced during enlightenment - where all knowledge is present and accessible, and where all people are inter-connected in global oneness. Technology may just be the gateway on a physical plane so more people could carry the light, unify in consciousness, with dynamic energy and power to completely rearrange our world. When I read this amazing story about how Matt's ... Read Full Story

Rethinking Money And Security

Sep 01, 2014, 2 comments, 11 smiles Big thanks to Birju and all the ServiceSpace collective reflections that helped me articulate these thoughts I wrote last month's reading for our Honesty Circle in Singapore - a space for young people to gather and explore truths to help build a positive relationship to money! Amazing pledges after the circle from folks wanting to smile more, to explore co-op models, and to start growing veggies.. the movement is seeding even in too-many-shopping-centres-singapore! ----- "It is easy for most of us to realize that money doesn't buy happiness. But I still worry about having enough money. I was taught that I need money to survive, and that money brings security. Security is the state of being free for danger and threat, it's about feeling safe, it's one of our basic needs, it's a biological instinct, and it's a big deal. But no matter how much I save, it never seems to be enough - ... Read Full Story

Gratitude From PlayMoolah

May 18, 2014, 2 comments, 12 smiles Just wanted to say thank-you to many of you.  Whether you know it or not, the ripples of ServiceSpace are constantly inspiring our ecosystem at PlayMoolah.  Sometime last month, our co-founder Audrey and I had a riveting coffee conversation with Nipun; that night we went home and couldn't stop brainstorming until we created this diagram below about our "5000 year plan" and started a "wisdom council".  Back in Singapore, I used to host Awakin Circles for over a year, and since honesty is one of our core values, we brainstormed about holding honesty circles.  At the next Awakin Santa Clara, I happened to carpool with Sima and wondered about the possibility and lo and behold, she was willing to host them for us.  We've had two Honesty Circles already!  Earlier this week, Audrey posted a blog on Medium.com titled "Tiny Practices in Leadership": "As leaders, we steward different forms of capital -- ... Read Full Story