Incubator of compassionate action.

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Some years ago, a local Zen monastery was ravaged by fires. The day it subsided, the abbott gave a talk that opened with a remarkable example: some seeds only sprout under the extreme duress of a fire.

This month, amid the blazing conditions of India's covid crisis and violence in the Middle East, we have some uncommon dialogues that build on the richness of resilience. From Australia, Rev. Heng Sure will share how he persevered through a 800-mile bowing pilgrimage on the streets of America. Next weekend, Wakanyi will speak about her African Folktales Project and how stories can offer us the strength to stay "boundless". And the week after, Maki will be in conversation around death and dying, as the founder of a rarely found hospice in Japan. Oh, and on the heels of the Rumi Pod and Qigong Pod is the upcoming Noble Friendship Pod!

Last month, on a couple day notice, we hosted an interfaith prayer circle for India. We didn't know what would emerge but 1300 of you from 43 countries signed on to co-create a profoundly sacred space. If "faith is a withholding of conclusion so we allow what-is to arise" (Adyashanti), it was so moving to see how such deep faith brought us to the doorsteps of our innate compassion and connection. Seeing the long list of prayer requests, all kinds of open-hearted circles started flowing -- mandala circle, bowing circle, learn-a-prayer circle, hospice circle, and more.

Thank you for your faith.




Wednesday: It shouldn't be that hard to describe one of the senior most Western Buddhist monks in the world. Yet, Rev. Heng Sure's tremendously multi-faceted offerings defy simple descriptions. To awaken the heart, he'll play songs on his guitar; to reach the kids, he'll put on a puppet show; to the devout, he'll give dharma talks on complex scriptures; to the average Silicon Valley techie, he'll rattle off reasons for his love of Macs; to almost everyone, he'll have just the right (real-life) story for that moment. You almost forget about his rigorous meditation training, or a mind-bending bowing pilgrimage, or practices like not lying down for decades! He leaves mysticism far behind, in favor of acts of everyday service. Next Wednesday, Nipun Mehta will convene a 90-minute glimpse into his genuine life of compassion. Join us for the unique conversation!

Call with Rev. Heng Sure


Next Saturday: Right before her wedding, Wakanyi and her bridesmaids were at a hair salon in Kenya. Riots hit, and they had to be escorted by the police to the chapel. "I figured it was going to be a life of adventure," Wakanyi jokes. Having lived in seven countries across three continents, the children's book author and former journalist recently reflected: "As a storyteller, I am aware of how important it is to see oneself or hear familiar voices in stories." While curating a vibrant platform of folktales, fostering values-based education and raising four kids, an encounter with Wakanyi ignites a celebration of life and a heart of Ubuntu -- the African ethos of oneness and togetherness. Audrey Lin and Brian Conroy will host the upcoming Awakin Call with Wakanyi.

Folktales with Wakanyi


June 13th: Maki Kawamura still remembers when her grandfather passed away at the age of six. The visceral loss stirred her to wonder: What is death and dying? Can the process of dying be a peaceful experience for everyone? Those formative questions propelled her into lifelong work as a doctor, peace leader, and mother. Four years ago, Maki created a "House of Joy" to support cancer patients and offer hospice care. On a recent call, we heard her share some profound stories of helping grieving patients and families turn from fear to love. It was so compelling that we asked her to share in an online circle: What Does Death Teach Us About Life?

Circle with Maki Kawamura


June 6th: What parts of us are meeting when we feel a deep kinship with someone? How do you distinguish between friendships and affinities? Does the organizing principle of a connection (business, entertainment, spirituality) affect its depth? Who do we have to be to build bridges with the most noble elements in others? Why would the Buddha say that the whole of holy life is noble friendships? Join us for a unique pod, in June, that takes us on a journey from "me" to "we" to "us" and beyond!

Noble Friendships Pod




During the Rumi Pod, world-renowned Sufi scholar, Jawid Mojaddedi recited this humorous (and rhyming) wisdom from the Masnavi: A Partially Deaf Man Visits His Sick Neighbor

Recent Awakin podcasts with Emeran Mayer on Wisdom of the Gut. On another call with the founder of Teach for India, kids turned her poem into a rap.

Can compassion (“karuna” in Sanskrit) go viral? Volunteers illustrate.

Last week’s KarmaTube video of the week: How Trees Secretly Talk to Each Other

Two news stories that tug heartstrings: Everyday on a Park Bench and Mother’s Cake.




A quote by Rilke:

We are bees of the invisible.

We wildly collect the honey of the visible,

To offer it to the great golden hive of the invisible.

Thank you, all, for your offerings.


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