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Deven Shah's Blog Posts

  Big Failure, Small Updates :-)

As I just submitted my "Month 2 - Impermanence" reflections an hour ago, it's clear that on top of my 'Failure Resume" presently is failure to catch-up on all the Laddership Homework! It's been super inspiring to read the passages, your reflections on them and doing some hand activities. Would like to express deep gratitude to all of you. Sharing a couple of short updates. During "Month 3 - Untiring Mind", we had a Karma Kitchen planned in Simran's scho... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on May 13, 2018 | permalink

  Week 2 Reflection

[Reflection questions for Month 2.] Any insights from this month's practices? How was your experience giving up something you relied on? Did something emerge to fill the gap left by its absence? What did you learn in the process? Speaking and writing are amongst several things that I gave up as part of sitting in the 30-day (Vipassana) mediation course and it reinforced that words and language have its limitation while the power of silence is so much stronger for understanding ‘Who am I&... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on May 13, 2018 | permalink

  Week 1 Reflection

[Reflection questions for Month 1.] What does service mean to you? How has your definition of service evolved over time? The understanding of ‘service’ has evolved over time from the ignorant moments of wanting to “help others” to realising a deeper Truth that “there are no others.” Yes, we have different outer forms and hence “I” am called by some name and “you” are called by a different name, yet am fully convinced that deep within u... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Feb 11, 2018 | permalink

  Alfred: Immeasurable Gift I Received When I Was 13

[Alfred Tolle -- a theater student in Japan, then a very successful business person, where he ran a 18 billion dollar company, then at Google for many years. Having maxed out the potential to change the system from within, he's now doing it from the outside -- via Wisdom Together. Oh, and a meditation practitioner for over 30 years! Below is a talk about his personal journey he shared on his Day 3 talk of our Gandhi 3.0 retreat.] The biggest gift I've received has been from my parents. ... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Feb 9, 2018 | permalink

  Children Spreading Love in Auroville!

Here's a sweet video of children doing random acts of kindness in Auroville. We all gathered to spread hugs and smiles at the community cooperative store (PTDC), which is part of a series of experiments to manifest 'Gift Economy'. Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The dream is to realise human unity. As of today, there are over 2,700 mem... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Oct 17, 2017 | permalink

  My Initial Reflections on Five Questions

1) What is the work you’re currently doing, or have most recently done, to earn a living? To begin with I'd like to expand the scope of "earn a living" to multiple forms of capital including financial capital, spiritual capital, social capital, intellectual capital, experiential capital, natural capital, material, cultural capital, attention capital, compassion capital, equanimity capital etc. Since 2013, I've been giving an average of about 10-12 hours per week for Busi... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Aug 17, 2017 | permalink

  Laying The Field For Awakin Dialogues

For the last year, few of us have been meeting (online) every week to dialogue on a particular aspect of practicing values in our lives. Parag and Mihir quietly started this and now it has blossomed into Awakin Dialogues! Prior to each circle, everyone meditates remotely for an hour. Then we meet virtually for 90 minutes, which starts with a quick check-in circle, followed by a reading and dialogue (as described by David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti). It invariably leads to awakening of some collec... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jul 4, 2017 | permalink

  Startup Service 2016 (Video Collage)

Just completed an amazing Startup Service retreat. Held lots of important questions, built on some innovative frameworks and gave wings to many labor-of-love project intentions, and ultimately, we were moved by love. Here's a video that captures some beautiful moments. It was made by a few secret volunteers who stayed up late at night and surprised us all by screening it on the last day of the retreat.   ... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Dec 19, 2016 | permalink

  Startup Service: Life-Transforming Questions For Entrepreneurs

Questions like "Who am I?" and "What is the real purpose of my life?" can evoke a wide spectrum of reflections because we live in the co-presence of two worlds, the inner and outer. Jacob Needleman in his book 'Money and the Meaning of Life' says: "Human being has two natures or aspects: a side that is meant to be engaged in activity in the world, making and doing, having a family, creating, building; the other side has to do with the spiritual, the transcendent, the r... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Feb 17, 2016 | permalink

  Let's Play Kinditude!

Kindness and Gratefulness are like two wings of a bird. Kinditude is a board game that enables parents and teachers to help children flap those wings and learn to soar and spread love everywhere. Kinditude is a cooperative game played with a dice. The "game path" is made of many squares shaped like infinity (the game never ends and everyone is a winner no matter how long you play!). Playing with the help of parents or teachers, children can learn to think, express and reflect ... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Nov 19, 2015 | permalink

  I Am Because We Are

The division between you and me, between the giver and receiver may seem real when we look at the surface level. And then there are moments in our lives when we can experience how deeply interconnected we all are. It’s like seeing things from a macro lens of universal Oneness and realizing “When I don’t know you, I serve you. When I know you, I am you." We had many such experiences during the 2-day retreat for the staff members of Environmental Sanitation Institute (ESI) i... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Oct 26, 2015 | permalink

  Week 6 Reflection

[Reflection questions for Week 6.] Any thoughts on the readings and video of the week? The scientific fable of earth's evolution is very humbling. It also brings forth the truth that our own life has evolved with so many births in the past. ‘I’ am not the body in this birth and its death would not be the end of ‘my’ life. Makes me more committed in the quest to identify the higher purpose of life and living everyday life with that awareness. I’m reminded of a q... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Aug 1, 2015 | permalink

  Money+T Reflection

[Reflection for breakout call on money.] Can money be a tool for transformation? How can/do you engage with money in a way that supports inner growth? Yes. My relationship with money has had a significant impact on balancing inner and outer worlds, hence is certainly an important tool for transformation. There are two important aspects of engagement with money that have nurtured my inner growth. (1) Creating ample space for doing things where I don’t have any expectations of rewards, fina... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jul 18, 2015 | permalink

  [Excerpts] Money And The Meaning Of Life

As I was diving deeper to understand and articulate my relationship with money before the Money + Transformation Call, felt a lot of gratitude for Jacob Needleman and his work around Money and the Meaning of Life. Exploring further on how can money be a tool for inner transformation, sharing a few excerpts from his work: “Authentic human existence requires the co-presence of two worlds, the inner and the outer. To exist in one world alone is not to exist at all. What, after all, is the po... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jul 18, 2015 | permalink

  Week 2 Reflection

[Reflection questions for Week 2.] Any thoughts on the readings and video of the week? Nipun’s talk on Gandhi 3.0 went very deep in my heart. I remembered a story of Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood, when he was a young boy called Mohan. He saw a play on King Harishchandra, who was known for his full commitment to Truth. It had a big impact on Mohan. His friends also felt very inspired to be truthful but Mohan’s thought did not stop at himself; he thought, “Why can’t eve... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jul 5, 2015 | permalink

  Week 1 Reflection

[Reflection questions for Week 1.] Any thoughts on the readings and video of the week? The story of the Universe and Purpose of Life that I tell myself underwent a radical change about five years ago. I can clearly see a difference in my life before and after practicing Vipassana meditation. The focus clearly shifted on getting experiential understanding of the Ultimate Truth and the Universal Law of Nature that governs our state of being by turning inside myself and connecting to my inner voic... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jun 27, 2015 | permalink

  Moved By Dwarkoji’s Love

“Chitta shuddha tari, shatru mitra hoti. Vyaghra he na khaati, sarp taya.” When the ‘mind’ (chitta) is pure, even your enemy will become a friend. Neither will a lion eat you nor will a snake bite you. Compassionate first meeting I can feel the vibrations of love and compassion by just remembering the time spent with Dwarkoji. It was December 2014, Swara and I were in Sarnath for a gathering on ‘Business Beyond Self-Interest’ and on the way back we ... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Feb 19, 2015 | permalink

  Moved By Dwarko-Ji's Love

“Chitta shuddha tari, shatru mitra hoti. Vyaghra he na khaati, sarp taya.” When the ‘mind’ (chitta) is pure, even your enemy will become a friend. Neither will a lion eat you nor will a snake bite you. Compassionate first meeting I can feel the vibrations of love and compassion by just remembering the time spent with Dwarkoji. It was December 2014, Swara and I were in Sarnath for a gathering on ‘Business Beyond Self-Interest’ and on the way back we ... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Feb 19, 2015 | permalink

  Leading With Love To Find Our Middle Path

This evening Michelle Long (of BALLE) is hosting a circle of sharing at her home in Bellingham (near Seattle) with various ServiceSpace friends like Yoo-mi and Mark Dubois. Below is the description of the theme around which we intend to share. If you feel called to share your thoughts / experience around it, would love to hear them. Leading with Love to Find Our Middle Path In the first teaching that Gautama Buddha delivered after his awakening, he describes the middle path as a way of mod... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Sep 23, 2014 | permalink

  People, Love And Distance

Landed in San Francisco on Monday night and was welcomed at the airport with love and big smiles from Birju and Sunaina. Several people I met yesterday were surprised that this was my first visit to US and wondered why I’ve never visited before. That got me thinking too and I realized that while I’ve had a few possibilities to visit the US earlier for work or holiday, this was the first time when I felt there was a lot of love from so many people calling me here. So last month w... read full story

Posted by Deven Shah on Jun 11, 2014 | permalink