“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” - M.K. Gandhi Seven years ago a group of people sat in a room sharing so many ideas on how to celebrate the birthday of a loved one who was to turn 70. This lady had dedicated her life to service. Her journey took speed from teaching, to catching values as a part of her journey, to standing up for the right thing no matter who is in front of her, to being a brave hero who saved two drowning girls, to creating spaces where women would feel empowered, to changing the face of road and revenue systems, to creating a mark of her own as a leader of a state and most importantly etching a mark in the hearts of her family, children, grand children and many others whose paths she crossed. How do you ... Read Full Story
Unfolding Stories Of Service And Transformation
Two Sundays ago, 22 friends in Vadodara gathered at Rachana and Ashish's warm and welcoming retreat space which is ttheir lovelyhome to share a beautiful day together in the field of ordinariness, stillness, reflection, service, gratitude, and love. We collectively held the intention to deeply listen to service journeys of many of us whose cups of gratitude are overflowing and have been a part of many labor of love projects in Vadodara. We wanted to deeply listen to - their motivations, aha moments, challenges and the road forward. Our circle of sharing opened with warm welcoming hugs and haldi dot on our forehead from Lipi and Manali. The mogra flowers kept in various corners of the room calmed our minds and brought a smile to our faces. After spending the first half hour in silence and prayers together, as we went around the room sharing our personal journey the gifts that ... Read Full Story
This Month's Moved By Love Newsletter ...
This month's Moved by Love newsletter weaves together stories of serving from the heart --Cooking and serving a warm meal with love and joy for a group of unknown people; stepping into a space of not knowing by holding a question and serving oneself; lending an ear to the helper and serving from where you are and bowing in gratitude to the unknown bunch of women who work odd hours to clean the streets in Amdavad. http://www.movedbylove.org/news/?op=arch&nid=9
Another HeArt Circle Lights Up Mumbai :)
We all got together for yet another HeArt Circle, after a month's break, with many kids and teenagers as participants with us. Each week, a space of sharing love and joy is co-created. It has been transformative as anyone and everyone comes in and shares of themselves as they are. We start with half an hour of silence followed by a reading of a passage. And then we all paint in silence and try to express whatever is going on inside. And then share with everyone what we expressed on the canvas. We all reached a bit early this time, so we thought of doing a circle of sharing on an act of goodness that you experienced in the last month. Then, Rupali didi shared with kids why does she hold spaces like this. She told them how we all have good and bad experiences in our lives. And somewhere down ... Read Full Story
Holding Questions On Why To Hold Questions :)
[We had a very interesting call this morning, on fragmentation and wholeness in our weekly Awakin Dialogues call. It inspired me to write these notes.] "So then the million dollar question is: .................................... A good question to hold. :)" This is something so common to my ears and probably to many of us in our ecosystem. As I start applying that into so many different contexts, I understand actually how profound this approach is. Within it, I can see many answers to mysticism, spontaneity, challenges, problems and even suffering of human life. For a human mind not to have palatable answers is undesirable and frustrating. It continually attempts to look for instant answers, and ask questions to propagate itself. In a world of artificial intelligence, Google offers us all the answers right at our fingertips by pressing that home buttons. But I'm seeing that deeper intelligence lies in not how many answers we ... Read Full Story
Whirling In Turkey
Last weekend, Khush and I were invited to anchor a wedding ceremony for two very dear friends, Marian and Aslinur, who hosted Awakin Istanbul in 2016. Beautiful 3 hour ceremony, with offerings from different cultures including prayers, songs, music, dance, stillness and lots of tears, laughter and pure joy. It was a wonderful chance to pay-forward this experience to these incredible couple, as we thought of various unions that have inspired us in the past. At the moment, I am currently at a Sufi Dergah in Yalowa where every year for a pre-decided number of days (anywhere from 9 to 114 days), Dervishes gather for a marathon 24-hours-per-day whirling to live music. If ever Maitri Tunes had a physical form and space this would be it -- with musicians coming from all over the world just to offer healing music as a gift. Food that is mostly vegetarian (and vegan too) ... Read Full Story
Retreat In Bhatwada Village
For the last three years, we have been running a computer center in a nearby village of Bhatwada. Originally we had a small minimum price (of Rs. 200) but we soon moved it to gift. Villager offer whatever they can, and the center itself is run by a local volunteer (Sameer-bhai). It has been beautiful to see engagement from everyone in the village. I have always been keen to create a "Moved by Love" retreat in this village. Last weekend, after guidance and inspiration from so many of you, we did it! Various city friends joined, and in all, more than 50 youth participated. We had a very good response, and here is a small video of the same. :) With gratitude for inspiring all these ripples!
I Just Happened To Be Cc'd ...
I just happened to be cc'd on a beautiful note written to Khush by a retreat participant - (who's mother had participated in the April retreat!) - that totally made my day! These moments constantly re-affirm the space and the magic that is created in our eco-system! "I was speaking to my mother yesterday in the evening, and she was sharing an incident from Retreat. That made me think, i sent you so many emails when she was supposed to come to the Retreat and i almost entirely forgot to let u know that she came back and the experience was wonderful for her. Realised i did not say THANK YOU. I did not express my Gratitude. I apologise. I really want to thank each one who was present in the retreat and took care of each other. My mother: ya something has shifted in her, she has become more cheerful and stay more at peace. First thing she said me after coming back : hugged me and said Thanks for sending me there. It was incredible." These words may sound simple, but the underlying bhaav is so deep and palpable as we relive those memories with each participant and volunteer :)) Deeply grateful for this Jai Jagat family!!!
Field Of Possibilities-- MBL Laddership Circle.
What does it mean to lead with Inner Transformation? With this fundamental seed question, we kick started a pilot MBL Laddership Circle to serve the local community in India. Of course, there is no copy-paste answer to this question, as by its very nature, it is dynamic and everyone will have to look for their answer in their own context. So without looking for an answer or any end in mind, we embarked on the journey of unknown and holding collective space for Emergence With a very pure intention and humility of not knowing, we held space for each other’s journeys in visible and invisible ways -- in weekly assignments and reflection on our circle feed, through constant intimate conversation between the fellows and the crew, and on a weekly 90-minute group conversation that triggered a spectrum of insights, stories, inspirations and deeper resonance to the values of 'service' ... Read Full Story
How A Gandhi Kurta Touched A US Senator :)
[Last time Ari was local, he shared about a t-shirt. Now, it is his kurta that is creating ripples. :) A sweet note from him below that was captured across the ServiceSpace wires. --Sheetal] I'd like to share a small story from my evening that reminds me of the magic of ServiceSpace. Yesterday, I was at an event there were 500+ people. An award was going to senator Corey Booker, who is as close to someone one could find exemplifying ServiceSpace values in the US Congress. (Here's a video of a commencement address, if you don't know him.) During dinner he was going around to many of the tables saying hello. I was wearing Indian formal clothing I was gifted by Neerad-bhai while I was at Gandhi 3.0 three months ago. I used the opportunity to connect with senator Booker about the message of Gandhi, who as it turns out was his inspiration for initially ... Read Full Story
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