Gandhi 3.0: The Good in Me Bows to the Good in You

Posted by Khushmita Sanghvi on Feb 2, 2014



Sixty path creators from across the world responded to a compelling invitation to spend 4 days around Gandhi's 66th death anniversary and explore modern manifestations of Gandhian values. We called it Gandhi 3.0. From politicians to businessmen, spiritual cultivators to social entrepreneurs, the diversity of the gathering was held with nothing but ties of noble kinship or 'Maitri'.

The intention was set in the opening circle, with beautiful reflections of Vinoba Bhave: "​When we will all see our role in society as servants, we will all light up the sky together like countless stars on a dark night. Don’t think of society as the sky on a full moon night. The moon's harsh light blinds us to the true and humble work of the stars. But on a moonless night, the true servants shine forth, as though they are connected invisibly in this vast and infinite cosmos."

The intention, was to tune our eyes to see the true and humble work, the divinity in each and every one of us. And that happens only when we create a field of 'Maitri' around us. Often, this field takes on a more tangible, palpable form, and on Day 3, it was visible for all, when Prasad (a renowned author and corporate mentor) held the mic and shared how he's been making the shift from an Expert Mind to A Beginners Mind. It was the unconditional care he received through meals specially prepared for him, gifts that came his way just when he needed them in a manner that he felt even his family would not match, that helped his process of emptying. It was an ocean of love, as he said, that nourished him from within and breathed life into words of love that otherwise would have been platitudes. On the last day, Ritu came up to us and shared a letter she had received from Harsh, a volunteer at the gathering. 2 days ago, Harsh had heard that Ritu hadn't brought along any warm clothes. Promptly, he offered her his shawl which she was grateful to receive. Towards the end of the gathering she was preparing to hand it back to him, but instead received a letter from him. In it, he shared how his mother had gifted him this shawl, and as a child he would wrap himself within it to feel warm and secure. All through the years, all it took was the shawl to keep him warm, irrespective of the weather outside. In the past when he would lend the shawl to friends, he would ensure he received it back from them, but this time, he was moved to do otherwise. He now saw the shawl as an attachment, and wanted Ritu, to accept his gift. It was a gift that went beyond rationality, a gift that could be of little value to Ritu once she went back home - but when we acknowledge the roots of Maitri that fueled it, we realize it had the power to spark revolutions in our hearts.

From washing each others dishes, to gifting beautifully crafted offerings to one another, to listening deeply to what was shared - there was a flow of gifts offered to each other in the smallest and subtlest ways.  When we hold space in this way without short term agendas, its difficult to capture the essence of what transpired. We thought the best way to share the beauty of what we witnessed through a few snapshots. All through the retreat, I was practicing deep listening and here were a few phrases from all of you that moved me:
 

The good in me bows down to the good in all of you.
We share to become empty
We have borrowed our future from our grand children.
I came to say yes to both Gandhi and Buddha whose whole life was a work of 'Maitri'.
When you don't know you are open to infinite possibilities .
'Be' like a still tree - In stillness we give and receive.
To really listen to others, we must first learn to listen to ourselves.
The head is always looking towards the sky, but the feet are what ground me.
Gandhi didn't focus on Results, rather he focused on Relations.
Become a master of yourself, not of the world
The world is not made better by trying to change it. It is made better when we become instruments and allow change to take place through us.
Your job is not to drag the world, kicking and screaming into a new awareness
Your job is to do your work..Secretly, silently, sacredly ... and those with eyes to see and ears to hear will respond
You're the blessings that exist, the small things that are bliss, the gift to realize that everything is a gift
All wisdom traditions come from the good, the true, the beautiful
I am you noble friend and I will stand by you for the rest of my life
Can we be like this beautiful rangoli, where each flower adds it fragrance
Can we be a mirror to someone else's light
Can we hold space like midwives for what is emerging whether it is painful or joyful
I came here for all those who didn't come here, and wish to take this light back to them
A chirping bird brought me here and I feel so held in your light and warm embrace
Buddha says 'Be an island, be a refuge. Go down, touch the land, be here.'
Every heart can change and it will open, just give it time
We have been cut off from the earth and the spirit will take time to heal and reconnect
Now I say yes first and let the mind follow later. I pray that all statuses, boundaries, divisions disappear and pure commitment takes place
I sit here with an open heart and commit to put in everything I can into this circle
Mela dilon ka aata hai. This is a carnival of hearts, so much to learn
I want to walk with the new generation which is exploring non-violence. Josh ke saath hosh bhi hona chahiye
When a raindrop joins the ocean, is it lost or is it found?
I have proof that the seed we are planting is bearing fruit
Everything around you is your teacher
I just want to serve the elders and allow them to connect, to see the beauty that emerges

Madhu opened our gathering with this touching video:


And together, we built the story as Ellie incredibly managed to capture all the micro-moments of love from our 4 days together:



Shaily captured lots of photos that speaks volumes about the invisible bond that connects each one of us so deeply:



Thank you simply doesn't suffice to express that gratitude that all of us feel for each other. The only way to honor receiving such gifts is to attempt to pay it forward -- and I promise to do so.

Posted by Khushmita Sanghvi on Feb 2, 2014 | permalink


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  • Ashima wrote ...

    so beautiful. Thank you so so much Khush!!! I was feeling so low today morning.. no news on my passport yet. I was thinking I missed going to India in Jan and I had sort of convinced myself for February, but that also doesn't seem like happening. And then I opened the blog and I read your post and I saw everyone's pictures and I heard their voices and I felt I am not too far away :)I felt held by all

    Thank you for so much love!
    in gratitude

  • Ritu wrote ...

    Dear Friends, I woke up in the morning hoping to hear Suresh Bhai’s manjira and the morning Bhajan. :) Though I am back home, I feel I have left a part of me with people who are so giving and loving. I can’t thank all of you enough for helping me in my journey, and without knowing, having unlocked something so beautiful and meaningful within me. The poise with which all of you conducted yourself, the beautiful words that sowed the seed in our minds, the love that was overflowing…you were  See full.

    Dear Friends, I woke up in the morning hoping to hear Suresh Bhai’s manjira and the morning Bhajan. :) Though I am back home, I feel I have left a part of me with people who are so giving and loving. I can’t thank all of you enough for helping me in my journey, and without knowing, having unlocked something so beautiful and meaningful within me. The poise with which all of you conducted yourself, the beautiful words that sowed the seed in our minds, the love that was overflowing…you were giving so generously and I just stood there folding everything within me, feeling so awakened and alive.

    At the time when I should have shared this, it didn’t come to me but I feel compelled to share with you that one of the reasons for coming to the Retreat was Siddharth. More than a year ago, he had sent a mail talking about his work, after our discussion at his mom-in-laws place. And his mail ended with: "In Service, Siddharth"

    Two simple words, yet so profound. Where was this coming from? So much of humility and wisdom at such an early age-how? I was very moved and told him that I would use these 2 words in my mail too but believe me they are the toughest to use because you can’t sign off with these words if there’s no bhav of love within you for those who you are writing to. It came easy when I had to sign off letters written to my guru, my friends, my family but not others. And that’s what I plan to change in my life. Everything I do, I want to offer it as a service of love to others.

    For now, I will be sharing my experience with my son and his friends. They are 14yr olds who are growing too fast and want to 'reinvent' life. Philosophy, ideology are the terrifying words in their dictionary. So, after a brief discussion with my son, Rehaan, I decided that the best way to engage them is to get them started with small acts of kindness- which gives them a great sense of purpose as this age is driven by action. I am hoping that such actions can later help them connect with their true being.

    Thank you all for unlocking the love for humanity within me.

    In service,

    Ritu Khoda

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  • Srila wrote ...

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warmest hospitality possible. Thank you not just for getting everything done, but for the beautiful and thoughtful way it was done. And thank you for opening my head to infinite possibilities, and to helping me reaffirm my faith in integrity, something that was slowly being eroded as I allowed the environment around me to overcome my own beliefs. My most special take away is the magic of people who just Believe in good, no matter what, and power thei  See full.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warmest hospitality possible. Thank you not just for getting everything done, but for the beautiful and thoughtful way it was done. And thank you for opening my head to infinite possibilities, and to helping me reaffirm my faith in integrity, something that was slowly being eroded as I allowed the environment around me to overcome my own beliefs. My most special take away is the magic of people who just Believe in good, no matter what, and power their lives with that belief: that's a magic that nothing can ever better..

    I met people who had the genuine openness and unspoilt humanity of a little baby: that's a magic that defies all definition or logic. I feel blessed to have met you, and I hope some of what you live and share will be spread through the life I lead...

    For me, there were four big highlights of the retreat: the way silence was used to focus, the opening presentation by Nipun, the concept of personal practices for inner transformation, and journeys of Nipun and Nimo that I heard in those hallway and bus-ride conversations.

    I am thrilled to host my first Awakin Circle this weekend in Bombay.

    With much love and warmth and all things bright and beautiful ...

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  • Rahul wrote ...

    Was going through the photos and taking in the afterglow of the retreat ... I am in the zero gravity zone in the last few days.. thanks for showing the light :-) It does not seem possible to *not* see you all again at this weekend's Awakin Talks event in Bombay .. even if I try !

  • Kavita wrote ...

    I have no words to express what I feel. I just want you to know you all have changed my life in 4 days. I hope that I am worthy of the faith and love you have invested in me and that my life and how I choose to live it, going forward, is a reflection of that. If there is anything that I can do to support the movement, I am at your service, in all humility and with lots and lots of love! :))

  • prachi wrote ...

    Thank you Khushmita. I aspire to cultivate the heart-space that has moved so many. The depth and kindness with which this transformation spreads gives me hope that if/when we fall, there's a community of noble family always there to inspire us to live our authentic and truest selves. The seeds keep being planted and I can only say it is an honor to witness and participate in these spaces. Thank you for all that you are. I see you. In loving gratitude.

  • Parag wrote ...

    I want to bring stillness to my mind … the importance of that was the biggest actual (not intellectual) insight for myself, in this retreat. Somehow, my mind felt extremely vulnerable and I need to spend more time building the inner transformation. And I really wish to extend this ecosystem to my city -- I want to invite few like minded friends for future retreats and am open to all possibilities for giving and receiving as it is called for. With gratitude for showing this hard-core entrepreneur the "size of the opportunity" for learning the law of love ...

  • Harsh wrote ...

    Wow!!! Thank you Khush for putting the feelings into words. Although I agree this doesn't sum up even 2% of what happened(actions and feelings and transformation) but I also agree, it couldn't have been summed up better than this. Every thing which happened happened at a grand scale but at the very same moment at its subtlest manner. Love was everywhere and with anchors and elders everywhere, it was just heaven. As Khush shared on last day, "This is what we do" and with people whose whole life is into spreading love and maitri in whatever they do, it is bound to be magic. I see us slowly becoming the unfulfilled dream of both Gandhi and Vinoba, they dreamt of creating a "Shanti Sena" and the descriptions I read of their vision, sounds a lot like what we are trying to BEcome. It was truly a blessing BEing there.

  • Datta wrote ...

    It's simply beautiful..! Nothing more can be asked from life..! what we experienced and rejoiced at Gandhi 3.0 ....lots of love and gratitude to everyone

  • Rajni wrote ...

    Dear all the joyous souls: Deepest gratitude barely begins to cover what I'm feeling after the retreat. May the most ineffable joys and blessings of the universe always hold you and be with you in all aspects of journeying. So many stories to be shared ... will do so later, but for now, I offer lots of love and a big group hug.

  • Richard wrote ...

    Seeing all this is the next best thing to being there with you all. And that's saying a lot.

  • Birju wrote ...

    So thankful for this write-up! i teared up while reading and watching, look forward to hearing more about this soon. love.

  • Meghna wrote ...

    I totally totally teared up while watching the video. It feels so surreal :) Thank you for the gift of being YOU!! All of you :) Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Shagun wrote ...

    That poem!!! Those truly are words to keep in the heart forever and to live by! I love you all!

  • Mira wrote ...

    How moving!!!! Khush, your write up is magical. Madhu, your video a true tribute. To be connected with each and everyone of you is my life's greatest gift. Happy moment, now and everyone.

  • Maki wrote ...

    Dear Madhu and friends, thank you for all creating so many special moments in my brief stay in India. You have created such an amazing atmosphere and from there, I have experienced and learned so many things that it has stayed in my heart ever since I left. It was so so beautiful, the way you invited people and the way you have created the space with the idea that everyone is special and that everyone has so much to offer. All the stories that I heard connected deeply with my heart, inspired  See full.

    Dear Madhu and friends, thank you for all creating so many special moments in my brief stay in India. You have created such an amazing atmosphere and from there, I have experienced and learned so many things that it has stayed in my heart ever since I left. It was so so beautiful, the way you invited people and the way you have created the space with the idea that everyone is special and that everyone has so much to offer.

    All the stories that I heard connected deeply with my heart, inspired me so much and gave me power to continue my work in Japan. I felt that I am not alone, that there are so many believers in the good and that we're all in this together. When I close my eyes and look deeply inside of me, I can feel my strength, love and power but when I open my eyes and look around, I am surrounded and protected by the same love and strength that I see in all of you. It makes me feel so safe and so calm that I do not have to do everything but rather just play my part in the collective movement.

    I am thankful that I was able to be part of this special gathering and I hope to bring this energy to Japan via an event in 2015. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

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