Welcoming the Empty Hands tour to Pune
After an hour of sitting in silence, Sheetalbhai opened the Sharing, welcoming Nimo – and the audience – home, and in gratitude for the people who were present in body and those joining in spirit from across the world.
Nimo started with the birth of the Empty Hands music, his second coming to the world of music… his belief that music should be a conduit of service and not of self-promotion. And how each gathering would be seeded with the spirit of how to be of service to others, how to be an instrument and to create spaces for growth, healing and upliftment. Through his stories from across the yatra, he generously shared the secret recipe of his laddership : Faith that music is a conduit - not for entertainment - but to alleviate people of their sufferings.
Thus, we came to know how, wherever he went, the Pipe Piper Nimo planted seeds of joy (the pianist superkid Jasper and the spontaneous ‘Cantaloupe Island’ creation), of kindness (niece Lekha offering her entire piggy bank to Nimo), of service (cleaning up the home of Mataji & Babaji’s neighbor) and basically connecting hearts to hearts (dinner – after prayers! – with Victoria at London). This intercontinental cross pollinator was always at work, sharing practices of Priyanka of the Maya team (Pune) with his little niece Lekha (Austin) or inspiring Sherry to sustain a ‘sub’-Urban Ashram setup at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Well, surely now Sheetal & Khush can’t claim that ‘We don’t have branches anywhere’ :-)
While summing up the lessons from the journey, Nimo shared that he observed a common thread running across all the people on the planet - that while there is no denying the existence of suffering in the world - just as the Buddha averred - none of us wants to suffer. Values such as love and kindness are a way out of the suffering/scarcity mindset and these need to be cultivated. For some, music could be the conduit to elevate them from the maya around, for others it could be being present in spaces and communities such as Moved by Love and the Urban ashram and so on.
Of course, how is an evening with Nimo complete without a song! ‘To my people’ was followed by ‘Graduation’ - with tunes that have grown on all of us, and lyrics so profound that would take a few lifetimes to put to practice. On a lighter note, Khush shared how she always banks on Nimo’s lyrics when shes out of matter for her ‘Thought for Today’ whiteboard. And of course, soon after we had the world (actually, intergalactic) premiere of the ‘To my people’ Video for this select audience!
During ‘Graduation’, when almost all in audience, including the little Simoo and the Maya kids team sang the entire lyrics along with Nimo and Nick, it seemed as though the audience were the real lyricists and the singers had merely been commissioned to compose the music :-). Somewhere, the line separating the artist and audience kinda diffused, the drishya (scene) and the drasta (observer) became one. It was clear that these were the green shoots of the seeds planted by Nimo at the start of the Empty Hands tour at this very Urban Ashram in early March 2014. As Nimo’s address neared its end, it seemed like the Empty Hands yatra had come literally a full circle, after circumambulating the globe.
As we wound up, it was delight to see people from all over the world..and India…and Pune..in audience. Much as the Empty Hands yatra makes a temporary stop, Nimo’s inner yatra continues as he continues to inspire us in service.
Long after this Maitri Milan ended, driving home, Enya, and her celtic tunes, played on my mind, “Pilgrim in your journey you may travel far, Pilgrim it’s a long way to find out who you are…”
Nimoji, obeisances. Sheetalbhai and Khush, many bows to you.