30 Days, 30 Ways: A Fellowship Driven By Inner Transformation

Posted by Audrey Lin on Jan 6, 2014


At the Gandhi Ashram, we’ve been fortunate to encounter streams of individuals who are “being the change” in their own contexts and ways. On top of that, in the last year, through Awakin gatherings, Seva Cafés and Karma Kitchens, decentralized smile events, and Moved By Love retreats, we’ve noticed more and more people looking for ways to go deeper in inner transformation. 30 Days, 30 Ways is a month-long program for these individuals to witness, explore, and engage with the service journeys of diverse folks from the Gandhi Ashram ecosystem while simultaneously engaging in daily practices that nurture the values of kindness, gratitude, inner and outer sanitation, stillness and simplicity, and small acts with great love.

By holding space to go deeper within, this 30-day program will be a laboratory in which five participants will experiment with selfless service through the lens of inner transformation. In the wider scope of the Moved By Love ecosystem and emerging generosity incubators, this 30-day experiment can also help inform designs on ‘leading with inner transformation’ in various contexts (business, non-profit, education, etc).

Overall Idea

To facilitate the journey within, we can make use of various tools around external stimulation as well as inner reflection. So, on one hand, the participants will spend time learning from a range of inspiring folks (‘mentors’), do acts to cultivate kindness (via a 30-day Kindness Challenge) and gratitude in themselves, and also engage in a service project. And, on the other hand, the participants will also engage in silence/meditation, sharing, self-study, etc.
In terms of program structure, the first half of the month will focus on daily acts, inspiration, and reflection to help the participants root themselves in inner transformation at a daily level. Week 3 will step up the tempo and offer scope to the participants to engage in a week-long service project while still having inner transformation as the primary focus. Week 4 will be less about acting externally, and more about exploring our inner world through longer periods of silence and reflection.

Throughout the four weeks, participants will also commit to personal practices that focus on values they wish to develop. For example, someone may choose to challenge their comforts by not eating sweets or taking public transit for a week. Fellows are encouraged to reflect on the experience through daily journaling, and to share about it in weekly discussion sessions.

Weekly Details

For the first two weeks of the program, fellows will shadow a new ‘mentor’ from the Gandhi Ashram ecosystem each day. By seeing the world through each mentor’s unique lens and experiencing in their personal practices and work (from prayer and meditation to working with children to farming to driving a rickshaw on a gift-economy), fellows will have the opportunity to draw from different journeys, and ultimately deepen their own view and embodiment of selfless service.

In the third week, fellows will pick one mentor and/or practice that they are particularly inspired by and would like to explore more deeply. They will spend 30 hours designing and carrying out a project with the support of this mentor. The focus here is on the values and intention behind the project, and trusting that if those are clear, the results will follow.

Finally, in the fourth week, fellows will go to the Vinoba Ashram in Paunar to be in silence, reflect, and share about their experience. They will also have the opportunity to engage in ashram practices (spinning khadi, farming, etc.) and spend time with the ashram residents, some of whom are long-time students of Vinoba and have dedicated their lives to radical acts of great love.

30-Day Timeline

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Day 1     Orientation at Gandhi Ashram
Day 2-5  Daily Schedule
Day 6      Volunteer at Seva Cafe
Day 7      On Campus Day
Day 8-12   Daily Schedule
Day 13     Walk or Day of Silence
Day 14       On Campus Day
Day 15-20  Service Project
Day 21       On Campus Day
Days at Paunar:

Daily Schedule
Meditation or Safai
Shower/Prepare for Day
Morning Prayer, Daily Check-in
Shadow Mentor of the Day (includes lunch, 2 hrs of rest time)
Circle of Sharing
Study Period, Journaling

“On Campus Day” Schedule
Meditation or Safai
Shower/Prepare for Day
Morning Prayer, Discussion Session
Personal Time (Laundry, Rest, etc.)
Group Activity

Potential Mentors include: Jayesh-bhai, AnarbenMadhu, Suresh, Virenbhai, Everyday Heroes (like Udaybhai, Raghubhai, Loving Community, Rudra, Ram-Rahim), Nimo, Mukeshbhai (Kabir Ashram), Kantikaka (art), Vasanthdada and Kantikaka (naturopathy center), rural heroes (Jaldeep, Mustu) and more.

If you'd like to join the pilot, from Feb 5th to March 5th (of 2014), please contact us.

Posted by Audrey Lin on Jan 6, 2014 | permalink

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Previous Comments
  • Parth wrote ...

    Wow! What a beautiful conception, Audrey! :) Are they going to be further opportunities to join this fellowship after March?

  • Audrey wrote ...

    Hi Parth! This is certainly just a pilot run, so we do hope to have more opportunities like this in the future! :-)