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The Love Bomb In Dubai :)
I'm not quite sure how Natasha and I originally connected, but two years ago, she came to the Gandhi Ashram for one our Startup Service gatherings. Her parents, Viresh and Faye, joined too. They were quite deeply "moved by love" and were keen to help in whatever ways emerged. Originally from Oman, and now in Dubai, they are students of Dayananda Saraswati (Value of Values is one of his great books) -- and Gandhi. :)
They lovingly hosted me in their home and in the evening, they held a lavish event with musicians, multi course meals and much more. Originally, we intended a small circle -- but apparently, word spread and they had stop at about 100 folks, as everyone puzzled over what exactly could be drawing people. Mama Faye felt it was Natasha's to-the-point Whatsapp invite, which linked to Can You Create Social Change Without Money? "In Dubai, it's all about money so no one can believe this." :)
Everything about the evening was very thoughtful. As you entered, your nametag said: "Name" and "Love is ...". I wrote "Love is a crack in the ego that can contain the whole universe." Then people sipped on coconut water or pomegranate juice while informally chatting with others. Soon after, you were invited to enter into a silent sanctuary and write an intention on a heart-shaped piece of paper that you will hang up on a tree. Natasha introduced me, I spoke, did some Q&A, and we broke out into small groups, before concluding with some closing reflections and a giant group hug with Nimo's Grateful playing in the background.
It felt like a love bomb had exploded. One young woman looked at the menu and jumped with joy. "Oh my god!" It was a Singaporean soup that she was craving just earlier in the day, and isn't available anywhere in Dubai. Another random fellow overheard that and said, "Hey, I commute to Singapore. I'm going to bring you one package of this soup every month!" Everyone was just in that space.
Many people noted, "Most of us have never experienced a circle like this in Dubai. This doesn't happen here." The room featured many entrepreneurs, celebrities, and global personalities -- most of whom were dancing to the beat of compassion. About 10 volunteers took over the waiters role, and served with *unstoppable* enthusiasm. By the end of the night, everyone was hugging everyone. "Fierce generosity is what I want to practice," two people separately told Natasha. Several people invited me to their events, many people spoke about starting their own circles, many brainstormed local ideas with each other. Few people have already started planing for a Dubai retreat later in the year.
Another highlight for me was reconnecting with my cousin, Aditya, after 12 years! It felt like we hadn't skipped a beat. He was also swept up by the energy of the space and signed up to join the Awakin Circle next week and other kindness events. Long live love! :)
Posted Apr 9, 2017 | permalink