Shiv and Deepa's Wednesday Offering
May 1, 2014
Every Wednesday, Shiv and Deepa drop off yogurt for our Awakin Circle. They make it at home and drop it off. Every week. It's very touching, and a great lesson in many ways.
First, it is an ode to slowness. It would be much easier to go to Google Express, click on Mountain High, pay a few bucks and have it at our doorstep in 4 hours. Instead, they culture the yogurt during the week, drop it off, pick up previous week's container. Even when they aren't able to join the circle, the container of yogurt is always there. In our rat-race towards efficiency, this adds some shine to the joy of deliberateness.
Yet, that's not the full story. It would've been one thing if my mom posted a "Needs for Awakin Circles" list on our bulletin board, wrote yogurt on it, and waited until Shiv and Deepa signed up for it. But that's not how it happened.
Shiv and Deepa started coming sporadically few years ago, when Shiv was a bit skeptical of the whole thing, particularly meditation. Over time, though, natural strands of affinity emerged. Deepa loved to sing, just like my Dad, so they would often jam together on Sundays with couple others. It turned out that Shiv loved "Kadhee" (a particular kind of Indian soup) that my mom would make periodically, and so if she knew that Shiv was joining the Awakin Circle, she would try to make it -- or if she ended up making it and Shiv wasn't there, she'd drop him a note about how she thought of him. One time in 2011, during the circle of sharing, Shiv actually shared a poem he had written -- on Kadhee!
It had us all rolling in laughter. :) As the years passed, they noticed Smile Cards a bit more, learned about ServiceSpace, started volunteering, attended a 10-day meditation, and so on. Sometime last year, they attended the community night of our annual ServiceSpace retreat, and during the circle, Shiv shared a decision he spontaneously made: "You know, I'm not the one for prayer but today, I just feel that there is good in the world -- and I'm now going to pray everyday that your tribe increases."
In the modern world, a lot is said about networks and connections. But not enough is said about the strength of those ties. When the Facebook ties turn into deeper connection, and when the organizing principle of that community is inner transformation, the bonds turn into noble friendships.
Then it's perfectly understandable that Shiv and Deepa didn't respond to a "needs assessment" of an Awakin Circle. Instead, they built a relationship, they sensed into a way they can contribute, and they found a skillful way to make the offering. It took time, which allowed the connection to be natural and noble. Had it been about quickly checking off todo-lists, it would've been easy to forget that it was actually never about the yogurt -- it was about gratitude. And then, of course, it makes total sense that these two software engineers go to the grocery store on the weekends to buy organic milk, boil it and cool it down (adjusting temperature based on seasons), add culture. On hot Wednesdays, one of them takes it to work and stores it in the refrigerator, and drop it off on the way from back before 7PM, while picking up the emptied container from the previous week.
Amazon Prime orders may soon be delivered by drones, but Awakin Circle gifts will always be delivered by love. :)
Thank you, Shiv and Deepa!