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Talking Circle At INay

iNay means mother in Filipino. That's what Ana named the beautiful 5-story building at Assumption College, whose mission now is to "encourage circles." It has a gorgeous yoga studio, various halls, a state of the art theater, a zen room, and a whole lot more. It feels like our Banyan Grove for the Philippines. :)

After the commencement today, few of us were going to hold a "Talking Circle." Given the festivities with the commencement, it was meant to be a low-key affair. Ten minutes before the circle, though, a slightly frazzled Ana pulled me aside and said, "Can you give a presentation?" Some big leaders from the school, the school principal, school president, three nuns, a trustee and such had unexpectedly joined our intimate circle. "If they really understand ServiceSpace values, it can really have huge ripples," Ana said.

Okay. So I whip up some slides, and start with some sharing from the heart. And then some core shifts of a "many to many" context, Gandhi 3.0-esque "laddership" style. You could sense that it was like a small earthquake. :) One of the nuns was full of smiles. Another, who ran the K-12 school, had very concrete questions on taking this forward. The best response was from a woman, who said, "I'm disturbed. Very disturbed, actually. But in a good way. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. This upends everything we had all just discussed." :)

Dr. Carmen "Pinky" Valdes is the 70+ year-old president of the college. She's really a rebel, an innovator, who has now totally caught the kindness bug. Once she's clear, she goes ahead full steam -- and so it was here. She wants to visit the Saionjis in Japan for peace prayers; she wants to host an Asia-wide Awakin Talks style event in their theater; she wants to join the next Gandhi 3.0 retreat in India and send her staff for service-learning trips to the Gandhi Ashram, both her and Ana want to stay at Banyan Grove, and she wants to host a retreat in Manila next February for Asia-wide leaders and ladders.

Vinoba spoke about Jai Jagat -- "Hail to the World". It sure feels like Jai Jagat these days -- with so many people, communities and organizations from so many different corners of the world coming together in service.

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