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First India Visit Since Pandemic ...
Dear ServiceSpace Friends in India,
I hope you are doing well. After almost three years, since the start of the pandemic, my India karma has ripened again. :) This winter, I’ll be traveling to Awakin Circles in various cities, and hope we get a chance to hug in-person!
In particular, it would be a great joy to see you at one of these retreats in Ahmedabad …
- Dec 8-11, Karma Yog Retreat: This 2-minute clip of Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu makes my day every time I see it. :) Despite shouldering the weight of the world, these change-makers stay light, joyous and compassionate. How do they do it? Bunch of volunteers will be coming together to dive into the zen of action, spirit of service, and the creativity that is unleashed when we surrender the outcomes to emergence. Learn more/RSVP here.
- Dec 22-25, Panchshakti Retreat: we often mistake proximity for community. Vinoba-ji offered a nice metaphor of "Panch-Shakti" -- a palm, where five fingers work together. What does it take for society's different sectors to weave together, like a flock of starlings, and ignite a multiplier effect? What are the unexpected "black swan" events that we might not see alone, but can spot collectively? Join a group of heart-centered leaders and “ladders” exploring uncommon questions across six different sectors (business, education, nonprofit, government, community and media). Learn more/RSVP here.
Trust all else is well with you. On this end, ServiceSpace’s uncommon response to the pandemic ended up magnetizing millions, which then led to a truly unique peer-learning platform that we simply call “Pods” – and that kept us all quite busy. :) At a personal level, I explored my “it’s complicated” relationship with Zoom, while having some fun like the BatGap interview and sharing on topics like death and Gandhi’s 11 vows that were a first for me. Finding joy in the everyday encounters, and gratitude for the blessings of many – like my parents – became my refuge through these times. And in July, I took my first post-covid flight to address a Jain youth conference on a topic that was present for me as well, Playing an Infinite Game:
"Finite game is played for the purpose of winning; every winner creates lots of losers. Infinite game, on the other hand, is played for the purpose of continuing the play. Of nurturing life. Infinite players aren't vested in a particular story, but are joyful poets of a story that continues well beyond their horizon."
Couple weeks back, my body landed in Austria but my bags didn’t. :) For the first Awakin Circle, I somehow managed; but when the community found out that I had no clothes for my upcoming formal event, someone gave me a shirt; another gave me a jacket; another a coat; a belt, and so on. It was the most surreal feeling to go up on stage like that – where the ephemeral “I” is held up by pieces of so many people’s hearts. It felt just right. :)
With gratitude for our connection,
P.S. Here's a recent happy moment, when I was circling up with some aspiring Buddhist monks in a redwood forest, as even a deer joined in the fun! :)