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Narendra Kini: Heartfulness and the Quest for an Integrated Life
Nuggets From Narendra Kini's Call
This Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Narendra Kini.
On the outside, Narendra Kini (Naren) is a successful Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, executive, and technologist. On the inside, he is an artist, poet, and heartful seeker of spirituality, peace, inner beauty, and truth. Naren has co-founded or managed thriving companies and startups in areas such as technology consulting and artificial intelligence (AI). Born an identical twin, he is a practitioner of Raja Yoga meditation and an imbiber of the writings of Swami Vivekananda for over 25 years. He gives talks and writes articles – on subjects including inner joy, true purpose, uncovering inspiration and creativity, empathy and compassion at workplace. Outside work, Naren takes an hour each day for artistic expression by sketching subjects inspired through inner silence and reflection. He is a volunteer trainer at the Heartfulness Institute, offering free training on wellness and meditation to individuals and organizations.
Below are some of the nuggets from the call that stood out for me :
What is the heartfulness work? “We are a group of volunteers who do something different. Instead of asking people to come on the weekends, we take meditation to their workplace, which is the source of their stress. So the workplace becomes a better place rather than a boiler room of success.”
“We aim to build a bridge between science and spirituality. The esoteric aspects of spirituality turn off people. In modern times everyone wants scientific proof for ancient wisdom.”
“Why do we always use stone as an example for a ripple? Why not the dry leaf? If you look at long lasting stories, they have all been anonymous service. There is no media campaign. There is no marketing department at Service Space. A ripple can come without the noise.”
Sometimes it's not enough to take a horse to the water, we may have to feed it something that makes it thirsty. We claim accomplishments and glories based on just taking the horse to the water.”
“There is no marketing team at my company, Global Touchpoint, the entire company runs on relationships. Even in saying the name of the company, you should realize the purpose is to establish a touch point from one person to another and the rest will happen, let it flow.”
“The biggest stumbling block is the aspect of not doing anything at all; that weighs on you so heavily that it results in inaction.”
“I don't like the term "employee" because it creates a barrier. I think we are all in it together. Some of the best ideas have come from collective thinking and collaborative suggestion. Every associate has a unique strength to bring to the table. Remove the sharp edges and make for a well-rounded team.”
“Every individual travels their own journey...yet if we don't reflect on why our journeys were different, then we've ignored the lessons that are meant to be learned. A lot of lessons and principles of life were taught in my childhood.”
I have an identical twin brother. Childhood also taught us the lesson of healthy competition. My brother and I were intensely competitive. I think I learned my lessons of co-existence long back in my life. Both my brother and I could excel but also co-exist.”
“You can take different paths, be competitive, and ultimately you can co-exist. You don't have to see the downfall of another in order for you to succeed.”
“One does not have to look alike to tune into the same band of another person's heart. You can tune into one another's heart and tune into nature. You're in a rhythm.”
“There are many inspirational stories that we hear. It's about acting on the inspiration.”
“In the Bhagavad Gita, it says, "it’s the effort that matters, don't look for the fruits of your labor. Fruits of your labor are just incidences, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they're not.”
“One can only feel the inner beauty, one cannot see it. We are so busy trying to look for it. Close your eyes and you will find the shortest route to divine love. A Sufi Saint said maybe the five senses are a distraction to feel real love.”
"It's good to be aspirational, rather than ambitious. Aspiration is the inner calling and you tend to have much more centered sense of accomplishment."
"The best aspiration one can have is to better themselves today compared to who they were yesterday and that will get them to a healthy place, as opposed to competing with someone or working to achieve a title or a certain level of accomplishment materially. There is a calmness in this approach because you are connecting to your heart when taking a decision. You relate to human beings more genuinely and they feel that you mean what you're saying."
"I have always tried to be the best I can but I've also believed that there is somebody better than me and I should never take away that opportunity from listening to that person, whoever it is in an organization. Being open to that changes the dimension of the problem you're solving. If you think you have the best ideas and best solutions, you might lead your team down a narrower path."
"The reason people want to meditation varies but if done sincerely, the real purpose will be revealed. The journey is more interesting than the destination. The art of waiting will put you through the turmoils of frustration, joy, bliss, but ultimately what you're left with is significant self realization. We often times try to give a solution to a problem...I have this profound headache...can meditation solve it? The simplicity of meditation is its own enemy, but if you listen carefully nobody said simple was easy. Even a company's performance is measured quarterly so give yourself 12 weeks and see what happens.
My journey already being supported by Service Space in more ways than one. The human touchpoints I Have been able to create, I have not been able to otherwise. We all have found something very common in each other, that is unconditional love, which transcends everything. In the realm of work that Service Space and Heartfulness does, it's a me to we transformation, a selfish to selfless transformation, a reactive to responsiveness transformation, a passion to compassion transformation, an anger to love transformation, an arrogant to humility transformation, and maybe restless to peaceful transformation as a result of all that.
“If you share, you learn more, and the universe just expands."
Lots of gratitude to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers that made this call happen!
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