"All revolutions are spiritual at the source. All my activities have the sole purpose of achieving a union of hearts." --Vinoba Bhave
Every Wednesday, a few of us come together to sit in silence for an hour, share some aha-moments for the second hour and often have a light meal afterwards. There no teachers, or agendas. Inspired by a family who has done this for more than decade every week, Awakin Circles are just a space to come together and share in a context of stillness, community and service.
To attend this Wednesday at 7PM, simply register in the right column and you'll be emailed all the details. There is no charge and no one is expected to bring anything but their lovely presence. The evening's format is as follows:
||An hour of collective silence; its unguided, without any instructions or music. For first-timers, this primer on meditation may be helpful.
||A short reading (sent out earlier via email), followed by a circle of sharing of "aha" moments from everyday life.
||A vegetarian meal, offered in silence. Those who stay afterwards are invited to offer time for local community projects.
Awakin Ahmedabad is hosted at the home of Meghna Banker -- 303-304, Sivanta Apartments, Opp. Gandhi Ashram, Behind Silver Cloud Hotel, Lane next to Cargo Tata Motors Showroom, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380013 (see map). If you have any questions, please email Meghna or call 9537160173.
"Just Paying It Forward"
Khushmita Sanghvi recently attended the Awakin Ahmedabad circle. She later described her experience ...
Two weeks ago, as I entered this beautiful new home in Ahmedabad, I was greeted with a vast expanse of space which is their living room. The room was completely bare except for 1 or 2 pieces of essential furniture. The home had such a welcoming energy to it and the feeling of endless space, inviting people to just ‘be.’
For me, Meghna has always been an extremely warm, open and straightforward person and I love the little conversations I have with her from time to time. As we spoke about the large living room and house design, she passionately told me that their home is specifically designed for Awakin gatherings!
Now that piqued my interest as I asked Meghna what her experiences with Awakin’s had been. She very whole heartedly shared with me, how the Awakin gatherings in Santa Clara had altered her life. There was a tough phase in her student life, while at film school in San Francisco, when she had to quit her part time job in order to complete a film project. Living on a shoe string budget as most students do, for almost 6 months she would share one Starbucks coffee in the day and share one meal of $4 at Naan and Curries for dinner. That was all she could afford at the time, considering she had to pay for rent and other expenses too, and so she survived the entire day on this meal. Meghna was also going through a personal crisis at that time and so had a lot of challenges to face.
With a lot of gratitude, Meghna then shared how the love and the abundance of delicious food cooked so lovingly by Harshida Aunty every Wednesday at Santa Clara was the only thing that made both of them survive the entire week! As she meditated and then ate that one meal cooked with so much love and served with blessings, she received immense energy to walk ahead and face their challenges with renewed strength physically, emotionally and spiritually.
For Meghna, that phase was the seed for her anchoring Awakins from their home in Ahmedabad for over 7 years now.
As a part of their move to their new home, Meghna decided to step up the abundance of a variety of food cooked with love at every Wednesday gathering and sure enough at the last gathering I attended, she along with her cook Aarti ben had cooked a scrumptious spread of chapatti’s, dal, veggies, salad, aam ras (mango juice), and dessert! All this while being a full time mom to an active 2 year old is quite a biteful, I must say :)
In her own words, Meghna shared: "For me Wednesday gatherings are very sacred and when I remember the difficult time we spent in the U.S. I truly want to cook as much as I can and serve all who come home with love so that all the Meghna’s in the world are nourished just the way that we were at The Mehta home in Santa Clara.’’
One can already see the effects of meditation on their little one Reva, who is barely 2 years old and at that age can sit a whole minute in silence, complete with a cross legged posture and eyes closed until one of her parents ends it with Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. She loves the Buddha frame in their house and points at it whenever it catches her eye saying, ‘Buddha Om Kare chhe’ -- Reva's way of saying "The Buddha is in meditation".