Awakin Calls » Vipul Shaha

Vipul Shaha: Youth Explorer, Seeker, Tinkerer
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Apr 10, 2021: Journeying Back to the Roots


Watch: Video Recording

Read: Summary By Jignasha Pandya  


This Sunday April 11, 2021 at 10 am (IST) in conversation with Vipul Shaha, will be ServiceSpace volunteer Rahul B Mehta on the topic of "Journeying Back to the Roots" :  What promise does a village or rurban life hold for today's youth? What is education of the heart? What practices may aid our communion with children, near relationships & nature? Vipul Shaha hails from a small village in India. Vipul's quest to learn and dive deeper into the process of learning has led him to engage with wide-ranging populations around the world, including children, teenagers and indigenous, rural and urban communities. His professional career choices includes working with among others Teach for India and the Krishnamurti Foundation, where he co-designed group See full.

This Sunday April 11, 2021 at 10 am (IST) in conversation with Vipul Shaha, will be ServiceSpace volunteer Rahul B Mehta on the topic of "Journeying Back to the Roots" : 

What promise does a village or rurban life hold for today's youth? What is education of the heart? What practices may aid our communion with children, near relationships & nature?

Vipul Shaha hails from a small village in India. Vipul's quest to learn and dive deeper into the process of learning has led him to engage with wide-ranging populations around the world, including children, teenagers and indigenous, rural and urban communities.

His professional career choices includes working with among others Teach for India and the Krishnamurti Foundation, where he co-designed group learning, personal transformation and social-change opportunities with young people. Vipul has volunteered with social organizations such as Initiatives of Change, Servas and Shikshantar. And above all, he is a tinkerer explorer; someone wants to walk the talk. In the past lockdown year, Vipul lived at his ancestral village, rediscovering links with the native culture, and significantly, creating a schedule to reconnect with his immediate family. This included the daily practice of “Quiet time” that included silence followed by a daily practice of collective reflection. Across some 27 such Quiet Time sessions, they offered each other the gift of deep listening and a remarkable shift occurred in their inter relationships.

As an educator, Vipul has witnessed the demerits of factory schooling. Vipul’s passion for education translates into an urge to explore its creative potential for a fundamental, radical transformation in human consciousness. During his Teach for India stint, one of the profound finds for him was the realization that to be an effective teacher, one needs to be a good human being. Every moment.

Vipul loves Mother Nature : as a self-appointed “branch manager” of the Amla (Indian gooseberry) tree at his village, he happily volunteers to harvest the crop! His love for nature manifests in unique Raksha-bandhan ceremonies where he brings people together to tie rakhis to their village’s sacred grove. Yes, there are times when this love gets tested – like his unbearable suffering of being stung by hundreds of honeybees while climbing atop a banyan tree. Yet, like an ever learning student of life, Vipul catalyses this near death experience into an opportunity - for wisdom to bloom. 

His nature connect led Vipul to be a faculty at Krishnamurti Foundation’s Valley School at Bengaluru, where he found himself asking questions like : What would education look like when the world is our classroom and our life is the curriculum? How would the youth of today develop & express their deep care for nature? Again, the inherent linkage between re-connecting with Mother Nature as well as our true nature came alive for Vipul. He nurtures this inherent linkage through his daily practice of Yoga and meditation.

Vipul is a post graduate in Human Development and Psychology and offers counselling services and facilitates Mindfulness workshops professionally. It is his belief that being choicelessly aware of the unfolding of every moment with compassion, brings about healing and transformation and unlocks great human potential.

Vipul plays the flute, and also paints. He is a (closet :)) poet too –in the number below, he broods over the eternal quest, so very well articulated by J Krishnamurti : How may we live every moment as if we are living it for the first time?

*Never Mind!*

Hey Mind!

Hope you don’t mind,

I want to ask you…

What are these wanderings that you do?

My mind, being seen n' baffled…

Tumbles…and fumbles…

Hmm...I too wonder…

‘bout my restless wanderings…!

Ah, well never mind…

I ask my mind again…

What is it that you keep longing?

Umm…no…nothing…

I keep myself busy…

With anything n’ everything…

You may call me a kid or a monkey…

Never pausing or ceasing…

day-dreaming…or even screaming…

I’m ever so hard-working!

I’m thinking…analyzing...

Sometimes even agonizing...

Every moment, I’m liking or disliking!

Fears n’ worries…memories n’ stories…

I keep them carrying…

Back n’ forth…past n’ future

I’m constantly traveling…

I nudge my mind again...

…what purpose is all this serving?

This constant choosing…chattering...

Isn’t it so very confusing!!?

All your critiquing n controlling

Wouldn’t it be so tiring?

Ever noticed how you really feeling?

What do you say mind…

If we chill n enjoy just being?

‘Cuz whatever’s meant to be

is anyway happenin'...!

My mind throws tantrums n begins freezing..

Uhh…are you firing me bro?

Haha, not at all my dear…

It’s time for us to grow!

Let's drop the baggage n dance…

to the tune of this moment!

You ready for a promotion?

To flow with mindful observation!

How my mind smiles n’ jumps!

Hugs the Heart…

It knows now…that every moment…

Is a brand new start! 

- September 2, 2020


Five Questions for Vipul
What Makes You Come Alive?

Walking barefoot and getting my hands in the soil while gardening, climbing trees, long bicycle rides and playing with children! :)

Pivotal turning point in your life?

At the age of 17 when I attended my first Vipassana Meditation retreat in the blessed presence of S.N. Goenkaji, I glimpsed into the possibility of oneness with all beings--life has never been the same since then.

An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?

I had once gone to stay near Rajghat, Delhi to work on a short-term educational assignment. My food and accommodation was not properly in place. My body couldn't take the piercing cold winter weather and the pollution due to which I soon fell extremely ill. An elderly grandmother--Induben, at the Gandhi Ashram somehow came to know about me (I was a complete stranger) and very kindly started offering me meals that she would cook with so much motherly love. She runs a community learning center for children from a nearby slum and has been teaching Charkha for many decades with much dedication. She welcomed me into her classes and morning prayer meetings. I felt very blessed in her presence and my mind-body-spirit soon began to heal. I still continue to be in touch with her and whenever I have tried to express my gratitude, she beautifully reminds me that everything we do is a humble offering to the divine, we are merely the instrument.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?

To attend a 20 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat.

One-line Message for the World?

Instead of a 'message for the world' I would like to offer my deepest, heartfelt gratitude to all visible-invisible beings who make this world more joyful, more beautiful, kinder and greener everyday with their selfless and courageous acts of love.

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