Volunteer + Transformation Circle with Nipun Mehta
On Monday, November 27th, a small group of friends, community organizers and change agents are coming together for a deep-dive circle on 'Spirit of Service' with Nipun Mehta.
  • 4:00 PM: Meditation
    4:45 PM: Circle of Sharing: What is the most pressing inquiry you are holding around your journey of service?
    5:45 PM: Nipun-bhai's reflection on Spirit of Service
    6:30 PM: Open Mic
    7:00 PM: Dinner and Hugs :)
In the past, such circles have held various personal inquiries like ... How much of service is external and how much is external? What are the properties of intrinsic motivation that make it regenerative? Is there such a thing as "compassion fatigue"? If compassion is regenerative, why do we feel a lack of motivation sometimes? How do I avoid burnout? How do I know if my act is actually in service to others? Should I analyze my intention or does that lead to analysis paralysis? Is it more selfless to share stories that inspire me or to be quietly anonymous? Why do I get so attached to the people I serve? Is it more virtuous to serve your own family or to serve others? Are holding boundaries a sign of weakness or strength? When the problems in the world feel too overwhelming to solve, how can I cultivate resiliency?

And more systemic questions like ... How can we assume value everywhere and creatively work with multiple forms of capital? Without power, as with a volunteer group, how do provide the needed leadership to get stuff done? Can we design a volunteer-run infrastructure that relies on non-financial incentives? What are the (personal and collective) practices for authentic and lasting inner transformation? How does a distinction between sympathy, empathy, and compassion affect our collective expressions of service?

For those don't have a context of Nipun-bhai's service journey, you may like read about his intention when he started in his twenties, which then led to his decision to attempt social change without money while tapping into multiple forms of capital. His article on 5 Reasons to Serve and personal interview on Meditation and Service share the foundation of what got him to embrace a gift-economy path, embark on a walking pilgrimage in India and not only sustain himself along the way but expand into a gift ecology and continue to nuance it further.

Institutionally speaking, ServiceSpace has catalyzed massive amount of volunteer service, globally, for the last 19 years. Their organizing principles are shared in the older Tao of CharityFocus and Generosity 2.0 document, the popular Designing for Generosity Ted Talk from 2012 (and follow-up conversation in 2015), and thoughts on "Do Nothing" Generosity. For more nuanced insights, a Dozen Questions Around Volunteerism, organizing in Gandhi 3.0 way, and four stages of community building are great resources as well.

It would be great to have you join us, share a contemplative space of reflection, and plant seeds for co-creating more goodness in the world. To join, simply RSVP below and we'll send you a follow-up email with the details.