Monday, May 21, 2012

Learning to walk

In a previous post, A story about ego, I retold a story I had heard from a guest speaker at a Wednesday evening meditation session in Santa Clara hosted by Charity Focus (now ServiceSpace) founder Nipun Mehta.  Even though I don't spend much time in the Bay Area anymore, I have remained on their mailing list and receive a weekly note of inspiration.  That note of inspiration is typically the topic of discussion following the meditation session.

Today, I received an email providing an update on some of things happening at ServiceSpace.  Buried in that email was a little piece about Nipun's speech at UPenn's recent graduation.  I was intrigued -- someone I had personally met was the Baccalaureate speaker at the University of Pennsylvania.  I had to check it out.

Here's how the editors of DailyGood prefaced the transcript of his talk:
To address their newly-minted graduates, aspiring to dazzling careers, they picked a man who has never in his adult life, applied for a job. A man who hasn't worked for pay in nearly a decade, and whose self-stated mission is simply "to bring smiles to the world and stillness to my heart".
The talk describes some of the lessons learned from a pilgrimage of walking over a 1000 kilometers through villages in India, sharing in the lives of strangers and depending on their kindness.  Here are some excerpts.
Soon after we ended the pilgrimage, my uncle casually popped the million dollar question at the dinner table: "So, Nipun, what did you learn from this walk?" I didn't know where to begin. But quite spontaneously, an acronym --W-A-L-K -- came to mind...
The W in WALK stands for Witness. 
The A in WALK stands for Accept. 
The L in WALK stands for Love. 
And lastly, the K in WALK stands for Know Thyself.

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