Spiritual Summer Camp


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The outage started at about 10pm on Thursday evening. It was at about that time when we pulled into the parking lot of the camp ‘in the middle of nowhere” where the eastern and western branches of the historic Delaware river meet. The seven hour drive across rivers, valleys and through the mountains of the lower tier of upstate New York had been scenic and educational.

We arrived to pitch-black darkness under crystal-clear skies with the sliver of a new-moon slowly rising into wispy clouds and the brightest carpet of star-studded diamonds I had seen in a long time. My daughter announced – “there’s no signal, Dad” – a sign that cellular coverage had been reduced to zero. “I am sure they have Wi-Fi” was my palliative response, to instill some hope, even though I knew fully well that that was not to be the case (at for her).

Ten weeks of ‘summer break’ from school usually include at least a few weeks of ‘camp’ for most families, and ours is no different. This year, she decided that she was ready to try ‘sleepaway camp’. So, here we were, to begin three weeks of a journey into a new paradigm without internet, to be (hopefully) replaced with all kinds of activities including outdoor activities and water sports, theater, magic, music, art, and much more. Her ‘device’ is loaded with music and books, but I have a feeling that she will be hard-pressed to find time for any of that.

During the drive out, I couldn’t help but wonder – what were my ‘summer breaks’ like growing up? They were mostly spent visiting family, and traveling around in the areas where my Dad was stationed. Multiple summers were spent in Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal – the far North and Northeastern states of India were my playgrounds. And how about you – what were your ‘summer breaks’ like? Did they include any ‘summer camps’? If so, how did they influence your ‘education’ outside of formal schooling?

As adults, it is perhaps in summer-time that we feel a little bit of extra freedom to take time out for ourselves. As a society, it is a season where it is ‘acceptable’ to take time to be on family vacations, retreats and related travel. ‘Summer-camps’ for adults may look a bit different than those for kids, but the intent is perhaps the same – disconnect from the everyday routine, experience a new (unfamiliar) environment, try some new activities, learn some new skills, make some new friends, and emerge with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement about ‘back to school’ at summer’s end.

So, what would ‘Spiritual summer-camp’ look like for you? Have you ever been to one in the form of a ‘spiritual retreat’ away from home? If so, would you do it again? Have you ever experimented with an ‘in-home’ spiritual summer-camp which involved a new routine, new skills, new connections, internet disconnect, and more?

The outage (for me) lasted well after lunch on the next day. In the morning, it did feel a bit strange to pick up the phone, only to find out that I was still ‘lost’ to the outside world. I will admit that I suddenly ‘found’ a lot more hours in the day… to take a long walk by the lake after breakfast, to sit in an adirondack chair in the sunshine after lunch and doze off into day-dreams, to sit on the hill before dinner and watch the sunlight filtering through the tall trees creating musical patterns on the water…

Total disconnection from the internet, forced upon me as it was, even though it lasted less than a day, allowed me to get a wonderful glimpse of what I had been missing by not ‘going to camp’ as an adult. I was glad to ‘return’, but I secretly wished that my camping adventure had lasted a bit longer…

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.A. Join us Sunday, June 9th at 9amET and share some of your “summer camp” experiences. I will bring some questions, some lemonade and watermelon. You can bring a camp chair and some marshmallows – Kumud

A ‘slice of heaven’ in the Catskills

Towards Spiritual Graduations


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As life-defining events go, “graduation” is often considered to be one of the primary ones. For some, it can be a time to celebrate the milestone that has been accomplished, a time to reflect on the journey that has brought one this far, a time to express gratitude to all those who may have helped us along the way, and a time to look ahead to the next milestone. For others, graduation can be a portal, a doorway, an opportunity to begin anew, a new journey and a new phase of life.

My personal journey of formal education gave me many opportunities to graduate, and even though I did not attend any of the ceremonies until the one for my final degree award, they all were significant milestones. Each graduation opened the door to a new learning environment, new teachers and friendships, a breath of fresh ideas, and an awareness that the world was indeed my oyster. All I had to do was accept the opening invitation.

It has been many years since my own graduations, and now, I look forward to experiencing them every year through the eyes and words of my friends’ and relatives’ children. The light in their eyes, their hope to effect change and transformation, their desire for improved equality and justice, and much more, is written large in their essays and stories and actions.

So, how may we, our generation, best serve the graduates of today? If personal example is the best way to demonstrate leadership, then perhaps we can ask — what is our next graduation milestone? What is our (spiritual) curriculum? Who are our friends, our teachers, our guides, our mentors, our confidantes on our (spiritual) journey? Are we going regularly to ‘class’ or are we ‘sleeping in’ more often than not? Are we taking initiative and ‘asking for help’ outside of class when we know we are stuck on a project or assignment? Are we aware of our fellow students’ struggles and lending a listening ear or a book or a song, or providing a gentle nudge when we discern the need?

Yes. Graduation can take on many colors and hues and in this season. Maybe our own progress towards painting our masterpiece is light enough for others to pick up their paint brushes and share with us their strokes of genius.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us in our weekly conversation on Twitter – Sunday, June 2 at 9amET / 630pm India, as we continue our journey. I will bring some questions, along with some tea. It is in the journey together, towards graduation, that we can unveil the answer to the grand question – “what is That, knowing which, all else can be known?” Namaste – Kumud

Looking ahead – towards the next horizon, the next graduation…

On Loving Remembrance


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How are our memories created? Where do our memories reside? What makes certain memories indelible while others fade away over time? How do the memories of those we love, those we live with, affect our lives? What is the best way to pause and honor the memory of those whom we never knew, but who made great sacrifices for us?

Some of these questions filtered through my head as I sat in the parked car, contemplating the path I was going to walk in the forest yesterday. I thought of the questions, and then let them go with love in the breeze, as I began the walk towards the river. A few minutes later, I was at one my favorite junctions, and the choice lay ahead – to walk the broad familiar or the unexplored narrow. I did not have my best walking shoes on, so, as if to say ‘what of that’, I chose the latter.

I followed the riverbank for a short while, and then re-traced my course in the other direction, pausing for quite a while on some of my favorite rocks in the middle of the river where the waters had receded enough to allow me passage. And, as often happens, the muse flowed words of remembrance in response to my questions. Some of these, I share with you. Maybe you will find some answers within…

Out of the corner of my eye
I saw the heron with full wingspan fly
Over the river flowing shallow ;

I must have interrupted her morning sojourn
As I knelt and bowed at many a turn
To walk the fisherman’s walk ;

No fishing pole in hand I held
Except for a camera with phone 
To come closer to the river flowing swift
And listen to the bluebells alone ;

And the chipmunk who stared at attention
In his stance from the fallen tree trunk proud
What beautiful solitude awaits us
A mere few yards from the madding crowd ;

I can hear the chirping of fledgelings
And the rumble of motorcycles loud 
I pause to kneel, to sit on haunches
To breathe in the earth's green cloud ;

And the flat rounds on this bank remind me
Of skipping stones in the Indus in Leh
So much is different and yet the same
Water, air, sun and swallows hold sway 
My heart feels like it’s going to burst forth with memories
Of lullabies filled with love from that day;

And the dancing of sunlight on ripples
Asks - does it take much courage to flow?
Or does it take courage to stand...
For the truth we've all have felt from beyond the know ;

Yes, yes it does take courage to admit of tears
Of all our meager holdings to let go 
We swim in the river of desires
Forgetful of love's seeds given us to sow ;

So when this world weighs you down now and then 
Find a river whose other shore you can't see 
Remember -- love's courage helps us walk
And leads us to who we're destined to be... ;

Yet forget not that for love to bloom life
We need to master the courage to die ;

But what is it -- that we are to die to and for?
That is perhaps the question's cry
I often wonder, and try to remember —
As I watch the swallow who's learning to fly... 


P.S. Thank you for reading this far, and letting me share my musings with you. May 26th marks the observance of Memorial Day Sunday in the USA. Join us on twitter at 9amET, as we discuss some (spiritual) aspects of ‘loving remembrance’. Namaste. – Kumud @AjmaniK

Nature's Loving Remembrance













Towards the end of the circle of my walk, I came upon this young tree with fresh green leaves, seemingly growing almost horizontally out of the love of the soil accumulated around the tree trunks of fallen trees… #MemorialDay

Coming Closer in Silence


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I arrived at “Unity Center”, just as MM was walking into the hall where she was going to conduct the morning visitation. Draped elegantly in a silk safer, her graceful figure walked silently by all those (including me) lining the hallway, with the softest of half-smiles on her face.

I made my way quietly to the far right corner of a row about 12 rows from the stage, and sat four seats in from the corner. There was almost total silence in the room — something that is unusual to find these days, particularly in a large group setting of a 150+ people. I rarely need an invitation to be silent, so I felt immediately at home.

With my eyes firmly closed, almost half expecting that she would start speaking or chanting from where she was seated on the stage, I slowly realized that silence was all we would all hear from her. The only thing I could hear was the occasional shuffling of feet and knees as each row took turns lining up, and the moving forward in the center aisle, on their way to the stage, where they would get their individual visit with her.

After about what seemed like a really short thirty or forty minutes in the silence, I heard movement in my row. Our turn had come. A volunteer was motioning to folks in our row to join those waiting in the center aisle… and we shuffled ahead slowly in growing anticipation of soon being on stage, and then, eventually, directly in front of Her for our silent visit…

At any given time, there were four people on stage. One directly seated in front of her, and three people waiting their turn. When I was one person away from my personal visit with her, I noticed a small sign next to her on the floor saying two words – “come closer”. This was purportedly so that she would not have to lean too far forward in her small chair to reach each person, and hold their heads in their hands. In addition, if we paid attention to the sign and did “come closer”, the better would perhaps be the transfer of love in the moments where she would look directly into your eyes and you could see the entire universe of love in hers.

After I came off of the stage, swimming in transformative energy immersion, I wondered if I had taken the “come closer” sign too literally. Perhaps the “come closer” invitation was a reminder of the emotional and spiritual gap or distance that we consciously or sub-consciously develop, the walls we build around our hearts, due to our inherent distrust of our ability to experience the energy of pure, divine love.

After I had returned to my seat and reverted again to silence, the shuffling of people in the center aisle and on stage stopped — now, there was Total silence. Even the whirring of the oxygen machine that an older lady had been using a few rows ahead of me, stopped. This totality of silence was accompanied by a marked and perceptible shift in the energy in the room.

After what seemed like ten minutes or so, the energy shower was turned off, I raised my head, open my eyes ever so slightly, to see that the She was making her way out of the hall with eyes gently lowered, through the very same center aisle in which we all had waited a bit earlier for our personal journey to “get closer” to her. An incredible morning session that lasted a total of seventy-five minutes had now come to a close.

I wasn’t sure that I was quite ready to socialize yet, let alone indulge in any conversation – so I sat for a few minutes in my chair, after which the lady who was sitting next time, inquired of me with a hint of disappointment – “why didn’t she speak? I thought she would give a lecture or something.”

I wanted to say that perhaps she wanted to “come closer” to us in silence, and that it was her chosen medium, rather than words. But, I wasn’t sure how my reply would be received, so I simply said – “I am not sure. Maybe she will speak next time.”

What do you think? Can silence bring us closer to our spiritual self? Can silence be a better medium than words? If so, then why does silence make some of us uncomfortable? What are some fears that stop us from “coming closer” in silence?


P. S. This was my second visit with MM (Mother Meera) in the past three years. She reminded me of the power of renewal in silence. Please join me and the #SpiritChat community on Sunday May 19 at 9amET – we will try and “come closer”. Namaste – Kumud

“Silent Spring”

On Mothers and Struggles


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Towards the end of my daughter’s middle-school’s performance of the Lion King, Simba (the heir apparent to his deceased father’s throne) is asked the question by his Mother: “Are you responsible for your father’s death? Did you murder him?”

Simba struggles to answer, as he was indeed present when his father was killed in an “accident” as a result of a plot hatched by his father’s brother. Simba, who was a young child at the time, has just returned from years in self-imposed exile, because he felt guilty about causing his father’s death.

I did not pay attention to Simba’s answer (because I already knew that he was innocent). However, what caught my awareness was the angst that his Mother must have felt when even asking that question of her son whom she hadn’t seen in many years. It is difficult to imagine the struggle of a mother grieving the loss of her husband (who was dead) and her son (who was presumed dead), now wondering if the son killed his father…

The very word “Mother” evokes strong emotions in many of us – whether we are in that role ourselves, or whether we have relationships with those in that role. No matter our response to that word, it can rarely be denied that the struggles of Mothers have always been, and continue to be real. As children, we often tend to be unaware of their struggles, the juggling acts of the many roles performed by our Mothers (or those who played those roles in our lives).

Over the past few years, I have often asked some questions about the potential challenges that my many Mothers may have faced in their lives. What were their dreams when they were in middle-school? What kind of encouragement (or lack of it) did they face when they shared their dreams with their parents? Were they treated fairly at home and at school and after their marriage? What became of their aspirations and what are the real stories of their lives? How has technology changed the struggles of today’s mothers and children? How do the dreams and struggles of our Mothers affect our (spiritual) identity?

The answers to many of these questions about my Mothers’ struggles are lost to time. Fragments of these questions were answered in my Mothers’ many past letters to me, and in the stories that my Mothers’ mothers told me about them. However, many of the answers are revealed in the very current struggles of those who are being Mothers to others, right in front of our eyes. The generations may be new, but, as it has been said – a Mother’s work (and struggle) is rarely finished.

Mother’s Day can be a call to raising awareness – to be empathetic to Mothers’ (and childrens’) struggles, to listen to their dreams and aspirations, to encourage them to tell their stories, and to give them time to celebrate their victories. Mother’s Day can also be a celebration to allow our Universal Mother to ask the toughest of questions of us, her beloved children – we can answer by sharing our struggles, our dreams, our aspirations, with her.



P.S. Join us Sunday May 12 at 9amET / 630pm India for our weekly twitter chat. I will bring fresh brewed tea and flowers… you can bring some stories and recipes to share – Namaste. Kumud

Spring – when the trees spread their flowers in welcome to every passer-by…

The Spiritual Seekers


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As I parked the car in a clearing on the parkway to begin my lunch hour walk on Friday, to coincide with the second upcoming meeting with some #spiritchat folks on Zoom, a question crossed my mind. What is it about the people who make the choice to (regularly) associate with others who are on the spiritual path – either in person, online, or through other mediums?

The first part of the answer started to emerge a few minutes later, as I joined the video meeting hosted by Christy (@IntuitiveHeal) and led by Lucille (@sageandsavvy) on the topic of “The book(s) that most influenced our lives”. Every person who chose to be present, shared their favorite book(s), why they were impactful to them, and how they influenced their life’s journey so far. The diversity of backgrounds, of experiences, of journeys was apparent from the diversity of books and authors that were shared by about a dozen folks.

The second part of the answer emerged later in the evening, as I attended a lecture by a visiting monk from the Vedanta center of Toronto. I observed as the room slowly filled up with people from all walks of life to listen to the topic of “Transformation of Personality”. Sitting in the front row on the floor, the spiritual force of the lecture, the energy of the speaker, seemed to wash over me again and again. There were revelations through the stories told by him, and even some tears.

After the event, while serving food, I struck up many short conversations with the some of the new faces at the event. I was particularly intrigued by a new person who said – “I want to know more about the volunteering opportunities that you mentioned during your emceeing at the podium”. I immediately thought to myself – here is a “seeker”. I talked to him at length, and found that we have families in the same town in India. New to this side of town, he came to the lecture because he saw a flyer at one of the Indian grocery stores. Random chance favors the seekers of the universe.


he events of a single Friday, one online and the other in person, had a common thread. Both events were energized by the willingness and the determination of the “seeker” who was seeking change. Both events were made possible by each individual seeker who acted upon their inner desire for change. And perhaps, that is what defines a “seeker” in all fields of life – they are the ones who are willing to open up to change, take action, and stay determined to stop not until the goal is achieved. The “seeker” is perhaps like the fish in the ocean who eats, breathes and sleeps the water of their spiritual journey.

Are you a seeker? If so, what are you seeking? What actions are you taking today to move closer to that which you are seeking? Who is guiding you, inspiring you, influencing you, keeping you company on your seeking journey?

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us Sunday, May 5th at 9am ET / 630pm India as we continue our seeker’s journey in our weekly #spiritchat conversation on twitter. I look forward to wandering, exploring and seeking with all of you. Namaste – Kumud.

Seeker's Playground
The Seeker’s Playground…

On Discovering Essence


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What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday, an early morning storm with a lot of rain and electrical activity, tripped the breaker on the sump pump in the basement. The battery backup pump, which I thought was working, but hadn’t tested lately, didn’t work. The result was a minor flood in the finished basement, and a day of phone calls to insurance and restoration companies. Oh well, we needed new flooring and carpeting in the basement anyway.

Later that night, I evaluated how my wife and I responded to this “life event”. In the big scheme of things, we determined that we “got off easy”. Yes, it was inconvenient that our weekend had been disrupted, but at least we were home, and managed to minimize the damage (the main pump kicked right back on after I reset the switch :)). Yes, we needed to reevaluate our emergency systems in the basement and the home in general. And the greatest revelation from the evaluation?

We got a new perspective on what is truly essential, on what it is that defines our essence. There is a lot of ‘old stuff’ in our basement that has been with us through two moves over fifteen years. How much of it is essential to our lives? And, as I delved a bit deeper over the past week, I asked myself some more questions.

What is it that defines my essence? How do I know what is truly essential to me in a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level? Some of the answers have been filtering through me, and my exploration with the question(s) continues.

On Earth Day (two days after ‘the event’), I went walking my favorite trails. I often find that I have to make a conscious choice to accept the invitation to walk. The call is often so strong that the car seems to self-drive itself to the park on the way to work. So, I deem that walking the forest is essential to me. I have found that there is prose and poetry that flows through me as son as I step onto the trails. Here’s a sample:

Find your trail and walk

She will welcome you with open arms

From the tiniest of flowers hugging crocuses

To the tallest of trees holding birdsong

Her gifts will shower down upon you

Amid the remembrance – that her greatest gift is birth…

So, one way to connect with our essence may be through those actions that bring us face to face with unmitigated peace and joy. The world around us recedes like the floodwaters after the storm, and we can feel the essence of the tiniest of flowers, the freshness of new greenery emerging, the calming presence of tall trees gently swaying in the breeze, the river gurgling by past the boulders in the valley where it has been flowing for millennia.

What is the essence of our mental state? Is it our intellect? Is it intelligence and our power of discernment? We all have thoughts that swirl like eddies, or the thoughts are stirred by fresh emotions that cause highs and lows? The temporary nature of their existence surely means that they cannot be essential, right?

Awareness of our mental and emotional essence can be unfolded for us in physical stillness. Being still is not easy for many of us. Stillness is an essential that often needs to be cultivated. That which makes us still gives us the opportunity to connect to higher awareness – we can become observers of our mental and emotional states. As observers, we can then find our essential That by saying – it is not this, it is not this.

Allow me to posit that once we have found the trail to our physical, mental and emotional essences, and know how to (re)connect with them, our heart is ready to receive the spiritual essence. The invitation to receive then comes through clearly. We then awaken every morning, ready to receive the essence with joy, peace, silence and stillness, as we watch the source of light reveal itself to us in our heart filled with love.

We arrive at the awareness that the same spiritual essence energizes all of us, gives us life, and yes, a return to a dry basement…

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us Sunday, April 28 at 9amET as we resume our weekly twitter chat in #SpiritChat ~ I will bring the essential tea and cookies. I invite you to bring your favorite flavor of essence. Namaste – Kumud

On Celebrating Nothing(ness)


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The daily nightsong that begins in the pre-dusk hour with great earnest, has been particularly persistent this season. Over the past few days, I have found myself trying to identify the player(s) of this orchestra through online searches of bird songs, Audubon societies, and more. Truth be told, I have not yielded much, if anything. It is more like a whole lot of nothing.

And then, one night last week, after another round of futile googling of the source(s), I was reminded of Winnie the Pooh…

My favorite thing is to do a whole lot of nothing – for something good often comes out of nothing.

I paused, and asked myself – what is so wrong with not knowing the source(s) of the nightsongs? How about I simply do nothing more than embrace the beauty of the orchestra, without trying to assign name, cause or reason to the sounds and harmonies? What if I were to simply choose to enjoy, even celebrate the gift of spring’s songs, without trying to analyze them?

And so, for the past few nights, the night’s songs that last from dusk to dawn, have taken on new tones, new rhythms, new colors for me. It is as if they have been reborn. I have been opening the windows a bit more, drinking a bit more tea, and simply been sitting in open surrender to the all and the nothing.

The result? The allness and the nothingness have often flooded me, occasionally stopped my breath, flitted a not-knowing smile across my face, and filled me with the very same orange-peach glow that sunset often spreads across the sky at spring’s twilight. I have stopped my wandering and wondering in those few moments, to allow for something good to happen as a result of my celebration of nothing(ness).

Impossible to do, you say? Well. Consider another Winnie the Pooh gem of living wisdom:

They say that nothing is impossible. But I do a bit of nothing every day…

Embrace the impossible moment. I invite you to create time and space, where you do a bit of nothing every day with loving effortlessness. Maybe something good will be created as a result. Maybe, in embracing nothingness, time and space will cease to exist, and be reborn as love. Maybe we will discover that our inner black holes are in fact filled with the allness of light, and that nothingness is simply a portal to That something, which is in fact, everything.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us Sunday April 14 at 9amET, as we embrace nothingness while listening to each others’ songs, drinking tea, and sharing light. Namaste – Kumud

Sunset and twilight – an invitation to celebrate nothing(ness)

Paths and Directions


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Hi Kumud – 

  When I was in ninth grade, I filled out a form for the school counseling center with the title that approximated to “What I want to do when I grow up.” It was a one page document and I filled in What I enjoyed doing, What I felt were my gifts, What I wanted to do for recreation, and What I wanted to do for a potential career.
  I recall very little about my replies except that somewhere on the page I wrote the words “Writer”. Now being a writer is a challenging career path and I’m not sure if I would recommend that path for my children. My parents certainly didn’t recommend that path for me. I ended up in Engineering and when it didn’t work out, I transferred to a major called Communications.
  For the past 3 months, I have been looking for a new career job. My recent titles have been Project Assistant, Project Manager, and Business Analyst and I consider myself a very seasoned technical communicator. This past Monday I received a phone call and I was offered a permanent position with the same enterprise that paid me as a contractor a few months ago. The problem was that this was the second job offer within a week and I was already entertaining the other position. I was in the humbling position of having two positions “on the table”.
   The world is full of choices and paths. Late yesterday I wrote the hiring manager at the enterprise where I worked as a contractor last year and turned down her job offer. The hiring manager wished me well on my journey. I enjoyed seeing that word, “journey”. We are all on a journey. I selected a career role with a very visible government agency that I consider perfect. Maybe that journey will be 15 or more years or maybe the journey will have twists and turns before then.
   Each year I am surprised and grateful that my wife and I have enough (income) for food, shelter, and a modest bit of entertainment. While I am not fond of job transitions, it always works out. I am grateful the path led me to an incredible opportunity where I will enjoy growing and contributing in areas very closely aligned with my technical communications ability. I am grateful that I had two offers at one time and in a small way, the universe allowed me to evaluate and confirm “Yes, position A is the perfect fit”. When presented with multiple choices, we are able to confirm that a selection is not arbitrary or just good enough. And that’s what makes me thrive – trusting there is a perfect fit – and it certainly happened this time.
David Tumbarello
Today listening to Forest Birdsong 2.

David Tumbarello is a technical communicator with over 50 years in the growth industry, with 49 of those years communicative and on two feet. When he is not technically communicating, he enjoys hiking, biking, and writing. Feel free to connect with David on LinkedIn.

On Seeding Friendships


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At 5pm on Friday evening, a dozen or so folks gathered online in a multi-dimensional meeting which included sound, video, and much laughter. Lots of laughter. Many ideas were exchanged about how to best use such meetings in the future. But this first meeting was primarily about getting to know each other a bit better through the spoken word, through smiles and favorite quotes and prayers. It was about planting new seeds of friendship and growing the friendships that have formed through #SpiritChat over the years.

The Sanskrit word for ‘friendship’ is maitri. It is also referred to as <a href=”https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mettā“>Mettā</a> in the Pali language. How and where does a friendship first come to life? There is usually some common ground necessary for two (or more) people to decide to sit with one another. The sitting can be in silence, a primarily one-way communication (lecture), a two-way conversation, or even a multi-way exchange facilitated by a desire to be in each other’s presence.

When friendship takes on the energy of @maggiemistal, the expression of ‘loving kindness’ (@sageandsavvy), or is simply steeped in love (@AwakeningYourTrueSelf) or is a simple yet heart-felt expression of gratitude (@tomarciamae), it transmits the energy of the heart to all present. When it takes on the expression of ‘watching, waiting, working’ (thank you, @mscator), the gentle sharing by @wonderpix, the energy of @maggiemistal, the creativity of @heiddiz, it breathes new life into the sitting. When it is expressed through the Mettā prayer of @intuitiveheal, the wisdom of @southbaysome and the grace of @garygruber, one knows and feels that they are in a special space and time.

And so, the seeds of friendship are nurtured. One question, one answer, one chat, one conversation, one smile, one kind gesture, one zoom meeting at a time.

It is tough to say what will come next, but for today, the heart feels filled with maitrithe benevolence and radiance of those who shared with all of their heart.

The sage Patanjali said in his yoga sutras (aphorisms) – “be friendly towards those who are friendly towards you.” It sounds simple enough, but it isn’t always easy to do (why is that person being friendly? what do they want from me?) However, it is safe to say that we are largely “friendly to all” in the #SpiritChat community, and we extended on that principle in today’s sitting.

As I sat watching the radiant colors of the sun, the sky and the clouds merge into the lake waters, it reminded me of the ease with which we all converged on the common ground of friendship today. We came a bit closer to the essence of maitri, of Mettā, of meditation.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. What is (or was) the greatest friendship you have experienced? How were its seeds sown? How did its roots develop, its flowers bloom? And those friendships that withered away – what was their life cycle? Share with us, Sunday April 7 at 9amET / 1pm UTC / 630pm India in our weekly #spiritchat on Twitter. Namaste – Kumud