3rd Circle–Deeper connections-moving from transaction to trust

Dear All

I am extremely delighted with the way everybody shared in first circle, then listened to the talk, and finally with very meaningful questions.
To deepen our learning and not just to keep it at intellectual level it is important that we internalised it by learning more about it, reflecting and then taking initiatives and act on it.
I am grateful to Ankita for raising a very pertinent question and one that faces most organisations and most are blind towards it. I hope we all go deep into this inquiry and see what emerges. to experience falseness in false is beginning of wisdom. 🙂
Insightful talk by Nipun, which talks about engaging with different forms of capital and limiting ourself with Money or resource for serving others.
As suparna shared about “connecting with herself”, I am moved to share a wonderful short story that epitomise that connection.
Some more nuances about Serving which will be great reference point to understand it at deeper level.
As we have discussed and Mihir too insisted sharing his profound experiments of service, I request all to create a matrix for different types opportunity  to serve within our campus, how so ever  small it is and experiments with it and observe what happens to us when we serve without any motivation or expectations. Needless to add that we have more then enough opportunity at home with family to serve every moment.
Looking forward to listen to wonderful stories and small experiment of service at home and school whenever we meet.
In Service, sending you smiles till we meet next. 🙂
On behalf of Paragbhai

1st Circle-Organization

Dear All

Thank you all very much for being there and listening to the talk. It was wonderful to connect with all of you.

Mihir has written a blog on today’s circle and would like share it with you all.

Around thirty five of us gathered at Fountainhead School to walk with each other on the journey of discovering our own selves and what it means to be human beings. The focus for the day was on Organizing/Connecting – what is it, why does it matter, where are we stuck and why. From the differences in the bonds between graphite and diamonds, to how oak trees connect with other trees over long distances via their roots and how that gives them resilience, to the quality and depth of connections formed over the spectrum of greed to fear to love – we explored what it means when it is said that ‘To be is to be related’. How nature organizes itself and how the various seemingly separate parts of nature are actually one in the grand design, and how they connect with each other. Post the background given by Parag bhai, we went around the circle sharing some joyous moments of our lives.

Zahabiyah shared the joy she felt watching her own C-section getting done and seeing the baby arrive into this world. Hasina reminisced about the great memories she carries from the time she spent with her father. Iyer bhai shared how overcoming his fears and accepting himself the way he is brought him joy and peace. Chetan shared the pride and joy he experienced when his daughter won a gold medal in a karate competition. Vishal recalled how joyous it was when he got the job at Fountainhead school. Falguni shared how pleasantly surprised she was when her Father in Law let her go ahead with her studies post marriage. Shaila shared her anguish of not having kids and then the joy she felt when she held her sister’s new born child. Ritu talked about the satisfaction she felt in her previous job at an insurance company when she handed over an insurance claim cheque to one of her clients and the relief that brought to the family. Manisha shared the happiness she felt when her father married again and got a companion in life.

Roshan shared a heart-warming memory of having an ice-cream with her father at Juhu beach, Mumbai – it was the first time her father had an ice-cream ever and the sparkle she saw in his eyes is something that gives joy to Roshan even today. For Suparna it was taking her wedding vows which was the most joyous moment. Mariyam recalled her joy when for the first time so far, her group of friends got together to throw her a surprise birthday party. Vardan shared the joy he felt when he witnessed the delivery of his and Ankita’s first child. Yuti went through a complicated child-birth procedure and was overjoyed when both her child and herself made it through safe and sound. Shalini shared how her decision to marry inter-caste had created distance in her relationship with her parents and brother. After a few years, when her brother bought a new house, he called Shalini to visit them and share their joy – this was an overwhelmingly joyous moment in her life.

Kavita shared a couple of joyous moments of her life when she visited her daughter for the first time after her marriage, and her daughter was excitedly showing Kavita her house and her memories of her marriage. Another joyous moment was when Kavita’s three brothers resolved their long-drawn dispute over some property matters and made peace. Priyanka recalled the helplessness and anguish she felt when her healthy father suddenly suffered brain hemorrhage, the clot of which covered sixty percent of his brain. She was in college in another city and hence could not be there, but kept calling her relatives to check on her father’s health, and was relieved when finally the doctors declared that he was out of danger. Kruti shared the joy she felt when she hugged her mother-in-law after coming back from a vacation and her feelings were amply reciprocated. Sanjana shared the emotions she felt writing a heart-felt letter to her father.

Subhalakshmi shared heart-warming recollections of their family gatherings and how they always brought a lot of joy to her. Saolee is close to her cousins and as young kids and once when she was visiting her cousins during school vacation, she just did not want to go back home. So much so that when one of her cousins contracted chicken-pox during that stay, Subhalakshmi hoped and prayed that she too contracted it so that she could stay back longer – and was overjoyed when it so happened! Talk about the joy of connecting with fellow human beings, even contracting chicken-pox was welcomed with a smile if it meant getting to be together for some more time! Chinki shared the joy she felt when she got a gold medal in her post-graduate studies. Bhumika shared a beautiful incident of connecting with her son on a silent walk on one of their vacations together.

Shezin shared the joy she felt when she bought sweets for her parents from her first salary. She also recalled the joy and pride she felt when she overheard her father telling his friend how much he appreciated her and the pride he felt that she was his daughter. Jyoti shared some moving experiences of how she was not really overjoyed when her son was born, but nine months later, one day when she was just playing with him and he innocently held her face in his small hands, a tremendous sense of joy overcame her and she was left wondering why she had let the nine months go by! Jyoti also recalled the unexpected joy she felt when she helped an old lady cross the road and received a big smile in return. Ankita recalled the joy she felt seeing her mother happy when she did really well in her IIM entrance exams. She also shared her experience of watching folk dances at a local cultural program and the connection she felt with them. The birth of one’s child is understandably a hugely joyous moment, and Abhinav, Falguni, Ritu, Manisha, Shalini, Nandini and Anu shared their recollections of the same.

It was telling that almost everyone’s recollection of a joyous moment of their life was in the context of a connection with another human being. The circumstances and events were different, but they all shared the common thread of relationship. It was evident that truly, we are because we are related. Why is it then that relationships have become the core conflict of our lives?

Post the circle of sharing, we watched a fascinating video talking about howa new story of the people – that of Oneness is challenging the old one of separateness and individualism which we have all been led to believe and conditioned by over the ages. We also learned how trees connect to each other via their roots and how they actually communicate and take care of each other via this insightful video. Finally Thandie Newton’s straight-from-the-heart talk about the journey of her ‘self’ and her discoveries along the way took us inside our own selves to look and discover what lies within.

We ended the session with a popcorn style sharing wherein everyone spoke about what stayed with them from the day’s interaction. There were reflections and some questions, such as: why is it that I find it easier to connect with a stranger, but when that same stranger becomes more familiar, there are conflicts? Do I really need to connect with everyone in the same way? Can I? Could it be that human beings are meant to be like this and connecting with everyone is not meant to come to us naturally? How do I connect deeply with others? The circle concluded with the fundamental inquiry – what is stopping me from connecting with others? We hold this question and explore it, and let the inquiry take us where it has to.

And the link to todays Ted talk.

Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself | TED Talk | TED.com

A New Story of People | KarmaTube

and the video which I referred,
They brought wolves to Yellowstone, but they had no idea this would be the result.

and the story of Zappos, which i referred,

Zappos Is Building An Intentionally Inconvenient Office In Downtown Las Vegas | Business Insider India

Steve jobs famously built a large atrium in pixar studios to encourage people to constantly interact and connect.

The Idea Hunters by Boynton & Fischer – Business Insider

Reading for the fortnight. I invite you all to share your insights and views on this articles and videos in our next circle. ( it would be great if we can create a blog, where all can share views and insights on the article and video ) It is important for everyone who wants to attend the next circle go through this article and videos and we will only have circle of sharing on this articles.


The InnerNet: Everybody Is Good At Something: Meeting V. R. Ferose

Video for the fortnight.

Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED Talk | TED.com


On behalf of Paragbhai

2nd circle-Reflecting on our understanding

Dear All

Thank you very much for being there and holding space for all to share their insights and learning.

Most resonated with both the article and the ted talk. Everybody understand deeply the need to organise and connect deeply with others and one common question which all were holding is why we are not able to do it or what needs to be done. some interesting common threads were;

1) Everybody has experienced deep joy while connected with others and were deeply resonating with both the articles. “Everybody is good at something’ naturally resonated with the most teacher as that is a common practice at Fountainhead while evaluating students for the goal setting process. Plan for their strength is very deeply imbibed in school culture. How Feroze as an individual brought about so much changed in approaching disability was deeply appreciated by all.

2) Margaret Wheatley article was quoted a lot in sharing and there were a lot of powerful quotes that moved most of us. there was an interesting conversation around reorganising and pitfalls and the advantages of reorganising. The consensus was that  there are edges to both the approach and playing to the strength of re-organising was appreciated by most.

3) Most were in awe watching the ted talk which talks about research which went for 75 years on ‘What makes good life’. It was deeply inspiring  to understand the power of deep and lasting  relationship and as an organisation which has always focused on Results + Relationships as a primary objective of organisation felt reassured about it’s approach to people and its objective.

4) The Anchor pointed out the importance of listening and how deeply it is integrated with learning. The movement of life can be a movement in learning if we observe and listen to ourself and others. He shared his experience of listening to people whom he does not resonate with and the outcome was that  he may not get any new insights from everything that is shared but the capacity to hold space and listen is exponentially improved when he listen to such conversation.

My learning from this session was that more time needs to be given to individual participants for their sharing and also time pressure disturbs the rhythm of their sharing and to this end we would divide the house into 2 circles going forwards for the circle of sharing while  be united in the theme presentation.

this is the link to  the solitary confinement I referred.

and some further reading to deepen our learning;

How one woman feel completely safe and at home in one of largest red light area of India that talks about power of organising.

I Thank you all again for being there and look forward to our next circle till then “Happy Exploring”.
On behalf of Paragbhai