[Excerpt] The Urgency and The Call to Serve in Joyful Awareness

by Pancho Ramos-Stierle [Excerpt from the original post]

The pandemic curve of covid-19 keeps increasing worldwide. Major cities all over the part of the Planet we call India, are now in official lockdown. And more cases of people infected with the virus are appearing in Gujarat, including Surat –part of the Dandi (Salt) March.

Last silent Monday during our daily circle of reflections in the evening, the team decided to stop  the walk to Dandi. While the support in the villages has been tremendous and we trusted we could have reached Dandi by avoiding the bigger cities –as Surat–, the overwhelming feeling to deal with the potential multiple police checkpoints, and the increasing external pressure was starting to feel as a big stretch for many of us.

So, reluctantly and with a heavy heart, and taking the last window of spacetime before the states’ borders lockdown to use airports, flight tickets to Bangalore for Tuesday morning were bought for all youth and teachers.

We didn’t have the speciousness to have a discussion around the people growing, cooking or delivering our food and the frontline health workers who are not able to stop working or don’t have the privilege to work from home and have to use public transportation or walk. But the questions to walk towards a more compassionate Earth Family and come back into kinship with all life still remain: Who works and under what conditions? How do we restore our common sense and reclaim the human scale? What needs to be done at our human scale? As Naomi Klein says in one of her latest interviews:

“We might think we’ll be safe if we have good health care, but if the person making our food, or delivering our food, or packing our boxes doesn’t have health care and can’t afford to get tested—let alone stay home from work because they don’t have paid sick leave—we won’t be safe. If we don’t take care of each other, none of us is cared for. We are enmeshed.”

Salt March-Peace Walking Pilgrims 2020

Inspiration seems to be coming from all corners of the Earth. The amazing HEAL initiative doctors and DoctorPoet Sri keep reminding us “whose suffering matters less and why?” and invite us to tap into the movement of global solidarity they have embodied for so many years. In their last week’s newsletter, HEAL & COVID-19, Dr. Poet Sri says:

“We know the vulnerable among us are always hardest hit — the poor, the black, the brown, the undocumented, the marginally housed. We also know that in times of great stress, we have the opportunity to respond with great courage, deep commitment, and service.”

These bold doctors without borders know how little control we all have over our own lives and how the opportunity to serve this emergent paradigm hit us by surprise. Our children also experienced something similar during this Dandi/Salt March, and moreover, now we both groups are aware of our joy, commitment, playfulness, love and compassion, dancing at all times –especially now– with our grief and the uncertainty of it all.

The roads are empty and quiet. The birds and non-human animals are happy. We feel the birds song falling as rain, and then actual rain, clean rain, falls as well. I Am in-love with the rain, when she kisses the ground, plants her fragrance in the heartmind.

It was a blisscipline to have witnessed this rain and that of the field created by these children, who wanted to learn more about Gandhiji to embody more and more the values he lived. For 13 days and ~250 km, they cultivated a living vibration field of what is possible. They gently prove incorrect the skeptics who doubt they, at their young age, could walk at that pace, for that long, with that heat. I was impressed by the palpable joy these little people radiated as they woke up each morning around 4 am, and sometimes their playfulness, joy and lightness were there, enlivening us, despite the mosquito attacks from the previous hot night. They were holding strongly the frequency and practice of joy. They received an invitation in their heart, and they responded accordingly, as citizens of the world do.

The kids were not trying to please anybody, or to appease anything, as I shared before, they were aligning and being coherent with the realization of the underlying unity and sacredness of all life, to then act accordingly to our uniqueness and serve this emerging paradigm that sings while effortlessly challenges separation and disconnection: let there be beauty, let there be joy, let there be love to be compelled into right action. Let us be connected, as Ved (the 8 year old reminded us), moment by moment to the wonder of how lucky we are to still be alive and be part of a lineage of joyful awareness. And let’s do it in commUNITY and in blisscipline.

May we all find the balance of wisdom between action and inaction, between light and darkness, between walking and being in stillness.

May we do and be everything within our reach to leave a more beautiful, loving, playful and more compassionate Earth.

May we all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

May we all become the compassionate rain the Earth Family needs here and now.

Jai Jagat! [Glory to the Planet! Gloria al Planeta!] blessings from some corner of our round borderless country… now it is the Environmental Sanitation Institute in Sughad.

Love you all! 


Excerpt from Pancho Ramos-Stierle  Blog post on ServiceSpace.org. Pancho is a founding member of Awakin Oakland , poet, human and non-human rights advocate,  humanitarian, Gaia protector, Gandhian, Love & Peace laborer, a  Citizen of the World!ld!

About awakinOAK

Intentionally located in east Oakland -- to, on the one hand, overcome institutionalized violence and on the other hand, be showered by the multicultural love and wisdom from neighbors-- this small community strives for integral nonviolence and supports activities that foster fearlessness, courage, autonomy, unconditional love and compassion for all beings. Every Friday for the last 10 years, the anchors of Awakin Oakland, host "Wednesdays on Fridays", an open-house meditation night that was inspired by a family in Santa Clara who has been doing this for close to 23 years [2020] No teachers or gurus. No set agendas or proposed beliefs either. Just one strong principle -- when you change within, the world changes
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2 Responses to [Excerpt] The Urgency and The Call to Serve in Joyful Awareness

  1. What a wonderful post. You express here the depth of courage rising in so many, in spite of the challenges. Your call for awareness and care for the most vulnerable stands out loud and clear. A borderless, pitiless virus has unleashed some panic and political rhetoric, but also a renaissance of awareness by so many of the needs of all inhabitants of our one Earth. She needs to be defended and nurtured. As humans who have been reckless too often, we must now rise to the tasks of caring for the very young, the elderly, the displaced and the homeless: people of all cultures, faiths, races, ages and lifestyles and all forms of life with whom we share this precious planet.

    • awakinOAK says:

      indeed we must rise to defend and nurture our planet, our people, our living beings. This is a precious planet and our home.

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