Farmers Retreat

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This year’s retreat of natural farmers in Coimbatore, Pollachi and Attapadi area was facilitated by Nipun Mehta of ServiceSpace.  It was nice to share space with 25 plus friends for a day of in the humble community center here. A few friends had come from out of town to join us.

In the morning session, which started after 30 minutes of silence, everyone shared what helped him or her, sometimes unexpectedly, to make a radical shift into his or her current way of life. This session was to recognize the fact that besides our own work, we are all products of multiple causes, some in their original guise and some in disguise but all were/are blessings guiding us in the right direction. We may have no visibility of or control over these causes, yet there is “way” to embrace these causes, pleasant and unpleasant, to keep us on our path.  This way is to fully align ourselves with three forces – our highest values, the laws of nature and the light in one another.

We broke for a long lunch. A friend launched home made gourmet organic whole wheat bread by offering these sandwiches as a gift and they were enjoyed by all.

In the afternoon session, we explored what is synergy. Synergy is an emergent phenomenon in which a chain of a certain type is stronger than the sum of the strengths of all its links, including its weakest links.

There was a common desire to renew our labour of love experiment of working on a different farm each month for a day.

In the evening, it warmed our hearts to watch everyone from my Dad who is 76 to all the kids doing Three-Steps-and-a-Bow for Peace. The rough road did not dampen the spirits. Here is a link that refers to the original pilgrimage where two buddhist monks did Three Steps and a Bow for 800 miles.

We closed with circle of gratitude and a beautiful peace prayer.

A super special thanks for Nipun for squeezing in a day in his crazy busy schedule to be with us. As our synergetic activities emerge, we are sure to find multiple ways to connect ourselves (the local community) with ServiceSpace, the ecosystem that Nipun and countless other volunteers have nurtured over almost two decades to bring stillness and smiles.

Much gratitude to the collective that organized to organize so effortlessly. Rooting ourselves in the collective enriches our life in countless ways and this day was also a witness to that.

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