Stories Submitted by Volunteers
Every week, volunteers come together to create an experiment in generosity. It moves some to tears, it inspires many to pay-it-forward in beautiful ways, it silently shifts the spirit of just about everyone. Below are some of the stories that people have shared, and we invite you to share your story as well.
We invite you to subtmit your stories here, particularly as we launch this repository just this week!
Oct 9, 2011: It's Never Too Late For Generosity
It was wonderful serving with this week's crew!
There were tags flying around all day, from table-fulls of guests being tagged with peace chains and beautiful hand-written Hafiz and Rumi poems by Nandini, to the entire restaurant being anonymously tagged with a couple bags of delicious organically grown apples.
At the end of the day, after the restaurant had long since closed and only volunteers were lingering doing final clean-up, a guest comes back into the restaurant and says, "I came back because I wanted to give some more money to Karma Kitchen. Is it too late to give?" It's never too late for generosity.
--Maitre-D :) on Oct 9, 2011
Sep 21, 2011: Video: When Katie Came to KK!
Last May I had the pleasure and fun of spending a couple of days with Bill Miller, Nipun Mehta, Pancho Ramos-Stierle and the gang of ServiceSpace (formerly CharityFocus). Put simply, ServiceSpace – a wondrous web of people, technologies, ideas and actions – is an astonishing expression of lived generosity. And the glue that binds the web together is love.
If ever there was inspiration for realizing an economy based on giving over accumulating, that brings relationship and our inherent interdependence with all life back into the realm of exchange, I witnessed and felt it in those two days. Better yet, I was even infected by this generosity virus and I’m asking more and more “how can I serve (you)” versus the mostly unspoken undertow of “what can I get (from you?)”
One of ServiceSpace’s more famous ventures into the Gift Economy is Karma Kitchen (now in 3 cities in the U.S.). I’ve been hearing about Karma Kitchen for years and finally had the joy of walking through the doors of this unique experiment. Here is a five-minute film I created out of being so moved by my experience of these two days and in longing to convey the essence of what it means to live in the gift.
--Katie on Sep 21, 2011
Sep 9, 2011: A Song Underneath It All
Thank you for a beautiful Sunday at Karma Kitchen spent welcoming guests, serving tables, filling tea cups, rinsing dishes, slicing pie, placing orders, and going about the hundreds of big and small actions that combine to make Karma Kitchen possible.
But there is something that sings beneath all these mundane tasks --- and our guests tune into that "something". It's what made a table of young Berkeley students exclaim, "I don't know if we can eat anywhere else on Sunday's now!", it's what prompted the manager of Cafe Gratitude to bring her mother and friends in saying, "I'm on duty so can't stay, but had to bring them here because they LOVE the concept of what you're doing here and they want to learn more." It's what inspired a woman and her husband to offer up a song that "had written her" eighteen years ago -- an enchanting piece that had the whole restaurant tuned into something intangible yet powerfully real ...
During yesterday's closing circle at Karma Kitchen I was struck by the richness of the reflections and the sincerity in the faces and voices around the table. We heard Andrea saying, "this is one of the most meaningful things I've ever done," Shreya reflecting on the deep sense of accomplishment, Debbie exclaiming how, "everything about Karma Kitchen makes her just -- happy :)", Sohini saying how much she learned just by asking people to share the best piece of advice they'd ever received, Ashish's amazement at Juan's superhuman dishwashing abilities :) Pranav sharing his realization that some of our guests come not for the food but because they are hungry to be listened to and each one of them has something special to share. Richard sharing the backstory to the woman's song -- and reflecting on the power that comes from not just knowing your gift -- but knowing too what to do with it. Isot with a beautiful beaming smile saying, "It was so much fun!", Ari's candid words on how the demanding functional aspects of a role can overtake the experience, Kinnari recalling how Sharanya's poignant song on unity and oneness "hit the reset button" reminding her and all of us of the intention that drew us here, and Sharanya reflecting on the mystery of how corporations spend top dollar on ineffective company retreats and teambuilding exercises while, with no money in the equation, a group of total strangers working side by side at Karma Kitchen for four hours end up feeling like family by the end :)
It was such an honor to "team build" with all of you :)
For me one of the most telling testimonials for Karma Kitchen came from yesterday's youngest volunteer. When I asked Sohini what had inspired her to join us, she responded promptly, "My sister [who has volunteered at KK before] told me the experience completely changed the way she thinks about things."
--Pavi on Sep 9, 2011
Sep 5, 2011: Well Versed Poem (aka Labor of Love) :)
From the moment I entered into Karma Kitchen, I washed over by a sense of calm and tranquility. Being a part of many youth movements in my college days, I had expected vibrant and enthusiastic ‘Ice Breakers’ In reality I was greeted with a gracious warm Pavi introduction and given an opportunity to, 'absorb the space' The opening circle was a personal sharing of the joy the coordinators experienced in Karma Kitchen. It was truly the start of the ‘Labor of Love weekend.’ Working the role of a Dishwasher, my view of Karma Kitchen was from the inside. And on the inside Karma Kitchen, is a well versed poem. While the lyrics change ever week; the tone, the melody and the harmony is always in sync. Below is my story of last Sunday.This week, I had the privilege of volunteering at Karma Kitchen Berkeley. Since many of us are not really familiar with Karma Kitchen, this is a concept where there are no price tags on menu. The food you are served with, was paid by someone who came before you. The underlying hope, is that you would pay this goodwill forward with your generosity. You pay whatever you can for the person who comes after you.For the past few months, I’ve had an inner voice constantly telling me to, ‘do something.’ Since, I had recently moved back to the Bay Area and was pre-occupied with getting settled in to life, I had little time to really think about what I was supposed 'to do.' I happened to come across "Karma Kitchen" on a friends Face Book profile, and was immediately intrigued. When I knew there was a weekly, ‘Karma Kitchen’ serving the Berkeley community every week, I knew this was it. This had to get on my ‘To Do’ list.So after months of trying to schedule a weekend at karma Kitchen, I was delighted to be invited to volunteer on September 4th!! It was right in the middle of the Labor Day weekend, but something compelled me to accept the invite. As the weekend approached, our family set off to spend Saturday at Sacramento. And typically, we got back in the wee hours of the morning. The temptation to send a last minute change of plans via email was strong; but again, a will greater than my own said 'NO, you can do this'.I usually cannot function without my morning coffee on a normal day and that day my coffee stash at home was over.I had about 3 hours of sleep and a long drive from San Jose to Berkeley (well for a Sunday morning); on what turned out to be one of those gray foggy mornings the Bay is notorious for. En route, I realized I forgot to pump gas and right then my GPS decided to lose Satellite signal. On any other day, it would have been Murphy’s Law at work and I would be, to put it mildly, in a very contrary mood.Surprising myself, I was calm that day. I really did not want to fill myself with negative energy and was looking forward to Karma Kitchen. I’d read a lot about how a lot of the volunteers and guests had an intrinsic experience after working at Karma Kitchen. But somehow on my drive there, I was reflecting about the face value experience, the place, the people, the work and the off course the guests!I followed an instinct and landed in Berkeley in front of Chevron Gas station! Skipping the coffee, I headed straight to the restaurant only to be turned around yet again, by an unusually uncooperative GPS. Not even that or parallel parking could deter a slow building anticipation growing in me. When I reached the front of the restaurant my entire physical being was an automatic look out for that green mermaid that promised me a 'cup of heaven'. Standing outside the door, I watched a distinguished looking lady walk into Karma Kitchen. The part of me raised by Catholic Nuns raised its head and announced, “what if she is one of the coordinators; you don’t want to be seen loitering!”Giving one last look at the empty grey street lined with delightful café’s, I walked into the rest of my life.From the moment I entered into Karma Kitchen, I washed over by a sense of calm and tranquility. Being a part of many youth movements in my college days, I had expected vibrant and enthusiastic ‘Ice Breakers’ In reality I was greeted by Pavi, a tall gracious lady who looked like she belonged in one of the sculptures adorning the many Temples in South India. After a very gracious introduction, Pavi went back to completing her tasks at hand and I was left to, 'absorb the space'. I could hear voices from the kitchen, questions and answers being passed back and forth of how Karma Kitchen works.Pavi then said, “I think you can help with the dishwasher.” For a moment, I was back in my University’s Cafeteria and I heard myself snapping at a friend saying, I would rather do anything else than deal with Dish washing. This was definitely ‘Karma’ winding its way back to me. While a part of me longed to quietly refuse, that inner voice spoke through my lips and said ‘sure, not a problem.’ Pavi, walked me through the process and the whole time, my heart kept sinking more and more. Finally, we made our back to the main dining area and there some of the other volunteers had arrived.Turns out that distinguished lady I mentioned before, was a volunteer herself.As ‘Ice breaking’ sessions go, I would say Karma Kitchen has stumbled on a gold mine. There was less of theatrics, which I personally loved, but more of personal sharing of the joy the coordinators experienced in Karma Kitchen. It was truly the start of the ‘Labor of Love weekend.’When Ashish and I started working the dishes, I have to say I wasn’t the most enthusiastic team member. And then a delightful man walked in, the Chef, Mr. Vishnuji. A veteran cook from Nepal, his demeanor and pragmatic humor, got me shrugging off my aloofness and embracing the moment. He delighted me with stories and teased me endlessly. Vishnuji reminded me so much of my late grandfather who I recently lost. It was amazing to realize that when you open your heart, the gift of happiness just pores in. After that it’s a matter of what we do with it.The next person to touch my heart is Isot, the designated lady I walked in with. Isot was in charge of the desserts and refreshments and her work area was a passage between the dish area and the main kitchen. Between the three Volunteers working the dishes, and the servers bring up the refreshment orders; Isot probably walked a mile or two in that little space. But with a smile and good cheer. In fact Isot even asked if she could help me since she felt that she needed to do more. If only we all think like that. Often times, it’s tasking on my energy when I have to do more than what’s expected of me.The next two people who touched my heart were the Incredible Juan and the enigmatic Ranjit-ji. When Pavi was orienting us with the dish-washing process, she gave us a heads-up on Juan. In short, Pavi distinctly said, ‘your jaw will hit the floor’. And I am proud to say, that the cynic in me was denied for once and my jaw did hit the floor. And Pavi was right next to me, delighted in how shocked I was. I am for once dumbfounded to articulate Juan, he was like Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, Pluto all rolled in to one, and I swear I felt he used his legs as well to juggle plates, cups and cutlery from the sink, through the commercial dishwasher and Voila, it was done.It’s not my intention to imply Juan looks like a cartoon. In fact he looks quite the opposite. I only mean that I have never seen that much movement of one being except in Cartoon shows.And finally Ranjit-ji, probably the quietest one among all us, but probably the one who was working the most making numerous freshly baked naans round the clock, in an extremely heated tradional oven. But he in-fact took the time to make fresh Naan, cut it up and place in my hands and with a simple‘eat’ in Hindi. For me, that act was the one that built the connection Pavi was talking during the opening circle.I have a 3 month waiting period rule, before I ever show my inner self to new people. When I would usually evaluate and determine, I just gave up and became myself in front of complete strangers, in one day. THAT has never ever happened before.Even though, I was primarily in the back, I realized that was where I was happiest during the day. I enjoyed interacting with such wonderful other volunteers who had each others back. Some of the guests that day, a spectacular signing duo gave me a small opportunity to do an small Act of generosity.I have worked on many people/ community oriented projects before. This is first time, it felt like a well worn blanket; that comforted me the moment, I choose to put it on. My view from the Karma Kitchen; was from the inside. And on the inside Karma Kitchen, is a well versed poem. While the lyrics change ever week; the tone, the melody and the harmony is always in sync.The daily grind got the better of me even before the weekend was over and I realized that I have miles to go before I grow.But while I am writing this, I realize the tone for how I want to live the rest of my life is setting in. While there are many things outside, that are beyond my control, I want to be like the behind the scenes of Karma Kitchen; a well versed poem.
--Andrea on Sep 5, 2011
Aug 14, 2011: 128 Guests Today! :)
Thanks for another wonderful day at Karma kitchen!! We served over 128 guests today!
As usual, we hosted some really interesting people -- which started with a group of grannies from a senior center who came in a van and sat at the community table. They totally loved their unique experience. One of the volunteers met couple of old high school friends, one of whom was a guest and the other was a volunteer! There were several people who did not know about KK and were just walking by and took a chance on a new experience -- and ended up thanking us over and over, for the unique experience.
The theme of the day was "Change" and we heard some very insightful responses from - change is necessary to "thanks for a wonderful community and having change every second of the day" to beautiful drawings. (My favorite is the photo posted to the right side.)
For me, personally, it is heartwarming to see more and more guests wanting to sit at the community table, wanting to connect with others rather than protecting their "space" ... I am inclined to believe that one day, all our tables will be community tables :) and every single person wants to move from "isolation to community"!
What a wonderful day! Thanks everyone for the support and the opportunity to serve with you. Looking forward to many more opportunities ...
--Kanchan on Aug 14, 2011
Aug 9, 2011: Indian cooking class.com
Charity and swva is in every bone of mine and truly I understand give-receive-dance!
The Seva Kitchen in Ahmedabad run by Manav Sadhna is where I intrinically learned how a house can serve food with love and charity. My son based on that love has over 6 years created a movie with slum kids(incidently the film was made at the same time as slumdog millionaire)and with people who make a difference with love and care.
I teach vegetarian Indian cooking and contribute many couple classes as auction items. Last year I taught 800 people at libraries, park districts,at Common Threads for children Taste of Chicago and at home. For forty years I have served Asian Indians and provided services for all age groups in domestic violence, mental health, holistic health care and moving ahead.
I will be thrilled to do Karma Kitchen in Chicago, infact am determined to do it. Any do and dont tips?
--Ranjana Bhargava on Aug 9, 2011
Jul 29, 2011: Interview with Richard!
An Interview with Richard Whittaker conducted by Vlad Moskovski
The world is full of restaurants where people come to sit, to enjoy each other’s company, and of course to eat. Karma Kitchen is a little different. As one of the more local projects of Service Space, Karma Kitchen is a restaurant that offers individuals the possibility to be a server one day, and a guest the next. In this radical place, there is more laughing, more cheer, and more spontaneity than in most restaurants. Here one can come alone and leave feeling a part of a big family and an even bigger ideal – to live a life based on the generosity and service to others.
Vlad: What is the basic premise behind Karma Kitchen and how is it different from a regular restaurant?
Karma Kitchen is an experiment in generosity. On the outside it looks like a regular restaurant, but the atmosphere is different; it’s friendlier, there is more human connection in the air and it leads to an elevated and festive atmosphere. It’s really quite wonderful and no two Sundays are the same. Each week the staff people are all volunteers except the cooks who work for the restaurant and get compensated.
Part of the idea is that this is a special experience for the volunteers. As a volunteer, you are serving the food, but you really want to have the feeling that you are connecting with people. In this attentive openness towards a customer, you might learn that someone has just come to town, or they are on their way somewhere. Maybe someone wants to sing a song, or an anniversary has just happened. There’s any number of things that can be revealed, and if something has been discovered about one of the guests that might be shared with the whole restaurant, the waiter might check with the guest and alert the maitre d’. So there’s this additional dimension where all those who are volunteering are alert to hidden possibilities.
Of course, for the volunteer, there’s also the experience of just trying to meet the basic demands of being a good waiter or dishwasher. It just so happens that at the restaurant [Taste of Himalayas], which is where Karma Kitchen is now, there’s a fellow named Juan who is the most extraordinary dishwasher. One time, as a volunteer, I was assigned that task. I was muddling along as best I could wrestling the dirty dishes, spraying them, and loading them into this commercial machine. There were two of us and sometimes we would fall behind. Then Juan would sweep in. We’d have to get out of his way because Juan is known as “The Hurricane.” Seemingly throwing dishes in every direction and making a big racket, but never breaking anything, he’d just completely take care of the whole mess. In the time that it would take me, or any ordinary person, to do 3 or 4 dishes, he’s done 50. It was really amazing.
Watching Juan showed me how much we miss in this culture by overlooking the maestros that exist in every field of endeavor. We celebrate the maestro who is the conductor of the orchestra, but no one like Juan gets celebrated. I watched Juan wash dishes. I actually watched very carefully, and I saw that he had mastered something to such a degree that it deserved my real feeling of respect and honor. So Karma Kitchen is a place in which one has all kinds of fresh impressions, like my impression of Juan. I think it’s because the basic premise is novel and unexpected. It’s really an exploration of what happens when you actually try to act from generosity and service.
Vlad: Why do you think it’s so popular? There is always a line out the door.
Well, you go there and it’s really fun. It’s really rewarding. I’ve met people and had some astonishing experiences as a guest. For instance, I met this woman,Susan Schaller, and heard her story—which is truly amazing. I could not believe I was sitting across from a person with a story that is the equivalent of the Helen Keller story. That’s my most dramatic experience in meeting someone new there. But people love it because it’s really enlivening.
Vlad: So everything is run by volunteers, what do you think motivates people to volunteer their time on a Sunday afternoon to work in a restaurant serving food and washing dishes?
If your wife has been trying to get you to wash dishes for years, and you’ve been resisting that and now you’re volunteering to wash dishes, that’s strange, isn’t it? [laughs] It seems that people are drawn to the possibility of giving something instead of just concentrating to getting something. And those who already have experienced that shift from “myself and what I want” to a focus on giving and sharing with others know the special feeling that can happen. The thing about Karma Kitchen is that it’s like a little laboratory where people are experimenting and trying to put something new into action. I think that’s what draws people. There may be a few people who just go there to get a meal because they don’t have any money and that’s ok, too, because often they end up coming back to volunteer and serve as well.
Vlad: Is the idea of a pay it forward restaurant spreading? I hear about other locations?
Karma Kitchen has been giving rise to some copies of itself. I think there is one in DC, in Chicago, and another one or two in the process of being born. Service Space projects have had a tendency to spread. Karma Kitchen is one of them, and there are several others. I think there’s a widespread interest in service and a feeling among a lot of young people that there has to be a different model from the selfish, capitalistic attitude of “I’m going to get mine and the hell with you.” Many people feel very deeply that something has to change, and that this change has to be in the direction of some kind of service to a greater good.
Service Space projects are like pure versions of this. They’re pretty radical about that, about carrying out their experiments without any focus on the bottom line—without counting the pennies. The interest is in a kind of selfless service. In something that is truly generous.
Vlad: So, they don’t worry about the bottom line?
The truth is that there has to be a certain amount of income or such projects would not keep working. It’s not as though money is ignored. But it’s not worried about—and Karma Kitchen has been more than supporting itself. It almost seems as if there’s a law, that if something is given with certain kind of purity—if something is truly generous—it always causes a reaction of gratitude. And when you feel grateful, the impulse is to give back. So the bottom line takes care of itself.
With Karma Kitchen, there’s not going to be a big worry. If in fact, people were not paying it forward, they would just close it. I don’t think there’s a big commitment to, “We’ve got to keep this going.” Instead, the attitude is “Let’s try this and see if it works. Let’s see what happens.” In Service Space’ philosophy, there is a willingness to fail.
Vlad: I ask the question about the bottom line, because I see this transition happening from a more capitalist model, at least around here in the Bay Area, to being more gift economy, and of course it brings up concerns in those that don’t have complete faith in generosity or in this law that you speak of.
I think you have to verify it. If someone gives something to me, and if it’s a real act of generosity, I know how I feel. I know my impulse and response is that of gratitude and the wish to give back and reciprocate. Karma Kitchen is verifiably functioning. The money comes in—although it may fail in the future. The core people in Service Space, while they are very upbeat and full of hopefulness, have not abandoned their critical judgment. They are all very bright people, who look very carefully at things. They are going to be realistic, but they’re also capable of making these unusual leaps and trying things out. It’s how things can actually be tested rather than just thought about.
Vlad: For me, it really comes down to having faith in something that is very pure, Service Space is very pure around their intentions.
It would seem to me that purity is an ideal. In moments one might experience a pure impulse, and the next moment one may say, “Oh, I see how I could benefit from that, and I want to benefit from that.” There are moments when something actually pure might act through one, but to think that one can be pure—I would be extremely suspicious of that. For a lot of Service Space people, Gandhi is a great exemplar. There is a saying of Gandhi’s that, “if you wait until you are pure before you begin to serve, you will never begin to serve.” You have to start wherever you are and then maybe by following the path of service, you will move in the direction of more purity.
--Vlad Moskovski on Jul 29, 2011
Jul 24, 2011: A Joyful Afternoon
This Sunday, Karma Kitchen invited guests to participate in our theme of the week: "joy," by sharing what makes THEM smile. Here are a couple of the amazing blurbs we received:
What makes them smile?
- when other people smile
- life and being able to travel without being afraid
- cheesy dad jokes
- feeling friendliness
- my daughter
- cool breezes & sunny days
- genuine kindness
- feeling appreciated and appreciative
- happy babies
- my girlfriend
- the generosity of others
- hearing other people's unique and loud laughter
- watching my kids sleep
- the infectious smiles of the KK volunteers
- yummy vegetarian food
- having the whole family together
- looking up through the canopy of trees
Hopefully, this inspires you to think about what makes YOU smile and what brings joy into YOUR life. :)
--Christina on Jul 24, 2011
Jul 11, 2011: How I Spent My July 4th
A week ago today, I spent an afternoon in the lovely town of Berkeley, working with an inspiring group called Karma Kitchen. It all began a few weeks ago, when a friend posted a picture on Facebook from his day at KK. (Thank you, Sateen.) I went to their website and learned that it is a volunteer-based group that takes over a restaurant for lunch service every Sunday. The volunteers run the whole show –seating, serving, bussing, plating, washing, setup, cleanup… everything except the cooking, which is done by the restaurant’s chef. Even more intriguing was the fact that KK is completely donation-based, where patrons are given a check at the end of the meal with a zero tab. Patrons are told that their meal was paid for by those who came before them and are invited to continue the chain of paying it forward. Their website further explains, “In a gift economy, goods and services are given without any strings attached… a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community.”
I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that I happened upon his post; I had been feeling a lack of service in my life lately and had been researching various organizations in Los Angeles. Something about KK spoke to me and I decided then and there I wanted to volunteer with them on my next trip to the bay area. It was only a day’s commitment, but it was a step in the right direction; I decided to go to San Francisco for the 4th of July weekend. I was staying with my friend Reena and when I told her about KK, she decided it would be a fun experience to do together and signed up as well.
On a gorgeous Sunday morning, we headed down to Berkeley, my first visit to the town in years. We had no idea what we were in for, but were excited and ready for whatever came our way. There was a brief orientation, where we met the rest of the volunteers, were told a bit more about KK and the day ahead, and were given our job assignments. I had told myself that even if I were assigned to dishwashing, I would do it blissfully. After all, I had been inspired to serve; how I served would be unimportant that day.
As it turned out, three of us were chosen as servers (and bus-girls, it turned out, since we were short of volunteers that day). The rest of our team of nine served as maitre’d, cashier and check runner, dishwasher, drinks and dessert filler, platers, and pretty much everything in between. Most of us had never worked a day in a restaurant. I have hosted countless brunches and dinner parties, but nothing thus far had prepared me for the next few hours. It was constant motion: welcoming diners; explaining the concept of KK to those who had never been; taking orders; wiping down tables; yelling out forgotten drinks or extra naan orders; turning two-tops into four-tops into six-tops (I learned a bit of restaurant lingo); back and forth (and back and forth) through the swinging door hoping not to have one of those movie-scene moments where you run into the person on the other side, a tray of mango lassis crashing to the floor. It felt like a non-stop stream of Top Chef’s quick fire challenges and restaurant wars rolled into one.
Here are a few snapshots of the most memorable moments.
- Finding myself peeling potatoes with Vishnu the Nepalese cook while waiting for the morning orientation; the joy on his face when I tell him I speak Hindi, creating our own special bond throughout the day.
- The elderly lady who I was told was a pain and sat herself in my station, only to turn out to be one of my sweetest customers. She was more demanding than the others, but when she asked for something with an “I know you’re really busy but,” I responded with “never too busy for you” and a smile. If she were my grandmother, I would have wanted someone else to do the same for her.
- The five year old who was overjoyed when the bowl of rice came out with peas arranged in a smiley face. When I told him they made it especially for him, he beamed up at his parents and said, “See, I got my own surprise!”
- Patrons who gladly got up to help when we were backed up and at our busiest.
- My cohorts showing me that we were all a team – a smile, an unexpected hug, an icy drink, a calm reminder to take a deep breath, stepping in to serve someone else’s table when things got backed up, and on and on.
At the end of the day, we sat down for a community meal, most of us too exhausted to think about eating. It was a beautiful way to end the day, to go around and share each person’s experience. I was filled with gratitude to be a part of the KK experience and to have met such a passionate group of people, all who came together to give their time and heart to those who came to the restaurant. Someone asked me if the experience had met my expectations, having driven up from L.A. and I responded:
It was a tough day, not any more than I expected, but it was tough…but in a good way, like going on a hike that you don’t think you can do, but somehow you keep on going, finally reaching to the top and looking down at the amazing view. You forget moments of doubt, the ache in your legs, the tightness in your back; you feel nothing but the rush of adrenaline and the joy in your soul.
--Venu on Jul 11, 2011
Jun 20, 2011: Father's Day Reflections
This Father's Day we invited Karma Kitchen guests to reflect on the most important lesson they'd learned from their fathers, and to share it with us. Here is a selection of the beautiful insights they surfaced:
- Be fearless.
- Find the strength to admit when you're wrong and move on.
- My dad has taught me that there are always at least 2 sides to every story.
- Sweet sounds never die!
- You are a more powerful force in the universe than you realize.
- When I asked my old school father from the Philippines about "foods of life," he was too embarrased to tell me, but his one statement to me was "never disrespect anyone."
- Live in the moment, go after what makes you happy.
- Think about where the things you put in your body came from.
- Don't forget that everything is from a perspective.
- Don't be lazy! You have to make space for the things that are important in life.
- My father taught me the importance of temperance, keeping an even keel, and understanding that there can be many different opinions without a clear answer.
- Amont the many bits of wisdom that I keep finding in my mind, my dad taught me: politeness, patience, and persistence.
- Work hard & don't do drugs.
- Patience, caring, and above all selfless dedication.
- Clean room!
- Use your head for something besides a hat rack!
- However great maybe the success, stay rooted.
- Nothing is impossible, you just need to try harder.
- Bless the day as it blesses us. Now is all there is.
- The most important wisdom I've received and am still receiving is from the natural world.
- Dad taught me that when starting to hammer a nail, you should hold the nail yourself.
- To be grateful for each day.
- The heart is free, have the courage to follow it.
- Always look for foreward and plan for the future, but remember to enjoy the moment as well.
- It's easy to get more money. It's hard to get more time.
- May everyone be happy!
- Those who deserve the great, must first earn the little.
- Always work hard to reach your goals.
- Be kind and helpful to others!
- Always buy generic -- its the same ingredients as brand name.
- My father gave me space to grow.
- I love my father for being tolerant of my behavior. He's taught me to sympathize with others and to appreciate those around you.
- Wisdom observed from my father: the more unsettled other people might be, become the calmer one to calm the whole environment.
- My father taught me that when I'm criticized I need to "consider the source." In other words, the person who offers the criticism may have their own problems or defects and may not understand where you are coming from. So you must not take all negative comments to heart
--Bhoutik on Jun 20, 2011
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