Conversations on Healing

Nipun Mehta

Living a Life of Service and Giftivism

Founder of Service Space

Nipun Mehta is the founder of — an incubator of projects that support a gift culture. In his mid-twenties, Nipun quit his job to become a “full time volunteer” and over the last 15 years, his work has reached millions, attracted more than 500 thousand members, and mushroomed into numerous projects like DailyGood, Awakin Circles, and Karma Kitchen. Among his many prestigious accolades, President Obama appointed him to serve on a council for social change, the Dalai Lama recognized him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”, and Germany’s OOOM magazine named him Top 100 Most Inspiring People of 2018. Nipun has addressed thousands of gatherings around the world, speaking next to wide-ranging leaders from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to author Elizabeth Gilbert to civil rights legend John Lewis. One of his most formative experiences was a walking pilgrimage across India with his wife. The profound lessons from that journey became the subject of his address at UPenn’s commencement. Nipun’s mission in life is to: “Bring smiles in the world and stillness in my heart.”

In today’s episode, Shay Beider welcomes Nipun to share his unique story of how he went from a career in software to becoming a full-time volunteer and founder of ServiceSpace. Nipun talks about the work ServiceSpace is doing and the principles the organization follows, including their important practice of “giftivism.” Later, Nipun discusses how a more optimal word for leadership might be “laddership,” and shares his personal philosophy on achieving maximum energy flow. This episode is particularly powerful because it is a dialogue between two non-profit leaders whose organizations are focused on volunteerism.

Listen to the complete episode by clicking the player above.

Show Notes:

Introducer (00:00:02): Welcome to the Conversations oOn Healing podcast, where host, Shay Beider, speaks with renown healthcare leaders and practitioners to explore the world of wellness, the incredible powers of self-care, and what it truly means to heal today. Join us on this journey to become more whole, healed, and connected.

Shay (00:00:33): Wow I am so happy to introduce you todays to our guest, Nipun Mehta. Nipun is the founder of — an incubator of projects that support a gift culture. In his mid-twenties, Nipun quit his day job to become a “full time volunteer” and over the last 15 years, his work has literally reached millions of people, and attracted more than 500 thousand members, and new projects have grown out of this Service Space work including DailyGood, Awakin Circles, and Karma Kitchen. Among his many prestigious accolades, President Obama appointed him to serve on a council for social change, the Dalai Lama recognized him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”, and Germany’s OOOM magazine named him the Top 100 Most Inspiring People of 2018. Nipun has addressed thousands of gatherings around the world, speaking next to wide-ranging leaders from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to author Elizabeth Gilbert to civil rights legend, John Lewis. In this particular episode, Nipun shares more about the fantastic work he’s doing with ServiceSpace, and some of the principles that the organization follows and is committed to, including this idea of “giftism” which he will describe more in our talk. I think you are going to learn so much from his personal philosophy and the ways that he looks at maximizing energy flow in his own life. So, let’s begin the conversation!

Shay (00:02:25): So Nipun, I was thinking about where I wanted to begin with you today. And I was going back to that Rumi poem. Um, the one where he talks about, you know, out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. And as I was looking at it, I went back and I saw, you know, a couple of translations. And I looked up to see that there’s actually another piece of text that comes right after that, which says “ideas, language, even the phrase, “each other doesn’t make sense anymore”. And I know you’re, an avid meditator that you will sometimes take 30 days to just focus on your meditation. And there’s something around the idea of the blurring of the self that’s contained, obviously within this incredible piece of poetry that I felt like I wanted to start with with you, um, about kind of how that idea of the blurring of the self-influences your life and your work.

Nipun (00:03:46): Yeah. Um, thank you for that beautiful, uh, invocation actually, because in a way it’s such a, uh, such a wonderful quote and I, I love that quote by Rumi. Um, and, and I think that that is where my meditation sort of goes to. Um, but, um, I’ve really, uh, benefited a lot from the Buddhist idea of the middle way. And so even when you think about the blurring of boundaries, um, there’s a kind of a middle way, uh, and the middle way isn’t like right smack in the middle, it’s an equilibrium that you’ll find in between these polarities and as you dance with that perfect, in that perfect tension, you awaken something that’s, you know, um, much more beyond or Rumi sort of, you know, field, uh, that is beyond wrongdoing and right doing. So for me, um, you know, this on one side, you, we can have experiences where, uh, there’s a dissolution of the self. Uh, and on the other side, you can have experiences where you’re completely in your, in your dual, uh, worlds, you know, in your dualities, you have that kind of a mind arise. And we have, you know, a whole spectrum of these minds that keep arising and we’re pulled in all these different directions in every moment, you know? And so I think for me, the, the challenge has been, how do you ground yourself in the principles of this oneness and how do you draw a through line across it that allows you to engage while even if you’re in your dualistic mind, or if you’re engaging with others, uh, who might be in that dualistic framework. Um, and, and, uh, you know, both all have their own pros and cons. And I think this, that it’s that healthy tension it’s that capacity to not be stuck to one side or the other, you could be just completely like, Hey, kumbaya, the world is great. You know, I, it, and it’s all one, and there’s no boundaries and I’m going to, and there are many people that I’ve met who can live in that space and that’s fantastic, but there are also many people who I know have that capacity to be there, but then out of compassion, uh, say, Hey, I want to serve here. Um, and, and when you do, it’s hard work, um, but you also have to be skillful. And so you have to adjust you, can’t just say, Hey, look, this is all messed up. You guys should all like come to the, you know, and let’s go on vacation here. And, and, uh, you know, uh, this let’s just ignore this. It’s actually about integrating, uh, it’s about bringing that heart of service, that unification, that connection, um, that depth of ties. And how do you bring that in a skillful way within the constraints of whatever, uh, you know, a set of imperfections, uh, that might be facing us in that moment individually, socially systemically, I think all of that arise. So I think it becomes a fascinating design question. So for me, it’s always been like this creative challenge, you know, how do you take some of this wisdom, which is not, I don’t see it as mine. And I just see it as like wisdom of the sages from millennia, you know, and I don’t even have insight into the depth of it, but these guys have all said, it, it feels right to me. And so I say, okay, that’s, that’s good. Maybe I’ve walked one step and they’ve done a marathon on it, but like, even that one step feels right. I want to take the next step and how do I then integrate that into, um, into this kind of a world. So for me, that’s, that’s been, um, uh, an art project, so to speak, you know?

Shay (00:07:26): Yeah, it’s funny that you said that because for some reason when I was really reviewing and reflecting on your work, um, the word that popped up was like translator. Almost like there’s an aspect of who you are that felt to me like a translator who was sort of bringing ideas and principles from one domain into another domain. And so I want to talk a little bit about your work with, because I think you’ve really delineated and spoken to some very specific kind of principles and core concepts and ideas, right? Like things like giftism and, um, you know, really sort of the foundational principles upon which, um, you’ve collectively built this body of work. That’s now, you know, engaged thousands, even hundreds of thousands of volunteers from all over the world. But it, it really, to me seems like it stems from these principles, um, that then have sort of led and facilitated the impetus for the way that your work is expressed in the world. And so I want to give you an opportunity to speak a little bit to how those principles came to form inside of yourself, and then also within service space.

Nipun (00:08:47): Um, yeah, I, to me, the principles are everything. Um, the work is, uh, is there, it’s important how it manifests and you tend to it, uh, but you really can’t have fruits until you, uh, you know, you need to have a healthy soil and you need to have a healthy environment only then the trees can flourish and then you can have the harvest. Um, so for me, it’s less about the harvest. It’s more about the organizing principles and the values. Um, and so I think that was always there. I, you know, I think 20 years ago, I don’t think I could articulate it the same way, um, that I might today. Uh, and maybe 20 years from now, I would articulate it in a different way. So some of it is contextual. Um, but yeah, there’s a, uh, to, to me, I think what is, what has always been true is that I wanted to do what felt right in my inner core, um, in my inner being, you can say my heart, um, and it just didn’t feel, it never, it hasn’t ever felt right to me, at least I can say from personal experience to try to scheme and try to get ahead and try to, like, you know, even in the name of service, you, you know, you draw these boundaries and you have these aspirations and you’re like my organization over yours. And, you know, eh, and like that to me just has never quite landed. Um, and even this idea of collecting and accumulating, um, you know, whether it’s you do it with money, or you do it with power, or you do it with fame, um, that has also never made sense to me. It’s also not, it never made, I’ve never, it’s never resonated um, for my, in my inner core, I’ve never resonated with this idea of a means to an end with anything. So if I use you, even now, I say, okay, I’m going to, you know, is this worth my time? Is this worth your time? Can I get something from it? I just don’t ask those questions like that kind of stuff. After 20 years of practice just doesn’t arise in my, uh, in, in our ecology that you just kind of trust that everything is deeply interconnected and that’s, your job is not to manage the cause and effect of the Work flow. Uh, your job is actually to flow with the, you know, the tides of the ocean. Um, and, and to be as empty as you can be. So then the challenges there, the question is, well, okay, we get that. And I think individually, a lot of people resonate with that. Um, but then as you start to nuance it, you say, well, how do you create a social ecology, a social field, a social farm, if you want to think of it that way, where you have different people that hold different parts of that kind of aspiration, uh, at different times. So even the same person could like totally resonate today. And then tomorrow, uh, when they’re in a tiff with somebody else and they’re working together on a project, you know, if they have a very different mind that they’re carrying. And so we all know that there are so many different selves, so many different means inside of me. Right. Um, and so when so many me’s of me and so many me’s of you and all of these, like, so you have, you know, thousands of these me’s coming together and arising and passing at different times. Like, how do you hold all of that, do something meaningful and have the center of gravity of that ecology be towards our higher aspirations and not our base impulses of like, Say fear and greed, you know? Um, So, so to me, that’s always been very, very critical, and that’s how we came up with, so in ServiceSpace from the beginning to now, and mind you, this is like, when I say beginning, this is 1999, right? Like in Silicon Valley, uh, you have these “dot commers” that like are totally taking over. And I was, I was like the perfect, you know, I like the, I could have been the poster child for that “.com” world. I had all the credentials and the networks, and I had come out of college with all the right time. And it was all right there for me. And, and in that kind of context, you know, we said, okay, That we don’t want, like, no means to an end, Like, forget about like making money and accumulating and getting ahead. It’s like, no, you don’t want to, you know, compromise anything. And so we ended up going to a homeless shelter and, and, uh, we built a website and we said, you know how, like our intention was, how can we help? And they were like, what do you know, what do you want in return? And we said, nothing. Uh, we just, we were grateful for the opportunity to serve because it transforms Us. And then as that grew very quickly, in our case, the question for us was how do you stay true to that? Uh, true to that core intention. Um, and in our case, this is where the organizing principles come in. Um, is we sort of, and this has been true, like for those 20 years, uh, that we have operated is that we said that, look, we are going to, we’re moved by love. We’re moved by the heart of service. We’re doing it as a labor of love. So let’s just have that constraint, like, you know, we’re not looking if we’re looking for a job or if you’re looking to monetize the service. I mean, there we do it outside, right. Let’s, let’s try to create an Island of a different kind of possibility here. And so everyone came in and did that, and that was, that became one of our principles is that we’re all, it’s a, it’s a completely volunteer, run effort. Um, and second effort was, you know, it just didn’t feel right To, uh, Fundraise. Like it just, you know, it’s, it’s not very, I, if you’ve never done it and we had never run an organization, we had no best practices. Like we’re a bunch of 20 somethings, right? Like just out of college. And we’re like, let’s do something good. Like, and there’s an energy to that. And, and, and you want to stay in that energy, you know, and as soon as you start to like, Oh, that’s my five-year plan. How can I sucker this person out of them out of money? Or, and how do I like say this and how do I pitch myself? So other people can start thinking we’re doing work when we might be actually doing 10 amounts of meaningful work, but I, if I can show a hundred, then more people will be inspired To give and all this. And we’re like, no, I don’t, we don’t want it. You know, let’s see, let’s see how long we can. Everyone told us that that’s naive. Eventually you have to do it. But our thought was, let’s delay that as much as possible, you know? Um, and so we try, we did that, um, and so far so good. We’ve still delayed it for, you know, 20 years. Um, and, and, and then the third principle was that we also don’t want to think big right scale. Uh, let’s go out and change the world, uh, and let’s do it in. And I was, I have been part of so many think tanks and which I really appreciate, you know, the thinking, the systemic thinking I appreciate, but when the mind starts to think at scale and says that, Oh, my effort is actually more leveraged than yours. That I, my being is more leveraged than yours. That I’m more gifted than you, that my organization is better than you. As soon as you start to get into that kind of a mindset, I think you lose nature’s backing. So our thought was, and mother Teresa said, it’s so simply and so best. She says, “we can do no great acts, only small acts with great love”. And so that’s what we were grounded in. We never had a conversation of, let’s take this to scale and we still don’t, we don’t sit down and say, where’s our marketing strategy. We need to reach 5 million people by, you know, Tuesday. Like it’s a, that’s not a kind of a, that’s just not the way ServiceSpace thinks and operates. Um, and again, when you, when you’re doing a lemonade stand, that all makes total sense, right? Like which kid, you know, I, I don’t know where Shay, if you have kids, but like, you know, if you talked to my niece and you know, she’s not going to be like, Oh yeah, let’s create a to plan. And that’s changed the world with lemonade. It’s like, it’s meaningful because of this intrinsic joy that she has because of this heart of connection, uh, that she feels when she’s in service. And so, uh, it it’s like, how do you stay true to that? So I think we were, we’re just a bunch of kids in a way that never grew up, you know? Um, so it’s, it’s been a remarkable thing, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been quite interesting because you take a look at the opposite of all three of these, and that’s usually how most people create, right? Like, you need a lot of money, you need a lot of staff, you need big offices and you’re trying to change the world right. In massive ways. Um, and that’s what people appreciate you for, um, and give you awards for it. And for us, it’s been like a complete 180 of that. So, um, it’s been a remarkable, uh, journey. Um, I, I don’t know about the impact in the world. I don’t know if I’ve, I, it’s hard to say how much, how many lives and what you’ve actually done in the world. So I don’t know about that, but I do know that I am a better person today than I was 20 years ago. And so I’m personally just grateful to have stumbled across this way of serving.

Shay (00:17:50): Yeah. There’s um, there’s another piece that I heard you share that I’m very intrigued by, which is this notion that kind of the world that we’re moving into, right. Or the, you could say the future that we’re wanting to, um, create together at this moment in history, which is obviously a very significant moment in history that we’re all living through. Um, I heard you say that the way we want to move forward now, and the skills that we need to move forward are not the same ones that we’ve been using. And what I specifically heard you say is that now we, more than ever, we need to listen to an emergence and we need to know really how to listen, not how to speak and direct everything, but actually the other side of that, where a field of intelligence kind of rises up and it’s in the observation and awareness and attunement to that field of intelligence that then decision and action is made. And, um, that’s obviously I’m putting that into my own words, but I would love to hear how you see, know, understand, that idea of emergence and deep listening as being essential right now.

Nipun (00:19:13): Yeah. Um, well, first of all, that was beautifully put, you know, so it’s great. Uh, I can see your resonance because of the way in which you articulated it. Uh, but I think that’s really very clear, uh, a it’s clear to me for my own spiritual practice. I think it’s clear to me from my own thinking around systems design, but actually now I think everyone knows like, how does the Corona virus spread, right? It’s this network effect? How, how do memes go viral all of a sudden, how does a stock like skyrocket? Like we just saw just recently with GameStop, you know, like how, how do these things happen so quickly, rapidly exponentially? And this is the promise of the internet in some sense, in a very visible way, um, is that you have you no longer are broadcasting in a one to many way. Uh, you are actually, you know, holding a network. Uh, it’s like a living system where many parts are talking to each other. So it’s, it’s a, you know, you had way in the early days of the internet, there was Craigslist still there. It it’s not that Craigslist was hosting any, uh, events, but it was allowing other people to host other events. It was like many people engaging at many levels. And we see a certain manifestation of it through the, you know, through a virus and how it spreads, um, through internet platforms. But how do we start to really design deeply for that emergence? And how is that emergence different from a linear way of thinking? A linear way of thinking says, I know all the different causes and effects, and I do this, I do X and Y happens in X amount of time and I, and I’m going to then scale it up. Right. And that’s sort of the factory model. Uh, but the gardening model is more that I’ve planted a seed. Now, all kinds of things need to happen underground. Right? All kinds of watering needs to take place. The sun needs to be in the right place. The wind has to do all the right things. And all of a sudden, you know, one fine day, there’s a little sprout. And then a few weeks later you might have some tomatoes, right? Like, so how do you, uh, how do you see your effort, not as a singular directive of cause and effect. Um, but as a part of a much more multi-dimensional array of inputs that are coming together and, uh, you know, um, and leading to unpredictable outcomes. Uh, so that’s a very, and what kind of a leader does it take? We know what kind of a leader it takes, like the military style command and control. Top-down we know what kind of a leader it takes to do that, but, and we’ve had corporations in that kind of a modality. Um, but now as we’re evolving as so many different parts are coming back to each other, you know, as we live in such incredible volatility across all sectors, right. Um, and as we do that, then the question is really like what kind of a leader is required, what kind of leadership is required to hold, not a command and control organization or an effort, uh, but, uh, more of a living systems approach where every root is connected to every other root and it’s all, um, you know, coming together and at the right time, it’s like, you, you, you plant good seeds and you’re going to get good harvest. Um, and if you don’t plant those seeds, you’re going to, you know, you’re the type, your seeds are important, but so are, so many other parts. Um, and how do you start to see yourself in that deeply interconnected way? And one of the manifestations of that is to really move from this. There are so many incredible shifts in terms of leaderships, if you talk about, but, but they shift from linear thinking to emergence, um, which is really how you hold a field of many too many, uh, because you can’t really control it in a top-down way, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a leadership, right. Just because you don’t have this top down, you actually need a different kind of leadership. Um, and this is the kind of leadership where, you know, at the power goes from the center to the edges. It’s no longer interesting. It’s no longer interesting to have like a R and D lab of your smartest and brightest, right? The most amazing innovations, even in these big companies, even at Google, right? Like Gmail didn’t come out from a think in the center. It came out from Google saying, Hey, we’re going to give you 20% of your time is to do whatever you want. And a huge array of their projects are a result of that kind of freedom, that kind of autonomy, which means that it’s actually happening at the edges. Um, you start to move from command and control, which is the usual model, to search and amplify that what is actually emerging right in this field of connections, how do you search for that pattern of positive deviance and amplify? It there’s a huge role for that, but the premium goes away from like, I have a vision and I’m so forceful and I’m so powerful and you guys are all going to follow me because of my power and vision, um, to actually leader, uh, the, this new kind of a leader moving to the back of the room. And it’s not so much what you can do. It’s more about what you can see. And a lot of that seeing is about how you listen and how you hold space, right. It’s not just about the notes, but like also recognizing the space in between the notes. Um, so I, I think we are now in a way we see it technologically, we see it informationally, we see it across all sectors in a, in a sort of superficial way. But nonetheless, uh, you are seeing this pattern of emergence and this new kind of leadership it’s, I don’t think we’ve realized exactly the kind of new leadership we need, but I think we know that something needs to change, like, you know, some things not happening quite right. Um, so I think we’re in that transition. Um, and at the same time, um, I think there’s also a lot of work to be done, uh, because the potential of this emergence is just immense. Um, so it’s a, you know, I saw this photo of, um, this is a remarkable photo. I think it’s been in like most of my talks, uh, since I first saw it, this photographer, uh, in, I believe he was a German photographer, who’s on vacation in Spain and he’s just clicking photos. And he doesn’t even realize he’s captured this photo, which ends up becoming like 2019’s national geographic, uh, runner up for photo of the year. And he’s basically just taking photos of the sky, right. The skyline. And all of a sudden, he realizes when he goes home, he realizes he’s taken this photo of, uh, of like hundreds and hundreds of starlings that were flying together on their, you know, in their own little Merry little way. And all of a sudden they realized that, wait, we have a parasite that’s coming into attack us. And they, within 10 seconds created this formation organically, spontaneously emergently created this formation Where they all created This giant shape of a giant bird. And that parasites like, Oh, wait, that’s too big of a bird. And then all of a sudden the parasite goes away. And within 10 seconds, these guys even dissolved so fast. It happened that the photographer didn’t even realize he took this photo. And so the question that I would add, I think that kind of intelligence is there all the time it’s flowing through us, or at least it wants to, we may not let it because we have our own agendas. And so the question is, how do we start to see that that collective intelligence is actually much stronger than our individualistic kind of lens on everything. And not only is it much stronger, it’s more fulfilling, it’s far greater than like actually having a singular vision using your muscle to kind of go and make that happen versus being, you know, and an extension of these incredible resources of nature and being in tune and harmonizing with all of that. Um, so to me, this, this is, this is emergence, right? Like who do I have to be if I’m arguing and saying, no, I want to be at the beak. You know, I, I want to be here. Like you don’t, you’ve lost the plot. Like you can’t do that. Like you’re, you’re, whatever role is needed, you kind of do that. It doesn’t really matter. Um, because the whole goal is to come into this shape, which no one themselves individually can see and yet they kind of understand. And so for me, that’s a, that’s a very inspiring thought. Um, and I think that’s ultimately where emergence leads us, um, that you have these networks and then the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And that wisdom of that whole, I think, is, uh, will lead to completely radical innovations. Um, and that’s something we don’t, we don’t have enough of in the world today, the way it stands. And that’s why your work Shay is, is it, you know, in, in this line as well? Uh, so wonderful because you lead with that kind of listening, you lead with that kind of trusting, uh, you lead with that kind of, you know, uh, faith in, in, in that, uh, collective intelligence to guide our individual Starling. So, you know,

Shay (00:28:47): Yeah, I was, um, I was thinking about when you were expressing that idea, like where have I known that in my life, the, in the most kind of full embodied way and in my work for years, um, we’ve done these large scale healing retreats for families that have children with, um, significant illnesses. So we bring together families, um, and then usually hundreds of volunteers for a week. And we just retreat with those families and they have all sorts of opportunities for healing and connection and everybody volunteers. So we have doctors that volunteer, but we have you name it. We have, um, junior volunteers and acupuncturists and massage therapists and all these folks. And after doing this for several years, the piece that became crystal clear to me was the singular most important job I had in those retreats was to manage my nervous system effectively because I came to understand that because I was in a leadership role that my state of being, my nervous system was affecting everyone else’s nervous system, because in some ways they were tracking off me and looking to me to see, like, are we okay? Are we okay? And so it was a fundamental, like point of learning to not only do that, but to then actually do it very consciously, you know, to say, look, I want this organism because it was entirely an organism, not something I really had any control over, but at the same time, I knew that the best opportunity for the fullest expression and functioning of that organism would come through all of us. If through me, I was focused on highest integrity and intelligence, grounded-ness, coherence within my own being. And the more that I could hold that kind of inner core and coherence inside of myself, then the more opportunity there was for others to hold that too, because we all attuned to one another. And boy, was that a lesson because, um, you know, again, it goes so contrary to a lot of principles of leadership that we’ve been taught. And I know that you’ve actually played with changing the wording from leadership to Laddership. And so I, I want to hear more about that idea for you too.

Nipun (00:31:30): Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that, uh, that was really, it’s really sacred. And I have had the privilege of being unexpectedly. Uh, I mean, it’s always unexpected because you can’t create these things. Uh, but when you see them, uh, when you are a part of it, whatever part you play, you kind of know that you’re in the presence of something that feels a lot more sacred than your, your individual, uh, ego excel, you know? Um, and, and that’s incredible. And, and so I think for me, whenever I, I do, I think a lot of the ServiceSpace work, um, and, uh, prior to the pandemic, you know, we’ve led hundreds. I don’t really even know the number, but I would say hundreds as a lower ballpark estimate, but you know, so many circles and so many, uh, retreats and multi-day retreats and we retreat. So it’s all kinds of different people and the best ones are where you can, like, you’re just kind of know that this becomes a living organism. Um, and, and you know, that no one knows everyone is feeling grateful and no one knows who to thank, because you tell that person and that person’s like, I’m just doing my little bit. And then that person’s like, but then everyone’s like, wait, then who’s, who’s where, you know, and it’s very disorienting for a linear mind that wants to find a cause and effect, or that wants to then say, okay, Nipun this is great. Like, how do we scale this? And I’m like, ah, I have no idea, you know? Um, and, and so it’s, it’s really beautiful, uh, when you’re in that space. And, and the question is, and it’s not also, it’s not nuanced enough to just say, well, it just happens by itself. It’s grace, So you let it be a, of course it is. But the question is who, like, what space did you have to be in? And this is a question for everybody, not just to a leader or a letter. And so how do you hold the whole? So you are doing your bit, and if enough of us are doing that, then we can trigger the conditions for this kind of a grace. Um, so grace is happening all the time, but like, are we, you know, how, how do we, uh, equip a collective, um, to actually allow that grace to flow through us, uh, and take the impediments away. Um, and so I think that is, uh, what I think of, I’ve never really defined it in this way. Usually I can give you many different variations of what, what Laddership is, but we felt like there was a kind of leadership that’s like just puts a premium on, on, on the usual, like, you know, command and control power structure. Uh, and this was a very different way of holding space, very different way of sitting in circle. Um, and we noticed, and we see this like in, in our circles, if you say, if you become the center of the circle, clearly, you’re not really, uh, you’re, you’re not in service to emergence you, you may become a center of the circle, but if you get addicted to it, then you’re definitely in trouble, but there are so many people, uh, for even that one center to shine even momentarily, like if that one starling is there at the beak, like it takes a thousand other starlings to play their part silently as well. And you realize that it’s all just a part of that. So how do you hold leadership in that light? Um, and we realized that if we just let’s just create a new word, because leadership is so loaded, we, as soon as you think leader, you know, you’re just thinking in the traditional way. Um, and so for us, it was more, uh, about, uh, these remarkable shifts. Like, what does it mean? Like most people never asked this question, you know, like, uh, if you want to spread the word, like, you know, you think of broadcast, right? I want like maximum number of YouTube views. Um, but what does it mean to do deep cast? Right. Like deep cast would be that I, my heart is moved. And because of that, because the boundary between me and you is kind of blurry. The, the love from my heart will touch you. And the love from your heart would touch someone else. And that’s a kind of deep cast. And how can you create a sustainable model with that kind of deep cast? It’s a unique question. You, you think about speed and people have all these, you know, people think the faster is better. I mean, at least where I grew up in the Silicon Valley, you know, and I think in the, around the world, um, where it’s like, you know, more, more is always better. Like faster is always better. Uh, scale is always, you know, bigger is always better. Um, but how do you then say, wait a second, there is an emergency response. And that’s like, Oh my God, my house is on fire. I need to do something. And of course that’s meaningful and that’s valuable. You should be able to do that, but everything can’t just be emergency. How do you balance emergency with emergence? Right. And it’s like, Oh, it’s not this or that. It’s kind of both. I have to hold both. And then if you do that across all these different edges, uh, as, as we like to think of them, then I think you arrive at a ladder. And in Japan, I have this, uh, one of my friends is from Japan and she said, they have this beautiful, uh, tradition. One of the traditions in the spiritual lineage, which I found to be like awesome was, uh, that they, they said, they said that the more senior a person is in this lineage, the bigger the hat they wear on their head. So like the senior, most person has got this giant hat on their, uh, on their head. And because they have this giant hat, they have to move very slowly. And you know that when you are walking slowly, you are not so much focused on the content and getting stuff done and doing this and doing that. You’re more focused on the interaction. You’re more focused on the context. So when you start to move from content to context, you are wearing that giant hat, and you’re learning how to hold all of that. And it’s no longer about doing the maximal amount. It’s actually about figuring out the right acupuncture points in this ecosystem and doing the least amount. But that least amount is so skillful that it creates a cascading ripple effect. And maybe nobody even notices that, but because you created that ripple effect that, that 99th person, you know, nudge the hundredth person and everyone gave, you know, the Nobel prize to the 99th person. And you’re fine with that. You know, you kind of smile and you say, great, that’s fantastic. Um, and you’re happy being in that kind of a web. And once you really start to see this, uh, you realize that man, this is how it’s always been, right? Like, this is how my mom’s love has been given to me. Like, I mean, she loves me unconditionally and I can never pay her back, you know? So it was a, yeah, I, I just, as a side note, I had this incredible moment of gratitude, Uh, I would say maybe about two years ago or so. Uh, what I learned this, uh, I, I, maybe I knew it vaguely, but I didn’t, it didn’t quite register. And then we were just sitting down me and my mom and my mom said, yeah, when you were born, you know, um, I was a very conscious in the nine months, you know, I was trying to expose myself to positive thoughts and, uh, or dharmic thoughts in, in her a way of thinking. Um, and, and I said, Oh, that’s really sweet, that’s really, And she says, yeah, even during your delivery. I was reading scripture. And I was like, uh, wait a second. You know, did you, did I get that right? Like you were, you were reading it. And she says, yeah, she says, I was very clear that I wanted to bring you into this world into, uh, I, I wanted to create as sacred of vibration for you to enter this world in. Right. Like, Oh my God. Like, I, you know, imagine you’re like, I don’t know, I would have been like around 40 or something. And, uh, and you, you learn about this. I mean, she didn’t even think to mention it. Like, it was just like, yeah, that’s just a, something I did to you. I did for you. I mean, it’s just like out of this world, right? Like it’s just grace that your first breath in this world was in a cocoon of sacred vibrations held by this woman, um, that I know is my mother. Um, and, and so you realize that, wait a second, it’s always been like, this it’s always been emergent. It’s never been solely by my design. Um, and I think that to me, then the challenge is okay, all right. How do we create, uh, archetypes in the, uh, in the material world that align with this very fundamental thing that we all know in our bones that we all see outside. And now we see online in the internet world too. So it’s everywhere. It’s like, is it’s the virus, it’s, it’s internet technologies, it’s nature, it’s our birth. And so it’s like, it’s, there’s no real way to run around it. Um, and then the question is how do we adapt and design and create the new archetype for a lesser, uh, a less violent archetype, a more harmonized archetype, um, of working in the world, um, in the spirit of service, that’s a fun, that’s a fun challenge, you know?

Shay (00:41:11): Yeah, that’s for sure. And, and it is a challenge. I mean, I think that’s, um, a piece that’s important to look at is the, the blending of the natural world with the world that we’ve designed thus far is challenging because there’s a lot of redesign efforts that I think are underway. Um, but I also think it’s so interesting how your take on it is one of not doing more, but actually kind of holding space for greater emergence to arise. Um, and it’s, this is a fascinating piece that, you know, when I started working in children’s hospitals, I just wanted to help to figure out like, how, how can I support this child and their family in their healing process and how can I decrease their suffering in any way, you know, and what I came to understand in that was it was all about listening. It was, it had nothing to do with doing actually, um, that in my particular case, you know, because I wasn’t the surgeon and I wasn’t, um, you know, providing a particular medication or procedure that maybe was lifesaving in that moment, what I was able to provide and what now I’ve been able to work with others to provide is really much more about what the soul needs in trauma and in transition and in illness and in sometimes death and dying. And that’s a different thing. That’s not a prescription, you know, in my language, it’s, it’s about, uh, receiving an, a being heard and a deep listening and something that’s much more receptive than the inherent quality of it is much more receptive in nature. So, you know, fundamentally when I walk into a room with a family that I’ve never met before I walk in knowing I have no idea what I’m going to do next, I have no idea because they will provide the information to me of what they need me to do next. And it’s it really, in my view, the inherent responsibility that I have is can I, can I listen deeply enough to hear what they need next from me?

Nipun (00:43:51): Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, and I, I think that premium, um, you know, goes from, from speaking to listening, so to speak, um, in, in the sense that it’s, obviously, it’s not about the verbal words you say, uh, or the verbal, uh, words you hear even, um, it’s, it’s about the mind that you bring to it that are you speaking with an open-heart, are you listening with an open heart? Are you trusting that, you know, there’s a beautiful quote by Adyashanti, uh, where he says, you know, faith, he’s a Zen teacher and he had this definition of faith. He says, “faith is the withholding of conclusion, so you allow what is to arise”. And all too often, we don’t allow what is to arise because we are battling with our own perceptions. And we’re trying to be forcing those perceptions onto other people. And we’ve created model said for that box is in right after so long. Like you can’t adapt because you know, now everyone expects you to be a certain way. Um, and so to me, it’s about holding that real open heart, like you said, um, and, and going in to each moment, ultimately, right, it’s, it’s not even at a retreat or a, at a client or someone’s hurting. I mean, we are planted everywhere, um, in, in just the right way, if we can discover, uh, the nuance of it. Um, and, and I think to discover that nuance is to listen and to listen is to stay open-hearted and trust, right? That faith that you don’t withhold the conclusion. So you allow what is to arise, which I find to be so incredibly powerful. So who do I need to be to withhold conclusion in any situation? And, and it, you know, I grew up in India and in India, one of the big faith, I mean, I’m technically, I’m, I’m Hindu. Um, and in, in Hinduism, there’s a sacred text, uh, known as the Gita and the essential teaching of the Gita is that you act while renouncing all the fruits of the results, like by renouncing all the outcomes that it’s not your job to predict the outcomes to force the outcomes, to wish for an outcome to collect outcomes, nothing like you are just serving, you are just doing the action. You’re just planting that seed for a tree that may grow many generations later. And I think to bring that kind of a heart to any moment is incredibly, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s not only sacred in terms of its ripple effect outside once you do that enough, but it’s actually so liberating personally, right? Like who wants to go into any interaction and friendship with an agenda? Like, Oh my God, I’m going to get something out of this guy and then put it in this account. Like, why are you so identified with that account? You know, whether it’s your organizational account or whether it’s even your service, heart, or the impact account that, Oh my God, these people are suffering in this way. And, you know, um, like if we can, it’s so liberating to let it go and to meet people and you can feel it when you meet somebody that has a lot of agendas, or even if they don’t have a lot of agendas in that moment, if they’re seeing you as like a means to an end, you know, it’s, it doesn’t feel as light and loving as like a mother’s love. Right? Like, whereas like it’s just that unconditional it’s like, yeah, man, I that’s great. You’re, You’re alive, I’m alive and fantastic that life has brought us together. And when we, when we all do that, I think there’s something else that gets emerged and we have to have trust and faith in that. Um, so it’s a great, it’s a great practice. I try to do it, um, all the time. And it’s, it’s also like, you know, it reminds me of this beautiful story by Mother Teresa, uh, where someone was coming in to, uh, you know, they, there was a donor and it was, uh, you know, gave, gave some money. And wanted a photo with Mother Teresa. And so they take a photo, but the photo wasn’t quite right. So they take another photo. And then another photo wasn’t quite, quite right. So they were like, Mother Teresa, can you move your head back? And then, then they actually moved her face physically. And my friend who happened to be there, um, was very, very furious. You know, that like someone’s using Mother Teresa in this way. Um, and, uh, you know, after they left, she asked Mother Teresa like, Mother, why didn’t you say anything? Um, and you know, it’s like, it’s ridiculous. You can’t let people treat you like that. And Mother Teresa’s response blew her away. And she says, “my dear, there are many forms of poverty that you may have a certain kind of capital, a certain kind of wealth…”. And this is true even of healers, right? This is true. Even with people that we think are gifted and talented in any dimension that we’re all suffering. You know, we all have our poverties, we all have our imperfections. Um, and if you can see that, then when you see a homeless person, you’re not just saying, okay, I have food and you don’t have food, or I have money and you don’t have money. You say, yeah, that’s true that I do have food. I can give you some. Um, but you also have another kind of life force. And I am, I also have my own blind spots where I’m not able to see those. And I don’t, I may not even realize what I need tomorrow that you might be able to give me today. And if you can withhold all of that, right? Like if you say, look, I’m not like, it’s not me giving to you. And now you have to be a good person tomorrow because otherwise I will feel like my gift was a waste. All that mathematical analysis that we all do, is it worth all this stuff, you know, with everything, you know, this isn’t explicit example, but we do that with everything. If we drop all of that and you’re like, wow, you know, I have certain kinds of wealth and you have certain kinds of wealth and let’s have that come together. And maybe it helps uncover a lot of our imperfections and helps us be better instruments of nature. That’s the listening. Like when you were saying that, like, to me, it is born of that kind of multiplicity of wealth and, you know, that very nuanced connection between us and a very deep trust that yes, your wealth and my wealth coming together is necessarily a sacred thing that will, if we get out of the way, birth something even more sacred than our wildest imaginations.

Shay (00:50:39): Hmm. I, I want to ask you about healing and, um, and what you think healing is all about, or you can tackle it in many directions or dive into it, however you wish. Um, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it means to heal.

Nipun (00:51:02): Well, I should probably learn from you in this regard, you know, I, I’m just an everyday person in so many ways. Um, so I don’t, you know, I’ll share what, uh, comes to me, um, to the best of my wisdom. Um, I think, uh, so maybe, maybe I’ll share, I I’ll, uh, reflect on a question that I often think about is how do you increase more compassion in the world? So if you see healing as a sort of process that gets you to more compassion, it’s essentially the same question. Um, and science tells us now also, um, and this is true for my experience is that you can’t actually create compassion, right? You can’t make other people more compassionate, but what you can do is create the conditions in which compassion arises. And I think this is true even of healing, that what you can’t create healing. Um, you can’t look at somebody who has cancer and say, now I’m going to cure you of cancer. It might happen. And if it does, and we think that, Oh, that’s causation. I did this. And this caused that, I think we confuse causation with correlation. It just so happened, you know? And it might just so happen 10 times, and it could even be 10 out of 10, or it could be 10 out of a thousand, but we, if you can suspend all of that, then actually you become an instrument for something even, even greater, uh, in, in my, in my lens. Um, and, and I think that’s where, that’s how I see healing that I think the truest healers are the ones that they’re, don’t even know that they’re healing, right? Because they’re not interested. They’re not doing it as like an agenda. They’re not saying you are broken and let’s do this. And a lot of people, even when they hold circles, right, they have these agendas that, Oh, let’s solve this problem, but let’s just do it in this modality. And that of course is meaningful, um, and has its strength. But there’s something to be said, like in India, for example, when someone passes away, uh, we have this, uh, cultural tradition, is literally like your, you go to sit like, so we have a sitting like, so you’re in pain, your whole family’s in pain, and I’m just going to come sit. Right. And you don’t know, you have no idea. There’s no validation of how that impacted anything, if at all. Uh, and yet everybody, you just kind of show up in that way. You just go to sit and I’m with you, I’m in solidarity. You don’t even say any words you’re just there. And you were there for the family. You’re there for the deceased you’re present. Um, and to me, I think that’s the most sacred expression of healing, uh, the deepest expression of healing, uh, that I have experienced, uh, personally, uh, or even witnessed, uh, in other people, some of the most remarkable healers, I I’ve witnessed some really remarkable things and, and things that you might say, Oh, well, you know, this is like, bends all laws of physics or whatever, you know, it’s just unbelievable. Like your mind can’t even hold it my mind at least cannot, you know? Um, and when you see that, it’s, it looks amazing initially, because you’re saying, wow, it’s like blows my mind, it’s mind blowing. Um, and it is, but once you realize that your mind was actually never at the center of the whole show, and it’s no longer mind blowing, it’s just like mind narrowing, everything else becomes mind narrowing or like, Oh, wait a second. That’s normal. And this is all mind narrowing kind of things that we’re doing, you know, otherwise with our life. Um, and, and so for, you know, having seen all of that, and I, I find that the most, the ones that healers that inspire me the most, uh, are the ones that are so incredibly humble and not humble as a concept. Right. Not humble as like a practice of I’m humble, but they just know that there’s this, you know, it’s not their show and they don’t want it to be their show even secretly, even in their subconscious minds. And that becomes like an and then just so in sacred flows through, um, I’ve been with so many different kinds of mystics, you know, and I was like, I accidentally ran into this 96 year old Sufi mystic, um, literally by accident. And, and my God, like, I felt at one point, you know, we were locked in eye to eye and he just stopped talking and his eyes were not blinking. And it was, he was like right there in my eyes. I’m like, okay. And I’m still in my, I’m still in my mind, I’m thinking, okay, I need to come up with a topic. Like I say, you know, and it was, it was already very sacred. Like we were having a deep conversation. Uh, and then he’s just like, he’s just, you know, and he’s just looking and I’m like, and all of a sudden, I just had this tremendous upwelling of gratitude and, you know, I, I don’t know. Yeah. He’s definitely a grade A healer in my book, but I don’t know what he was healing. Like, I didn’t know. And if you ask him, he wouldn’t know either. I don’t, I don’t really. And, but the feeling in my heart was just tremendous gratitude. And, and I were sitting, there was like a plastic bench or a table, like a patio table, what we would call it in this part of the world, like, uh, where he was seated. On the other side, I was seated on this side and I’m like, looking at this thing. I’m like, I wouldn’t, I just want to be of service. And so I asked him, I said, you know, not that, how can I, how can I be of service? That was, that was, that was the only thing left to say, after whatever that eye gaze time that we had. And it was just this tremendous, you know, amplified sentence of something, you know, I it’s, all the words would feel cheap. And, and I said, okay, and get this, like, his response blew my mind open again. And I’m like, Oh my God, like what, who, who can even think of this? So this is what he told me when I said, how can I be of service? He cupped both his hands and he brings it forward. And he says, “I seek your tears of compassion”. Like I just, I, it is extremely, extremely powerful. Um, so, you know, I think such kinds of people, um, in my eyes are profound healers. Um, and, and I think that happens, uh, w so what’s a precondition for healing, so let’s bring it down to earth. Um, if you don’t run into that kind of a person, right? Like we’re still all healing each other. Um, and I think that for me, uh, the precondition is if we are so here’s the trajectory, right? In a very mundane way. I think if we’re transactional, we maximize self-interest, uh, or at least care for it. But the more we move from transaction to relationship, the engagement becomes much more multi-dimensional it goes from direct reciprocity, which is, I give you this, you give me this to indirect that, Oh, you’re giving to me and I’m paying it forward, you know? Um, and over time that may come around, but I don’t know how, um, and, and when, and you trust in that process and in this field of relationships, I think transformation arises this healing arises. And as that healing arises, that healing, what is the arc of that healing that healing necessarily bends towards great compassion in my eyes. Great connection, great compassion, great peace. Um, and, and so how do we get there? And as soon as you experienced this kind of a healing, one very immediate side effect of it is a great trust. So if you look at our world today and you say, well, you know, if you look at the markers, if you ask young people they’ve lost trust, uh, there’s this pure research, you know, it’s like dramatic drops in teen, uh, teen teenagers and, and their sense of trust in each other and the world. They’re like, yeah, of course people are selfish. That’s just how people operate. Um, and if you ask people, well, who doesn’t want greater trust in society who wants like, diluted trust, how do we solve that? Nobody has a solution for that because everything is very short-term oriented. All our tools, all our technologies, all the raw ingredients like money is meant to be is optimized and bias towards short term transactions. Um, you know, our companies are thinking about the next quarter, our elected officials are thinking about the next election. Um, our venture capitalists are thinking about, you know, uh, their return on investment. All of it is kind of the cycle of their short short-term thinking, whereas emergence and all of this is actually really broadening the landscape and saying, Hey, you know, if you want trust, you need a field of deep relationships where healing and transformation can happen. And if you want relationships, you have to create spaces where we can move from transaction to, uh, to, uh, at least from direct reciprocity, to at least something that’s indirect. And then over time, that’s infinite reciprocity where you’re not even thinking, Oh, these are all bald people. And I like to give to the bald people because they are my people. So I get, it’s not like I want for myself what I want for my bald people community, you know? Um, and that’s indirect still, but the next step of it to go from indirect to direct, to infinite reciprocity where, Hey, man, it’s supporting someone somewhere. Um, and, and that’s good enough. So to me, this, you know, this is sort of the trajectory of, of healing and that ultimately brings us to greater compassion and trust. So I don’t know if that’s very, layman’s like, I’m not a healer like you and I, and so many other talented people, but, um, from this, this is from, this has been my experience.

Shay (01:01:55): No, I thought, I thought you described that beautifully. Um, I don’t know, for some reason this story is coming to me, so I’m going to share it. I don’t know exactly why. Um, but somewhere it’s, it’s emerging from this conversation. So several years ago now I was given an opportunity to go to Alaska. And we went out on a boat where you could see whales and we were out on, um, you know, kind of the water. And all of a sudden I felt something inside my whole being shift, you know, very similar to what you’re describing with that encounter with that gentleman where it was like a move towards the sacred and toward something that in me really caused me to pay attention. You know, it was like almost like my whole system tuned up and I knew, you know, like something’s happening right now. And I felt that emergence, you could say, right. Like I felt that rise up in me. And I got really still and quiet. And, um, the woman who was leading this, um, boat ride for us started crying and crying and crying. And she said, I’ve never seen this before. She said, we are, we are surrounded by whales. Like we are she’s that there’s gotta be 40 whales around us right now. They were everywhere. And somewhere in that experience, something in me just sort of dropped in. I don’t know how else to say it, but to kind of a meeting with, you know, feeling because the presence and the energy of that group of whales was so profound that something inside of me felt that. And, um, I just listened, you know, I just got completely still and just listened. And what I felt and took away from that experience was that there is an intelligence that in a certain way, far exceeded my own and the excellence of what I could feel in that was around love, family and communication, that there was a, a sense of what it means to be in relationship. So exactly kind of what we’re talking about. That was a much, it was, it was what was so fascinating about it. And again, I’m trying to put into words, something that’s not super easy to put into words, but it had a combination of being so deeply connected and lovingly tied together. And at the exact same time, the greatest sense of freedom that I’ve ever experienced in a, in a dynamic love relationship. So it was simultaneously entirely free and entirely inherently connected. And it was at a much higher level than I know, or have seen in human beings in this lifetime. And I just thought like, all that I could think was like, great teachers like that. You know, it was just a sense of, of somehow there was an inherit wisdom there that was something phenomenal. And really, it was only incumbent upon me to just pause, be still and listen.

Nipun (01:05:40): So beautiful. So beautiful. Isn’t it amazing, right? That there is the less of you, the more of the sacred, I don’t know what other word to use for it, but the less of us, the more, and so like, why would you ever want, like, to be anchored in the me, you know, I, I love what you share, uh, what your shared before are called that, like, you know, there’s, you feel like you have two homes, you know, uh, one here and, and I would simplify it, these, aren’t your words, but this is how I understood like one in the me and one in the we maybe, um, and yes, you inhabit the me, but like, why would you want to lead with the me when it just feels so cheap? You know, you’re going to just hearing your story. It’s like, yeah, who doesn’t want to be with 40 Whales in communion? It’s like the whole, the holiness of all that is alive, really like yeah. You know, sign me up, you know, it’s like, and of course there’s a process because we’re so clinging to the me and all of us may not be able to experience what you’ve experienced, but even that, that, that path, that aspiration, um, is I think very inspiring. It inspired me just hearing it. So, um, yeah. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. And then, and I think that’s probably what we’re all trying to do is, uh, to, you know, within the constraints of our capacity and wisdom, like take steps in that direction, out from the me to the we. Um, and, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. And I think together, like life brings us together with the right forces that, uh, need to be together, you know? And so, um, I’m very delighted that, uh, that you are doing what you’re doing and our paths have crossed.

Shay (01:07:26): Thank you. I am, I am as well. Is there anything else, um, that feels important today as we kind of bring our conversation to a close, is there anything else that would be of service or that feels like it wants to be said?

Nipun (01:07:44): Thank you. I think it’s wonderful to just even hold these in our hearts. Um, and I would just say that, you know, that, um, when the Buddha was asked at one point, uh, he, he had this attendant that had like impeccable memory and before he became an attendant, he negotiated like his terms of work with the Buddha, you know, it’s like, you got to figure man. I must have some remarkable karma. So he’s like saying, okay, okay, I’ll be your attendant, but here’s the deal, man. If you want me to be your attendant, I have to be there for every single talk you give. And I was like, you know what? Buddha must’ve seen some things as, okay. Uh, fine, I’ll do that. And he says, but if in case I’m not there, uh, you have to come back and repeat everything for me. Um, and he had this, uh, you know, what, what did they call it? A photographic memory. So he remembered everything. And so having heard the Buddha for a long time, at one point, he asked him a question. He says, you know, it seems like you talk a lot about this idea of noble friendship. And it seems like half of the path, and in the Buddhist framework, this would be like multiple lifetimes and not in multiple lifetimes, millions of lifetimes. And it’s, it’s a very, very long path. And you’re going to be exposed to a lot of different things and a lot of gifts and a lot of virtue and a lot of ice and a lot of imperfection everything. Right. I guess just a lot of everything. And on this giantly, long path, right. He’s asked some, he says, it seems like you talk a lot about this idea of noble friendships. Um, it says half, it seems like half of the path is just that. And with that, it looks to Ananda his attendant. And he says, no, it’s not half the path. It’s the full path and what that wouldn’t say full, right? Like he gave so many teachings and it’s a, he’s not saying, well, 90% of the paths or 95 or majority or nothing. No, it’s like the full path. And what does it mean to actually create, to, to have a pathway from relationships when, uh, me and, uh, me come together, we create a relationship that’s way better than me being alone. Right. And because this then allows nature to allow us to shift into the “we”. But when, uh, a virtue of a we mindset comes together with the virtue of another we mindset, which is impersonal and yet, so incredibly profound, that creates an affinity that creates a noble friendship and that noble friendship is actually the path. Right. And so, in some sense to me, all of what we have talked about in that context for me, if I can try to be in the noble part of me as much as I can, to the best of my ability. And if you were trying to do the same, and we’re both doing it with a heart of service, not of what I can get, but how can that contribute then by nature’s laws that creates an incredible affinity, a noble friendship, and that noble friendship, like when I hear the story of the whales and you in that of all the billions of beings, like, you know, all these things came together in that particular moment in that configuration. And those are sacred affinities. And we have the potential of creating that with everything across all time, across all space. Um, and, and that is actually the greatest resource, um, that we have in the rest of these are just impermanent things that are kind of coming and going, you know? And so it’s like embellishments, you know, nice. Like, it’s great. Like, you know, you’ve got a great smile. You may not smile and that’s fine. It’s yeah, that’s a nice perk. You know, you have hair, I don’t have hair, you know, that’s a nice perk. Uh, you’ve got, but, uh, underneath it, I think it’s the, it’s the noble friendships that drive it. So I think all of our, all the work of service space has been driven to inch, uh, in that direction. And it’s okay that it’s inching like maybe it’s galloping. I don’t know. I wouldn’t know. Um, but the constraints are such that, uh, it, it’s certainly heading in that direction and that feels meaningful to me. And I’m delighted that we, we have met in that way, in that spirit, in that transactional, less, uh, space. And I think that I look forward to discovering not just with you and I, but even just the larger spheres that we all that are, we all, uh, we both, and everybody, whoever else is a part of this embodies behind them. Uh, I look forward to seeing how that, uh, fusion or that accidental encounter, uh, how that collective whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And I’m in service to that. So I’m, I’m grateful for the opportunity, uh, to share with you and for the tremendous work that you are doing and for this courageous journey that you’ve had, um, you know, that perhaps everyone doesn’t know about, but maybe they should someday, and maybe we’ll facilitate that. And maybe I will do the next interview where I will ask you questions, you know.

Shay (01:13:20): That sounds fun. Yeah. Well, I want to say thank you so much, Nipun. When I felt, the reason I started with the Rumi piece was I felt like, Oh, you and I could go out in that field a little and we could play. And it might be of great benefit to some of the folks who would like to hear that, um, type of conversation. So I’m extremely grateful to have met you, to have had the opportunity to have this particular conversation with you and to get to know you a little bit more.

Nipun (01:13:57): Thank you.

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