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Sanctuary of the Heart.
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The tallest trees on Earth, Redwoods, have surprisingly tiny seeds. That’s because they can sprout new trees from their branches, trunk and even roots. After facing threats like logging and fires, a redwood tree not only sprouts from its roots but it does so in a circle! Fairy rings, they call it. Growing tall and strong together, with intertwined roots, is what makes them so resilient. Beyond merely enduring as a collective, its branches and trunk become home to an entire ecosystem of other plants and trees!
photo-1462143338528-eca9936a4d09?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxwaG90by1wYWdlfHx8fGVufDB8fHx8&auto=format&fit=crop&w=230&q=80 Building on that principle, we are coming together for a series of gatherings around “Gifts of Resilience”. This Saturday, our opening call is themed around holding uncertainty, a youth leader from Afghanistan, mystic poet from Baha’i faith, and singer from Kenya. RSVP here.

Also coming up, our KarunaVirus team is hosting its first 7-day Compassion Challenge! And last month’s profound Living and Dying Pod has uncovered some remarkable life stories. All that, and more, below.

SANCTUARY OF THE HEART
‘Will you be my refuge, My haven in the storm, Will you keep the embers warm, When my fire’s all but gone? Will you remember, And bring me sprigs of rosemary, Be my sanctuary, ‘Til I can carry on, carry on…’ –Carrie Newcomer

ssp_626983382bb7f.gif Around the world people, are longing to reach beyond the current fragmentation and conflict among our nations, politics, tribes, cultural identities, and beliefs — to a greater reality, a higher purpose, to the holy oneness that we all share. It has inspired us to explore a space where, like the redwoods, we might intertwine our roots, and our branches and trunks could nourish an entire ecology of the sacred.

We invite you to co-create a multi-faith ‘Sanctuary of the Heart’, exploring gifts of resilience with a global community of kindred spirits. Through music, spiritual practices, stories, and renowned thought leaders, we’ll sit in the tension of the challenges we face daily, and trust that the community’s collective voice will be our guide.

This Saturday, April 30th, we invite you to the first of three calls, themed around uncertainty and its role in cultivating resilience. RSVP here.

Among many inspirations joining this call: Ahmad Karimi, who lost everything in Afghanistan but still discovered its gifts to pioneer to a youth movement; rz_ssp_6269755ec0151.png Chelan Harkin who found her calling in the cave of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith; James O’dea renowned activist who powerfully reminded us to wash our tears, Kate Munger whose Threshold Choir has become a wide-spread movement of volunteers; Wakanyi Hoffman, who honors her roots in Africa by retelling indigenous stories; and much more held together by our illustrious emcees in Charles Gibbs and Bonnie Rose. After the call, all participants will also be invited to connect more deeply with each other, and the values, through a light-touch pod.

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7-DAY COMPASSION CHALLENGE
compassion_faces.gif Compassion is like a muscle. It takes many reps to build up our strength. Would you like to join a group of people committed to doing an intentional act of kindness each day for a week? Along the way, each vibration of care unleashes a ripple effect, which all add drops to the resounding reservoir of compassion shared by all walks of life.
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TWO “HEART” TALKS
After each Pod, there are many smaller Pod Rooms and dialogues, and the ripples keep multiplying. Some turn into tidal waves of inspiration. Here’s two recent podmates whose remarkable life stories inspire many:

ssp_62697eed83ec8.gif May 1st, Life Songs: Imagine that you’re at the end of your life and you discover a story in your heart that needs to be told. And then imagine that youth and local community come together in creative exchange to turn that into song and a public performance. Molly Jane Sturges has been doing just that since 2007, or rather since her grandmother taught her. Join conversation with Molly.

May 15th, Pile of Puppies: After suffering debilitating illness and trauma in her early life, Jennifer Trepanier discovered something startling — that joy is possible even in the hardest of times. To help others, particularly children with life threatening illness, she found her partners in love. Puppies! A family struggling with illness is greeted with a “pile of puppies”, and a giant dose of joy, resilience and connection. “Puppies allow the heart to stay open even when it is breaking apart,” Good Morning America said in their interview. Join conversation with Jen.

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‘I CAN NEVER FORGET …’
The beauty of Pods is that everyone learns from each other. Our transformative Living/Dying Pod led to many of those aha-moments. “Life-changing and death-changing.” “Activating a consequential healing at a large scale.” “Helped me move from MY grief to THE grief, which then opened a door to witnessing THE compassion.” Like this story:

It was 7th Feb 2012. When I got the news that my 8-year-old daughter is not responding to medical treatment after her accident, I literally ran to the hospital barefoot — only to discover that she was no more. As per the procedure, we went to the place where the post-mortem happens. It was a cold night. I was waiting outside for post-mortem formalities to complete, with a lot of my relatives and friends. I was wearing a light t-shirt and track pants and not wearing any shoes or slippers. It was around 1 AM and I was in deep grief inside and shivering outside and that time one of my friends, came up to me and silently put his slippers on my feet. He did not speak anything. I was so touched by his gesture at that time. It felt like someone is feeling my pain, that I am not alone. I can never forget that moment.

Thank you, all, for offering each other a sanctuary.
ServiceSpace is a unique incubator of volunteer-run projects that nurture a culture of generosity. We believe that small acts of service can nurture a profound inner transformation that sustains external impact. To get involved, you can subscribe to our newsletters or create an account and complete our 3-step process to volunteer.
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