No one really knew what we were doing in Ahmedabad, at a gathering called Gandhi 3.0.
Some of the people attending knew little about ServiceSpace.
Greg from Fargo, North Dakota, left his pregnant wife behind to do God-knows-what in India.
I didn’t know why I was there and I am very familiar with the mission of ServiceSpace.
My family, friends, and congregation asked, “So why are you going? What will you do there?”
It felt strange and vaguely irresponsible to say…. “Um, I’m not sure…. I guess we’ll meditate at Gandhi’s ashram?… And maybe talk about kindness? Oh, and I’m going to be there with a bunch of compassionate leaders…but I don’t know any of them….”
Peoples’ eyes would glaze over as if to say, “She has to go to India to meditate and talk to strangers about kindness?”
Once I got there, I saw how much planning went into this event. Food, logistics, activities, and housing were all artfully designed to ensure our comfort. I have great respect for “planners.” We all reaped the benefits of their kind attention to detail.
At the same time, there was an agenda-less agenda.
Before I left the U.S. I asked my congregation to pray that I would find what I needed to help me continue to inspire our Spiritual Center. While I was there, I experienced great teaching on Gandhian principles. I’ll write about some of this later.
But much of what inspired us at Gandhi 3.0 was beyond any imaginable curriculum. The agenda-less agenda left room for the mystery to provide what was individually needed. The freedom from agenda allowed us to benefit from the experience in custom-made ways.
The moment by moment emergent curriculum for me was finding holy experiences in the spaces between planned classes and meetings. Tiny holy experiences. These small moments were my greatest teachers. They revealed the Infinite in the every-day. The ordinary became a mirror for the extraordinary.
The agenda-less agenda kept me present to what I needed to learn. Simple encounters with people, cows, rickshaw drivers, and street dogs were my curriculum. I loved it all and it loved me right back.
Knowing that planning is important, is there a place in your life where you can let go of planning or agendas? What keeps you from doing this? How might you allow perfection to work within the context of an agenda-less agenda?