Tag Archives: gift-economy

Karma Kitchen: Meals Paid for by Those Who Came Before You

by Toan Lam

Learn generosity at one very special restaurant run by volunteers in California.

What would you do if, after dining out, your server says, “There is no charge. Your meal was paid for by the person who came before you”? Yep, that’s right, there is nothing, zip, zilch — on your bill. You literally see “$0.00.”

In a world and society where we’re taught if it’s too good to be true, then it’s not, that’s hard to believe. In this case, you have to feel it, experience it — to believe it.

Every Sunday at The Taste of Himalayas restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., Karma Kitchen is cooking up kindness and generosity across the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a volunteer-run experiment in generosity that is growing. On your zero-dollar and zero-cent bill, there is a kind note that reads: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.” Patrons can choose to pay whatever they’re moved to offer.

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A Circle of Gifts

by Charles Eisenstein, author of The Ascent of Humanity. “Wherever I go and ask people what is missing from their lives, the most common answer (if they are not impoverished or seriously ill) is “community.”” more>>

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Interior and Exterior Landscapes: Indigenosity

by Tia Oros Peters, co-founder of The Seventh Generation Fund

Indigenosity: Generosity, Spiritual Commerce and Cultural Assets

Through ceremony and every day life, Indigenous Peoples throughout the world engage in an ongoing process of re-balancing and interacting with highly complex spiritual, cultural, social, and familial relationships. Where these energies unite they form a synergy and create a dynamic matrix of spiritual commerce vibrantly expressing cultural continuity and building cultural assets. These are often expressed in artforms and other creativity.

In North America, generosity of person, family, clan and community through material gifting, honoring, and wealth re-distribution is actualized in a multitude of ways. Among many of the people of the Pacific Northwest, “Potlatch” is a way to express generosity, spiritual understanding, and graciousness in life. As with many tribes and communities, among the pueblo people, ancestors’ spirits are honored and nurtured each day through prayer, the offering cornmeal, or corn pollen, or other sustenance. For other Native Nations it may be through the giveaway during ceremony or social events. Continue reading

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Interview: Nipun Mehta of CharityFocus

by Richard Whittaker; Feb 9, 2010

Nipun Mehta was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1975. When he was twelve, his family moved to Santa Clara, California in the heart of Silicon Valley.

I met Mehta in 2007. Having heard several amazing stories about him from Paul Van Slambrouck, retired editor of the Christian Science Monitor, I asked for an introduction. The three of us met one afternoon at a taqueria in Berkeley. In no time I felt a close connection with this very personable man. I was completely unprepared, however, when after about twenty minutes of animated conversation, he leaned across the table and asked, “How can I serve you, Richard?” Continue reading

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Intimations of a New Economic Story

by John Bloom. “Given the very real tragedy of our current economy, we need a new economic story that dispels faulty assumptions about growth, the environment, natural resources, and most importantly ourselves.”  more>>

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