Sarbani Sen urges us to try a new way of looking at who we are and what we eat: Café Gratitude.
On my recent trip to California, I discovered some interesting new concepts, including the art of ‘sacred commerce’. Let me see if I can express what is so different about this kind of business, one which I experienced at the Café Gratitude, in Venice, Los Angeles.
Well, maybe first of all: the staff. They seem to be almost floating, as they move in a very peaceful way and address customers with mindfulness. How does that work? Well, it’s a real person-to-person relationship. So you start right away with “Are you having a good day so far?” or “Want to know about the question of the day?”
The question of the day might be “What are you grateful for?” or “What are you afraid to give?” or even “In whose presence are you most alive?” Cool, huh? There is almost an Ashram-like feeling here. You can sense that they are an empowered crew, and that their employers believe in them and in their contribution to the business. They know that they know, and you can feel it. It feels as if there is no stress or fear or submission to any ruling power. The motto of the company is ‘love, serve, remember’.
Love is the Christian way of loving all, excluding no one nor nothing, even oneself accepting and acknowledging all of us and of others. Serving means realizing yourself through service to another person, to the community, giving a deeper sense to our lives (an organic way of life, where all are connected and useful to the ‘all’). Remember means being grateful for all that has been accomplished so far, all that is, and all that is not.
Reading their philosophy books, you understand that the business is based on service to the community, but also love of commerce. The two walk hand-in-hand. No problem. They want their business to become “the sacred container for the transformation of the participants, expressed as prosperity and abundance”. Some people of course hate that
Ashram-like feeling, they will remind you of the organization behind it (landmark not to mention), and tell you that it’s a sect and so on. Well, of course, there is a philosophy behind it. It’s based on NLP and coaching and positive psychology, and to another extend to the ‘New Paradigm’, a quantum approach to our reality, where we are the creators of our reality as soon as we start playing with the web. The universe then becomes a huge playground. Adult fantasy? Rich man’s mirage? We’ll never know, but the results are interesting. And it sure brings us to a new experience in day to day life.
If you want to enter sacred commerce your business will have to undergo the PASS test: P=profit (love of enterprise), A=awakening (love of transformation), S=sustainability (love of earth or the whole), S=service (love of community). Your business than becomes a sacred place, a place you can either experience a human- to-human relationship, be in your inner world or just in silence, sensing the world around, as you sip a golden chai.
A whole new set of business semantics, definitions and procedures then arises: abundance, acknowledgment, affirmation, being with, clearing, failure, forgiveness, listening, non-attachment, sacred service. We are invited to try a new point of view, with new wording and a new melody attached. No more creation of drama and trauma, just awareness and inclusion of the ‘all’.