Karma Kitchen DC: Reflections, Reactions and Ripples After 15 Weeks!
Jun 2, 2009
On February 15th, Karma Kitchen DC opened its doors and started a movement and an experiment in generosity.
15 Karma Kitchen Events
700 Guests Served
Karma Kitchen is an experiment in generosity that moves us all towards incorporating kindness and compassion into our lives. Run mostly by volunteers each week, our meals are cooked and served with love, and offered to the guest as a genuine gift. To complete the full circle of giving and to sustain this experiment, we leave it to the guest to pay it forward, expressing their goodness in whatever way they wish. One immediate option is to contribute toward the cost of serving a future guest. In keeping this chain going, the generosity of both guests and volunteers helps to create a future that moves from transaction to trust, from self-oriented isolation to shared commitment, and from fear of scarcity to a celebration of abundance.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being an important part of Karma Kitchen -- as a guest, a volunteer, or a supporter. Karma Kitchen has been running for over 15 weeks, every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm at the Polo India Club and we would like to share with you some of our experiences over the past 3 months.
A Committed Volunteer - I came to Karma Kitchen by accident. A good friend was setting up the social experiment and initially I had no interest in it – yuppies feeding yuppies? However, a combination of chance and luck put me there on my 30th birthday. I underestimated the power of change associated with giving a meal. It wasn’t about “pay it forward” or “altruism.” It was about making an experience in the moment. I feel refreshed and renewed when I go and sometimes I feel guilty. Am I doing it for me or for them? Both. (Kabi Shah)
A Regular Guest - The notion of Karma Kitchen made me curious about how it would work based on generosity and goodwill rather than the dictates of supply, demand and payment. I didn’t doubt that generosity would work (how could families or faith communities prosper without it?), but I was eager to observe it in the context of public meals. When the server brought that first meal, the abstractions gave way to a simple joy. The food was delicious and nutritious. I’ve been coming back on a regular basis and Karma Kitchen is one of my favorite times of the week. (Robert Thomason)
Karma Kitchen Berkeley - Karma Kitchen DC put down roots and unfurled its petals. The ripples are joyous proof that true generosity blossoms everywhere. (Pavi Mehta)
Core Team Members - The Karma Kitchen Core Team have been involved in the planning and management of Karma Kitchen in DC which has been a transformative experience in its own way!
**Transformational and welcoming, KK teaches much greater success is achieved when economic expectations give way to social expectations like kindness, equality, and generosity. (Jonathan Tucker).
** From Karma Kitchen, I have learned that Generosity truly is contagious and that Community is a powerful thing. (Nirali Shah)
** In a society based on results, I have accepted that Karma Kitchen has the potential to transform people in a way that cannot be quantified. (Aparna Kothary)
**Karma Kitchen provides a welcoming space, full of generosity and love, for people to connect resulting in an exhilarating energy and enthusiasm for life (that you feel as soon as you step in) that makes you want to spend every Sunday afternoon there. (Aakruti Shah)
- Karma Kitchen is the only way I like to spend my Sunday afternoons. The friends I have met here are some of my closest in DC. This is the first place I bring visitors when I come to the city.
- To those who came before me and those who came after. I know that you will enjoy and share your experience with those you love, do not know, new friends…Thank you. Pay-it-forward!
- Thank you to everyone involved for sharing this experience with my daughter and I. I am truly inspired by this act of geneoristy and will surely pass this gift on and into the world. We walked by your restaurant by pure chance on Sunday. I hope that all families who are struggling will find generosity in the world around them.
- It’s good to be back. KK is like my church, always inspiring and the loving welcoming atmosphere is so refreshing.
- Thanks again for a delicious meal and good company. This week I paid it forward by buying dinner for a friend who needed a break (and a meal) and gave a jar of change I had been saving to the Street Sense guy. I still have to make the donation that I promised last week, and it’s probably about time to pay it forward by paying it back to Karma Kitchen!
- I was smiling and happy before I even got my plate! Thanks for making my day.
- Thank you for this refreshing experience. My friend and I came to lunch to discuss our thoughts and work – both of us are conscientious objectors. We are encouraged by this example of generosity and community and hope to pass along the positive energy and ideals you’ve demonstrated.
To get connected with Karma Kitchen DC, you can dine with us or volunteer any Sunday. In addition, you can visit our blog, join our Facebook group, view pictures on Flickr, read blog posts about Karma Kitchen DC, or email us at KarmaKitchenDC [at] gmail dot com to write a guest blog post on our own blog.