The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Saturday, January 23, 2010


You complete me.

I have no doubts that the scriptwriter of Jerry MacGuire has had a finger in many failed relationships all over the world. What is it about us humans that crave completion from outside ourselves? Why do we burden another person with the expectation of filling the void within us that we somehow cannot fill on our own? And why, when relationship after relationship fractures under this impossible duty, do we still not think of turning the mirror towards ourselves?

When I first got together with The Thinker, I was a snarling unhappy knot because he refused to fit the shape that I had carved out for him. He refused to follow the script I had written and neatly side-stepped that gaping black hole within me instead of jumping in to fill it. It took many months before I suddenly realised what I was doing. And it shocked me to see that I had placed the source of my happiness in his hands when the poor man didn't want it. Who would? So I started focusing on creating my own source of joy and though he remains a huge part of it, he is not IT. I'll tell you this much - it's not easy and I still slip up but during the times when it works, it's damn good! For both of us.

Editrixed, who is also in a new relationship, said in a recent email that she likes being with him and all, but "I realized that I'm as happy now as I was just before I met him. It's a bit of a strange realization -- maybe the media likes to play up having a relationship as transforming one's life, but it's still mine as before, except that I have this other person who's a big part of it now. A person who I like spending lots of time with and who makes me happy, but if it all went pete tong tomorrow, I'd still be ok."

With friends like that, who needs Dr. Phil?

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her new book 'Committed', tells the fable of a time when humans had two heads and four legs and four arms. This was the perfect melding of two people literally joined at the hip. Each of us had a perfect partner sewn into our skin and was blissfully happy. We were whole. But this wholeness made us arrogant and Zeus punished us for this by cutting us in half, thereby inflicting on us the sense of not being quite whole.

'For the rest of the time, humans would be born sensing that there was some missing part - a lost half, which we love almost more than we love ourselves - and that this missing part was out there someplace, spinning through the universe in the form of another person. We would also be born believing that if only we searched relentlessly enough, we might someday find that vanished half, that other soul. Through union with the other, we would recomplete our original form, never to experience loneliness again.

This is the singular fantasy of human intimacy: that one plus one will somehow, someday, equal one.'

But fantasies don't belong in the real world and so you keep searching for that one perfect relationship. And more often than not, we wind up hurt and bitter because no one seems to be able to complete us in exactly the way we want.

This is, in part, the essence of yoga. To find that connection and wholeness inside ourselves so we never have to place our happiness in someone else's hands. Or at the mercy of an asana, pranayama or mantra. These are paths to lift the veil of illusions so you can see your thoughts and patterns more clearly. So you can identify the samskaras that has laid down its foundation early in your life and continues to be played again and again, keeping you in that very cycle you are trying to escape. This is the clarity that a committed yoga practice brings.

But even yoga doesn't complete you. It just teaches you how to tap into your own completeness and realise that you were whole all along.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A New Space

Last Sunday the humidity in the apartment finally got to The Thinker. He unpeeled himself from the couch and said, "Ok, help me move this out."

'This' was a slightly worn round wooden table in the kitchen that multitasked as my culinary work station, dining table and writing desk. It was sturdy and large enough to accommodate a spread of books and ingredients, and the fact that it is wooden made me love it more. The only problem was that the kitchen is one of the warmest rooms in the apartment. Eating and working was usually an unpleasantly sweaty affair. I had tried to drag the table into the living room but couldn't figure out how to dismantle it so that it would fit through the kitchen door. These are the occasions when someone like The Thinker comes in handy.

Within twenty minutes he had the table dismantled in the kitchen and reassembled in the living room. We carried it to the balcony, arranged the chairs around it and sat down to wipe our brows. And that's when we realised what an amazing space we had just created.

I live on the top floor of my apartment block which means I enjoy the freshest air and the best view. Stretching over the horizon right ahead of us was the city skyline. The Thinker and I had spent many evenings sitting on stiff chairs, drinks in hand as we watched day turn into night. Now we were able to do more than that.

Since this spot of redecorating I have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner outside. I have worked, read, daydreamed and chatted online outside. And today, I looked up from an article I was writing and realised how much happiness this little space is bringing me. This is as close as I have gotten to living outdoors and I am cherishing every minute of it. It even struck me today that this space could very well inspire a meditation practice. Maybe.

Being outdoors is magical. It creates spaciousness and a sense of calm. It's quiet up here which invites reflection and contemplation. And once I've reached my quota of thinking for the day, I watch the rest of the world move along in front of me. Then I settle into my cushion of bliss and thank The Thinker for his flash of inspiration.

And before I go to bed each night, I touch my table gently and dip my head in gratitude for the simple priviledge of being gifted with this space.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


"Throw away everything else and put only one God in front of you. Then one day you can throw away that God and put just a light in its place. And then one day you can throw away that light and walk on your own." Rasainthiran Menayah, Lecturer at the Saiva Siddhanta Mandram

Signposts come when you least expect them in the strangest of forms.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


"But it's only been a year," he said.

How do I make him understand that sometimes it's not about the hours, minutes and seconds? Not about days, weeks and months?

It's about the depth of one person's fingerprints on the blueprint of another's life.

Even if he only touched it for a year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Space & Starts

It's funny how you never know how much space someone has taken up until they get up and walk away.

It's also funny how you think you've crossed the Finish line only to realise that you're right back at the Start.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22nd

Day 100 of my sobriety plan.
I have crossed the Finish line.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas tree
Oh Christmas tree
How beautiful and bright
The sight of you at Christmas time
Brings hope and gladness far and wide...

I put my Christmas tree up on Friday. My first tree since I moved into my new pad last November. When the decorations were up and the living room in darkness, I hit the switch. The Thinker clapped his hands softly as the little icicle lights winked and blinked. I gazed at my little tree in rapture.

The tree was lopsided, the glitter from the ornaments was all over the floor and our hands, the star had crumbled to bits while we were trying to assemble it and the ensemble looked a little haphazard.

But it's all mine and I love it!