The Path To Bodhichitta

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

My Photo
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Special Student

I start a new beginners' class tomorrow and I'm slightly nervous. Not about the teaching but about a particular student.

In her late thirties, she's already suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees. In addtions, she's just recovered from chemotherapy, which has caused brought on menopause, which in turn is worsening her knees. She desperate and determined. I'm excited and anxious.

This student is special not because she has special needs, but because I dream of carving a future in yoga therapy, and it is students like her who will pave that way for me. Having said that, I'm not out to 'fix' her. My aim is to help her help hersef. Help her to understand her body, her pain, her strengths and her weakness, then learn to work with them. The same way I've been working on my scoliosis.

It has been a long journey and it has only just begun. It has been two months into since I started working on myself and although the pain still exists, it has lessened somewhat and I understand what sets it off and soothes it. For the first time, I see a glimmer of hope. And I want my special student to see it too.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Lesson In R&R

Having worked through the weekend, I was ordered to take a two-day break this week.

“If you feel guilty staying home, then read a work-related book. But I don’t want to see you in the office,” my boss said firmly.

So I took her prescription, cleared my desk on Wednesday and prepared to begin a lovely four-day weekend. (I've always promised family and friends that if I'm ever elected Prime Minister, the first change I'll enforce is a four-day working week.) Despite my best intentions to arise at a shockingly late hour, my peepers popped open at the first hint of sunrise. I took a brief moment to celebrate the luxury of sleeping in and promptly returned to dreamland. When my body was finally ready to ressurect from beneath the sheets, the sun was streaming into the room. It was a glorious day outside. And it was only 9am.

Refreshed and recharged, I figured I may as well do a little work. I trotted to the kitchen and reached out to pull open the refrigerator door. That's when I saw it. The baby blue rectangle piece of paper I had stuck on the door with an Animal Planet magnet. It was a nugget I had clipped from an O magazine. Something I thought I would need someday. That day had come. The baby blue paper read:

'He who cannot rest, cannot work. He who cannot let go, cannot hold on.'

The words were born from the mind of a Harry Emerson Fosdick. I have no idea who he is but he saved my weekend.

Why did I feel the need to work when I deserved this long weekend, I asked myself. Why not just enjoy it? How hard could that be?

Ten minutes later, I was carrying a plate of scrambled eggs on toast and a cup coffee back to the bedroom. I spent the rest of the morning there reading Joan Didion's The Year Of Magical Thinking. The afternoon, I spent on my yoga mat and the night was awarded to Blood Diamond. (A must-watch movie with a conscience)

It's the second day of my four-day weekend and I am so glad I listened to Mr. Fosdick. It has been a long time since I did what I wanted to do without worrying about what I should be doing. I forgot how alive it made me feel. And I'm already looking forward to Monday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Beginnings

I've just realised that it has been three weeks since my last post. Gosh. It's going to be one of those years when time just gallops by, isn't it? If that's the case, maybe I shouldn't take down my Christmas tree. But I hope time, slows down a little because 2007 has been spectacular so far!

I have a new job. When it was first offered to me, I spent weeks agonizing over it because it would completely uproot my original plan of diving into yoga full time. Yet everything about the new job was perfect - the location, the culture, the people, the work. I asked myself if I was being fickle-minded by changing my mind. The answer came back loud and clear - it would be foolish for a traveller to disregard a better route simply because he had spent time mapping out his original one. Most importantly, my inner voice approved. So I accepted it. And I am so happy I did.

This new job fits perfectly into my new life and career goals. Even better is that yoga plays a part in it. From the day I sat down at my new desk, I knew I had made the right decision.

I also know that this will be my last stop in the corporate world. This is also an opportunity for me to deepen my yogic knowledge and experience. Then the time will come for me to fly on my own.

But for now, all is well in my world.