The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Even Angels Fall

What more us mere mortals? So don't put me on a pedestal. Don't seek to uncover the universe's truths through me. Don't hang your hopes on the words that flow out of my mouth. Not even if I can stand on my head, balance on tiptoe or arch my spine into a perfect C. For I fall too.

"I'm so happy to find out that my teachers are humans too."

My student beamed when she uttered those words to me after today's class. I found them both comforting and unnerving. The former, because she truly sees me as a teacher and the latter, because she once thought I could do no wrong in her eyes. She forgot that behind the spiritual music, the yoga attire and the gentle guidance is a human being, who has been blessed with the ability to make mistakes and learn from them.

Yoga teachers go through the same emotions as yoga students. Just because we can correct your alignment in sirsasana (headstand) means that we're infallible. No matter how perfect our flow in surya namaskar (sun salutation), we're not always able to serenely flow from one disaster to the next in real life. No matter how deep our backbends, we're not always able to bend so far backwards to accommodate the world's every demand. And no matter now steady our breathing, we also sometimes hold our breath during tensed moments.

We're human. And we embrace that.


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