The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Addicted To Love

A very dear friend, who also happens to be a very pregnant yoga teacher, called me today. “I almost gave birth last night. Had my first contraction.”

The announcement was accompanied by giggles. Considering that her belly is only five-months-large, I didn’t see the humour.

She has a very demanding yoga teaching schedule, which at times entails hightailing from one end of the city to the other in snarling traffic. Throw in a couple of Ashtanga classes and you’ve got yourself a recipe for wild bursts of energy. No small surprise then that it’s being channelled into her womb.

“This pregnancy has really changed my classes,” she gushed. “So many students come up to me after class to tell me how much they loved the class and how happy they that I’m going to be a mother.”

Then I heard myself ask a question that surprised even me.

“Are you addicted to that response?”

There was a pause. “Well, it’s always nice to feel loved.”

“Of course. But there’s a subtle difference between gratitude and addiction. Between teaching for the simple joy of yoga and teaching for the standing ovation at the end.”

“I think I push myself because their expectations are so high,” she admitted. “And because they show me so much gratitude.”

And with that, I knew she would slow down in her own time.

But this question should tug at the heart of every student and teacher – why do I practice? Why do I teach?

For the love of yoga?


To feed the ego?


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