The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Yoga of Diving

The Sister recently returned from a diving course on one of the stunning islands in the east coast. On our drive home, she regaled me with anecdotes, many of which revolved around a friend who had shown an ugly streak.

Embalmed in bitterness after rough encounters with certain people in her adopted country, the friend unleashed her unhappiness on unsuspecting strangers, who offered a friendly smile or a kind word. The Sister observed in silence until she ran out of patience. In her usual straight-as-an-arrow style, she smacked the manners back into the girl.

"And so the next time you feel yourself getting upset, remember what we were learnt to do if we get entangled in seaweed; stop, think and move away."

Stop. Think. And Move Away.

I thought it was a brilliant mantra - for those underwater and on dry land. Confronted by someone who relentlessly pushes your buttons, you have two options. You could spit out that sarcasm-laced remark that makes you feel smug for all of sixty seconds and like a shmuck for the rest of the night. Or you could Stop, Think and Move Away, and sleep soundly, not under a soft blanket of self-righteousness, but under a rough sheet of humility. The humility that comes with swallowing your pride, in order to do unto others as you would like done unto you.

Stop. Think. And Move Away.

That little mantra goes beyond just removing your physical self from that space. It urges you to disentangle your mind and emotions from it too. To move away from the black haze of anger/fear/sadness that clings to you and keeps you firmly in the exact place and time, from which you're trying your damnest to run away. It liberates you.

Stop. Think. And Move Away.

It could lead you to places you've never been to before.


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