The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bits & Pieces

Excerpts from books I have recently read that have helped me navigate through this mist. May they hold glitters of insight for you too.

"One reason why you get into trouble like this is that you trust reason too much. Human life is rarely reasonable. You may believe that intelligent, well-meaning people can resolve any conflicts, but taht assumption itself arises out of a cloudy image of how things work. Insight usually means discovering the madness hidden in an apparently reasonable situation.

People are always on the cusp between clarity and fog. Pure unreasonableness lies like a shadow at the edge of all transactions. You may wish things were simpler but they aren't. Your only recourse is to take into account at least a moderate degree of madness in every situation you encounter."

Dark Nights of the Soul, Thomas Moore

Was this always a part of me, buried, waiting? Maybe there is a seed of malfeasance even in the most honest of people - like Patrick - that requires a certain combination of circumstances to bloom. And once it does, it takes over like loosestrife, choking out rational thought, killing compassion.
Perfect Match, Jodi Picoult

"How do you feel,"she said.

"I don't even know."

"Oh, honey."

Across the room, a Syrofoam takeout container sat open like a giant clamshell. I went over and looked inside: the remains of something in a tan sauce, plus a collapsed orange slice and a limp piece of lettuce.

"Guilty," I said. "I feel guilty. What does it say about me that I'd leave? What kind of person does it make me?"

She didn't reply for a moment, and I felt the long span between us, the miles and miles of wire. At last she spoke. "The kind of person you are."

A rush of laughter escaped me. "What?"

"It makes you the kind of person you are. People have this idea that what they do changes who they are. A married man has an affair and he thinks, Now I've become a bad person. As if something had changed."

"Meaning he already was a bad person?"

"Meaning bad isn't the issue. Meaning you do what you do. Not without consequences for other people, of course, sometimes very grave ones. But it's not very helpful to regard your choices as a series of right or wrong moves. They don't define you as much as you define them."

"You're sounding very mystical," I said. "Are you saying it was my destiny to leave?"

"Not at all-you could have just as easily have stayed. But that wouldn't make you a good person any more than leaving makes you a bad one. You are already made, honey. That's what I mean."

The Dive From Clausen's Pier, Ann Packer

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lost & Found

I found him last night. That man whose gentle words fall upon me like cottonballs. That man who taught me to rest in my own body. That man who makes paschimottanasana feel like savasana. That man whose classes are a beautiful swirl of softness, strength, deeps breaths and honour of the body. That man whom I lost when YogaZone crashed and burned.

When I told The Healer I had found him and that he is a startling 5-minute drive from our homes, she texted back "Let's go! I want some compassion!"

If you share a similar craving, Gary teaches at Impressive Fitness (03-7981 0303) in Danau Desa.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Miss...

finding my bliss in a home practice.riding the group energy in a favourite teacher's class.laughing until my stomach hurts.losing myself in a unputdownable book.nan.dancing with my heart and soul.the sound of a key at the front door.a homecooked meal.the cats' voices.trusting myself.nights that end too soon.being young and reckless.savannah drys.sunshiny days.trawling food markets in tea on a cold night in india.spontaneous supper plans at midnight.a yoga room.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Misplaced Spirit

Once again Christmas is upon us. It waits with giddy excitment behind the corner, hinting at its presence through the delicate tinkling of glass balls on the tree, the aroma of indulgent delicacies from an overworked oven, fights over whose turn it is to scrub the porch, and the clattering of china for the guests who will be turning up for the traditional Christmas lunch.

Christmas usually makes me feel like a helium-filled balloon. It's my favourite time of the year and nothing is able to prick my bubble of bliss. I'm the in-house entertainment with my squeals and shrieks over everything Christmassy that pops up in the house, especially when the presents appear under the tree. Chsitmas is usually the happiest time of the year for me. But not this year.

One of my favorite people in the world is in a better place and Christmas just isn't the same without her pot roast, fussing over guests and newly dyed hair. I miss her.

And there's more but it's Christmas and this is not a story for the holidays. But my spirit has scuttled into hiding this year and I can't seem to find it no matter how hard I look.

Yoga teacher, Philip Moffitt, says, "By embracing your mother wound as your yoga, you transform what has been a hindrance in your life into a teacher of the heart."

I struggle to embrace my mother wound because it reminds me of how, at one moment, I became everything I never thought I would be. It made me lose faith in myself, in my being and in my practice. I don't know how to use this wound to be my yoga and a teacher of the heart.

This Christmas is keeping that wound fresh somehow. And it's making me think that perhaps Christmas may no longer live in the lights, scents and tastes for me. Perhaps I will learn the real spirit of Christmas this year. And perhaps then, this wound will finally close.

On The Mat And Beyond

If like me, you're still mulling over the many ways you could start the new year with a bang, here's another option to add to that merry medley.

Come January 4th, The Bakti Siti Hasmah building in Tmana Tun Dr. Ismail, will play host to a yoga charity event - On The Mat And Beyond: A Healing Practice. Roslin Mohd Daud and Indra Widjanarko, the souls behind this event, have planned special practice sessions for those with special needs. They need volunteers and a host of other essentials, so go to and extend your hand in any way possible.