The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Artist Date

I went on a date with my inner artist last Saturday. In her book, The Vein of Gold, Julia Cameron recommends an hour or longer weekly block of time spent on yourself and only with yourself, doing something festive that releases creative blocks and invokes inspiration. In other words, to romance ourselves.

I cheated a little on this Artist Date because I had been to this place once, though very briefly, and also because I went with The Healer. My cousin, an Anusara Yogi (a style I plan to try this year) introduced me to a place that I have always wished my city had - a new age bookstore.

This Wonderful Life is the creative genius of Tania Leong, an alternative therapist and energy healer. The first time I was there, I spent more time talking to Tania than poking around. She’s a lovely person, so warm and vibrant. I found out that Tania finally heeded her calling and packed her bags for London, which she called home for 5 years as she immersed herself in the new age lifestyle and honed her healing techniques. We chatted for a while and she generously gave me an impromptu card reading lesson. Then it was time to rush off, and I did so with some incense and a promise to return.

So on Saturday, The Healer and I trotted to TWL in high spirits. When we pushed open the glass doors, we saw Tania and three others sitting on the floor in front of the yoga section. Around them were coloured paper, glue, scissors, magazines and other arts and crafts material.

“What are you doing?” we asked in great curiosity.

“Our vision charts!” came the reply. I was instantly intrigued and watched as Tania glued scanned pictures of her angel cards onto her red vision chart and decided how large to make each chakra for the huge angel that represented her. Julia Cameron had suggested the same activity, but I had been putting it off.

I eventually left the little group to their work and began browsing. One shelf held aromatherapy oils, soaps and salt scrubs. Another held an assortment of CDs from yoga and qi gong to meditation and dharma talks. There was a shelf of parenting books, which The Healer planted herself at and shelves where books on angels, general metaphysics and psychology nested. There were racks of incense, posters and stickers, as well as a corner table that housed various oracle cards. Next to the cashier were the crystals and precious stones in odd shapes and even angel-shaped.

I felt completely at home in this little place, and the energy was safe and clear. I spent the first ten minutes touching every item in wonder and feeling my excitement mount. Ever since I stepped into Whatever, a new age bookshop in Singapore, I have longed for one here. A place that doesn’t just sell items, but also acts as a gathering spot for like-minded people.

I enjoyed my little artist date…and of course, the coffee that came after! But it’s a place I will go back to again and again, if nothing more than for a chat with Tania. Did it rejuvenate my creative juices? For sure!

This Wonderful Life is located at M-0-7 Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. 03-6201 1813


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