The Path To Bodhichitta

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

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Saturday, January 23, 2010


You complete me.

I have no doubts that the scriptwriter of Jerry MacGuire has had a finger in many failed relationships all over the world. What is it about us humans that crave completion from outside ourselves? Why do we burden another person with the expectation of filling the void within us that we somehow cannot fill on our own? And why, when relationship after relationship fractures under this impossible duty, do we still not think of turning the mirror towards ourselves?

When I first got together with The Thinker, I was a snarling unhappy knot because he refused to fit the shape that I had carved out for him. He refused to follow the script I had written and neatly side-stepped that gaping black hole within me instead of jumping in to fill it. It took many months before I suddenly realised what I was doing. And it shocked me to see that I had placed the source of my happiness in his hands when the poor man didn't want it. Who would? So I started focusing on creating my own source of joy and though he remains a huge part of it, he is not IT. I'll tell you this much - it's not easy and I still slip up but during the times when it works, it's damn good! For both of us.

Editrixed, who is also in a new relationship, said in a recent email that she likes being with him and all, but "I realized that I'm as happy now as I was just before I met him. It's a bit of a strange realization -- maybe the media likes to play up having a relationship as transforming one's life, but it's still mine as before, except that I have this other person who's a big part of it now. A person who I like spending lots of time with and who makes me happy, but if it all went pete tong tomorrow, I'd still be ok."

With friends like that, who needs Dr. Phil?

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her new book 'Committed', tells the fable of a time when humans had two heads and four legs and four arms. This was the perfect melding of two people literally joined at the hip. Each of us had a perfect partner sewn into our skin and was blissfully happy. We were whole. But this wholeness made us arrogant and Zeus punished us for this by cutting us in half, thereby inflicting on us the sense of not being quite whole.

'For the rest of the time, humans would be born sensing that there was some missing part - a lost half, which we love almost more than we love ourselves - and that this missing part was out there someplace, spinning through the universe in the form of another person. We would also be born believing that if only we searched relentlessly enough, we might someday find that vanished half, that other soul. Through union with the other, we would recomplete our original form, never to experience loneliness again.

This is the singular fantasy of human intimacy: that one plus one will somehow, someday, equal one.'

But fantasies don't belong in the real world and so you keep searching for that one perfect relationship. And more often than not, we wind up hurt and bitter because no one seems to be able to complete us in exactly the way we want.

This is, in part, the essence of yoga. To find that connection and wholeness inside ourselves so we never have to place our happiness in someone else's hands. Or at the mercy of an asana, pranayama or mantra. These are paths to lift the veil of illusions so you can see your thoughts and patterns more clearly. So you can identify the samskaras that has laid down its foundation early in your life and continues to be played again and again, keeping you in that very cycle you are trying to escape. This is the clarity that a committed yoga practice brings.

But even yoga doesn't complete you. It just teaches you how to tap into your own completeness and realise that you were whole all along.


Anonymous オテモヤン said...

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8:03 AM  

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