We are really more similar than we think we are different.
6 years ago** I would never have been in awe of what I saw on the computer screen. But I felt myself being drawn towards the screen while the technician brought the cursor to the letter 'R' that labelled the right side of my chest X-Ray. Wow, I have never seen my heart before. And here it is, right in front of me. That bit of radiation was well worth it to witness such a miracle, both in its technology and the fact that I have a heart; just like everybody else.
(**6 years ago was when I officially began a consistent practice of yoga. Throughout the years, the practice not only balanced my body and mind, but also brought a new awareness. An awareness to my body and my environment, heightening my senses and curiosity towards almost everything.)
One of the Dalai Lama's practice , as I have read in his book of happiness, is to exercise compassion by recognizing the "human-ness" in everyone you meet. Easy to say, but when it comes to exercising compassion when you are frustrated, annoyed or heart-broken, it's hard to identify the fact that we are all innately 'human' and that beyond all the emotions, we are still very much similar.
Looking at perhaps someone sitting in front you, notice that he/she has a nose like you, a heart beating like you, maybe a crooked smile like you when you feel shy, a frown when things look a little confusing ....
I left a relationship a few weeks ago, heart breaking I must admit, and it was largely due to unresolved differences. This just sets me to think, are we really that different if our issues were both born out of insecurities and need for attention? Yes we might have very different personalities, but I think if we counted our similarities (love for a good time on weekends, afternoon naps and working out) more often than differences, we might have had an easier time.
From my beating heart to yours, Namaste.
I've always had a hard time making decisions. Ive been told that the word 'decide' came from a latin orgin that meant 'to kill'. To kill off something definitely sounded a tad bit too violent for me to do.
But recently, I found a good way to make this 'killing' process a little easier. The Dalai Lama said in his book with Howard C. Cutler, The Art Of Happiness, that really it's just a matter of knowing if the situation will bring you more pleasure or more happiness.
Pleasure is short-lived, albeit enjoyable while it lasted, sometimes even to a point of ecstasy. Happiness is long-lasting, definitely not over-the-hill joy, but a permanent bliss that stays for a long time. This reminds me of the word 'Ananda' is sanskrit which means bliss. ( Sanskrit, like many traditional old languages, usually has many meanings in one word. sometimes deeper than what it seems. sometimes the sound of the word gives rise to another. ) I had a few fleeting moments of this, one time at a local cafe in Ubud, enjoying the remnants of an excellent yoga class, with good company, good conversation about life and good food. I have been conditioned by the peacefulness of my surroundings for about a week or 2 and have attained this 'blissful' state where im not extremely happy nor extremely sad, just happy.
Quoting from the book :
"Will it bring me happiness?" That simple question can be a powerful tool in helping us skillfully conduct all areas of our lives, not just in the decision whether to indulge in drugs or that third piece of banana cream pie. It puts a new slant on things. Approaching our daily decisions and choices with this question in mind shifts the focus from what we are denying ourselves to what we are seeking -- ultimate happiness. A kind of happiness, as defined by the Dalai Lama, that is stable and persistent. A state of happiness that remains, despite life's ups and downs and normal fluctuations of mood, as part of the very matrix of our being...... The underlying sense of moving toward happiness can have a very profound effect, it makes us more receptive, more open, to the joy of living.
I am a big lover of coconuts, even though I have been poisoned twice by dirty coconuts, ( beach, ladies carrying fruits on their heads... you get the picture? ) I still swear by it.
One way to get them in Singapore is to get the thai coconuts with their top off at Cold Storages across the island, but recently I found an even better, cheaper and ALL NATURAL option. No sugar added! I've been looking for this particular brand of coconut juice (picture above) for a while now and finally found them cheap at NTUC fairprice. There are several brands available, but look for this particular one which has no sugar added. $2.65 for 3 cans! This is cheaper than buying a real coconut.
Some benefits of coconut water :
- best hydrating option after or before workout ( please don't do sports drinks) because of the natural electrolytes present
- actually contains 15 times more potassium than a sports drink or twice as much as a banana. (It's also a great hangover fixer)
- if you are stuck on an island and cannot find an IV drip, the coconut water is the closest thing you can use to directly infuse into your blood (it is identical to human blood plasma, many 3rd world countries have used Coconut IV)
Besides the water, coconut oil is also a fantastic option for people who love to cook. Use it as a eye make up remover, for an all natural organic option that also prevents wrinkles.
Well it's been dip month all April since I got back from Ubud, Bali. Very inspired by raw food (or LIVE food) lifestyle, Ive been creating recipes so I can eat more raw vegan food whilst in a land of cooked food.
I've experienced first hand how much raw vegan food has made a difference in my body. Rise in energy level, no bloated stomach and eating so much yet still losing weight! For those who are not familiar, the theory behind raw food is that we keep the natural enzymes in the food needed for optimum digestion in our bodies. Food can be prepared any way as long as it is kept under 45 deg c. And because our bodies spend SO MUCH time and energy digesting (as much as 80%), we become tired and bloated all the time. Imagine if your food went down smoothly with minimal needed digestion, the body then spends more time on your skin, hair, nails, healing, growing and repairing!
Im not really a cook, I just mix whatever feels/tastes good.
SO here are the ingredients for the raw vegan cheese & avocado dip :
(use discretion for amount)
Cashew nuts (soaked for 2hrs to germinate and soften)
Himalayan Sea Salt
optional - ground oregano/cumin
serve with your favourite vegetables!
Let me share a nice little story about one of my students. She has been going for a meditation course here in Singapore for a while and when she came for my class one day, she exclaimed about how surprised she was when she had a vision during one of her recent meditation. This 'spiritual' sort of thing has never happened to her before. Since that 'spiritual' session, she began to observe her own 'psychic' skills. She started to anticipate many of her family members actions before they occured.
Now, what Im trying to show here is that we are ALL able to be 'psychics' in our own right. Just like we are ALL innately GOOD. We just need to learn to connect to this part of ourselves which already exists. Whatever you wish for yourself, you already have it. And once you learn to connect, you will feel more aligned and much more 'spiritual'. 'Spiritual' is not just about being able to 'OM' the longest or being able to memorise the entire yoga sutras, to me, being spiritual is about being a kinder, more compassionate person. That's all.
So happy happy 2012! Let every experience that may come be 'label-less', not good nor bad, just let them be an experience. Learn, Love & Let It Be. My three 'L's for the new bright year ahead.
Lokha Samasta Sukino Bhavantu, May All Beings In The World Be Happy & Free.