Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

metta yoga

on October 17, 2008

I write this blog on one of those crisp fall days – the sun is shining, the air is cool to touch and there is an abundance of leaves everywhere-hues of yellow, orange and red. Its the kind of day where you want to sit next to a large window near a tree, watch the breeze, sip hot cider and contemplate rumi :). or go for a walk and feel the sun. I settled for the latter. after a delicious piece of chocolate at the local candy store-here I am.

This morning I woke up around 6.00 am, feeling wonderfully alive and ready for yoga. one thing about falling sick and not wanting to get out of bed-is that you really appreciate it when you *can* get out of bed. These past few weeks, when I look back at the sheer range of the feelings I have been through – there is one thing that stands out – a  willingness to show up. sometimes its not easy to do. and even when its not easy, can we notice and accept with kindness. there were times when all I wanted was to be someplace else-healthier and stronger. and yet accepting where I was, it turned out, was so important. and being kind.

This past weekend, I had the amazing privilege of being in the presence of a wonderful buddhist teacher, Taraniya Gloria Amrbosia. Taraniya meaning the bridge between the monks and the lay people. Taraniya brought this wonderful sense of kindness and lightness and humor to the practice. Her very being radiated a joy – a willingness to accept what comes along. and one thing I have noticed about the teachers I really love – they all have this amazing ability to look deeply into a person and see his/her goodness-and they take such genuine joy in it. Taraniya, before parting, looked deeply into my eyes-recognizing the suffering that connects us all – and she said, ‘be well my friend’. It made me feel so special just to receive that blessing.

Her teachings echoed one theme to me- be kind to yourself. kindness to others follows. when we recognise ourselves as a wonderful complete human being who deserves respect, dignity and honor at all times in life, we can be able to give it to others without resentment and with gladness. and that brings a sense of joy and lightness to our lives. Kindness is our basic nature. and yet the society tries so hard to drive us away from it. then kindness becomes a choice. at any moment, we can choose to be kind, or not. and how we choose makes all the difference in the softening of the heart. and its resiliency.

This morning, I woke up with the intention to be kind to myself and do what makes me happy. and my theme this morning was metta-yoga, or yoga suffused with loving kindess. I put on Imee Ooi’s lovely voice in the chant of metta – hearing her prayers for the well-being of this world-set the perfect mood. The intention behind such a practice-is that instead of straining in poses, or trying to accomplish something, you soften. In each pose, you relax and feel how it is to suffuse it with love.  yoga with softness – it is a practice. It is not to be confused with weakness. softening requires attention and a deep listening and wisdom – and a willingness to do what is right. As my attention drifted in certain poses, I brought myself back with kindness. no judgements or aggression. there was only kindness in the room-there wasn’t room for anything else.

As we go through our normal days, can we capture these moments of kindness that lead the way back to the heart ? As I see the leaves move in the breeze, delighting in their own beauty, I can’t help thinking of Rumi’s words : ‘the branches tremble but the roots are still’.

with metta, S.

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