….before you have to. For some reason holding down two jobs, doing charity work helping small businesses, managing a household and planning an international move was not enough of a signal to clear some space for some inner work.
There are times when stretching yourself with multiple challenges leads to great breakthroughs, whether in knowledge, understanding or the sense of wholeness that comes through helping someone else achieve their goals. Other times you may be filling your time, running about being ‘busy busy’ because you are avoiding being with yourself, being quiet; facing the reality of who you really are in that moment.
For me, during those few months when one year ends and another begins – in this case 2016 – I was transitioning from being in one country to moving to another, physically and mentally. I became disconnected and distracted by to-do lists rather than taking time to honour the momentum of this change. In the past, if I didn’t find space for myself, events would force it on me.
This time the first whisper was when I fell down a very long flight of stone steps at the new Art Museum on the Padang. I apologise for scaring everyone in the ticket hall who had to witness my messy tumble. Other than severe bruises and a chipped elbow, I was fine.
Did I listen? The louder klaxon came early in January when I turned my ankle and broke it. So now, no choice; I had to take a break. Literally. I recognised the situation that had been created by my actions immediately whilst waiting for the x-ray, and laughed. Don’t wait for the whisper, take that break.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not, remember that what you now have was once amongst the things you only hoped for.”
My spiritual study for 2015 kicked off with a perfect start on Monday night with Charu Ramesh’s introductory class to the Yoga Sutras. The class was relaxed yet illuminating at the same time. I gave my mind and body a long break over the holidays, so it was like a drink of spring water for my dehydrated mind, as she skilfully explained a deeply profound text in layman’s words. The simple essence of the text is that suffering is caused by turbulence in the mind and the practice of Yoga is all about how to stop this churning of the mind. What are the causes of this churning? What are the obstacles we will face in the practice? These questions were all explained in the class. If you missed it, there are three more classes over the next three Monday evenings which includes a review of the previous class.
This year the ASC team have planned many more new courses and events for you. Coming up soon is a Fire Purification ceremony, Thangka drawing and painting, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction talk and book club. We have planned something for everyone this year – so stay tuned and hope to see you at one of them soon.
Here’s to a fun and awakening 2015!
A Final Thought
“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person.
One moment at a time.”
~ Libba Bray
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Back from retreat – renewed intentions, new courses and new events
Amid the clear blue skies and calm ocean, the retreat did what it set out to do – opening our hearts with big doses of dharma prescribed by Doctor Lama Marut.
Everyone went home feeling refreshed and recharged with a new energy to – not necessarily transform completely – but to change our lives a little. Many of us having the intention of finding ways to serve others more and worry less about ourselves.
On the last day, we sat in a big circle and shared our resolutions with each other. Many resolutions that were read out included resolving to treat family and friends kinder, do more charity, start a meditation practice, incorporate more yoga into our lives and staying close to ACI or taking one of our courses.
When the intention is right, the divine assists in its own special way. It is strangely timely then, that we are starting two new courses very very soon – ACI Course 10 – A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life starts this Monday, 1st April and the Lady Niguma Yoga Workshop series starts tomorrow, 31 March by certified yoga teacher Kelly Tan. All details below or at our website aci-sg.org.
We hope that you, along with my fellow retreatants, will find our activities useful in either kickstarting or supporting your best intentions.
This peaceful and profound meditation comes from the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn and uses the sonorous sound of the bell to help you reach deep states of relaxation and mindfulness. This week’s meditation is being led by Aimee Goldthwaite. This week’s meditation is being led by Aimee Goldthwaite.
Looking for a peaceful way to end your busy work week?
Find a moment of stillness and peace every Friday in Chinatown. Come along for our weekly guided meditation sessions, where we meditate together, and share some teachings from Buddhism that can support your meditation practice.
This session is open to anyone from any tradition, and to complete beginners with no experience in meditation.