Monday, February 28, 2011

20110228 - Philosophy from A Tortoise

I have been asking why did I decide to take yoga teacher training. In fact I have already been teaching kids yoga even before the training. I love kids and I care, thus I am very careful with my little students. However, when it comes to the grownups, things are not quite the same.  It is fairly easy to still chidlren's phyical excitments, but it is challenge to still one's mind.

Big people as I explain to kids, we start to lose basic instincts, breath as one. The diaphragm breath we knew when we were babies, somehow, we forget; as we grow older, we breathe faster. We cut the prana/chi/air journey in half so we can achieve the speed; like how we achieve social expectations.

As we were babies, we inhale full breath from nostrils to fill up the air in abdominal, thoracic, then clavicular regions and exhale with reverse prana/chi/air journey back to abdominal region to empty out any residual air in the body. The longer breath journey provides stillness, which against social expectations.

I have a sulcata tortoise, named Max. Every time my mother sees “it” (still too young to know the gender), my mother complains about its stillness, because it's boring. But I can ensure you, watching Max quietly walking around the house naturally puts smiles on your face, because its peaceful energy is mightily but steadily and unconsciously spreading around. As a sulcata tortoise, Max has an open home, salad plate is outside the house, everyday it goes toilet in the morning when soaking, takes walk to have its salad twice a day, and strolls around the house then goes back to its home. It completes its tasks given by nature day after day, but not the expectations from my mother or others. As a pet, it doesn’t wiggle its tail, but it breathes lightly and lies quietly with me when I read or resting for a good half hour to an hour even during his napping or playing mood. As a divine soul, it leaves the scene when it learns there is conflicting energy in the air, comes back when all is clear.

May we have learned from Max, to be who we truly are without social expectation, follow the heart; be responsible to the role(s) we are given in this journey, stand still with the truth within; and appreciate the divine soul we already have in us, be kind to ourSelves.

"Learn to remain undisturbed in the tumult of people and events. Remain at peace within even when busy and occupied." - Jing Si Aphorism


P.S. A fun fact to share, tortoise has been one of four respected spiritual animals in traditional Chinese folklores and the only one that exists in real life.

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