Pass again from the heavenly realm and plunge into the ocean of Consciousness. Let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas. But do not think that the drop alone becomes the Ocean—the Ocean, too, becomes the drop!
I have a Guru who I hold dear in my heart. He is a perfectionist. He taught me how to be present and to persevere. He has a temper that is like Whitney Houston’s powerful voice. For him, everything needs to be perfect, otherwise we’ll be treated to a Whitney Houston’s concert. However, his tenderness is like a hidden drop of water in the ocean. It could be the whole ocean, yet it could be so submerged as if it never happened.
When I was ten, my handwriting was crooked, he demanded that during my daily readings when I came across a compelling sentence, I shall write it down immediate and mull it over. He also asked that I spend time listening to radio programs. If I heard something captivating, I shall also write it down. Just like that, writing became a habit and a way of cultivating patience till this day.
Prior to the age of 13, I was very short; always sat in the front row of the class. He would joke around that I should learn how to swim. Deeply afraid of water, I was progressing was very slowly and I really wanted to give up but was too stubborn to say so. I remember he would sing me a nursery rhythm: “try and try and it doesn’t work, try again…” to encourage me not to give up so easily. All that extra time and energy I put in to befriend the water resulted in winning the first place in the 100 meter race at the end of that semester. What was even more exciting to me was at the end of that summer, I grew 13 cm. I was no longer a Shorty.
Asians tend to express love more subtlety and sometimes it is hidden deep inside, rich yet low key, like a drop of water absorbed in the ocean, can be seen everywhere. His love at times came off really rough and was hard to deflect. Words from him felt as heavy as lead, weighting down the heart. But he also taught me how to start over from failure and frustration and how to let go of the subjective view. It was him who infused love in my development and made me ready to face the bigger world.
My most influential Guru
my father – Yue
With my wandering personality, I started travelling ever since I embarked on this path of yoga. I like to discover the hidden gem of life within the various cultures. My most recent travel was to Rishkesh, India – home of yoga. It was the monsoon season. Like a cleansing ritual, the rain washed away all the debris in the Ganges River, clarifying it. And in the late afternoons, you could see all the youngsters playing alongside of the river, shirtless, with naïve eyes, timidly showing curiosity towards foreigners. It was a wonderful display of a different culture.
Rishkesh is a small town in the Northern India, close to the upstream of Ganges River. It seemed particularly sacred as it is situated at the base of Himalaya. There was a moment that I stepped into the river barefooted, the sensation of the icy coldness sent me jumping up and down. In that split moment I realized the grandeur of a plain ordinary life and that insight stirred up the thought of retreating from the world. Observing how people live so simply, it was easy to understand how people in all corners of the world are all simply living.
I had a different impression of this town than the usual image described by all the travel books. It was not the small corner of a mysterious country with a great disparity between the poor and the rich, rather I would describe Rishkesh as pure and down-to-earth. To the people of Rishkesh, one does not have to worry and hesitate about the next step in life, one merely just go with the flow and coexist with nature in harmony. Surrounded by this simplicity, my mind became more clear and uncomplicated as well. How we look at the world determines the look of the world. Sojourn makes elapsing of time imperceptible. Sitting at the balcony with a cup of chai tea, watching a ring of white clouds like a scarf circling around the Himalaya Mountain, I thought even the clouds are strolling around the Himalayas, what are we chasing then? Yoga is just that momentary insight in life.
The body is the highest mountain and the feet are the longest road.
The mat beneath our feet epitomizes of our lives. In that few squared inches, life’s ups and downs are reflected. Working on a smooth breath is an attitude that lets the mischievous mind to gradually settle. A steady breath can quiet the mind and asanas become the vehicle to have a dialogue with the body. Learn to find stillness in movement and in stillness find the internal flow can help us discover our true selves.
I will walk till the water checks my path, then sit and watch the rising clouds.
Prana is the life sustaining energy. It is also a guide that leads you inward. When we practice to allow the body to flow with prana, the light within us becomes brighter. Striving in asana is a cunning trap because all the fruits are achieved slowly and quietly. Treat the changes in your body with detachment, let go of the results, allow the mind be as peaceful as the surface of a lake. Then this will lead us to Wang Wei’s world, where the busy churning thoughts are neatly lined up.
Lastly, I like to thank SPACE for providing the room for us to learn and grow together and the cleaning staff of the five-star quality for preparing the environment for us.