Going to Hong Kong


"Do you know what I've learned? That although ecstasy is the ability to stand outside yourself, dance is a way of rising up into space, of discovering new dimensions while still remaining in touch with the body. When you dance, the spiritual world and the real world manage to coexist quite happily..."

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Things have a strange way of happening. I missed getting my Visa stamped by ONE day. A simple mis-calculation. So...that means I'm going to Hong Kong. At first I was very annoyed...but I let go...and was like...hey, everything happens for a reason...and, looking on the bright side...I get the opportunity to experience a fascinating, vibrating city...all by myself. What an adventure. Should be fun. Who knows what will happen next?...and, that is all part of the enjoyment. I leave tonight.

Another Year

Another long pause, then the blacksmith concluded: "I know that God is putting me through the fire of afflictions. I've accepted the blows that life has dealt me, and sometimes I feel as cold and indifferent as the water that inflicts such pain on the steel. But my one prayer is this: 'Please, God, my Mother, don't give up until I've taken on the shape that you wish for me. Do this by whatever means you think best, for as long as you like, but never ever throw me on the scrap heap of souls.' "

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Another year older today. Another year wiser? Well...hmmmmm...the jury is still out on that one...



The real Tradition is this: the teacher never tells the disciple what he or she should do. They are merely traveling companions, sharing the same uncomfortable feeling of "estrangement" when confronted by ever-changing perceptions, broadening horizons, closing doors, rivers that sometimes seem to block their path and which, in fact, should never be crossed, but followed.

There is only one difference between teacher and disciple: the former is slightly less afraid than the latter. Then, when they sit down at a table or in front of a fire to talk, the more experienced person might say: "Why don't you do that?" But he or she never says: "Go there and you'll arrive where I did," because every path and every destination are unique to the individual.

The true teacher gives the disciple the courage to throw his or her world off balance, even though the disciple is afraid of things already encountered and more afraid still of what might be around the next corner.

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Evolve. Stretch. Grow. Expand. Challenge. Set those passions a fire that haven't been ignited yet. Why continue to stay in one place internally?

This is what I've been feeling lately. There has been this urge to take leaps forward...and it isn't always necessarily something that is manifested externally. Even though there has been some of that going on. In crazy, beautiful ways.

One thing is this...Truth. That search for Truth...or really knowing, experiencing the Truth has been a strong force in my quest. But, it's funny how sometimes when we aren't really living it the universe has a way of knocking us over the head with it. And I had that experience recently. Thank God for these moments.

I mentioned taking a hike...my Saturday morning ritual. Well, I met a man up there...a Tai-Chi master, who prefers practicing up in the mountains for a greater amount of life-force present. Soon, I later find out that he is a healer. With one glance he intuited and mentioned some things to me that sent chills up my spine. Things that I have only known for myself and have never let on to anyone else. In the past year I've been feeling things that haven't felt quite right. He knew everything. Crazy. Right away I decide I will seek him out later. But, something tells me I would like to learn from him.

Another friend of mine took me to his place, where he works on people, several days later. I asked him what the process was exactly that he goes through. His answer was...I dunno, hard to explain...I'll work on you and we will see what happens. Ok, when I heard that then I knew...I want to learn from him. That simple.

It is interesting though. One thing I've learned regarding healing is it isn't necessary to come from a place of lack or incompleteness. To truly heal I need to step into a space of wholeness and completeness. What I'm experiencing, and feeling NOW is all part of the perfection inside the imperfection. No need to push it away or resist.

Life is mysterious. This I know. And when you meet someone at the top of a mountain, outside a Buddhist temple...at a time when open and willing to step into something new...you listen...you simple listen.

"Yes, when I dance, I'm a free woman, or, rather, a free spirit who can travel through the universe, contemplate the present, divine the future, and be transformed into pure energy. And that gives me enormous pleasure, a joy that always goes far beyond everything I've experienced or will experience in my lifetime..."

~ excerpt from the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Banana Flowers


As you go through life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It's not as wide as you think.

~ Joseph Campbell

I've discovered bubble tea!!! Yes. I've been told that it was born in Taiwan. Love the notion that I can order a large to the equivalent of almost $1US...where if I were to buy in the States it would be around $4-5U.S.. Ahhh...it's the simple pleasures that make life special.

Getting my second wind in. Yes. Finally.

I'll be starting some preliminary study of Chinese here soon. Not an easy feet. First, I need to get over the self consciousness of speaking the language. There is a tendency for me to feel a bit embarrassed to speak. What if I get it wrong? Or sound stupid? However, a good friend of mine told me that is all part of the fun...and the locals so appreciate the effort foreigners make. More than anything I'd like to do it for the students.

Over the next couple weeks, my new Taiwanese friend and I will be making a quick jaunt to Penghu. A small island off the coast of Taiwan...a beautiful place...with that laid back, island beachy lifestyle I so love. Should be nice.

Besides that...it has been work, work, work...no complaints however, I love it...and I learn something new everyday. What more could I ask for? I mean, I could be sitting behind a desk all day...no thanks...or trying to get my expense reports turned in on time...again, no thanks.

"What is sin? It is a sin to prevent Love from showing itself. And the Mother of Love. We are entering a new world in which we can choose to follow our own steps, not those that society forces us to take. If necessary, we will confront the forces of darkness again, as we did last week. But no one will silence our voice or our heart."

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

For a while I've come to my computer to blog...and hadn't felt the urge to say anything. The thought of putting words on the screen seemed to take too much energy. Not sure why that is. Maybe partly to do with the fact I've been tired, fatigued and a bit exhausted. However, now it seemed to have passed. The solution has been me needing to be pretty strict and diligent with myself with regards to getting to bed on time...no lee-way...and eating extra healthy. I found if I slip in either one of these areas I don't feel quite right. For, I've been expending large amounts of energy outward since being here, so being strict in those areas has been important. Been teaching more classes this month than last, and next month there be more added with workshops on Sundays. So...I need to brace myself...its all good though.

Yesterday, I taught a group relatively new to yoga from a corporation in a neighboring city. Mr. Wang wanted me to introduce myself to the group by giving them a 20 minute talk on how I got into yoga...the process of my growth, and what it has meant. You know, boring stuff. When I was done speaking I asked the group if they had any questions. Only one girl raised her hand...and she went on to ask me which postures were good for loosing weight. Man! That had me tickled. Who cares about the deep meaning of yoga...I wanna loose some weight...hahahaha...it's time to get real. Why take this path so seriously?

Hiking on Saturdays has become part of my routine. It's been great. Around Chiayi there are various trails in the mountains. Last Saturday we hiked to the top of another. Mostly what you will find at the top is a Buddhist temple...and, among other things, interesting, fascinating people. Met this fellow who intuited some things with one simple glance. Talk about goose bumps...there will be more to follow. I think I may have found a teacher.



But, then, how many of us will be saved the pain of seeing the most important things in our lives disappearing from one moment to the next? I don't just mean people, but our ideas and dreams too: we might survive a day, a week, a few years, but we're all condemned to lose. Our body remains alive, yet sooner or later our soul will receive the mortal blow. The perfect crime--for we don't know who murdered our joy, what their motives were, or where the guilty parties are to be found.

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

This book is a jewel. Unique. Truthful...mysterious...thoughtful...need I go on? Paulo Coelho is a writer for this age...no doubt.

It has been a while since a book has highly resonated with me such as this one. It has left me pondering many things I have felt and wondered about.

"We all have a duty to love and to allow love to manifest itself in the way it thinks best. We cannot and must not be frightened when the powers of darkness want to make themselves heard, those same powers that introduced the word sin merely to control our hearts and minds. Jesus Christ, whom we all know, turned to the woman taken in adultery and said: 'Has no man condemned thee? Neither do I condemn thee.' He healed people on the Sabbath, he allowed a prostitute to wash his feet, he promised a thief that he would enjoy the delights of Paradise, he ate forbidden foods, and he said that we should concern ourselves only with today, because the lilies in the field toil not, neither do they spin, but are arrayed in glory..."

~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

"A saint is someone who lives his or her life with dignity," I explained. "All we have to do is understand that we're all here for a reason and to commit ourselves to that. Then we can laugh at our sufferings, large and small, and walk fearlessly, aware that each step has meaning..."

~ excerpt from the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

I've taken on a student for private lessons. Crazy. Already at our third lesson she's jumping through with straight legs. For some, the sequence captures the body right away with little or no resistance. Naturally, asana is only a small part of the process. However, this student will blurt out these words of wisdom that leave me speechless. Wow. She gets it...I think to myself when she speaks. Always learning...even from those who pay me to teach them. Nice. I've enjoyed our exchange. I've rarely done private lessons.

Still been battling bouts of fatigue...but it seems to be getting better. Drinking my daily tea.



Don't try to convince anyone of anything. When you don't know something, ask or go away and find out. But when you do act, be like the silent, flowing river and open yourself to a greater energy. Believe--that's what I said at our first meeting--simply believe you can.

At first, you'll be confused and insecure. Then you'll start to believe that everyone thinks they're being conned. It's not true. You have the knowledge, it's simply a matter of being aware. All the minds on the planet are so easily cast down--they fear illness, invasion, attack, death. Try to restore their lost joy to them.

Be clear.

Reprogram yourself every minute of each day with thoughts that make you grow. When you're feeling irritated or confused, try to laugh at yourself. Laugh out loud at this woman tormented by doubts and anxieties, convinced that her problems are the most important thing in the world. Laugh at the seer absurdity of the situation, at the fact that despite being a manifestation of the Mother, you still believe God is a man who lays down the rules. Most of our problems stem from just that--from following rules.


If you can find nothing on which to focus your mind, concentrate on your breathing. The Mother's river of light is flowing in through your nose. Listen to your heart beating, follow the thoughts you can't control, control your desire to get up at once and to do something "useful." Sit for a few minutes each day doing nothing, getting as much as you can out of that time.

~excerpt from the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

What do you want?
...someone asked me recently.

Good question...as far as I recall, I answered back with something lame...and then it occurred to me later...wait a minute...let me chew on this for a moment...

What I want is to stop wanting. I'm tired of wanting.

Sure. There are things I would still like to do and discover. But...I don't really want to want anything. Does that mean I'll amble through life with no meaning? No. Don't think so.

To be more clear...wanting in the sense it will bring greater fulfillment.

You know, this is a big step for me to take. To truly step out and do what it is I feel I would like to do...without thinking...just do what is I want in those moments of clarity. But...wanting...I'm tired of wanting.

Does this make any sense?...or have I totally lost my mind. Which could totally be the case. :)

"Suddenly for a fraction of a second, we feel that our whole life is justified, our sins forgiven, and that love is still the strongest force, one that can transform us forever.

But at the same time we feel afraid. Surrendering completely to love, be it human or divine, means giving up everything, including our own well-being or our ability to make decisions. It means loving in the deepest sense of the word. The truth is that we don't want to be saved in the way God has chosen; we want to keep absolute control over our every step, to be fully conscious of our decisions, to be capable of choosing the object of our devotion.

It isn't like that with love--it arrives, moves in, and starts directing everything. Only very strong souls allow themselves to be swept along..."

~ excerpt from the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Exhaustion...is one word I've been feeling lately. I've continued my body therapy appointments and exercises. The last time I saw Mr. Lin he told me I wasn't getting enough rest. Huh?...is it that obvious? Same thing happened when a friend took me to a Chinese Medicine/Herbal shop...fascinating place. They took one look at me and said the same thing. Whoa...is it that obvious? Naturally, I walked away with a few herbs to make tea with. The shop was pretty darn neat. Everything it should be...with barrels of roots, herbs, tonics, teas, and other amazing things I had never laid eyes on before but have read about. With only some preliminary study on Chinese Herbalism it was a great experience to get a closer look.

So basically all I need is a bit more rest.

I had another demo last Saturday. Did 2nd series. Talk about a wild ride. Thank God, it's my last one. Let's just say it was on a full moon evening...a particularly HOT full moon evening...

It felt as if every channel in my body was ripped open...wide open...and a higher amount of energy was coursing through than normal. Its strange. At this point, it isn't about being open anymore...it's about somehow harnessing the energy...aligning the energy...something I still need to learn and discover.

Something that may or may not come to light in daily practice. We'll see. Enough said.

At any rate...the following day I felt wrung out. In a good way.

Walking Thru


Haven't been blogging lately because I've been going through a bit of a writer's block...slight dip in motivation to write...and other stuff phase. It's all good though. Sometimes to reach greater inspiration it takes doing nothing...nothing at all. Which can be a challenge.

Of course when I say "greater..." I don't necessarily mean better...maybe deeper is the better word. Ha. I'm literally processing as I write at the moment....

Another thing, is my sleep has been scant...light, and not so good lately. Which has put me in a strange lucid state. Ever since I've been doing this body therapy it has been like this. Another phase to walk through I guess. No need to over think it.

I feel as if various channels have opened...however, with being inundated with strong feeling...insight and other strange stuff...I've found it to be a challenge to decipher. Even finding a way to deal with it without getting off track has been a task. Just something else I need to walk through, I guess. No need to over think it.

A friend of mine once told me that sometimes walking off the path is part of the path. I like that. It's interesting.

The big thing is...something has begun to fade...and it has left me feeling...a bit...dunno...strange. And..strange isn't a bad thing...not at all.

All I can say is this. I have something, that I'm not too sure what do with...so I'm gonna sit with it until the answer comes.


I know.

It doesn't even make sense to me as well.

In Awe...


Ok. Something amazing has happened! Not gonna go into detail. Not yet. Not now. I'm gonna keep this one pretty close to me...near my heart where it belongs.

All I can say is the flame started a year ago...and recently ignited even stronger with a dream I had several weeks ago. A dream...that came with a message.

Part of me wanted to hold back and let what I felt pass. But I couldn't...I just couldn't...no way...not this time.

And, with that being said, I could never have predicted what came next.

All I can say now is I'm a believer. Why ignore, or suppress the truth of what I feel? Especially, when given the gift of this insight. I'm simply in awe...and truly humbled. Everything comes if we simply open to it.

The Tao does nothing,
but leaves nothing undone.

If powerful men
could center themselves in it,
the whole world would be transformed
by itself, in its natural rhythms.

When life is simple,
pretenses fall away;
our essential natures shine through.

By not wanting, there is calm,
and the world will straighten itself.
When there is silence,
one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.

~ The Tao Te Ching, 37th Verse

Had another visit with this dam spider in the morning. What's the deal? I seem to be the only one who has had run ins with it. Crazy. Am I imagining things or what?

Ok. So I slept with the legs strapped together as Mr. Lin suggested. Before practice I was curious as to how my body would feel. It felt pretty darn great. The shoulder blade area felt as good as new practically. However, I took it a bit easy just in case. Did my first set of squat exercises for the day afterwards as well. Talk about intense...I feel as if smoke was literally coming off my body after 15 minutes. If this is what it takes to get back into balance I'm all for it.

Hot Springs, Spiders and Other Stuff


Its been an interesting couple days...

Last night...Elephant, along with Baby Elephant (Still haven't gotten the 411 on where the name comes from), took me out to a hot spring/resort/spa, up close into the mountains. Talk about a great experience. It was just what the doctor ordered. I've never been to one of these places...but boy, what a treat. Taiwan hosts an abundance of natural springs. The minerals present can be healing and supportive to the body, mind, and soul.

At the spa there were hot and cold springs. I found myself going back and forth...hot to cold...hot to cold. Great for circulation. They also had this mud stuff you could put on your body. I made myself a mud mask...afterward my skin glowed!

Felt completely rejuvenated after our time there.

With that being said. We got back late. Or what is considered late for me. Only got about 4 hours sleep. Had a crazy mosquito buzzing around me all night...So, I was like...the heck with it...I'm getting up. Felt pretty darn good nonetheless...my thoughts... get an early start on practice. Ha! So I thought. As I strolled into the studio and clicked on the lights in the woman's locker room, I received a pleasant surprise...

Right in front of me was the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life outside a zoo. Man! This thing was big...and it seemed to be looking at me like...what up. You can imagine what came out of my mouth. This thing looked straight out of National Geographic.

I don't like.

So I stood there for a moment...hemming and hawing...crazy to be scared of something smaller than me. Good thing my locker was near the door...just need to get my mat. Ha. What drama this caused me in the morning.

Practice...had a break through...crazy. Maybe big-ass spiders are good omens...

So after Mysore class I headed off to the body-worker/chiropractor/not sure what you call him...to get my shoulder checked out. He came recommended so I trusted the credentials even though I wasn't too sure about his work. Like I've said before, I've been feeling as if something in my shoulder/scapula area has been off...and lately, it's moved into the collar bone area. Beginning in the shoulder blade it was starting to make other areas uncomfortable as well. My hunch was right. He said my scapula was out of alignment. He did a few things...man, it felt good...and afterward...all better...amazing!!

However, a whole other can of worms got opened. Back to my pelvis...lower left-side. I've been dealing with this issue on and off for a long time now. Without me saying anything he sensed a problem there that still needs to be addressed. Yes, my left leg is longer than my right. We established that. Found that out last year in India. Not one western doctor in the U.S. could pick that up. And, Mr. Lin...did as well...but he also sensed old trauma in my pelvis that was throwing my body off balance. He said my left side was open and relaxed, and the right...tight and tense...and it was throwing off my internal organs...especially my digestive system. Interesting. I've sensed this a bit.

He did several adjustment on me...very gentle. Then, he had me get into a posture...strapped me in to hold for 25 minutes. OOOfta! (that's for you KR)...at first I was like...sure no prob...I can get into crazy postures and hold'em...anyway...I held it, but I was very uncomfortable. Nothing short of torture. Boy, I must be out of wack. I had to keep reminding myself this was good for me and my healing. Intense.

After all that was done, he gave me an exercise to do. He was adamant that I need to do it everyday...better twice a day. I strap my arms back...to keep the chest open...turn my toes inward...and do these squats...for 15-20 minutes straight he said! I did it...got pretty tiring at the end. I'm gonna have a pretty hard ass....but, I'm serious about doing what he recommends...so I'll give it a go.

Also, he gave me some tips when sitting...and sleeping...I need to strap my legs together from time to time. Interesting.

Then he sensed other things going on with me as well. He told me I worry too much. Also, I harbor emotions of not feeling safe...or cared for...I have fears of not feeling secure or protected. He went on...and I almost had to choke back tears...there were other things too...in the end its all good...interesting how these things can show up in the body.

Felt a bit raw after the whole experience. However, it feels good to have useful tools moving forward to make changes.

Talk about a flow experience...his office is right behind the studio too...Interesting.



All the world talks about my Tao
with such familiarity--
what folly!
The Tao is not something found at the marketplace
or passed on from father to son.
It is not something gained by knowing
or lost by forgetting.
If the Tao were like this,
it would have been lost and forgotten long ago.

I have three treasures, which I hold fast
and watch closely.
The first is mercy.
The second is frugality.
The third is humility.

From mercy comes courage.
From frugality comes generosity.
From humility comes leadership.
Now if one were bold but had no mercy,
if one were broad but were not frugal,
if one went ahead without humility,
one would die.

Love vanquishes all attackers,
it is impregnable in defense.
When heaven wants to protect someone,
does it send an army?
No, it protects him with love.

~ The Toa Te Ching, 67th Verse

Finished The Wind-up Bird Chronicle last night. It left me feeling a bit strange. I didn't get it...but then I did. Was a bit spooky. Gotten over the fact of expecting nice, concise endings to books and movies...

I enjoy having no T.V., what a drain on time and energy. What I miss...maybe just a little bit...is being able to keep up with what is going on with the election. Its an important time in American history right now...and I'm always amazed at how interested people from other parts of the world are into it too. The unanimous consensus has been for Obama, from those who I have spoken with. People really, really like him. Interesting. I mean, without being ingrained in a culture...putting language aside...and looking at it from that standpoint I feel they get a clearer picture of who these candidates are. Just my opinion.

Oh yeah...and what am I gonna do when Ohio State Football season starts? Geesh...we even play USC this year...big game. Oh well.

With that being said....I'm gonna have to pick out another book to read. Suggestions?


Life is amusing. There are little things that happen everyday that give me a bit of a giggle.

My alarm goes off at 3:30 am. Depending on when I turn in the night before, I either spring out of bed or reluctantly roll out. I always stretch my neck because literally sleeping on concrete would be more comfortable than my bed. Sometimes I wonder if sleeping on that thing does more harm than good. Hee, hee. No joke.

I get dressed, wash my face, brush teeth...all that stuff, gather a few things and make my way to the studio. When I leave my apartment and out through the lobby the front desk/security guy/whatever you want to call him...will be doing one of three things when I pass through. One...sleeping. Two...smoking a cigarette...or three...watching soft porn on the television. No joke. Everyday. Like clockwork.

I ride my motor-scooter to the studio. Pass a pack of stray street dogs and other randoms that are crazy enough to be up at this hour.

Sometimes I stop by the corner Family Mart...kinda like a 7-eleven...to pick up a beverage. I get the same greeting from the same guy who works there...everyday...like clock work. I have no idea what he says...but I just smile. Then I'm on my way.

I unlock the studio door...then lock myself in. I enter the ladies locker room...and sit in one of the chairs for a moment after I put my stuff away. This is one of my favorite times. Everything is so quiet. I almost feel as if the world is mine before it starts to wake up. There is something I've grown to enjoy about the early morning silence.

Soon after, I roll out my mat in one of the practice rooms after I open four windows. It's always four for some reason. No more. No less. Then I get to it after chanting the opening mantra. It's sill dark outside...and the silence is still present...a lovely way to start practice. I'm in a room...all by myself...me...the breath...the movement...and I get carried away by the energy with each inhale and exhale...

As the outer world starts to wake up I'm already pretty deep into my practice. Everyday a man walks outside clapping his hands loudly as he walks. Its left me curious. What kind of ritual is this? I've often asked myself. But then, if he were to peek through the window he would probably ask the same thing of me. Hahaha. Aren't we yogis strange?

Anyway...this is pretty much how I start each day...with a few variances here and there...

Once practice is done...I have about 15 or so minutes to get myself together before Mysore class begins and its only 6:45am.

Nothing Short of a Miracle


Since arriving to Taiwan I've had these little synchronistic experiences. For instance, like I will say to myself...wouldn't this be nice...or I'd like to do this...and poof it manifests. Never have I had a string of these come one after another like it has recently. It's been nothing short of a miracle. Little miracles.

Or, I've thought about someone intently. Maybe even sent out positive energy to have correspondence with them shortly there after. Interesting.

It reminds me of something a good friend of mine and I would say when these little events would come about. We would talk on the phone saying...you'll never believe what just happened...oh wait...yeah I can...of course it would!! And, then we would have a little laugh. Hahaha...aren't we cute?

Anyway. So many little things have been connecting in a fashion where little light bulbs are going off simultaneously. Strange. But still, the whole picture has yet to come into clear focus. No worries. No hurries. However, something is coming around the corner...I can feel it.

Getting back to the manifesting stuff. You know, I've been told that the universe doesn't judge how big or small what it is we desire. It's only in our limited minds that we put a hierarchy on them...our hopes and dreams. We limit the "big" as being out of reach...unattainable...or too large...to then have the magic lost...the path narrows...our focus gets blurry. But, it doesn't have to be that way.

Sometimes I've had to ask how did I get here...to where I'm at...at this moment...in a foreign land, not knowing the language...teaching yoga? Funny...funny how life unfolds. But for some reason it was meant to be this way. It happened so easily. Unforced. It flowed.

I remember the day I met Mr. Wang in India. I was doing my usual walking in and around Gokolum inviting whatever the day brought. The small group I was with bumped into the small group he was with. We exchanged hellos. He had mentioned he had seen me practice, and asked if I taught yoga. I said yes. Then he asked if I would ever be interested in coming to Taiwan to teach. I kind of shrugged and said...Sure, I could give it some thought. I wrote down my email address in his notebook and then we parted ways. We never exchanged conversations after that day. Until almost 7 months afterwards when he sent me an email to invite me to Taiwan. Hahaha. I had almost forgot about our exchange when I go it. At the time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I agreed to come...and poof I'm here...and I've been enjoying it very much...teaching especially...it's been a blessing...one after another. I get the experience of passing along the tiny bit I know, about a practice I feel is special yet powerful. And, to be able to align myself with an employer who shares the same passion and excitement is inspiring.

A couple weeks ago Mr. Wang showed me the page in his notebook where I wrote down my email address. We exchanged smiles...as if saying...funny how things work out.

With a birthday coming at the end of the month I've taken a look at the past year. Wow. Much has changed on the outside...and the inside. However, the inner part is where I've come to realize carries the most weight.

Never would I have thought a year ago...I would be where I'm at today. I shake my head at all the twists and turns life takes. It truly is an Adventure, if we open up to it.

Its funny though, the more I let go...the more things flow. Looking at the areas of resistance I've held on to has been a priceless learning opportunity. I've gotten to the point where I'm like...why...why do to continue to do this...or believe that? Why take things at face value? Why should I continue to think the way I do? Why not let go of the conditioning...what purpose does it serve me now?

It feels better to look at the world with a clear, fresh set of eyes...like how a child would.

In reality however, to be able to trust the process...no matter where I am...no matter what I'm doing...no matter who I'm with...takes a huge leap of faith.

If I can do that...THAT would be nothing short of a miracle...

Hang Five

There is a kind of monkey trap used in Asia. A coconut is hollowed out and attached by a rope to a tree or stake in the ground. At the bottom of the coconut a small slit is made and some sweet food is placed inside. The hole on the bottom of the coconut is just big enough for the monkey to slide in his open hand, but does not allow for a closed fist to pass out. The monkey smells the sweets, reaches in with his hand to grasp the food and is then unable to withdraw it.

The clenched fist won't pass, through the opening. When the hunters come, the monkey becomes frantic but cannot get away. There is no one keeping that monkey captive, except the force of its own attachment. All that it has to do is to open the hand. But so strong is the force of greed in the mind that it is a rare monkey which can let go.

It is the desires and clinging in our minds which keep us trapped. All we need to do is to open our hands, let go of our selves, our attachment and be free.

~ Joseph Goldstein, The Experience of Insight

Traveled south yesterday to the bottom end of Taiwan. Wow. Saw some breathtaking views of the island on our drive.

My three favorite things are Mountains, Waterfalls, and Oceans. But of those three, ocean surf may very well take a slight lead . Don't know what is exactly, but once I get a view of the ocean...I exhale...as if the ocean supports my very being. It energizes...but at the same time relaxes.

We finally made our way to a suitable beach. Some places we went to previously were still in cleaning and clearing mode after the typhoon. As we settled on a spot. Wouldn't you know it. I saw a few people surfing. No way...we actually stumbled on a spot where they surf?!

So...I bet you can guess what I did next. I rented a surf board...and one of the guys asked me if I had experience. Over confidently, I said YES...hahaha...a slight over exaggeration because I haven't really surfed all that much, and the last time I did was over a year and a half ago...its just a small obsession of a land-locked girl who lives in Ohio. Crazy.

Anyway, one of the instructors took me out for free. I think he was a bit curious about me. Like...what's this girl's deal? However, I was very thankful to him because he pointed out the proper waves for me to catch and also gave me a bit of a push when needed. Per usual, I got up my first time. Its that beginners mind...clean and clear...ready for the experience. Then once I started over thinking I had many tumbles and falls. It was all good. The ocean definitely gave me a beating too. :)

I want to be good at this!!! I want to be good at surfing!!!

Why...you ask? Dunno...just do.

This was a good place for me to have a hand at it. The waves weren't too small...but they weren't too big either...and there were good variances to the waves. I actually had the experience of dropping down into a wave...one of the bigger ones...and whoa...that felt like something else...a little scary...my heart pumped with exhilaration. I had a few more scary moments. The fear was creeping in more and more...but I still wanted to do it. Crazy.

I was the only girl out there...and after while I noticed that some of the guys were creeping over closer to where I was in an almost curious kind of way. Funny. Because I really wasn't all that good...I mean, I had a hang-five at best. But who cares...not half bad for a land locked girl from Ohio.

So...now I know of a spot to got to if I am able to sneak away. The surf instructor told me of a few other spots as well. I definitely need to get more practice in.

Afterwards, during our drive home I felt extraordinarily chill...a mellow feeling that wasn't dull, but fully present. See, that's what the ocean does. When you feel its rhythm it stays with you afterwards...such a peaceful sensation. Like I can breathe. Inhale. Exhale.

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