Friday, December 18, 2015

Magic Therapy Ball - Now I'm A Believer!

Magic therapy balls? Dafuq!?!

This was what went through my mind the first time I came to know about this brand spanking-new therapeutic approach to health & wellness. Plus, true to the perverted mind of yours truly here, the mere mention of the word 'balls' invokes an internal imagine having the word 'magic' added to it! Hahahahahah!

At that time I was newly initiated into the Kuala Lumpur yoga scene, & was secretly proud to label myself a 'yoga prude'. To me, yoga was nothing short of a God-send & everything else was not worth the doing.

How wrong I was! Bahahahah!

There has always been a strong following of 'Magic Ball-ers' - at any of Zhen's or Deep's workshops or classes there will definitely be a handful of them happily using these balls on their limbs! & when I substitute at Zhen's classes, there will always be someone who asks, 'Today using magic ball ah?', hahahahahah! I thought to myself, there must be something really special about these strange balls, even if I can't see it for myself!

Magic Therapy Balls work based on the principles of acupressure & the Chinese Meridian Points. In layman terms, it's sort of like foot reflexology, where for example if pressure is applied on your second toe, your sinuses will benefit. Similarly, if even a small amount of pressure hurts like hell, it means your sinuses are out of whack!

Which is true!

I've always been one to avoid those reflexology foot paths that are popular at recreational parks. It hurt like hell! & I never could understand how some people could just easily walk, or even run across such torture devices! Nevermind walking on water, walking on a reflexology foot path seemed miraculous enough to me!

There was a time when my eyes turned red for a few days. Surprisingly, the redness would often disappear when I was awake, yet return when I went to sleep or lay down, even for a few minutes. One day at one of the workshops, I told Zhen about this & she just said simply, 'Your eyes are tired,' & immediately brought a knuckle to the back of my ear & I let out a loud, 'GAAAHHH!!!' Bahahahahahah! It did not immediately clear up my problem (which actually turned out to be conjunctivitis), but it did make sense in the following days when I found out that the area behind the ears are also meridian points for acne & pimples, because I'd been struggling with these for some time.

The second time I came into contact with this therapy was during our trip to Rishikesh, India. One day, they organized a day trip up the mountains - more than half a day going up & down the mountains! For the carsick-prone person like me, it was a death sentence! Hahahahah! Yet I did not want to miss out on the experience! So there I was, at the front row of the van, looking straight ahead, focusing on my breathing, calming my mind; yet at one of our stops I almost succumbed to the nauseating sensation, so I had to sit down for a while. I felt bad for making the others wait, so I was trying my bestest to get better soon. Zhen came & massaged the point between my thumb & index finger. It was not an unbearable pain, just a slightly uncomfortable one. After about one minute, I was good to go! If that ain't miraculous, I don't know what is!

Upon returning to Malaysia, I immediately signed up for a Magic Therapy Ball Workshop. Throughout the day, everything was explained to us in detail, & we had the chance to experience the effects of the spiky balls on different parts of the body. Surprisingly, it was not as torturous as I thought it would be. The total opposite, in fact! There were some parts where it was so soothing that I fell asleep, or even if I did not fall asleep, my body & mind were so relaxed that I wished there were a 'snooze' button for the instructions to change positions: 'Five more minutes, just five more minutes...', bahahahahahah!

Even the parts which were painful were not dreadful. The atmosphere of the whole workshop was light & playful. The other participants were friendly & even we often laughed together at our pain, because it made sense to us, our physical issues always corresponded with whichever meridian point was hurting! We also worked according to our current abilities - if a certain position was too much to bear, we would either be given a lighter variation, or told to reduce pressure. Similarly to yoga, we always work within that space of comfortable discomfort...does that make sense?

 'Teacher, you got use deodorant or not woh, today?' :P

Zhen's method of delivery is always humble & sincere, with a very strong intention to heal others. If you approach her with an issue, in a mere nanosecond, you can almost hear the inner mechanisms of her mind turning & grinding as she figures out what can be done. & her answers are always clear, precise, & to the point. There is no beating around the bush with this woman!

& her methods work. They always do, as long as you have the perseverance to practice & do it daily.

When all is said & done, a helping hand can be found at the end of one's own arm. If you want to be healed, you will have to take the necessary steps towards healing by yourself. & with knowledge of Zhen's Magic Therapy Balls & their application, you will be well equipped to heal yourself & those around you!

'Magic Balls'...bahahahahahah! :P :P :P

Friday, December 11, 2015

What I Resist, Persists.

Spiritual people can be some of the most violent people you will ever meet. Mostly, they are violent to themselves. They violently try to control their minds, their emotions, & their bodies. They become upset with themselves & beat themselves up for not rising up to the conditioned mind's idea of what it believes enlightenment to be. No one ever became free through such violence. Why is it that so few people are truly free? Because they try to conform to ideas, concepts & beliefs in their heads. They try to concentrate their way to heaven. But freedom is about a natural state, the spontaneous & un-self-conscious expression of beingness.

If you want to find it, see that the very idea of 'a someone who is in control' is a concept created by the mind. Take a step backward into the unknown.

- Adyashanti -

This paragraph had been sitting in my phone for a good few weeks now. I love it when people put words to my thoughts. I like having 'Oh my God, yes!' moments! :)

Sometimes I have students who ask me, 'Do I have to be vegetarian to be a yogi?', 'Do I have to do x amount of yoga every day?', 'Do I have to do this & not do that?'

These questions are often accompanied by feelings of guilt, remorse or embarrassment, as though they've committed some grave sin against themselves & humanity.

Does the phrase 'ignorance is bliss' ring a bell? :P

This is one of the problems of knowing too much - one begins to over-think, wondering should I do this, should I do that? Before we did not hold any prejudices towards certain things, now we are being told that this is good, that is bad; & we start to question our actions; whereas before we just did whatever the hell we felt like doing!

Take for example, the hours of Brahmamuhurta, which is between the hours of 4 - 6am. It is said that this is the best time for asana & meditation practice. As we start going deeper into yoga, our minds start questioning, 'I do not practice during the Brahmamuhurta, does that mean I am a bad yogi? Do I have to observe Brahmamuhurta to advance in my physical & spiritual practices?'

Now, this is all well & good. Questioning & challenging one's thoughts & beliefs is always good, because in that same space, there is room for growth & evolution.

The problem starts when one is not a morning person. Or one's lifestyle or social obligations prevent one from rising early. Then the epic Heart VS Mind battle begins again!

You set the alarm for 4am, only to snooze it 5 times before completely turning it off & going back to sleep. Then when you actually wake up at 8am you feel guilty for not being disciplined enough to wake up earlier! Why to put yourself through such hardship? It would be good enough if you did your practice, regardless of the time, no?

So is not ignorance bliss?

Before this, everything was fine & chicken tasted good & the world went on spinning as it does. But now, even the simplest of things makes us disturbed! How to be happy & present in the moment?

I am not condoning the consumption of meat. What I am trying to portray here is that we need to stay true to ourselves, at any given moment in time; & not force ourselves to live up to some image we have of ourselves in our minds.

'Buddha sat under a tree for 40 days to gain enlightenment. I should start a regular meditation practice too........but I really want to go play football right now!'

'I should not be so attached to my spouse, yet I find it makes me very sad to actively deattach myself from them!'

'The best time for asana practice is between 4 - 6am, but damnit I can't for the life of me wake up at that God-forsaken hour!'

Why to torture ourselves with the burden of what we think is right? Something could be right for a few, yet wrong for others; regardless of how much scientific study has been done to confirm the benefits of a certain thing, if it is not for us, why force ourselves to go against our true selves?

It is good to aspire to better ourselves. But it is also too much to forgo our present selves for our future selves! At the same time, this is a very grey area we are talking about. Decisions are always a very personal matter, & not everyone is always ready to change their habits & do whatever the hell is supposedly 'good'. I don't mean that if you like strangling people, you can continue on with your habit, but you of course take steps to changing yourself, right?

Habits are very difficult to change, especially life-long ones. So don't be too hard on yourself! Not everyone is capable of going cold turkey; the key is to take baby steps towards your goal. Slowly but surely, you will reach it! Keep persevering!

That being said, our thoughts are energies. Even when we are thinking about something we don't want, we are feeding it energy. Therefore, the more you think about 'not wanting' something, you are in fact doing the very opposite of what you actually intend to do - you are feeding this resistance in you! Have you ever observed yourself? The more you focus on something, the more it disturbs & lingers in your mind. If you just accept the fact of the matter & be like, 'okey lah' goes away ridiculously easily, doesn't it?

So don't feel bad about yourself! We are all trying our best here, & there is no right or wrong!

Above all, remember to be happy! Live every moment of your life without guilt! Spirituality is a very personal thing, & there are no hard & fast rules to it. To enjoy each moment as they come, that is the goal! Happy practising, everybody! :)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Plan The Party Of Your Life, & I Will Bring The Cake!

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. & guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
- Jim Rohn -

Recently this question was brought to my attention: 'What do you have planned for me?'

It took my Pentium 1 brain a few extra seconds to process it. It was somewhat shocking, because more often than not, I find it is an ongoing internal battle to stop myself from creating ideas about what/how someone is; so I don't really plan for other people nowadays.

Not too long ago, I was someone who had certain ideals of another, & try my very best to 'help' them into becoming what I thought was 'the best version of themselves'. & boy did I try, even at the expense of my own well-being!

We can all agree that we each have our own purpose in life, yes? Even not having a purpose is a purpose - does that make sense? & who is to know, what another's purpose is? Shit, I don't even know what my purpose in life is, how the hell am I supposed to know what your purpose is??? & who am I to fit you into my idea of what you're supposed to be???

Recently I've become an even bigger fan of 'listening to oneself' as well as 'accepting others as they are'.

When we really appreciate the importance of listening to one's self, we can also begin to accept when others listen to themselves instead of us. We give them space to grow in their own time & at their own pace. We drop any preconceptions about them. Heck, sometimes we even drop what we do know about them.

You see, every human being essentially has free will. So this also means that he/she has the liberty to choose what she/he wants, regardless of what we think about the matter.

So, back to the main topic. I think this 'planning' thing happens (& often goes wrong) especially in the parent-child relationship. Especially in certain parts of the world where the parents decide the career path of their child the moment the poor child is born! :P

It's like the child comes whoosh out of the womb, & the parents cradle the tiny infant in their arms, 'My little doctor/lawyer/*insert career of choice here*!'...which is absolutely ridiculous!

What if the child grew up & wanted to be a farmer, an artist, heck what if he/she wanted to be something other than what the parent had planned for them?

'Son, by so-&-so year, you will graduate from high school with flying colours. Then you'll enter so-&-so college, graduate & do your internship with Company X, then go on to work for them for twenty & a half years before you start up your own company.'

'Dad, I want to drive a school bus when I grow up.'

Bahahahahah! How do you expect someone else to totally comply with what you have planned for them???

So...what do I have planned for you?

I do not have anything planned for you. You are a free, unique individual; & the greatest gift I can give to you is the space that we share, with as little restriction as possible.

I do not have anything planned for you. But I will support you in all your endeavours, whatever they may be.

I do have something planned for you. I am striving to be the best human I can be, so that I will not be a burden to you. So that you can do your thing, without having to worry about me.

I do have something planned for you. I plan to be present in every interaction I have with you. I plan to not hold you up to the sometimes false ideals I have about you. I plan to share that space with you when you are finally doing something you've always wanted to do & you say, 'Hell yeah, this is it!'

& this applies to everyone else too.

My precious friends & family, I want you all to have the freedom to be yourselves, to be comfortable enough to be 120% real around me. & I will support your dreams & goals, whatever they may be. As long as you are not hurting yourself, anyone or anything else.

I may see greatness in you, but that is my own interpretation of the person you are. It is up to you to determine what you want to do in this lifetime. You do not have to live up my ideals of what kind of person you can be.

We can also liken life to a party. So you're going to host the party of your life, & of course it would make things a whole lot easier for you if I did not get drunk, argue with the other guests, & wreck your house, right? It would, however, be helpful & add to the enjoyment of all if I brought cake, lent a hand in the kitchen, & basically not make a nuisance of myself!

So, plan that gotdang party already! I'd probably cause more trouble than anything in the kitchen, but I enjoy doing the dishes & cleaning up! 'Will do the dishes & clean up in exchange for food!' Bahahahahah!