Lotus in the mud

Rise like the lotus from the mud
Background photo from Adn! via Compfight cc

The first studio I taught yoga at, Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre in North Vancouver, is closing on June 30. While I no longer live nearby and haven’t taught there for more than six months, I acutely feel the sadness that comes with its end.

I took some amazing classes at Bound Lotus with some phenomenal teachers. I was honoured to teach incredible students and still keep in touch with a few. I attended many wonderful events and even slept over as part of an overnight gong bath! I spent hours there helping with administrative tasks, working with the founder on planning, or simply sitting at the tea table chatting.

Even my dog, Sofie, loved being at Bound Lotus. She enjoyed participating in meditations, relished the adoration she received from students and teachers, and eagerly came with my husband to pick me up after teaching. I know Sofie picked up on the energy of the space and felt welcome at the studio, just like students did.

Sofie relaxing at Bound LotusBound Lotus felt like my yoga home for many months – I lived just a couple blocks away and it sometimes felt like I spent more time at the studio than I did at home.  Although geographical distance now means I won’t notice its absence so acutely, I will certainly feel a void knowing that the space is no longer there.

If geographical distance isn’t an issue for you, I hope you’re able to get to Bound Lotus for a yoga class, meditation, or the Summer Solstice event before the end of June. Breathe in the smell of the homemade Bound Lotus tea chai tea, luxuriate in the wealth of colour-coordinated props, soak up the atmosphere… and maybe think of me.

I hope that the community will carry on in some form once the studio doors close and that something beautiful will come out of this sadness.

There is the mud – and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.

~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
Vietnamese monk and teacher

My wish for every that person who ever attended a meditation, practiced yoga, taught a class, drank tea, celebrated an event, or simply passed through the doors at Bound Lotus is able to rise gloriously and beautifully – just like the lotus from the mud. And my wish for Heather, the founder of Bound Lotus and the person who loved it most, is that whatever comes next is made even more magnificent through the grace of all the goodness that was Bound Lotus.

The cure for boredom

The cure for boredom is curiosityMy dog has been particularly curious recently. Lots of sniffing, cautious cat approaches, and lingering looks towards where rabbits used to be.

Maybe it’s the effects of longer days and more sun, but it’s certainly lifted whatever winter ennui Sofie had been feeling.

It’s made me think of the Dorothy Parker quote below as there’s certainly no cure for Sofie’s curiosity, which borders on obsession!

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker
American author

Conversations with the dog

Laura holding SofieWith my husband away, my dog and I are getting to spend lots of quality time together. It’s a good thing she thinks I’m a witty and insightful conversationalist as I’ve been talking to her a lot!

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.

~Christopher Morley
American author

From the dark of winter

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of geniusThe darkest day of the year is almost here and it certainly feels like the depths of winter in Berlin. The sun sets early and whatever rays are able to peek through the clouds are weak. It feels like time to hibernate.

Gloria Latham (founder of Semperviva Yoga in Vancouver) posted recently that It’s Dark for a Reason and I’m inclined to agree. In addition to the long nights encouraging long sleep-ins, cuddles with loved ones, and carbohydrate consumption, the darkness is also conducive to reflection, reading and writing, and generally taking stock.

Winter prods us to look inwards as we spend time indoors. And with any luck, that introspection leads to inspiration for the year to come!

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.

Pietro Aretino
Italian author, playwright, poet, and satirist

Laugh at adversity

Text reading: laugh at adversity

There will always be impediments and obstacles. Any complicated process (like real estate transactions or renos!) will inevitably involve challenges. I’m reassuring myself that these are simply stumbling blocks, not immovable forces.

I contend that not only can you laugh at adversity, but it is essential to do so if you are to deal with setbacks without defeat.

~Allen Klein, American businessman and music executive

The man behind this quote has an interesting story involving lots of legal battles in the music industry. I may not want to channel his ethics (or lack thereof), but certainly the idea of laughing at adversity is a good one – ha ha!

Nature loves courage

Quote: Nature loves courageNature loves courage.

You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.

This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it is a feather bed.

~Terence McKenna
American author, lecturer, and psychonaut

It’s okay to be scared

There can be no courage unless you're scared.Being fearful is not generally well-regarded. Scared cats are looked down on. Courage and bravery are rewarded, nervousness and uncertainty are not.

I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to be scared.

I think that many people are ashamed when they feel afraid. There’s this thing in our society that you’re not allowed to feel scared. You have to be a man and put on a brave face, but we all have fears.
~Eli Roth
Director, producer, writer, and actor

There is validity in being scared. It’s a normal, reasonable sense of self-preservation that makes us fear physical pain, emotional hurt, the unknown, and all the things we can’t control.

I don’t have to push those feelings away. I can acknowledge them and let them resonate… and know that they don’t have to control me.

I can be afraid and still be brave.

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
~Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
WWI fighter pilot