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The wandering Yogini and the humble Monk

547130_105420336275096_954104557_nLife can be complicated and so can human beings. Maybe it is us that makes life so complicated. Maybe the hidden secret is that life is quite simple.

Sensitive and intuitive opened me up to a world of vulnerability and emotional instability synonymous to being tossed and turned on the cusp of violent waves. I was easily affected by the humours of others, even those that I had little affinity with but especially with those that I loved dearly. And thus, at a very young age I journeyed on an outward quest to find the missing link to a life of serenity where I could remain unaffected by the ups and downs of others so as to no longer lose my ground and question my worth. It was fatiguing to be at odds with the violent crashing of the relentless waves. Between you and I, I suffered.

All great explorers keep their eyes glued to their ultimate destination but often like the eye of the seer, they are swayed, tempted and often blinded by there own inner landscape of illusionary clouds. I was no exception. I was determined to find the answer, that missing link, maybe some kind of genetic or anatomical mishap at birth that forgot to add this essential component to my DNA makeup. I threw myself into libraries of self- help books, courses on personal development and psychology. I submersed myself in vision quests, hours with therapists and gurus, as well as retreats only to move farther and father from my truth. Yoga offered me many analogies, epiphanies and ah ha moments, Tantra and Buddhism too. As I continued to take part in the game of ‘’am I getting warmer’’, I ended up getting colder and colder.

I travelled to faraway destinations in hopes that the answer lay like the Holy Grail waiting to be uncovered. Then, on one random day there was an encounter, a life transforming one that began a colossal shift in my way of being. It was just a beginning, a Big beginning to my journey to the truth. I had been misreading my compass all along. An exchange of email addresses and then endless questions about life became the turning point and then, the tipping point that shattered what I thought was my reality.

How does a monastic monk weather the storms of life? With unwavering grace and constant non-reactivity. I wanted this to be my reply more than anything in the world. I believed at that moment, or at least I thought I did, that a monastic lifestyle was the answer that I yearned for and that my life long quest could finally come to an end. I wanted to believe, I needed to. I just had to figure out how a modern day mother and wife could manifest an unnumbered day refuge in a faraway monastery.

Some of our most profound life lessons present themselves when we are least expecting. Life’s lessons don’t always show up exactly how we might imagine and are often disguised. Within less than a week, my monk, the seer and the keeper of unwavering quietude showed up with quite a different face. His perfectly imperfect humanness revealed itself through grasping, worry, guilt and despair. Although you might think that his display of contradictory truth would send me into a breakdown of depression and despair, it became the breakthrough that I could never have predicted.

For true perception, one needs a good dose of clarity and perspective. Witnessing from a higher ground, I came to realise how I constantly disempowered myself by aligning my humour with the humours of others. My quota of happiness was tossed about and definitely defined by others. I once read a quote that hit home but in a sweet yet sour kind of way. ‘’When you stop aligning yourself with the vibrational frequencies of others you begin to really live’’. I full circled back home, the home of my heart.

No matter who we are, an untouchable guru, a housewife, a wandering Yogini or a monastic monk, we are all doing our best to weather life’s ups and downs with as much humility and serenity that we can muster. Some days we do better, some days we find ourselves thrown about but we always resurface and just try again and again, making happiness our birthright. This is the path. Simply put, we are there showing up in our naked human humbleness every Nano second. We are humanly living our humanness the best we can. It is as simple as that.

An Affair of the Heart

An Affair of the Heart

Practice for Compassion

Luang Prabang, Laos

Image

Doors open and close a hundred times throughout the day. Such is life. Curious and receptive attention is needed to know when a door has opened inviting you into the kingdom of the heart, potential change and deep connection. May it be an encounter, words of wisdom slipped in between mundane conversation, or even a dream. Each, in its own way, may be that door, that message, that one that offers a fresh new perspective or a creative explosion of the heart. There may be no logic or reason but your deepest gut tells you that it is right.

The wheel of our propellered 36 seater, touched down August 8th, 2010 on the fertile ground of Luang Prabang, Laos, an off-the-map destination to most, but a hidden treasure for those that have visited. It all happened so quickly. With no more than 32 minutes and 6 seconds, we were instructed to select a destination to literally drop in and drop out, enabling us to avoid being fined for overextending our Thai visa. It was a random, if that exists, pin-the-tail on the map, split second, decision. This was the beginning of an instantaneous love affair of hearts to heart, souls to Soul that would inevitably change the course of my life forever.

As my feet touched the ground, I felt the warm balmy air envelop my skin. There was something, what, I can’t explain. It wasn’t the beauty of the Nam Khan wrapping itself around the peninsula and spilling into the Mekong, nor the smell of sweet sticky rice, or the warm welcome of smiles, it was something much deeper, much closer to the Soul.

Thirty-three monasteries sandwiched together in approximately 2.5 square kilometers might have something to do with it. Here, we see red, there, in Luang Prabang, they see orange, infinite orange, the colour of intuition, inspiration, Divine Love, heightened awareness, passion and fire. ‘’They’’ say, that if a particular place or thing is prayed or mediated upon day in and day out that place or thing becomes sacred. This is what was felt the moment I stepped foot on this faraway land of Luang Prabang.

 

It is just 6am when we returned to our modest guesthouse along the Nam River. Carrying empty bowls that were once filled with benevolent offerings that were humbly slipped into the urns of an endless silent thread of burnt orange robes, my heart felt open and love poured in. The sun had just begun its ascent above the lush emerald hillsides as we made our way down a narrow alley à la queue leu-leu squished between a monastery and a strand of closely woven makeshift homes. Except for an occasional footstep, silence permeated the air. As I followed the steps in front of me, I wiped the remaining sleep from the corners of my eyes. For no apparent reason except for an inaudible whisper of intuition and that of the open door of destiny, my eyes gazed to the left and locked with those of one Buddhist monk among many. Time seemed to stand still, suspended like the full moon in the blackness of the night’s canvas. A large white brick wall separated us. Neither spoke, neither moved for what seemed like an eternity but I knew a door had just opened so I consciously stepped inside.

Through one simple encounter on a very given day, a life- changing door cracked opened for only a brief moment on a sunny afternoon and began a chain of events never to be forgotten. The call of my heart manifested louder than any obstacle and naturally things fell wonderfully into place. This encounter became the beginning of an endearing transformational relationship between a searching yogini and a peaceful Buddhist monk. We spoke for hours, mostly question and response, politely taking turns and making the most of this auspicious encounter.

As all things must come to an end, this brief moment in Luang Prabang had its time numbered as well. Little did I know my Soul yearned for more, so much more that unexplainable sobs showered me at the airport as we boarded our plane back to Bangkok. Little did I know, the universe was magically weaving its web and had epic plans in the making. This pilgrimage would be one of many. Less than 6 months later, I found myself kneeling at the back of that same monastery amongst 16 monks robbed in orange. Chants in Pali of devotion moved me to unchartered dimensions. Thirteen days meditating day in and day out. Visions and epiphanies came flying at me as my heart cracked wide open and my mind grew softer and softer. Transformation was abounding.

This place has a way with me. Eight trips in total, 156 days to be exact, all in less than 4 years. My heart and Soul are always there and Luang Prabang and its people are infinitely present at the core of my heart. From just a random encounter in a far away land I have learned more about my true self, the meaning of love in it’s purest form and the epic-ness of mankind and of Life, than any book, class or teachings could ever offer.

The over spilling of my heart of gratitude and love sparked a dire need to humbly help where I could. So, I began where I could and with what I could, supporting one auspicious monk who dreamt of becoming a lawyer.

Profound relationships were forged through loving kindness and pure joy. From that one special monk who dreamt of studying law, 27 more orphaned teens chimed in as well as a year’s collect of overspill from the abundant wealth of Switzerland. A collection of schoolbooks, clothes, shoes, items of personal hygiene and bedding, totally one ton 200 kilos was sent and shared amongst 600 young orphaned children. Endless classes of yoga and mediation are taught for the Lao students, orphans and dear friends and family. But the most rewarding was what they offer me, love, deep love without attachment, inner joy, that ‘’bor pen nyang’’ attitude of no worries, everything will work out just fine, and endless smiles of the heart.

This past trip was unique and I even had a slight change of heart. I would be arriving empty handed, no money, no phones or computers, clothes, books or chocolate, just me at my rawest form. I had nothing to offer but my presence, and my love. I wondered, how would I be received, or even received at all? Making my way out into the balmy air from the newly constructed airport, my heart sank in humility. From all directions, by foot and bike, motorbike and tuk tuk, I was met at the airport by 14 friends/students/family with more love and hugs than anyone could possibly know what to do with, but cry in tears of deep heart connections of tender love.

 

Practice for Compassion was born out of love, a year to date from that first day I set foot on this life altering land. It is nothing more than a true grassroots, heartfelt, kind of makeshift foundation without a real foundation at all. I am in the field working my heart a lot and I LOVE it. I get by pretty well in pasa Lao (Lao language) and connect weekly, thanks to Face Book and email with my 98 friends and family from this tiny off- the –map-heart-exploding-sacred land. Community and love are at the root as well as passion and desire to follow the calling of my heart and my Soul.

I am forever grateful for all the abundant contributions from my family, friends, students, and anonymous donations that have helped these humble dream chasers manifest their dharma. Practice for Compassion has raised over $10’000 and helped 5 students attend university, 25 students through high school and extra-curricular classes, shipped 100 boxes (one ton 200 kilos) chalk full of golden goodness to a local orphanage, supplied 8 computers, 1500 toothbrushes to local villages and endless meals to those who want to share the goldenness of connection. Life is oh so sweet, especially in a place we can call home.

 

 

Jessica Magnin

Jessica@O2yoga.ch

O2Yoga Breathe Life

www.o2yoga.ch

Switzerland 

Blog http://jessicamagnin.wordpress.com/

FB JessicaScultMagnin

 

 

No Man’s Land risk, change, growth

No Man’s Land          

risk, change, growth

 March 11, 2014

Jessica Magnin, GatherYoga Emissary and founder and co-director of O2yoga, shares her perspective on taking a leap into the unknown.

The last tiny bit of perceivable solid ground fades into the horizon as I loosen my grip. Suddenly my line of tether disappears. Night falls quickly. The wind dances the waves as they crash relentlessly against the fragile sides of my only sense of security. I am carried farther and farther out into uncharted waters. I look back in hopes of securing my need for something tangible, something to hold on to. There is no life jacket aboard. I am totally alone. I have severed all ties with Point A, the past 27 years of my married life, what I have known, to humbly take my first steps toward a very unfamiliar destination.

I feel my heart breathing a mixture of fear and loss. Tears of black mascara run down my cheeks. My mind slips into the foreground and takes control. I stoically wipe my tears away. ‘’There must be a map hidden somewhere on this tiny vessel!”  My heart sinks in hopelessness. In all my busyness of planning my departure, I carelessly forgot that one important item — the map that would offer me a ‘’what’s next?’’ plan and guide me safely to another shore.

With no map or game plan at hand, I find myself here, with me, right here, right now, with nowhere to go but being thrown about in the waters of raw uncomfortability. It is raw, because there is no knowing of what, where, when, and how. I am dead center in no man’s land, and it is a seriously vulnerable place to be. Change and risk have always been easy for me to embrace. Just between you and me, I can courageously jump because I ultimately always know where I am landing. This gives me a sense of security, maybe false, but a comfy sense of courage. Though, this time is different. I don’t want to return to Point A even at the risk of never encountering Point B.

I have crawled to the brink ladened with fear and doubt and jumped off the cliff, eyes wide open, and nothing lies below. I am in mid-air; everything appears to be in slow motion. I watch. I feel. My senses are alive. I feel alive. Being in midair is being in transition and transition is always present, always happening, we just don’t realize it. If we look closer, we notice that not only is there always a beginning, a middle and an end to everything, we are always between two things, whether it be two holidays, two jobs, numerous relationships, or something as simple as the inhale and exhale of our breath.

It is painful to cut ties with the past when we can’t secure the future. This is transition. This is life. This is living authentically. Things come and go, and yet we as humans have a painfully difficult time accepting the truth of Inicca, the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence. Our refuge in pleasure makes us grasp that much harder as if to make the experience, taste, relationship a solid thing. We erroneously believe that solid equals permanence. This is the mind’s way of scrambling for security. But take a deeper look and wake up, to the unprocessed fact that everything is in perpetual movement; our relationships evolve, sometimes dissolve; food perishes; plants wilt; and no matter how many pictures we take to capture pleasurable moments, those too will fade into memory, and memory will soon fade into loss.

Ironically, knowing might offer us a (false) sense of security, but it also offers us a boxed-in, limited viewpoint with one possibility. Being nakedly available to the unfolding of not knowing seems scary for the mind, but op

ens an ocean of endless possibilities for the heart and soul.

The golden sun peaks above the hazy horizon like a lotus flower surfacing from its muddy past. This new chapter of an untold story brings butterflies of excitement and endless new beginnings to my belly.

ImagePhoto by calsidyrose, used with Creative Commons license.

 

The Eye of the Beholder

The Eye of the Beholder, beauty in the Heart

Jessica Magnin

Returning home from one of my countless pilgrimagesImage to Laos, I am often asked about the tattered greyish white strings, others of yellow and orange that adorn my wrists. The story behind their origins is long and I will reserve their recount for another time and place. The curious and conditioned mind wonders why anyone would consciously choose to wear such worthless trinkets day in and day out whether dressed for yoga or for an evening party with heels.

It is obvious that these tattered strings lack the luster of gold, the virtue of diamonds and the finesse of a salt water pearls. In fact these strings, worn for exactly 48 consecutive days have been unintentionally dipped into my dinner plate, mixed with lotions and creams and even once caught fire while lighting candles for evening meditation. Despite their daily washings, their physical appearance has taken a severe wear hence their added attraction of bewilderment.

Just between you and me, I don’t see them as tattered strings of ragged greyness but cherishable gifts of the heart from those who wish me goodness, love, happiness, prosperity and health. Tangled together on my wrists, I reminisce and reconnect with each individual heart, feeling their tender act of generosity and heartfelt beauty.

There is a saying that dates back to the 3rd century BC, ‘’beauty is in the eye of the beholder. “ We don’t necessarily see things as they are but as we choose to see them. Beauty is a concept of the mind; an illusion rooted in our own personal life experiences and conditioned beliefs. Only through right thinking and awareness do we unveil the truth that we have the choice to see beauty in everything, including all beings and in all moments. We can hastily view life through the eye of judgment increasing our likes and repulsions or we can mindfully choose to see though the eye of the heart. The eye of the heart recognizes the beauty in a wrinkled face, in a wilted flower, and on rainy day because the eye of this beholder inherently knows that everything is a gift from the spark of life, even worthless tattered strings from Laos.

 

WATCH this 1 minute video.

 The Most POWERFUL Wisdom You Will Ever Hear  

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200710418106491&set=vb.307551552600363&type=2&theater

(click above)

Alice Herz-Sommer is 109 year old Holocaust survivor and is STILL LIVING, in London. When she’s asked about the secret to feeling good.

 “Optimism,” she said, “and looking for the good. Life is beautiful. You have to be thankful that we are living. Wherever you look is beauty.”

No Man’s Land risk, change, growth

March 11, 2014

Jessica Magnin, GatherYoga Emissary and founder and co-director of O2yoga, shares her perspective on taking a leap into the unknown.

The last tiny bit of perceivable solid ground fades into the horizon as I loosen my grip. Suddenly my line of tether disappears. Night falls quickly. The wind dances the waves as they crash relentlessly against the fragile sides of my only sense of security. I am carried farther and farther out into uncharted waters. I look back in hopes of securing my need for something tangible, something to hold on to. There is no life jacket aboard. I am totally alone. I have severed all ties with Point A, the past 27 years of my married life, what I have known, to humbly take my first steps toward a very unfamiliar destination.

I feel my heart breathing a mixture of fear and loss. Tears of black mascara run down my cheeks. My mind slips into the foreground and takes control. I stoically wipe my tears away. ‘’There must be a map hidden somewhere on this tiny vessel!”  My heart sinks in hopelessness. In all my busyness of planning my departure, I carelessly forgot that one important item — the map that would offer me a ‘’what’s next?’’ plan and guide me safely to another shore.

With no map or game plan at hand, I find myself here, with me, right here, right now, with nowhere to go but being thrown about in the waters of raw uncomfortability. It is raw, because there is no knowing of what, where, when, and how. I am dead center in no man’s land, and it is a seriously vulnerable place to be. Change and risk have always been easy for me to embrace. Just between you and me, I can courageously jump because I ultimately always know where I am landing. This gives me a sense of security, maybe false, but a comfy sense of courage. Though, this time is different. I don’t want to return to Point A even at the risk of never encountering Point B.

I have crawled to the brink ladened with fear and doubt and jumped off the cliff, eyes wide open, and nothing lies below. I am in mid-air; everything appears to be in slow motion. I watch. I feel. My senses are alive. I feel alive. Being in midair is being in transition and transition is always present, always happening, we just don’t realize it. If we look closer, we notice that not only is there always a beginning, a middle and an end to everything, we are always between two things, whether it be two holidays, two jobs, numerous relationships, or something as simple as the inhale and exhale of our breath.

It is painful to cut ties with the past when we can’t secure the future. This is transition. This is life. This is living authentically. Things come and go, and yet we as humans have a painfully difficult time accepting the truth of Inicca, the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence. Our refuge in pleasure makes us grasp that much harder as if to make the experience, taste, relationship a solid thing. We erroneously believe that solid equals permanence. This is the mind’s way of scrambling for security. But take a deeper look and wake up, to the unprocessed fact that everything is in perpetual movement; our relationships evolve, sometimes dissolve; food perishes; plants wilt; and no matter how many pictures we take to capture pleasurable moments, those too will fade into memory, and memory will soon fade into loss.

Ironically, knowing might offer us a (false) sense of security, but it also offers us a boxed-in, limited viewpoint with one possibility. Being nakedly available to the unfolding of not knowing seems scary for the mind, but op

ens an ocean of endless possibilities for the heart and soul.

The golden sun peaks above the hazy horizon like a lotus flower surfacing from its muddy past. This new chapter of an untold story brings butterflies of excitement and endless new beginnings to my belly.

ImagePhoto by calsidyrose, used with Creative Commons license.

The Unescapable Truth death, suffering and the gift of life

LIFESTYLETRAVELWELLNESSYOGA

Photo of the Mekong River by Jessica

Photo of the Mekong River by Jessica

 

February 16, 2014

Jessica Magnin, founder and co-director of O2yoga, is one of GatherYoga’s newest emissaries, and today she shares her thoughts about death, suffering, and the gift of life.

It was past midnight when my father came into my room to announce the tragic news. He had just lost one of his closest friends. I was just barely twelve. It was the first time I had ever seen him really cry, and the first time I had experienced the pain of witnessing the grief of someone I loved dearly. I desperately wanted to relieve his pain, because it was his pain that caused me more suffering than the actual loss of his friend.

Death was rarely ever spoken about in my family, and we were lucky: I had only witnessed first-hand the loss of a goldfish, a few gerbils, and a fern. The unspoken truth didn’t prevent visits of endless questions about life and death in moments of silent play. Those secret thoughts were kept under my pillow for monologues as I lay myself down to sleep.

My family’s closest friend, a devout Catholic, whispered in my ear during one sleepover that my family would burn in hell because Christ was not our saviour. I never shared this with my parents in fear that this “truth” would cause them to worry and therefore suffer. I would often hold my breath in fear of facing the suffering of the ones I cared about, and even the suffering of those I had never met beyond the movie screen. My heightened sense of helplessness was so overwhelming that at times I would play the game of Maya, not fully choosing to understand the true temporal nature of life, but covering my eyes to the world, convinced that it could not see me. This was my way of dealing with that monstrous pain that I felt in my heart when I witnessed the suffering of others.

******

Some decades later, crouched with my knees pressed against my chest, I held on for dear life to the flimsy sides of the wooden speedboat. My nails had gone white and cramps formed in my fingers. I clenched my jaw as the driver picked up speed, navigating “blindly” through the treacherous labyrinth of hidden rocks under the current of the Mekong River. My heart skipped 100 beats as the boat skipped a wave or two. I secured my helmet for the tenth time as I saw visions of us crashing into the rock formations, the wooden boat shattering into a million pieces, and me being thrown into the air, still clutching for dear life. I glanced over at my Lao companions, some nodding off, others enjoying the buzz of adrenalin. Their serenity only amplified my exaggerated fear and my inability just to enjoy the ride. It suddenly seemed ridiculous, I seemed ridiculous! I burst into laughter. I knew that all this excessive control on my part was my only way of offering myself some solid ground of security. No matter how hard I clenched my jaw and dug my nails into the sides of the boat, there would be no guarantee. With a deep breath, I threw my arms into the air and screamed at the top of my lungs! If these were to be my last moments here on earth, then ”let go and enjoy” would be my mantra.

Somewhere on the Lao peninsula of Luang Prabang, a ceremonial celebration of endless eating, drinking, and chanting carried on day in and day out for a succession of four nights and five days. There were three spirit houses ornately decorated with flowers, a black and white photo of the deceased, rice, kip, and other symbolic offerings. Candles burned well into the night and throughout the day. There was a continuous flow of lay-people and monks passing by. As night fell, many would camp out on the cold tiled floor searching for warmth against the unusual winter chill. The music continued. Food was served. People laughed. Some played cards and many drank. The sangha, the local Buddhist community, bonded once more.

This is the Buddhist tradition. Death, as well as life, are prevalent, and all sentient beings, without any exception, will inevitably experience suffering, loss, and yes, death. Abinivesha, the root of all of our fears, causes us to desperately cling to life and deny the existential truth of our brief, transient presence here on earth. Micromanaging our illusory permanent existence and our fear of suffering just causes more internal suffering. Surrendering to Buddha’s truth, that suffering exists,does not mean that we no longer care about life or about others. Instead, suffering could become a homeopathic remedy for feeling the preciousness of life, including its joys as well as its sadnesses, and the inescapable end. We can take this ancient wisdom to heart, letting it split our hearts wide open, feeling the inner connectedness with others and life’s fragility.

Death is always lingering. In fact, we are all moving one step closer with each breath, with each passing moment. As scary as it might seem, there is no escaping. Through total acceptance, we crack open the illusory door of permanence to wide open freedom, experiencing the gift of life not in fear but in celebration! Maybe, this is the practice.

—Jessica

Golden Goodness for Laos

boxeslaos

Golden Goodness for Laos

The Art of Karma Yoga

Starfish Story Loren Eiseley
“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him, ‘’why are you working so hard at this strange task.’’ He replied, ‘’the sun will soon rise and the starfish will die.’’ Without understanding I replied,‘’this is foolish, there are thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. ‘’ He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said,
                                        “It makes a difference for this one.”

Yoga is often defined as the method or science of joining, connecting or yoking. If this is so, then what are we seeking to yoke?

Through the practice of yoga and meditation, we are offered glimpses, if not wide-open doors into the true nature of our being. Yoga, as well as many other parallel traditions, teaches us that, at our core, we are of humble goodness and divine light.

Within the parameters of yoga, there are hundreds of interpretations or paths (marga), sometimes opposing, yet most often, sharing the common denominator of inner peace and reuniting our individual soul (Jiva Atman) with the universal soul (Para Atmam), in which we all originate. As students and teachers, we seek to experience, via yoga’s canvas of sweeping nuances, to reconnect with that place we can call home, untouched by time, place or causation.

Each interpretation yields something different. Through the practice of bhakti yoga, we connect with the heart by means of devotion and love while the practice of hatha yogaunites us with the sacred temple of our bodies. Jnana yoga offers us insight into the mind through discernment and meditation, and swara yoga empowers us to reunite with the power and mastery of the breath.  By means of karma yoga we connect through service.

Karma yoga, one of the four pillars of yoga is understood as the path of selfless altruistic service. The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit root kri, meaning ‘’action’’ or ‘’to do’’. Karma yoga is the path of union through our actions, but not just any actions, those actions that are aligned with right intention and with our dharma or duty and when we are unattached to the fruits of our deeds. It is the gateway to generosity and is the first step towards eliminating greed, hatred and delusion because behind every act of giving is an act of loving kindness (meta) and compassion (karuna).

Shantideva, an 8th century scholar, yogi and monk spoke about changing roles. He proposed, in order to touch the heart, we can practice humbly stepping outside the limelight of the epicenter and retreat to the periphery. This act of mindfully and purposefully placing others in the center without forgetting our own needs fosters human kindness.

Karma yoga is the art of giving by offering our time, our presence, our services, our money or anything that can benefit others. This intrinsic path has an instrumental role in yogic philosophy reminding us that, as much as our practice appears to be all about us, our bodies, our minds and our accomplishments, it is really a reminder that we are all fundamentally connected at our core, breathing the same air, supported by the same earth and sharing the same basic needs as love.

Karma yoga encourages us to stretch the limitations of our heart and extend compassion right out there to others, even to those that are less fortunate, those that we judge lacking in merit, and above all, those who don’t extend anything in return.

‘’A single, ordinary person still can make a difference- and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day.’’ Chris Bohialian

Helping others is known to boost self-esteem, appease depression, solitude and self loathing, cultivate empathy and eliminate apathy, grow compassion, gratitude and self love, and make the world blossom into a good place to be.  It has the power to free us from past karma while stimulating the 4th chakra, the muscle of love, and, it brings a smile to the heart of others and boomerangs right back to you.

My grandfather, my mentor, used to say, ‘’giving should hurt’’. What he meant by this was that giving should be felt by the altruist. It should take something away from ourselves whether it be some of our time, our finances, or whatever we choose to offer up.

We, at O2yoga, would like to thank you for taking the time to Spring clean and help us fill close to 100 boxes of much needed clothing, school supplies, and books for the children at Deak Kumpa Orphanage in Laos as well as donations in benefit of the students that are part of our scholarship program for continuing education, Practice for Compassion. Without you and your generosity we couldn’t have succeeded!  Even symbolic acts of kindness offered with right intention and a big heart are capable of changing the world, at least one step at a time.

With infinite gratitude,

Namaste, 
From that place of goodness inside us we salute that place of goodness within you,

Jessica and Philippe 
O2yoga

 

Don’t miss
Charity EVENT Saturday, June 1
Practice for Compassion
In favor of continuing education for young Lao individuals.
Please join us in making a huge change in the lives of others by showing up for a class or two and spreading the word. 100% of the proceeds go directly for the education of the 7 Lao students.

For more information about this event and our karma yoga projects in Laos, please visit our web site http://o2yoga.ch/karma-yoga.html

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