The secret of happiness…

A story…

“A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world.  The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

“Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing int he corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.

“The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

“‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’

“The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

“‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you  notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’

“The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’

“Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

“‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man.

“Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

“‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.'”

~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Dance in the Street…

What is yoga philosophy anyway?

“Yoga means union. The union of the individual soul with the Universal Spirit is yoga. But this is too abstract a notion to be easily understood, so for our level of understanding I say that yoga is the union of body with the mind and the mind with the soul. 90% of us are suffering in some way, physically, mentally or spiritually. The science of yoga helps us to keep the body as a temple so that it becomes as clean as the soul. The body is lazy, the mind is vibrant and the soul is luminous. Yogic practices develop the body to the level of the vibrant mind so that the body and the mind, having both become vibrant, are drawn towards the light of the soul…
Though Yoga is often considered in the West to be only physical, it is also a physio-psychological and psycho-spiritual subject. It is a science which liberates one’s mind from the bondage of the body and leads it towards the soul. When the mind reaches and merges with the soul, the soul is freed and remains thereafter in peace and beatitude. If a bird is kept in a cage, it has no possibility of movement. The moment the cage is opened, the bird flies out and seizes its freedom. Man attains that same freedom when the mind is released from the bondage of the body and comes to rest on the lap of the soul.”
~ “The Tree of Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar
Today I had an average day. I went to work, I left work, I went to the gym, I taught 2 classes, I went home and cooked dinner, I took my dog for a walk… but something happened on our walk. I had the urge to skip. Yes… skip down the middle of the street. And I did. I started skipping and swinging my arms around and really didn’t care if anyone thought I was crazy. It was the most amazing, liberating, fun thing that I’ve done by myself in a long time. So yoga has taught me this… with all the crap going on in your life, you deserve to make a fool of yourself and dance in the street.