I'm a broke, ohm-chanting and time-altering dragon
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to Saturday.
These days repeat themselves.
Another day, or maybe the same old yet different day. The escalator transports me upwards to the exit of the MRT station. It’s 3.25pm, work will start at 3.30pm.
I am wearing a blue T-shirt that shouts volunteer at the back, and a knee-length navy blue yoga pants. I think I have worn them together last week and perhaps on a Tuesday too. Upon exiting the MRT station, a huge display screen of the shopping mall plays the same advertisement, which I can’t help but notice despite the fact that I never give much attention to this buzz. Most of the advertisements bully you to the way they think it is best for you to live.
Let’s go back to the morning.
I have a yoga class, the weekly practice session that will prepare me to be a teacher. That is why I’m carrying my yoga mat to work. It starts at 10.30am, I must have reached around 10.35am. Everyone in class is sitting cross-legged with their eyes close, with the voice of my yoga teacher sailing through the air.
If there are divine beings, this is the place they will choose to reside.
I try to walk silently, not wanting my intrusion to break their focus. But the nature of the dance floor makes it impossible to take a step without announcing my arrival. It screeches away defiantly no matter how light I tread. Once, I remember I was lying down and somebody walked around my head and I thought I am going to be trample by an elephant.
Still, with an outward look of poise, nobody so much as move even their eyes. If this is in a forest, a squirrel might just land on one of their laps.
I am not like them, I would be fidgeting and guessing who it is each time someone walks across the room. But luckily, they are not me.
I flow into the practice, feeling at ease and abandoning any thoughts that I have intruded the practice. Practice, in all solemnness should be practical and present. One should try to clear the disturbances of one’s mind during practice. It is to observe and let go whatever surfaces and bring our focus back to the practice.
Indeed, it is not going to be fairies prancing around magical toadstool or even prayer circles to wish for the ever elusive world peace, a slogan of the flower children in the hippie years, accompanied with long beards, filth-accumulating naked bodies and bare foot.
We give our thanks and ready ourselves for the world.
The beauty of yoga is flow and the composure to face changes. The yoga class has ended and is ended. Today is the last day of our weekly session. It has been eight months since it all begins.
Sometimes it feels that there is a deep transformational power within me, like a dragon arising from her century-long slumber, ready to soar. I’m ready for whatever the world is going to throw at me and I will face it with zen and peace.
Yes, there are days which I thought I know what Buddha must have been through, living off nothing but feeling contentment and being dedicated to the arduous task of spreading his teachings.
Because I live with nothing, relatively. I proclaim myself the great spiritual seeker who can subsist on the minimal. Of course, I can live with all this illusion until it is time to pay for my bills and I need to seek help from my parents.
I felt like a hypocrite.
A balloon for chest puncture at this very moment. I cannot live next to nothing. For that, I’m sure Buddha doesn’t have to pay bills. Definitely the electricity, water and food did not come about because I sow seeds of love through the universe.
Everything, of course is being well taken care of by my parents.
18 March 2014.
It might not be so different from 18 March 2010 after all.
I transform yet I am also back to where I begin, the lost and broke-ass kid of lofty dreams, living an idealistic life, traversing upon leaps and mountains of disapproval of others.
Today, at twenty four, five years of searching, having been through what should be an incredible journey towards light and enlightenment, I am still in debts. The love did not manage to convince my local government to dissolve my debts. They would probably tell me to be grateful that they did not increase the interest rate.
To them, I’m just a hobo.
And so be it. God, Buddha, or whoever up there did not patronize my efforts of tender love towards their creations or universal consciousness or oneness or divinity or nothingness. I am not even close, maybe I’m the wolf in sheep clothing in the spiritual world, in which I believe that I’m a sheep.
I am still greedy and with many desires in my life that it is in complete opposition in the practice of contentment. Even when it is nearing the end of my yoga teacher training, I am still sitting on the fence of six thousand dollars of debt (my polytechnic school fees and part of my yoga teacher training fees) and of living off my parents shamelessly.
Even when I’m positioned precariously, with the danger of falling to the abyss of immobility, I am planning for my next dive trip, hankering for Bali to learn tribal fusion belly dance and even dreaming of scoring a permaculture certification.
Still after eight months of yoga pursuit, in which I learn that yoga essentially means a state of clarity, I am an unstable and highly unreliable human being.
Instead of becoming more clear-eyed about the one thing that I should devote myself to, I morph into a multi-headed, ohm-chanting, serene looking, juice-sipping dragon or if you prefer wolf in sheep’s skin.
Before I discredit myself any further, there is at least one thing that I am living in accordance to the philosophy of yoga. It is that I should do my best without attaching myself to the results. I’m taking this path seriously and flowing with the wind throughout my efforts to soar.
I am biologically twenty four, spiritually nutcase, monetary broke, but at least physically and mentally, I feel at my best.
As if my erected spine has free itself from the messy affair with gravity. The lower half of my body is grounded like it should be, but I could stand as if heaven has attached a string to my upper half of my body. Maybe there is a help line send from up above after all.
I am without traces of age lines on my face, without the impairment of the spine through constant slouching in modern day living. With my suppleness, I am going through the best ride of my life, at this moment.
Maybe, I turn back time or maybe the way I’m living is simply topsy-turvy.
It seems yesterday is a far shot but eight months ago is just within stretch and tomorrow, who knows. Time is a funny thing and the only logical thing one could do is to be present. And maybe, if I hang on a little more, I would have wings strong enough to soar with the multi heads of my greedy dragon. I would be able to piece it all together and live through it as a whole.
But now is not the time to worry because I am truly at the best moment of my life.