Impermanence is permanent

Change is inevitable, growth is intentional – Glenda Cloud
But wouldn’t it be great if we could inevitably grow by making intentional changes –
A wise friend

Change aheadChange encompasses all and is occurring every second of our existence whether we are conscience of it or not. For many, change is equated with instability, insecurity and the fear of impermanence, especially our own and those we love. But, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know, deep in our core, that impermanence, or inicca, is the one thing that we can earnestly count on. It is who we are and if we allow ourselves to witness the beauty of change we begin to notice that it touches everything and everyone without exception.

We are constantly evolving and so is life. Spontaneously, life unfolds, thus expanding only to naturally surrender to something new, and that newness is never exactly the same. We see this dance daily as the sun rises and sets, sometimes dressed in hews of pink and marigold and other times in crimson and lilac. With little recourse, our bodies grow old as we sip our herbal teas and sit in deep meditation while our thoughts, beliefs, and preferences remain forever fickle.  We experience the change of the seasons with the resigning of autumn in order to welcome the starkness of winter and see it in the surrender of our exhale which creates space for our inhale. Without this ‘’yielding’’, this ‘’letting go’’, this ‘’dance,’’ we get stuck.

Life naturally flows in a perpetual cycle of movement. Some of us thrive on change while others find themselves in a state of panic when their favourite ice cream is no longer available. In the throes of discomfort and misery, change becomes one’s favourite consort whereas on the flip side, change becomes the most unwanted of visitors while we bathe in the sweet waters of joy and pleasure.  According to the Yogic and Buddhist teachings, resisting the visit of change is one of the main causes of human suffering. We all have witnessed what happens when we close the door to change, we close down too. We are no longer aligned with the Divine flow of life that surrounds us and that lights our hearts. The gifts of the present moment become like wishes hidden in the distant stars and we suffer because we want what was‘’before.’’ For instant relief, we must yield our attachment to what was and welcome the simple flow of change to allow ‘’what is’’.

Life has a funny way of watching our backs. When we become just a bit too comfortable in the couch that has now taken over the form of our posterior, life steps in and offers change to wake us up, feel the gratitude of being alive and spark the flame of transformation. Aren’t we all here to love, learn and grow? Status quo and stagnation don’t really apply to our race. In fact, that is what we call a ‘’rut’’, or vasana and the difference between a rut and a grave according to Ellen Glasglow, is their dimension!

We are blessed with such potential and inspiration and in order to take full advantage of these gifts we must allow them to manifest and therefore transform. This means stepping out on a limb and allowing growth to step in. There are many paths to take but only two stand out. The first, being the path of less resistance which equals a rut. The second path is the path of risk and doubt, thus the path of transformation.

Someone once said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is where you are happily and ignorantly asleep to what you are and what you can be. So when change taps you on the shoulder, you have a choice. You can either wish change away with all your might or you can invite it into your life with curiosity and most of all, faith that you are exactly where you should be right now at this moment.

And so there it was, no couch per se but feeling quite at ease with our yoga center.  Going on our 9th year and feeling comfortably attached to the energy, love and devotion that we have cultivated in this auspicious place. It never crossed our minds that a move was in store for us. But life saw things a bit differently. Entre Ciel & Terre is moving. The details of why aren’t really that important but the move will foster growth for all of us! The good news is that we are moving just meters away, same floor, same building, and same parking. The best news is that we will still be offering you great classes, passionately qualified teachers and a beautiful sacred space that continues to support your personal growth and happiness. Our current schedule is still ongoing and won’t change until July when the summer hours kick in.

This move gives us the opportunity to thank you with a big heart for your loyalty, love and devotion that you constantly share with the center and for making it what it is today, a sacred space that takes you to your soul.

Stay tuned for more details as change is just around the corner.

Lia hai

Sua s’dei!

Not quite sure what day of the week it is as the hours and even seconds seem to melt into one another creating experiences that are beyond time. Up too early to mention with the ritual gong of metal pots awakening the monks for their morning prayers, my mind spins with thoughts of the girls. We leave today and I feel torn. This short time with them has changed us all and we yearn for it to last. As Noa continues to sleep silently by my side and Phiippe stirring from my restlessness, I slip from under the single sheet, dress quickly, and descend the steep spiral staircase in search of Arun, by all means the nicest and most humble of our hosts- a replica of a Buddhist monk without the orange robe. He greets me with the traditional ”sua sdei”, hands pressed together in prayer in front of the heart.

By bicycleThe rest of the world appears to be in deep slumber until I make my way out onto the large avenue Norodom Blvd via tuk tuk. Pi, the tuk tuk driver who calls me ”my friend” swiftly maneuvers his rusty vehicle through the insane early morning traffic reaching Transitional Cambodia  just before 7-am. Jaya and a handful of the girls greet me at the entrance, eager for a hug and to show me their rooms. Unlike the other shelters that we spent time in, Transitional Cambodia was simple but spotless. Three to a tiny room, each with their own shelf for their personal possessions and the luxury of a toilet!  They have a full schedule of cleaning their space, Khmer and English classes as well as computer and arts and crafts. The girls each have their own yoga mat and a sacred space with pictures of yoga positions pasted on the wall. They learn to develop curiosity, independence and responsibility in hopes that one day they will be able to care for themselves without the risk of returning to drugs and prostitution. N.Y, C.T, D.C, (names are concealed for protection), and Dara are seriously  interested in continuing their yoga studies and hope to teach in their spare hours. For this, we would like to develop a sponsorship program for teaching yoga. I had tears and a torn heart saying good-bye to these angels.

Gril of Cambodia

Sandwiched between Jaya and Dara, we spun through the crowded streets on Dara’s motor cycle (a first in a long time). Thankfully Dara’s long black silky hair waved wildly in my face keeping me from seeing and wanting to control the craziness ahead. Between honks and touts, I listened to Jaya’s  ”story” of her early life and that of some of the girls.. We parted with a few tears and promised to keep in touch ”lia hai, lia hai”.

Philippe and Noa were upstairs on the terrace savouring hot ginger tea, sweet banana pancakes, exotic fruit salad and lemon mint ice shakes. I arrived just in time for the best (well one of the best) meals of the day! Isabelle and Dara met us for the feast while sharing some last minute ideas for future work with us and the girls. We were sad to say good bye but had a bus to catch and an adventurous one at that.