Orange est la Couleur de la Transformation

ORANGE, LA COULEUR DE LA TRANSFORMATION

Jessica Magnin

images-1 Près de 3 semaines se sont écoulées comme de l’encre. Goutte à goutte, la vie laotienne me bénit avec la rencontre de moi-même dans toute ma fragilité.

Luang Prabang, cette petite péninsule prise en sandwich entre deux grands fleuves est un endroit hors du commun. Comme une pièce d’un puzzle qui a retrouvé son unique place, le lien qui me relie avec Luang Prabang n’est pas un hasard. Dès la première fois, j’étais heurtée en plein cœur sans comprendre ce qui m’arrivait. Au début, c’était comme un murmure au fond de moi. Il me titillait sans répit.  Il me réveillait en pleine nuit en me suppliant de me mettre à nu, de me lâcher, de grandir. C’était viscéral, fort, hors de tout raisonnement et de tout contrôle. L’envie de transformation était sous-jacente à toute mon existence.

Sans le savoir, la vie a rendu la relation entre moi, la petite laotienne comme on m’appelle là-bas, et ce minuscule point sur terre, aussi dure que l’acier. Même après autant de séjours, 9 au total, et l’instauration d’une certaine habitude, je reste toujours loin de toute zone de confort, que ce soit par rapport aux traditions, à la culture, à la langue et au rythme de vie.  Je m’en imbibe intentionnellement, la tête sous l’eau,  afin de me trouver , vulnérable, dénuée de mes points de repère et de toute sécurité.

L’invitation délibérée de la vulnérabilité est le feu qui allume le processus de la transformation en moi. N’ayant plus de vrais points de repère, chaque instant se vit intentionnellement dans la pleine conscience et s’allie avec l’observation de Soi. Tout semble être au ralenti, comme si les moments passaient sous l’eau. Cette lenteur me permet de voir mes insécurités, mes peurs et mes attachements comme des bulles d’oxygène qui remontent à la surface, là, complètement exposés, fragiles et crus.  Encore là, intentionnellement, je les accueille, les reçois comme mes meilleurs amis, échange avec eux aussi longtemps qu’ils souhaitent rester. Petit à petit, ils perdent leur force et leur présence ; et comme l’impermanence est inévitable, je les observe disparaître, petites bulles éclatant à la chaleur du soleil.

Peu importe le nombre de jours, mes escales à Luang Prabang sont une parenthèse dans l’ici et le maintenant toujours marquées par une énorme renaissance et libération, une transformation évolutive, parfois douloureuse comme une naissance, parfois tout en douceur. La transformation est toujours au menu du jour de tous les cafés laotiens.

Le changement est inévitable. On le sait, mais il nous est difficile de l’accepter ainsi. La vie est en perpétuelle mutation et l’envie de rendre les moments solides vient de notre grande peur de perdre ce que nous avons. Nous nous y agrippons fermement en nous persuadant que grâce à notre force et à notre contrôle tout restera tel quel pour toujours. Hélas, en dépit de notre volonté féroce, la vie nous démontre que malgré notre détermination tout se transforme à chaque Nano seconde. Tant que l’on ignore cette réalité fondamentale de la vie, on se sent largué et déconnecté.

Alors nagez dans le courant du changement, adaptez-vous à l’instant même, soyez intensivement présents et ouverts à recevoir les fruits de chaque rencontre afin d’inviter le changement et donc la transformation en vous-même.

Matthieu Ricard, le confident du Dalai Lama, a écrit que ‘’nous sommes sur terre pour grandir et pour aimer.’’ Pour vraiment aimer, il faut accueillir la vulnérabilité dans toutes ses formes, dans tous ses états. Elle est la graine du grandissement car sans elle on n’est pas totalement réceptif et prêt à lâcher hier pour accueillir aujourd’hui dans sa totalité.

Comme tout a un début, un milieu et une fin pour se renouveler encore et encore d’une manière incognito, ce texte aussi touche à sa fin et je vous laisse avec cette réflexion :

‘’Le changement est inévitable, le grandissement de soi est intentionnel. Et si l’on grandissait inévitablement en apportant des changements intentionnels ?’’

Ask and You will Receive

Ask and You will Receive

Jessica Magnin

In the lull of life, transition running rampant, I find myself, head down, heart squeezed, aimlessly following the deserted path of the Mesa that cradles the Big Blue. I no longer trust my mind. It is playing tricks on me. It is closing in on my heart, suffocating the life out of me. Drops of tears form in the corners of my eyes clouding my view of the shimmering sparkles of Divinity that dance upon the oil- like canvas. I see nothing. I feel nothing. Maybe none of this ever existed.

My chest is tight. I am barely breathing. My lifeline feels as if it has been severed forever. I am empty, unguided, like a ship that has lost its wind that devotedly guides her home. The contrast of my inner and outer world is painfully before me. Silence prevails. At my deepest moment of misery, I humbly look up at the infinite heavens and surrender. ‘’I just can’t do this any more. I need a sign, a tangible sign, that I am still tethered, connected to my Soul, my Divine Source that has always been my deepest companion.’’

My bare feet feel the burning heat of the harsh pavement. I stop to put on my flip-flops. At my feet lay a printed brochure folded in three. Revealed, was an image of an opened winged angel. I can’t see the message but only the ‘’why’’ would someone litter in such a pristine place. I reach down with the intent to throw the brochure in the nearest bin but something catches my eye. A beautifully calligraphic inscription graces the image of the angel, ‘’ May the beholder receive endless joy.’’ I am startled. I look suspiciously around for its owner. ‘’Was this some kind of a prank, a candid camera farce that life was playing on me?’’ There was no one in sight. This was no prank, yet I was the fool.

At that auspicious moment I realize that it was always there, Life, that Divine Connection. It was just me who was blinded and chose to remain in my grey tainted world of disconnect. They say that we are always connected, supported and guided. As spiritual beings at our essence, our presence makes up the grandeur of that of the Universe. In fact, we are the sum total of the Divine Universe and the Divine Universe is the sum total of each and every one of us. There is nothing to disconnect from because it is impossible to separate from what we already are. Disconnect can only exist within the limiting confines of the mind. The more we surrender to the subtitle yet profound certitude that connection is who we are at our core, even when the skies are at their grayest, the briefer the span needed to realign with her; until one day, this forgetting of our unshakable connection will become obsolete and we will know, truly know, connection in every breath we breathe.

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Thank you for your comments. Sending you all love !

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.

Dare to fix what isn’t broken

There is a common saying, ‘’don’t fix what isn’t broken.’’ This can literally be translated into, when something is working smoothly, leave it alone! But there is another quite provocative saying that goes something like this, ‘’the difference between a rut and a grave is only their size.’’

Entre Ciel & Terre had been running smoothly for close to 9 years to date. Peeking occasionally into the near future, we still envisioned Entre Ciel & Terre as we had always known it. The collectively cultivated energy through ongoing dedicated practices had provided a sacred space that had been the grounding force of transformation for many if not most of our students. We had all grown, including ourselves, after many years, very, very comfortable.

So why trade comfort for change and the unknown? Today, more than ever before the now must be marked with the imprint of change. Change is all around us and has always been yet now there is a certain gnawing feeling of acceleration. We no longer have idyll time to sink into deep comfort while wishing for things to be different. Those that have the courage to move toward the truth know all too well that their greatest obstacle is themselves and the choices that they make. Both contribute to a starving quota of transformation and in turn true happiness. As all sentiment beings evolve, we are no exception.

When the owner of our building announced that a potential move was in the very foreseeable future (less than 2 months away), we fearfully clung for comfort to what we already knew, Entre Ciel & Terre. This is the natural reaction in the face of change but it is also, as Pema Chödrön states, a true sign of moving closer to the truth.

Within less than 6 weeks, Entre Ciel & Terre as we knew it no longer existed. Day after day a door or a fixture would be missing, the lounge and its herbal tea disappeared until finally the electricity was cut off. We made the big move on July 10th, a paradox in itself, because we are literally just a handful of meters away.

Much soul searching had to be done before the painting and name change. We asked ourselves how we individually and collectively had evolved and where we desired to go? Had our teaching matured and where did we see it going? What would be the needs of our students in the world of now and how could we offer a space to foster those needs?

The answers revealed themselves effortlessly yet coupled with an incontestable message, ‘return to the essence of what is, life.’ This means letting go of what no longer serves- clutter, drama, procrastination, excuses, anything and everything that keeps us form moving into the fullness of our true identity.

Entre Ciel & Terre became O2 Yoga. The breath is the gift of life, In fact, without it life could no longer exist. With an average of 600 million breaths in a lifetime, we have become so busy that we cease to remember that one single breath contains the spark of life, the spark of spirit. Therefore, one might say that we have 600 million opportunities in a lifetime to remember with grace and infinite gratitude our essence, life. Barely breathing is synonymous with barely being, being alive. The breath mysteriously contains a well of wisdom; your unique blue print to live life to it’s fullest potential. You have the choice. You can choose between barely alive and miss out on life’s wonders or you can choose to breathe deeply into the cells of your being and inhale the sacredness of being fully Alive!

Join us at O2 yoga. Breathe life. Breathe love. Breathe peace. Breathe wisdom, Breathe gratitude. Breathe light. Breathe happiness. Breathe stillness. Breathe compassion. Breathe yoga. Breathe now. Breathe awareness, Breathe sacredness. Breathe.

The Man to My Right

The Man to My RightDoha’s International airport could be equated by many to be the melting pot of the world. On any given moment, one could take part in an international costume party of color and diversity. From incandescent orange sneakers to bougainvillea saris specked with gold, jet-black burkas and flowing white gowns topped with twisted turbans, the count, if finalized, would display- ‘’all present’’. For those who have travelled little, the Doha stopover could be considered ‘’quite overwhelming’’ and either experienced as an assault to the senses or a true cultural elixir.

It is interesting to witness the mind as the gaze shifts from one costume to another. Preferences, preconceived notions and even judgments float to the surface.  There are even stories that are attached to them, real or unreal, relating to these migrating thoughts. Some evoke deep attraction and others, strong aversion.  These are the two motivating forces that, if we are not mindful, drive us toward sukha, good space or dukha, suffering and in turn, will create a sense of infinite separation.

Flight Q89 was called to board. As always, I had pre-selected an isle seat enabling me to have the liberty to circulate when the flight becomes just a bit too long. We boarded from the back of the plane. My gaze led me down the narrow isle, counting silently with the intention of seizing my seat, 23B, from a distance. I whispered under my breath, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23…23A, 23B… To my surprise and disappointment, 23B turned out to be a middle seat where I would be sandwiched between two people for the next 7 hours!  I squished in between the two already occupied seats. To my left, a discrete woman dressed in a sky blue hijab and matching abaya or cloak (ironically defined in Sanskrit as ‘’no fear’’) and to my right, a middle-aged man in a long white gown topped with a kufi (which I later learned is a prayer cap worn by African Jews, Muslims as well as Christians) covering his bronzed head.

Slightly annoyed, I sank into my seat and shifted my body to the right offering him my back.  I wished that I was more ‘’appropriately’’ covered and or that I was seated between two women. I was startled by my reactivity, feeling my body retract and contract noticeably. Having traveled extensively throughout my life, I had never noticed any particular aversion to any culture but there it was right in my face, a moment of truth that unveiled my unexplainable reaction. I cringed with shame and humility at my own uncomfortableness and then quickly sent myself meta, loving kindness,remembering the words of Lama Yeshe, ‘’Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.’’

As we left Doha and soared across the endless sky, I continued to watch, to observe knowing that this moment was the perfect teacher. I searched for obvious reasons why I needed to ‘’protect’’ myself and, as life would have it, there were none. In fact, the man to my right, from a culture I knew little about, was rooted in humble peace oblivious to my internal hysteria. I took out my book on Buddhist compassion as he took out his book. From the corner of my eye I glanced over my now slightly softened shoulder in order to catch a glimpse at what he was reading. At that precise moment, my heart became the most tender of hearts. In hand, the man to my right was holding a book on compassion with an Islamic twist. One in the same, same in the one.

There, at that moment, that perfect moment, which became my soulful teacher and which has left an indelible mark on every cell of my being, brought me something so soft yet so transformational. My heart filled instantly with overwhelming compassion and love for this gentle being to my right. I naturally I extended my heart out to him with great respect and humility. Jiddu Krishnamurti spoke of a mind that is always comparing, always measuring, will always engender illusion. He asks, ‘’can the mind be aware of its conditioning, can it look at it without any distortion, without any bias? Is it possible to look at anything, the tree, the cloud, the flower, the child, the face of a woman or a man, as though you are looking at it for the first time?’’ He goes on by adding, ‘’to observe what is, to see it, actually be familiar with it, there must be no judgment, no evaluation, no opinion, no fear’’.

I then remembered how fear of dissimilarity, of the unknown and of the misunderstood distorts the truth and causes us to judge wrongly and to search for greater differences between us. We harden and shut down narrowing the scope of the mind and the flexibility of the heart. ‘‘The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.’’ (Pema Chödrön)

So the next time we are face to face with a sudden need to contract and judge, we can soften into that perfect moment, offering ourselves the expansive space to witness and connect. From there, we can allow ourselves to look courageously into the eyes of that person in search of the endless similarities between us that connect instead of disconnect. This opens the soul to the essential truth that we are all infinitely connected, sharing the same warmth of the sun and breathing the same air regardless of who we are or where we come from. Every single being on this planet without exception seeks love and happiness and, although we might appear to be individual waves, each one unique in its own way, we make up the splendor of our great oceans.

There is not a day since that flight that my thoughts and heart haven’t extended their sincere love and gratitude to the man on my right for this invaluable lesson. As they say, we never truly know whom we are dealing with. The man to my right might just have been Buddha, Mohammad, Krishna, Jesus or a manifestation of the Divine herself.

“What if our religion was each other, if our practice was our life, if prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth, if forests were our church, if holy water the rivers, lakes, and ocean, What if meditation was our relationships, if the teacher was life, if wisdom was self-knowledge and if love was the center of our being.”  Ganga White

Un noble chemin

Sutra I.1 Atha Yoganushasanam

Maintenant, “Maintenant, le Yoga va nous être enseigné, dans la continuité d’une transmission ininterrompue.”

Maintenant, quand un élève sincère aborde un enseignant illuminé, avec la bonne attitude (libre d’idées préconçues et, de préjugés, plein de foi et de réceptivité) et avec le juste esprit d’enquête, au bon moment et à la bonne place, la communication de Yoga prend place – Venkatesananda

Le Yoga ne s’apprend pas seul, mais avec un maître, lui- même instruit par son propre maître, selon une chaîne initiatique qui se perd dans la nuit des temps. L’enseignement est transmis d’homme à homme, dans un souci de vérité, d’exactitude et de fidélité à la “tradition” qu’il représente, ce qui est la seule garantie de l’efficacité de la pratique à venir du chercheur (sadhaka). Il est capital de bien choisir son maître.(On est autorisé à le quitter si les résultats attendus ne sont pas obtenus de façon manifeste.

Un noble cheminEmprunter le chemin de l’étude et de l’enseignement de la tradition de Yoga est une grande et noble décision qui nécessite, avant tout, une réflexion sérieuse et beaucoup de courage. Il doit y avoir une profonde envie de comprendre notre nature, ainsi que de guider les autres, avec humilité et compassion, vers la cultivation de leurs plus grands potentiels.

Enseigner le Yoga est l’art du service. Avec l’ego mis à côté et une présence parfaite, l’enseignement se fait dans l’amour et le partage. C’est une affaire de cœur, de relation. L’esprit de Yoga et sa tradition sont imprimés dans une seule vérité. “Nous sommes tous fait de la même fibre, interconnectés jusqu’au bout de nos cellules indépendamment de notre âge, race, apparence, croyance et sexe. La pratique et la transmission du Yoga sont le respect et la pratique de cette seule vérité.

Sutra II.31 Jati-desha-kala-samaya-anavacchinnah sarva-bhauma maha-vratam

L’enseignement de Yoga constitue une règle universelle qui ne dépend ni du mode d’existence, ni du lieu, ni de l’époque, ni des circonstances – Françoise Mazet

Peu de professions sur terre touchent autant de domaines à la fois et à la capacité d’influencer directement ceux qui reçoivent. Il s’agit du physique, de l’émotionnel, du physiologique, du psychologique, de l’énergétique et du spirituel et donc “le Yoga doit influencer tous les domaines de la vie. Sinon, ce n’est pas du Yoga’’ (Yogarupa de PARA YOGA®). Hélas, en tant qu’enseignant, vous avez la grande responsabilité de guider les élèves avec passion, authenticité, sagesse et patience “vers une vie moins peureuse mais plus joyeuse’’ (Yogarupa de PARA YOGA®) tout en respectant les règles universelles.

Sutra II.36 Satya-pratishthayam kriya-phala-ashrayatvam.

Quand on est établi dans un état de vérité, l’action porte des fruits appropriésFrançoise Mazet

En tant qu’enseignant, vous donnerez de tout ce que vous avez en vous, mais vous recevrez en retour l’abondance, la sagesse et l’ouverture de votre propre coeur. Ne sous-estimez pas ce que les élèves peuvent VOUS apporter. Grâce à eux, vous grandissez ensemble.

Le Bouddha disait

“On peut allumer des milliers de bougies avec une seule bougie sans que la vie de cette bougie s’en trouve abrégée. On ne réduit pas le bonheur en le partageant.

C’est le début d’un chemin parfois cabossé, parfois plat et lisse, parfois raide, mais toujours continu. Que le voyage commence… ici, aujourd’hui, avec ce que vous avez et où vous êtes…

 

Starfish

Tomorrow morning we will arrive in Switzerland. I am not quite sure what it has in store for us but whatever does present itself we will reply with” this is exactly what we wanted”.

It has been an amazing experience for all of us, too short to say that we accomplished even the smallest of feats but a seed has been planted, and maybe this is just the beginning. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being part of our journey, supporting and encouraging us along the way.

Remember every little thing counts in thought, in act, in speech and in intention.

I love this story

Starfish by Loren Eisley

StarfishA young man was picking up objects off the beach and tossing them back into the sea. A second man approached him and saw that the objects were starfish.

” Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?”
”If the starfish remain on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die.” repeated the young man.
” This is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. You can’t really believe that what you are doing could possibly make a difference!”

The young man thoughtfully picked up another starfish, paused, and remarked as he tossed it out into the waves,

”It will make a difference to this one…”