Tuesday, 22 July 2014


A good friend has died suddenly and I need to return to Sri Lanka for about 10 days.  I will not be having classes in Canberra from 24 July-4 August 2014.

I have had several people close to me die before.  It is always sad.  What I always bring myself back to is this quote from the Buddha on impermanence:

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.

I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. 
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand. 

When I was young I was by my mother's bedside when she died.  Thereafter came many years of suffering and sadness.

I believe, for me, much of this was because I had never encountered or thought of this idea of impermanence. 

I am very grateful to Tilak, whose lifelong friend it was that died, for helping me understand this and make efforts to live a life that is true to this understanding.

Our yoga practice benefits from understanding impermanence.  We are not the same person on the mat today as we were yesterday or last week or who we will be tomorrow.  Our practice needs to reflect this changing nature.

When I read the last line of this quote from the Buddha I am also reminded of another thing that Tilak taught me, which is that the best purpose our lives can have is to work towards being a source of joy for others.

Every time I teach a class I receive great joy from all of you.  I am sure most of you have seen me smile in class.  It is because when I see you move, however you perceive yourself, I cannot help but feel joyful as it is a beautiful thing to watch.

Happy and safe practicing.

Much metta,


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