Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

How we respond May 23, 2008

Filed under: yoga — shibuiyoga @ 1:20 am
Tags: , , ,

This is not my normal little travel blog so if you don’t want to dive off the deep end of the philosophy pool with me than maybe you should skip this one.

A little girl named Alexa stopped last Saturday with her Aunt and grandparents to feed a horse on the side of the road-something I have done a dozen times with my own children. It was five in the afternoon in a rural area. A car literally came out of nowhere and careened into the pre-schooler, Aunt and the horse. The car was moving so violently it then bounced into the grandparents sitting in the parked vehicle. The Aunt was gravely injured and the grandparents were also hurt. Alexa died in the ICU at Children’s Hospital a few hours later. She was 4 years old.

By all accounts this little girl was the most beautiful, vivacious and spirited child. Her mother is known as one of the most caring and excellent educators in our area. How could this happen? Why does this happen? How does a parent go on after something like this? 

My first immersion with John Friend he talked about one of the most important aspects of the Absolute- intrinsic goodness. The philosophy follows that all aspects of the Absolute- The Divine- live in us as well. We are manifested from that same flow of Grace. Therefore- at our essence- our true nature is one of goodness. Life is good.

I have to say- I had a hard time buying that one. I have lost friends, co-workers and my father. I watch horrific things on the news every night. How can this be good? How can we be good when it is evident that so much suffering and evil surrounds us? I left that immersion feeling very confused about what John had said. I kept questioning it and having this internal battle over how such a thing could be true. It wasn’t until later that I came across something John had wrote that helped me understand better what he was getting at.

He said bad things happen- it was how we responded to them that was the key. We choose in Anusara to respond with more love- more beauty. 

I think that is the hardest thing in the world to do. To choose to respond to the dark with light. It is so very easy to stay with the dark- to curl up and stop living- to hate and wallow in that blackness. But who are you serving? We just keep creating more dark- more anger- more hatred. We want to chose to create more light- more beauty- more love. It sounds easy and almost childish in its wording, but really, it is one of the most difficult of choices.

In the infamous case of the Amish schoolchildren- the Amish community completely forgave the man that had murdered 5 little girls n their classroom before killing himself. It became a international news story- the fact that people could forgive such a horrendous crime. The coverage of the story changed overnight to be not the horrible facts of the crime, but the idea that people could actually forgive someone. In some ways people found that more shocking than the crime. 

Our world is not one that feels so connected to something greater- God, the Divine, the Universe, whatever words you chose -that we feel supported to choose the light- we more often choose the dark. This little girl’s parents even in the midst of their tragedy tried to chose light. They chose to donate her organs- to save other children. They asked that all cards and flowers instead be replaced by donations to the Children’s Hospital ICU- to save more children. They tried to bring some light to someone else’s darkness and in the process may have brought some light into their own dark time.

I still don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I still struggle with what I see in the world around me but I go back and I remember…I remember that I can chose to respond with love, beauty- and more light…even when it seems impossible.

 

 

Advertisements
 

Otabi May 1, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well time between blogs should be diminished as I am now the proud owner of a new Sony Vaio laptop- yes- a “Japanese” computer. I almost bought one in Japan but I thought it was annoying enough reading all the English pop up info and warnings… let alone translate them from Japanese! I am hoping to get some type of system on here though where I can have a Japanese word processor. I end up writing emails to friends in romaji rather than Japanese characters and I am sure it is a pain for them to read. So on with the topic- Otabi– “the trip”.

I am very happy to announce that I will be going back to Japan this year to train with John Friend. I will be participating in an immersion training and observing a Teacher Training. Both trainings will be located in Yokohama- just south of Tokyo on the bay. Beautiful international city- reminds me a lot of Vancouver actually.

As I was checking dates for the Yokohama training I noticed the word “Nikko” as I was closing the page. I clicked back to find that John had added an additional two day training in Nikko Japan. I was immediately struck with a sense of excitement…. and disappointment- there was just no way I could make this all work and afford it. (Two kids, one husband, very little money…etc) I talked it over with hubby and for just under $300 Canadian I am now in Nikko for two days as well. The Nikko part of the John’s trip is being held at Eco Nikko. It was looking at the pictures that sold it for me. ( see above photos) The venue is located on the same mountain side as Toshogu-shrine- a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The shrine was built in honour of Tokugawa Ieyasu- the first Shogun that united feudal Japan. The colourful Shrine sits amid a lush green forest of pines and cedar. One of the most famous buildings has the three monkeys carved in the arch way with the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. John is planning a practice, meditation and tea ceremony. Now- is that like a retreat written for me or what? How could I not go!

Well I was figuring out trains, planes, and automobiles I came across two great sites I would like to share. The first one is the Japanese Train Route Finder. Incredible- you put in where you are and where you want to go- what time you want to leave and “poof” -one to five ways of getting from A to B. They are all sorted by length of travel, most economical, most expensive etc. I can’t say what a valuable tool something like this is for a country that is so train dependant. There really is no better, faster and economical way to travel in Japan.

The other site is one for cheap hotels in Japan- Rakuten. I couldn’t find a little Japanese family inn like I usually stay in so I went for the cheap hotel instead. For about $60 canadian a night I found a decent hotel a train ride away with all the amenities. I could have stayed at the Hostel for $30-$40 but spent the big bucks instead for a private bathroom and an internet connection.

I hope all of you will join me on this next trip via my blog. I promise lots of great pictures and info.