Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sister


To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

Sunday, February 26, 2012




A symbolic waterfront meets a prayerful soul as she enters the Church of Gesu which is  erected on an elevated portion of the the Ateneo de Manila University.

Life is frenetic in massive Manila. If there is anything therefore that would help bring life back to attunement, then this is one of them.



Ahhh, life


There is a thin line that separates peace and anxiety at the moment. It is actually felt for a while now. There is a sense of contentment within but at the same time life has brought me the humdrum cycle as i deal with it daily.
After all the madness of writing my thesis, all the exicement died down and I realized one thing again. ..that everything passes and ceases at the same time. Because of this, I suddenly become resign to the fact that all efforts done will be doomed for nothing when life stops. Then I want to stay laidback and forget about deadlines and obligations.
I start waking up without any sense of meaning at all. I lost the childlike joy and I sometimes dread the routine. There is boredom felt. I dislike this.
The only thing that excites me is being in the shala and explore the poses. I am excited as to whether or not I'll get to bind my arms in all those Marichyasanas. As I progress with each pose, I am grateful to accept the gift of strength and flexibilty. Doing my full backbends , with the full drop backs, overwhelms me. It is fascinating to see how my body could still bend like that and stand with controlled breathes.
I love that each time I explore my body, I am also able to grow deep within specially in my understanding and appreciation of how beautiful God is and how good He must be that he allowed this self to receive this yogic life.
Then there are people that make the practice more life giving.The yogins who, I believe, are also undergoing the same journey.
Life outside the mat is a different story. I am faced with nothingness at times. The routine of life gets dreadful at some point. There is less meaning in the things I am doing, even my teaching. I am simply wanting change. I am simply wanting adventure...out there
This too shall pass. Boredom ceases without my knowing it. I believe the universe is vast enough for me to trod. It will take some time again before i realize that I am entering another great journey.
ahhh, life and its grandeur indeed!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday , it is

Why do we receive ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Photo illustration by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

The following is a condensed version of an article by Father Michael Van Sloun, pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka, that first appeared in 2008 in The Catholic Spirit.

The imposition of ashes is a solemn ritual that signals the beginning of the holy season of Lent. The ceremony is distinctive; there is no liturgical action like it throughout the entire church year.

The ashes come from a previous Palm Sunday. The palms are burned, the ashes collected and then crushed into a fine, sooty powder and placed into bowls.

The ashes are blessed by the priest during the Ash Wednesday Mass — March 9 this year — after the homily. Then, in a Communion-like procession, those who wish come forward, and the ashes are applied to each person’s forehead in the shape of a cross as the minister says either, “Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15), the usual prayer, or “Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 1:13), the older, more traditional invocation.

Ashes symbolize two main things in the Old Testament.

Death, repentance

Ashes are equivalent to dust, and human flesh is composed of dust or clay (Genesis 2:7), and when a human corpse decomposes, it returns to dust or ash.

For example, Abraham told God, “I am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27), a reference to his human mortality. Jeremiah described death as a “valley of corpses and ashes” (Jeremiah 31:40).

Ashes are an ominous sign, and we use them on Ash Wednesday to remind ourselves of our own impending deaths. Death may come sooner, or it may come later, but it will surely come. And if death is coming, we need to be prepared, and the time to prepare for death is now, and the way to prepare is to live according to God’s ways.

When the prophet Daniel shamefacedly clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, they were a sign of his people’s contrition for their rebellion, wickedness and treachery (Daniel 9:3).

When Jonah warned the Ninevites that God planned to destroy their city because of their corruption and depravity, the people covered themselves with sackcloth and ashes as a sign of their intention to turn from their evil ways (Jonah 3:6,10).

Ashes are a plea to God for mercy and compassion, pardon and forgiveness.

Moreover, they are a public admission of guilt, an expression of sorrow for sins that have been committed, a promise to reform and a pledge to resist temptation in the future.

We, too, are sinners. When we come forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, we are saying that we are sorry for our sins, and that we want to use the season of Lent to correct our faults, purify our hearts, control our desires and grow in holiness so we will be prepared to celebrate Easter with great joy.



Monday, February 20, 2012

On happiness


"Nothing can bring the mind continuous happiness, because the mind itself changes constantly. If we know that,we stop clinging & accept change."

Change is inevitable and as life moves on, there occurs the constancy of impermanence in all aspects of life. Emotions rise and fall without us noticing it.Thoughts linger from good to messy. People come and go even. There is always alteration and it is oevrwhelming most often than not.

During one of my contemplative states at home, I just stared at the beauty of the clouds outside my windows. I could see the changing hues from white, to orange then blue and what have you. I could feel the serenity of that instant and wished it were like that forever...but, as I thought of that, i felt suddenly empty and a bit scared about where life would take me.

It was when my mind entertained the thought of my humanity that fear crept in. I feared where I would be tomorrow when I will get older.I worry about  where to get financial security knowing I live alone. I feared even that I would not meet the soul that I long to be with  in this world. I feared about so many things that were really unnecessary after all.It was because I let my mind stick to the notion that this material world challenges me to compete and be at par with others. It was when I let my desires conquer my simplicity that things get complicated. It was when I started to cling to something temporary that I began to wander. It was during this state that I become paralyzed.

And so....I needed to go back to the premise that everything ceases and that there is no use to be scared about life. Growth is indespensable and painful as it is, I need to embrace everything and let go. To cling means to get hurt. Nature is ever flowing.No stopping until it ends.

Happiness is a state of mind and  nothing and no one in this world can give this state to me but me alone. It is only when I stop holding on   and accept change can life open its doors for me.

  Happiness is a gift. I wish everyone this. Be happy!



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yes, we're best friends

There are many people along the way as I live life yet there is only one that would fit the best friend ideal. It is with utter gratitude that i am honoring her for being there despite the distance. Ours is nothing extraordinary but it is in the ordinariness of friendship that lies the meaning of real connection. Two decades and counting. Thanks Rousselle. 



These I learned ...


"Live simply so  others may simply live." Mother Teresa

I have wanted so much to watch a great movie yesterday but I kept changing my  mind. It was not because i doubted whether or not the film would meet my expectations (as I do root for the two lead stars.) but it was more on the thought that the money i would be spending to be  inside the theather could be used to something better.

I was thinking of home and the financial situation that we are facing. Dad has just gotten out of the hospital and we still need to buy some medicine. We dont have much at hand and we need to shell out whatever we have to live.

I feel a sense of hopelessness at times. I wanted to give more but i only get to give what i have for now. I have less students at the moment and I also have to fend for myself. I am about to defend my thesis and I also need to pay my school fees. Apart from these, I still need to pay my bills.

I am writing this now while the rain is pouring outside. Sweet music is playing in the background.My heart is pounding hard and I felt like crying. There is really no reason to be sad. It's just that this self has felt so much compassion and is helpless at the moment.

I thought of the good movie that I missed and I realized it was not a bad idea missing it at all as I will be able to watch it in time. I am thinking of the clothes at the thrift store and said to myself, they can wait. I am thinking of buying this and that but decided to delay procuring them. I want to make my family live well and even if this time there isnt much to offer, the idea of simplying life is the best option.

I dont live a very vain life, if I may say it. I am a way very frugal in my spending but the situation that we are in these days has reinforced my simplicity. There is no more room for useless spending. There are better things to think about. More so, there are souls that need to be fed.

I am watching myself and it is a great adventure. It will take time before we can fully recover from this trial but we will be better off in time.

Life is still beautiful. The degree of happiness that i feel doesnt diminish. In fact, i feel more content knowing there are great lessons learned as i deal with life's toughness.

Dad needs to heal completely. He needs to eat and sleep well. My family needs more stregnth.I guess these are more important that having more in my pocket.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Great practice today


I was a bit very early at the Shala today. By the time I got to the place, two teachers were already present. A teacher from the other Shala was there and I was pretty aware teacher Connie wasn't around.

The first few minutes had been sluggish for me. My nose was still clogged and my muscles were tired. I started doing my short pranayama then some stretching. Savasana followed.

The practice today was intended for the repose of the soul of my sister as well as healing .

Asanas were slow but fluid. I realized however that I missed a pose towards the end of the practice. I decided not to to go back and just prayed the universe understood.I'm sure it did.

After two hours on the mat, i went home tired but energized. My mind isn't clear yet and I'm sure it will be haunted by useless worried every now and then but because I have my mat with me, I guess worries won't linger.

This yogin has one goal in mind... That is to go to Thailand and deepen my yogic life.


Thursday, February 16, 2012



Randomness of thoughs

I have been feeling under the weather for the past couple of days.My body's too tired and I am sporting the dreaded colds. I have been working hard juggling from time taching online, doing chores and writing /finalizing my thesis. The long hours I have been glued in front of the computer was one good reason for my feeling so down. There is nothing much I can do but accomplish my tasks.

Yesterday, I had submitted my final paper ready for defense.I am very glad for people who never get tired of helping me out. My mentor is the one person who has made me finished my writing thing. Without her support, i dont think I would be able to do something that was really not my forte, at least , in my own understanding.

I recognize her not only as my paper advisor but more than anything else, she's like an older sister that I never had. She knows how comfortable I am talking to her and just being silly and candid with her is very uplifting. I love the non-judgment perspective and I have felt her belief in me. It is a gift.

Still weak physically, i am looking forward to my shala adventure tomorrow.

As of this juncture also, the weather in here is not gonna be great. Wishing everyone well.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012


As usual, valentine's day this year is an ordinary day for me in a way. Romantically, I am not involved with anyone so it's really just a mundane day.

Despite it's ordinariness, I was still doing some extraordinary tasks specially that I am exerting all my efforts to accomplish what needs to be done regarding my thesis. I was honestly feeling so insecure about my inadequacy in terms of theological matters that I was at some points entertaining the thought of giving up again.

It dawned on me though that even if I am not at par with anyone theologically, I can still do some humbling endeavors to finish this . My mentor was kind enough to morally support me. I was able to honestly express my feelings and thoughts to her. I was really grateful!

I am a bit tired today and my emotions are on the rocks :) I love being a woman.

I have reasons to be glad this day also.Waking up and seeing the beautiful clouds outside my room reminded me that life is cool in the midst of....

Simple pleasures like healthy diet is also one good reason to be happy today.

There are more to be happy about...even when my printer has given up on me today. (sigh!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A classic that's been giving me chills always




It was a great practice at the Shala today. There were many of us and I loved the energy. Up until now I am still awed by the spontaneity of the asanas. I was able to execute my chakrasanas. Without my knowing it I was doing this pose with ease today. I was also able to do my headstand without my teacher's help. I am very glad for the gift of strength and flexibility.

My father had been enjoying better appetite and sleep now. I am all the more grateful. Despite our financial constrains, I Still feel so blessed to have with me what matters most. My family, my yoga and teaching.

My heart has desires to be fulfilled but as of this moment, I just would like to honor the Universe for everything.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nephews' innocence


 This is one those photos that always makes me smile.The innocence of my nephews just want me to forget that life sometimes is hard. I love them BIG TME!

The three of them


Dad and his menaces


When everything else seems unreal, there are still a few good things that matter. Just like the smiles on these kids whose simplicity has healed hugely!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

so it's a moon day

I wasn't very aware that the moon is on its fullest today until i looked at my moon phases on blogger. It just dawned on me that i have been acting a little weird for the past couple of days. I am easily annoyed at times. Generally my mood is on its highest. My bubbly self has transpired. I have been feeling lethargic easily and i want to sleep longer. In other words, my energy is waning. I laugh hard naturally. Nature is overwhelming this time. So because it's a moon day, I honor this phase as I honor my body.My mood swings and all....they make up my being me. I have missed the shala and my mat. There is no word to describe my hype this time. Family matters are strong specially because my dad is still recovering. Desires are plenty and my impatience is evident. I am an inch wiser today as my ideas are kind of abundant.Despite this mindset, I am feeling a bit insecure about my upcoming paper defense. I don't know if I have done enough. Anyway, as this is a lunar day, I want to offer three oms to acknowledge the energies I have. Om, for peace.Om, for grace. Om for wisdom. Namaste and May the brightness of the moon illuminate the whole world, specially, may its light bring us closer to what our hearts desire.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blessed two days!

I spent two days at home and i must say that was the most meaningful homecoming I have ever experienced in a while. Seeing my family after almost a year was a huge relief. Dad was a bit wasted since he just came back from the hospital but it really didn't matter much. I had great conversations with him. It wasnt easy to inspire him to be well since he is still really weak. I did all i could to be a good daughter, I believed so.

For two days, there was no computer at hand. I wholly spent time with them.Taking short walks, eating out, going to the beach, singing and talking. It was all tha I could give but it was the best I had given so far this year.

Seeing my best friend was also one lifegiving treat. This woman has been my bosom buddy for more than a decade. I honor her loyalty and I honor our friendship too.

I am back in Manila and I will be facing life ahead alone again. There are things to do. There are purposes for my laboras always.

I am glad to be home and be with people who matter to me. I love the laidback life back home.I just love being there...at least, even for two days.