An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. ‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’
The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
I have asked Laura Hayhurst, a young woman who has spent a great deal of time in India, to write her impressions about Rishikesh. If you are interested in attending my seminar “Straight to You” from May 14 – 22, there are still places available.
“My love for Rishikesh….
When I first visited this holy city in 2008, I only knew two things about it: that The Beatles came here in 1968, and that it was the world centre for yoga. Rishikesh was green, clean and bright. There was a buzz in the air, but I couldn’t explain it. This was where I took my first yoga lesson.
My yoga journey had begun. Up before the sun, I would cross over Laxman Jhula and down the road towards Ram Jhula to an ashram for lessons. Laxman Jhula, along the left bank of the Ganga, has restaurants catering to foreigners. Ram Jhula, by contrast, was bustling, full of incense and the sound of bells, cows, cheeky monkeys and pilgrims. Every night at the huge ashram Parmath Niketan evening aarti were held, with holy flames, mantras, singing and celebrations for Mother Ganga.
I returned to Rishikesh in May, 2014 and stayed with Elizabeth Pauncz and Helen Noakes. This time I understood the buzz in the air. I would wake up early and feel the pull of yoga and the river. I was in heaven.
As in life, some things are good and some have been painful. But India has taught me to accept all experiences without judgement. My practice has shown me how to connect my physical and spiritual life through my heart.
I look forward to May 2015—another a chance to visit this marvelous place and to learn with Elizabeth, one of my favourite teachers in Rishikesh. I can’t imagine anywhere else that yoga and nature are in such perfect harmony.”
Time Magazine named Quincy Jones one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century. His talents are endless and range from conductor, arranger, composer, humanitarian, etc. His career spans six decades. At eighty one, he still travels extensively and was recently in Italy, accompanying young musicians on tour!
In a recent interview he said:
“For me the most important thing has never been money. Music must be first and exist above all other things. You must love and respect it.
You have to be able to express what you feel inside; you have to touch peoples’ hearts. You must be authentic.
I have always played out of love. When you do it for money, God leaves the room.”
I think there are many correlations between his “creed” and what an authentic Yoga teacher lives and believes.
A nasturtium has bright orange flowers and is a favorite among many gardeners. It is an “annual” which means that it grows for only one season (from spring to autumn).
I like to plant the cascading variety so as to enjoy its green leaves and cheerful flowers which make a splash of color. This year, however, the one plant that grew did not produce any flowers at all during the summer which is most unusual. Those who love plants know the outlandish ends one will go to in an attempt to coax plants to bloom. In spite of special attention, the plant still didn’t have any flowers at all. Unexpectedly, however, it continued to grow throughout the fall and although its leaves were beginning to wilt and turn brown, it lived on through Christmas and into the new year!
Amazing things can happen not only in our human world.
The nasturtium produced two bright sunny flowers this January. Impossible but true.
Isn’t this an interesting suggestion for mental training? How often do we give up on some project or person when it seems like a hopeless situation?
These flowers are a reminder that we can never know the endless possibilities and surprising outcomes that can occur.