All posts filed under: Journey

Kefir in a bottle

Relationship with food and our wellbeing

Four or five of us gathered around some chocolates. No labels on the chocolate. We have no idea what brand, what flavour. The facilitator led us to “taste” the chocolates in air – meaning we didn’t ingest, but we connected to the energy of the chocolate.  For the first piece – we first all connected to the chocolate to feel how it felt in our body as if we have eaten it. Some said they felt it was very sticky in the throat or in the digestion. Surprisingly, although none of us were trained to “taste” this way, for each chocolate, we had sensations – sensing that this piece was more prickly in the throat, and that more heavy in the digestion. The experience was eye-opening because how often do we sense the food we eat as suppose to just seeing how it looks? When we buy produce Ever since that chocolate tasting, I had been more conscious when I go grocery shopping. I look and sense the freshness and aliveness of the fruit or …

A couple holding hands on beach | Where My Heart Leads

Secret to Happy. Piano Four Hands.

My friend Yee sends over Whatsapp:  The song always reminds me of high school. I didn’t realise she plays so well…and she looks so happy. In the video, Karen Mok, a Hong Kong singer plays the piano four hands with her husband.  Just a regular afternoon. They looking intently at the score to catch all the notes and chuckles when one misses some. Child-like fun. Recovering Music fun? The morning I received Yee’s text, I had been thinking about playing piano. How fun it can be to play – play with music. When I moved from Hong Kong to the US, I noticed that whilst Asian kids dominated the music building, and a number were quite good, the non-Asian kids who played music seemed to experiment and enjoy it more. In the US, kids don’t sit for exams. In Hong Kong, I have yet to meet a serious student of music who do not sit for the British music exams. In the US, instead of drills on scales, we learnt about expression, about performing, about …

Exterior of Paranakan Museum Singapore | Where My Heart Leads

WMHL explores Merlion city (plus Bonus trivia!)

I used to visit Singapore often as a kid as we visited my Aunt who lived here. I had fond memories strolling with my cousin to a nearby arcade getting Archie comic books at the used book store, and having my favorite paddle pops. (4 a day!! For a kid that was like the Best-est holiday!) Although unicorns weren’t quite a thing then, I guess all kids subconsciously have a love for the magical unicorn colors [Enter Agnes in Despicable Me] There were fond memories of fresh chicken satays barbequed atop of smokey barbeque stoves. Teppanyaki lunches where we’d retire to the living room area for tea and ice-cream after the meal. And jumping off three-meter high diving boards (my first) at some club swimming pool. New Singapore Explorations I am here again to explore. This time, with over three decades of travels and life experiences with me. Instead of paddle pops, I’m having Hokkaido affogato soft-serve at Don Don Donki food court. As suppose to neighbor’s grilled satays, I’m invited to Po at the …

Inner physician and You | Where My Heart Leads

Your Inner Physician and You

Written by the founder of Craniosacral Therapy (CST). The title is apt – our bodies are the ones doing the repair, the growth, the healing. We all have an inner physician. What encourages the body’s own healing to take place? What hinders it? How can we lend the body a hand in its healing? Getting to the Bottom of it During the worst of the eczema, my whole scalp was oozing liquid and blood from the sores of the skin. I still remember lying on the massage table, clearly distressed by how out of hand the scalp was, and also embarrassed that the therapist would be working on such a horrid case. The smell of bodily wounds, the liquidy mess.  Blessedly, Catherine the therapist didn’t pass any judgement and made me feel at ease. By the end of the session, the oozing on the scalp had stopped. I was relieved that the skin has at least calmed down. I won’t be worrying about staining the pillows that evening. Following a few more sessions, the scalp …

Five students in the sun at the farm at Milton Mountain School

Schooled on an Organic Farm

Two decades back, I was digging up potatoes, feeding hens and taking high school classes on an organic farm in Vershire, Vermont. With just forty-odd kids all in 11th grade and 8-9 faculty and staff, The Milton Mountain School was off-the-beaten-path, and a much treasured experience. From feeding farm hens to being Kitchen Hand Every two weeks, our chores rotate. Jack Kruse assigns us to our chores. I must have been his favorite – the only time when we had a three-week rotation, he assigned me for the best-est chore of: Composting. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for 55 people sums to three to sometimes six slop buckets of compost per day. Slop is all the kitchen scraps from cooking and after meals. The white buckets are arm’s-length deep. Just around sunrise, I’d load the buckets onto a wheelbarrow and push up a small hill to the compost area. Hoisting the buckets high enough over the wooden fence, I’d empty the sloppy-slop into the compost, then cover it with dry hay. Luckily, I didn’t know what …

Sky Earth Water Mouth Fuji | Where my heart leads

Mount Fuji Pilgrimage

4:38AM – August 26: I noticed the three teru teru bōzu ( Japanese spirit-dolls) hanging on the door at Munatsuki-sansō (胸突山荘) at station nine-and-a-half of the Fujinomiya trail to the top of Mount Fuji. They had been my guardian angels, praying for good weather for my successful ascent. Most of my fellow sojourners had already departed for the summit — they would miss watching the sunrise from the top if they weren’t arriving there by now. It was freezing outside — I had gone around to the bathroom behind the lodge and also that seemed to be everyone’s first topic of the day. I was standing at the doorway, gathering myself, contemplating whether I should linger longer inside the lodge for the sun to rise more and the air to warm up further. But the staff of the lodge must have seen me standing there with all my belongings on my back, looking ready to go. I could feel their gaze on me; it would be awkward not to leave now, so I said a …

Japanese Harvest Festival Matsuri | Where My Heart Leads

When a coffee chat turned into full-fledged Japanese Harvest Festival

Thanks to serendipity. This time last year, I was waiting at a train station two hours east of Tokyo. I had just taken a cab with two other Vipassana camp participants after our camp. We said our goodbyes and I waited for another two who said we’d meet for some coffee at the station before heading back into town. 15 – 20 minutes later, the two of them turn up in this little white buggy of a car. Waving, and windows rolled down, “Hey hey, we’re going to this really cool farm-to-table cafe that Yuriko is offering to take us. Would you like to go too?” “Sure!” I had no plans for the rest of my time in Tokyo so roadtrip/adventure? I’m in! My big fat suitcase just managed to fit into the trunk, and I squeezed into the back seat and off we went. The five of us didn’t know one another, but had ‘slept together’ the last 10 days at the Vipassana camp. At the wheel is Yuriko. She’s a local. A total …