August 4, 2011

Nepal: 3 Year Old Child Determined to be Real Life Goddess

A few days ago I received a Facebook message which read:

“Yeah Dave, my name is Shirley Hairston and I recently took your workshop.  I got terrible diarrhea after. Just thought you should know.”

Note: I wanted to ignore a message of this nature but I care very much about my students and responded…

“Shirley, are you sure it was my class? Maybe it was something you ate? Or possibly it was one of those intense backbending classes?”

Note: If I could blame it on someone or something else, it seemed like the easiest way to handle this.

Shirley responded, “No, I know when I got home from your yoga class I had terrible, explosive diarrhea and it hasn’t gone away since.”

“Wow. I totally apologize Shirley. Maybe it was the chocolate I served after class?”

(Here’s where I took a moment to make sure “diarrhea” was covered under my yoga teachers insurance policy. It wasn’t.)

Shirley wrote back, “No, I love that chocolate, I think it’s you Yeah Dave. There’s something about you that causes my bowels to explode.”

Wow. This was so bad it was good. Sorta like a compliment. But not really.


You may remember an interesting news story from 2008.

A 3-year-old girl named Matani Shakya was appointed a living goddess in Nepal.

In order to receive this honor, the living goddess had to have perfect hair, eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and weirdest of all, she could not be afraid of the dark.

As a test, Matani Shakya needed to spend a night alone in a pitch black room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes without showing fear.

Can you imagine putting a 3 year old in alone in a dark bedroom let alone in a room with the heads of slaughtered goats?

Critics say the tradition violates both international and Nepalese laws on child rights.

Nonetheless, Matani has sat alone in a cave for the past 4 years as she will do for the next 4 until she begins to menstruate…as goes this ancient tradition.


I know what you must be thinking and I agree…as long as she has TV.

Like Matani, there’s some part in each of us stuck in a cave, deep in our psyche.


Because sometimes, just sometimes, tradition is a lost leader.

That’s why Emerson suggested “a philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation and not history.”

Consider, if you have some addiction, ailment, or God forbid, explosive diarrhea…don’t blame your religion, yoga teacher, spouse, or parent.

Take responsibility. Strip off all the junk that weighs you down. Live in the moment. Once and for all, emerge from that dark place in your mind.

As a wise one said, “Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?

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