Samara vs. Greed


Last night I watched the movie Samsara.

The Sanskrit word samsara means “the repeated passing of souls through different worlds- gross or subtle.” Thus, samsara means going through the cycle of repeated births and deaths. Under the influence of karma, the soul moves upwards and downwards on the wheel of rebirth, the round of birth, death and rebirth undergone by all living beings. It is a cycle of transmigration from one living form into another.

This movie moves through the most unbelievable landscapes and sacred places built by humans then turns to the destruction of human kind, poverty, trash, and the cycle of the depressive reality. I ask myself how do I digest this reality? How do I continue to buy, waste, expel, without, caring, finding new uses, and sharing?


The Upanishad states ” As people act, so they become. If their actions are good. they become good; if their actions are bad, they become bad. Good deeds purify those who perform them; bad deeds pollute those who perform them.”

What am I doing to help rather than destroy what is left?  May I be so bold to ask all my readers, what are you doing?

Lets start 2013 combining a list of all the messages, actions, and beliefs we carry to change the monster of greed and purify ourselves first by doing good deeds. Join with me.



How a Perm can change the world.

As I sat in the staff canteen eating my plate of veggies and barley; I saw a man sitting at the adjacent table.

Tony 2

His picture above can show the features that drew my attention. His curly hair, his wrinkle-less skin and his smile. I had to ask, “do you perm?”  The unbelievable answer that came, was, “yes.”

Not a word that we shared would be understood by either of us, as he speaks only Cantonese and I do not. But the inspiration that came from meeting him taught me valuable lessons.

Beauty is for everyone. And healthy skin comes if you sleep well, eat veggies, and are happy.

Tony works in the laundry and no matter if the towels are piled higher than the ceiling, his smile will remain. He is 51 and born the year of the Ox. He told me that he believes that his skin is so good because he is good. Wow. I am overwhelmed. If only a perm could do that to the rest of the world.

What is the Meridian System?


What is the Meridian System?

Chinese medicine believes there is a distribution network for the fundamental substances of Qi, the body.  This distribution network is called the Meridian System and it looks like a giant web, linking different areas of our body together. Its pathways make up a body map that supplies vital energy to every part of the body.

The Chinese meaning of the word Meridian

“Jing luo”, the Chinese term for meridian has two interesting meanings. These meanings date back several thousand years and are reflected in the ancient Chinese medical text, Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), which says:

Jing meridians act as the interior. Those which branch off horizontally are luo meridians. Jing means to pass through or pathway and refers to the vertical channels. Luo means network and refers to the networks that branch off from the vertical channels (Jing). Both Jing and Luo mean link or connection, and they are bound closely together to form channels.

Classification of Meridians

The Meridian System has 12 principal meridians that correspond to the yin and yang organs and the pericardium. (Yin organs are usually those without an empty cavity, and include the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Yang organs are organs with an empty cavity such as the gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, large intestine and bladder. In TCM, yin and yang organs are physiological functional units that incorporate a much broader meaning than common western thinking.)

Meridians linked with yin organs are known as yin meridians; if they are linked to yang organs, they are known as yang meridians. In addition to the12 principal meridians, there are eight extra meridians and smaller network-like luo meridians. Among the eight extra meridians, the Governing Vessel and the Conception Vessel are considered the most important channels, because they contain acupuncture points which are independent of the twelve principal meridians.

At the Spa at Four Seasons we use this knowledge for a treatment called The Forbidden Rice.  We use the wonderful organic products of Ling New York and combine them with the knowledge of East.

Forbidden Rice Treatment

This full-body treatment is the essence of East meets West. A rice and ginger body scrub exfoliates the entire body and is then removed without you having to leave the treatment bed. A two-phase massage follows. First, a rich butter of organic ginger, lotus and fennel is used to stimulate blood circulation. This is followed by a lymphatic drainage massage using a warming oil blend of cinnamon, ylang-ylang and black pepper. This truly indulgent treatment is inspired by old and new Hong Kong.

The Art of Observation


As I am not born Christian, there is space for me to watch as the world goes into a “one day craziness” filled with the need for glee, the craving for presents, the gift of fleeting happiness.

It as if all my spiritual teachers have given me the gift, every year, for one day, to be an observer. Now, the question comes: how can I create that space into my daily life. Why is it that I can remove myself from the “madness” on this day called Christmas, but not on every other day.

So today starts a new pattern, along with my diet to lose 5 kilos. An added goal. Observation.

“Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening. -Gurdjieff

Spa Rant-Protection First

Protection first

Once I went for a massage (I know, this seems to happen a lot), and it was seemingly going well. It was soothing massage, so there was oil involved and things seemed to be going well until I noticed a really odd scratchy/squishy sound. This was followed by some odd snapping sounds until I finally looked up and turned and realised my therapist was wearing rubber gloves.

Rubber gloves. For a massage. Seriously? In all my years of spa-ing that has never happened to me before. It was so surprising I asked my therapist why she was using gloves. Her answer was “it’s for your protection, and mine.”

Well this was another stunner. What did I need protection from? I assumed she washed her hands before starting the massage…and I didn’t think I was particularly germ-ridden.

To be honest, it didn’t feel THAT different getting a massage through rubber gloves. It was just the sound! All that pulling and sucking and squishing and snapping. Well, not exactly what you’d call soothing. And of course I was a bit offended that the therapist needed to be “protected” from me.

When the massage was over, I asked the spa manager what was the reason for the gloves. She said that some clients prefer it (I want to meet these people!). When I pressed further she just promised me it wouldn’t happen again. So I never got an answer beyond the whole sanitation thing. I know Hong Kong can be oddly paranoid about sanitation post-SARS, but this was probably the strangest experience of it I’ve ever had.