Chapter One Dharma Talk (start) Chapter Two Guided Meditation (1h00m40s) Chapter Three-A Guided Asana Opening Three (1h15m12s) Chapter Three-B Guided Asana Ten Head Movements (1h40m59s) Chapter Four End of Class Meditation (2h00m15s)
Erich Schiffmann's Freedom Yoga Workshop was taught in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Labor Day Weekend 2015
For 15 years Erich's Freedom Yoga Workshop continues to be one of his favorite perennial events. Hosted by Yellow Springs Yoga, owned and operated by Patricia Schneider and Andrew Junker, the Labor Day Weekend is a Labor of Love honoring old and new friends to this awesome tradition.
Welcome to a warm rainy summer evening in this first session of the four meetings starting Friday Evening September 4, 2015. Enjoy the JOY!
Erich: This is how you do, “Thy Will be done.”
With Love and Pranams,
Erich: Look around the room for a second and see who's here. This is an advanced group. This is what an advanced group looks like. You know what I mean? Young and old, etc.
And what does the advanced group need to learn? (laughs)
The same thing as everyone else, but really, really, really.
With Love and Pranams,
Erich: The predicament we find ourselves in is not just an illusion. We are in the middle of Ultimate Reality, misperceiving it, and having a weird experience. But, we are in the middle of Ultimate Reality.
You are doing something when you look at somebody. You are doing something when you look at anything. Linger on things a little bit more than usual and let the window of your mind clarify, so that right here, where it seemed like we were in a stupid mortal world, you start seeing the very same thing in a different light, literally...
Erich: All the guided human teaching, remember, is about helping you get to the place where you can do Freeform.
Freeform does not mean that you abandon prescribed routines. It means that you give yourself permission to do exactly what you feel like doing. When I first started getting the hang of Freeform, I thought it meant that you ditch prescribed routines. In fact, that is what I was recommending to everybody. It just seemed like, “Yes, of course. Duh.” But, prescribed routines are really helpful is my understanding at the moment.
Learn the pattern. Learn the routine. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. But then, remember, what you are really learning is how to be more intuitive. As you "get into it" more and more, the energy itself will begin to move you out of the prescribed nature of the pattern.
The World Is Not An Illusion, Part 2
The world is not an illusion.
You are not in a temporary world on the way to somewhere better.
That's the illusion.
The insight is that we are in the middle of Ultimate Reality, already. Not that you couldn't be having a better experience. But, there is no place else you could be. There is nothing else happening except Reality, and wherever you are will be somewhere in the middle of The Kingdom.
But, you can have a mistaken assessment. You can have a deluded, illusory understanding. That is all that's happening. But, just that little “all that's happening” makes a big difference in terms of the experience you will find yourself having.
Erich: The world is NOT an illusion.
If you think it is, you will spend your time thinking you are wasting your time with an illusory event.
Man, that's a bummer.
It is really important to get beyond thinking that the world itself is an illusion and that you are in a temporary world on the way to somewhere better.
That was my mindset for the longest time.
Much of the world's spiritual literature reads, “The world is an illusion” and "You are not the body." You start to believe it the longer you hear it. But then, it really does put a damper on your experience. And I don't think it's true.
The world is really Real!
The Event we are in the middle of is THE ULTIMATE.
The new understanding is, "There is no place else you could be!"
Erich: The main practice in Yoga, the way I am talking about it — and, usually, when you talk about a "practice" you are talking about a specific thing that you are doing. Like, “I am practicing making a middle C.” “I am practicing a handstand.” But, what I am talking about, as the specific practice you want to be practicing is, "the inquiry into Truth."
The practice is curiosity.
What I have been saying is that the main thing to practice is curiosity. Walk through your day and with whatever is in your experience, wonder to yourself, “What is the truth here, really?”
Practice saying that because that sets you up for having a clearer, unbiased experience of whatever the truth of Life is...
Chapter Two in here is typically Meditation. The technique we have been doing lately is called Conscious Immobility. The idea is to sit absolutely still without holding yourself still. It doesn't sound like it would be fun. But, for a couple minutes it is great.
It is such an interesting practice to just sit there and let go and let go and let go and let go and let go. And from there, let go and let go and let go and let go.
What you are letting go of is tension, defense. And so, you are learning to be undefended. You are learning to be tension-free. You are learning to get increasingly wide-open.
Now, again, if you can get the hang of how to do that here where it is easy, and you get familiar with what it feels like to be relaxed and wide open, then as you channel your way through your life you will become increasingly attentive to when you are getting defensive again, uptight again. It won't feel as good as it used to feel. You will catch yourself. And then you will learn — in that moment — to relax. And it will feel like you are being super brave.
So, the practice is, "Be brave and relax." Saying it like that always cracks me up, but that is what it feels like.
Erich: Now, typically, the older you get the more you find yourself getting sick with various things. The tendency is to justify this by saying things like, “Well, that's just my genetic predisposition.” And yes, that is our best human conception at the moment.
So, for example, "My father died of a blood clot. Blood clots are genetic. I am almost the age that my father was when he died. I'll probably get a blood clot like Dad. Maybe I will die of a blood clot. My brother has a blood clot. Maybe it really is genetic."
And so, you will find yourself saying things like that, confirming your current level of ignorance, your current level of understanding.
And yes, there is a truth to genetics. There is.
And yet, what I am suggesting is: Push genetics to the source of genetics. The source of your genetics is not your parents, not your grandparents, not your grandparents' parents' grandparents. Your real DNA is sourced by the Source of all.