New 2015 Edition of Erich's - Freedom Yoga Teacher Training Handbook
- This is the latest version of Erich Schiffmann's FREEDOM YOGA Teacher Training & Immersion Handbook 2015 Edition. Essential, practical, valuable material. 139 pages
New 2015 Edition of Erich's - Freedom Yoga Teacher Training Handbook
Erich: It's funny. I'm trying not to be repetitive, and yet I know this is not repetitive. I know this is still the thing I'm learning about. And I know I've said it 10 million times. And I know I know it. I can write a report about it. I can talk about it. But, still, the important thing is doing it! Living it...
Erich: I was always taught that the word Namaste means, "I bow to you." Or, "The God in me sees the God in you." Or, "The Light in me sees the Light in you," something like that. These all have the same fundamental meaning. But, the specific definition that I have always liked is, "The light of my awareness sees the light of your presence."
Awareness does seem like a light. Like, right now, you are aware, and wherever you put your attention is like you are shining your flashlight — the flashlight of your awareness — on whatever you happen to focus on.
And so, namaste is, "The light of my awareness sees the light of your presence." I would vote, memorize that definition. And from now until a week from now, say it to yourself a lot. Let it remind you to do the exercise of actually looking to see the light of somebody else's presence, the light of any presence!
Erich: I've been trying to include more Savasana in these classes. We did it the other day. It's been on my mind to do more of it. But, in lieu of that, as a homework, maybe get yourself to do Savasana at home, deliberately, if not every day, then maybe once a week.
Savasana is the Deep Relaxation Pose. You simply lie down and relax, and let yourself become wide open, and pay attention to the experience you are having...
I have a friend. His main practice is Savasana every afternoon. He has a favorite selection of music, Bach or Beethoven, something classical, a 20-minute piece. And the best part of his day is to just lie down in the living room, put the music on, nice volume, and just whoosh, go for it.
It's a good practice, learning to be wide open. Most people agree it's a good idea to be open, rather than shielded. But, man, how many of us are actually doing it? Because, I know when I am really doing it, I'm different from how I am most of the time. You know what I mean?
And it's interesting when you start feeling the difference.
Erich: The other thing I want to keep reminding everybody about, because I keep learning it anew, is always keep going back to the basics.
Yoga. It means, "to yoke," "to join." When you "yoke" and "join," you will experience the already-existing Unity.
So, the word, Yoga, means "join," but it also means "union, Unity."
In easy words, it's about small mind — your sense of self — joining with Big Mind. The more you join with Big Mind, the more you realize, "Oh wow, I'm not actually joining with Big Mind. Big Mind IS my mind."
There's only one Infinite Mind, really. One Consciousness. And, if you are conscious, then that Consciousness is being You. That IS your consciousness...
Erich: Philosophy means "the love of truth." Yoga means "yoke," union, unity. And so, the way we have been talking about it is that Yoga is the inquiry into truth.
Now, the big point I want to emphasize again — and, this is the big point because this is the big point I'm going through. And I would vote that if you are a teacher just keep talking about the stuff that you are on the leading edge with. It will be exciting for you. It will be exciting for everybody. I'm definitely in learning-mode about all of this. It's fun to be in learning-mode.
The huge insight is that we are not in a temporary world on the way to somewhere better. We are in the middle of The Ultimate. We are in the middle of Reality. There's no place else you could be!
Thinking that you are in a temporary world on the way to "somewhere better" puts you in a mindset of just putting up with the way things are, as though you're "doing time." Those are the perfect words. It feels like you're "doing time." Whereas ...
Erich: The point I want to emphasize is that Yoga is the inquiry into Truth. That's what it is.
Therefore, the question you should walk around with is, "What is the truth here, really?" Something's going on. What is the truth here, really? I've been calling that the Holy Instant. Do that a lot. That's how you practice the Holy Instant.
Do it in every moment you find yourself in. When you see the homeless guy, say to yourself, "What is the truth here, really?" and then put a comma in your commentary for a moment.
When you see a beautiful sunset, say to yourself, "What is the truth here, really?" and then put a comma in your commentary.
You see a person, you see another person, you see a clock, whatever is in your experience, say, "What is the truth here, really?" and then don't race to make up the answer. Put a comma in your commentary...
Erich: I just have to say, again, I'm learning a lot. I'm having fun. The other day was fun. Last week was fun. The previous week was fun.
I want to clarify one thing here, because I mentioned the other day — and I say this every once in a while — that I think death is a fake, that you don't really die when you die.
And where I don't want to go with that is, I'm not talking about the future. You know what I mean? This is not just interesting talk, speculating about the future, about what may or may not happen.
The growing insight is that — because of the various experiences I've had, etc. — there is no such thing as death. There's just ongoing Life. It might look like you pass out of this experience, but for you, your experience, you will continue to be fully embodied and fully conscious. You don't become disembodied. Your existence does not get extinguished.
Death means "the extinguishment of being." That's the actual definition. And, my sense on this is that there is no such thing as the extinguishment of being.
There is Conscious Being being Itself, forever.
But, not on a "timeline," such that at a certain point you'll die and then go to a new ride...
The "time"-realization, increasingly, is, ...
Erich: What we have been getting into the last couple days, the last couple classes, is: You are not a FORM being conscious. You are not a BODY being conscious. You are THAT WHICH IS AWARE of forms and bodies.
You are specifically identified as a form, as a body, just like Life is specifically identified as a tree over here and a mountain over there. But, what YOU fundamentally are is not the specific tree or mountain or person. You are that which is appearing as that!
You are that which is appearing as you, as a form. You are that Awareness, which is being aware of forms and bodies through each specific form and body. But, there is only One Aware One, The All being all. And, therefore, that is what you are...
Erich: When I first initiated Freeform in class more than 25 years ago, a woman came up to me at the end and said, "Erich! The reason I come to class is because I want you to tell me what to do. I don't want to think about it." I totally fell for it. I thought, "Oh, you're right. My job is to tell you what to do. You're right, you're right, you're right." It was about five years before I finally got up the courage to bring it into class again.
Then, in the very first class when I reintroduced the Freeform, there was a nice man right in this seat. I explained what we were about to do, that I wasn't going to walk around and give adjustments. I wasn't going to tell anyone what to do, and in fact for these few minutes the idea was to actually listen for Inner Guidance and be willing to do exactly what you feel like doing. And, in fact, that's where you want to get with your practice, where you transcend prescribed routines and get into listening mode.
Prescribed routines are helpful, but they should help you get into listening mode, to where you start channeling it. There is nothing prescribed about that. It will feel brand new the whole time...
Erich: And so, you, as a conscious being, as you begin to identify yourself with the formless, changeless Conscious Presence that God is — which is therefore what you are, which is both formed and that which is aware of forms — you will shift away from flat-earth mentality, thinking you are a speck in the middle of infinity, doomed to death, to the realization of, "Oh, wow, all the forms of which I am aware are happening within the Changeless Context of Consciousness that I am. I have a form and I am that which is aware of forms. But, I am not a form being aware. I am that which is being aware of forms."
This is hard to talk about. I hope you are getting a sense of what I'm trying to say...
Erich: OK, let me put it this way. First — the word, God. Try to wash your mind clean of what you think the word "God" means. It's hard. Essentially, though, the word "God" means Being with a capital "B." Being. It means Supreme BEING, the Supreme I AM, Existence — that which is being everything that's being.
God is the Supreme Being. God is Supreme Being, which is being everything that is being. Therefore, when you ask the question, "What is the truth here, really?" and you put the pause in there, then that which is really Real is going to start becoming obvious.
The answer to, "What is the truth here, really?" is, GOD IS...