These are my personal notes from the Tuesday May 22, 2014 Venice Class entitled That’s The Point!
1) Read the Transcript below without the audio.
2) Sit quietly and listen to the Talk, as though you were there with me in the class. You can access the audio >here<
3) Read the Transcript as you listen to the audio. If you have time, do the meditation also. It only takes a few minutes :))))))))))
Read on and enjoy!
That’s The Point!
~ Thursday May 22, 2014 ~
Erich: Are you ready?
I brought this to show you, in case you don’t know about these. This is my favorite meditation cushion. It’s different than a round one. It has a better feel to it because of this little bite. Your feet go in there nicely. It gives you a slightly better slope than if it was just round, though round is good. But, you know, if you are going for comfort, this is more comfortable. And it is soft. Some of them are made out of buckwheat. I have one that is made out of sand, I think. I have one that is inflatable, which is pretty cool. But, this one is my favorite. The inflatable one would be my second favorite. I will bring that one in to show you next time. You can deflate it, put it in your bag, and take it on the plane. I actually brought this to show Colby, but he’s not here today. He’s in Puerto Vallarta. Porto? Puerta.
Anyway, keep in mind that meditation is the main practice, in my opinion. You should figure out a comfortable way to sit. You should figure out four or five ways to sit comfortably. If you ever do a meditation course, a weeklong or 10 days, man, just sitting there, you need positions to re-position yourself in.
Years ago I was with Krishnamurti… Do you know who he was? I am always sort of surprised how many people have never heard of him. He was an Indian teacher. He was proclaimed to be the new Messiah, the new World Teacher, when he was a kid. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him and be a student at his school in England. He called me to his room one day to do a private interview. Whoa! Was that nice! I think I had three private interviews with him. But, during one of them, he was saying he likes to meditate with his back against the wall. I would demonstrate it here, but this awesome bar is in the way. But with a wall? I remember when he was suggesting it to me, I was thinking, “What a cop-out” and “Leaning against the wall is sort of stupid.” Those were the quick little thoughts going through my mind.
Greta: Plus, you were a teen.
Erich: And I was a teenager! Yes.
Barbara: Yeah, you were like 16, 17, so…
Erich: Yes. But now, I’m suggesting, try it at home. Snuggle your seat way back into the corner. Bring yourself up against the wall. It is extremely comfortable. You are erect. You can just pretty much relax. It is nice sitting on a zafu with your back against the wall, too.
Figure out four or five different, good positions. I often sit Lotus. Lotus is a good position. I often sit like this, which isn’t quite a Half-Lotus. It is called Shankara Asana. In a lot of paintings that you see of Shankara, he is actually sitting more like this.
I got into sitting like this when I was with Iyengar, eating lunch at Iyengar’s house. You would have your bowl of food, and put it on your knee like this. I thought, “Hey, that’s cool!” Whereas, when I had seen it or done it on my own, prior to seeing Iyengar do it, again I was sort of judgmental of it in a funny way. You know, your knee is up. It’s not symmetrical. But, it is very nice for things like this.
When you are at home remember sit on the floor more. Do little things like this. Eat your food like this. My yoga practice took off when I started playing around with it the rest of the time, sitting on the floor more, doing little stretches while you are watching TV. Then, when you get down to do a more serious practice, you have already done the opening, pretty much. You’re ready to go.
And so, this is the Shankara. But when I sit for meditation, I pull this leg up tighter. I like to flex that foot, wriggle my butt back, and then I am like this. It’s nice. I like it. It’s easier than Lotus.
Sitting on a zafu in Virasana is really nice. Have as many pillows as you need in order to sit comfortably like this.
So again, I am just putting out the vote. Figure out how to sit comfortably.
Melissa: Where did you get this one? What is it called?
Erich: I have no idea, and there’s no label on it, but they are called the “Crescent.”
Does anyone want to try it? Want to try it?
Sherry: Can I share one of my favorite Krishnamurti quotes?
Sherry: “It is not a great feat to be well-adjusted to a sick society.”
Erich: Yes, that is an awesome one. Yes.
Natalie: Erich, can you repeat it?
Erich: It is no great feat, F-E-A-T, to be well adjusted to a sick society.
Krishnamurti was great. I would vote, if you are… And I am bringing this up, partly, because I want to emphasize that we all do the meditation a little more seriously than we might be doing it, more regularly. And, I am voting for three times a day, at least. At night, in bed, before you slide under the covers, put 10 pillows behind your back. You don’t have to sit straight. Just get comfy. Slump! Just be in bed with 10 pillows and relax. Don’t hassle yourself. Mostly just watch what you find yourself doing. Don’t feel like you have to “meditate.” Just relax, and relax, and relax, and relax.
The highest meditation remember is — basically — “you” are not doing anything. Huh? And then, at that point, PAY ATTENTION to what’s happening. Because when “you” are not doing anything SOMETHING is still happening!
But, when “you” are not doing anything, then you are not energizing your usual mindsets. That’s the point.
When you are not energizing your usual mindsets, then you are available for a clearer experience of What Is Really Going On. And that is the point. To have a clearer experience of the Awesome Movement of Life that we are in the middle of. That’s the point.
To have a clearer experience of Life, Truth.
And, remember, the simple thought on all of this is that it is…
See, I was — and most people are — afraid to discover the truth. Because, wow, “If the truth about me is revealed, I will be convicted forever.” You will be condemned. You will not be able to fake it anymore. The truth will be out.
But, the insight is, wow, what is true is that you had nothing to do with the fact that you exist! You are not “doing” you. You are only here because The All is being YOU. And, when “you” are not doing your usual stuff, then The All that is being you will begin to register with you as being YOU.
The happy insight, the lucky insight, is that God is Love.
Again, that sounds trite, or it sounds silly. But, wow, it could not get more profound than that!
God means BEING — the Fact that things ARE.
When I first heard that God is Love, I thought, “Well, cool. Good for Him. Good for Her. What does that have to do with me, basically?” But then, increasingly, the insight is, God IS the Supreme Being. And you wouldn’t really say “the” Supreme Being.
God is SUPREME BEING being everything that is being. And, if you “be” — and you DO “be” — if you be, then you are the specific self-expression of The All, of Supreme Being.
Now, The All, Supreme Being . . . And again, you have to let it soak in a little. Don’t fight with it too much. But, The All is un-conflicted Being. There is nothing other than The All. There is no enemy to The All. And, therefore, The All is relaxed, is fearless. There is no enemy. And, therefore, there is no enemy to you.
Therefore, the more you relax deliberately and do your meditation, the more you are getting yourself congruent with the Wisdom of The All. You will find things beginning to reconfigure better. It’s nice. All you have to do is sit in bed and relax a little bit more than you normally would!
And when you get up in the morning, drag yourself to a seated position, put 10 pillows behind your back, and go back to sleep, almost. Wake up half an hour before the alarm. Sit up in bed. Go back to sleep, except you will not go back to sleep. You will notice yourself waking up smoothly. It’s nice. Just relax, and relax, and relax.
God is Love and therefore so are you. You will find yourself fighting with that, arguing with it, not feeling the truth of it. But, increasingly, you will have dabs of, “Oh wow, oh wow!” And then your practices become more significant because, wow, the practices help you slide into a clearer experience of The All that is being all.
We are lucky that God is Love. The fear is that The All is something else, and if you experience “the truth” you will be had. You will be had. “You schmuck! Schlemiel!” Whereas, actually, you are the Son or the Daughter, the Self-expression, a Child of God, to use that sort of languaging.
(Sound of siren)
Remember, whenever you hear a siren, psychically send help to wherever it is going. If you were in that predicament, you will cheer when hundreds of the unseen are sending you psychic help. It is a fun thing to do. And in L.A. or in N.Y. there are a lot of sirens, a lot of chances to send a thought of psychic help. That is Yoga, remember.
So, 1) the zafu, crescent shape, 2) meditate in bed A.M., meditate in bed P.M., and then 3) at some point during the day, sit down and do a more official meditation. If you like particular techniques, do those. If you are not sure what the techniques are, just get yourself to sit down and watch what you do.
In simple words, you learn to RELAX and you learn to THINK LESS. When you think less, you will still be conscious. At that point, new Knowing flows in. Insight will start flowing in. You will go, “Whoa, cool,” and your assessment about the predicament you find yourself in will get updated.
“Oh, I’m in the middle of Awesome Life. How awesome!”
Whereas, until I started getting insight into this, I just wanted to get out of here without too much suffering! You know, I like life, but “Can I get out of here?” But, wherever you are is where you are going to be, and if you are always wanting to get out of where you are, that screws your energy.
And so, it is about being here, more, wherever you find yourself being, curious to see more God-ness everywhere you look. Because the insight is, wow, that is the only thing that’s in your face. I didn’t make me. You didn’t make you. Anyone in your experience is only there because The All is appearing as them. Let go of who you think they are and start having the insight, “Oh, wow, that’s The All in specific self-expression. Oh, cool!” And, therefore, be willing to have a new appreciation for what is in your experience.
Cindy: How many minutes should we start off with for meditation?
Erich: Come up with a number that you are willing to do. At the moment, I don’t like to say a number for myself. And if someone said, “Do 10 minutes,” if I winced too much, I wouldn’t do it. Try doing it for 5 minutes. Five minutes is good. If after 5 minutes you have a little more gusto, do another five.
But, when you are in bed doing it, man, half an hour is easy!
The usual the problem that people have with meditating is their body starts aching so much, whereas being in bed totally obviates that problem.
Remember, you learn to THINK LESS and you learn to LISTEN MORE. It’s not “think less and become an idiot.” It’s, “Think less so that the download starts registering with you.”
I mean I have been talking about this for years. But, it is still like, oh wow, we REALLY ARE connected to the Internet of Mind. It REALLY IS an actuality. You do not have your own little mind, as it turns out. You ARE connected to The All.
Therefore, let your sense of self expand to The All, more.
You will find yourself getting good ideas about how to do whatever you have to do. If you are a professor, you will get good professorial ideas. If you are a chef, you will get good chef ideas. If you are a politician, you will get inspired there. Encourage everyone to be doing this, so that whatever their job is they start channeling Online Knowing in their specific field.
Linda: Excuse me, Erich.
Linda: How do you keep your mind from going to, “Well, today I have to do this, I have to do that, I have to do this, I have to do that.”
Erich: Just notice that it is happening. That is all you have to do. Just notice it is happening, and then relax. That puts a break in that. Know that, yes, that is stuff you have to answer, and the more you get Online the better you will be able to answer that. And so, put it in pause-mode for a moment, knowing that you will have a better answer in a few moments once you are really Online.
So, do not battle it. Do not even judge yourself for having it. Yes, these are things you need to know. Notice it is happening. The noticing that it is happening is an advanced insight. Usually there is commentary going on that we are not even cognizant of. We think we are just reporting the news, and being accurate, and being so smart, but we are just energizing our current, limited level of ignorance.
Be aware of what you are thinking about, and the assessments you are making. Be aware that you are doing it. Relax. And then LISTEN MORE, as though you were waiting to hear a message; or as though you were talking to an Enlightened One, your favorite Enlightened One; or you are hopeful that a better answer would come through.
Nadia: The more I come to your class, the more other people come up to me and say, “You are so calm.” One woman friend of mine has been in an abusive relationship. She asked, “How can I came become more calm and happy like you?” I said to her, “Try meditation, so that you see you are more than your thoughts.” Meditation can maybe help. But, can it? I find myself not knowing what to say.
Erich: Welcome to my world.
Nadia: Meditation is the answer?
Erich: Meditation is the answer. But, meditation — what that really means — is Online Knowing. And, a really good way to access Online Knowing is by sitting quietly.
Yes, tell them to do that. That is what I have been saying just now. Do it, do it, do it, do it — not that you have to sit quietly all day. Most people will find it frustrating, actually, to just sit there. When I first started, it felt like I had gone into a phone booth, closed the door, and there were 20 radios going on. It seemed louder and worse than normal. And I was thinking, “This is meditation? This is what they were recommending?”
But, all of that stuff was going on without me even noticing it before. And so, encourage them to do it. The inner turmoil will start dissipating. And when their phone booth of obsessive thoughts begins to clear a little bit, then yes, new Knowing WILL flow in.
I also suggest that whenever you think of this person, send them psychic assistance. You can help them out in the Now moment that you are in, even now as we are talking about her. Have the faith that there is hope for her predicament. Quick words. And that by you relaxing now — with her in your mind — you are sending subliminal help to her.
Encourage her to do yoga. Encourage her to meditate. Encourage her to mentally Google answers, to get Online, to listen for inner Guidance.
I mean wow, if God is All, then we have every reason for being optimistic about the way things play out.
Does anyone want to try this crescent zafu?
Laura: I do!
I also wanted to share one thing really quickly. Yesterday we had to clean all the grout in a large kitchen, my daughter and I. We had to scrub it because we are moving, and we couldn’t afford the machine guy. And we had this experience. It was like 5 hours of scrubbing this grout, and about an hour into it, my daughter looks at me and she said, “Mom, my mind’s empty.” And I was like, “Whoa, yeah.” And it was like, “Oh, this is like our Yoga!” And it was really weird. It was like, we didn’t want to scrub the grout with baking soda and vinegar, but it was like 5 hours of bliss. I don’t know how that happened. It was like, whoa!
Erich: And see, that is the Zen thing. The Zen thing is meditate your ass off. But, at the same time, go do your work and be mindful as you are working, as you are chopping, as you are cutting. And that’s brilliant! Because you’ve got to do the grout. You can either gripe and grout…
Christine: I think that’s because certain activities you do force you to be in the present moment. You have to pay attention to what you are doing. So I always think what helps is to realize that I’m thinking and return to the present moment. So, sometimes I’ll sniff the air and smell the smells. Or what am I hearing? Cars, whatever. Whenever you are in the present moment, you don’t think. It’s just feelings. Things like that help. When you are cooking, if you don’t pay attention, you can cut yourself. That’s what you need to practice.
Erich: Right. And then the ongoing Knowing will be flowing through you.
Christine: When you started, didn’t you used to sit in a closet?
Christine: You were following someone, or you thought you had to do that?
Erich: I was into Yogananda at that time. He recommended it. I never met him, but I was studying him.
Christine: Thank God.
Erich: But I was 14. I happened to have two little closets in my room. They were about this big. I could get in it. It wasn’t much bigger than that. I took all the clothes out of one of the closets and put them in the other one. I put little Guru pictures up on the walls, and I could close the door. No one would even know I was in there. It’s cool how you can just close the door and suddenly feel not self-conscious, relaxed, free.
Christine: You were meditating at 14? Was there enough air in the closet? You could breathe in the closet?
Erich: Yes. Luckily.
Erich: That is when I learned I didn’t need to breathe.
Let’s meditate for a couple seconds.
Thank you for coming today. I do always appreciate the fact that you come.
Nadia: And we appreciate you showing up.
Erich: Thank you.
And, it is obvious, but just so you are clear on this: These classes have become more like mini-workshops, rather than a regular class — which means that there is more of what just happened than there used to be.
I have to say one more thing, also. When we get to Chapter Four — most of you know this — but when we get to Chapter Four, which is the Freeform Chapter, I am not going to be telling you what to do at that point. I am just going to put on the music. The idea is Yogis do Yoga together. A lot of people get confused at that point. If I were in a class, I could see myself not getting it, and feeling sort of pissed off at the teacher and the whole event. You know, “I’m paying for this?” But, yes. It is such an important lesson, actually. And, the trick to it, when we get to Chapter Four, is start with something that you know.
You have been to class for years. People have told you what to do. Start with something that you know. Start with a pose that you like, and that you feel like doing. And, as you are doing it the way you were taught, the trick is just get into it, and get into it, and get into it, and keep getting into it. And as you keep getting into it you will find that wow, it begins to deviate, and you will find yourself lingering and changing it up. Next thing you know, you will realize, “Hey wow, I’m actually beginning to channel my Yoga!” And when the channeling feels like it flattens out, and the inspiration is gone, just plug into what you already know, again. Get into it. Get into it. Get into it. Next thing you know, you will be channeling it again.
You really want to get the hang of learning to channel your practice. And you learn to do it here, where it is easy, in this easy context of doing Yoga poses. You will find that when you walk out of the room, and as you drive home, and as you cook your food, you will find yourself channeling the whole time. Not that you are channeling an alien being, but you won’t just be Mr. Mechanical all the time. You will be listening for what to do.
Listening, remember, is the big technique. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Because, when you do, you will feel inspired.
And, thank you for letting me say that, because I . . . whatever.
With Love and Pranams,
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