Tuesday April 14, 2015
This is an excerpt from the full talk. If you would like to read the entire transcript, it is available here.
The Entire Class, comprised of 1) full talk, 2) guided meditation, 3) guided asana practice, 4) freeform asana practice, and 5) end-of-class meditation is available at erichschiffmann.com
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!
Anything that is present is the expression of Light — is the growing discovery. That made sentimental sense to me for a long time. But, now I realize it’s literal. “Oh wow, the energy is Light. Things are actually made out of Light, the energy of Light, and they actually glow.”
Now, again, at first, I liked the idea. But, once you start seeing things glow a little bit, suddenly you get more intrigued. You start realizing, “Oh, wow, it’s not just a nice, sentimental sentence. It is an actual, literal phenomenon that starts to happen.”
As a way of encouraging that to happen, and as a way of getting me to learn about it more, I’m doing the homework a lot.
Say the sentence to yourself frequently. Let it remind you to look for the light in others with your light.
The light of my awareness sees the light of your presence.
Do this with anything, do this with everything — a stop sign, the homeless guy. Do the homeless guy a favor and don’t just write him off as “the homeless guy.” Start seeing him as the presence of light that he actually is. With whatever/whoever goes through your mind, start being aware, “Yes, the light of my awareness sees the light of your presence.”
Part of what this does is it begins to shift your sense of identity from that of a BODY being aware to the awareness that, “Oh wow, I’m AWARENESS being aware! I’m Awareness being aware. Oh! And that is what I’ve been the whole time. That is what’s happening. Awareness, Consciousness, is being aware of its own Infinite Manifestation. Oh, oh, oh!”
And so, increasingly, the idea is:
Consciousness or Mind is Awareness. That is what you are.
Forms are ideas in Mind, like bubbles floating in the sky.
Forms are ideas that Mind is having, and that Mind is aware OF.
The substance of everything is light, and the awareness of your presence can see the light of any form that is in your experience.
Now, what I find interesting about this is… And again, I’ve used this example of being at Disneyland when I was a kid, or going to India when I was 20, and suddenly realizing, “Oh, right here where it looks like a stupid, polluted place, is actually Magical India.” “Oh, right here, where Dumbo is walking around, and there’s the Matterhorn, and there’s Cinderella, oh, this is Disneyland.”
Like, right here.
The growing insight is that right now we are in the middle of Ultimate Reality. We are not on the way to “someplace better.”
But, if your mindset is always, “I’m on the way to somewhere better,” then you will never quite give your attention to the place where you are. The light of your awareness never quite sees the light of the Infinite, which is presence-ing Itself here as Manifest Creation. And, therefore, you sort of write everything off. And if you are writing everything off, then you will have an experience that feels like you are wasting your time, or you’re doing time, or you’re just putting up with things. And that sucks, increasingly.
And so, realize: We are in the middle of The Ultimate, already. You and I are in the middle of Reality. There is no place else we could be.
Ding, ding, ding!
And, you are either seeing it clearly, or you’re seeing it unclearly.
And you can pretty much assume you are seeing it unclearly, unless it’s just awesomely awesome for you, in which case do the homework more. Do the practice. Say the sentence.
“The light of my awareness is interested in seeing the light of your presence.”
Start doing it more. Do it a lot. Partly so that you begin to change your definition about who YOU are. You are not a physical being, being conscious. You are a Conscious Being in the middle of Reality, already.
“The Light of my Awareness sees the Light of your Presence. Namaste.”
That’s what Namaste means.
With Love and Pranams,
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3) Water Shows the Hidden Heart ~ Enya ~ Enya
If you would like to read the entire transcript of Namaste, here it is