We’ve got plenty of notes, but not plenty of time.
We’re heading off to our final Mysore practice, we have to get packed up (and, we think, checked out mid-way through this final Confluence day) and so we are a bit rushed.
Thus, a quick highlight from the Saturday panel of the senior teachers on the eight limbs of yoga.
We’ll turn to Eddie Stern, who wound an intricate and web-like description of the principles that lie behind the yamas and niyamas. It was a fundamentally Vedic offering, moving from the atomic to the breadth of the cosmos. (It was, as I look back, one end of a continuum here at the Confluence; Naren’s wonderful kirtan last night was at the other.)
In the Vedic tradition (and with all these talks, I’m doing him about 1% of the justice he deserves), the closest word they have to what we translate as “spiritual” means “moving toward your inner being.” And one has to have a clear understanding of what and how you’re moving forward or toward that goal — thus we have our maps and systems (eight limbs of yoga, five breaths in a pose, etc.) — in order to start on the path. It isn’t willy-nilly. (That’s me, Eddie never put it that way.)
In the Vedic tradition, the nature of this inner being is freedom. It is pure consciousness, pure truth and pure bliss. (These align up to our physical body, energy/mental body and bliss body.)
Freedom is not how we see it in the West: As being able to do whatever you want, when you want. That sort of false freedom is bogged down in attraction and attachment. After all, when you are free to do whatever you want, what do you do?
You drink. You party. You neglect your duties. You keep living in the maya. (Eddie later talked through karma and kriya. We’ll get to that, I’m sure.)
But you aren’t free. You’re still caught up in all your stuff. You’re still trapped.
Posted by Steve