A fantastic weekend of discussion has just passed on the joint further TT and I am just about to start with a whole new bunch of voyagers on next weeks 200hour Yoga Like Water Immersion. Most people who have taken a journey with me, know that I will happily talk subjects to death in an effort to answer every question that I get asked. I certainly advocate that we should question everything that we take for granted, above all our conditioning and very thoughts.
Over the last year or two I have trimmed my infinity of questions down to a key one or two that I come back to constantly. All other questions seem totally superficial and superfluous once I have checked in with those. I also check in with this tick box when I am asked a question by someone else because it generally guides how I answer most questions too.
That question is something like...
As you might be seeing, the conclusion I am coming to is that pretty much every question is flawed at its source because it comes from mind in the first place and every answer I might arrive at comes from exactly the same source. Mind answering mind, or, if I answer your questions, simply my mind answering your mind.
Last week I was interviewed by a very lovely lady who was writing her thesis on yoga in the Western world.
The key questions were 'Has Yoga been appropriated by the Wast?' and as an extension of this 'Is what you teach really 'yoga' because it seems to draw from so many other disciplines?'
After a while pondering over these question it was ultimately clear that again it was the question itself that was flawed. Why?
There wasn't an 'answer' that could be given to it, although plenty of other yoga teachers had apparently offered strong opinions. At the end of the day there simply is no 'yoga' to be appropriated because there isn't, never has been and never will be any fixed thing that 'is definitively yoga'.
The very question pivots on a phantom, and that phantom is not yoga but the concept of yoga that every individual has.
Those concepts of yoga will be infinite because every person will have their own concept of what 'traditional' yoga is, mine is very different to the next persons and so on. There certainly wasn't ever a 'traditional form of yoga in India or anywhere else for that matter. Do you really think that yoga is anything more than a word? That the multitude of millions of ascetics and yogis, over thousands of years, were all practising exactly the same things, some sort of 'definitive' or 'ultimate' version of yoga? Come on, stop kidding yourself that's an insane idea and it simply isn't true.
To give any answer would be to fall straight back into the muddy pit of mind and duality that yoga seeks to free us from. I suppose even that assumption is a concept in itself. I have to remember that just because I feel that liberation is the ultimate purpose of yoga, others may differ and rightly so.
You see, to try to answer the question is both impossible and ultimately pointless. I really don't care if anyone shares my concept of yoga or not. I don't want to adopt theirs and I don't want them to adopt mine. What benefit would that be to anyone? Of course, if through discussion and sharing ideas without any agenda of who is right and wrong (another imagination) I happen to add to my concept or alter it then thats all well and good. But at the end of the day I must remember that whatever I hold as 'true' is not really true, it is simply how I see things at that moment in imagined space and time, it's all another phantom. The only way to really be free of that is to see it for what it is, that is stepping outside of illusion
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