I haven't written in a few days although there is just a ton to say. Paul Muller-Orgtega came on Friday night and he has been teaching a workshop on tantra called "The Sublime Path of the Great Return". It has been an incredible workhsop so far and so profound for me personally and for the group. It is one of those amazing blends of being totally far out and also being immensely practical at the same time. Paul is such a force and he offers a kind of transmission of information, passion, inspiration and technique. Really, it does not get much better than this-- unless, of course, you are at the Carlos Pomeda weekend in San Marcos!
It is really hard to capture the depth of what the week has been so covering the details of content seems to kind of be a starting place but it has been a lot more than that. The real thing is in the context and the shared intention, I think. The power of the group and the power of joining together and setting aside our masks and conventional strategies and concerns has just delivered us all into a place of connection that is quite rare and yet also, somehow, the most ordinary thing in the world.
Paul gave one of the most brilliant and satisfying explanations of "Evil" that I have ever heard in ANY Anusara Yoga workshop. He outlined and described how absent light really can be and how very truly Hell can be on earth in a way that was authentic, useful and clarifying. And yet, how is darkness dispersed? Well, not by a full frontal attack, but by bringing light. In this case it is the Light of the Supreme itself in the form our awareness our own burgeoning consciousness that we turn on ourselves through self-observation, and our various practices like pranayama and asana and meditation and so on.
And he was adamant that we do not ignore the darker forces because the Essential Goodness is fragile and easily corruptible. He said, the presence of darkness should create within us not despair or defeat but URGENCY to practice. He was equally outspoken that we do not say, "oh that seemingly bad thing was not actually bad, it was actually Good...it's all good " or some such Pollyanna kind of thing. He said that is a gross misunderstanding of levels. It is not skillful to deny the level of reality that is operative.
This consideration is so useful in terms of our psychological processes as well. My teacher has been teaching a lot lately about how we should never work against our patterns and strategies. They are smart, adaptable and persistent. Work against them, launch a full frontal attack on them and well, sooner or later, they will figure out how to beat you at that game. (They are like the Borg, in that way.) What we can do, he says, is work FOR something. Work for the highest, work for our yogic aim, our deepest intentions.
John Friend also gives this teaching. One time, I remember that when someone was really scared to do a pose in class he said, "Well, sometimes, fear is appropriate. We do not say, we should be fearless. However, the teaching suggests that instead of giving into the dear that you dedicate yourself to something Higher." Courage after all, is not the absence of fear. It exists in the presence of fear. So like that.
Okay, well, our break is nearing a close and so it is time for me to close this down for now. I am off to the ashram where I may not have easy access to the world wide web. But I will be back in Austin for my classes on Thursday. Of course, if I get off the property and to a Starbuck's I will check in.