The need to actually find an actual yoga master is one of the most critical things that a serious student must seek to do in order to be delivered a proper understanding of these yoga texts and to be guided in their practices, their spiritual practices. The ancient rishis and yogis, they had a very unique perspective of the world; completely different than the common person. The common person sees many things and assumes many things to be factual, when in fact much of the so-called truth that they accept is, in fact, illusory and incorrect.
A very powerful example is the idea of who I am. I can remember giving some courses one time in a school and so did a little test. You have the students write on a piece of paper, answer the question, "Who am I?" Describe yourself. Who are you? And so everybody gets to work and write down a whole number of things. By the time I collect them it's like the end of class. So I use this like an example. Okay, I come back to the class the next day and I am confronted with a bunch of traumatized students, not because of answering the question but something kind of tragic has happened. Like, if for example, one of their classmates was killed in an accident on the way home, and one of the places I was actually speaking was in a Catholic school, in a university, first year. In that university they had a chapel and as is the tradition in the Philippines they would have an open coffin and you've got this body presented there. And so in the classroom someone says, "Oh sir," you know, "Jennifer, she's dead. She's left us. She has met an accident yesterday on the way home,” and they say that they are having a service for her in the chapel a little later. Bring me there. So being a wise guy that I am unfortunately, I pull out Jennifer's little piece of paper, and it says, describes her name, and she says, "I am five foot three. I am a female. I am a Filipino. My complexion is brown. I have shoulder length straight hair. My eyes are dark brown." And we've got a whole list. “I weigh this certain weight,” whatever it's going to be. So I am looking at this, and then you can go over to the coffin, take a look in and check off each one of these things and it's all still there. So then, you know, you say, "Okay, don't panic! Everything is okay. Jennifer is still here. She hasn't gone anywhere. (laughter) You'd said she’d left. It's alright, there's no problem.” And so they're looking at you, like, “Whoa, what's happened to this guy? He's flipped out. He's crazy.”
But the question really is, “Who is crazy?” Who is crazy? This person has described themself and yet when we look into this coffin there is simply a dead body there and everybody, they understand instinctively, that there has been this radical transformation. At the moment of death, you will see the body becomes extremely unpleasant. You know this or not? Have you ever handled a dead body? I mean, and it's one thing if it's a relative but if you have to handle a dead body of someone you don't know, it's quite disturbing. It's disturbing and you have this deep sense of uncleanliness. If you had to handle a body and help somebody move it, and then somebody was going to hand you a sandwich, it's like, “Ummmm, just a minute. I'll wash," and it wouldn't be just one quick rinse, it would probably be really (makes sound of hard scrubbing) and then somebody is going to pass it to you and it's kind of like, "Ummm, do you have like a tissue or something I can put around that?" The idea of death is extremely disturbing and the body becomes, actually quite, I am going to use a strong word – repulsive - at death.Show More