So when we talk about a lot of these things particularly as an introduction to yoga and spirituality people often start kind of like spazzing out because they have different ideas and concepts. Many of them are quite limited in their understanding, like, for instance, this word ‘spiritual’ is used so often and thrown around and there’s this basic idea that materialism is bad or not desirable and spirituality is good. But when you ask people to actually define it, there is this idea that spirituality is kind of like ‘feel good’ kind of stuff – cotton candy and rainbows, is that… and pink poodles. (Audience laughter) Is that spirituality? Dolphins, sorry, sorry, sorry, dolphins and rainbows and crystals, you know.
So one of the biggest problems that we have is that we are actually beginning to talk about something that is so foreign to people’s everyday life and experience; and it takes a little time to begin to appreciate and understand some of the concepts and to develop some sort of platform of terminology or understanding of words, so that we’re speaking about the same things.
So if we ask, I mean we consider materialism as the opposite, isn’t it, of spirituality? So what is materialism and what is spirituality? People will just have a very hard time with this; and, invariably, much of what is described as spiritual is actually not. It’s kind of like ‘feel good’ things that are fundamentally material in nature.
The foundation of materialism is the idea that I am material - that this body is me, that I am a man, I am a woman, I am Australian, or Chinese, or African, or American, or Russian. The idea that these labels that I put on my body to describe my physical existence - that this is me. This is the foundation of all materialism.
The foundation of spirituality is the understanding that I am a spiritual being. I’m a spiritual person. I am residing within this particular body for a very limited amount of time and eventually, I will leave this body, I will move on. And this body that I treasure so much will simply rot, become the stool of worms, or be burnt into flames, burnt in fire, turn to ashes. This is the foundation of all spiritual teaching, or of all materialism.
Some of you, a lot of you are yoga teachers and somebody was mentioning earlier that when she tells her students that yoga asana is meant as a preparation for meditation, it just kind of like mind blowing and sort of like have a hard time relating to that. And the primary reason is a person exists and lives completely lost in this idea that this particular body that I have is me, and it is through this tool that I will experience love, that I will find happiness, that I will find fulfilment, that I will find perfection. And that is completely erroneous. This idea is completely erroneous.Show More