Berkeley California 2002 : The cat and the dog, or the wild and the tamed

The problem with our modern way of teaching yoga is that it has become very verbal. In the old days the teaching was done by touch and by example. The teacher showed the movements in her own body and then corrected the student’s body in order to make that body understand what it was supposed to do. In dance, in yoga, in all the physical arts. Nowadays teachers go for quantity - that means that they have classes of fifty people or more and this means that the teacher cannot tend to each person separately.

This brings us to a problem that teachers are not aware of in general, which is that there is no connecting link between the brain and the body. Teaching verbally gives only a description of the posture, which goes from the brain of teacher into the brain of the student. It is only a verbal picture, a description: it is not a real thing.

For the student to actualize this verbal picture, this verbal description of the posture, there has to be a direct link between the brain and the body. This link is non-existent, at least not for new concepts. The only thing that the body can do is to recognize what the brain says. For the brain to make a connection with the body it is like throwing out a fishing line. The brain throws a fishing line into the body. That line and the hook at the end of it fishes for fish, but unless the fish is already in the body there is not going to be a catch. The brain is not going to make a connection with the body, because there is no fish.

For a fish to be there, it needs the knowledge of the posture to be already in the body. So the only thing, the only connection, that the body and the brain can have is when the body recognizes what the brain is telling it to do. But the posture, the understanding, has to be already in the body. The brain cannot put it into the body. This is the problem that teachers are facing nowadays. The brain can only give a certain concept or idea to the body, and if it is already in the body the body can say: “Hey yeah, I recognize that.” But if it is not in the body, the body cannot recognize it. Therefore, it is totally meaningless.

Thus teaching, real teaching of something new, can only go from body to body. It cannot go from brain to brain to body. This is the problem we are facing nowadays, that the teacher may or may not practice; as far as modern teaching is concerned it does not make much difference, because the teaching is verbal, not by example.

If the teacher practices, she can then translate her understanding of the posture into words. That verbal instruction then goes to the student; the student receives this verbal instruction in her brain and is then expected to translate that verbal instruction back into her body. As I said before, this is an impossible task. Unless the student already knows in her body what the other teacher is talking about. So in this week we will forget about the verbal level of the description of the posture and we will concentrate on the body-to-body language. Body-to-body language is by touch, by example.

In this kind of teaching the only thing which counts is that the teacher and student both practice. The teacher needs to practice and have the bodily understanding of what she wants to translate into words, otherwise the teaching of yoga is just going to be stories which run through the yoga community from brain to brain to brain to brain, while the bodies are left dangling below the brain in a void.

I want to bring the teaching back down into the body and teach from body to body. The brain is only a description afterwards, it is not meant to be a guideline. The brain can only give a catalogue afterwards of the movements and the understanding in the body. In this kind of teaching we need a symbiosis between teacher and student, the teacher alone cannot do this type of teaching by herself. Whatever the teacher is showing in her own body and showing through the hands - the adjustments - the student has to pay total attention to it.

Total attention and thinking about things are two entirely different things; they are mutually exclusive. Attention, by nature, is a full act, it is a complete act, while thinking is never a complete act. Thinking is always fragmentary. Attention, in its very nature, is complete, and therefore, if the student is fully attentive to the instruction of the teacher, that instruction is completely unimpeded and enters into the body of the student without any obstruction. On the other hand, thinking, which is always fragmented, fragments the teaching of the teacher and therefore will obstruct it. Thoughts and preconceptions are obstacles that are placed in the path of the teacher’s instruction.

Yoga, and especially teaching yoga, is for ninety-nine percent seeing; being able to see things. And then to be very logical. The student has to use the words of the teacher as a fishhook to fish the fish out of her own body. But it has to be there in the first place. If it is not there you cannot get it. That is why practice is indispensable, because that is where you get your knowledge from.

Vanda once told me that Michelangelo said that he did not ‘make’ the statue. The statue was already inside the block of marble. What he did was simply chip away the pieces of marble which were not necessary, so he liberated the statue. She said the same thing about the piano. The music is already in the piano; a good pianist does nothing else but pull it out of the piano. So all those pianists that make a big show, is because they do not know that the music is already there, they think they have to put it there (Vanda was a concert pianist, so she should know); all they have to do is let it come out by taking the show away.

There are two things we are working with: gravity and lightness of body. The body is all the time subject to certain natural forces, and it is a pity that those things are not part of the school curriculum, because if you go into any airport or restaurant, and look at the postures that people have, it is enough to send you home with a headache and nightmares. Body posture and the weight of the body have to do with the understanding and the correct use of external forces, not with the scales.

The gravitational force is the easiest to deal with. Body weight is not something that you can understand from the scales; body weight is how you relate to gravity. That is where your real body weight is. Sometimes people can be very thin and very heavy at the same time, because they are completely stiff on the gravitational force. On the other hand you sometimes see these old flamingo dancers who may be very fat, but they are very light on their feet because they know exactly how to use the gravitational force.

In yoga too we have to learn to use that lightness, to create that lightness by always being aware of our body as it is being pulled and pushed by the gravitational force. The gravitational force is something that you can manipulate, you can ‘cheat’ it. This ‘cheating’ is what I called in the book ‘rooting.’ Rooting consist of kind of burrowing downwards into the ground that part of the body which is in touch with, in contact with, or in collision with, the ground. In that way you solicit that reaction of the gravitational force, which pushes you back upwards again.

This is why I am very particular with words, to always use the right type of words. Most of us use words that are limited and limiting. For instance, if I say: ‘Push the buttock bones down,’ it implies a whole series of concepts. In the first place that I have something to push with, and in the second place that there is something else against which I can push, which is the ground. This already is a misconception created in our heads, and has long been proven false by modern science which says there there are no solid objects, only energy. Therefore ‘pushing’ for me is a word that is not really appropriate and it does not give the understanding.

If you come back to the word “rooting” for instance - if you see a tree or a plant - the roots really kind of dig down, they go through the grains of the soil. Soil is very grainy, and the roots are tiny fingers probing down into the soil, into the ground. The deeper they go, the more they find nutrients for the stem of the plant to grow upwards. Then from there the leaves and the branches expand sideways. We need to find that same careful going downwards as if the floor is not a hard object, but is granulated. Therefore we can dig into it with the body part which is in contact with it. The more you dig, the more - automatically and immediately - your lumber spine will go up.

Local action is something you are doing somewhere in the body, which is confined to that area and does not have any relationship anywhere else in the body. Those actions are fairly useless, as there is no end to them. It is more efficient to find certain actions that automatically and inevitably have an echo everywhere else in the body. This is why I use the word ‘rooting;’ it inevitably has the reaction of the rest of the body going upward, and that is your lightness.

The body has a lot of weight, which is the effect of the gravitational force. On top of that there is also the weight of the air pressing down and into the body, against the skin. The upward rebounding force of gravity does not always reach the top of the head easily. Therefore you have to switch to the other force, which pins us down to the ground - which is the air - the weight of the air. These two forces pin us down: the gravitational force and the weight of the air molecules.

Bring your attention to those air molecules and tell them to just move a little bit away, give you a little bit more room, especially above the head. Then the head can go up and is not pushed down by the weight. In that way you create freedom in the whole spinal column, with all the vertebrae kind of floating or bouncing each on the one below and not squashing into them.

That in itself is not enough, though, because not only do we need to lighten the vertical pressure of gravity and air, but we also need to put the body in such a situation that it can sustain these forces and react better against them. That goes through the spinal column ( in yoga called the Merudanda, or the stick of the mountain Meru). Therefore the spinal column need to be completely vertical. The curves have to be respected, but they should be, as it were, guided, protected.

What influences the curves of the spinal column more than anything else is the position of the head. The head has a certain weight. The cervical spine goes up into the head in the center of the head, as if the head is a kind of tennis ball sitting on top of the spinal column, with the axis poking into the hole in the center of the base of the skull, called the foramen. If the weight of the head is too far forward compared to the rest of the spine, that influences the neck and the spine. Everything in the body has to compensate for everything else: if this goes forward, then that has to go back

The spinal column, from the tip of the coccyx to the tip of the axis, should be in a vertical alignment. This means that you have to bring the back of the head to float over the shoulder blades. The pin of the axis enters the head in between the ears, so that the front of the face, the chin, and the back of the head are like a see-saw. The see-saw should be completely in balance, with the two ends at the same height. If the chin goes too much down, the top of the cervical spine becomes too straight. For most people however, it is opposite: the back of the head collapses into the cervical spine: the chin flies up and the back of the head goes down. Therefore the whole upper cervical spine is crunched inward, and that is probably the cause of a lot of cervical problems.

You have to do two things: bring the back of the head backwards over the rim of the shoulder blade, and at the same time make the weight of the back of the head and the weight in the chin the same, so that the head is balanced nicely in a horizontal position around the axis of the ears.

How can we apply these things to the body and reconnect the intelligent brain with the body. Not the clever brain. Yoga has become too clever, people have become too clever. Where there is cleverness, intelligence flies out of the window. The mind and the body are always split up, we always split the world into two: mind and body.

We have to rethink this at this point. One Tai chi teacher once said: ‘Every lesson is the first lesson. Every time I teach it is the first time I am doing it.’ Every lesson is the first lesson does not mean that we forget what we already know, but it means that what we are doing is always new. Psychologically we are doing it for the first time, like in the book ‘Zen Mind-Beginners Mind.’

We come back to the mind and attention. Thinking and attention cannot go together, they cannot occupy the same space. It is an either/or situation. If you think about what you are doing then you are just going on automatic pilot. Rather, get into the feeling of: ‘this is the first time I am doing the pose,’ even if you have done it a hundred thousand times. To get this feeling you have to get out of that thinking brain and into attention, total attention. Total attention itself will take you into a different dimension, it will take you into a completely different understanding of what you are doing. Language is a useful tool for conveying information. But if we try to communicate experience with it, it breaks down, it simply does not work. Because language cannot convey the experience – it can only talk about it.

Language can describe reality, but it cannot actually comprehend it. It can make a cognitive construction of it, and then we get into this strange tangle, where we begin to confuse the two / our cognitive reconstruction of the experience, of reality, and the real thing out there. We confuse the language construction, the theoretical construction with the real thing. Thus we may have an experience, and then we translate that experience into words. Then those words take on a life of their own, the description takes on a life of its own. We get so lost in the description that finally we do not remember anymore that the description is only a description.

I think that religions originally were meant for that: to try to describe something that is basically indescribable. I always like to bring things back to a simple idea. Let us say that you go to a pizza restaurant and you want to eat pizza. You ask for the menu. You read the menu, and then you give the menu back, order your pizza and eat it. You do not stuff the menu down your throat. The menu is not the pizza, the map is not the territory. But most people confuse the map with the real thing, they confuse the menu with the pizza. That is the problem.

Now take something like a rose and try to describe it. You can use meaningless words: it is beautiful, it is red, it has perfume etc. etc., but that does not mean that you REALLY KNOW THE ROSE.. you cannot know it. It is indescribable.

I like modern science books, because they take us a little further into the mysteries of the mind. We have done thousands of years of progress, but we need to go further – we need to go further with a language that every housewife, every carpenter, everybody can understand. I think that this is the time that we are living. Everybody now, if they want to, can have access to a means of opening the mind to further dimensions; it is not only for monks or mystics. That is the beauty of our time. The scientists give us ideas that belong in realm of high scientists, but they make it available to us in such a way that you can then flip those ideas around and say: ‘How does that apply in my life?.

This is exactly what I am doing, and I think this is what the fun of living is. This application you can do with everything. When I look at animals I flip the animal thing around and say “hey, how can I - how can my body do what the animal is doing -. How can it make a change in me? Then it is real fun. All this atom stuff , complaining about out body life. Why do we have bodies? I was reading that if you take an atom and you blow it up to the size of the cathedral of the Vatican the actual nucleus of the atom is the size of a grain of sand and the particles are like a couple of dust motes at the end of the dome, circling around.

So why is this floor hard. Why don’t I just go through the floor? This is a million dollar question, which we cannot answer. The million dollar question is: why do scientists say that we do not have a body, because that is practically what they are saying, but I am saying, - yes, but if I hit the chair with my knee it hurts.- So who is right and who is wrong?

This is where we come back to the fact that somewhere we were programmed. Somewhere there is a program in our DNA that makes us experience this non-existent world in a way that is pretty painful sometimes. You know that when you bang your knee or when you have a car accident it hurts. There is some kind of a program inside us that makes us experience the world in a certain way, even though the scientists say: “listen, your experience is your problem, it is not the problem of the real thing out there.”

On top of that pre/programmed thing that we have in our head, or in our body, or who knows where in the totality of us ­- somewhere there is a preprogrammed hard disk that makes us experience things that are not there - on top of that hard disc that makes up the core of our perceiving we graft the soft ware. I am using computer language to make it understandable. The computer has the hard drive and the soft ware, like Windows. You can put any soft ware in that you want.

The hard drive is that we experience the world the way we do, which is different from other living beings. It is purely human way of experiencing the world. On top of that we limit our view even further by giving a human description to our human program. That is for convenience sake only, so that you and I both know what we are talking about. In reality there is a bunch of atoms which are for the most part nothing - but something in me makes me see them as a ‘thing’ and because I want to communicate with you I invent a word for this particular ‘thing’ and then you and agree that from now on we are going to call this ‘thing’ a tape recorder, for instance. In this way we do not have to start all over from scratch each time. Thus language is a simple affair of communication, a short cut.

Language is lineal, it is logical, it is a construction that we make in order to live in a logical way. Human beings developed this language in order to create a continuity, to live as a tribe, a society. Migrations, climatic changes and the daily challenges in prehistory stimulated the brain to deal with these new situations. The earth has done enormous damage and devastation to its own flora and fauna and climate, and because of that human beings had to find new solutions all the time. Thus the brain jumped from 400 cubic centimeters to 800, and now we have 1,400 cc brain content and a lot of the new generation even more. So the brain had to make bigger computers all the time to deal with bigger problems.

For instance, the prehistoric people walked from Africa all the way to Europe and along the coast to India and Indonesia, until they got to Bali, probably trying to get away from the great predators, like lions and tigers. In Bali they had to make a huge quantum jump, because they could walk all the way to Bali because there were still land bridges. But between Bali and Lombok is the Wallace Line. This is where the Asian tectonic plate stops and the Australian plate begins. There is a deep rift between the two plates – no land bridge. So those people could not walk over to Lombok. This is where they invented rafts, which must have created a huge quantum leap in the brain: a primitive human getting to water and inventing the raft. It is mind-boggling if you think about it. It is the courage and intelligence of doing something like going on water and not knowing where the hell you are going. Hoping to get away from something that is behind you.

Thus the brain developed and with the brain language, organization, the agreement that this was this and that was that. We call this here a tape recorder. Then you show it to a child and tell it it is a tape recorder. So the baby, from birth onwards, is domesticated, taught to learn that this is a tape recorder. These are the two worlds we live in: the ‘real’ one and the ‘organized’ one. The organization is a way of domesticating.

I like to compare it to the two animals which, from prehistory, have followed human beings: the cat and the dog. These are two animals, which have attached themselves to human beings, maybe for food, maybe for protection. The one has allowed human beings to domesticate it, the other one has remained wild. That is amazing. The dog can be domesticated. The cat can never be domesticated. A cat will pretend to do sometimes what you want it to do. But when it does not want to do it it does not, and you cannot force the cat. I think human beings have both the cat and the dog nature. Part of us has remained wild, the wildness of before we developed language. The undomesticated part. It will never be domesticated, because it falls outside time. It is the Tat Tvam Asi in us. The other part is the domesticated one, which has learned to describe life in language, and which has agreed on the rules of society.

With yoga we should learn to access both. On the one hand we make the structure because we need to, but we should not forget that the structure, the description, is only to organize our lives. On the other hand, we have that fear of the cat in us. We know that somewhere we have a cat inside, a primeval wildness, and we are afraid of that wildness. Yoga is kind of like bringing the cat and the dog in us in balance. Live with the domesticated part, the structure, but at the same time protect the wild part in us, because the wild part in us is the only part that can know life. The domesticated part, the language, deals with organization, with society, but it cannot know the flowers, the trees, the clouds. Only the wild part in us can know those.

Therefore parents should be very careful with children, and help them to develop both sides. If you are really interested in parenting you should bring both out. But what happens usually is the parents, the school, the family say that this is the way life is, and forget about the other stuff. Therefore you see children five, six seven years old and their eyes are already dull. The face is gone. They are already dead. That is really sad. The parents never brought out the wildness in them. Wildness is not out-of-control-ness. Wildness is in a sense more ‘control’ than the controlled part. Wildness has to do with resonating with beauty, with resonating with nature, with life. That is never out of control. It is not that you teach children to be out of control, but you teach them to be both : to be logical and poetical at the say time. Children, like cats, can ‘see’ things that adults cannot see. How many children are afraid of the dark. I was terrified of the dark. They lose that with the parents saying all the time: ‘C,mon, there is nothing there.’ Programming. So the child loses those cat-eyes that can see things in the dark.

It is the same with the definition of being supple and being stiff. These are the two extremes. You can talk about supple and stiff in a physical sense or in a psychological sense. Rules can be guidelines, or can become a prison. We should never forget that rules are man made, and that they are bound to be broken sooner or later. Otherwise you are not human. Also there are six billion people and each one is different. You can have a general map, give certain basic rules. But then we should have the forgiveness to say: -This person has longer legs, longer arms, this person has a back that does not go in this direction.- There may be rules, but there should also be the understanding and the maturity to understand that in certain things they do not apply. That is the plasticity of the mind. To be disciplined, but within the discipline to have the capacity to create that margin.

There are six billion bodies, so yoga, the classical postures, are filtered through and processed through each individual. Thus it becomes a subjective thing. I can teach somebody for ten years and say - stretch your right arm, your left arm is straight but your right arm is bent - so stretch your right arm. Nothing happens. Then one day that person comes to me and says: ‘You know I stretched my arm today, why did you never tell me to do so’. So in all those years that body was not ready to filter a straight right arm, but one day the body itself discovered that the right arm could be straight. In the meanwhile that person had never heard what I said, because the understanding was not in the body. That fishing line again. The fish was not in the body, so the brain could not fish it out of the body through my words. You can teach a class of fifty people, and each person will hear something different, will filter it in a different way. Not only interpret it, but will actually hear something different. One person will hear this and another person will hear something entirely different. So where is your rule? The rule is falling in between two chairs.

Language can only resonate with the body if the body already knows what the language is saying. As long as the body does not know what a straight right arm is it cannot resonate with the verbal instruction of stretching the right arm. But the moment the body itself can straighten the arm, then suddenly it can connect with the instruction and say “yes is that what you mean” - “that’s what you are talking about” Then it makes the connection. This is why verbal teaching is not producing results in the body. When you teach, you have to practice first and then you have to show the posture in your body. That is how the students learn, by seeing, not by hearing. By hearing you can recognize certain things, but by seeing you can learn. That is why dogs end up looking like their masters - children look like their parents, walking the same way, eating in the same way, because they learn through the eyes. That is why in teaching yoga it is so important to show on your body and then translate from your body into language.

I do no longer practice yoga, but after having done so for fifty years my body resonates with the body of the student, and I know exactly what she understands and can do, and for which she is deaf, because it is not I her body.

The body (annamaya kosha) is mortal, there is always going to be something wrong with the body. If you want to spend all your life dealing with what is wrong in your body you are going to have a long life of dealing with problems. Again we are back to words - words are very dangerous. They are a double edged sword, because we have loaded these words for many years with a certain meaning. If you say ‘an injury’ everybody says AH!!! You know there is this feeling of panic, of something that should be avoided. There is a whole emotional thing about it, but in reality it is just a word, but the word pulls out the memory of associations and fears. I prefer not to say ‘injuries’ or ‘problems.”

For instance you have a shoulder problem. What is a shoulder? People use words very easily. What is a shoulder? Where does the shoulder begin and end? Exactly what is the shoulder? Again it is an isolating point. The body does not have shoulders. The whole body is just like a road map of a city, with all the roads going through the blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, nerves, etc. It is a road map.

The shoulder is nothing but a passage for blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, muscles and bones. Like the knee is a passage. Many people have a knee problem. This may be because the other ankle is not working properly. Or you have a shoulder problem because your other hip is not working properly. Problems in the body are like traffic jams in the road system - a road blockage. It is where the traffic is backed up. But the problem maybe somewhere else, and the backup is here.

To isolate those things and call them injuries is making it dramatic, and that creates the emotional reaction. If you take those dramatic words away and just say: “I have a sensation in my shoulder” you also take the emotional reaction away. The emotional reaction creates the going-towards or retreating-from situations. That is what we do all day long. If you like ice cream you want to go there. If you have an injury you want to go retreat from there. All the time we do this. So we never really deal with what is in front of our face. If you do not call it by any name - if you do not say: ‘ I have a shoulder injury,’ if you do not call it anything, then what you are left with is a certain feeling. That feeling is always much less strong than when is coated with emotion. If you take the coating away the feeling is much less of a problem. Then you can deal with it, you can sort of go around it and say: “let’s try this - let’s try that.” Then you are calm and quiet.

Human bodies are mortal. I also have problems. Everybody has problems. But I do not call them injuries, I do not call them problems. I just say: ‘This is not doing the same as the other one, so let me see how I can go around it.’ That changes the whole perspective; you see the body in a different way. Not as a bunch of things, but as a network of passages.

This is why to try and ‘fix’ a problem is the wrong approach. Yoga, life, the body itself is what does it. If you do all the postures, backward, upside down, really nicely and with your attention, that will then smooth out the energy of the body, and the smooth energy of the body will take care of the problems. Like when you have the flu. You go to the doctor - doctor gives you a pill. You take the pill. So what. It did not solve the problem; you got better, but it did not solve the problem or prevent it to come back in the future. If you go to bed for two weeks you also get better. By going to bed you put the body in a state of rest and relaxation. Just lying in bed and taking a holiday. the body says: ‘Oh, that is nice.’ So it smoothes itself, it fixes the problem, because the body is a self healing organism. But it needs help, it needs to have the right conditions to do this. Quiet. Relaxation. Good food. Sunlight. Holiday. It needs to have the right condition. Then it can deal with almost all the problems.

To learn you have to use your eyes. So you watch the other person. By watching you learn. When I or another teacher performs there is a certain vibration. You are making a vibration. That will travel to the other body. Will hit the other body. The other body will start to vibrate in the same way. You go into a room where there is dancing. Couple of people are dancing. Nobody can sit still. Because when you see somebody dancing, you want to dance also. So that vibration hits the other body and the other body wants to do the same thing. So you learn by seeing..

Now the blind fold is in order to find out your inner road map. So if you do an asana and you always align yourself on the outside then you are not using your inner road map. You are using radar. You are not using inner road map. Take the eyes away then you set into motion another sense which is not the eyes and ears. So to practice you have to use your ears. So you are listening inside your body. What am I doing? Where am I? What are my limbs doing, what is my shoulder blade - so you are listening inside because your body is vibrating. It is moving. So you listen. So learning and teaching has to do with the eyes. Practicing has to do with your ears.

Words are empty - there are too many words going around and as I was saying everybody is now a master teacher. Forget about teacher. Everybody is a yoga master. You know three words and you are a yoga master. So it is really ridiculous. You open a yoga journal. Everybody is a yoga master now.

So this week we will work with the blind fold. And sometimes it is really nice to teach blind fold. For instance if you help those people blind fold then I have to feel. O.K. that person is hanging in my finger so I need to bring it back. Another person is banging on my forehead so I need to bring it forward. You really have to listen to the relationship of the other person with gravity. So you are both listening at that point, teacher and student.. So it is just a different way of using the senses.

Young people do very nicely. They have to learn by touch. You have to manipulate - put them in a position. If you take one sense away then the other is sharper. It is like - one of my best student is Japanese - I never have to repeat anything twice. I say something once and it is done. She doesn’t speak a word of English. Very few. Ha ha ha on the phone. Five minutes from Japan to Italy. She say “I can do.” Another five minutes - giggling. Then hang up. I can do. This is the scope of the English. But I just in my English I say something once. She does it. I never repeat it again. She is watching. She doesn’t know what the hell I am saying. More attention. I watch always. I am watching. So if I have a class of fifteen people they always speak fluent English - she is the only one who doesn’t. And I say to the class at large, get your blankets, nobody moves. She is the only one who goes and gets the blanket. I have had it several times happen to me. Really interesting. She does not have the ears, she doesn’t know what I am saying, so she has to guess and be sharp. So whatever I say and whatever she catches - she knows blankets - blankets cover - she knows.

Wild nature is the part of us that functions outside time and space. Language has to do with time and space. Language is the filling of time and space. But a newborn baby does not have a language. Does not have time and space. Doesn’t know what time and space is. Wildness gets tamed and then they lose their view of the wildness. Part of the wildness is attentiveness. That is the wildness. You can only be attentive if you are in the wild part of the mind. The wild means the part of us that functions outside time and space. It is not wild that you are jumping up and screeching.

So if you go back to the beginning you have this structure and the structure is language. Language can only function in time and space. It needs a lot of time and space to do that. Language can only deal with the past. It cannot deal with the future. It can only deal with things that you know. When the Spaniards went to South America for the first time, the Indians had never seen big ships. They had only seen little boats. They couldn’t see the big ships. They thought that the Spaniards had come over in little rowing boats. From Spain. They couldn’t see the big ships, because they had never seen them. The Spanish said: Look at the big ship. They asked: What ship? So language and the structure has to do with what you already know. What you know is what you have created. Some kind of program that forces us to make a structure and make language. And make time and space. But there is also a part of us that can function outside of that. That is the part that sometimes hits you. Suddenly there is something else coming through. That is the wild part.

The words are the smallest part of communication. The body is the big part. We communicate all the time by facial expression. By gestures, by body language. Oh I am afraid of you. Oh I love you. So all the time we have body language. In the silent movies they had to communicate everything by body language. Which made them so interesting. So that is the biggest part of it. Language is the smallest part of it. So the language is the structure that somebody says “Oh I love you.” But my body say “I can’t stand the sight of you.” You see. Now most people will be on the language level because that is the level that goes again from penthouse to penthouse. But again we come back to the ears. If you develop the ears then you can see the other part. You can only see the other part if you put the penthouse on the side. ‘Intuition’ these are all words. What does it mean? I don’t like words like intuition because again they are loaded. Very often those words are used because they don’t know what they are talking about. It is like people talking about animals and saying “why do birds fly south for the winter? ‘It is instinct’. Give me a break. What do you think? Birds fly to the south. It’s instinct. Intuition doesn’t explain anything. The penthouse of the brain has a structure, has a communication system but the older part of us is the body. The brain is only three million years old. The body is hundreds of millions of years old. The body was around in the dinosaur time. The body has very old knowledge which the brain does not have and it has a complete package from the Ape part. People say ‘oh we evolved from the Ape’. I say “that is nonsense it is not true at all.” The construction, the language is like a very thin very old veneer or thing that you can shine or put on the wood. Underneath that there is this whole animal thing. It is completely intact. The animal always wins in a conflict between the veneer and the animal. The animal wins. This is very interesting. So the emotion that fear. “Oh I am not afraid of bears. I am a big guy I am not afraid of bears.” First bear coming you run for your life. Right. Because your body knows that the bear is going to kill you. Your brain says “oh no I am civilized.” But your body knows the you are bull-shitting. That the bear is going to kill you. So your body is going through that. In any dispute between the new brain and the old body the body is always going to win.

In the past to get from Australopithecus -which had the 400 CC brain to jump to 600 then 800 then 1,000 then 1,400. I don’t think we need to get bigger heads. We need bigger access. Some people say four some people say ten per cent of the brain I don’t know how many. Very small part of the brain. We only use a small part of the brain. So I think that the next evolutionary step is to access more of the brain we it.

For instance I am always boggled by autistic people. I mean you have an autistic child and you give it a telephone book and it will read and can quote all the numbers in a telephone book. Now what he can do - I can do. So why can’t I do that? So he has stunted part of his brain in order to develop or highlight that part of the brain which can quote an entire telephone book by heart. But all of us have the same brain. So ideally we all should be able to be totally autistic and at the same time sane at the same time. You know what I mean? We need more connections and more access.

I wanted to start with this whole thing of what we live in all the time, the reality of time and space, which has to do with language and our construction on the one side of it, and the wild side of us on the other side of us. Which is not a wild side which is screeching and jumping up and down. The wild side is that side of us that can see a rose without describing it. I spend a lot of time looking at things. Amazing time looking at things. If you look at things it is amazing what you see. Most of time what I am seeing does not have any substance at all. Without substance. That is the wild part of it. The wild part of it that can see things like this and not recognize it as a tape recorder. The moment recognized as a tape recorder I am back in language, back in time. So that is what I call the wild part. It has to do with the body, it is the body. The body is made of the same material as all this. So it is simply the body vibrating again or resonating with what is out there. The body which then gets into touch - there is a connection because the tree and I are the same thing. It’s not different. So it is the atoms of the body recognizing or resonating with the atoms of what is around it. That is what I call the wild part. Has nothing to do with the penthouse, with the computer. It is in the body.

We have two hearts. When people talk about the heart they mean the emotional heart. “Oh I love you dearly.” If you don’t love me back “I will hate you dearly.” It is the emotional heart which has nothing to do with anything real. It has to do with language. The emotional heart follows language like a dog. You take the language away and the emotional heart goes away. You can only have an emotion if you know what you are talking about. The other heart which is the soul of the body - if you are with a tree or with the clouds or whatever - it is the body in touch with the tree. It is a heart without emotion. Because there is no recognizing what you see, there is no memory involved. Memory creates the emotion.

We are such ego maniacs. We always want to be there to enjoy ourselves, to feel it. But in a moment that the body acknowledges its wildness there is no feeling. It is just there. This is my big objection to all these people who want to get enlightened. They don’t want to get enlightened in order to just be it. They want to get enlightened to enjoy being enlightened. So it means that “oh I am so happy to be enlightened. I really enjoy my enlightenment. Isn’t it yummy.” The wild part and the civilized part. The civilized part enjoys hiking in the woods, canoeing on the lake. But that is not the same thing. The moment the enjoyment is not there then the other heart gets in.

What happens if a child looks at the shadow. He doesn’t know what it is. He tries to grab it and then you begin to corrupt the shadow: ‘This is a shadow and this is the way it works.’ So the magic is gone. You take the magic away. For children thinking about nothing is the same as thinking about something. With children when you say what are you going to do and he says :’nothing’ I think that children are very lineal. They have a certain logic, that human beings with the corruption of mind, do not have any more. I was reading this book with quotes of children, of this mother who had a two year and a four year old child. They just wrote quotes down and made a little book out of it. At one time the little four year old boy said to the mother “you know in heaven there are a lot of people.” And she said “How do you know that?” He said “I saw that on television?” And she said “When?” “In the weather forecast.” So he thought that those were people in the clouds. There are a lot of people in heaven. Logical. There are always clouds in heaven.

When I was about four my mother or somebody asked me where paradise was. I was very clear. I said in the hotel. They took me to hotel on Sundays - to have cookies and tea and cake. So of course that was paradise. Logical. What is the problem. Where you have cookies and cake is paradise Children are very logical.

Ujjai Pranayama:

With the closing of the upper throat the body is forced to breathe slower and therefore deeper. Because you creating a panic situation in the body, the body will breath slower. The problem with that breathing is that it stays confined only to the chest. It creates a certain stiffness. You are breathing but you are not. Like I was saying yesterday. How much was the air again: 14.7 sq. inches. so that is pressurizing and the body pressurizes back. But you do have the capacity to pressurize more. So really feel that atmospheric air is like a jelly or something that you can interact with. And not just with that breathing. We really have to interact with that full space around the body. It can only happen when you breathe through the lower throat. In that way you creating a widening, and a widening of the diaphragm which then allows you to access the whole lower part of the trunk. So there you are making that wave movement.

So the plasticity of the body is when there is a certain control in the outer body but the inside body is locked up inside and is held in prison, but if you make the outer skin, the outer muscle of the body plastic then the inner energy can push against it in and out, in and out. So there is a wave action. And I want you to include the top part of the chest.

It is a wave action: That movement of the water plants. The plants in the water with the wave make a wave action.

Sometimes things happen, you sort of do things by chance. Then it turns out to be just the right thing. About a month ago I took a friend of mine to a little church in another village. Just on the spur of the moment. Very nice church to show her. Two minutes after we went in a German Choir , an Acapella choir, began to practice for a concert in the evening. Eva and I were sitting sort of in the middle of the church. It’s a small church. Beautiful. So we went in. I was watching the director and I got so excited. Because he was the most perfect yoga student I ever had in my life. He did everything - he was tall but he was always on the spring joints. Everything came from the upper and lower spring joints. He was always bending slightly forward. Always on the point of flying off into outer space from the spring joints. Beautiful, I was so excited. But what he said was, and I always say this in yoga, is that the people when they reach the high note - they go down singing downwards. He said: no that is not the way to do it. When you have reached the highest note you keep the highest note in your mind and then you go down with the voice. If that also goes down then you lose it. You see.

This is exactly what I say in the yoga also. You should also keep the highest point and then whatever you do keep that. So if you just take the head down then everything will just collapse. If this is your highest point here. That point keeps going upwards. It’s light it goes up. Up up and then the body gains that height. Otherwise you are just going down like that. This is why in yoga we always say to go down you have to go up. the upper ribs to the sternum. The lower ribs do this and the upper ribs do that. Because of the situation of the sternum.

I held this lecture in Berkeley, in 2002, 21 years ago.

Below I send you the link to a man who talks about narcissistic people, and that if you listen to your body, your body will tell you to run for the hills if you meet one. You have to listen to this warning system that the body has. Everybody has it. You need to learn to listen. I ‘ran for the hills’ when the vaccine came out. And I am still sitting ‘in the hills’. I am not coming down. Trust that wild part in you, the ‘cat’ part in you: it has been around for millions of years, and will save your life on many occasions.