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Avi Gordon and Shankar Fern discuss the long term changes as a result of Yoga practice, faith and trust, enlightenment, the key to healthy relationships, and working with troubled young people. Biographical Notes: – Bruce was given the Sanskrit name Shankar directly by his Guru Sri Swami Satchidananda who is one of the great Yoga Masters and God Realized Saints of the century – Shankar is one of Swami Satchidananda’s senior disciples and a teacher having taught all aspects of yoga to many hundreds of students in the US and Canada – Shankar practices deep spiritualty while actively living in the world as a householder – He will be the first to tell you anything good that comes from him comes from the Divine Force which of its own accord chooses to use him as an instrument – Shankar is an Integral Yoga Minister who does humanistic coaching and spiritual counseling (he was trained as a psychotherapist) as well as spiritual wedding ceremonies, family and pet memorial services, birth ceremonies and house blessings – He is also on the Board of Directors of the NY Integral Yoga Institute, the Vice Chairman of the Integral Yoga Global Ministry Board of Trustees, and a Chaplain in the NY Putnam County SPCA – In the business world he is the president of Change-Ready Solutions which provides business with coaching and consulting to help them curate of culture which elevates people to achieve remarkable business results. – Prior to this role, Shankar was an executive with Citibank, IBM and other consulting and business organizations.




(00:06) all right Shankar thanks so much for taking the time to do this I want to start I know you've been practicing for many years yoga so I want to start by asking you what you've noticed about yourself what changes you've noticed within yourself as a result of practicing yoga yeah it's a great question Papi because why do something unless we some return on investment right unless we see that I've seen it's one thing that manifests itself in a couple of different ways some research and into yoga teaches us
(00:53) that it's all your name it's all your form it's all your deed and it's all for good so it's a nice philosophy but what does it mean to take that into your heart and practice that in your life can can I can you can we really believe that everything happens to us is awful good even when it's pain and suffering or pain and suffering of our loved ones and I was sitting in a satsang in yogaville once and so I'm receptionally not understand not an atom moves an inch that is not God's will
(01:41) and that blew me away it blew me away because it links up to right that it's all for good so nothing happened that's not for our good so why am I mentioning this teaching is because my Evolution has been to embrace that truth further and further [Music] and to embrace that truth further and further one of the outcomes is increased faith that this thing that happened to me no matter how good or no matter how painful is for good and if I have that increased Faith then good I've always talked about this and I
(02:27) really it may be imagine he said living a Carefree life where you're not worried about anything and I don't think I've achieved that fully yet but I would just say that more and more I seem to get closer and closer to it to seeing that things happen and I'm less bothered by them now maybe in the moment that it happens I'm shaken up but the recovery is quicker and when I talk to other spiritual disciples how long does it take to recover from something that upsets you is I think one metric of growth right if it takes weeks
(03:10) and months that's one thing if it takes hours it's something else so what our viewers don't know is that uh I'm gonna confess my silliness um Avi I didn't know that our podcasts are also video casts so when Avi and I first connected at the beginning of our scheduled time my room was in disarray I just moved into this house there were boxes everywhere and uh it was a mess it was a mess I wouldn't do that to anybody so we had to take time disconnect the camera can I read it and put it where
(03:48) else can I said what about the light I even went to pull down the shade and this house is new so I don't know which shades are hand pulled out and which ones are string pull down so I pulled on the spring pull down and the whole shade came down but I'm laughing about it right because somehow this was all supposed to be exactly as it was supposed to be and I'm not really I'm really not upset about it I'm just sorry you took up some unscheduled time so I think I'm because that it is true
(04:23) that everything is happening for our good and even when something difficult or painful happens I could somehow hold on to defeat of the guru to the Anchor of those teachings and I won't even take credit for it it's just a gift that I then can remember this and it just when I could move into this space makes me worry free so long answer Bobby but that's that's what's come so what's the like the internal process that happens within yourself if you can describe it so whether the example that you just
(05:03) gave or anything in life that that that comes up that might be considered challenging right here's the challenging here's the the feeling the the experience the pain how do you transform that into a different direction what happens for you inside right right it's a good question you know my training is in Corporate America and I've worked in some corporations it was zero tolerance for error so I've learned to try and prepare and be effective of what I'm doing so it doesn't mean that you just let everything go and you
(05:47) don't care about anything means you do your best you plan you exert your effort you try and be as good as whatever it is the situation is asking for but then when things don't go as planned there's a little introspection there has to be a light turned on facing within at those moments that says how am I reacting right now what am I thinking what am I feeling am I stressed am I anxious am I angry am I calm so I think one thing is that self-reflection that self-awareness is critical who would have used to talk about
(06:29) turning Within turning within starts with being aware of what's going on in my mind and my body and then I think the next and then of course it's not like okay I'm saying I'll do step one turn within and step two no you know it has to happen a little more automatically in that but then I think the next thing that happens is uh why did this happen right this is a self selection and I'm always looking to say what could I have done differently to avoid this right like if ever you and I have a chance to do a podcast again I'll have
(07:10) my room ready but without beating myself up I'm just Aaron is there anything I could have done to avoid this yes okay next time I'll do it no okay it is what it is and then probably the third step is to reaffirm that this is all for good that no matter how you think about it God Guru Divine mother adoloi Jesus Buddha whoever it is that we connect with to say your hand was behind this now not to cause me pain and suffering because we have to acknowledge that we live the results of our past Karma so in a way we're responsible for everything
(08:05) that happens to us but still for me to say okay you're you're telling me it's all for good I'm gonna believe that and then to move for me move myself into this space where I could let go that this is good so now that's technically means we're changing the whole Paradigm right I mean because you know it's like uh a beast stings you right or something happens and you hurt yourself and you go oh wow you know and the brain doesn't say oh that was good the brain says holy moly holy crap
(08:43) to take that and to re -define it redefine that experience as something that has goodness behind it is one of the keys but I think the other thing that's happening and you're asking me to go down at a granular level I'll be so I appreciate that is to recognize this is for good but I and I don't see it now don't see it yet I think that's the whole thing about our spiritual lives that's this mystery is that something happens to us at this moment and we use the moment and our experiences and the immediate outcomes
(09:23) as a metric of is it a good thing or not but I think that's the way the Universe goes I think the university oh it's like a chess game it's like a chess game somebody makes a move that's not the ultimate move they're making that move to set up another move five moves later and I think that's how the Divine plays with us that's the grand Leela right is that something happens but it's part of a larger framework and so we that's where faith comes in to say okay somehow this will end up being
(09:58) good maybe I'll learn from it maybe I'll change my view of the world from it maybe I'll change my behavior maybe I don't see it now but um something else will unfold to say oh look that really was for good and how many times in my life do we go through difficult experiences and then when we stop and look and look back Day hours days weeks months years and say ah it really was a blessing in disguise I wouldn't be here doing this or that or I wouldn't be with this person if that didn't happen
(10:37) so that's what goes on for me and again it's a work in progress because sometimes it will take me days to say man this feels so painful how is this good and then by God's grace and it really is Faith is a gift from God it's not something that I think yes you try and cultivate but it's ultimately a Divine gift and that gift awakens a little more and you go oh okay it's okay it's okay I'm like did I say it in a way that makes sense probably I think so it's so what I'm hearing is you know you have a
(11:20) practice of of remembering that there's a higher level that you can't always see mind to trust that there's something for good happening for you in these experiences right figure out and so do you find that the more that you practice the more proficient you become in in uh in going to that place of of acceptance and and Trust absolutely absolutely I find that it's easier to shift into that space and believing that it's true having the conviction that it's true um foreign you know I always used to love to think
(12:14) that way but I couldn't I couldn't and it's really only uh you know I I don't know how people who are listening relate to this does God do this as the Divine mother do this is Cosmic Consciousness do this any way that we think about it but it's um it's more quickly moving into this space that there is some greater force greater good again call it God call it Jesus call it sacred light whatever we want to call it that that is real and that is present in our life and that is guiding everything that happens to us
(13:00) and of course it's not rational right how can my rational mind understand that I sometimes think obviously okay this thing had happened for good the Divine forces behind again behind it and I think wait a second now there's a hundred billion things that are happening on this planet to people at a motor the Divine forces behind all of that and they think well wait a second now this is just one planet I believe there many many other inhabited planets in the universe and uh and the and everything that's
(13:32) happening to every living being there is also being directed by the Divine being there's no way that our brain can say oh yeah I get that that makes sense to me no it doesn't make sense though I must confess there is a metaphor that helps me a little bit and it is the metaphor of the human body look what's going on inside of our body at any time look how many cells are working to heal us and keep us healthy and repair disease and and there are probably hundreds of millions of cells doing that all the time way beyond our
(14:09) understanding it's not like we I cut myself and we say oh okay uh let's go heal this right now no it happens saying it's the same Force so sometimes I just it helps me to embrace a little bit to say the same way then my body is guiding every cell and so my mind is guiding every cell in my body the Divine force is guiding all of us and everything we go through and then of course we have to just let go of the intellect because faith is not about figuring it out that way letting go of the intellect to me this
(14:47) is like the the main highest practice that there is in the challenge of being a human being right because the intellect you know sometimes I feel that the intellect is or the mind is put into kind of a negative category of something that that is bad you know and that doesn't that doesn't uh resonate well with me either what I like to do is honor the mind the you are wonderful you know what you're able to figure out and perceive and what human beings have been able to accomplish with the mind is remarkable
(15:30) at the same time don't think that you can know everything so it's like because I can know so much right sometimes my mind gets deluded into thinking that it can know everything why and that's the that's the danger yeah you know um you know the monkey mind metaphor right um I I love that metaphor because my mind our minds do sort of seem to have a life of their own right start thinking about this and start thinking about that and one of the great teachings that Swami sashananda gave us is that our mind can
(16:12) be our best friend or our worst enemy it could plague us with fears and anxieties and confusion and misperception of everything that's going on or it can help us be focused on the greatest spiritual truths so you're right a mind is a beautiful thing as long as we are managing it as opposed to it managing us right yeah and and maybe the the it managing us is is when the ego takes over to thinking that you know my my opinions are so great and if only things were the way that I want them to be then the world would be a better place one thing
(17:01) I wanted to ask you about is this this idea of an ego is pure as Crystal right so what does it mean to have a pure ego what is what does that look like yeah I think it's ultimately about having the Mind still enough that it can reflect the Divine Light which is us it's only through that pure mind that we can see Who We Are Stillness is the ultimate goal I should say Stillness is the means to the end of that the ultimate goal is that Awakening so just think about a piece of Crystal or you mentioned crystal clear right but
(17:52) think about a piece of Crystal we can look through it it's clear light comes right through it there are no impurities there's no carbon fill them in it it's just beautiful and clear it's letting everything come through and that's us and that's what we are shooting for is a mind that is pure and still enough that we can then see who we are the Divine being we're one that being there's no separate like the non-dualists not not this not that not me not you that's not it's that separate
(18:27) just is it is it is an illusion so having a pure still crystal clear mind and heart allows that light that's within us to shine but would you say that that is a pure ego or is that a dissipation of the ego it's a good question I think it's one I think it could be one of the same I think when the ego becomes so pure then it sort of just steps out of the way um Master shivananda used to sing when will I see thee my beloved God my delight Divine being when will I see thee when I ceases to exist so it's the same thing right when will I
(19:29) Behold The True Divine being when there's no I who's trying to do anything and then is the ego pure is the ego God I think it's um it may be academic right yeah so do you believe that you know this happens and then there's no I like you have an experience happens where the the eye ceases to exist and then I am just dissolve into Oneness or however you want to put it and remain there or is the experience that you can have moments of time where the eye ceases to exist and then the eye comes back again
(20:20) and then the eye ceases to exist again and then it comes back again [Music] that's a great question once the eye is gone is quiet is pure when we have that Awakening there's actually the scriptures tell us there's two types of Awakening right so one is having us the samadhis different type of samadis is one having a samadhi where there's still a seed of myself but then the other is having a samadhi where that's gone that's gone so the the mind doesn't cease to exist if it did everyone was God realized we
(21:02) judge me are you know like that um no the Mind ceases to exist but then it's a pure instrument but I remember once Avi again it was another satsang in yoga Bell and someone said uh to Swami Sachin Ananda do you have uh thoughts that trouble you just has all of your thoughts gone and he said no they're not gone but I I don't pay so much attention to them it's like they are in a distance they're in a background so when I say when we have that Awakening is if it's a moment in time this is the Awakening it's right now
(22:02) we just want to see it a little more so the personality still exists but the any tendency to act selfishly is what we are told or dissipates so have you had any moments of that where the where you feel that the seed of of yourself I think as you put it is gone that's not there there's no identity of yourself and if I mean I guess that's maybe I'll leave it there have you had any experiences of that and then I'm curious if you have what happens after that thank you I did have an experience actually I haven't experienced one then
(23:00) I'll tell you a little more what I have a little more often I hadn't experienced what once and I was in a very quiet meditative State almost like a dream state and in it Swami satyananda was there and he went and I thought it was to give me a nice big kiss right and he came and he sort of pulled me to him and instead what happened is he pulled me into him little kiss he pulled me into him and there was nothing but light and joy for however long that lasted there was no shock guard there was no Bruce it was nothing except that pure
(23:49) consciousness that pure light and it was joyous it lasted forever long it lasted right and then I sort of you could say quote and quote return to my normal consciousness so I I think that was like a you go to the movies and you see a trailer I think that was like a trail it's like okay this is what's awaiting you when you can stay in that peaceful peaceful stay but the other thing obvious that when my meditation is a really really deep and I'm connecting with the divine I feel the jolt of the Shakti going
(24:40) through my entire body and it is so joyous now I'm not dissociated from my Consciousness that if you say hey who's this going who's happening is to all I'd say you know it's happening to me so that experiencing that Consciousness I believe you could experience it in different ways what we're ready for our beliefs um and I think and and this is what the scriptures have told us is that we can go into that beautiful state and then slowly sing back into you know our beliefs that like myself
(25:22) even in the bhagavad-gita you may remember this there's one scene where Krishna um and Arjuna were talking and Arjuna says to Krishna you know I'm so pleased you act like my friend we hang out together you drive my Chariot from me but I know that you really are God can you show me your true self tell me what you really look like I'd like to have that I'd like to have that and Krishna again who's God says Yeshua are you sure you want us to have that and uh and Krishna says yeah yeah excuse me sorry Arjuna says yeah I really want
(26:03) that and then it's a famous painting a poster of God revealing himself to Arjuna I even have the painting up somewhere hard just about it like this and Krishna is the Divine being you see all the worlds all of his faces all his hands everywhere and uh it's overwhelming for argument it's overwhelming and at one point he says Krishna please please I can't take it anymore I can't really absorb your true vast infinite self could you please return me back to normal consciousness margin that's what it comes back slowly
(26:44) so I do think we can that's a long-winded way of answering a question I think we can move into that some semblance of that Divine State right and then maybe sink back into ourselves but when we make the real leap there's no coming back there's no risk oh I'm gonna fall back into my old ways I think these are maybe like we said trailers of what's going to come what does that mean like the real leap like to become an enlightened person you're talking about her after you pass no no no the final God realization right
(27:20) um to become a Jiva like someone who still has a body a mind but is enlightened to the great great great spiritual truths of oneself and everything in the universe so so someone who's attained that yes do you think that there's still fluctuations happening for them or no fluctuations are happening at all I think there's no fluctuations because all the scriptures say once you once you do that once you achieve that state there it's you it's permanent you realize it's always been like that
(27:59) it always will be like that that you are not different than the infinite being that your true nature is consciousness infinite consciousness [Music] I am Shiva Shiva the pure Consciousness I am Shiva Shiva I am in all conditions I am knowledge Bliss absolute I am that Sacha denanda but I think when you get there there's no coming in and out there's no like walking in the building okay now I'm walking out so I'll go have an ice cream I'm I'm back to being myself in fact that was a good line I'm back to
(28:51) being myself myself capital S the true that's it so there's no walking in another building I am the building I am that consciousness that's that's what I believe and I promise if I get there I'll be I'll I'll let you know I don't know if you can promise that because once you get there it's gonna be uh yeah I'm talking to myself here's a promise if we have to make the hobby if you grant that then I gotta tell him what's it really like okay I'm curious what your relationship
(29:28) is with scriptures or teachers because you're referring to okay the scripture says this is what the scripture says and so which path do you follow in terms of of what you believe is truth the what the scripture says to you know this is so I believe this is so far kind of beyond me that I'm trusting this or is it do you look more to your internal experience and your internal Guru to to ask what is what is true so the answer is both but I'll explain that a little more if a teacher says here's the truth
(30:25) we have the right to say show me what the scriptural Authority for that is we've been around for 10 000 years there are great scriptures from so many Traditions you say that's the truth okay what's the scriptural Authority for that so I mean Kurt have said this to us he said don't believe me ask me what's the scriptural Authority for that and every time anybody sort of said oh what is it it's a that's right out of the bug of it he then quoted right in Sanskrit right or in Tamil [Music]
(31:03) I think that's why I often we often heard him quote it you know because he was giving us what the scriptures told us he just translated in such an easy and easy to understand everyday language so I've always looked for the correlation between what the scripture says and what the teacher says right and I've always found him I've always found it um I remember once obvi you know grew together always said he once even said my God is peace my God is peace and of course Peace is such an important partner of our integral yoga
(31:43) path I was reading some scripture and in it it says you can have peace as your God and I go whoa that's what gurudev has always been saying but he knows that's in this scripture chapter 27. but it said you can have peace as your God and that just was blown away right and so many other times good Dev would do something or say something then later on maybe years later on I would find the scripture not that I was looking for but I would come across the scripture said oh right that's what he said that's what he meant
(32:30) so we can trust our teacher but I've I like the gurudev soda you want proof okay good I'll give you proof in fact Avi I don't know if you ever heard the story it's when someone said how do you know that someone's a legit teacher right but how how can you assess that especially before you want to take initiation with that teacher and he says here's what you do he said break into his house he wasn't kidding break into his house hide behind the cursions and see what he does when nobody's
(33:08) looking does he seem to be that peaceful fellow that joyful fellow or reserves was that just an act that is is somebody else check that out you said check it out don't believe it for yourself check it out so I really always loved his willingness to go to evidence right for what he was teaching yeah but what I hear you saying is that the evidence is the the scripture which is the authority so you're saying that the the the authority is the the scripture itself whether it's the bhagavad-gita or the Bible whatever your uh tradition is
(33:52) um really what I was asking about wasn't like the assessing of the teacher I was kind of saying like the teacher and the scriptures are kind of I was putting that in one category something external from my own being whether it's scripture or teacher that's outside of myself right so am I saying that this teacher or scripture knows what's best for me more than me um or am I searching inside for the the answer that feels right to me that's my question okay good good thank you for clarifying and I think my
(34:32) answer is still the same sarcastic answer over if it's bold but let me explain a little remember I said scripture is you know it's probably such a that always says you know make validated by scripture but that wasn't the only thing he said he said you can you validate this by a scripture and be your own experience so he never wanted us to go accept scripture or anything he said that was contradictory to our experience so how do we digest that what did that mean so if if I hadn't experience and I felt
(35:22) legitimate to me and divine he's saying okay trust that trust that go with that trust that now as I'm as those words are coming out of my mouth I'll be I'm recognizing that it's it's complicated because what if I'm wrong what if I'm screwed up what if that's the very reason I'm coming to a guru to say I don't know the answer has to be now where you come back to have faith faith in the scripture faith in the teachings but the willingness to self-assess right because so let's say maybe I uh maybe I
(36:03) blew up at somebody and I felt Justified they did something wrong they're an evil person this or that well it could be that um am I right or am I wrong because I could be wrong I could be oh my God I just triggered some other stuff going inside of me I wasn't right to yell at that person so I think that's where to me I'll tell you what I do Avi it's a good question it's very hard but I think what I do is I say look I want to know the truth of here please show me the truth I think I know the truth please let me
(36:44) know if I'm right or wrong I don't think I know the truth please let me know if I'm writable and I don't think you know God is some person sitting on the throne with a Long White Beard and the crown on his head just you know controlling the massive waves of the universe I think our relationship to the Divine is very very intimate and very personal or can be and when we say please help me I'm turning to you if you believe as God is the Divine mother Mom I'm coming to you I'm your son I'm your child I need help
(37:27) this scriptures say but good mother never turns away a child even a bad mother doesn't turn away from their child so I'm the worst child mom but I and I really need your help or if you approach any aspect of God with that sincerity and say please help me please help me I will tell you I'll be 100 I've always found I've gotten that guidance sometimes in the form of intellectual knowledge sometimes in the form of somebody just saying something randomly and oh no it's not random that's what I
(38:04) was looking for you have to be willing to listen carefully to The Whispers in the universe where you ask for that guidance but I've always gotten it and if I have that confusion why is it what I think is it what the teacher says is if the scripture is something else I just say hey Beyond it's beyond me I'm confused it's beyond me please help and then I've always gotten that comments do you feel that the Divine is something outside of yourself or also Within yes I'm probably a very unsatisfactory
(38:47) because I always keep saying yes that it's both but the reason why it's both is because oh I have a great story to tell you that psychiately today um yes the Jesus taught us the Kingdom of Heaven is within us all the great scriptures tell us that the answers are within the answers are with them and yet there's so many stories where devotees have seen God in his her its physical form comes Shiva comes to me Divine mother comes to me and does this or does that so how could it be inside and not outside if it's outside then it's then then when
(39:42) everything says I am that tatuamasi I am one with that so how could it be only outside if the scriptures tell us I'm one with that and if it's all if it's only me well I don't get that because I I have gas I have pains I have so horrible up here is what my face looks like now 30 years ago my face didn't look this way so I I can't be that so it's a wonderful question it's one one wonderful contemplation and I do think that God is all of this God can manifest in a very distinct form
(40:25) if we love and worship that form and certainly that Divine being I am my beloved yeah I'm I I'm wondering though is a lot of the suffering that we experience does that come from forgetting that I am that absolutely bro absolutely I'm you know I think okay I'm this oh here I'm good I've I have a dear friend he's just been diagnosed with prostate cancer he's going through hell you could understand that it's going through hell at this moment in time he feels that he is the body he is the body
(41:11) and if I feel like I'm the body and then I'm diagnosed with some disease I will profound suffering because I've forgotten that I'm more than this body so yes I think it all do our pain suffering do come from our forgetting the Divine truth I wanted to ask you about you know counseling because I know you've done a bunch of that just relationships in general it seems to be maybe the the greatest challenge that we have to to have healthy relationships what do you think is is key to having a healthy relationship with
(41:54) another person do you know I think we can answer it from several different levels at the highest level remembering that I am one with this other person we are both United together in the Divine Light certainly puts us everything we go through in a different sense in a more worldly sense you know it becomes full circle to what we said earlier if everything that happens for good and my loved one yelled at me or did something that I perceived hurt me that instead of lashing back which is the ego's automatic response
(42:41) instead I say wait is there something I should learn about this is there something I need to know about myself maybe maybe my beloved sees something in me I don't see basically a thing they do about the whole thing you don't know you're right so maybe they're right and then obviously great question so to know that I am truly one with my beloved to be open enough to what it is they have to say and then I think it's also love and forgiveness of course have to be in the mix if they hurt me do I go to a place of
(43:29) anger or do I go to a place of love and forgiveness and it's not to say I would say in a relationship no matter what but let's use that as our default when when I I've been in a relationship since uh the 70s have been married and when my wife and I go through difficulties these days I'm asking okay what could I do differently what do I have to give up what do I have to let go of and also just to know to keep my peace whatever it is that my spouse says to keep my peace now I'm quick to give her feedback
(44:18) on what I think she needs to do differently but I don't that's not the first place I go because then it's about okay well but but you me like you that's not helpful but if I think that a little later on in acquired a space and I could say you know I know I need to do this differently I just want to say when you do that here's how I feel then we could also have a dialogue about it so commute non-defensive communication and accountability now I don't know if there's any scripture for that one I haven't seen it
(44:55) before but we're enlightened enough in this era to know we're accountable for our own actions and we're accountable for how we affect other people too it's our love I was blessed enough obvi in college to have a professor who had profound wisdom about accountability and relationships we used to go to his house I went to NYU for undergraduate we used to go to his apartment in Greenwich Village and he and his wife taught of course on accountability and ashamed me of all my life all my life so yes we're accountable
(45:34) we're each accountable we should love we should forgive we should learn and keep our peace no matter what has it been a process for you to elevate that priority of keeping your peace you know no no matter what it does it does seem like it's a matter of priority to me right like all these different things are in my mind that feel important but which one is the most important so I can make that firm commitment to Pieces is the number one yes you know and and the firmer I am in that maybe the more I I can remember
(46:22) right and the firmer I am in that the better I can listen right when when we're talking about relationships deep listening is like the number one priority I can't listen well if I don't keep my peace if I don't keep my peace all I want to do is assert my truth yes but you do this and but I you know need this and that all I could do is just debate the debates are not helpful this way but I find it so it's so so tricky when we're interacting with with other people right it's like it's spoken about kind of like the
(47:05) vacuum of of meditation right like I can be peaceful on the mat on the cushion but then when I'm interacting with life right that goes out the window right and I I feel that's really really true and what's so challenging is is all the years that I've kind of conditioned myself to engage with other people when we're using words in a certain way so I'm standing in my piece what I observe I'm in in my piece right and then now is the time to speak you know it's so hard to speak in a way
(47:50) that's different from what I'm used to even if my intention is not to debate if that's what I've been practicing for so long it feels like it's going to come out in that form where it turns into a debate you know what I'm saying yeah no we want to debate because we want to be right who want to be right so that's another aspect in a relationship The Need to Be Right is deadly right it's deadly because if I'm right unless you agree with me that means that you're wrong so now we have a dynamic where I'm right
(48:34) you're wrong I'm telling you I'm right I'm telling you you're wrong I'm marginalizing you I'm minimizing what you're saying I'm minimizing how you feel that doesn't float okay that doesn't lead to a sustainable relationship so the willingness to let go of being right is so important and it's so hard because I know I'm right at least that's what my mind says right I know one right but if I keep asserting that this relationship won't last much longer right like I've heard it said you know
(49:10) do you want to be right or do you want to have a relationship that's the choice right do you know um when Swami Sasha Randa would marry people what he would always give a talk as at the latter part of the ceremony and it would always say that you know your relationship would be filled with love and happiness but you should give each other some hot pickles every once in a while you know the Indian pickle right he said because that's how you grow you don't grow by always being lovely lovely oh dear how are you I'm so happy
(49:47) oh I love you today I really love you today and that's it that's how we grow [Music] by you know a partner comes and said oh you gotta zip that's the size of a hornet's nest it looks horrible you shouldn't go out today it looks horrible okay now my mind wants to react who is she telling me I look horrible chance to be reactive or a chance to go into my piece and probably say Oh thanks thank you dear sorry you have to look at it thank you wow that's a beautiful response so yeah we can't expect perfectly peaceful
(50:34) relationships I actually won't service very well but I personally don't feel called to ever have an intention to offer someone a hot pickle to me those things just happen naturally yes yes absolutely yeah yeah and he didn't mean like wake up and figure out how I'm gonna irritate my partner yeah no agent like you said they happy because we have egos and we're each of us are still learning and growing so we're going to bump up against each other yeah and he was saying that's okay it's okay
(51:12) wondering uh you've worked with criminal youth a bit right anything in particular that you've drawn from those experiences working with people that maybe are specifically you know young and committed crimes and what that experience has been like for them why they committed a crime and the process for moving uh through it yeah you know I did that work many years ago Aubry and I didn't have our yoga framework that that I do now but one of the things that all the people who were the most successful in
(51:48) my field did working with these young people is they Saw The Light Within them they saw the good within them now they were no BS people no BS they called other people on their stuff but they still fundamentally Underneath It All they saw the goodness in the other person and that's what Swami satyanaranda did in so many cases somebody would come to him and uh horrible person did horrible things and he would look at them and he'd say you know you know you're really a good boy you're really a good person I see that
(52:31) in you and what do you mean I did this now you're really good and that would just like shape people out of their own negative self-image and Colton the divine within them so obviously young people need a lot of help maybe they need a change of environment maybe they need help many other things but seem that good or God just yet take away one zero in them because the key and it's the key in all Counseling of The Godly right and maybe all relationships right like I'm wondering about you know that to you know is it possible for us to love
(53:16) everyone to have that be the foundation not that right you don't can't point something out or see that some change could be helpful but that's the sense that I have Swami sachinanda II is that he was able to do that he practiced that loving everyone seeing the good in everyone yeah and that is such a what a what a practice to have I'm wondering for you you know do you find success in that in seeing seeing the good and everyone loving everyone um it's of course a work and progress right I heard something that uh a dear friend
(53:57) of mine did just in the last 24 hours and I was saying what the heck was she thinking she did something that I think hurt so many people even heard into yoga she felt Justified and you know can I still see the good in terms it's hard at times like that right when someone takes an action at Circle to others but when I talked to them Avi it's actually easier to see the good in them it's easy to remind myself that there's a this is a Divine person just going through their stuff so I haven't mastered it yet by far but
(54:44) it's a little easier when instead of thinking about them interacting with them to see their goodness that that helps me you know I noticed that too thank you for reinforcing that because in my own mind I'll note it like when the other person isn't there and I'm kind of ruminating on what happened you know I'm feeling anger and frustration all these different things about the person right um but then when they're right in front of me and it's kind of like that's game time you know you're looking into
(55:15) someone else's eye yes then you really see how you feel about them right and and and more on more more and more for me as I'm prioritizing the the love of this practice it's like okay all the other things are kind of Superfluous yeah the love is the the important thing that's beautiful absolutely absolutely thank you so much really appreciated this time and getting to know you and everything that you're doing yeah glad that you're a part of uh integral yoga community for sure yeah thank you um you know my
(55:53) fundamental experience with all this is profound gratitude so I am so grateful for everything I've been given um and happy if I could even share a tiny bit of that back with others that's a blessing so thank you brother thank you so much thanks for listening if you've enjoyed this content and think others might as well please feel free to share and subscribe

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