If you've heard Erich Schiffmann speak recently, you know about the Internet of the Mind analogy. If not, you can listen to him here. (Erich is awesome!) To summarize, Erich talks about the idea of our mind as being like a personal computer, with limited capacity. However by "getting online" we can open to what he calls the "Internet of Infinite Mind".
I find this is easiest to do through asana practice (physical poses). Asana was originally developed to prepare the mind for meditation, and however it works - it does work! Walking home from class tonight after a particularly good asana class where we focused on the concept of "rooting to rise", I was suddenly aware of everything and totally dialed in to whatever it is that connects us... I suddenly remembered the first time I came to San Diego, over 5 years ago, with my boyfriend at the time; we drove down the 805 freeway and came off the off-ramp right next to the apartment where I now live. I probably looked right out the passenger window at the building I now call home - my first real glimpse of a San Diego neighborhood. At the time, of course, I had no idea that I would ever live in that apartment by myself - but here I am. I am who I am and where I am because that moment happened, and all the moments in between happened. And standing outside my building in the dark like an idiot, I felt the concrete reality of this moment and that moment both occurring. Back then, I had no idea I would stand here now... but the moments are connected, inevitably, and somehow I can feel the Infinite holds both these experiences, and more, simultaneous and equal. And somehow I can feel how powerful the flow of life is, and in this moment, surrender. Every moment exists, and doesn't exist, like a drop of water merging into a lake. Every moment is a chance to connect and begin again. Just like on the mat, I root to rise. (I think this concept needs a whole separate post. It was an amazing class and I'm still processing it.)
The question is how to hold this sense of connection after stepping off the mat. I think the answer is: practice. If I can train myself more often during my day to breathe deep and open my mind, it will get easier to operate from this place of connection. And in International Education, where we operate often from different cultures, different sets of communicative norms and expectations, we need this. We need to dial in to the Infinite that connects all of us so that it is harder for us to create the Other - and harder for us to obsess about the Self.
Last time I heard him speak, Erich suggested that if you connect to the Infinite, you will discover for yourself all the teachings of yoga. For him, the main practice should be this connection. The other precepts, the ethical behavior and the guides to practice will rise from it. As my teacher Nikole humorously put it, there's more than one way to skin a cat in yoga. :-) I like thinking about yoga philosophy. But I also think it's true that the Universe is its own guide.
This week at work, my practice will be connection. Making decisions from that place where the Infinite runs through me. Especially, speaking and reacting from that place. These days, I'm so busy that I forget to really connect with the people who sit at my desk or talk to me on the phone. This week, I will try to Google the Internet of Mind as much as I Google the Internet. I am amused to realize that part of my mind wants to reject Erich's talks when I hear him - oh, I've heard this before, say something new. But then I realize I haven't been doing it.
Thank you, Infinite Internet of Mind, for letting Erich know I need to hear it again. Thank you Erich, for listening. :-)
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