I was just thinking about it, specifically from a yoga perspective, from the teachings, what it means to transform. And even more specifically, as I watched people, throughout a teacher training, getting to be with someone over a nine or ten month program is such a gift to be able to watch what it is that happens from the beginning to end because everyone always comes in beautiful, of course. And then when you see them leave at the end on to the next phase of their life, what really has happened and what's happened from the yoga perspective would be my deeper offering, and the inquiry of what really transformation is because so often I think that we think about transformation as changing into someone else. But as I'll offer in the dharma talk, I think that the yoga offers a completely different definition of transformation.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope you connect to it. And I hope that you take a little self-inquiry and allow yourself to see that you really don't need anything else other than what and who you are in this moment. Enjoy.
Good morning. I was just thinking about ... I was thinking about teacher training because our teacher trainees just graduated last week. And these girls were in teacher training. I mean, you kind of count. So now my story feels different because what I was going to say was something really wonderful, but [inaudible 00:02:09]. No. I'm kidding.
I was thinking about ... Here's what I was thinking about is the word transformation because every time at the end of year ... our programs run 10 months, and this isn't a teacher training pitch or anything ... it's just the yoga, what yoga does. This is what I find that I never really saw it this way until this year, although it's happened every year, is that when we talk about transformation, like people come into a program ... whatever it is you do ... you come into something, and you leave differently. You've learned something. You've changed. Something has happened
But the real thing that kind of clicked with me this year, as I was thinking about what transformation is from the yogic perspective, is that at the end of the year, really what happened is that you see people become themselves. It's not transformation like, "Oh, I learned this. I have this skill. I have that. Now I can do this. I got that. I got the job. I got the thing." It's not transformation like that. It's that people become more of who they are. Does that make sense?
We talk about this and sometimes I'm like ... it sounds kind of cheesy to say, "Your light shines from the inside out," but that's really what you see when someone is who they are, is that it's that inner brightness that shines out. And so they're not pretending to be someone else. They're like kids. I know I say this all the time. My kids are like puppies because we also had a puppy yoga class a couple weeks ago, and kids are the same way. They don't pretend to be until they've been jaded at a certain point. So they don't pretend to be someone else. They just have that little bright light, and whatever their personality is, they own it. And they play. And they live life.
There's two aspects of yoga, depending on what tradition you follow. There's yoga that's kind of made to take you outside of life's experience, and then there's yoga, like the Tantric form, that is made to embrace it and to live it. It's like the science of life. And that's really ... I've dabbled in both, and I’ve got to say the one that is about living life is a lot more fun. No surprise, right?
But with that, the science of life, is that the more fun is that you embrace the laws of nature. It's not more fun like, "I'm going to party till ... like I'm going die tomorrow." That's not fun. But it's like you're embracing the laws of nature, so you're kinder. You're more compassionate. You enjoy things. You care about what you eat, all the things that are here. The trees, the nature, the beach ... like the beach ... all that kind of stuff, you're made to enjoy it.
And so when I think about transformation, my thoughts really ... that would be the invitation to sit with, is that yoga isn't ... and it says it all the time ... it's never asking you to be something that you're not, and it's never asking you to change. It's never asking you to get something from outside. All that it asks you to do is to be more of you. That's it.
With that, I would hope that we could take ourselves a little less seriously. That's my downfall. I get so serious about whatever. I mean, I could name probably 20 things right now. It's not that serious. You know what I mean? It's just not. Life is not made to be like that. So to take ourselves less seriously, I often say, "I think a part of our job as yoga teachers is, when we teach adult classes, is to really teach us all how to be kids again."
And so you brought that up, and you're right. To look at children, and to just enjoy life, and to embrace life, and do things just for the sake of doing them. It's not like, "Why do I have to do this?" You just do it. "Why do I have to go up the slide, and down the slide, and up the slide, and down the slide, and up the slide, and down the slide?" It's just fun.
There's one more thing I wanted to say, but I've lost it. Yeah. I don't know. So less serious. More fun. Embrace life. And do it just because you can. Even the physical process, do what you can, just because you can. It's not to come and get away from yourself. It's actually to get to know yourself a little bit more, and to embrace, and to notice, and to think about the things.
One of the questions that we often ask in training is like, "Is it true? Is it true? Is it useful?" You could take either one of those. "Is what's going on in my mind right now, is it useful? Is it true?" And if it's not, let it go because most of the time, it's not. And when you get wrapped into it, and it takes us outside of ourselves, and really what people like about each one of us is who we are. Each one of us have a purpose. Each one of us have an individual soul. And so if you can be that person, that's what people are drawn to. And if you can be that person, if people aren't drawn to you, you don't care. Do you know what I mean? It just doesn't matter because you're confident in who you are.
We'll start with some oms, and we'll go ... I'll say one more thing. I was listening to this talk with Swami Satchidananda. He's one of my teachers. And he was saying ... He was giving this example of all this external sourcing, and I've used this example before, but I think it's really ... It really talks about ... It really sums up our culture is that he was like, "We spend all this time ..." And I guess it depends on your age, but you spend all this time trying to get rid of a wrinkle, trying to get rid of a thing, trying to change your body, do all these things. Get rid of your wrinkles. Make yourself look a different way. And then you end up ... you take this once in a lifetime trip to Africa, and you take pictures of the oldest person with the most wrinkles, and then you bring it back, and you show everybody. And it's like the most revered thing, the wisdom. And so the transformation, I think, is embracing who we are and allowing that to really shine forth.
All right. Let's close our eyes.