On Nonduality Talk Radio, April 9 2014, Jay Rossi was my guest. Jay teaches Non-Duality Yoga in Nottingham, U.K. Co-hosts James Traverse and Mandee Labelle, both yoga teachers in the non-dual mode, added depth and dimension to the conversation.
Jay’s excellent website with videos, books, and articles is kashmiryoga.com/
Listen/download at nonduality.net/9april2014_jayrossi.mp3 or below:
0:00 – 4:20 Introduction, casual chat, nature of spaciousness, exploring yoga.
4:20 – 8:04 Jay Rossi introduced. Jay describes bringing students into open awareness and the spacious feeling via changing attention and the resultant release of tensions and contractions
8:04 – 13:09 Jay and James talk about limitations of focusing too much on core strength of the body. Importance of breathing. Problem with over-intellectualizing physical exercise.
13:09 – 14:46 Significance of vibrational nature of the body and organs.
14:46 – 18:20 Feelings and emotions addressed. The body held as an idea. Looking at one’s experience. The body as a mirage.
18:20 – 25:04 Jay discusses his background and studies and how he got into yoga. James shares his journey and shows how their path is parallel in many ways. Jean Klein and Douglas Harding discussed.
25:04 – 29:29 How their teaching of yoga has changed over the years. Presence. Abiding in the open space as a way or teaching that can affect the students even if they are not aware of it.
29:29 – 33:40 Jay leads the listener is an exercise of spacious yoga. “Is it my hand or is the hand in my awareness?”
33:40 – 36:19 Power of Jay’s exercise discussed. Understanding and substance discussed.
36:19 – 40:16 Mandee joins us and she and Jay talk about relationship with Francis Lucille and what they learned.
40:16 – 46:16 Jay talks about a relaxed, light, loose, playful approach to yoga, and what bores him. Mandee and James contribute. Jay tells a couple of stories comparing seriousness and playfulness.
46:16 – 51:00 Mandee, James, and Jay engage in some intimate yoga shop talk, as they are all yoga teachers. Jay talks about his new book.
The Direct Path of Kashmir Yoga: The pure Zen of yoga
by Jay Rossi
“Any technique or system keeps the person in the vicious circle, because it is trying to heal what is fundamentally an illusion.” Jean Klein
When we were very young children we were just pure being, no sense of identity at all, and though the child cries because of the need for food, it is just an expression of simple crying because hunger is happening.
Then what seems to happen is there comes a moment when the child looks into the mirror and the parents tell the child, “you are Christine” and that the face in the mirror is them. Then comes the first contraction of energy and consciousness, as we become at that point a separate person, and therefore comes an embodied feeling that the skin is our limitation, our boundary with everything else outside and separate from us.
From that time there is a sense of loss with a deep longing to return home to that sense of childlike wonder and expansion. The whole idea of making your life work, of clearing your chakras, perfecting asanas, drinking, drugs, forgiving your mother, are attempts to return home.
The real problem with searching and seeking is that it fuels the separation. In fact from my observation the more bodywork and yoga you do as an individual the more energy gets compressed.
You see the individual needs a target, a journey, a path, a place to going the longing to return home. But this sense of loss can never be found through techniques or meditations, in fact there is nothing that needs to be done because an apparently separate entity can never draw itself nearer to its own end.
We actually live in two dimensions; we are here in form and space or awareness.
Space is actually what you are, a spacious awareness.
Life to me is the dance between form and space, the bridge.
When you look around you now as you read this, there are objects, things and the space filling the room, and there is your own space observing.
Objects and space make up everything, yet every object at its quantum level is also space.
No-thing or space is not merely nothing. Nothing, in fact it is a wonderful healer and is critical to the health and the balance of our nervous systems
Scientists have discovered that when a person attends to the space around objects or within their own bodies, the brain responds immediately by dropping into a whole brain synchronous alpha state.
A very relaxed, yet alert state.
The brain when attending to space has nothing to grip on to, or make sense of, to objectify. Space sometimes can be the only true intelligence, ‘not knowing’ is a powerful energy field. Sometimes magic arises from allowing stillness to speak.
The wonderful news is there is no technique we have to learn, it’s simply just a re-directing of attention. Spaciousness or presence is our natural way of being.
I’m not suggesting that we become zombies and just be open space, non individuals, letting life throw us around. I’m not suggesting that at all.
The personality continues, maybe an even more colourful personality, but everything becomes new each moment. Fears worry, anger can still arise but there is no one who takes possession of it now. So it doesn’t anchor, stay home, it simple falls back into nothingness.
So what happens when you come to a Jay Rossi’s Kashmir yoga workshop?
I am not teaching you anything you don’t already know inside, just simply a rediscovering of what has never left you. We meet in space, there is no you or me in space, but a oneness. Spaciousness is really what you are; emptiness is already fully present in you.
Yes we use breath, asanas to assist in the exploration of what’s most natural to you. We enquire and attend to facts, exploring bodily sensation and breath.
The goal of our exploration is not a relaxed or healthy body or even a more sensitive body but to know the perceiver of the body.
Usually health and vitality arise much more when all the energy that has been compressed by getting stuck in form has been liberated into the totality by our enquiries and explorations. You may discover your vibrational frequency changes with space because we free ourselves from being stuck in form.
Students have said these Kashmir workshops are liberating because tension seems to melt away. The tension of thinking I am inside a small, separate ‘body thing’ melts as I enjoy being once again boundless, airy and light, full of energy and full of the world. You can allow your energy to fully expand to its natural dimensions.
The experience of fundamental Openness is very natural and familiar; just as we were when we were children, spontaneous and relaxed, creative and very playful.
You see really what’s happened is consciousness is liberated.
“I myself have no idea or sensation of my body being limited.
Whether my eyes are open or closed, I am everywhere, expanded in space. I cannot say how many meters or how far this expanded body stretches.” –Jean Klein
Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian sage was acknowledged by Zen monks, and the highest yogis in India as a great teacher. Trusted by millions of people in India as one of the greatest mystical teachers of the century said that liberation, (which is the seeing who you really are) is the easiest thing in the whole world.
However let’s be honest here, most yoga practioners & teachers have no real interest in awakening, or finding their true nature. They may want to heal their back, or relax more or increase their flexibility, or increase their energy and let’s face it that can still be a rewarding practice at a certain level.
Such people are not really interested in surrendering to this available ever present ordinary, openness, beingness. The individual is very clever in creating avoidance in very subtle ways because the nature of the seeker is to seek to be separate, to look for the next book, or technique or teacher.
Your central reality is spaciousness, presence and is direct, and as simple and natural as breathing and it’s very ordinary. It is usually not filled with bright lights or ecstatic states. It’s just very ordinary but absolutely wonderful and can change everything.
We discover in this approach the secret is really an open secret, it’s always been there and available all the time, it’s just been covered up by an idea of separation. We are not importing anything new into our lives or yoga practice except a re-direction of attention.
The Kashmir approach has its origins in the remote valleys of 8th century Kashmir and differs markedly from the well-known practices formalised by Patanjali. Dr Jean Klein bought this approach to the west from India in the 1960s having lived in India for a number of years and studying the Kashmir approach there. I studied with Dr Klein & his most senior students Francis Lucille & Eric Baret for the last 16 years. I have explored, questioned and expanded this approach to make it very accessible to the complete beginner & the most advanced meditator or yoga teacher.
Yoga of the Ancient Kashmir Tradition, by Jay Rossi: kashmiryoga.com/products.htm
Transmissions of the Flame, by Jean Klein
Both available at Amazon UK, USA