#23 — Joseph Emmett — Yoga For Your Intellect
What causes a person to cling to something so tightly?
Whatever you are attached to, that attachment repels from you. Whatever you are attached to actually causes you to cling to it tightly. Such as, holding something you love too tightly in your hands, causes you to restrict it.
What is the world governed by?
Joseph Emmett spoke with Keith, a man who was on the same flight as he was. Keith talked to Joseph with a classical western point of view, and he thought that the world is governed by subjective laws of life and living, which is equivalent to say that nature is governed by external laws.
What is the key contrast of western and eastern thought ?
Western thoughts are focused on life in the world (ethics, morality, personal freedoms, democracy, etc.) whereas eastern-based philosophies tend to not be based on just the world and the waking state of consciousness. It encompasses state of consciousness beyond just waking.
What are some stories that have shaped Joseph to who he is today?
For Joseph, the first story is his love of a question. Specifically, what was there before the Universe? He was around the age of 10, living in Texas. He associates his time of life with this question, possibly due to a long bus ride and being outdoors a lot. He states he wasn’t wracking his brain for an answer — because there isn’t an answer — but he loved the question because it put himself into a calmed and simple state of mind that he enjoyed.
Playing off of his first story’s question, the world view of nothing is something has shaped his life because at the the core of our personality, there is an existence of Self. He thinks of a principle of the underlying creation, whatever that is, was his world view and early unconscious practice. Joseph states that our entire lives, consciously or unconsciously, are an attempt to move back toward that since it’s our original nature.
What does the philosophical term “isness” refer to ?
Joseph states it’s the fact that things is. It is impossible to negate your own existence. In the deepest core of yourself, you are the pure, existent, eternal, and infinite principle that may seem like nothing from our point of view. But, that nothing is something is a true statement because it’s complete fullness before anything came to be. At 17, it was becoming and an awakening moment for Joseph.
What does the word “ashram” mean in eastern thought?
The literal meaning is refuge. The idea of an ashram, an Indian monastery, is to create a safe space for meditation and instruction. Everything in worldly consideration are removed to liberate individuals’ minds so they can indulge in a higher thought that we’ve been trying to pinpoint.
Vedanta is referred to as yoga for the intellect because it’s a disciplined effort to put your head onto the infinite and eternal, which is an exercise in itself, that creates a larger discussion.
What is the environment like when sitting under a swami's teaching at an ashram?
The lifestyle is very simple and very communal. Days are often full from 4am - 9pm. Each day is structured the same including space for quiet moments, tea time, yoga, physical training, study and lecture sessions.
What are the steps to have a change in world view?
Question, reflect, and cogitate for 80% of the time. According to Joseph, these may take years to go through, but that’s how you ingrain them into your system. Listening is crucial to help onboard these values in order to bring about a transformation in the ashram. Once you carry out these steps, living them becomes automatic.
Where does yoga take place?
Peace of mind is found in the work you are doing and not anywhere else. Intense work is rest because it’s the act of serving a larger cause. Yoga happens in the reflection upon the reality, not the question of, what am I going to get out of this? When you study and reflect, you’ll never be more enlightened because the work is the key.
What are some important principles for someone new to the practice ?
Every human being has a body that is the vehicle for moving around. Within in the body, there are two equipments, which are the mind and intellect. The mind is feelings, emotions, likes, dislikes, etc. The intellect is the ability to think reason, judge, analyze, etc. If the intellect and mind are equal, the intellect can effectively guide the mind. A powerful intellect prevents becoming a victim to the mind.
What does stress do to people?
Stress pulls people in a hundred directions because the intellect is weak and the mind is running amuck, which is why people get burnt out and want to get away for a short time. The intellect is where you find the peace and pleasure in the action.
What is the usual scenario of successful entrepreneurs?
They spend endless hours, days, and years toiling away for little time, little pay, and zero glamour. In all honesty, that’s where the joy of success resides. Greatness is born out of the grind, and raised from the grind. The only way for this to work is if the motive for the work is unselfish or selfless. Then, the work becomes a refuge.
"The most exciting new podcast in the startup world.” - Eric Ries, Founder and NYTimes bestselling author
“Attach, you lose, detach, you gain”. That simple phrase and along with the phrase “Yoga for the intellect” on a little pamphlet in a hotel in Southern California caught my eye.
I was there with my wife for a weekend and got lured into a session with a guy that looked like one of those folks at the airports dressed in orange monk garb, with few possessions, and maybe some wooden beads. That's what I was looking at on this pamphlet.
I was so intrigued that I ended up going to the seminar as it promised to include free yoga as well. We met Joseph, a modern day monk from Houston, Texas that had spent 10 years studying Vedanta in India. We started chatting and it was so fascinating because as a creator, there were so many things that he pointed out, that I have knowledge about but never articulated — like the way he did. That concept of whatever you're attached to, that attachment actually repels it from you — like holding something you love in your hands too tightly and actually restricting it.
It was an entire afternoon filled with very simple explanations of simple concepts that were just deep beneath so many other thoughts and things that have gone through my mind for years and years. And when I started to think about the concept of the podcast, following the mental journey of creation, and thinking about things that have caused me so much stress in life, I immediately thought of the living antithesis, Joseph. He is the most carefree and stress free individual I’ve ever met. But that's just the beginning of what makes him so interesting.
You can email James questions directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline — “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Straight Up Podcasts LLC.
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