Carrie Garret summarized it on Erich's Board, Moving into Stillness:
dharma talk impressions #123
I knew this talk was going to be important. Monumental, actually. I could feel the energy behind it building for months. The fact that Erich was spending so much time getting ready for it was another clue. That fact that it was all I could think about was another clue. It was going to be huge.
Erich dropped me off so I could grab some food and when I got over to the dharma center, the energy was palpable. Folks were lined up in the back to get in, everyone taking off their shoes and greeting one another. I walked in to find Robyn, Terri, Darlene, Laura Tyree, Heidi from Pasadena, her friend, Fran (Frangipani) and her friends, Laura Pace, friends I've made from previous teacher trainings in Santa Barbara, people who were in class earlier that day. Erich's spot was on a rug in front. We were all sitting on blankets that were very, very close together, and close to him, which I knew would help the energy in the room be cohesive and tight. That's the best set up for a talk, in my opinion. It's very intimate. I found a spot right in the center, a couple of rows back, right next to Laura Pace. Erich was up in front getting all mic'd up for the video camera.
I'm always sort of in awe when I watch Erich give a talk. This incredible transformation takes place that's amazing to watch. The very shy, quiet, introverted person that I know so well sits down up there in front of everyone and wow, this thing happens. I know it happens to me, too, when I teach because I can feel it, (and I suspect it happens to all of us, as well) but I don't have the vantage point of watching it as an observer. But this sense of personal identity, and all the anxiety and nervousness that comes with that, drops away. I love watching the process; it's one of my favorite things to watch and be a part of. It doesn't happen immediately, but it does happen quickly.
This is a huge moment, as a teacher who is about to give a big talk in front of a bunch of people. It's way different that teaching a class. It's terrifying, it's exhilarating. You know full well that you will not be doing this alone. You know that this transformation is about to happen, which whisks you out of your personal sense of operation and you know the words will come and the channel will blast through….but right now it's sort of terrifying. You have an idea of what you're going to say, you've written it out, you've practiced feeling it, you're prepared, but you know that there's an infinite number of directions the talk could take. You know you're on the edge of creation, actually, very much an imminent "big bang," and it's just about to take off. Yet (!) there's going to be something you'll have to say to get it spinning. All these faces are staring at you and you know once you get this first sentence out it will spin and start and the event will find expression. It's a tense, totally exciting, completely wide open, beautiful moment. It's like an intense moment of self-consciousness, right on the cusp of total Self-awareness. I love this moment. There is nothing like it.
As I sit in the middle of my row, I know this is what's going on and I'm doing all I can, from where I am, to give energetic assistance.
So Erich thanks everyone for coming, thanks Kira for having him and begins to go through a few minutes of the rough outline for the talk. He says, "Just a moment.., " pauses, takes a drink of water and, my god, the whole thing shifted.
The dharma center is an old church, I think. The beams are ornate and curvy. The walls are white stucco or something that has an adobe feel. Erich is sitting in front of the white wall and there's a stained glass cross right above his head. At this moment I could suddenly see huge, I mean huge, energy corona radiating off of him. The field of light was about two or three feet wide, glowing off his head, hands, body. It was so awesome and so intense that I just put my notebook and pen down and just locked into the energy and the flow of what was coming through.
I've never before seen Erich speak like this. The channel was coming in so fast and so clear. Love Itself was speaking and every single trace of self-consciousness, of introverted, shy Erich was completely gone. It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. The message was about the big picture of what yoga is. You join, you yog, yoke, in order to experience the union - the Unity. Not just a mystical unity you feel when you're in class on the mat. Not just a joining with the supreme consciousness, then walking out the door to go back to your "regular life." Yoga is the art of living. It's about how you're using your mind, all the time…because you're always doing something with your mind. Yoga is about doing something useful with it; otherwise, you're doing something useless. And it's about realizing that life isn't the enemy. We're all the same family because we're sourced by the same Unity. And, in terms of the practices sometimes you "join with" and experience the Unity by sometimes bending over (hatha yoga), sometimes by singing (bhakti yoga), and, in essence, whatever you are doing wherever you find yourself being.
I can't tell you specific words he said because I didn't write them down. The power and beauty coming through was keeping me from looking down even for one second to grab my pen. Mostly what was registering for me was that this wasn't "Erich Schiffmann, Yoga Master" showing up. I don't even know if that person exists, actually, but it felt to me that a lot of people had come to hear this person speak. There was no stage. No pomp or circumstance. Just this gentle, beautiful man, so clear, so humble, so willing to let Love be all there is of him, so generous with himself and all he knows, so giving of his life work, such a simple, yogi bodhisattva. My teacher. My friend. Everyone in that room was touched, transformed….no doubt. Words can't explain it. I've never experienced anything like it.
Hey Ma Durga, I wanna love through your love.
Hey Ma Durga, I wanna feel what you feel.
Hey Ma Durga, I wanna see beyond this illusion
To what is Real.
Thank you, Erich for helping me to love so much, and to feel so deeply and to see to clearly what is Real.