The Wave & The Ocean with Erich Schiffmann

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Southern California yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann is known for his metaphors and esoteric lessons. On this DVD, he gives an entire talk (a 50-minute lecture and a 30-minute Q&A) based on a wave-and-ocean metaphor. His intent is to illustrate the intimate relationship between the individual and the infinite. Schiffmann says that a wave gets into trouble when it mistakenly believes it's separate from the ocean, just as a person suffers when he feels alienated.

But the false division between Self and other slowly dissolves through meditation and other yoga practices. Eventually, Schiffman says, you can reconnect to love and, through it, all of life. "Sink into yourself" and "Think less; pay attention to the moment" are the few meditation tips that he offers to dissolve the division, but perhaps it's best to keep such complicated ideas simple.

In this DVD, Schiffmann gives a useful and encouraging message, especially for beginning yoga students. Although he never soft-pedals the difficulties inherent in the process of self-searching, he manages to make the process seem possible for any serious practitioner.

Like many other unscripted talks, though, this one has a few loose ends and switchbacks. If you enjoy spontaneity, then you'll adore Schiffmann, who holds nothing back; but if you just want to get straight to the point and go home, then you might find yourself fidgeting toward the end.