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if youre tense, you block the feeling of the tension, and that will remain.

But i
f you feel the tension, the tension will unfold by itself because its very nature
in fact is movement, and a tension which unfolds, by its very nature, quits its
limitations as tension.
So the body-work only has value if it transposes the emotional level. Thats why t
he way we work, it looks like all schools of yoga, we all do the same positions,
but the way we do it is different in that we dont do it striving towards somethi
ng, we do it to feel. And when you feel, you feel yourself aloof from what you f
eel, and that will transpose in emotional life.
Does sadness dissolve without its label?
Sadness is only there in the moment! You come out of the theatre, youre not sad a
nymore, youre happy, said it was so beautiful. What was beautiful? To feel the sa
dness. But if youre sad you block the sadness. Emotion has two folds: either you
are afraid of something, and you cannot move, either you feel fear and you move
faster. So the first emotion, the first appropriation blocks life, I am afraid of
this I cannot move the second, I feel the fear in my belly and my chest I move fa
ster and finally all the chemical parts of the body make me alive if I have to st
rike I strike harder, I jump faster when I feel fear. If I am afraid I cannot mo
ve. So only what reduces our abilities is eventually given away. Emotion will al
ways remain, but as power, as beauty, as expression; not as a hindrance that one
should get rid of to find freedom or whatever.
Does sensation precede emotion?
Emotion and sensation we should not try to find understanding through the words,
because words are just a kind of agreement between you and I. I dont know what y
ou mean by emotion, you will never know what I mean by emotion; so when we say w
e agree, we agree on something very superficial. So understanding can only come
from being-understanding, which means we dont understand words being-understandin
g doesnt belong to the mind because the mind only functions with words. Without w
ords you cannot thinkyou only think with words. But the language is very importan
t, to see its own limitations. Even in sacred languages, like Sanskrit, Chinese
or Arabic, where the structure, the semantics of the language is different when
Shankara wrote his texts, he was thinking of Sanskrit, that was a big part of hi
s expression. If he spoke another language, his text, his philosophy would have
been different. We think according to what we always speak. When you see that, i
t is very important that one, in a certain way, opens to understanding without w
ords; because otherwise, what we call understanding is just reduction to our own
immensity, to our own limitations. So there is nothing to understand. You give
up understanding, in a certain way; so we cant understand what this means, because t
his means nothing. Meaning our defence, which have a role to play to point toward
s our bodies beyond defencebutt as such we can never understand something.
What does Tantric Shaivism offer?
It refers to celebration. When you realize you dont need to build anything in you
r life, that you dont need to achieve anything in your life, that you dont need to
defend anything in your life, in a certain way what remains is a feeling of cel
ebration, is a thanking. Not thanking something, not thanking somebody, but just
the very fact of thanking so for us, perception actually is thanking, thinking
is celebration, when it is used as an expression of this fore-feeling. But gener
ally thinking is a defence we use our fists, our elbows to fight, and we use our
thinking to fight. I agree, I disagree, youre right, youre wrongso thinking has beco
me a fighting tool but as such it doesnt need to be, thinking is, in a traditiona
l way, an expression of truth. Thats why if you read the texts of Meister Eckhart
or Ibn Arabi or other great sages, their thoughts come from silence so they brin
g you back to silence if you dont accentuate the semantic or the meaning. Our fre
edom comes from silence. So, Kashmiri Tantra reduces the importance of formulati
on but this is not specific, because you find the same in all traditional expres
sions.
How is the yoga you teach different from Tantric Shaivism?
Actually it is not, the only thing is that the expression has to be adapted to t
he modern world. Many elements which are taken for granted in Kashmir or were ta
ken, because of the political situation, its different, the Hindus have been expe
lled from Kashmir by the Islamic situation its not the same here. People live in
the fantasy of a democratic world. They want to be happy getting married or havi
ng children or being rich or being recognized so, its not that different, but its
expressed differently. In a way, in India, it was, from the very beginning, at l
east intellectually recognized that the aim of life was not becoming something b
ut recognizing something. So here we should adapt, and it is a light adaptation
because it doesnt make a big difference so when you want a new wife, a new husban
d, a new dog, a new car, a new guru, or when you want freedom, actually what you
want is this wholeness, which, because of your culture, because of your stupidi
ty, because of your intelligence, you project onto a woman, onto a man, onto a g
uru, onto a tradition, onto a car. But actually you dont want the husband because
when you get it, you want another one. You dont want the car because when you ha
ve it you want another one. So, what we want is not what we want. So even if I t
hink The goal of my life is to have a white dog, I want the same thing as the Sadd
hus of the Himalayas. So what we pretend to want is unimportant because the long
ing is the same. Its just that at some point the longing becomes more clear. So t
hat it doesnt there is no expansion of energy in some objective direction.
What is the function of seeking?
Seeking is an expression of truth, its not a way. Abhinavagupta, in the Tantralok
a, is very clear: all the yoga practices are an expression of truth. Yoga does n
ot bring [us] to truth but truth expresses itself through yoga. So the way is an
expression, sadhana is an expression. It is because you fore-feel, you fore-fel
t silent, silence that your life becomes sadhana. But to do sadhana to reach sil
ence is the wrong way of thinking. The very fact that you look for something is
a proof you already feel it, you already have it. The very fact you asked the qu
estion proves you know the answer the answer is before the question. You only as
k a question because you fore-feel the answer or else you cannot ask a question.
So for a sadhana, when you look for God, this looking comes from God directly.
Its just an expression. But the looking does not bring you to what you look for.
What you look for is behind you the way you express yourself is the theme of the
seeking, maybe at the beginning, but will end up being a celebration of what ca
nnot be thought, what cannot be found. You are what needs to be found you are no
t the finder of anything the truth is in back of us, not in front of us. Thats wh
y it can never be reached, it can never be understood, it can never be felt, it
can never be sensed because we are what needs to be sensed, felt and seen. We ar
e not the seeker, we are what is sought. So, sadhana and seeking and expression
provokes a direct transposition of the fore-feeling of truth, in the realm of sp
iritual dynamism.
What is truth?
Actually, again, it would be a limitation to try to say what is truth, what is cons
ciousness, what is silence, because you and I are going to agree that it is this, b
ut we agree on two words, which have different meanings for us according to cult
ure, to mind, we will understand the words in different ways. Oh yes, we agree we
dont agree, we just pretend. So truth is a word used to describe the fact that ev
en if you have three wives and three husbands and three cars, something is not t
otally satisfied and you want something else and whatever you want, when you get
it, very soon you want something else. So, this longing for what seems to be so
mething, for a long time, can be called truth or consciousness but the word does
not reveal what it is. The word makes it more objective. Thats why in Sanskrit w
e use the word [anama?]: what has no name. So whatever name we give it is a peda
gogical tool.
Its what you cannot question. You can give up everything but this longing, at som
e point, you cannot give it up, because it is what we want in every action, in e
very thought, every perception. You can never give up this fore-feeling.
Is truth empty of meaning?
To think there is no truth, or to think there is truth, are both thoughts and th
eyre both respectful but they refer to the same thing. According to my brain, to
my culture, if Im a communist I will say there is no truth, thats the truth, if Im Bu
ddhist I will say the truth is the trikaya, the truth is Buddhahood why not? Were t
alking about the same thing in different clothes. So at some point you stop acce
nting the clothes, and you feel, in a way what it means, without making it an ob
jective meaning. But it always remains a fore-feeling.
How has your yoga practice evolved?
What changes is that at the beginning you feel relaxed, and the more and more yo
u inquire about the body, the more you realize you are only tension. At the begi
nning you feel still and the more you inquire about the mind the more you realiz
e youre not still, really. So you just discover all your limitations, more and mo
re clearly. There is ever more room for appropriation. In this line you cannot b
ecome something, you cannot become a guru, you cannot become enlightened, you se
e your limitations this very fact is our freedom. There is no other. When you se
e your pretension, it is what is called humilitybut theres no one to be humble, [e
xcept] in pretension. So, the seeing is more and more intense. Its endless becaus
e perception is endless but its not endless in time, because time is what comes a
nd goes. So, slowly, slowly the accent shifts from time to the intensity in whic
h time appears. So theres really no evolving nothing changes, but you dont accent
things anymore.
Was Jean Klein teaching yoga?
Jean Klein had two teachings he was teaching advaita vedanta for the very bright
people, and tantra for the very stupid ones. So, advaita is an [elastic? nihili
stic?] teaching which is only proper for people with the highest level of mental
discrimination, which are immensely purified that means we have no link with em
otional life: when you read Shankara, when you read the commentaries of the Mand
ukya Upanishads of Gaudapada, they dont talk about your wife and children, instea
d they talk about real stuff. So thats for the exception. And you need the presen
ce of somebody really in his own absence. You cannot inhabit this openness on yo
ur ownaccording to the tradition. Tantra is for the stupid. For tantra, you do no
t need anything but being more and more open to the fact that we are constantly
in reaction, that we are constantly in pretension, that we are constantly in thi
nking, in defending, in trying. So, this teaching is very stimulating, and it do
esnt require any teacher. The teacher is life and there is no room to achieve any
thing there. So according to the level of his student, Jean would use one or the
other teaching. Of course they were not black and white, but still, there was a
kind of strong-line. Non-dualistic [advaita?] teaching excludes everything to c
oncentrate on the intensity. The tantric teaching includes everything, because t
heres nothing else than truth. So theres nothing to exclude. It is democratic, the
other elitist thats the tantric point of view. From the Vedantic point of view,
they see it in a different way. And theres no contradiction, because the Indian t
raditions are multi-fold. It may seem to be in opposition, but it is not.
How does the tantric tradition compliment Advaita?
Advaitic tradition is considered for the elite. When you read the Upanishads, th
ey dont give you advice on how to live your life they dont tell you what to eat, t
hey dont tell you how to make love they tell you to concentrate on the self. It i
s beautiful for the people who have this abilitybut most people may concentrate o
n the self when everything goes well, but when their wife sleeps with their neig
hbour, when their child gets killed, when they have cancer, their concentration
is weakened. Then the tantric tradition has a role to play. But if one has this
ability to abide in the very self of ones self, it is beautiful, nothing else is
needed. But most people can only have this fore-feeling when their surroundings
are fine but if your world breaks down, if your body breaks down, if your wife b
reaks down, if your husband breaks down, if your child breaks down their medita
tion on their own non-identity is weakened. So then the tantric tradition has a
role to play. To make you see that the very fact of what is happening is nothing
else than what you are looking for. That consciousness has no form. It has a fo
rm of what appears in the moment. It is just our thinking mind which creates sep
aration. But that should be felt and not thought. So theres no opposition, theres
just a different orientation.
How can the body be used as a tool of exploration?
Theres no such thing as a body the body is a thought. So to try to find oneself i
n the body is like to try to find oneself in a car or in a relationship, its a fa
ntasy. The body is only there when it is thought. In deep sleep there is no body
, but every night you are so happy to go to sleep. And to pretend I am nowhere, I
am everywhere, its very sweet but the facts of life challenge this evidence, it i
s not real evidence. You could be a real evidence Ramana Maharshi never did any
yoga, Maharaj neither, [] neither, the great sages none of the sages have done yo
ga. Master Eckhart, Ibn Arabi never stood on their heads and they werent missing
anything. And I know so many people who do yoga day and long and wellwe wonder wh
y! So its not there its not against or for it, its just its a question of intensity.
The body is feeling and whatever we call life is our body. We dont meet life, we
meet only our body. So its a kind of respect, in a way, to listen not to listen
to the body because the body is a concept, but to listen to what we imagine is a
body. And with listening, the preconceptions we have as a body will change, and
as the preconceptions we have as a body will change, the way we feel the world
changes because the way we create the world is just a projection of the way we f
eel our body. There is no difference, if I feel my body is hard, the world is ha
rd, if I feel violence, I feel the world is violent we can know only a projectio
n of our body. The world is only a projection of our mental limitations, affecti
vity and so-on. If you were raped all your youth, you see the world from that po
int of view. If you were caressed and loved all your youth, you see the world fr
om this point of view. We dont see the world we only see our emotions. So tantra,
in a way, is just acknowledging this fact, and inquiring for the sake of it bec
ause life is inquiring theres no goal, you dont become anything, youre never gonna
to change anything, youre never going to achieve anything but the beauty of life,
the intensity of life is asking without asking. Asking without expecting an ans
wer. If you expect an answer you live in projection, you cannot be present. So m
y teacher used to say: waiting without waiting. Theres a waiting, which means aloof
ness which is openness, but without waiting would be a direction going away from
aloofness. So myself I use the word intensity its a word, it has no meaning. But
it is the same thing. So there is no contradiction; for some people the body-wo
rk would be a distraction because they could not approach it without an intentio
n. So for them it would be a dispersion. For some people not to do the body-work
would be a dispersion because its too easy to read the Upanishads when your husb
and is faithful, when youre in good health, when you have some money, when your c
ountry is at peace. So you must see things in a more creative way. And its not th
at we have a choice. Things unravel the way they need to be. So theres no contrad
iction.
What was the role of the Bhajan in the Advaita tradition?
Krishnamurti and Vivekananda and Ramakrishna and his guru and there was a picture
of a very fat man, with a big belly like me, but with a big moustache, incredib
le eyes and a big sword and so he was putting the [cuncumin] and they would ask
him Maharaj who was this man? and he said Oh, this man is the man who killed all th
e English in my village! So people see that, hear that, in a fantasy world but Ma
haraj was very creative. Nonduality is not something, and Bhajan is not somethin
g else, its just the intensity of life. It is our minds that want to decide is it
dual, nondual, dual/nondual, nondual/dual and its not only Western because in Indi
a we have five Vedantic traditions not three: nondualist, dualistic, half-dualis
t half non-dualistic, half non-dualist half dualist, dualist non-dualistic, dual
ist non-dualistic dualistic non-dualist, we just have Advaita and so-on. So Indi
ans are like that too. In Kashmir Shaivism, its endless, the level of possibility
. So, thats the beauty of mind. Like theres so many kinds of music and birds and t
houghts, same thing. But it is never a contradiction, thats the beauty of India t
hat nothing is considered superior. Its only here that we want to know what is the
best, which means nothing. The best for who? The best for me but this me has no
meaning. Theres no best. Everything has a space. Thats why in India if youre a pros
titute, if youre a banker, if youre a guru, if youre a pandit, its the same, because
thats the way to express your life, your inquiry, but nothing is higher its just
for a short moment it seems like that. Thats why you dont change jobs because you
change jobs if you think from a prostitute to become a banker, maybe its better, bu
t it is not. You stay where you are. You dont lose any energy trying to become an
ything, and you focus on the intensity. Then the prostitute could be a [nyannese
?], the banker could be a [nyannese?], and the saddhu could be a [nyannese?], wh
y not? But there is no way which is better. Abhinavagupta refused to give initia
tion to anybody who would wear the Shaiva marks, even in the 10th century. So th
eres no best anywhere. Thats the root of Indian culture.
Are we attached to preference here in the West?
Yes, because the ego wants to know what is best for me? What is best for me should
I sleep with this one or that oneshould I marry this one or that oneshould I go th
ere or there? Whos the best guru? Who has the best book? Whats the best car? The be
st for what? One must inquire at some point. Who am I talking about? What am I t
alking about? Its a fantasy. So any situation will bring you back to see youre jus
t pretending Oh I better marry this one then I know I better divorce this one, only
living in this fantasy. In India you dont get married for you you get married bec
ause in a way, thats life. Im not saying one should follow Indian tradition, becau
se as all traditions they have their beauty and their weakness. But it is not as
stupid as the way we think from here, because it cuts off all your dynamism tow
ards something. If youre born in India you cannot become anything. So the only sp
ace available to you is intensity. Everything else is cared for you. You dont get
married for love, you dont marry for any reason whatever you do, its not what you
want to do. So you have to find the freedom not in doing. But of course, it has
its limits too. It has its frustrations too, it has its violence too and, it is
what it is. Because the idea that people do here what is best for myself, what t
radition should I follow must be seen at some point as the ultimate mis-leading a
ttitude. Im not there to follow the tradition I like. The tradition for me is the
one thats going to challenge me. And this is the one Im going to dislike. Because
what I like is what gives me security. Security belongs to ego. So I must follo
w the tradition I dislike the most thats the good one for me. If I dislike it, th
at means I fore-feel that I am challenged by it. Thats the one I should do. What
I want to do is always the wrong path. What I dont want to do is what I should do
. Thats the tantric way. If I dont want it, its because I have a defence. This defe
nce stops me from breathing life. To see the defence, I must encounter it. Thats
the only way. But generally when I have a defence, I go somewhere else. Or I fol
low this tradition because its easy, it fits me, I like it, I feel comfortable.
Thats the ego talking. One must always go where we dont want to go. Thats the right
way. Thats the tantric way.