Dr. Michael Shea – Embodiment of the Senses Through Yoga & Meditation

Join my special guest, Michael Shea PhD, for a discussion titled Embodiment of the Senses Through Yoga & Meditation. During this conversation we discussed Michael’s new book titled, The Biodynamics of the Immune System: Balancing the Energies the of the Body with the Cosmos. You can preorder his new book on Amazon by clicking here.

Michael and I are pleased to announce the launch of our new course called All Levels Meditation & Yoga Course.Check out this new course by clicking here.

Visit Michael on his website here sheaheart.com

You can listen to the full podcast here for free.

Todd McLaughlin

Wow! I’m really excited to have Dr. Michael Shea again here in person at Native Yoga Center for today’s episode of Native Yoga Toddcast, which is titled Embodiment of the Senses Through Yoga and Meditation. Michael, how are you doing today?

Dr. Michael Shea

Well, it’s been a busy day because I spent the morning at the car dealership and looking at their giant aquarium waiting for the tires to be rotated and for an oil change to happen. So an entire morning at a car dealership gave me a really good opportunity to meditate on an aquarium.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Do you have any profound realizations in the process of staring at the fish?

Dr. Michael Shea

Always the profound realization is how wonderful space is, you know, when I get caught up and you know, not wanting to be where I’m at, at a car dealership, because I got better things to do, of just releasing my attention out into space. But in this case, it was the biggest aquarium I’ve ever seen. And just releasing my attention to the aquarium and then looking out into space as well. 

Todd McLaughlin

That’s cool. You know, we have two really big announcements to share today. Number one, I’m so excited to have a copy of your brand new book called the Biodynamics of the Immune System: Balancing the Energies of the Body with the Cosmos. Whoa, that’s a lot. 

Dr. Michael Shea

Yeah, he’s a big, thick steak if you’re a meat eater, but it’s also a big soy burger if you’re a vegetarian.

Todd McLaughlin

And so I’m really excited to have the chance to ask you some questions about your most recent publication. Also, you and I have created a course and today on the launch of this podcast are launching our course together called All Levels Yoga & Meditation Course. And so you know, I had a lot of fun filming this with you. And I’m excited to release it today. And it’s available on our platform nativeyogaonline.com. The link for that is in the description below for anyone listening would like to check it out. Michael, from us filming that course do you have any takeaways from the experience? What are you excited to share with people that are interested in taking that course.

Dr. Michael Shea

I think meditation in general, and yoga, is constantly evolving in our culture. And when you study yoga and meditation, because I’ve been studying it now for 45 years, something like that, is just realizing like it’s so highly nuanced. And the next teacher says, Well, have you tried this? And the next teacher well why don’t you try this to refine your practice? So there’s never really an end game. That’s the one thing I learned. But there’s a continual opening, you know, as long as you have that willingness to be open to a teacher and to a new class. And as I said, you know, earlier when we were just talking, before we started, I just like to stay with what I know versus what is trending and what’s current. I have to tell you just a short story. I’ve been studying all year with with a Lama from Tibetan medical background. But he was in Sikkim, and then in Bhutan in the summer, and he was broadcasting from there. And he was at a very high level. It’s called advisory on a tantric Buddhist conference in the capital city of Bhutan, in which all the heavy hitter Lamas from Tibet and that area of the world you know, we’re coming together for this conference, and the one thing he said is that because it was going on our planet these days, the veil of secrecy of all of these different meditation practices need to be lifted, and the secrecy needs to be taken away because we are in such an important time on this planet right now with the intensity of the polarization and duality. So, you know, one of the things I share in my book is, not necessarily sharing secrets, but sharing the techniques that can help. But I understand why some of that knowledge, some of the mystical knowledge, or the meditation knowledge, or yogic knowledge, in general, is secret. It’s just because teachers want to have you go through a progression. Because of your aptitude. Some students can’t go to the end game right away. They can’t, you know, go right out into space, you know, and stay grounded at the same time. So, at any rate, it’s exciting because I feel liberated in wanting to share more and more and that book is one vehicle of sharing more, in terms of what was formerly considered to be secret knowledge. And again, that veil has been lifted. I’ve never been good at holding secrets anyway, even my mother knew that. 

Todd McLaughlin

There is a term in a book that you had given me a while back ago called the phenomenon of basic space. Can you explain that?

Dr. Michael Shea

Well, my teacher who was originally the Dalai Lama wanted all of his students to do Buddha scholarships. So I spent 10 years doing very intense Buddhist scholarship. And now I’ve even lost track of the question, explaining basic space and phenomenon. Yeah, see, I went into basic space just now.

Todd McLaughlin

I’ll pull you back in if you drift too far over there. 

Dr. Michael Shea

I’ll thank you. 

Todd McLaughlin

I’ll reel you in.

Dr. Michael Shea

Right, right. So it was because I want my answer to link to, you know, this discussion of, of yoga and meditation. And so as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhist literature, there’s really the two highest level people that you know, those are the writers you go for, in the Kyagu and the Nyingma, tradition, or sometimes it’s known as the Xhosa tradition. It is from the book The Precious Treasury of The Basic Space of Phenomena by Longchenpa. It’s also called Yoga. But he’s considered to be like the most incredible Lama that could give words to the ineffability of the infinite nature of our mind, and so forth, and all those things that we hear about and that we’re trying to achieve. And that’s one of his books. So that was recommended to me and I gave you a copy. And it basically explains the view of Tibetan Buddhism, before you get to meditation, it’s helpful to understand the view. And I think that’s also an important thing to understand about Buddhist meditation, you don’t just jump on a cushion and sit in cross legged position, and so forth. But it’s an understanding that there’s a view here, and the view is basically that all phenomena is infinitely equal. And we hear that as no self, you know, that we don’t have a solid self, and so forth, and that we’re all interconnected. And it’s described as being empty and other metaphors, you know, that are used, but he explains it the best. He explains it the best of how you rest into the element of space. And I’m talking about the element of space from Indo Tibetan point of view, you know, space, wind, fire, water, earth, and so forth. So how you rest your mind. That’s the sea, this is yoga and meditation, how do you rest your mind and body into the element of space where it all began?

Todd McLaughlin

So when you were talking about being at the Toyota dealership today, and staring at the fish tank, and being able to let your mind go into space, is there a way to explain a technique that allows one to achieve that release into space?

Dr. Michael Shea

Yeah, the basic technique is, well, again, you know, it’s relatively simple. And it’s one of these things it’s been secret for a while. It’s called looking into the wisdom of the universe, or looking into the center of the universe or looking into the center of space. All these are metaphors for the same thing, the infinite nature of the totality of life, and the universe. In general, so, but the technique is actually quite simple. And you know, you’re a yogi. And as a practicing yogi, I’m kind of a want to be yogi. I call myself a bogey, you know, kind of indulgent yogi. But the posture is always the first thing, you know, you said, You’ve got to embody your senses. And that means not labeling what you’re seeing, not labeling what you’re hearing, not labeling what you’re feeling, you come into a posture that allows you to sit still, and just be with your senses. Because you have to notice if you’re labeling a lot, oh, this is that, that is that, this is that. Labeling takes us into the head and out of our body and out of the experience of meditation and yoga.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

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