Monday, February 23, 2009

Stan and Ollie (and Richard) thinking of NOTHING!

Richard Rosen is a brilliant student of yoga. Well-travelled and experienced in the art and science of yoga - he is the author of The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama , Pranayama Beyond the Fundamentals: An In-Depth Guide to Yogic Breathing with Instructional CD , and Yoga for 50+: Modified Poses and Techniques for a Safe Practice

Richard has taught at our studio on a few occasions. I like his teaching, although he says that he's like "..bock beer. I'm an acquired taste!"

And that is what I love about Richard - his sense of humor. I got a kick out of this little post he threw up on his facebook page last week regarding "thinking of nothing." Enjoy:

I first heard the phrase "think of nothing" of all places in a 1939 Stan and Ollie movie titled The Flying Deuces (one level I suppose below Flying Aces). As soon as I came across this phrase it began popping up in unexpected places. The question is: How is it possible to think of nothing? If you're thinking of nothing are you then thinking of something? What is the experience of nothing like, in all the universe is there a place where nothing is? Abandon all thoughts, then don’t think of anything. ~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika (4.57), 14th century CE The wise man should make his mind freestanding (niralamba) and not think of anything. ~Shiva Samhita, 5.210, 15th century CE?

SCENE: Stan and Ollie have joined the French Foreign Legion, so that Ollie can forget a failed love affair with a Parisian beauty. Out in the desert, they’re assigned to laundry duty, and it isn’t going well. Stanley is making his usual fine mess of things ...

OLLIE: Haven’t I got enough trouble without you making it tougher?
STAN: Well, it’s your own fault. If you hadn’t fallen in love with Georgette we wouldn’t be here.
OLLIE: Will you stop reminding me of that! Here I am trying to forget, and you keep talking about it all the time. Now here’s another day wasted.
STAN: Well, maybe you don’t try hard enough. If you can’t forget, why don’t you try and pretend to forget?OLLIE: How can anybody pretend to forget?
STAN: Well, I know if it was me, I’d sit down and relax, I’d close my eyes, and I’d concentrate and I’d think of nothing. Wouldn’t be long then, that’s what I’d do.
OLLIE: Say, I think you’ve got something there.
STAN: I know I’ve got something. Why don’t you take a whirl at it?
OLLIE [sits down, supports his chin in his hands, and closes his eyes]
STAN: Now don’t think of anything.
OLLIE: I won’t.
~Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, The Flying Deuces, 1939

Thanks Richard!

No comments: