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The Self and the Ego, with Ramanand Patel
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Many in the yoga community, including our host Colleen Saidman Yee, consider master teacher Ramanand Patel to be one of the world's foremost yoga instructors and “the most knowledgeable man alive in yoga today.” But in this episode of Talking Yoga, Ramanand disagrees, saying “Knowledge is infinite, so I don’t think anyone can claim they know everything about any subject.”
Ramanand himself was privileged to begin studying with B.K.S. Iyengar in 1968. When Suzanne from Madrid asks Ramanand what was the most precious thing he learned from Mr. Iyengar, he answered, “To have confidence.” That answer opens the door to a conversation about self-esteem and the confusion between the self and the ego. As Ramanand tells Colleen, “Self doesn’t need confidence. Self is confident…If you mean individual ego, then it’s a different story.” He explains that the ego cannot be self-confident, because is struggling with existence all the time.
But it’s what comes next that makes this episode so timely – and important. Colleen asks Ramanand if low self-esteem is the root of the recent wave of mass shootings and violence plaguing our society today. His answer is wisdom we can practice in our own lives, as Ramanand explains how compassion and understanding will help us recognize the sources of pain and make sense of the actions of those who willingly choose to hurt others