The Sheen Sutras ~ Charlie Sheen, Yoga Master.

Via Kristoffer Nelson
on Mar 6, 2011
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I, like most GenX and GenY’ers, appreciate a grand pallet of human experience – highbrow and lowbrow, pop and specific culture.

The public meltdown of a celebrity ranks high on my list of obsessions and enjoyments – OJ Simpson, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Tiger Woods, Paris Hilton and our current sensation, Charlie Sheen, captivates me.

The Sheen experience is exponentially rich due to his manic ramblings and nonsensical claims.  We seem thoroughly engaged in his fantastical odyssey.  He is to date the only person to reach one million Twitter followers in 24 hours and held an audience of 100,000+ on his Ustream show Saturday night.  And, there have been three posts in the last month on this journal – a site geared towards consciousness – about the yogic, astrological, and consciousness driven meaning-making we could draw from Sheen’s current public persona.

And, I admit, I took a moment from my Saturday evening to log in and watch.  Anticipating a cultural car wreck of ecstatic proportions, I yawned and balked.  Like most, I was disappointed by with the show.  I was hoping for a solid psychopathic rant.  I logged off in disappointment after 12 minutes.  How do you go from “I’m sorry, man, but I’ve got magic. I’ve got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time – and this includes naps – I’m an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground.” to fart noises and reading responses from twitter followers.  At least he was chain smoking.

What I find most interesting about our social obsession with Sheen’s insanity is that his ramblings aren’t too far from what the tradition’s masters claimed as the enlightened experience.  There is a fine line between insanity and freedom.  If Rajneesh said, “I have tiger blood flowing through my veins” would we laugh in dismiss or sign-up for a retreat?  If a Yogi Bhajan said, “I closed my eyes and in a nanosecond I cured myself… I have a disease? Bullshit. I cured it with my brain.” would we completely disregard the comment or buy his book hoping to achieve the same?  Make a vision board, anyone?

Given a different context, less porn stars and blow binges, Sheen could possibly be our next Eckhart Tolle: “Apocalypse Now will teach you how to live inside of a moment between a moment.”  Sound familiar?

Sheen is easy to dismiss because we think we’re not him.  In the realm of consciousness, we are certainly not Chuck Sheen, and we can continue to walk blissful down the path of consciousness and self-realization knowing that we are indeed better.  Until we have our own special realization of Buddha-mind and the subtle spiritual ego places itself on a spiritual pedestal wrapped in the cloak of humility and compassion to express claims similar to, “It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view.”

In a different context, a spiritual context, claims such as, “If you’re a part of my family, I will love you violently,” “I’m on a quest to claim absolute victory on every front,” or “It’s been a tsunami. And I’ve been riding it on a mercury surfboard” might be celebrated offering inspiration to the masses, one day ending up on coffee mugs and refrigerator magnets.

And, given the specialness that yoga culture typically unloads on its patrons, spontaneous realizations like “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitchin’, a total freakin’ rock star from Mars.” might very well be the point of yoga in our modern world.  In fact, culture in point, we might all very well be moving towards, “I have a different brain, I have a different heart.  I have Adonis DNA.  I got tiger blood, man.

I can see it now: TigerBlood by Lululemon.

I would like to propose a different view.  Instead of fascination due to difference, perhaps we’re fascinated due to sameness.  In an honest moment, the claims my mind has made differ little from Sheen’s.  I think I’m great, mostly.  And I feel that my obsession with Sheen lays not in the entertaining value of difference but in recognition of myself.  I am perhaps Charlie Sheen.  And Sheen’s transformative potential is not found in his potential recovery but that of my own.


About Kristoffer Nelson

Kris Nelson works to development business, culture, and consciousness. He is a consultant, entrepreneur, and a corporate executive. He is also certified Anusara Teacher and well established meditation teacher. After teaching in Los Angeles for many years, Kris spent several years touring Asian, Europe and the United States teaching Anusara Yoga, meditation, and perspectives on awakening in the modern world. When Kris approached the age of 30 he decided that it was time to get an real job and now assists organizations and businesses in both evolutionary and financial growth. Kris currently resides in Raleigh, NC working his first corporate job in a very long time. You can find Kris on twitter at @toffernelson or on his website


29 Responses to “The Sheen Sutras ~ Charlie Sheen, Yoga Master.”

  1. Yup, pretty much everything Charlie Sheen has ranted so far has sounded like something a Scientologist would say with zero irony. You are brilliant!

  2. carolina amaris says:

    ’Im tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitchin’, a total freakin’ rock star from Mars. LOL

  3. becky says:

    that dave matthews quote sounds like "out beyond ideas of right and wrong is a field. i'll meet you there." rumi, i think. i'm too lazy to google it.

    in other news, i have been thinking the same thing about charlie sheen… that most of us probably feel like him (at least sometimes), or, like he claims, we want to be like him (or at least want to feel that way, maybe not do what he does). but then, i tend to be manic, so maybe it's just me. all i know is that it's refreshing for a crazy celebrity to actually admit they enjoy it for once instead of pretending they hate being rich and the center of attention.

  4. beejgalvan says:

    Yes! You are Chuck Sheen, sort of.. Nah…. LOVE it Kris!

  5. YesuDas says:

    I love that bit about how we would respond to things if we heard acknowledged spiritual masters say them. I used to have a test I did whenever I heard a Christian quotation that sounded saccharine or specious: I'd say it with "Buddha" substituted for "Jesus", or some equivalent adjustment as needed. If it still sounded ridiculous, I concluded that it probably was. If it suddenly sounded profound, I would regroup.

  6. kimpunkrock says:

    enjoyed the article but any one that claims to be a yoga master, drinks alcohol in any way shape and form and is addicted to celebrity nonsense is no yoga master—AT ALL. Yoga is not just about body poses and if u think it is, then hey dont let the door hit u in the butt on the way out the door. Oh yeh and dont for a second think that all gen x'ers think that celebrity nonsense is great, it is more Gen D or Y like u called it and I can tell which one u are. Not Gen X, by a long shot.

  7. AMO says:

    Ummm. @Kimpunkrock, I don't know where you get the "claims to be a yoga master" – I didn't hear anyone claim that. I think the man said he is a yogi, and his bio say's he teaches yoga. I teach yoga AND I watch TV and drink alcohol. So that means what awful thing about me to you? I would, were I in a judgmental space, shoot back at you that anyone who stands in holier-than-thou judgment of other humans on their path has some personal work to do….

  8. Kris Nelson says:

    Kim, I never claimed or make the claim to be a yoga master. I also never said that GenX'ers like celebrity gossip. I said that both GenX and GenY appreciate a wide range of culture and experience from highbrow to lowbrow. I am actually GenX – I was born in 1978…. I am at the cusp and given this view, I have a good experiential sense of the values of both. Given your comments, I doubt you're one for objectivity, but there are many studies that support my observations on generational values and preferences.

    And, you missed the point entirely. The post has nothing to do with yoga or Charlie Sheen or alcohol – the post is about you.

  9. Very interesting and personal take on the Sheen story, Kris.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  10. Kris Nelson says:

    I just realized that I failed to mention Mel Gibson in my list of favorite celebrity breakdowns. I would like to take this moment to apologize to the Gibson camp for my oversight.


  11. Charlotte says:

    Nice exploration of our cultural fascination with celebrity meltdowns. I will say that if I heard the claims you cite from Rajneesh and Yogi Bhajan, my first impulse would be to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. That goes for "100 megaton balls" too. Masters like Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama don't need to prop themselves up that way. They know who they are and who they are not.

  12. monkeywithglasses says:

    Seeing Charlie's tweets mingled in with the tweets in my feed from various yogis, taoists, and buddhists, I saw right away… they sound an awful lot alike! Next thing you know, we'll see ads for $5000 tigerblood retreats at his new ashram in Napa. LOL.

  13. Kris Nelson says:

    Right? I love it.

  14. That's a great test, Scott!

  15. OK, this was funny and brilliant!

  16. Kris Nelson says:

    Thank you, Claudia.

  17. Does he do yoga? I often contemplate on how to get men into yoga – I think if he got into it the men would follow~! I have a few great teachers in mind who I think would be a great fit for him….

  18. Love it! Thanks for the chuckle, Kris. I believe we all have a bit of Sheen in us 🙂

  19. Kris Nelson says:

    Thank you, Lynn.

  20. JMAW says:

    Love this article! I think that Sheen is awakening while also battling his ego and I am curious if he has any guidance or if he just disregards it. As I've reflected on many of the things that he has said recently, I feel that he is walking that fine line between being like the Dalai Lama and that homeless guy quoting scriptures from the Bible while hitting his head against a wall.

    I believe peace is having one foot in the light, the other in the dark, and standing fully in the two is what balances this momentary human experience. I hope Charlie can strike the balance…

  21. […] And yet, the meltdown of actor Charlie Sheen has still made it into my world. Repeatedly, from several angles. […]

  22. This is a genius post. I wish i had written it. Maybe he is a "crazy wisdom" mystic.

  23. Hilary Lindsay says:

    "at least he was chain smoking"… I couldn't be happier reading a post. I just couldn't.

  24. Kris Nelson says:

    Interesting considerations, JMAW. Keep contemplating.


  25. Kris Nelson says:

    Thank you, James.

  26. Kris Nelson says:

    Rock on, Hilary.

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