- (Past events)
By Liliana Serban
From the 26th of December 2012 until 7th of January 2013 Natha Yogacenter organized just like last years, thus becoming a tradition, the silent retreat. The Silent Retreat has two modules: THE AWAKENING OF THE SPIRITUAL HEART and THE REVELATION OF THE SUPREME SELF , ATMAN. The location was this time a new one, called almost prophetically Paradise!.
Paradise, the new center for spiritual events and retreats belonging to Natha Yogacenter, is situated in the south part of Zealand, on the very place of a former agricultural farm, transformed afterwards into a spiritual recovery, introspection and relaxation area.
This event has brought together over 120 participants, aiming to practice what is called the meditation for revelation of the Supreme immortal Self (Atman) .
But the main question coming back year by year is: What makes someone decide to isolate himself in silence one or two weeks even if it is in Paradise? This question could be raised by all of those who chose gladly to cross the threshold between the years in the midst of splashing, exciting energies, surrounded by a lot of noisy people, music and exuberance.
The spiritual program of this Retreat of which you can still find out information on www.nathayogacenter.dk, integrates more than 7 hours of meditation per day, distributed in 4 sessions, but only one of them made the difference: the 3 hours meditation. The program was completed by common or individual Hatha Yoga practice, theoretical lessons, and meditations of spiritual exemplification subtly suported by the spiritual guide of our yoga school, yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru.
So one can say that comfortability is not the first criteria for those following such a program…
Nevertheless, there were 120 "nonconformists" who - having enough of lounging on the sofa, staring at tv programs - decided between to live and to be lived, choosing on purpose to live the beginning of the most exciting adventure of their life in a world full of mysteries, even jeopardies, but mostly full of amazing revelations which is the inner world.
Who are they and what are their hopes and their expectations from such an event?
Maybe they are the daring spiritual adventurers, some of them energetic, some of them shy, and others simply curious - all of them bravely took this challenge. We could call them also "the archers aiming beyond the horizon", those aspiring to obtain the silence of mind, the peace of the heart, and finding answers to profound questions arisen in the mystery of the inner silence. They are those deciding to pass the narrow, unpredictable path of finding the Immortal Self Atman.
In the inner world, after closing the eyes, and after withdrawing the senses from the external world, those who want to meditate will experience completely alone the inner universe.
The real performance of meditating is characterized by some very simple initial preparations and one big requirement: the perfect stillness of mind which is the main key in order to penetrate the heart of the spiritual heart. In order to accomplish this, one needs endurance, obstination, assiduity, and deep desire to succeed in this.
These will domesticate gradually the mind, and also transform it from a wild, chaotic, obscure creature into a cultivated, sophisticated, stunning engine.
During the retreat, when communication was missing, also the counselling or confessions between participants, as I saw has become a gathering of quiet, steady people meditating in unison in a quite impressive manner.
Right after the end of the Retreat l have been looking into their eyes and l saw there an amazing irradiance springing spontaneously from the heart of their hearts and that was a crystal clear sign that this Retreat was for them an undoubted spiritual impulse.
What makes this Retreat to be so special and what made the difference when comparing it to the other events of this kind that becomes clear from the confessions of the participants themselves:
*The spiritual support, almost palpable, of yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru, the spiritual guide of this yoga school. This guidance was unmistakably present sustaining both the elevation of the spiritual field of this event and also the spiritual effort of each participant.
*The content of theoretical presentation about the AWAKENING OF THE SPIRITUAL HEART and THE REVELATION OF THE SUPREME SELF exposed with a brilliant simplicity, common sense and clarity by Mr. Advaitananda Stoian, the coordinator of Natha Yogacenter, who following the leading thread of his beloved spiritual master Gregorian Bivolaru, and practicing meditation unceasingly for more than 25 years, has structured his own experience on meditation as an amazing knowledge into a genuine, efficient and super valuable meditation manual, priceless for all those who really want to learn to meditate.
*The whole heartedness and commitment the organizing staff, put in their devoted work on keeping order, cleanness and harmony in Paradise.
*The paradisiacal ambience of Paradise, a spiritual oasis impregnated with pure and elevated spiritual energies.
But above all: this one thing highlighted the echo, the effect of this retreat. The accounts of the participants were all without any exception about discipline of the mind, a wide openness of the heart, a higher level of understanding of the process of meditation, a deeper connection with the spiritual guide, an ardent desire to live in the present moment, searching with enthusiasm and courage for Self Realization.
Such an incursion into the deepness of ones own being is, analogically speaking, like a drill in the far-off depths, whose after-effect is the complete shift of any view upon who you really are and what is really important for you in this life. The scale of values is dramatically turning upside down, setting-up a new and unexpected perspective. Thus for the Spiritual heart setting free, expanding is crowned as the very queen of the being, while the mind is the chaotic sovereign, dethroned who steadily and obediently stays beyond the bars of a strict and permanent control.
Thus the Divine Order is getting to well deserved rights inside yourself and the endless freedom and happiness of The Divine Spirit will burst in and out.
Now the pass to the Supreme Immortal Self is open and free.
Fixed in the present moment all you have to do is to search to find out who you really are.
It is said that sooner or latter each human being on this planet will experience this stage of inner alchemy becoming the hero of his or her own life. In a precisely certain moment, in each of them will brake and crush all the limits up by the burning of desire and courage to discover the Truth.
The way that the 120 participants went on this path, like the same others did before them, many others will do the same in the future.
But it is one single moment of the Truth: the always and eternal existing HERE and NOW. Do not postpone it and be one! Who will join the 120?
Natha Yogacenter is waiting for you with open arms and open hearts in Paradise!
by yoga teacher Gregorian BivolaruThe term “centering" means here to focus the attention on your own being and to experience the present moment (meaning not to digress or project the mental in the reminiscences of past events or in the imagining of future events). This "centering" or balancing of our own being also means to deeply harmonize all our energies (mental, spiritual or physical), and also to calm down, as deeply as possible, the usual psycho-mental agitation (parasitic thoughts, auxiliary emotions, etc.). In this state of inner centering we will much more easily focus our attention on any subject of meditation, because inside, we are at the same time present, lucid, relaxed and receptive to the high energies.
For this very simple procedure it is preferable to sit on a chair, with our spine perfectly straight and with both soles fully on the ground, with the palms on the thighs and eyes closed.
First we will realize an awareness of our consciousness on the entire body, from bottom to top, very slowly, from the soles of the feet to the top of the head. At the same time, we relax as deeply as possible the muscle segments on which we focus our attention; we breathe naturally and without any interference.
After we finished this relaxing "exploration" of our whole physical body, we will then orient our attention to the respiratory process which goes on normally and naturally. At the same time we visualize around us a sphere of bright white light. When we inhale, we acknowledge that this bright white light flows into our being more and more, until it fills it completely, and when exhale, we are aware that we eliminate from our being all the states of tension, stress, anxiety, etc. (in other words, of any evil influences or energies, of any perverse aspects). We continue to breathe consciously in this way until we feel a state of deep relaxation, doubled by peace, serenity and inner joy. If we observe that the mind has a tendency to divagate again, we gently but firmly bring the attention back to the respiratory process described above.
Further on (after the previous stage has been successfully completed) we will visualize small subtle energy channels (NADI) coming out through the soles of the feet and through the bottom of the spine and that extend more and more until they get to be like some sui generis roots that link us to the benefic subtle energies of the Earth. We continue this process of creative visualization combined with aware breathing until we feel how these subtle bio energetic "roots" connect us to the center of the Earth, this resulting in a deep sense of safety and tranquility.
Now (after we successfully completed this stage described above) we acknowledge the fact that we can "breathe" through these subtle "roots"; we will create thus the beneficial telluric subtle energies, captured from the subtle center of the Earth, ascend further, as if aspired with a suction pump, and this aspiration of the benefic subtle energy of the Earth in our being will continue until we feel "full" inside with this vital energy.
Next, we will focus attention on the top of the head (above the head), an area in close connection with the subtle secret opening to God, BRAHMARANDRA. We will also visualize here how, from this level, the subtle energy channels (NADI) start and extend higher and higher, until eventually they extend up to the sky, thus putting us in connection with the Sun, with the planets, stars and galaxies. At the same time, during inhaling we take in our being, through these subtle energy channels (NADI), the subtle cosmic energy, which comes into our being through the top of the head until we feel that this cosmic energy fills our whole being. Further on, during inhaling, we will visualize that we simultaneously breathe in the two subtle benefic energy currents, both the telluric and the cosmic one, both ineffably fusing at the level of the heart (ANAHATA CHAKRA), where they will radiate forth within our whole being.
After this stage, we will resume the awareness of our consciousness on the body and we will gently open our eyes. We become aware of this state of deep and integrating harmony and of the perfect balance throughout our whole being.
Transated from www.luxsublima.ro
31 January 2012
- (Past events)
Silence loves me…
Sometimes silence is much more than just the absence of sound. Sometimes silence has it’s own life, a being, a spirit, a place to be. A beloved. Sometimes you just don’t talk – but sometimes silence starts talking back to you. It speaks from your heart, tells you who you really are, beyond all the words, beyond all the thoughts, beyond all your ideas about what to do in this life – it feels like it reminds you that you are much more than you think. You are not ever what you think you are.
Before I went to silent retreat with Natha Yoga Center on Stevns Klint, I was wondering what I would experience. If I would reach exciting states, if I would have a lot to tell afterwards, if it would change me. If I would get scared when I met the silence. When I met myself – the one that I really am.
My body reacted with symptoms of illness before the camp, and I was a little nervous – but also looking forward, I felt like I was going to meet a love done after a long time, after having missed him for a long time. I felt I would start a love relation with my own soul, after having been very focused on other people’s thoughts and opinions for my whole life, and on what to do to be good enough. I felt I would finally meet my own heart – but I didn’t realise how radical the consequences would be.
The frame for the retreat was that we were in mauna, where you don’t speak or communicate, during the camp, and that we had several hours of meditation every day, and tried to be as introvert as possible. That we would do something else than we usually do. We were in Stevns Naturcenter, which is placed in the most beautiful nature, with the sea almost just outside the door, and with tall trees, lots of birds, endless skies. The nights were blessed with stars and beauty. And the days were filled with the sound of the rain, the fragrance of the wet trees, and the longing for the sea. We were a lot of people there, but the point was to give us a possibility that elsewhere we would have to go to a cave in the Himalayas to find – that we could live so introvert and be so quiet inside that we could focus on our true nature.
In the first week, we worked on understanding who we are NOT – that we are not the mind, with it´s thoughts and feelings, but also that we are not the body. Vi had fantastic lectures where we heard how some of the great spiritual masters have travelled from an ordinary life to a life in Light – an enlightened life. We meditated on the words and teachings, and in this way their experiences built a foundation in us, and settled in us.
Before the camp, I was concerned if I could take it – if I would meet a lot of inner ghosts, that would scare me, or if I would suddenly begin talking or do other unconscious actions that would ruin the retreat for me. I was also afraid to produce beautiful experiences or inner images that would be more in the category ’astral dreams’ than real experiences of something more profound, something higher than the astral realm. I was afraid to stay in a svadhisthana-spirituality (Svadhisthana is the energy center in our being, that is connected to the erotic and creative energies, and to desire and the search for pleasure), where I would have pleasant experiences, that would satisfy my ego very much – but where I wouldn’t actually open towards God.
In the first days, I was very very blissful – I was happy to put all my social insecurities aside and to be allowed just to be in my own world, and in the night time I would lie in my bed and look at the stars in the sky and just feel… happy. And we learned how to de-identify regarding to all the things, we are not – and I understood, it was so obvious to me that I have never seen reality, only my own images of it, and these images come from the one I think I am. And who is strongly attached to prejudices, judging others and myself, a closed heart, lack of surrender, and always preoccupied with thoughts of either the future or the past. I was so ecstatic to see all this! It felt like being an innocent child, that can sit by the feet of God, and just be the one I am – and in full confidence and with trust in the heart give it all to Him, without any thoughts if He can and will help me – because He is omnipotent and He is Love! I felt no desire to keep anything to myself, hide anything – I just wanted to surrender it all to Him.
We learned some fantastic techniques to see how we identify with what we are not – and I was just so happy to see that I was not and am not all the nonsense, that haunts my mind.
We also learned about some of the cosmic powers, Mahavidya (In traditional tantrism, it is understood that God manifests through ten aspects, symbolized as ten goddesses, and they are called Mahavidya or the ten cosmic powers) and their special gifts of grace to the ones seeking Atman – the ones seeking the revelation of Reality. It was a true journey in joy and mystery, and I felt so blessed.
I also felt great irritation and anger – the slightest noise or disturbance from the others could make me extremely irritated and angry – and I watched my resonance to see if it would then dissolve. And I was angry with myself for not ’just’ opening my heart – and I saw how it became more and more difficult for me to surrender to the present moment. At the same time I was very happy to see this anger – because I learned that it cannot harm me, it cannot touch my soul, or Atman. I could see that the anger came from my mind, but also that no matter how much place it took on my inner ’screen’, I was still united with endless love. That was tremendously healing for me – because normally I run away from the feelings, I don’t like, for instance anger, jealousy or envy – but at the same time, I run away from all the people or situations, that could trigger these emotions, and trigger the risk to feel them, and then I lose so much. I shut off for love. And i learned that exactly the feelings, I find the most difficult to live with, can be the most wonderful and unexpected gate to unconditional love, to unity with all human beings, and to an open heart.
In the next part of the retreat it was time to go deeper in the meditations. I was very sleepy and tired, I was not able to sleep much at night, 3 -4 hours, and some of the meditations I just spent staying awake. But at the same time I had a feeling that now I had consecrated the meditations and received an answer, then also this was integrated and a part of the divine plan – and now, after the camp, I understand that I had to fully let go of my desire for spiritual experiences, so that God could hold me in His hands.
I understand that I had to come down on my knees and feel totally lost in order for Him to be allowed to have access to my being.
And sometimes in the meditations I surrendered so much, let so much go of all my ideas of what was supposed to happen now, and I just welcomed everything, totally relaxed – that I became witness, became heart, became Mother, became love, became Present Moment, became the one I really am.
There were states with no desires or identification with the mind, there were states of eternity and unity with All, there were states of deep peace – not as feelings, but as observations.
And I experienced that a lot of new nuances were available – it was as if the silence made it possible to perceive much more subtle nuances in reality – as if eternity and unity is hidden between all the phenomena, I know from my senses and perceptions.
I had wonderful moments with Grieg, our spiritual guide. One of the things that surprised me the most was experiencing how I stopped focusing on his words, his teachings, his physical appearance – and was allowed to see him as the one, he has always been and will always be. And I remembered the first time I came to the school for tantra class, and saw his picture, and was told that he was the one who had founded the school – and I kneeled before the picture and thanked him for giving me the possibility to go to this school and learn so many wonderful things. I didn’t know anything about what else he is at that time – I just felt a deep gratitude. In these moments in the camp where I experienced him beyond all appearances, beyond body, age, teaching, expression, I felt that he had found me in the middle of the ocean of people, and called me, and led me to this moment – and I knew that since he had loved me forever, then also I was eternal. And i knew that also I will reach enlightenment in the right moment, because I am in his hands and love – it can only turn out for the best! I felt so blessed, loved and full of gratitude – and full of trust. And that it is fantastic that I am exactly where I am now – for this is my starting point for my further journey.
Sometimes I experienced how everything I think I know, dissolved in front of me – and I had moments where I said goodbye to everything, I thought I knew, everything, that I thought that I loved. I said goodbye to parents, sister and brother, family, friends, ambitions, talents, dreams, attachments, pains, identifications, self-hatred – and there were moments of deep loneliness, because nothing was as I had always thought it was. But these moments transformed into deep bliss, when I saw that the deep pains that I have always carried, and thought I could never release – dissolved in front of me. I realised that the confirmation, I have always wanted from others, was in fact impossible to have – because other people don’t exist, I only see my image of them. The person, I see as X, is not X – I only see my image of him. I realised that when I am angry or jealous, it comes from things in my own mind, because I do not see reality – and therefore there is no reason to feel bad about it. I felt so many times that I chose to feel bad about things that are not real – because since I was never born and will never die, and since I never saw reality, but live in a hall of mirrors – than the state of Witness is the only true place to be. And that it is unrealistic to feel bad about anything – because the things I feel bad about, never happened, and they are not happening now either, and they will never happen.
The present moment is always sufficient and abundant and ecstatic – it contains all.
There was a special moment that I like to return to now afterwards, with hope and longing. I realised during the camps that I long so much for loving in perfect freedom and without conditions, like God – but also that I fear it deeply. Because if I didn’t, obviously I would already love in that way. But at one point I had a very strong experience of having a glimpse of how it will be to have a totally open heart – and how I through empathy would be able to heal others with no boundaries, let go of my own low resonances and set others free – and how I would be able to release their hearts. This moment is till very clear to me, as something I desire very much and deep in my being.
To be able to let go of the fear to love unconditionally, so I can reach that state of empathy.
When the retreat ended, I wanted to get home fast – I didn’t want to start talking to the other participants about our experiences, because I didn’t want my ego to cut this silence into small appropriate pieces, that might make me happy, but that would also be so interpreted by the ego that I would not be able to transform. I wanted to contain all the things I had learned inside, and not ejaculate it. And I wanted more silence. So I left in a hurry – but happy.
In these days after the camp, I have felt a great longing for meditating, and meditating for long periods, and for getting to know my heart even more, and getting to know it so well, that it will be a gate to the one I really am.
I have also felt that is is immensely much easier for me to center in the heart – and release any desire to center anywhere else. I feel a lot more self-confidence – I guess it did my Manipura (the energycenter or chakra connected to will power, self confidence and the ability to transform your life) well to show up for all the meditations, no matter if I was tired or ill. Anyway it has become easier for me to say what I see, and say what I think.
And I have a strong feeling that I am facing big changes in my life. My mind has no plans, but I can feel that my heart is strong and that it leads me – and I don’t really think about where it is going, I fully trust it will take me to the best position for both my and the world outside. Karma yoga (which is when you offer the karmic fruits of your actions, and your actions, to God, with love) has turned into a true joy for me, and even though my mind creates stress when I see how much I am supposed to do, then I also feel full confidence in my heart, and I see that time is shaping so I manage to overcome it all in magical ways, and that I have strength to do it. It is truly amazing to see – love in action.
I am deeply grateful for the retreat – I am so grateful for having shared those days with wonderful people, and many times during the meditations I saw all the beautiful souls that surrounded me with light, and I saw the angels supporting us, surrounding us with love and kindness. I feel immensely grateful to Grieg, and I love to feel him as the other half of my heart. I am deeply grateful for the possibility to love him so much more – I could not have received any better presents for Christmas. I also feel deep gratitude towards Natha Yoga Center – and I am still really amazed that it is possible for find so profound, transforming and authentic teaching in the middle of my Januarylife in Denmark – you know, I am just an ordinary human being. That it is possible for me to find teaching that leads me to the depths of my heart and to see glimpses of the Source – reality.
Silence became my Beloved during the retreat. I have always dreamt of obtaining inner peace – as long as I didn’t have to release my attachments, and if i could be allowed to be the same, if I could be allowed to ’sleep at the steering wheel’ in my life. I dreamt that God would make it so that it didn’t hurt that I was ignorant. But silence became my Beloved during the retreat – the silence, the neutral point within – and I feel I am flirting with life, with reality, and I see how the layers of reality and illusion mix, and I get seduced and fall in love with this game – also when it hurts. I take the response, but I don’t take it so personal.
I know I was never born and that I will never die – I don’t know this because somebody told me, but because I found it in my heart. By releasing all the things, I weren’t, and releasing all the things I wanted to be – and instead I was just a little fool, who was sitting trying to stay awake in meditation – but at the same time, I was One with the Supreme – in a magical way.
I look so much forward for meditating again! And for every moment of yoga, every moment of giving myself to others, every moment of what life is really about.
And every moment of resistance – for that is exactly where I meet the one, that I am not – and then the One, that Is forever, can be revealed.
- (Past events)
By Vasile Szavo, Yoga and Tantra student
“The ego is the freedom of the mind to choose anything else than GOD”
- one of Mihai Stoian’s thoughts shared with us in this silent retreat.
I believe that only the Divine Grace was the one guiding me and making possible for me the Iceland Silent Retreat in January – February 2011.
First there was the state of longing for God after the Hiatus spiral in August in Costinesti, 2010, then, in the November Archangel’s Week, the mysterious benefic ‘obsession’ for the meditation music with Uriel Archangel and then, finally, my silent, but intensive request to God to participate in this retreat… and when I gave up on it – since it was impossible for me to imagine how could I get the money for affording this experience – and confessed this to my beloved, a miracle happened and it suddenly became possible that I, myself …could also be there… in my first silent retreat for revealing the divine essence, the immortal Self ATMAN. Indeed, if I were to follow what my mind was telling me I never have had this chance, but a simple inner request from the heart was triggering what I consider a true miracle for me.
Considering the spiritual results I have personally experienced in this retreat, I have to admit that this spiritual retreat was relatively easy: already the trip itself felt like a light vacation, my first breaths on the Icelandic shore in a state of an adolescent’s joy and happiness, the funny moments in the bus with the familiar and new faces, Mihai’s lucid enthusiasm for the Icelandic scenery, the electronic toy helicopter I took care of on the way, the taste of the rich in minerals water and of the ashram’s bread and soup and the entire atmosphere of the Icelandic yoga school reawakened something very pure and joyful inside, which reminded me of the times I was 12 and had just discovered with full enthusiasm Chopin, buying tape after tape with his crystalline music.
Neither the quite strict program of 6.5 hours meditation, nor the rule of total silence were too difficult for me and the experiences I’ve had in the third day and in the last day of the retreat have showed me very clearly that it is possible… what E.Tolle, Maharishi, Yogananda or Poonja described in their books are attainable and easier to attain then I thought, and the focus on this high goal is giving by far much more joy and ecstasy than anything else the world can give. I just couldn’t believe how - in my ten years of practicing in this yoga school - I tried almost all the types of Yoga,… except for this one… all those stories about how difficult these meditations were, now they are, in my vision, just bedtime stories for kids …
“After the Iceland Silent Retreat a very curious and cunning reporter approached a participant in the camp, asking him the first question: ‘who am I talking to?’; the student’s amazed gaze was pondering for a moment on a spot somehow behind the reporter’s microphone, then the calm answer came with the ingenuity of a revelation: ‘to me’ ”- the second spiritual joke inspired to Mihai towards the end of the camp.
The famous question ‘who am I?’ from Ramana Maharishi’s self-inquiry technique bears almost no meaning for the reader of his books unless doubled by the practice of centering in the heart. The seven steps technique in which we were gradually introduced, during the meditation program, had on me the effects of several revelations…first of all because my ideas about the heart and the soul were so abstract and far from my personal experience. From the short lectures we were presented I understood that essentially the concept of the heart as the center of everything that exists is a genuinely practical concept: I remember many years ago in my room I had a red old armchair in which I took a break sometimes, simply following a need of my being to stop for a moment in the middle of the very agitated emotional life I had in that period. There was one time, I clearly recall, when I simply felt a state of bliss – experienced as profound peace – just by stopping and relaxing with the eyes closed sitting on this armchair… Indeed, this experience of mine was an authentic centering in the heart which I did without knowing anything at that time about yoga. So, it became clear for me that I’ve already had some special moments in my life when the centering in the heart was there for short moments, but to find a simple practical method to recall and have that state at will is almost like dreaming about the Aladdin’s wonderful lamp from the One Thousand and One Nights fairy tale… still, and this was my first extraordinary revelation, with the right method, the adequate conditions created and a perseverant practice, the state of being in the heart can be attained now, by almost anyone who truly aspires to it.
Practically, the crystal clear exposure of the seven steps meditation technique had the role of protecting me from various traps, but even in these privileged conditions, the very clear guidance and the unison of aspiration with the fellow spiritual aspirants in this retreat, I still had to pass through my own tests until getting the first results.
The room bathed in blue light: “…the heart is the king … it is the secret mirror of God inside of us …it makes possible that we can really have what we have and to become what we really are…beginning with the awakened heart we can start evolving and we can reach true spiritual accomplishments…” - from the theory in the retreat
It is still just sterile theory to talk about the heart and is like in one of the short movies with Poonja we watched in the retreat, about the one who talks and doesn’t know, while the one who knows, doesn’t talk … still the very reality of the tests I had, suggests that also the seconds of awareness of my individual heart - I’ve had in the camp - were nonetheless authentic. The blockages in the neck area, unblocked after the first two days, the difficulties with finding the relaxed meditation posture and the triggered physical pain until finding it, the fights with the fluctuations of my mind during the meditations and the kind of an incapacity to believe and pessimism about my capacity to be in the heart, as if forever imprisoned in the mind’s schemes, are some of the shades imprinted in the room where I found rest between meditations and re-read Bhairavastava (the Kashmir Shivaism’s masterpiece poem about being in the heart with the divine) with more and more thirst. From my window I could see young fir trees and, in the evenings, after the blue light bathed the table and the bed, the vision of the warm-houses awakened in me the memory of Roerich’s paintings depicting in the snowy scenery realm of Shambala.
Solheimar, under the snow in the fifth day of the retreat was the magical place I had a walk to visit the green-houses and leave in the snow storm all my melancholy about the lost moments of this life in which I was not in the heart…but far from the essential nectar of the ‘king of my being’, the spiritual heart. There, behind the glass of the green-houses I found my little tree with lively remembrance of the true experience of the man who came back from clinical death - the heart awakening essential story watched in the 2010 Costinesti summer yoga camp about the voyage to God’s heavenly realm of a man who found in a room, there, in God’s heaven the small tree representing the sum of the good deeds he did during his life time. This impressive moment of his story was the subject of my identification, while looking through the windows of the green house and choosing my own little plant…’my tree’.
And yes, in the third day I also had the grace of three seconds of centering in the heart continually and profoundly and the stunning effects are still amazing me: first of all I suddenly remembered in a new light some decisions I took not from the heart in the past, I saw the moment like from above, having a complete perspective… and as if burning that karma of ignorance about the hearts’ solutions, I found myself again in the middle of the warm flow of love which showed me the right solution; simultaneously with these clarifying recollections I felt an inner state of verticality as a renewal of all my masculine essence… reconfiguring my self-transfiguration to the highest extent and giving back to me the freshness of all my purest aspirations. What was really shockingly real and incredible was the speed of few seconds in which I found a renewed inner strength which I haven’t even slightly guessed it existed inside of me. Together with this integrating perspective and refreshed virility I also felt vaguely how is that state in which one knows everything, the past and the future, being centered in the axis of the present moment. After these astonishing states I started to gain an inner happiness which was increasing gradually until the end of the retreat culminating in the last day.
Ideal conditions for the ones aiming to the highest accomplishment on the ‘fast-lane’: NOW and HERE.
It is not any more a mere juicy spiritual saying for us (those participating in this retreat) the expression ‘here and now’. It’s became as practical this expression as the asana-s for a first year yoga student. As Mihai Stoian - our guide in this inner spiritual adventure – called this type of spiritual experience we’ve had: “the perpendicular spiritual practice”, is the one aiming straightly to the highest goal, without wandering in the almost endless stages on the horizontal plane, but taking the bold turning on the vertical axis, directly aiming towards the divine. It is ”a different quality of experience” as he puts it, and it can hardly be compared with anything else in the vast domain of possible horizontal spiritual practices. If, for instance on the tantric path one might have Tantra retreat 1 followed by a new theme, or new initiations in Tantra retreat 2 and so on until Tantra retreat ‘n’, the silent retreat for revealing the Self can only be repeated and continually remembered since it brings us back to the same divine axis within us, which is immobile, unchangeable and springing from the eternity of the very origins of the universe. These camps are analogically speaking like practicing alpinism to the highest peak on the most direct path, the shortest and most efficient side of the mountain.
Also Camelia’s perceptions about the divine entities of light guiding us from the invisible realms here in the camp were significantly highlighting that - what we’ve experienced in Solheimar this year - it was authentic and highly significant for our transformation.
Here I must admit that I’ve never imagined that this kind of retreat in the same space together with others can contain so much depth and authenticity. The rules of the camp clearly stated that we are supposed to be silent at all times and not to look to the others, but live inside of our own sphere as if we were alone in an individual retreat. For me these were relatively easy to be done by imagining that I am in God’s presence; so the only presence I have to take care of is God. And this way of acting brought good results for me…. Still, while living in the same room with my room mate some clarifications and purifications also appeared and I realized that they were not by coincidence catalyzed by my roommate’s presence: the funniest example to this effect was about his wake up alarm singing a song which was hunting me until the end of the camp; until, in the last night I had a releasing dream in which he was acting in a comedy triggering my strongest laughter in this life time …in a dream…thus any melancholic tendency was like burnt away in the fire of this brotherly communion through laughter.
A key element for remembering a special spiritual state, revealed here Mihai, is to recreate the same conditions in which that special state appeared for the first time…but what were the ideal conditions offered to us by Iceland?
The cool temperature which is excellent for meditation, the pure elements of nature specific to the subtle atmosphere of Iceland, the common aspiration of the spiritual group, and mostly and firstly the warm hearted hosting of the Icelandic yogis and here the gallery of angels taking care of us is enlarged with the volunteers who offered to organize the camp, administrate all the practical details and cook for us every day out of their immense generosity of the heart: especially Magdalena, Serafim and Natha Iceland volunteers, Adam and the others deserve all our gratefulness, since without their initiative and sacrifice these ideal conditions hadn’t been possible to be met.
The Satsang in Natha Iceland Reykjavik: protect your ‘candle light’ not only while meditating and being in a protective environment, but also while walking on the street in the springtime sunshine of the joyful states or the snow storm of the hard to control karmic events, be like those who manage this on and on in all the life situations even in the most intensive ones, the rare, spiritually liberated beings – ideas from the conclusive talk of the retreat.
For me in this spiritual retreat the difference between the astonishing third day’s glimpses of awareness on my heart’s depths and the camp’s final day personal success, is between the lucky luke’s unconscious lucky strike (the third day) and the consciously built up ability to maintain continually for a longer time the focus on the divine essence within. Now only for very few minutes and then to more minutes in a row while having continuity - breaking out of the few minutes short cycles - given by the presence of the silent witness perceived by me in the source of super human perseverance and steadiness in the focus.
The closing moments of the camp, the meditation of gratitude, sharing, the last snowy images around the pond with the colored fish, the taste of the fresh and crispy bread in the hall where smiling people are talking and joking about the weather in a detached way … and the underlying state of surrendering to God’s Will in all the details of our departure. Closing the door of the meditation building, returning the keys and looking from the left side at Solheimar – the home of the Sun, the already familiar holiday houses and the green-houses always bathed with light… the growing happiness rising like the Sun on the faces and silence accompanying the pause between two words… the fragility of our souls’ refined movements, breathing in unison with the yellow bus, crossing through the Icelandic scenery towards Reykjavik.
The Natha Iceland Yogacenter is the playground of the final stage of the inner adventure I wanted to depict.
Our loving and hospitable hosts preparing the Sunday evening Satsang with Mihai; beautifully arranged living room and yoga halls. An atmosphere of warm communication naturally starts to grow while waiting for Serafim’s intro words. All is unexpectedly unfolding and everyone’s curiosity about the Icelandic yogis and about us is fulfilled in a smart and funny way during the self-introductory round. A kind of a refined magic field of sharing is spread all around like in the heart to heart spiritual sharing of the best kind. Unexpected connections are opening new subjects from the topic of least importance of which year of yoga is one, to the silent retreat which is meeting here the Icelandic school’s students; then the questions are pointing more and more towards the now and here; from the highest essence of the national souls, the exceptional value of the meditations with the national soul to which one belongs; the Icelandic soul; Mihai’s answer to this question unveiling the exceptional creativity of the Icelandic soul in its contact with the primordial natural forces; the present-day situation of the creativity and how can it be integrated in the divine perspective; all these in a curiosity and affinity awakening manner of the great spiritual feasts in the end of a triumphant spiritual accomplishment.
The earth’s mountainous ribs are reflected in me like waves on a still lake, while gazing out of the plane’s little window and even the amazement in front of the white cloud’s stony realm is more silent in me than other times. The practice of the technique starts from the airport so that the noises don’t come so hurtfully towards me. Just the wish to be alone and meditate and the thought about the example with the ‘candle light’ - given in the retreat and representing the awakened heart towards the depths of the Divine Immortal Self ATMAN – to be taken care of in the storms of the daily life with all its unexpected turning points.
I wish to all of you to always manage to maintain the centering in the heart so profoundly that its bright light awakens completely not only your candle, but also others’ heart candle light. And I Thank to God, to Grieg, my spiritual guide, to Mihai, my spiritual teacher, Magdalena and Serafim, our caring mother and father in this retreat, the Icelandic yoga students and to all of you who participated, for your love and aspiration which altogether made possible, also for me, the very valuable spiritual experience of the 2011 silent retreat in Iceland,
These investigations are based on a series of charges of a Romanian-born chef, living in Italy, who wanted to take revenge because he was kicked out of the Romanian yoga school.
The Department for fighting the Mob in the General Prosecutors’ Office of Italy triggered a ridiculous investigation that targets various associations and private citizens from Italy, for the simple reason that they are connected to the Romanian Yoga School – MISA, founded by Gregorian Bivolaru.
The investigation that took place on December 6th and 7th 2012 involved searches of 25 headquarters of associations and private homes of Italian yogis, in several cities in Italy, including Florence, Rome and Milan. Some searches even took place at 6 o’clock in the morning. Items such as computers, laptops, documents, diaries, letters and photographs were confiscated. More than 20 people were taken for investigation, during which time they were fingerprinted. Among them, 18 people were informed that they will be subject to penal investigation.
The search warrants presented refer to particularly serious crimes (as one would expect for an investigation involving the Mob fighting Department), such as recruiting people for prostitution or pornography, but also “sexual slavery”, sexual orgies with a violent character. On the other hand, one also refers to the fact that the respective associations are preoccupied with esoteric yogic practices – we can assume that this is the actual reason of the investigation taking place against these associations. We witness in shock a repeat of the violent events from March 2004 when the MISA yoga school was similarly attacked in an investigation regarding organized crime and terrorism. Terrifying charges were circulated in the media, related to drugs, arms and human trafficking, prostitution and countless crimes, for which there was absolutely no evidence presented.
The motivation stated in the search warrants issued by the Italian prosecutors constitutes a series of hilarious, derisory or bizarre elements (which would normally be completely out of place in official acts of such seriousness, which refer to such serious accusations formulated by the Mob fighting Department).
We mention the following elements:
- the fact that following the investigation that was made by the Italian prosecutors, one noticed that MISA was excluded from the European Yoga Alliance in the year 2008 (we mention that during interrogation that took place back in those days questions were asked regarding this aspect that is public knowledge, by no means secret or exotic, and not at all illegal);
- the fact that for participating to yoga camps in Romanian all yoga students have to present two photos in bathing suit and HIV and VDRL tests – this is considered “proof” of the fact that in these camps, the future victims are “signed up”, then later forced to engage in prostitution or participate in violent sexual orgies;
- that some yoga students have complained at the Prosecutors’ Office that they had to pay a participation fee for the yoga course (for this reason, all sports halls and fitness clubs that require an entry fee should then be investigated!);
- that yoga instructors are guilty for the act of “advertising” the yoga camps in Romania, yoga courses and Shakti groups, thus facilitating the indoctrination of yoga students.
The warrant discusses the fact that Gregorian Bivolaru is the spiritual mentor of various organizations that are targeted and therefore that he is considered the “head” of a crime network. To conclude, we deduce that Italian yogis are actually being accused for practicing yoga under the guidance of instructors that are related to MISA and Gregorian Bivolaru. Italian prosecutors seem to be unaware that in Romania, Gregorian Bivolaru is by no means accused of human trafficking related to either pornography or prostitution and that none of the ridiculous accusations mentioned are found in trials that have taken place in Romania. Italian press writes that Gregorian Bivolaru is also under penal investigation, together with Italian yogis, but it does mention the fact that the Romanian yoga teacher benefits from political asylum in Sweden. Articles are illustrated with the picture of Gregorian Bivolaru, a picture that was broadly circulated in the Romania press, about which the MISA Press Bureau repeatedly mentioned that it represents a gross manipulation of public perception and a violation of Gregorian Bivolaru’s presumption of innocence and right to his own image. The accusation that is circulated the most in Italian press is “sexual violence” (after years of fierce media campaign in Romania, this accusation represents a novelty for us too!).
The rumours from which this investigation started were created by Cătălin Călin, ex-yoga instructor in the MISA yoga school, who taught yoga courses also in Italy and was excluded from the ranks of the yoga instructors, due to serious mistakes he made. Being a chef by profession, Cătălin Călin, who calls himself “Master Virgil”, now wants to take revenge against his ex-colleagues. It is possible that other accusations were made by fans of “Master Virgil”. Before the International Yoga Congress that took place last week in Bucharest (A very successful Congress with thousands of participants, about which the Romanian press wrote absolutely nothing), Cătălin Călin contacted one of the guests, Swami Suryananda, and threatened him, saying that if he comes to Romania for this Congress, he will be arrested too.
The Romanian press (for example, the Mediafax agency and Realitatea TV) treated the news with the lack of professionalism that we are already accustomed to, without perceiving the serious inaccuracies related to the accusations brought by the Romanian prosecutors (in order to correlate them with those formulated by Italian prosecutors). They emphasised the same fabricated accusations that were circulated only in the media, without any kind of evidence, for many years in a row (sexual orgies, prostitution, pornography). Besides, Realiatea.net spread deceitful news in which it is said that Romanian yogis are on trial in Cluj, being charged with human trafficking for the purpose of pornography and prostitution, a statement that is utterly false.
In conclusion, the action against Italian Yoga associations related to the MISA Yoga School can be added to the already extended series of abusive actions against yoga practitioners. According to information provided by a secret service employee, even since 2010, one was already creating these actions against Yoga schools abroad that are related to MISA. This is a revolting witch hunt with authentic spirituality as the target. Italian authorities were also involved in other abusive and illegal actions such as the armed assault against the yoga school Ananda Asissi, which took place in January 2004. Due to this, we have serious reasons to doubt the accuracy of investigations that will take place in this case.
- (Past events)
The last day of the Congress included, in addition to conferences, seminars, films, the long awaited contest of Promoting the Yoga values and the second part of the conference Consciousness and Its Enigmas, prepared by the mentor of the host school (Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute), yoga teacher, Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru. As a result of many persistent requests to hear this lecture, you will find it posted here.
Among the most attracting activities in the Obor Halls
Johannes Dragonoff (Natha Yoga Center, Finland) had a presentation about the Concept of infinity in mathematics, physics and metaphysics – psychological and spiritual implications. Thus we learned that while general physics seeks to eliminate as much as possible the infinite from its theories, mathematicians deal with the same concept as an extremely useful tool for analysis, recognizing even an infinite series of numbers as trans-infinite, each of them “more infinite “than the other, tending towards that what Georg Cantor called Absolute Infinity (or simply the Absolute). On the other hand, Rene Guénon stated that the only truly infinite is the Metaphysical Infinite, an object situated beyond the concept of number and any possible limitation, and that object subsequently was assimilated to God. Johannes’s merit is to use the creative yogic meditation focused on these ideas, in order to become aware of the infinite. The practical ways offered in order to have a direct experience beyond words and concepts of the infinite astonishment the audience who was very willing to experiment this.
Lucian Milea (MISA, Romania) has lectured about the Manifestations of the mysterious energy of the ether in the inner universe of the human being and within the “Free Energy” technical devices. Such an important topic of the modern world, the energy problem and the possibility to obtain it freely, together with its expression in our inner world, has gathered a large audience in the Obor Halls. Mr. Milea has mentioned that, according to yogic spiritual tradition and certain advanced scientific approaches, the ubiquitous energy of the ether (the void, zero point energy) occurs both in the human being and in certain generators of such useful energy. An intriguing example that supports his statements is the phenomenon Inedia (medically proven, with no possible error), that involves a total renunciation to food and feeding with the subtle energies of ether only. Many Christian saints and yogis, such as Therese Neumann and Giri Bala proved this phenomenon to be true.
On the other hand, the achievements of certain scientific geniuses such as Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger, have also proven that the energy of the ether can be converted technologically and beneficially used in man’s life. Thus, Mr. Milea’s presentation has dealt with esoteric and scientific aspects of the ether, and the correlations he made with various principles and practical devices for using this power, demonstrating that both in the case of the Inedia phenomena and for the “Free Energy” devices there are involved the same type of energy and universal principles.
Hakim Kuusela and Cristian Hallivuori (Natha Yoga Center, Finland) have prepared a presentation about certain aspects referring to the tantric universal principles and how they are applied in the daily life. This can lead to profound transformations (including curing of certain diseases, or general personal development). In the end of the Obor’s program there were presented several case studies that were performed by well experienced physicians of alternative therapies and Ayurveda: Dr. Cristina Câmpean (MISA, Romania): The Ayurvedic approach of the treatment in the case of erysipelas, Dr. Monica Maria Pascalau (MISA, Romania): An Ayurvedic perspective on heart diseases’ treatment by natural means and Dr. Anca Cioltan (MISA, Romania): An Ayurvedic perspective on amenorrhea’s treatment by natural means.
Emil Noll (Natha Yogacenter, Denmark) had a presentation on Mindfulness (Beneficial mental intervention) combined with meditation and other yogic methods in order to improve and even cure some of the widespread diseases of modern man: depression, stress and anxiety. From England, Maria Stine Porsfelt (Tara Yoga Centre) held a very well appreciated interactive seminar with the public, experiencing certain Tantric procedures developed in the special study groups that she coordinates. Thus, the participants have experienced transformative experiences where they were able to easily perceive the game of the fundamental Yin-Yang polarities.
Then, there followed two films in premiere – “The Portal” (about the discovery of an area of access and communication with a beneficent extraterrestrial civilization) and “The ultimate ancient secret of a real sexual revolution, giving loving couples endless happiness: sexual continence.” By the courtesy of the organizers and of MISATV, the documentary movie, The Portal, can be watched online here.
The activities in Pipera 2 have ended with Advaitananda’s (Natha Yogacenter, Denmark) lecture. The representative of the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation, Atman, presented an Amazing and wise answer offered by the traditional Tantric science to the challenges the world is facing today. He spoke about the fact that the current pace of humanity’s development seems to have long far surpassed people’s ability to follow it or even to understand it. Thus, being “left behind” by the very progress desired, humanity is facing an impressive amount of problems and challenges on all levels, which are becoming more and more complex and larger day by day. By trying to solve one problem, people find out that, due to ignorance and superficiality, other two ones become worse… Therefore, we can even say that, rather than the current energy, financial or even moral crisis, humanity is facing a major crisis of solutions in all domains. But these solutions actually already exist. They are rooted in a spiritual past that now unites within the supreme consciousness and the future, and they are applicable in the eternal present moment.
The tantric wisdom has revealed these global settling directions (on different branches and levels of vibration), thousands of years ago. But their validity is always kept alive because these wise solutions are based on universal laws and principles. In this conference there were presented some of these millennial solutions, perfectly adapted to modern times, that give us some of the much needed answers.
The Competition for Promoting Yoga Values
Pipera Hall 1 – the glorious crowning of the Congress
Unique in the world of the yogic millenary tradition because of the requirement of the competition itself and the large number of participants, the competition has brought us this year a few major surprises. The 62 yoga practitioners from England, Ireland, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Romania have successfully passed through the four stages, amounting to a total of about 8 hours of competition! The contest started with the correct execution of yoga positions – both men and women have practiced three yoga techniques demonstrating mastery in their execution.
There was a test for men only: achieving yoga positions for a long time period. And here we had the first extraordinary surprise - setting a world record in the practice of the posture. Mr. Adrian Cotora, (Bucharest, Romania), practicing yoga in the MISA school had a record time of 11 minutes and 39 seconds! The best timing for the Mayurasana posture was recorded by Mr. Perozzi Matthias (Italy) with 3 min 56 sec.
The complementary test designed for women only has especially pointed the elasticity in 2 yoga postures (Chakrasana, Prasarita Padatansana). Both the best executions were won by Carmen Stoian, Bucharest, Romania MISA yoga school.
Another exceptional performance was achieved in the subtle perception test. 8 out of the 62 participants were able to perceive telepathically one precise state of the 49 possible! Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru chose and emitted a certain state for 10 minutes (a total of 5 states) and the participants, connected telepathically with the subtle field emitted by him, had to perceive it accurately. The envelope with the states to be chosen was sent by Mr. Grieg and was brought in the room from the beginning of the test and the correctness of this part of the competition was flawless. Amazing is also the fact that 3 of the online audience of MISATV television station that broadcasted live throughout the contest, have also correctly perceived the state – 2 people from Bucharest and one in Geneva (Switzerland).
Then there was the intelligence test – 12 questions that were also sent by the mentor of the host MISA school, Mr. Bivolaru and then a test of esoteric yogic knowledge.
Once the contest ended, meaning after about 8 hours, there followed an extraordinary live concert of the Danish band ISIS who released on this occasion their latest album dedicated to the Great Cosmic Power of Divine Compassion – Tara.
The Pipera 1 Hall proved once again to be too small for the more than 700 participants who were present to listen the exceptional conference that the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru has sent: Consciousness and Its Enigmas (the last part). You can listen to it here, by the courtesy of the MISATV.
The evening ended with well-deserved applause and awards. The yoga winners’ awarding brought us another wonderful surprise: this time it was won by a yogi woman, Ms. Carmen Stoian (MISA, Romania). The best congress conference was awarded to Dr. Doru Benjamin Bode (Germany): Space, Time and beyond through Yoga.
Thus, after such a spiritual feast which involved many touching and uplifting moments, where we listened to very interesting conferences and attended various seminars, we enjoyed great music, theater and initiatic film, we vibrated in unison with the participants in the yoga contest and long applauded the well-deserved awarded people, we ended this International Congress with a deep sense of fulfillment.
It was truly a celebration of Millennial yogic values. See you at the next edition in 2014!