- (Spiritual path)
by Mihai Stoian
The New Age Movement Attracts More And More Followers
More and more people today become, without realizing, the adepts of a new religion, concealed behind the generic name of “New Age”.
We can easily see an upward orientation of aspiration of humankind towards higher and higher perspectives on life, towards much broader horizons, way beyond the ‘’walls’’ that used to give us the illusion of a safe shelter for our soul during the times of old religious paradigms. This new era, or this New Age, appears in the world more and more visibly nowadays, and its dynamic energies are more and more present in the consciousness of the planet. More and more people today speak about a real elevation of the level of planetary consciousness, and this generates an aspiration in people that otherwise would not have even bothered to read a book or do some morning exercises. Still, there are occult circles that have stubbornly made efforts to take over this free flow of human aspiration toward the heights of the spirit which has appeared in the masses. The purpose of these groups was and still is, to divert this search toward something for which they have already been preparing, namely, the confinement of the human spirit inside a new prison, built on the remains of the old walls – the old religious dogmas.
A Prison Called “New Ageism”
This prison has already been given the name “New Age”. This new label was specifically chosen to suggest something new, and to ensure that the spiritual search which was awakening the interest of the masses for evolution will end in a predictable and perfectly controlled way, precisely within the structure already prepared by these elite groups. In this way, regardless of the intensity of their aspiration, the masses of people, thirsty for authentic spiritual knowledge but blinded by their own ignorance, will end up being content within a paradigm which does not endanger the power of the elitist groups, and will find themselves in a spiritual dead end that has the hypocritical and pompous name of ‘’New Age’’. In the same way, power has been cultivated for thousands of years, through the imposing of an order which places those who have made the plan at the top of the hierarchy. Therefore those who want to keep their power and position aim to define very clearly the direction for the masses to follow, in moments of crisis and inner search. Through this, the elite groups position themselves in the direction in which the masses are moving, thus being able to defend their position of power and leadership, which is their only existential motivation and their supreme aphrodisiac.
But why have we not seen this gross manipulation? The idea of ruling over the mutinous masses, in such historical moments, through directly opposing them with a wall of resistance has long since been abandoned. History has proven that the force of the unleashed masses cannot be stopped through direct confrontation, just as the force of a torrent cannot be held back by a dam. If, instead, a force is applied to the side of the movement of the flow, it will create a new river bed for the whirling waters and thus it will redirect the streams, eventually bringing them to a turbine which can produce electricity by using this blind force of nature. In the same way, the ruling power does not need to do anything other than build up a new river-bed… and this new spiritual river-bed is the New Age movement that is re directing the search of the masses while making use of their force, in order to accomplish its own goals.
False Gurus Competing to Gain Their Position in the ‘Display Cabinet’
As it is certain that the masses move, and that the present religious paradigm will be washed away by the powerful flood of people in their spiritual search, those who were previously using religion in order to dominate the masses, have been preparing by building a new paradigm that is meant to capture these masses, which are already moving on a “spiritual search”. We are now dealing with a true rush for the spiritual lands of the new age, new false gurus competing to gain a position in the display cabinet of future saints.
In this rush, stalkers await, carefully removing from the rushing streams anything that could hinder their plans. Any authentic spiritual movement is carefully isolated and eliminated as discreetly as possible, so that it does not change the direction of the masses towards the trap that has been set for them with such agility! The biggest scandals that have appeared around authentic Spiritual Masters, especially in the last 100 years, were generated by the purging tendency of the New Age movement, in order to make sure that the ferment of authentic transformation did not impress upon the naive and inquisitive masses. Directing pseudo-spiritual currents is easily done by financially stimulating that which has no value, by promoting in the media all that does not have transformation efficiency, being simply a convincing show of spiritual illusionism.
I have had several direct experiences of this “deviant” mechanism, when it was suggested (by some benevolent people from the new age environment) that I make some ‘’small’’ compromises in order to be immediately promoted as one of the most successful teachers. Moreover, at one point, I was told that ‘’As long as you are with M.I.S.A., with Gregorian Bivolaru (Grieg) and you continue to teach ‘that yoga’, you will not be able to reach anywhere’’.
If I would have stopped presenting the complete system, which I have learned from Gregorian Bivolaru (Grieg) and which has proved to be of exceptional spiritual efficiency, and if I had made a few adjustments in order to make it more “interesting’’, I would have immediately begun to promote myself within “spirituality’s” elite (see about the elites, free masons initiated ones). Of course the very same forces that were directly behind this mechanism were the same forces that later on, have pushed the campaign against our school in Denmark, when I have refused to make any compromises from the authentic spiritual line of the school.
The Masses are Directed by Exploiting Their Weaknesses
The Messiah’s chair is not yet taken, but I don’t think that we will have to wait too long until the elite come with this, and they will present it the masses, who will then be faced with the fear that ‘The One’ will come”, and catch them unprepared.
We should not be surprised if we will be faced also with a ‘’second coming of Jesus’’, as it was shown in the disclosures of the “Blue Ray” project. In this way, everything is kept under control, all these perennial energies are fully exploited, without allowing for the possibility that a new genuine power and a new order to spontaneously arise, a power that would then threaten the actual power and its process of transition.
It is of no coincidence that in this New Age movement we meet so many representatives of the Israeli community. Perhaps because they are more aware of the social values and possibilities of using religion as a factor of mass manipulation, the Israelis (or rather, their leaders) have perceived from the very beginning the fact that the world is undergoing a quick transformation, and that the old paradigms will very soon no longer be available. A part of this process has been speeded up by the trouble introduced in the world through certain occult circles, such as the world-wide freemasons. The ideas promoted by these occult circles have became a social way of transformation, and have led to the appearance and development of a dynamism in the search of the masses… but the victims have failed irredeemably, together with their initial religion.
Thus, this feverish seeking for a new spiritual paradigm appeared. The set up has been already prepared, so that the masses (in increasing numbers), after wandering through the desert for 40 years (symbolically speaking) enter the establishment that has already prepared for the people thirsty for spiritual knowledge. To make sure they have an advantage over others, they even encouraged their young members (of the elite) to go in this feverish search, being between the best in structuring the New Age trap – the “new religion” of the future.
The New Age Movement… Power Games Smelling of Incense Sticks
We can compare this pseudo-spiritual existence of the “New Age” movement with traps set up by cowboys, in which animals are herded into a field with a fence that transforms into a funnel, that narrows until the hunted animals end up enclosed in a pen. In this analogy, the trap is the New Age movement itself, and the hunters are those few that direct this movement from the shadows, using the power of money and the press to control and to ensure that the herds of seekers are heading straight into the enclosed pen! With this simple and efficient analogy, we can understand how it is possible that just a few people are able to guide such a large number of spiritual seekers.
Obviously, people that are awakened and can therefore perceive this situation, are kept as far away from the ‘’herd’’ as possible, so that they don’t attract people’s attention to the trap that is being prepared and towards which they are inevitably heading.
This is why the hunters are so attentive of those that have discovered their purpose, and make every effort to eliminate these people at all costs. Here one can easily understand the reasons behind the (sometimes) fierce campaign against some of MISA yoga schools world wide.
The New Age movement does not need spirituality, except for the minimal amount necessary to stimulate the crowds who are thirsty for truth. In other words, the New Age movement is just a game of power that smells like incense sticks or perfume. All that is authentic and profound, all that an authentic path of individual freedom is offering, is carefully kept away or reduced to a harmless inefficient quantity. Therefore, we will see in the flocks grazing slowly towards the pen called “New Age”, the few elevated beings that can see a little further, but cannot awaken in those around them more than an aspiration to go further. They are unable to define it in any terms other than those which the shepherds and hunters allow, who know very well where they are heading. By this semi-spirituality these leaders of the trapped crowd are only serving the hunters and therefore they are promoted and used.
The New Age movement can therefore be labeled as extremist. But there can be people who decide to follow a spiritual path, free from compromise (this is one of the most efficient methods to attain spiritual results), or people who speak about God in terms of experience and not as a philosophy.
All these clearly show how (un)spiritual this New Age movement is, and what its true purposes are. As the scale of values is upside-down today, they do not even need to stop people from climbing (in order to make sure that they remain in the ‘’highest’’ position). With a reversed scale of spiritual values, all that remains to be done is to push others with conviction to get on this scale so that they, in reality, go down, while others always have to ensure a ‘’higher’’ position for themselves.
Looking beyond the surface aspects of the New Age movement, one can clearly see this upside-down scale of spiritual values as an instrument for the new orientation, so that people that are kept in ignorance will not have the power to see the reverse and will quickly move up on the promising scale.
Take as an example the movie The Secret, which is nothing else than a model of upside-down spiritual values through which the elite, that decided overnight to become spiritual, puts their propaganda in place. In reality, nothing of any value, spiritually speaking, is offered in this movie, but between the lines they offer an upside-down model of values, that will later serve as directing the masses towards the New Age. The fact that this production received vast funds and rejoiced at unprecedented advertising is significant, while the “Law of Occult Resonance’’ that Gregorian Bivolaru proposed many years ago has been completely ignored by mass-media despite the fact that has been vastly appreciated by all those who came into contact with it.
Another example of the propaganda of upside-down spiritual values (that is worth a whole debate in itself) is the recent movie The Moses Code. Here, the speakers and the directors (mostly Israelis) expose their ideas that are perfectly aligned with the New Age blind lane, and for this they benefited from support and remarkable funds. Therefore, the new era of humanity that comes to life now – not yet defining naturally its directions and limits – is already captured by a surrogate of a spiritual movement, sterile from the point of view of transformative efficiency, that calls itself “New Age”, in order to hide in the middle of a mass of spiritual seekers.
I invite you as much as possible, to unmask this ‘’spiritual’’ farce, together with the agents of the New Age movement. This is the only way in which we can block their actions. By doing so, and in parallel, by practicing an authentic spirituality that leads to clear results, we will be able to remain on the genuine spiritual path and not to reach the dead end of the new religion (from the near future), formed out of the New Age movement.
For more articles by Mihai Stoian, please visit www.mihaistoian.net
by Dinu Roman
The following is a synthesis of the traditional teachings about meditation. This is not a meditation technique but general rules to be followed for entering the meditation state.
Most people can successfully practice aerobics or body building, for instance, without knowing human anatomy or without understanding at all what they are doing or why. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), this is not so with yoga and meditation. Without knowing exactly the nature of this process it is impossible to correctly realize it and therefore there can be no true meditation.
Meditation is the highest yoga practice (this does not mean it is difficult!). In fact, very few people can really meditate, and this for two main reasons:
Very few know exactly what meditation is
Even fewer are willing to comply with it (lack of motivation).
Not everybody that stays motionless with the eyes closed is meditating. Meditation is an accurate science, therefore it cannot be practiced in total ignorance. Only those who study it with a serious inner motivation can successfully practice it.
Keep in mind that meditation, especially in the first stages, must have an object. Without object to meditate upon, there is no meditation. The simplest object of meditation is a physical object (a pot, a drawing, a ball, etc.). In more advanced stages, the objects of meditation become ever more subtle:
mental images created at will, a piece of information, a problem that needs a solution, a feeling, a thought, an idea, a subtle energy, a state of consciousness, etc. In this material the word "object" will refer to any of these.
An important point here is that the object of meditation has to be very well perceived by the subject. In other words, the object must have a clear objective or subjective reality. A very vaguely defined idea cannot function as an object of meditation. The subject (the practitioner of meditation) must be able to "take hold" of at least one of the major characteristics of the object, if not of all of them.
The steps of meditation
The ageless tradition of wisdom teaches that in order to enter the state of meditation, certain definite steps are to be followed. Nobody can enter meditation without passing through these steps. The steps are:
Dharana - mental concentration
Dhyana - meditation
Samadhi – blissful identification
In the Western Tradition, these three stages are called ‘consideratio’ ("considering"), ‘contemplatio’ ("contemplation") and ‘raptus’ ("rapture").
Each step, when mastered, naturally leads to the following step.
Dharana - mental concentration
The mind can choose
The human mind continuously receives information about the outer world through the five "gates" of the senses: smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing. Among the data received through a certain sense, the mind can select only those that are of interest at a given time. This selection is realized through focusing the attention upon that particular data and ignoring the other unimportant data.
The more the attention is focused upon a certain sense, the more the amount of information received through that sense increases and the information coming from other senses becomes ‘less important’ and can even be completely ignored by the mind.
A special characteristic of the human mind is the capacity of focusing the attention toward the inner world of feelings, thoughts and ideas. More than that, the human mind can be focused even upon itself -- this fact is of paramount importance, because it creates the possibility of controlling the mind.
This faculty of the human mind to modify at will the orientation of the conscious attention is the basic mechanism of mental concentration (dharana).
Defining the concept
"To concentrate" means to reunite into a center, to gather, to focus. Mental concentration (dharana) means to focus the mind upon a unique object without allowing it (the mind) to jump to another object for a determined period of time. The opposite of concentration is dispersion, scattering. In this case, the mind jumps uncontrolled from one object to another fixing itself to nothing. Unfortunately, this is the mental condition of most people nowadays.
The yoga theory of perception
When an outer object (artha) is perceived, the mind ‘takes the shape’ of that object. This is called a vritti.
The mind as vritti is thus an inner representation of the outer object. The initial object is called the ‘gross object’ and the mental impression is the ‘subtle object’. But besides the object, there is an aspect of the mind which perceives.
It follows that the mind has two aspects: vritti (the cognized) and the perceiver (the cognizer).
Because the mind is thus ‘transformed’ into the shape of the object perceived, the mind which meditates on a Deity, for example, is, at length, through continued concentration, transformed into the likeness of that Deity, becomes as pure and powerful as the Deity. This is a fundamental principle of worship.
Mind is movement
"Dharana" means "holding the mind." The Ageless Wisdom considers that "the mind", as we know it, is just a perpetual flow, according to definite laws, of psychic patterns (vritti-s). The train of psychic patterns has an undercurrent of emotions, doubled by a consequent physiological responses.
Actually, the mind is movement. Mind is like the wind: the wind is air movement; when this movement stops, the air is still there, but the wind disappeared. The mental-stuff that remains after the psychic patterns (vritti-s) have been stopped is called citta. When the mental patterns (vritti-s) are stopped, the mind disappears: we enter the no-mind state. No-Mind (which actually means ‘beyond the mind’) is the state of the highest creativity and spiritual intuition.
Patanjali defined yoga as follows: yoga [is] citta vritti nirodha.
Yoga Sutra, I, 1
That is, yoga is the gradual stoppage (nirodha) of the vritti-s (mental patterns) of citta.
This sutra contains the essence of the whole yoga Science and the secret of mental concentration.
Maybe ignorance and prejudices make you believe that you cannot concentrate your mind. This is not true! Everybody can concentrate, even deeply, upon an object that is highly interesting for that person.
The question is: is this type of concentration the yoga concentration? Even though it can give you helpful hints about the real state of dharana (mental concentration), this is not what yoga understands by concentration.
Dharana means to be able to focus at will the mind and to maintain it focused for long periods of time upon any object, even if this object does not spontaneously catch our curiosity.
Do not force it!
For training yourself in dharana, the most important rule is: do not force the mind to stay focused. The mind is like a crazy monkey: the more you try to calm it by force and to make it stay on a definite place, the more it will refuse to do that, doing exactly the opposite: jumping even more crazily form one place to another. Therefore start focusing the mind very softly upon the chosen object and when it jumps to another object just bring it back calmly and patiently, with humor and compassion at your lack of discipline. If you get angry about this continuous mental jumping, this will only increase the mind's tendency to disperse.
The ideal state
Perfect mental concentration implies to focus completely the whole potential of attention -- without using any force or mental/nervous tension -- upon the chosen object for a definite period of time, allowing no dispersion at all. This state is analogous to the phenomenon of focusing sunlight through a lens: the light rays are gathered in a small point, thus enormously increasing their power. Here, the time element is very important: if the light is perfectly concentrated but this state lasts a very short time, nothing can happen. The point of focused light must be maintained continuously a certain time - only after that the effects can appear (for instance, the lighting of a piece of wood). In a similar way, dharana must be maintained a certain period of time: only after that concentration starts the process of resonance with the corresponding cosmic energy and the consequent transfer of that energy into your being. The energy carries feelings and information related to the object of concentration.
How to start
Sit in a comfortable posture with the spine and neck kept straight and vertical. Close your eyes and pass through the following steps:
1. Relax quickly and deeply from bottom to top. Let your attention swiftly scan
your body and release all tensions.
2. Let your breathing become calm and peaceful.
3. Turn the attention inward (introversive gaze) and disconnect yourself from the
outer disturbing factors (noises, etc.);begin to withdraw the mind from any
thoughts that arise (as a result of the activity of the senses) by making a brief but
detetrmined effort to stop the discursive thinking;
4. Concentrate the mind (dharana) upon the object of your choice.
Let's examine in greater detail dharana. Empty your mind of all thoughts. Then bring the chosen object before your inner mind's eye. Don't allow the mind to jump to another object or thought. If this happens, calmly and patiently bring your mind back to your object. This is the only thing you are supposed to do during dharana: to keep the mind focused upon the object. Beware of force or tension! Be calm, open and favorably inclined to concentrate.
Mental concentration is a static process: during concentration the mind is ‘frozen’, the thinking is stopped, the mental activity is suspended. The only mental movement should be to bring gently the mind back to the chosen object when it jumps away. Mental concentration can be described as "doing nothing". You understand now that it is not laziness, but "just sitting" with a purpose. During dharana, the mind is like a mirror: the only activity is to reflect the object.
"During Concentration (dharana), the mind is like a pure crystal that takes the color of the object upon which it is placed."
Learn to perceive
Consider carefully the object of concentration: approach it with astonishment and childlike curiosity as if you don't know anything about it (do we really know something important about the objects of the outer world?). Do NOT approach the object rationally and/or intellectually, but grasp its essence with your feelings alone or even solely by instinct. Explore the object non-verbally, in a state of alert passivity, purposeless and unconcerned waiting, child-like curiosity and sheer astonishment. There is only you and the object: nothing is expected from you, everything is expected from the object.
Therefore sit in a state of continuously euphoric expectation, in the highest state of readiness. This is very important. Let yourself be absorbed into, and by, the object. Do not try to define, to judge or to understand, just consider the object with curiosity as if you see it for the very first time. The very fact that you cannot define exactly the object and do not understand it rationally, opens you toward the object and creates the state of mental receptivity in which intuition ("no-mind" or "superconsciousness", as it is also called) can start to function. By doing so, you will soon discover that the objects of the surrounding world have thousand meanings (that come in flashes). We normally overlook these meanings. Every thing is thus full of a sheer wonder and fascinating mystery that you will start to grasp gradually, everything is sustained by an invisible energy that you will start to feel and effortlessly control.
Mental concentration (dharana) is a modality of starting a process of resonance and attuning with the subtle cosmic energies of which the object of concentration is just a visible manifestation. Do not try to speed up this process: let it start by itself when the time comes.
In this approach, knowledge comes from the object, NOT from the subject (the practitioner). Concentration is lying in wait, watching hyperattentively, like a cat that waits for the mouse to get out from its hiding place: the unforeseen can happen any split second.
Every beginning is difficult
At the beginning, you probably will discover that this exercise fails lamentably. Accept this fact as being perfectly normal. Keep in mind that in yoga there is no lost effort, in other words every effort will bring a result eventually. None of your failed efforts is wasted work. As the wise saying goes: "The mud is as valuable as the lotus flower that it nourishes."
Every failed try is in fact a step toward success because mental concentration, the same as meditation, has a cumulative effect that comes not only from doing it "well", but also from working consistently on it.
Taming the mind
At the beginning, the mind has very little stability; you find the object and then very swiftly you lose it. The mind wanders elsewhere. After a certain period of practice, sufficient stability arise in mind so that the attention will remain uninterruptedly focused on the object for short periods of time (ten-fifteen seconds, maybe more). Further on, the degree of mental stability becomes even greater than before; the mind can stay constantly focused upon the object with a reasonably good degree of stability and yet, occasionally, it will wander off. Then it will come a stage in which the mind no longer loses the object, because the power of concentration has come to completion. Now, a sustained effort to increase the clarity of mind has to be done. After this, the mind will have a tremendous power. With just the slightest bit of effort, it becomes focused upon the object and continues to abide effortlessly in it for as long as you want. Once you have attained this state, the mind has become an extremely fine instrument for any type of meditation you want to engage in.
It is like you want to ride a wild horse. The first attempts will certainly throw you down. If you persevere enough, you will succeed eventually, and after some time the horse will became a close friend and will obey even your unspoken orders. In this analogy, the wild horse is your mind and concentration is like taming and training the horse. In this respect, continuity is important.
Dhyana - the state of meditation
"Dhyana (meditation per se) is the continuous flow of the mental processes toward the object (of meditation)."
" Dhyana is the continuous flow of reflection [i.e., ‘mirroring’] with respect to the essential reality of the object (of meditation)."
Ratnatika, (a tantric text)
The mental laser
Dhyana is an effortless flow of the mind spontaneously directed toward the object. Dhyana (meditation) is a dynamic process: during it, the mental processes (thoughts, ideas, etc.) are turning around the object of meditation, making free associations (for example) related to that particular object only. During meditation, the activity of the mind reaches a tremendously dynamic intensity and eventually becomes a laser-beam-like stream of concentrated thinking.
"An unflinching intellect, an impassive mind which cannot be dispersed by anything and which is free of any discursive thinking -- this is the state of dhyana. This adoration is identical with the absorption (in Shiva) born out of mystic ardor."
A tantric text
Dhyana (meditation) is superimposed upon dharana (mental concentration). In other words, mental concentration lasts permanently during the whole period of meditation. The purpose of mental concentration is to ‘keep the object before the mind's eye’ so to speak, and it is a static process. Meditation takes place at a higher level of mind and implies mental dynamics.
The basic principle
There is a law of mind that says that if a thought/idea prevails in mind, all the other thoughts/ideas gradually have the tendency to submit to the prevailing thought/idea. This is the basic principle of meditation. The prevailing thought is created by concentration and the movement of the mind around that particular thought is meditation.
One leads to another
Concentration and meditation, even if they seem very close, are nevertheless distinct phenomena. If you realize a good concentration, this will lead automatically to meditation, because in yoga every step, when perfectly realized, gives the key to the next step. Do not force or do not try to accelerate the process of passing from concentration to meditation. Let it come naturally: this will certainly happen after a certain period of practice. Remember: genius is an infinite patience. Be therefore patient and you will become a genius through the practice of meditation.
Analogically speaking, the mind is like a man in deep sleep. Concentration is starting to awake him, and meditation is to awake him fully and to put him to work.
How to start
1. The first step in dhyana (meditation) is dharana (mental concentration).
For some time, this might be the only step you will be able to make for meditation. Through patience and tireless practice, you will gradually discover through personal experience how to start/release the next step. Keep this in mind: at a deep level, nobody can really teach you to meditate, except yourself, applying the traditional information exposed in this material.
2. The next step is this: while keeping the dharana (concentration) state of mind, let go of it, allow your thoughts to move freely, to make connections, associations. Don't you think that you have to do something for this: just be mentally alert and realize the spontaneous and effortless transition from the motionless reflection (dharana) to the dynamic thinking (dhyana).
You will discover that now your mind will not jump any more at random but, on a lower level, dharana (concentration) will be sustained almost effortlessly and, on a higher level, the thoughts will start to move, to revolve around the object only. This is dhyana (meditation).
At the beginning, the movement of your mind around the object will probably not last long. The thoughts will start to revolve around the object in flashes, then will stop, leaving you with concentration only. After a while, other flashes of thought movement occur, then stop, and so on. This is normal at the beginning. This means your sleeping mind starts to awake and then falls asleep again. After some time of practice, the periods of thought movement will become longer and longer, ending eventually in a continuous thought movement. Then you reach the true state of meditation (dhyana).
It is necessary here to realize that "movement", in this context, has a rather special connotation. Generally speaking, when we think about something that moves, we picture this movement as taking place in time. This is not true in the case of meditative thought movement: what really occurs is a flash of awareness which does not take place in time, because it is a manifestation of the timelessness simultaneity of consciousness.
Meditation is the living of HERE and NOW; it is a tremendous experience with limitless power, which can change your life completely and can give a new course to your destiny. Meditation is a superior state of consciousness and therefore cannot be fully understood unless experienced.
The real purpose
Keep in mind this important thing: meditation is not meant to relax the body, to cure illnesses or to get rid of fatigue and stress, as some "meditators" believe. It is perfectly true that meditation can do these things and even much more, beyond the wildest imagination, but as a secondary effect only. The authentic purpose of meditation is to attain knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The genuine goal is gnosis (in Greek, ‘knowledge’), which is not merely a knowledge of things but mainly a spiritual insight into their essential nature.
Samadhi - blissful identification
We saw that dhyana (meditation) is the continuous flow of mental processes toward the object of meditation. This process leads gradually to a blissful identification (co-penetration of the object of meditation with the practitioner's own being). This is the highest state, called samadhi. In samadhi the mind, continuously and to the exclusion of all other objects, assumes the nature and becomes one with the object.
In samadhi, only the object awareness remains, as if the consciousness of individuality disappears. Actually, the individuality of the practitioner does not disappear (it would be impossible!), but the practitioner's consciousness blissfully identifies with the object of meditation. In samadhi, the mind and consciousness of the yogin become one with the object.
There is no more awareness of mental functioning (the mind apparently enters into a state of void, emptiness). There is no more awareness of personal individuality as being separate form the object. Now, the practitioner feels that there is no more difference between "object" and "me." This dichotomy is now impossible.
"As salt being dissolved in water becomes one with it, so when atma (the Supreme Self) and Mind become one, it is called samadhi."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, IV, 5
"The equality and oneness of the Essential Self (atma) and the Cosmic Self (param atma) is called samadhi, to describe which is beyond the power of speech, being known by self-experience alone."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, IV, 7, 32
"[Samadhi is] that form of dhyana in which it is neither 'here' nor 'not here', in which there is illumination and stillness as of some great ocean, and which is the Great Void (shunya) Itself."
Kularnava Tantra, IX, 9
The triangle of meditation
During dhyana (meditation), there is awareness about the knower (the practitioner of meditation), the known (the object of meditation) and the knowledge that arises in mind about the object of meditation. These three are distinct.
The triangle absorbed in a point
In samadhi, knower, known and knowledge fuse, merge one into another, become one.
Samadhi is an intuitive cognition referring to what is directly present, it is he immediacy of the replicative experience, the non-intermediateness of perception. This means that here perception is realized somehow without using any of the intermediary channels (like, for example, the senses, the mind, the intellect, etc.), and this is why this experience is perceived as identity.
Samadhi is a state of undifferentiated identity with the object to be known, a self-detaching immersion into its meaning. In this state, the yogin experiences that state of consciousness in which he perceives the undifferentiatedly unique substratum of all things, creatures and worlds. The part is discovered to be the whole, every unit is present in any other units, everything is a part of the fullness of which the experiencer represents an epitome. The yogin who has brought this process to its completion is able to recognize the underlying and essentially unconcealed reality of the Cosmic Consciousness that composes the most intimate status of every apparently finite objects. Here the triad of knower, known and the process of knowing has been transcended. The knower (the yogin in samadhi) turns away from the object and doubles back on himself. In so doing, he creates a situation in which the object of knowing is the knower himself, and the process of knowing is also simply the knower himself. This state is sometimes described as "void" or "emptiness" (shunya) because of the contrast with the apparent fullness of objectivity (represented by the duality object-subject) that precedes it.
It is a process of progressively stripping away the outer attributes and characteristics of the object of meditation until the yogin is simply left with the sheer existential essence of that object.
This process of rediscovery of the undifferentiated unique substratum of everything that exists is a major feature of the attainment of liberation and spiritual enlightenment. No longer do finite objects appear as separate and limited structures; rather, the Consciousness out of which all things are composed surfaces and becomes visible as the true Reality of perceived objects.
"He, who has this understanding (viz., that the Universe is identical with the Self), regards the whole world as a play (of the Divine), and thus being ever united (with the Universal Consciousness) is, without doubt, liberated when alive (jivanmukta)."
Spanda Karika II, 5
A radical transformation of the perception of the external world follows. The content of the conscious entrance into samadhi is ananda -- unspeakable bliss. The practitioner comes into identity with the most interiorized consciousness of the Supreme. The reality of samadhi must be personally experienced. It is not enough to be told about it or to attempt to imagine it (it would be impossible, anyway!). The truth of this statement without the direct experimentation of it is only a quarter of truth.
Samyama - the absorptive meditation
Samyama means to simultaneously perform dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (identification).
"By mastering samyama, the light of superconsciousness rises."
Dharana is the stationing of the mind at one spot. Dhyana is the continuously gradual absorption of the mind into the object.
Samadhi is the complete immersion of the mind into that object. The three are inseparably linked: from dharana to samadhi there is a continuous process, whose purpose is the assimilation of the object, just as one assimilates the food one eats. In samyama, one enters the object and becomes aware of its essence in a knowledge by identity (prajna).
An effortless expansion of consciousness takes place in samyama. In this state we learn to spread ourselves out into a sky-like expanse of peace and tranquillity, and then, on the background of that expanse, to allow the knowledge of our object of concentration to rise up by itself, as if we would be that object.
Watch the movieTo understand samyama easier, let's make an analogy with a motion-picture film.
Let's suppose you can stop the film on a certain frame (a single exposure) that shows the main protagonist. Thus you can study as long as you want the motionless frame. This stage corresponds to dharana (concentration).
Then you let the movement of the movie start again. You are able now to follow the image you have studied during the stopping of the film, to see the links of that image with the action of the movie, to integrate that image into a continuous flow of action. This stage corresponds to dhyana (meditation).
Following the action of the movie, you participate emotionally, you identify yourself with what happens (you feel sad if it is a tragedy, you laugh if it is a comedy, etc.). This identification corresponds to the beginning of samadhi.
A new way of knowing
In samyama, the practitioner discovers that the stream of his thoughts is charged with a harmonious and beatific emotion. The yogin not only "sees" the object of his samyama, but also "feels" it with a strange intensity, as if he absorbed now that object and the object absorbed him. The yogin merges, at a subtle level, into the reality of that object, as if the object’s identity has blended with his own. This is samyama, which is the most complete method of intuitive knowledge ("intuitive" means "to enter, to place oneself inside").
Here are a few hints about the state of samyama:
Naivety - leading to selfless identification with the object, through absorption.
Aspiration to reach the Reality that is beyond the limitations of personal ego; you become the channel of manifestation of that Reality. Allow it to speak for itself, without interrupting. Become "transparent" to it.
Samyama is leading to understanding by becoming, not by thinking. Dwelling upon only one topic or idea at a time (so, it is the very opposite of "thinking about") and the absorption of the practitioner into the idea upon which he dwells.
The process of knowledge is released by the object, not by the subject. This is non-verbal, non-conceptual knowledge.
In samyama the mind is like a mirror: it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing, it receives but does not keep, it adds nothing.
Do not "translate" into spoken language what you experience during samyama; this is a new kind of experience, gained outside the usual ways.
Samyama is a new way of being into the world, a new way of perceiving and relating to the Reality through shifting to a higher state of consciousness. It is seeing the Reality the way it is, finding it in a thoughtless state of mind rather than inventing or imagining it with the aid of discursive thinking.
Find your pleasure in doing samyama every day, and forget about the results: think that there is no real purpose in meditation; this attitude will greatly accelerate your success.
Meditation in Relationship to everday Life
Sitting with the eyes closed is the most convenient way for beginners to control their wandering minds. However, when you get to know, even to a small extent, how to exercise this control while sitting quietly in meditation, you must continue to do so while walking, standing or performing any of the everyday life activities.
This is realized by splitting your attention in two, and using one part of it for your inner meditation and the other part for your daily activity. You will discover that, contrary to the appearances, your daily activity will become much more meaningful and highly efficient. The meditation that goes on inwardly and the subsequent state of tranquillity provides an energetic support and gives meaning to your outward activity.
If meditation bears no relationship to everyday life, what good is it? A meditation that ignores the society is meaningless and not good to anybody. Meditation in the midst of activity means bringing the whole world into your meditation. The true practice of meditation has nothing to do with whether one sits in a quiet place or not, closes his eyes or not, is in solitude or not.
Meditation in the midst of activity is immeasurably superior to the quietistic approach. This kind of meditation really produces significant inner transformation and enlightenment. Of course, meditating in the midst of distractions is initially much more difficult -- with fewer short-term rewards -- than sitting quietly alone. However, if you want to make the heightened awareness of meditation a part of your life, then you must meditate in daily life continuously, you must remain inwardly in meditation no matter what you do outwardly.
Frequently you may feel that you are getting nowhere with the practice of meditation in the midst of activity, whereas the quietistic approach brings unexpected and quick results. Yet rest assured that those who use the quietistic approach only can never hope to enter meditation in the midst of activity, which is the true meaning of meditation.
The quietistic meditation tends to separate our spiritual life from our daily life, and this is merely hiding from reality. A true yogin or yogini (a female practitioner of yoga) does not do that.
- (Legal and Media Cases)
The report was one of the main defense evidence in the extradition trial ruled on by the Supreme Court in Stockholm on October 11th – 12th 2005. The final and irreversible decision of the High Court from Stockholm was to decline the extradition request submitted by the Romanian state against Gregorian Bivolaru.
Karl-Erik Nylund is a doctor in theology, a priest and maybe Sweden’s greatest expert with regard to sects. His most recent work is “Att leka med elden – sekternas värld” - “Playing with fire – world of sects” (2004). For more than 30 years, he has been helping people who are the victims of various sects, and also their families. His expert opinion is often asked for concerning these issues and he is often quoted by the media, being well known for his critical attitude towards dangerous sects. For this reason, Karl-Erik Nylund is entitled to assess whether or not the Movement for the Spiritual Integration into the Absolute (MISA) displays features resembling the dangerous sects. During his research work for writing this report and during the interviews, Nylund cooperated with sociology doctor Örjan Hultåker, founder and head of SKOP-Research, Skandinavisk Opinion AB Institute.
1. MISA Yoga School
A series of specialty materials, mentioned in the bibliography list, were studied for writing this report. Also there were three interviews with Gregorian Bivolaru during the police custody in Malmö, the interviews with Mihai Stoian and six MISA yoga practitioners. Three of them are from Romania. Moreover, we even contacted other Romanians living in exile who are not members of this yoga school.
1.2 Founding the yoga school
The Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute Association was founded by Gregorian Bivolaru in January 1990. The Association initially consisting in 22 founding members, started the yoga school that now comprises more than 37.000 practitioners in several countries among which Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The name of the yoga foundation is “Esoteric Orient Yoga” in Sweden and “Natha”, in the other two countries. Movements such as MISA often appear within environments featuring a spiritual vacuum where religious ideas not in accordance with the official religion are persecuted. Such facts regularly occur in the communist or former communist countries. Free thinking and movements consisting in a large number of members are not regarded with benevolence.
The Romanian orthodox church is not thrilled with this yogi movement whose ideas originate in the Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, in Jung’s ideas and so on. The movements based upon ideas belonging to several religious and philosophical paths are called syncretic. Most religions and religious movements are syncretic. The phenomenon is rather a rule than an exception. In a very simplified manner, as a social phenomenon, religion is a system of meaningful believes and legitimate roles. People who grow up within a religious community have certain explanatory patterns and ways of acting they use personally. They learn the dogmas and the rites granting identity to the human being.
1.2.1 Difficulties faced by the spiritual movements
The interactions of the society with the spiritual movements, such as MISA, permanently undergo difficult moments. Such instances that can have an effect on belief systems and role patterns may also emerge under various life circumstances people are confronted with, or even inside the individual’s personality structure. Sometimes even faith crises might appear. Such crises are natural in a pluralistic society. Spiritual movements resort to activities that aim at helping people confronted with such crises, in order to regain their faith.
1.2.2 MISA activities
Originating in India, Yoga is considered extraneous and dangerous in many Christian countries, especially in powerfully orthodox countries such as Romania for instance. Yoga represents a danger for the adept recruitment process permanently carried out by the Church as well as for the fact that the followers might by be attracted by this foreign “religion”, as the church sees Yoga. For this reason they feel compelled to fight against Yoga and often even present it as demonic.
Yoga has been practiced for more than 4000 years. It is an old self-discipline Hindu system of techniques meant to harmonize and unify the body, the mind and the soul through physical exercises, breath control and meditation. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and it signifies “union”, “tuning in with”. Such union actually is the tuning in of the individual’s soul with the universe through spiritual techniques and a process of self-perfection.
There are various forms of yoga. One of the forms of yoga practiced at the MISA school is karma yoga. In our language, this form of yoga would be called: voluntary work. The purpose of a Hindu’s life is moksha – the spiritual liberation. Moksha means being free from the cycle of reincarnations. However moksha, spiritual liberation, is also attained by the one who becomes free from ignorance. There are several paths towards this ultimate purpose: Jnana (the way of knowledge), Bhakti (the way of devotion) and karma (the way of action). There is no such thing as a unique path and a sole savior; there are several opinions, leaders, guru and deities that contribute for helping those who ask for it, in order to walk the spiritual way.
Briefly, we can say that for those who practice yoga at MISA, one of the ways of pursuing self-realization is karma yoga. By all means, this is not about human trafficking; it is a voluntarily chosen path for attaining one’s spiritual purpose with the help of a spiritual guide. Within MISA, each practitioner is under the guidance of a teacher helping him on the spiritual way or tempering him down, if the case may be. The practitioners do not isolate themselves from their families or society.
An ashram is a place for living a simple life an being able to practice meditation more. Even the yoga practice is a form of meditation. An ashram aims at facilitating a better health condition and a spiritual life for the practitioner. As a matter of fact, any home may be called an ashram. Within MISA, ashrams are a form of living in common, similar to student dormitories. Each dormitory follows certain rules for the life in common to work. The MISA ashrams abide by the following rules:
1. No meat, alcohol or coffee. No smoking. These rules are both for the inhabitants of the ashram, and for visitors.
2. It is recommended to practice yoga daily for two hours, besides the yoga classes.
3. All people take part at the household activities from the ashram, such as cleaning, house and garden maintenance, house shopping, for instance.
4. Everyone must attend the ashram house meetings (similar to the house meetings of the people living in the same building).
5. Everyone cleans the place on his own when he makes any mess.
6. Silence hours after 23.
7. Previous notification regarding overnight guests ashram, except for constant visitors.
8. Everyone is asked to let the others know when leave on a holiday or a vacation.
This life resembles the life in a student dormitory. There is a person in charge with the dormitory management. It is normal for a person who damages anything to replace that object. This is not a punishment but something natural in a community where one spoils something of the common use utilities. Each group has its own norms expressing the common moral values and each individual is expected to abide by them.
These activities: karma yoga, meditations and the practice of physical exercises help all individuals become fulfilled and complete human beings. The MISA yoga practitioners also believe in the possibility of curing themselves and this is called therapy. Yoga is not a mere spiritual, self-realization training – it is a body and mind therapy.
2. Leader’s part
MISA is a coherent group, namely a group whit a powerful “us” feeling inducing the sensations of belonging to the group. The opposite of such a group is the so-called extraneous group, such as it often happens with religious groups. Most people stay away from such extraneous groups because they are strong expressions of negativity. Communist and terrorist groups, the adepts of hedonist religious movements and the sexually perverted groups fall under this category. The information on the Internet (such as the Romanian journal websites for instance) clearly indicates that for Gregorian Bivolaru, certain politicians are part of such an extraneous group. He also mentions other groups in his declarations and writings. For this reason, it is obvious that because of his allegations, highly critical to certain Romanian politicians, Bivolaru made powerful enemies. People express their opinion against such “extraneous groups” through peaceful street demonstrations in Bucharest.
2.1. Gregorian Bivolaru’s guiding role
Various roles inside a group do not hold the same exact value. The founder of the group often rejoices a special kind of respect. This aspect is also valid in the case of religious groups.
One of the most important aspects in life is the spontaneous tendency to follow the conduct of the majority or of the group leader. This silently occurs inside all groups. The beginner, the newcomer or the one from a lower rank does not even notice the quickness of his attempt to adapt to the group norms. Powerful leaders can make the group members follow the group moral norms and values. The one with authority holds control over people though various means, such as rewards and punishments for instance (such as isolation, fines, etc.) During my study regarding MISA I noticed no such behavior or punishment.
The radical religious groups, such as the Guyana movement from the 70’s, the Heaven’s Gate movement from 90’s or David Koresh from Waco USA, are examples of groups that imposed a strict discipline to their members. The leader’s word represented the law for the others till death. The MISA Yoga School IS NOT such a group.
Also MISA cannot be called a rigid spiritual movement. Such a movement would not allow criticism. Within MISA, everyone is free to criticize the aspects related to its activity or even the teachers. Also, every person is free to leave the yoga school without fear of retaliation.
Retaliation is a feature of manipulative sects, namely: “such religious or any other kind of movements inside which crises concerning faith are actively repressed, denied or punished. A manipulative sect consciously aims at erasing self-identity and replacing it with a pseudo-identity guided by an ideologue or by an ideology.”
According to this description of the manipulative sects, it is clear that MISA is not a manipulative sect.
For a movement to be a manipulative sect, it also has to comply with three of the four A-s.
Aggression – punishment of the members criticizing the leader or the movement.
Aversion – criticism and persecution of the people outside the group such as parents for instance.
Alienation – closed circuit inside the sect, as a geographical or ideological group. The sect becomes the new family.
Absolute truth – only exists within the sect, and the leader/leaders are entitled to the absolute right of interpreting the truth.
During my conversations with the MISA practitioners and teachers, I found nothing of the first two A-s (Aggression and Aversion). With regard to the ashram life, only a part of the persons live there and the activities are not the closed circuit type. The courses are accessible to anyone from the outside. Anyone may attend the courses. Therefore we ARE NOT talking about alienation. Some of those who are more dedicated might have a minimum contact with the outside world, however leaders actively seek to oppose this form of alienation, by encouraging them to return to their work and family. Gregorian Bivolaru DOES NOT claim to be in undeniable possession of the absolute truth. Together with other people, he is a spiritual guide and is convinced he is a man with a mission in the society. On the other hand he displayed and still displays no political claims. If people will transform through the lacto-vegetarian diet and through meditation, this will occur gradually. Bivolaru’s power resides in his very humbleness. Therefore in the MISA case, we can find none of the criteria defining manipulative sects.
Bivolaru went on a retreat in order to meditate and write books. The school was taken over by a managing board and is formally and democratically managed by this board. Each yoga school from the other countries has one leader, regularly one of the senior MISA members and is registered as a non-profit foundation, with a democrat board of management. I could call Bivolaru an “honorific member”, who due to his modesty, rejoices at a lot of respect.
2.2 Charges against Gregorian Bivolaru
The interviews I conducted with Gregorian Bivolaru, one of them attended by only the two of us, made me seriously question the pedophilia charge brought against him. Within the movement, the relations among people are very close, even between teachers and students. However the girl involved was not Bivolaru’s student. Personally, I would be extremely surprised at the existence of a relationship between Gregorian Bivolaru and Madalina Dumitru.
The other charge brought against him while he was under arrest in Malmö, namely human trafficking, simply is a misunderstanding of what karma yoga means. See the text regarding karma yoga above. The issue at stake here is that of voluntary work, as a manner of self-perfection and attainment of the truth. Many of the people living in an ashram do not have the money to pay for their stay and through karma yoga they have the opportunity to attend the ashram activities. The MISA followers state that karma yoga is a form of meditation that elevates the one practicing it out of doubts and alienation and this can turn the world we live in into a better place.
2.3 Spiritual camps
Every year, in Romania, 10-12.000 people gather in order to attend the international yoga symposiums organized by MISA. Worldwide practitioners come here and practically fill up and entire holiday village. Among other things, they also practice heliotherapy. The participants at this symposium are accepted based on an ID card for which they have to send photos, sometimes in a bathing suit, to the MISA leader. This happens in order to “read” the aura of those who wish to attend and see whether there are any health disorders. According to MISA - everything is alive – people, animals, plants – and surrounded by an energetic field called an “aura”. The ability to see auras can be developed through training. The aura of the people at a high level of their spiritual evolution is white and can be seen from miles away. There are seven vibratory levels of the aura, associated to the seven chakra-s or centers of force. For a healthy human being, these energetic focal points are clear and distinct. In the case of a sick person, the aura is fuzzy and its colors dark.
During the selection of the camp participants at these international symposiums, among which there are many young persons, a large number of photos are received. Such photos were seized by the Romanian authorities and classified as pornographic pictures because they obviously do not at want to see the content of the photos (namely one person in a bathing suit) and their purpose.
3. What is MISA actually?
If MISA is not a manipulative and dangerous sect then what is it? I could say about MISA that it is a movement supporting a different way of life, alternative therapies, displaying strong Gnostic sincretism features. The basic ideas are reincarnation and self-transformation (the ability to transform one’s self). A cult is a movement often emerging in a psychic deprivation environment, when people gather around a leader. MISA is a yogi movement where the participants aim at self-perfecting and improving their state of health and harmony through a lacto-vegetarian diet and yoga techniques.
Following the interviews I conducted with several Romanians from the Diaspora, I have strong doubts with regard to the fact that Gregorian Bivolaru could be allowed a fair trial in his own country. As I could see by myself, the charges against him are obviously untruthful and this is why they are the very evidence of the persecutions he is subjected to. Also, I do not believe that Gregorian Bivolaru would stand any chance for survival in a Romanian prison.
-Mihai Stoian (coordinating teacher of the Natha yoga center)
-Three Danish yoga practitioners and three Romanian yoga practitioners visiting Denmark (I will not reveal their names out of safety reasons)
-Ulla M Sandbaek, former EU Parliament member
Nylund , Karl-Erik Att leka med elden – om livets på sektens villkor . Sellin 1998
Nylund, Karl-Erik Att leka med elden – sekternas värld . Sellin 2004
Hammer, Olav På spaning efter helheten New Age en ny folktro .Wahsltröm &Widstrand 1997
Holm, Nils. G Religionspsykologins grunder, Åbo Akademi 1993
Holm, Nils G. (Ed.) Encounter with India, Åbo Akademi 1990
Haglund, Gunilla Credo guiden Uppslagsbok för sökare, Sellin 1997
Harper´s Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience. Castle Books, Edison 1991
Mc Guire, Meredith B Religion. The Social Context IVth edition . Wadsworth Publ.House 1997
Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru’s writings
- (Spiritual Masters)
Inspiring thoughts regarding the Spiritual Guide - Aspirant relationship
By yoga professor Nicolae Catrina
The essence of the relationship between the Spiritual Guide and the aspirant can never be known only from the outside, because in fact it can never be an object of knowledge for those who are not ready to identify with that ineffable, mysterious state experienced by an aspirant on the spiritual path. It is also necessary to realize that this relationship is not a concept that we can understand only with our mind.
Even if we can speak about this relationship between the Spiritual Guide and the aspirant, defining it in different ways (some of them very subtle), all these are only “marks” on the path each of us has to walk in this direction. Basically, all these are just impulses from the mind that appear within the spiritual practice (Sadhana).
Only one heart: the Supreme Godly Heart
Truly speaking, we can never encompass only with our mind this ineffable, mysterious and fundamental initiatic reality (the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship) because when we truly experience it, in its mysterious and sublime dimensions, it is then that we mainly experience the divine state of non-duality in which, for the aspirant, only God exists.
In reality this is the ideal modality in which we should relate to our spiritual Guide; perfect non-duality (advaita) where, symbolically speaking, there no longer exist two hearts (that of the Spiritual Guide and that of the Aspirant), but only one heart – the Supreme Godly Heart: The Eternal Heart of God the Father (Paramatman).
Doing this, then and then only, a complete inner certitude will awaken within us regarding the righteousness of the Spiritual Path we follow, as well as of the teachings of our Spiritual Guide. This certitude, generating miracles, will open our soul towards perceiving an uplifting state of absolute perfection regarding all the words and actions of our Spiritual Guide, because in that state of non-duality only God exists and, as we all know, God is in eternity perfect.
Spiritual practice full of aspiration, done having as support this ideal relation to the Spiritual Guide, will gradually transform that initial certitude in a profound realization of the Immortal Self Essence (Atman). At the same time, this mysterious process that transforms our being will be harder to express, to conceptualize or to explain to those who do not experience our state. For the human beings who do not have the same state as us, this process will be perceived from the outside in paradoxical or irrational forms. The sacredness of the spiritual guide – aspirant relationship, which “fills up” more and more our entire inner universe, will most often not be noticed – although for us almost any attempt to express it in a coherent and logic way for the others can be perceived as an “impiety” (in other words, it appears as an attempt to renounce the sacred for the grey and flat dimensions of the profane).
Above any spiritual initiation
For the human beings that have transformed enough, as a consequence of their engagement on the spiritual path, the essence of the spiritual guide – aspirant relationship resides therefore in the most intimate realms of our Immortal Divine Self (Atman). This essence represents the non-dual experience of the Divine Spirit, which spontaneously recognizes itself. Such a mysterious experience is impossible to describe in words, even for the one experiencing it, because conceptualizing it, thinking it or expressing it places us automatically in the rigid and suffocating trap (from the spiritual point of view) of dual logics (and also dualistic) in which a subject observes a certain object.
On the other hand, it is necessary to underline that the profound and intimate experience of the Spiritual Guide – aspirant relationship is almost always unique and belonging only to ourselves, in the same way in which any state of divine ecstasy (Samadhi) is always unique and at the same time complete in itself. As we said, it is always accompanied by that complete and unmistakable certitude about the righteousness and spiritual plenitude (or, to be more precise, completeness) of this direct connection, from Heart to Heart, with our Spiritual Guide, a secret connection that we spontaneously realize as being beyond any other spiritual initiation, because in fact it is the essence of any spiritual initiation!
Saying all these, it is also important to add that this certitude can never be mistaken with fanaticism or different obscure beliefs, due to its light, transparency, tolerance and unconditional opening to all the forms in which the Divine Truth presents to us in everyday existence.
The supreme initiatic mystery
If sometimes, on the way, certain doubts still appear within us (either about the Path we follow or about our spiritual Guide, or even about our possibilities of spiritual perfection on the respective path), this shows that we are not yet fully established in this supreme initiatic mysterious reality (which, as I had showed above, represents the essence of the Spiritual Guide – aspirant relationship, which awakens within us the spontaneous state of non-duality).
On the contrary, constantly seeking to deepen this supreme initiatic mystery represented by the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, we will gradually discover that enlightenment and even spiritual liberation become for us a gradual process, more and more natural and spontaneous (of course, this does not mean that it will not be necessary to make certain efforts). At the same time, this represents an open and mysterious, uplifting and brilliant process, which gradually encompasses the entire outer objective reality and is always characterized by love, honesty, compassion, complete confidence, wisdom and, last but not least, by a great simplicity.
At that point we will be able to experience naturally and directly extremely high spiritual states (which will become perfectly accessible for us, according to the level we reach) and if we study carefully, we will notice that these aspects are presented also in some of the most elevated spiritual traditions of this planet. For example, in the ancient tradition of Kashmir Shivaism, this is the spontaneous and direct “Recognition” (pratyabhijna) of Godliness in all details of our existence; or, in Tibetan tantrism, this is “The Supreme spiritual attitude” (mahamudra) etc.
The condition of “Spiritual Son”
Of course, in this direction, only direct experience can offer us that certitude of the non-dual state in which, apparently paradoxically, although we are fully abandoned in the sublime but indescribable experience of the essence of the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, we also realize that we are truly ourselves (even more then ever before); in other words, we are completely free from any dependency or constraint!
[This mysterious spiritual experience could very well be compared to the state of complete surrender of the individual will to God’s Will, which is almighty; also in this case, even if we might consider the surrendering of our will as something rather restrictive (when we can no longer do “what we want”), the truth is that through this we reach complete and perfect freedom – the Absolute Freedom of God the Father!]
If we have not yet reached this essential condition (which, in the Kashmir Shivaism tradition is called the state of “Spiritual Son” or, respectively, “Spiritual Daughter”, we will need, over and over again, many mental and intellectual confirmations or, in other words, we will need many wisdom treaties to offer us, at least partially (but never definitely!) a certain inner certitude that we are “on the right path”. Then, instead of the simplicity and naturalness of the condition of “Spiritual Son”, we will need, before making the smallest step forward, many explanations and “guarantees” which will make us confident about what we do and especially about the fact that our efforts are not in vain.
The divine “Magic” of the Eternal Beginning
For some (who are more tested and can even fail at some of the tests that appear on the spiritual Path), this almost constant doubt and mistrust in the power (efficiency) of the Spiritual Path that we follow is the main obstacle. Such an obstacle gives us the belief in a “quantitative” complexity of reality, pulling us further and further away from the wonder of the spontaneous, simple and direct Path of the “Recognition” of God both in our Heart as well as in the entire surrounding reality. If we are in this situation and we indulge in it, we will search for more and more complex explanations or different mental confirmations, most often forgetting that spiritual realization is characterized, first of all, by love, simplicity, complete faith, honesty and spontaneity!
Regarding this situation, the great wise man Lao Tze, which is the “father” of the Taoist tradition, said: “IN ORDER TO OBTAIN ORDINARY KNOWLEDGE (DUALISTIC), WE MUST ADD SOMETHING EVERYDAY; BUT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN DIVINE WISDOM, EVERYDAY WE MUST PUT SOMETHING ASIDE.”
Therefore, what is truly essential for our spiritual practice is the amplification of this state of superior certitude or, in other words, of complete faith in the Path we follow and in our Spiritual Guide. For this, it is very good, especially when we notice that the faith in the Spiritual Guide has diminished, to relate as often as possible to the magic moments of the beginning of our spiritual practice, when our effervescence, purity, love, trust and aspiration were fully blessed by the mysterious freshness of the energy of the beginning, or all the moments in which we had “top” experiences in the respective direction (in other words, we must relate to and to evoke in our inner universe the moments in which we savored fully the unmistakable proofs of the Presence of the Divine in our relation with our Spiritual Guide).
D oing this often enough and living the mysterious states, full of freshness, which we have experienced at the beginning, we will surely discover, sooner or later, the divine “magic” of the Eternal Beginning regarding our relationship with our Spiritual Guide and we will enter again its sacred space, in which, on the background of love and giving, any Divine Wonder is easily possible.
The hidden treasure of the complete trust in God
Doing this, we will discover or rediscover again the hidden treasure of complete faith in God and in our Spiritual Guide. In the same time, we will awaken that spontaneously liberating ecstatic simplicity of the heart surrendered completely to God. Doing this, we can be sure that all our doubts regarding the Spiritual Guide, such as excessive criticism, lack of contentment, misunderstood perfectionism (applied destructively, instead of constructively) etc., will disappear as if by magic, being alchemized into Light, Love, Honesty, Goodwill and Truth. In this way, we will discover that this indescribable brilliant simplicity is complete in itself. All these transformations are, without doubt, available to each one of us and they are possible only through the complete faith in the Spiritual Guide. This faith is the solid basis of the complete realization of the Immortal Divine Self (Atman) and all these will bring the Plenitude of existing in God’s liberating Grace.
On the contrary, if due to the severe lack of faith in the Spiritual Guide we will wrongly consider, due to our wild imagination, that the path we follow here and now is full of imperfections and mistakes, shortly afterwards the direct and easy Path to God will be blocked, by ourselves, because our Heart will be covered by the impurities of the insecure, frightened, oscillating, suspicious and dualistic mind, with our inferior desires and choices, which will gradually destroy this mysterious, uplifting, subtle state of grace (therefore, so fragile), specific to the pure, spiritual state of “Spiritual Son” (in other words, specific to the ideal relation to our Spiritual Guide).
The trap of the exacerbated ego
If we fall and we get lost in this state, then our selfish, hidden desires will soon create and even strengthen our own limiting ideas regarding a so-called spirituality that we project in our own likeness. Soon afterwards, we will begin nourishing different weird ideas regarding the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, ideas that we will aim to justify and confirm by combining or interpreting in a more or less distorted way the different spiritual information we have gathered from many sources but which we “have digested” only partially, because we approached them mainly with the mind and not with the Heart. Indulging in this state, we can get lost and can even drop the Spiritual Path, because we will not be able to truly open our soul to God, because we will lack faith. Then, we will often make huge efforts just to keep ourselves in a weird, artificial condition, which is our (selfish) idea about a so-called spirituality projected in our own likeness or about the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, as we see it when we are astray.
Indulging in this state we will regress and we will get lost and, sooner or later, in order to stubbornly defend these personal ideas, we will start criticising (first in a very subtle, hidden way, then in a more obvious, even aggressive way, ending with denigration) the Path, the Spiritual Guide, the revelations he made, the methods he offered, etc. In the final phase, if we will not do anything to come out of this cunning, tragic and complex trap of the exacerbated ego, we will leave both our Spiritual Guide as well as the Spiritual Path, justifying our gestures in different ways.
The key of the spiritual realization: faith and responsibility
Besides this, the problem is that this state will generate within us very strong “partisan” reactions: we will fight hard to support or promote our ideas, our weird points of view, our absurd convictions, and this inner crisis will grow and we will never know the ecstatic peace of complete simplicity and complete acceptance of life. Moreover, we will often feel an intense inner tension – which, due to our exacerbated ego, we will never admit to the others – and tiredness; afterwards, our consciousness will not be able to rest or centre in itself, because it will be occupied and fascinated by the weird ideas we have adhered to and which we “must” protect at any price or to constantly have them confirmed.
An ancient saying of eastern wisdom says: “Any aspect of reality, any being, any object appears, from our point of view, exactly as we look upon it.” For those who are and indulge themselves in this state, this saying helps to understand what actually happens with them. The fundamental key of spiritual realization, as affirmed by all genuine spiritual traditions, is to reach that complete faith in the Spiritual Guide and in taking the responsibility for all the events we experience, because all of them come to us exclusively according to God’s Will, because in reality they appear in our existence only because we fully deserve them.
That is why the great wise men say: “Every human being always has what she deserves.” When we are “armed” with this superior attitude, with honesty, humbleness, goodwill and love, we will successfully overcome all the spiritual tests we will be given and each time we will discover (even if, at the beginning, not always immediately – due to certain uncontrolled momentarily reactions) the hidden and profoundly initatic meaning of each important event of our yogi life, even when all appearances show very clearly that we have been seriously misjudged, or when we have the impression that we are not appreciated enough, as we consider that we deserve, etc.
Our perfect mirror
[In this direction, it is essential to remember what most spiritual traditions say: In the complex and indescribable relationship with us, the Spiritual Guide is always, whether we want it or not, our perfect Mirror, which objectively shows us to ourselves, exactly as we are here and now, and not how we imagine ourselves to be or how we would like to be or to seem to be! Knowing this, it is essential to realize that the mirror is never to blame for what it reflects. As it is a perfect mirror (and, as we all know, the consciousness of a spiritually liberated being is often compared to a perfect mirror), it will never reflect us differently then how we are, in order to “please” us or to gain our sympathy: whatever the risk of this reflection, it will always offer us the Truth and only the Truth about ourselves! Besides, that which it shows us, whether good or bad, about ourselves, does not affect at all its state of purity, because the mirror never identifies with what she reflects in complete detachment].
Then, truly, as the great yogi and wise man Sri Aurobindo said: “Our entire life will become a form of yoga [a certain spiritual path]”. To this we can add that, in fact, it is about an extremely fast and complete form of yoga, because we practice it with our entire being and full of surrender and honesty – both to ourselves as well as to our Spiritual Guide, and also to God Himself.
Of course, we do not claim that we have exhausted this subject. These few ideas can only make a short, even imperfect, summary of the ineffable, mysterious and full of Grace reality of the ideal relation to the Spiritual Guide (in other words, the reality of the state of “Spiritual Son”, “Spiritual Daughter”, respectively). But these marks can indicate the direction towards which the search for this essential condition of the initiation in the Supreme Mystery of God’s Heart is very fruitful because, ultimately, through the Divine Grace that manifests through the Spiritual Guide (or, better said, “embodied” by the Spiritual Guide), the secret state of Spiritual Son reveals itself to be the state of Son of God.
Taken from yogaesoteric.net