- (Past events)
By Adina Stoian
Short history of the activities dedicated to the Great Cosmic Powers
Among other exceptional spiritual moments, within the picturesque and colorful scenery of each summer, there are also the camps for deepening the communion with the beloved Cosmic Powers of the ancient tantric tradition, known under the name of Dasha Maha Vidya: the ten great fundamental wisdoms, facets of the Unique Truth, supreme energies who are continually weaving the fabric of this Manifestation, fulfilling in this way the Will of the Unique One.
These activities, initiated and supported by Grieg, have become landmarks in our spiritual life and in the lives of many of our colleagues with whom we’ve shared their magnificent moments.
At Grieg’s suggestion, all these activities follow a certain structure: they begin with a polarisation period during which the women and men deepen, in their specific way, the adoration of the Great Cosmic Powers through meditations, Hatha Yoga practice and separate conferences. The period for deepening the specific feminine or masculine polar activation ends with activities which make use of the attraction and strong energising built up in this manner. Thus each participant has the possibility to become aware of the importance of cultivating his or her own nature to attain the specific perfect state of being: the state of spiritual hero (Vira), in the case of men and, the state of Shakti – as a divine channel manifesting the Divine Creative Energy, in the case of women.
Within each of these camps, we practice tantric exercises of transfiguration and identification with certain aspects of the respective Godly Powers in the way they manifest through feminine beings endowed with a significant resonance with them. These exercises favour the awakening of each participant’s soul and her or his direct communion with that aspect of the adored Great Cosmic Power, which is leading to profound revelations and transformations of the perspective and of the personal connection with that Maha Vidya.
The practical elements performed in these camps are built on a solid basis of theoretical presentations and discussions that reveal esoteric aspects of the Cosmic Powers as they appear in ancient tantric treatises, as well as correlations with the most modern discoveries of science which reveal the reality of these Fundamental Energies. The conferences also reveal some practical modalities for entering in resonance with their gigantic sphere of force in the daily life and remarkable personal experiences of some students who gained certain achievements through the communion with these Cosmic Forces.
In 2010 we had the first of these camps of communion with the Maha Vidya Yoga Path: a week dedicated to the Great Cosmic Power of Time and Transformation, Kali. The camp was taken by the wings of the energy of the beginning and the Great Cosmic Power Kali, the Mistress of the Tantric Path impreganted the incendiary atmosphere of Costinesti with intensity, sensuality, refined eroticism, the lively wish for transformation, glimpses of mystery and overwhelming vitality.
In 2011 the Great Cosmic Power Tara, the Shining One, the Embodiment of Divine Compassion gathered us on her way that is so pure and immaculate, through a kind overflowing of Gentle Light, ethereal or terrible in her crystalline shining, touching the deepest chords of our souls, awakening the aspiration towards the ideals of sacrifice and abnegation for helping all sentient beings.
In 2012 we experienced the moment of adoring the Great Cosmic Power Tripura Sundari, the almighty beauty of the three worlds, the Shining Splendor of Love, Truth and Divine Beauty. The magical moments of manifestation of the Supreme Love were entwined with revelations about the spiritual nature of desire and its alchemy into an endless longing towards the Absolute which thrills our hearts and awakens our souls.
Above all, the peak moments of these Maha Vidya camps are the unique initiations offered and supported by our spiritual guide, which reveal operational keys of tuning, through resonance, into the gigantic sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Powers which facilitate rapid and amazing transformations for those who apply them in their spiritual life.
On the occasion of the Maha Vidya Kali camp we were offered a secret modality for controlling the energy of time – dedicated to accelerate spiritual transformation; in the Maha Vidya Tara camp we were offered the Occult Law of Divine Miracles – how to attract within our being the Godly Miracles in which the Divine Grace directly manifests for helping certain beings or for supporting certain activities, projects and so on, while at the Maha Vidya Tripura Sundari activity we were offered the secret key to the accelerated awakening of the soul and to the opening of the Spiritual Heart through triggering God’s Active and Never hesitating Love….
Each of these activities amplified in my being an extended state of profound bewilderment, adoration, fascination, gratitude for the achievements offered by the Great Cosmic Powers in meditations, rituals, conferences or special initiations. At one point, the mind, overwhelmed by the grandeur of the Divine Mothers’ gigantic spheres of force, shyly raised a question – what more could follow, after such an EXCEPTIONAL thing…? And each time, the next Maha Vidya managed to show us another perspective – Cosmic, Perfect, Universal, Magnificent – specific to her sphere of force, which intoxicated our souls with another nuance of ecstasy, specific to her…
Preparing the Maha Vidya Bhuvaneshwari camp
It is in this way that we reached the moment for preparing the camp for deepening the communion with the Great Cosmic Power of Absolute Space and Essential Knowledge – Bhuvaneshwari! And, once again, everything was different from how it had been in other years – her specific energy impregnated all with her distinct fragrance already many months before the beginning of the activities, from the very moment when we were to think about the frame of the camp and even the space in which it could unfold. Thus, inspired and supported by the Divine Mother of All Worlds, Bhuvaneshwari, the activity dedicated to her took place in an exceptional space – the new conference center, Lux Divina, in Brasov and it became the very first spiritual action performed there – marking in this way the glorious beginning of this center dedicated to the blossoming of spirituality. The location is wonderful, the uniquely elegant halls are decorated with refined taste and, going beyond our expectations, we discovered that the size of the main conference hall is variable as it has the possibility to be divided in two with the help of a mobile separating wall. In this way we could freely unfold the polar activities of every morning. I will let the images talk of the beauty of this space and, implicitly, of the very special integration in which the entire Maha Vidya Bhuvaneshwari activity unfolded.
From the program of the Maha Vidya Bhuvaneshwari camp
In the first days, the program unfolded in a polar manner: – the men began very early in the morning (7-9) with two hours of Laya Yoga with the mantra of Bhuvaneshwari and then two more hours of delving into the masculine perspective of the adoration of this Great Cosmic Power on the tantric path.
The women had a Hatha Yoga program, integrated in the sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari, together with a small ritual in the beginning and in the end, and then a meditation with the Bhuvaneshwari mantra/yantra and after that we had conferences about the concept of Shakti from the tantric perspective and the specific feminine way of relating to the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari.
At the end of the polarity period we continued to perform together (both men and women who wished to do so) two hours of Laya Yoga meditation in the morning with the mantra of Bhuvaneshwari followed by 2 hours of asanas in polar couples.
Special rituals of adoring certain aspects of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari
This year there were chosen by our spiritual guide Grieg four women endowed with a special resonance with the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari with whom we performed two tantric exercises of transfiguration and identification. Thus on Thursday 27th June we adored the aspect of Bhuvaneshwari known as Aditi and on Friday we worked with the distinct manifestations of the Great Cosmic Power of the Absolute Space in the three fundamental worlds: the physical, the astral and the causal.
The answer of the Cosmic Power to these collective actions of transfiguration and adoration was overwhelming for all of us who participated. For the aspect of Universal Divine Mother, Transcendent and Almighty (Aditi) we perceived gigantic waves of unconditional maternal love which continuously poured from the being of the chosen one and which filled us with a nourishing energy that is protective and full of an endless kindness:
On Friday, with the occasion of the exercise dedicated to the distinct manifestations of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari in the three worlds (the physical universe, astral universe and causal universe) we perceived the ecstatic and all-encompassing presence of the Divine Mother with specific nuances for the three levels – concrete, alive and full of life, in the physical plane; ethereal, aerial and fulfilling all dreams – as if woven from fantasies and in continuous transformation – in the astral plane; abstract and transcendent in the causal plane:
At the end of this exceptional ritual we did a meditation of synthesis with the three aspects of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari, while the three chosen women performed the mudras specific to the embodied aspects: the one corresponding to the physical plane did the sensual posture representing birth in a state of orgasm, the one corresponding to the astral plane did the gesture of blessing with her left hand and with the right hand the gesture of offering gifts – so that from her right palm flowed sweet milk for around 10 minutes – the milk being one of the main symbols of the Divine Mother; and the person chosen for the aspect of Bhuvaneshwari corresponding to the causal level embraced the entire public with some enormous, bright-shining wings. Here the ritual attained its peak and I saw tears of ecstatic happiness in the eyes of many colleagues for this moment which touched profound chords of their souls awakened by the Cosmic Force of the Absolute Space…
Exceptional unique experiences of translation into certain parallel levels
The night of the fairies
With Grieg’s guidance and support, in this camp there were scheduled three such translations into parallel worlds: the first one into the realm of the fairies – with the occasion of the Fairy day meditation on the 24th of June. We went out in the nature, on the peak of a high hill, on the road towards Brasov Glade, in a fairytale place, as if coming from the tales about fairies – a glade facing the sunset, surrounded by centennial oak trees and garnished with tall grass and … yellowweed flowers.
Caressed by the rays of the sunset, in the magical time when the skies are opening and the worlds are overlapping, we could perform the meditation of communion with the magical world of the fairies with their flowers braided into wreaths, held at the breast or in the hand, after which we previously savoured a mixture of medicinal herbs meant to amplify the resonance with their realm, in which the main ingrediant was the powder of dry flowers of yellowweed. Supported by Grieg and in unison with all our colleagues from all the countries which performed this meditation, we were provided with an extraordinary experience.
The 95 minutes of the meditation passed incredibly quickly, the perception of space and time was completely distorted, as if we had slid into a realm of dream, mystery and magic. This time I did not perceive so much the presence of the fairies, as distinct entities, but I clearly felt the ”realm” in which they manifest, I almost “concretely” felt how the ”texture” of that specific universe was, as if perceiving from the inside, directly how the air smells there, what tastes exist, how existence is experienced in that land … It was as an aerial dream, experienced with perfect lucidity – into which I projected myself into this parallel dimension, with all the senses awakened, intimately savouring its mystery…
Moreover, following an old Romanian tradition, we slept with yellowweed flowers under the cushion to dream our destiny, and, just like the previous year on the same occasion, I had a very clear, luminous and aerial dream in which I was present with many women as if at an astral feminine gathering full of exhilaration, joy and playfulness…
Projection into Hiranya Loka
The second translation was done by using secret elements about the inner portal received in the specific initiation offered on that occasion and it was directed towards the sublime astral dimension named Hiranya Lokha. Due to unfavourable weather we did not go out into the nature, but we stayed in the hall. This was the peak experience that I felt in this camp and one of the most powerful meditations which I’ve ever done! The state perceived touched me very profoundly as well as the intuitions I had on that occasion.
The activation of the inner portal was so clear and intensive that it lasted for hours in a row, as if an inner gate had opened right in front of me, through which I could penetrate, at will, into that space of an exceptional, unimaginable, crystal-like purity. The entire experience unfolded as an initiation into the mysteries of this realm of the highly evolved spiritual beings, the entrance into the respective realm being marked by the meeting with the ”guardian of the threshold” of that land, an egg-like entity of light, full of humour and compassion, who searched me with gentleness and then encouraged me to enter… In that realm I perceived supramental states of clarity and clairvoyance for which there are no words to describe it, and in the end there was a direct ”transfer” of information about that realm by the good will of the beings from there, of whom the ordinary mind has only kept the intuition that it was about the unmediated and supramental knowledge of the subtle structure of laws and principles which govern that realm…
The ritual of synthesis of the communion with the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari
The third translation was performed during the final ritual of synthesis in the last evening. We integrated several of the elements which were offered at the special initiation for expanding the consciousness through ”recapturing in the center of the heart” – integrated in the sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari, the inner portal and other elements.
For all three translations we used special medicinal herbal mixtures – taken 4 hours before – whose effect of impelling the experiences was considerably perceivable. On this occasion, as well, I perceived incredible state of sacredness and magic created by the unison effect and the integrated elements, the profound resonance with the Energy of Infinite Space, direct revelations regarding a type of mysterious knowledge, achieved through direct transfer and unbounded by mental concepts or by words, ecstatic states of melting into infinity…
Among many other synchronicities and divine signs which took place during this camp there was also a marvelous rainbow that appeared on the 25th of June around the moment of beginning of the conference with the theme: Revealing and centering in the secret space of the heart – daharakasha – the mysterious home of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari:
Special initiation offered by Grieg
In the last day of the activity we had the surprise of receiving also an exceptional initiation with novel elements revealed and explained for the first time for the ones chosen through a lottery consecrated to this Cosmic Force; an initiation which enables the deepening of the communion with the Great cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari, appearing as a wonderful ”cherry on top of the cake” that is this Maha Vidya Camp.
Once more we wish to express our gratitude for the support of our colleagues from the Conference Center, Lux Divina, in Brasov for the kindness they showed and for the immense help they offered for organizing this event in their space, as well as to the colleagues in the organizing team from Constanta and Bucharest without whose aspiration to deepen the Maha Vidya path we wouldn’t even have these camps. But, above all, we are profoundly grateful to the Good God, the Great Cosmic Powers and to our spiritual guide Grieg for the exceptional spiritual gift represented by this camp for us all!
Instead of conclusion
Many days have passed since the gentle and protective embrace of the Divine Mother Bhuvaneshwari thrilled us all, enabling us to realize the fact that we are permanently comprised in her gigantic sphere of force, that is almighty and nourishing … Yet, even now, there are, alive in our hearts, glimpses of the intuition and ecstatic states which we experienced on that occasion, as well as the comprehensive perception which we had all the time, the one of the perfect superior integration of all the aspects of this activity, as if an invisible hand had arranged all the circumstances and events in the wisest possible manner!…
Advaitananda Stoian is currently the senior coordinating teacher of Natha Yogacenter, Denmark.
Quantum physicist and scientific researcher, Advaitananda’s teachings are genius in their scope and content. His relaxed yet witty and candid style combined with extraordinary insight and an unyielding spiritual aspiration make his presentations not only a profoundly revealing spiritual experience but also highly entertaining.
During his 16 years of teaching, people throughout the world have been graced by Advaitananda ’s presence; their lives deeply touched by his profound approach to the spiritual path, under the direct guidance of his beloved Master Gregorian Bivolaru.
Setting a new standard for the teaching of Yoga and Tantra by representing one of the most important spiritual schools in the modern time MISA, and in the same time being a forerunner in the spiritual sexual revolution of our time – he helps people both individually and collectively through the consciously replacing the taboos with knowledge, breaking of barriers and overcoming inhibitions related to different levels of existence.
Advaitananda’s exceptional lectures and workshops encompass a broad range of topics, bringing the ancient teachings of Tantra and Yoga to the modern world, uniting these traditional spiritual sciences with the discoveries of modern science, providing an authentic yet accessible path for today’s individual.
Advaitananda Stoian also travels extensively teaching and giving seminars in many European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, UK, France, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Greece, Italy, Austria, etc) and also in South America (Argentina), India (Chennai, Delhi, Rishikesh), Iceland (Reikjavik).
- (Spiritual Events)
In India, Mahashivaratri, the spiritual night of Shiva, is traditionally consecrated to Paramashiva (the Supreme Shiva). Shiva's devotees unanimously consider it as being the most sacred night of the year.
The night of Mahashivaratri is the night before the day of the New Moon in February - March (according to the Indian astrological system – the lunar month, PHALGUNA). The yogis welcome this grandiose celebration as an exceptional spiritual opportunity. For this reason, they fast during the entire day and they stay awake for the entire night, meditating intensely using the MANTRAS of SHIVA (LAYA YOGA).
The non initiates meditate simply by repeating Shiva's name continuously, with transfiguration, or by piously chanting songs of adoration to Shiva, or by adoring the famous symbol, the Shiva Lingam, aspiring with all their hearts towards PARAMASHIVA, THE HOLY FATHER.
The Vedic scriptures say the following on this subject: "Our Omnipotent and Omnipresent Lord is permanently present, hidden deep in the hearts of all human beings. In His grace, benevolence and love, He offers spiritual liberation to all conscious beings who - full of love - turn their face to Him".
According to Hindu beliefs, it is very important to live near a temple; this is why they built so many holy places. They consider the construction of a temple a praiseworthy act before GOD, which brings blessings to the person in this life and also in the following ones. In the religious life of the Hindus, the temple is the main centre of the physical level. Here, in the “house of GOD”, we can easily take care of our relationship with the Holy Father, God.
As the Hindus are full of faith, they do not want to be far away from GOD for too long. They go to temple at least once a week. They do their best to participate in all important spiritual holidays during those special periods of the year when the different Shaktis of God (FEMININE FORCES OF MANIFESTATION) manifest themselves in their plenitude and with all their power. Every day the devotees of Shiva do PUJA (frenetic adoration of Shiva) in the temple. For this reason, almost all devotees of Shiva go to His temple on the most sacred day of the year - Mahashivaratri, the celebration dedicated entirely to Shiva. At this time of the year they go to the temple full of adoration and humbleness, as for each of them the temple represents The House of God.
The Vedas say: "May our Holy Father be pleased by our songs of adoration. Like a wise man among ordinary people, may the aspirant bring, with full fervour, the well-deserved offering to the divine beings! Oh, Lord, Your name is great, overwhelming, and full of mystery." AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA
This profoundly mysterious and sacred night of Mahashivaratri is about to come. Let us all do our best to make this extraordinary night one of the most important spiritual events in our lives. Let us at least remember in every moment of this night that our essential goal in this life is the realization, HERE and NOW, of God the FATHER, and let us come closer Shiva, with our hearts burning with love. Let us climb, full of gigantic aspiration, the mountaintop of Kailasa, which is permanently present inside us, at the coronary centre (SAHASRARA). Let us experience the mysterious presence of Shiva within us as profoundly and as completely as possible, as our Immortal Self, ATMAN, continuously present in the entire MACROCOSM.
Let us be prepared for the coming of this great spiritual celebration by doing our SADHANA (yoga practice) perfectly. During this day, let us constantly keep in mind that a life lived in the spirit of the perfect and ecstatic Divine Truth has an enormous force. Each human being is a microcosm that reproduces the MACROCOSM. Let us purify our whole being, as profoundly as possible, and in this night let us make our hearts a pure stream of divine love, at the same time aspiring to live in complete harmony with the great spiritual family of this yoga school to which we belong. From now on, let us think of Shiva as often as possible, thus purifying our mind and heart with the help of GOD, in order to ascend to the peak of God realization from our being (SAHASRARA) as fast as possible.One of the most sacred spiritual nights of the year is about to come, and if we are properly prepared it can transform us profoundly and forever, through Shiva's mysterious grace. If we are prepared, then we will receive many spiritual gifts during the most uplifting spiritual celebration of the year. We all have that wonderful opportunity that only waits to be manifested in us in its full splendour. Therefore, it is in our power to choose this MIRACULOUS opportunity, HERE and NOW. So, let us strongly aspire that this night brings us as close as possible to Shiva, The Great Divine Saviour. In fact, did we not come to this planet to fully discover God? In this sacred night, we can transform our mind into an altar consecrated to God. In this way, we will see how all the other thoughts become naturally insignificant.Let us keep mental silence during the sacred night of Shivaratri. This will help us to do Laya Yoga with a MANTRA of SHIVA that will put us in a profound resonance with Him. Let us also remember that first of all the night of Shivaratri means Sublime and Divine Joy. Authentic spiritual life is above all a life full of joy. The more joy and happiness we radiate to the people around us, the more we prove to be closer to the Supreme and Infinite Source of Beatitude.
For instance, in the ashram of SWAMI SHIVANANDA from Rishikesh (INDIA), the night of MAHASHIVARATRI is celebrated as follows:
1. All devotees fast for the entire day.
2. A great collective spiritual ceremony takes place with the participation of all the yogis from the ASHRAM, with the aim of bringing about peace and well-being.
3. For the entire day, the devotees do Japa Yoga continuously with the mantra AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA and they periodically meditate on Shiva.
4. At night they gather in the temple and repeat the mantra AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA until morning.
5. The Shiva Lingam, the secret symbol of Shiva, is venerated with great devotion by all of them, during the entire night, for 45 minutes in unison, every 3 hours.
6. The devotees who are prepared receive the initiation named Sannyas Diksha (they are offered the title of Sannyasin) from their spiritual Master.
Here we offer two examples for a daily, inner meditation, realized traditionally for the adoration of Shiva:
1) "I worship with all my love the sublime pearl of my Divine Eternal Self, ATMAN. I worship with ardour Shiva, who is permanently present in the Lotus of my Heart. I bathe Him in the purest water of my purified mind, pure water taken from the inexhaustible river of faith and devotion. I worship SHIVA NOW with the fragrant flowers of the state of Samadhi (DIVINE ECSTASY). I do all these full of aspiration, in order to liberate myself forever from selfishness, ignorance and suffering."
2) "Oh, Shiva, in reality You are always present in me, in my Immortal Self (ATMAN). My mind, overwhelmed by my love for you, is Parvati, Your beloved SHAKTI (FEMININE ENERGY OF MANIFESTATION). My PRANIC energies are Your servants. My body is Your House. The actions in this world, the fruits of which I unconditionally offer you, are acts of Your adoration. My sleep is Samadhi (DIVINE ECSTASY). I walk only near you. Everything I say is inspired by You as a prayer to You. Here and now, I offer you, full of love and humbleness, everything I have been and everything I am."Knowing all these, it is worthwhile to be as happy as possible in the night of Mahashivaratri. Especially then, we should aspire to experience the divine bliss in our burning hearts, to feel and to see God in everything and everywhere. So, in this night, let us forget about all the mundane concerns and all our past or present sufferings. If we fast, we will be able to feel the ecstatic mysterious communion with the Omnipresent Shiva. During this night, let us constantly think of the mysterious Shiva, and nothing else but Him. This night, to all those who pray to Shiva, it shall be given to them. Let the supreme grace of Shiva be bestowed upon us this night, and fill our being forever.yogaesoteric18 feb 2007
- (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,
- (Spiritual techniques)
by Gloria Salo,
arranger of the Ecotrance Festival
The term ‘trance’ derives from the Latin words transitus (a passage) and transire (to pass over), implying a passage into another psychic state.
The state of trance is a doorway to other dimensions of existence and can be a way for a human being to open up for the blissful essence of life.
The state of trance can be induced or self-induced in many ways. One of the ways that has been almost forgotten today is the ancient custom to gather together groups of people to perform rituals with the deliberate intention to reach an ecstatic state. To attain the beneficial state of trance through dancing has been through out the time a way to celebrate and express gratitude towards life.
Conscious dance is an active meditation for the ones initiated to the mysteries of trance and life. Ecstatic dance removes limiting thoughts, prejudices and inhibitions and helps to awaken the latent life force energy in every human, known as kundalini shakti in the tradition of yoga. In a spiritually orientated trance party people have the possibility to surrender to the spontaneous dance and open up to the deep and mysterious states of trance in a safe and beautiful, harmonious and elevated atmosphere.
Every moment of life can turn into a celebration when we learn to focus on to the present moment and become aware of the mysterious dance of life. Through the state of trance the mundane can be perceived sublime and divine.
Eco Trance Plant Mystery is a project born out of the longing to celebrate the mysterious divine forces of Creation in a playful manner through music and different forms of spiritual art. With the help of modern technology it is possible these days to create music that is full of trance suggesting and expanding landscapes of sound, uplifting melodies and deep rhythms that easily induces states of trance and helps to attain profound and deep states of consciousness. Together with the music these extraordinary states can be created and amplified with visual effects, sacred geometrical shapes and lights.
Organizing spiritual trance gatherings for modern people is a beautiful and challenging task. In the modern world parties are most often without any deeper purpose and people have lost the connection to the higher aspects of reality. Through Eco Trance parties we wish to introduce again the custom of celebrating life consciously as well as to awaken the longing to work together towards a higher perspective upon life. Trance gatherings are a beautiful way to collectively achieve a heightened state of consciousness. In the gatherings people can connect and share their inspired visions and artistic expressions and build up a field of openness and trust. The higher understanding, the joy and the happiness are all amplified in a group through the processes of resonance.
It is possible through a lot of unselfish work and inspired action to create paradise on Earth. This is the ultimate purpose and aim of a spiritual party.
In this article we bring you a glimpse of the divine, as experienced by Farther Arseny, an orthodox Russian priest, while he was imprisoned in one of the prison camps in Russia, in the days of Stalin. The following excerpts are taken from the book "Father Arseny - Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father", which is a collection of letters, memoirs and stories told by people who knew Father Arseny, collection put together by "the servant of God, Alexander".
Father Arseny's description of his own death, followed by his coming back to life, is very similar to other out-of-the-body descriptions of yogis, experienced in states of deep meditation. In the case of Father Arseny, deep faith in God and complete surrendering to His will have opened for him the gates towards the beyond, towards the Supreme Reality.
"Father Arseny was a kind and simple man, with an honest, open face, a man who was not influenced by the convictions nor the habits of the world that surrounded him - a world impregnated with lies, self-interest, vanity and cruelty - a world that fashioned and warped so many of us into its own image and likeness. Father Arseny was uncompromising, courageous and unswervingly committed to what he believed to be right and fair. He did not fall victim to the cruel and passionate powers that had consigned him to heavy suffering and persecution, instead he was a man who chose freely his path toward God, in the name of God. He walked this path to the end with a rare dignity, selflessness, and simplicity. He always tried to find a path to the hearts of everyone, including some of the most fearsome and cruel people who surrounded him, ignite in their souls the spark of God, correct their ways and direct them to do good. He saved and supported many people through the most difficult periods of their lives, at times in their last hours on this earth."
"O Mother of God! Do Not Abandon Them!"
"This story is based on one Father Arseny himself retold to his closest spiritual children; I was one of them.
The reports I heard when I met Avsenkov, Sazikov, and Alexei (the student, who was by then already out of camp) helped me to describe what follows. These people were present when Father Arseny physically died in the barracks, and they witnessed how he came back to life.
When I finished writing all this, I felt I had to show the manuscript to Father Arseny. He read it, was silent for a long while and when he heard my question "Was it not really so?" he answered:
"I was granted great mercy by the Lord and by the Mother of God, who showed me the most sacred and magnificent treasure - that of the human soul, filled with faith, love and kindness. They showed me that faith will never die on earth. Many people carry it within them - some with ardor, others with a trembling respect, others again just carry a spark - and it is essential for them that a good priest help them as a pastor to turn this spark into an unquenchable flame of faith. The Lord showed me that the people who carry the faith, and especially the shepherds of human souls, must help fight for each person to the end of their own strength, until their last breath. The basis of the fight for a soul is love, kindness and helping your neighbour, help given not for one's own sake, but for the sake of one's brother. People judge faith and judge even Jesus Christ Himself, based on the behavior of others. It is also written: 'By your words you will be saved, and by your words you will be condemned' (Matthew 12:37) and, 'Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ' (Galatians 6:2).
"What happened to me was for me an enormous lesson and an admonition. It put me back in my place. Having lived in camps for so long, and having been saved so many times by the mercy of God, I began to believe that I was strong in faith. When I died the Lord and the Mother of God showed me that I am not worthy even to touch the clothes of many of those who are also in camps. I have much to learn from them.
"The Lord humbled me, put me in my place, the place where I should have been all along. He showed me my great unworthiness and granted me rime to improve myself, to correct my mistakes and errors. But have I? O Lord, help me!"
Having said this Father Arseny took my manuscript and returned it to me in a few days. Rereading it, I saw that he had changed a few words and added others. The manuscript he gave back to me is what is before you now.
Returning the manuscript to me, Father Arseny said, "Please, while I am alive, do nor show this to anybody. When I die - let people read it."
The exhausting hot summer with its clouds of mosquitoes had been replaced by a rainy, humid, and cold autumn. The ground was sometimes frozen and sometimes streaming with rivers of melted mud. It was damp and cold in the barracks, which made life particularly difficult. The clothing of the prisoners never could dry out, their feet were constantly wet and covered with blisters. A flu epidemic began. Every day three to five people died. It was now Father Arseny's turn. He could not rise from his bunk. His temperature was 104°, he had chills, he was coughing, he was congested, his heart refused to function.
In the special camp, during such epidemics of flu, patients were nor even put in the hospital. Only if your skull was cracked or if your leg or arm was cur off or broken were you taken to the hospital. Flu had to be dealt with within the barracks. The rule of the camp was - if you can stand, you work; if you can’t stand, then prove you are nor faking an illness. If you prove it, they will take care of you, if the authorities approve.
In the camp there is a plan as to how much work must be done by each prisoner. If he is made to do more more work than expected, the authorities are remunerated. Of course the prisoner himself did not even know it, but his work brought money to somebody. The authorities exist to keep to their plan, so there is no rime for softheartedness.
When a prisoner is sick or has a high fever, he has to ask permission to go to the infirmary. There they will take his temperature. If it is below 103°, he is sent back to work; should he argue, they will send him to the punishment cell, and on top of it the supervisor will hit him in the face to remind him of his responsibilities. If the fever is higher than 103°, he may stay in the barracks in bed, bur he must appear every day in the infirmary. If he becomes unconscious in the barracks, the medic will come to check his temperature and throw some medicine onto his bunk. Then he can stay in bed; but take care he doesn’t remain there after his temperature drops below 102°.
So this was the general rule: if you can walk, walk to work; don't use the camp doctors. They are usually hired by the government, and know their job. It doesn't take much for them to shout, "You're faking - off to work! If you don't I’ll send you to the punishment cell!" It is true that many of the prisoners had been doctors before they were arrested, but those were never allowed to practice in camp. They had to do physical work like anybody else, and particularly hard work at that.
On the third day after Father Arseny became ill, one of the doctors among the prisoners looked him over and called a lung specialist to discuss the case. They called Avsenkov over and told him, "The patient has pneumonia, complete exhaustion, a serious vitamin deficiency, and his heart is worn out. It looks very bad. We do not think he can last more than two days. We would need medication, oxygen, care. But under these circumstances, there is nothing we can do."
Father Arseny was almost an old man. He had lived in this camp for a number of years and over that time many people in the barracks had died and been replaced by new ones. Only perhaps twelve people were such "veterans" as he was. Everybody looked at these old-timers with surprise - how and why were these patriarchs still alive?
A medic was called in. He looked at Father Arseny from a distance of two meters, tossed some aspirin onto his bunk, gave Avsenkov a thermometer to check his temperature, saw that it was over 104°, and saying, "He has the flu," he left.
Father Arseny grew steadily worse. His friends could see that it was the end, that his time had come. They sent a man to the hospital to try and get help; his friends from among the criminals tried to soften up the supervisors; they managed to obtain some mustard powder for a plaster, and some raspberry jam; they brought anything they could. A messenger managed to get into the hospital with great difficulty, and with the help of some true friends he begged for help, for medicine, and explained what was going on with Father Arseny.
The doctor listened and asked the messenger, "How old is the zek, and how long has he been in this camp?" The messenger answered that the patient was 49 years old and had been in the camp for three years now.
The doctor answered, "Do you think that a special camp is a sanatorium, and the zeks in it should live until they are 100 years old? Your patient has beaten the odds, and it is time for him to go. He has lived long enough. There is no medicine for him, it is needed for the army."
The fever rose higher and higher, Father Arseny lost consciousness more and more often. Avsenkov tried to give him aspirin with raspberry jam to drink. Sazikov put a rag with mustard powder on his chest and back. The doctors among the prisoners helped as much as only they could the minute they returned from their labor; but Father Arseny grew worse and worse; at times he was nearly motionless. He was dying.
Death is a common occurrence in camp, everyone is used to it. But in this case everyone felt it in a special way. (From one end of the barracks to the other you could hear, "Father Arseny is dying! Piotr Andreyevich is dying!" For each one of them he had done something good, something kind. A most unusual man was dying; this was something the politicals as well as the criminals understood) - [This last sentence, in parentheses, I added to his memoirs already after Father Arseny's death; it was contributed by Sazikov and by Alexei - the student.]
Father Arseny prayed on and on, and felt the support and help of his friends. Gradually he grew silent.
"He is going," said someone. Father Arseny felt also that he was dying; the barracks, Sazikov, Avsenkov, Alexei, the doctor Boris Petrovich - he could see them no longer, everything had disappeared, had faded away ...
After some time Father Arseny felt an unusual lightness grip him and heard an absolute silence surrounding him. He grew calm. His difficulty in breathing, the mucus that had blocked his throat, the fever that had been burning his body, his weakness and helplessness all disappeared. He felt healthy and energetic.
Now Father Arseny stood by his own bunk, and on it he saw a thin, exhausted, unshaven, almost white haired man with pinched lips and half open eyes. Near the man he could see Avsenkov, Sazikov, Alexei and a few more of the prisoners whom he, Father Arseny, especially knew and loved. Father Arseny looked attentively at the man on the bunk and suddenly realized with amazement that the man on the bunk was himself.
His friends who were gathered near his bunk, the enormous barracks with its numerous population, the whole vast camp - Father Arseny was suddenly seeing it all with absolute clarity. He understood that just now he could see not only their physical appearance, but their souls.
Through the silence that was in him, he saw the movements of the prisoners, and although he could not hear them, he could somehow understand clearly what they were saying and thinking. With awe, he realized that he could see the state of each of their souls, but he knew that he was no longer with them in this world.
An invisible line separated him from this world, and he was unable to cross it. Now Sazikov brought a cup to "his" lips, and tried to pour something into his mouth, but could not. The water spilled over his face. Avsenkov and Alexei were talking about something with a few of the others. Father Arseny stood at the foot of his own body looking at himself and at the other people as though he were an outsider. And suddenly he understood that his soul had left his body, and he, the Priest Arseny, was physically dead.
Father Arseny turned around in wonder; the barracks was disappearing into darkness, but somewhere in the distance there was a blinding light.
Recollecting himself, Father Arseny started to pray and immediately was at peace; he understood that there was somewhere he had to go. He started walking towards the blinding light, but having made a few steps, he turned back into the barracks, and went up to his bunk. Looking at Alexei, Alexander Pavlovich, Ivanov, Sazikov, Avsenkov and the many, many others with whom he had shared the thorny path of suffering, he understood that he could not leave these people. He could not leave them.
He kneeled, and began to pray, begging God not to leave Alexei, Avsenkov, Alexander, Theodore, Sazikov and all of the others with whom he had lived in this camp.
"O Lord, O my Lord! Do not leave them. Help them and save them!" he prayed. And especially he asked for the intercession of the Mother of God, begging her in her mercy not to abandon the prisoners of the special camp.
As he prayed, he cried, begging God, the Mother of God, and all the Saints to have mercy on them all. But his prayer was wordless. And now the barracks and the entire camp appeared before his spiritual eyes in a very different way. He saw the whole camp with all its prisoners and its prison guards as if from inside. Each person carried within himself a soul which was now distinctly visible to Father Arseny. The souls of some were afire with faith which kindled the people around them; the souls of others, like Sazikov and Avsenkov, burned with a smaller but ever growing flame; others had only small sparks of faith and only needed the arrival of a shepherd to fan these sparks into a real flame. There were also people whose souls were dark and sad, without even the least a spark of Light. Now, looking into the souls of the people which God had allowed him to see, Father Arseny was extremely moved. "O, Lord! I lived among these people and did not even notice them. How much beauty they carry within them. So many are true ascetics in the faith. Although they are surrounded by such spiritual darkness and unbearable human suffering, they not only save themselves, but give their life and their love to the people around them, helping others by word and by deed.
"Lord! Where was I? I was blinded by pride and mistook my own small deeds for something grand."
Father Arseny saw that the Light of faith burned not only in the prisoners, but also in some of the guards and administrators, who, within the limits of what they could do, performed good deeds. For them this was extremely difficult, because it was very dangerous.
"What is all this for?" flew through the mind of Father Arseny. "What is it all for?"
He stood and observed the spiritual world of the people, the same people with whom he had lived, talked, or had only just seen. How surprisingly varied and spiritually beautiful this world appeared before him. People who in the crowd of others had seemed to Father Arseny to be spiritually empty and depersonalized, he now saw anew. He saw that they carried so much faith, so much inexhaustible love for others, did so much good and bore their cross without complaint. And he, Father Arseny, living among them, he, the Priest and Hieromonk Arseny, had not seen them, had not noticed them, had not connected with them.
"O Lord! Where was I? Pardon me and have mercy on me. I only saw myself. I was deluded, I did not have enough faith in people."
Bowing down, Father Arseny prayed for a long time. When he stood up he saw that he still was in the camp, but he no longer had his new perception of it; the bunks and the barracks had disappeared. Father Arseny stood at the gate of the camp. The sharp beams of the search lights were sweeping the region and by the gate stood a sentry. lt was night. The camp was asleep.
Father Arseny turned towards the camp, blessed it and prayed for all those still living in it.
"Lord! How can I leave them? How will I be without them? Do not leave all those who live here without your mercy. Help them!" And kneeling in the snow, he prayed.
It was cold, the wind threw clumps of snow but Father Arseny felt none of it. He prayed for a long time, then stood up and left the camp. He passed the sentries and walked along the road. Somewhere far away he saw a bright, inviting light and walked towards it. He walked easily and calmly. He passed the forest and the village and suddenly found himself in his own town, the one with his church, his very church, the church where he first served as a new priest, where he with the help of his many spiritual children had worked hard to restore its ancient beauty. "How can this be, my Lord? Why am I here?" he murmured, and entered into the church.
The first thing he saw was the familiar icon of the Mother of God, the ancient miracle-working one whose sorrowful face looked deeply and attentively at each who approached her. Everything in this church was as he had left it, but now it was full of people, even overflowing with people. The faces of the people praying were joyous and they looked at the icon of the Mother of God.
As Father Arseny walked towards the altar, the people squeezed right and left to leave a passage for him. He walked towards the altar with a light and happy step. Having entered the altar, he wanted to vest himself and began to remove his camp jacket for the service, but someone who was standing nearby said firmly to him, "Don't take it off! These clothes are also vestments for service."
Father Arseny looked at his padded cotton prison jacket. It was shining and blindingly white. He put on his priest's stole to begin serving and he was amazed. The altar was flooded with a bright light, the whole church gave out light, and the icons looked quite extraordinary on the walls; they seemed almost alive. There were many praying people; they were praying deeply and joyously.
Serving the liturgy, Father Arseny saw that together with him served the Hieromonk Herman, the priest Amvrosy, the Deacon Piorr and several more priests. And he, Father Arseny, knew all those who served with him now. At the side of the altar quietly stood Bishops Jonah, Anthony, Boris, his spiritual father and friend Bishop Theophil, and they all looked at him with joy.
"Lord," thought Father Arseny. "They all died a long time ago, and now they are here. It is so good to be here together!"
Father Arseny served and his soul was full of joy; prayer filled all his being and uplifted him.
Blessing the people praying with him he understood that he knows them all as well. They are his spiritual children, his parishioners, and others he had met in different places, in different camps: he had shared his life with these people. And all these people were praying for someone, they were asking for something. And looking more carefully at them, he realized that just like the priests serving with him and the bishops standing in the altar, all these people had died, some a long time ago and some more recently.
"O, Mother of God, how can this be?" thought Father Arseny. He did not wait for an answer, but he entered deeply into the service, into prayer. As he served the liturgy he felt that he was burning with joy and inner warmth. He received Communion, finished the liturgy, and knelt before the icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir asking her to forgive all his sins.
"O, Mother of God, the Heavenly Father has called me to judgment, because I have died. Do not leave me; be my intercessor before your Son. Do not leave me. I put my trust in You: I am an unworthy sinner." As he prayed for the forgiveness of his own sins, he also begged the Mother of God not to leave all those who were still alive. He prayed for his spiritual children, for the prisoners with whom he had lived and who were still in camps. He prayed for Alexei (the student), for Avsenkov, for Sazikov, for Abrosimov, for Alchevsky and for many, many others. He lost the concept of time and prayed so hard that he felt that all those praying in this church prayed with him; repeating again and again, "O, Birthgiver of God! Do not forget them, the longsuffering!" He cried, he sobbed and tears flowed all over his face.
Father Arseny's heart ached and was tight in his chest - how would they survive, all those who were there? Again he asked the Mother of God not to forget them, whose suffering is beyond what man can bear ... And suddenly, he heard a voice, a clear extremely gentle, but firm clear voice, saying, "The time of your death has not yet come, Arseny. You must serve people some time longer. God is sending you back to help His people! Go and serve. I will not leave you."
Father Arseny lifted his head, looked at the icon and saw that the Mother of God seemed to have come down from the icon and stood in its place. He fell on his knees at her feet and could only repeat, "Mother of God, do not leave them. And have mercy on me a sinner!" And again he heard her voice:
"Lift up your face, Arseny, look at me and tell me what you want to tell me, tell me your thoughts!"
Father Arseny lifted his face, looked at the Mother of God and, overcome by her kindness and her unearthly greatness, bowed low, and said:
"Mother of God, your will be done, yours and the Lord's, but I am old and ill. Will I be able to serve these people as you, the sovereign one, want me to?"
"You are not alone, Arseny, there are many people serving me. You will serve alongside them. And, together with them you will help many. God has just shown you that He has many people helping Him. He has shown you the souls of the people who live in the camps. Faith does live in many of them, faith and love. You are not alone in the kindness you bestow. Go, serve me. I will help you!" And Father Arseny felt the hand of the Mother of God touch his head.
Father Arseny arose, took off his priest's stole, bowed to all those gathered, the priests and the people, and saw once again that he knew them all, and that he had accompanied most them to their eternal rest; his life was in some way tied to each of them. He approached the Royal Doors, knelt, arose, and asked the congregation gathered there not to forget him in their prayers, and walked to the door of the church. As he was walking by them, the people blessed him. He came out of the church with his soul overflowing with joy. It was easy to walk. He was walking towards the camp, towards his barracks. The forest, the road, the houses, all raced by him. He passed the sentries, entered his barracks, walked to his bunk, saw his body on it, with the people gathered around it. He lay down on his bunk and heard someone say, "It's all over! He is getting cold. Our Father Arseny has died. It's almost five o' clock, and will soon be time for reveille; we will have to inform the supervisors."
Someone added, "We all have been orphaned: he helped so many of us. I fought against God my whole life, but he showed Him to me. He revealed Him by his own actions. "
Father Arseny sighed deeply - it surprised them all and it frightened many - he calmly said, "I was in my church, and now you see the Mother of God has sent me back to you!" And nobody felt that these words were strange, although they were still amazed at his return. Some two weeks later Father Arseny was able to get up. Everything seemed strange to him: life in general and people, all looked different. Each person wanted to help, each brought him a little bit of his own ration. Even the Fair One brought some butter and gave it to Sazikov for Father Arseny.
Father Arseny got up, came to life. The terrible illness left him. The Lord and the Mother of God had sent him to serve people, had sent him back into the world.
- (Spiritual techniques)
The Law of Analogy
The law of analogy is also known as the law of correspondence between the microcosm of man and the macrocosm of the universe;it is between the individual spirit Atman and the Universal Spirit Paramatman.
Everything that exists in God The Father exists in us as well. Through the Art of Blessing we have access to the Supreme Energy of God.
The Law of Vibration
Nothing is motionless. Everything that exists is merely vibration that is manifested on different scales. Thus the difference between manifestations of matter, feelings, thoughts, and other phenomena has this simple explanation. The evolutionary scale is made of grades of frequencies from the dense to the subtle, ranging up to the Immortal Spirit of God. The higher the vibration, the more elevated the manifestation. In reality matter is composed of energetic particles in continuous motion of a certain rhythm. Pythagoras discovered that motion is characteristic to every thing or being. Even what seems to be inert has a certain frequency of vibration. Everything that exists in the Universe was created by Divine Energy. An object subjected to vibration can seem perfectly immobile for example, the spokes of a wheel in motion appear as a compact fixed object. Therefore we should not allow ourselves to be fooled by appearances. Rather, we should seek further in order to be closer to reality and to see if a thing object is coarse or refined. We will discover that light, heat, magnetism and electricity are nothing but vibratory phenomena. This is also true for thoughts, emotions, moods, and willpower: they are all vibratory states, emitted towards the exterior, having a larger or smaller impact upon the environment.
The law of vibration represents the ability to intervene in lower levels of manifestation in order to produce the desired transformations.
According to the law of vibration, Supreme Energy is attracted to our being through the technique of the Art of Blessing. It comes from God The Father and is the Ultimate Supreme Energy that originates from the Ultimate Spirit of God. By attracting it, we make the first step on the path of Divine Love. This energy is the direct answer God The Father offers to everyone.
"Ask and thou shall receive. Knock and the door shall open" - this is the fundamental promise the Creator made to Creation, which He has always respected. God The Father immediately grants Supreme Divine Energies of His Spirit as an answer to our prayers.
The Art of Blessing allows us to receive the most valuable spiritual gifts. The energies the individual spirit Atman receives from God have a very high frequency of vibration; they make everything possible in the entire manifestation of spirit.
The Law of Cause and Effect
Every genuine cause that has not been erased has its own effect; and every effect that appears has its own cause that determined it. Everything takes place according to Universal laws established by God. "Luck" and "accident" are only names that the ignorant give to the law of necessity. Nobody can elude the divine laws God has established.
We have the tendency to approach the law of cause and effect in its most negative, pessimistic and ill-fated forms - this attitude seems almost normal. Our shallowness and mediocrity have us misunderstand this principle which is also called the law of karma, and to take appearances as reality. Nothing is fortuitous or by chance. There is a strong connection between events and what follows them. All thoughts appear from the mind, all actions are the consequences of our thoughts, all are links of the chain of cause and effect. This is the secret contained in divine spiritual law. Therefore it is necessary to train the mind in order to obtain happiness, as this is the emotional representation of spiritual evolution. Unfortunately most people limit their access to happiness and indulge in negative states. They abandon themselves passively to others' will, for example when using the mass media. In this way they lose the ability to exercise their own will and allow themselves to become manipulated. The wise and initiated man can use divine law in an intelligent manner against the laws made by people. The superior prevails above the inferior. The common emotion of fear is a torment which blocks knowledge and stops evolution. Thus if we feel troubled we should freely admit our mistakes and move forward and so remain in a calm state. Our errors impact only on us; others' mistakes illustrate what level we are. If someone hurts us, he accumulates karma and this does not affect us. Therefore, we should not take revenge, but should instead ponder why we attracted that action upon us. The law of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, "is thus nullified.
We must consider all our experiences as spiritual tests that allow us to confront our mistakes and learn from them. If we are unsuccessful in learning from this, we simply remain behind other advanced people that may surround us. For example, a man who murders will be murdered in the next existence. Through his action, he accumulates a duty towards himself. If we do not understand this, we will continue killing and being killed life after life. It is important therefore to become conscious, fair and honest with ourselves, to aspire to God, and to follow an upward trajectory towards heavenly divine fruit. All events take place because of causes we know little about; but once the mystery is solved they become natural.
The Law of Synchronicity
Everything is One and this is God The Father. This includes everything: me, you, her, creatures, the tattva-ic elements, and so on. To realize this can only be obtained by a supra-mental consciousness. This state of true harmony is impossible to be reached by mere mechanical understanding. The one who achieves this awareness is above the actions of people, beyond karma. The people who commit selfish actions merely illustrate how they misinterpret life, because appearances are different to reality. In order to see life as it really is, one should reach divine knowledge.
Through the Art of Blessing, Divine Consciousness is awakening in us. The person becomes moral; he will never harm anybody or anything. Divine Consciousness offers such mental peace that cannot be disturbed by anything; this is the most rapid way to obtain the Supreme goal. Regarding devotion, the love of an awakened person is greater than the love of a mother, because she feels separated from her child whereas the wise person is one with God.
It is necessary to tenaciously practice the Art of Blessing, because we can thus reach the Supreme Divine Reality. God is The One who transcends everything we perceive.
Cause, or Karma, can be revoked by knowledge, therefore knowledge is essential. The reason for being reborn is simply our ignorance. However if we can annihilate every desire, we will stop the cycle of rebirth and incarnating again.
Creation is an infinite spectrum of the underlying reality of people, things, and phenomena; with ourselves as conscious beings superior. But the One who created this is beyond all categories. He is transcendental because He is beyond our capability of rational knowledge. Through the Art of Blessing, or through any other efficient method where the Self is revealed by relating to the Supreme Consciousness, He lets Himself be known. When He is known, it eliminates any suffering according to our aspiration. A drop of Divine Grace corrects every mistake, heals every misfortune. The state in which we are freed from every desire grants us perfect peace, complete self contentment and inner reconciliation. Through the Art of Blessing, we reach the state of Communion with God, we get to know Him as "Sat - Chit - Ananda" (ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss). It clearly gives us the direct path and the means to reach Supreme realization. However God's Grace cannot be obtained without any effort. He offers us the Art of Blessing as a direct path to reach Him, but He can only be known by sustained individual practice.
The Correlation between the Law of Synchronicity and the Art of Blessing
Sometimes we feel inspired (zones of synchronicity-harmony, significant coincidences), sometimes we do not (zones of turbulence). In moments of synchronicity, everything is fluid; people, gestures and objects appear exactly at the right time and place. This harmony that seems to come from beyond may appear as a miracle, even in the smallest things:
• meetings, telepathy – the so-called simple coincidences;
• cascade, succession of coincidences (at a superior level). For instance - a person is passing by a phone box, the phone rings, the person answers, the call is for her and the person who made the call dialed this number by mistake instead of the home number!
For many, these are only extraordinary chances of fate, merely "coincidences" or "miracles". Actually they illustrate profound resonance with the mysterious forces of God. It is only our ego that stops us from being in a state of synchronicity all the time.
Synchronicity represents significant coincidences that are not related each other by an evident cause. An event is synchronous with another one when an inner experience (for instance a dream) prepares us for an event that takes place later in the external world. Wishing something passionately, we create what we desire in another plane (sometimes even unconsciously) and we can obtain astonishing effects. For instance, the intellect has very little to do with brilliant discoveries: rather, it is intuition that appears and the solution comes without knowing how, as Albert Einstein confessed. The term “synchronicity” (syn=with and chronos=time) was chosen by Jung to stand for the simultaneous appearance of connections between elements, through meaning but without a unique cause. Science does not quite understand these phenomena and the rational mind denies them. What connects them can only be understood within a mysterious, timeless and causal Universe, which brings spontaneous enlightenment.
Prediction techniques are based on synchronicity – there is no apparent connection between signs and their meaning. Divination is a form of synchronicity. The law of synchronicity and the law of cause and effect are complementary. The law of karma is the law of connections and the law of synchronicity is the law of miracles. Understanding these fundamental laws leads to spiritual leaps in evolution. Synchronicity connects the material world to the psychic world through symbols that are not always understood and which appear from the collective subconscious.
When a person is spiritually elevated and wise, she benefits by having additional degrees of freedom, as she is no longer conditioned to live life by the usual patterns. The law of synchronicity offers her the power, and thanks to her creativity, anything is possible (but not everything is allowed). This "freedom" of a wise man manifests in various ways. For instance near a spiritual master, the evolved disciple is confronted with unexplainable synchronicities.
One can bless houses, places, objects, food, and situations. The Energy of the Spirit of God can be directed to anything; deification can appear in everything. The Blessing does not have to be preceded by Consecration, as it is about the Spirit of God who exists in manifestation as well as outside it. Through the Art of Blessing one activates invisible subtle forces and connects to the synchronicity field.