by ayurveda teacher Andrei Gamulea
What we are all looking for is happiness and as some researchers think, one of the mysteries of the state of happiness resides also in the mysterious transformations that occurs in the nature, more precisely, in the physiological modifications that take place in our body under the action of various ingredients contained in the food and the medicinal herbs that we use. Taking into consideration that, most of us are what we eat, below you can find several foods and medicinal herbs which can help us to awaken and amplify in our beings, in a perfectly natural way, well being, calmness, the psycho-emotional balance and in the end even the state of happiness, of which we may say, we can „taste” it in this manner, here and now.
Sweet and of a nice consistency, the well mellow bananas are rich in fibers, potasium and magnesium. Through their content, these fruits lead fast to a psychic state of well being, they reduce and help fighting against depression, maintaining the emotional balance. Consumed separately or in a delicious fruit salad, fresh bananas can adjust the level of magnesium in the body, favouring a fast recovery of the body after prolonged efforts, both physical and mental. The association of the potasium with magnesium in the content of bananas ensures a remarcable effect of relaxation and recovery at the level of nervous cells. This association offers also an excellent adaptability at the possible emotional fluctuations that may occur, leading in the end to attain a better emotional selfcontrol.
There are two main categories of oranges: the sweet ones and the sour ones. The number of varieties of sweet oranges is remarcable. Sweet oranges contain inozitol, a substance that adjusts the levels of serotonin and insulin. This is why regular consumption of sweet oranges attenuates the fluctuations of psychic and mental dispositions and helps eliminate depression and anxiety. The constant use of sweet oranges could also help reduce the exceeding fats and cholesterol, favouring the harmonization of the physical body. In addition, sweet oranges are an important source of vitamin C, only one orange fruit offering up to 150% from the daily recommended dose of vitamin C. In this respect it is known that in conditions of great stress, large amounts of vitamin C are very helpful because then both the consumption of noradrenalin as well as the consumption of adrenalin is considerably increased. Both the taste and the flavour of the oranges are extremely invigorating. Recent studies shows that only the smell of fresh oranges can reduce considerably the states of anxiety, awakening well being and optimism.
Originating from Tibet and China, the peach tree is being cultivated from over 200 years for its sweet and juicy fruits. Peaches contains antioxidants and fibers. An amount of 150 grams of fresh peaches supplies 8% from the daily recommended dose of soluble fibers which reduces the level of cholesterol from the blood stream. This effect is usually felt by those that savors several mellow peaches, as a sensation of energetical refreshment, similar with the sensation we have after a walk in fresh air, in a mountain forest. Peaches contains also potasium, an element which is not at all accidentally called „the mineral element of youth”, because it has an extremely important role in the adjustment of a high number of chemical processes in the body.
Rarely used in their natural form, the ananas fruits are an excellent source of macronutrients. Only 100 grams of fresh ananas fruit can supply 25% from the daily recommended dose of vitamin C for an adult. Refreshing and tasty, ananas is also an excellent activator of the digestive processes. Ananas contains bromeline, an enzyme well known for accelerating especially the digestion of proteins. In the end, the effect felt after consuming almost 200 grams of fresh ananas is one of considerably instant refreshment both physical and psychic.
Grapefruit is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9), which is crucial for the distribution of oxygen to the brain. According to a recent american study, the sanguine level of folic acid is lower in those that often suffer states of depression. The folic acid (vitamin B9) contributes in forming healthy cells and plays a very important role in preventing the anomalies of the nervous system. At the same time, grapefruit is a key ingredient for the serotonine production which is sometimes suggestively called „the hormone of happiness”. This is why, the consumption of only one grapefruit daily can bring an instant state of psychic serenity. Besides, one of the main effects of folic acid (vitamin B9) is that of maintaining the emotional and psychic balance. For this reason, a glass of fresh grapefruit juice, sweetened with honey, can make dissapear almost instantly the bad psychic states.
This vegetable has a high content of zinc which, as some polish researches discovered, maintains alive the nervous cells, eliminating the burdensome states of spirit. This oligo-element, zinc, is used in transforming the aminated acid tryptophan in serotonine, called „the hormone of happiness”, and some researches state that it is also involved in what we can call „the secret chemistry of love“. Mellow pumpkin is a real tasty feast if it is served with honey and aromatic plants. You can also peel the pumpkin of its skin, cut it in small pieces and then it can be fried slightly in olive oil, adding various aromatic plants such as sage, rosemary, basil or mint and condiments (coriander, fennel, caraway, anise, cinnamon or vanilla). The zinc contained by the pumpkin is responsible for the stimulation of taste and smell buds and of sight receptors. Hereby, zinc present in the pumpkin increases sight, taste and smell. This is why, as we savor the specific flavour of a well cooked pumpkin, we can feel the attraction towards the shiny pumpkin increasung „as we speak”.
Originating from ancient Persia, spinach has an impressive history. In the 7th century, the king of Nepal sent spinach to China as a gift. In the 11th century, it was introduced in Spain by the moors and in England it was known as the „spanish vegetable”. In the 16th century, the spinach was highly appreciated by the king of France. At the end of the fist half of the past century, the spinach became already famous due to Popeye, the character created by the designer E. C. Segar. Related to the beet, the spinach is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9) which is soluble in water and it is very important for keeping the psychic balance. Besides, even the name of this vitamin - „folic acid” – cames from the latin word „folium”, meaning leaf, because the folic acid can be found mostly in green vegetables such as spinach. A dish of spinach consumed daily is recommended to eliminate the states of depression. In addition, spinach proved to be an excellent neuroprotector. The constant consumption of raw spinach, as salad or cooked, leads to increased cerebral functions.
Cauliflower originates from Turkey and its culture spread throughout Europe starting with the 16th century. The cauliflower is a vegetable rich in vitamin C. The alimentation poor in this vitamin inhibates the production of dopamine, this being responsible of the absorbtion of iron which stimulates the general energy of the body. The dopamine is involved too in the control of the general state of well being. A recent british study showed that 100 grams of raw cauliflower offers to the body 70 mg of vitamin C, quantity which is an excellent stimulator of well being. In addition, the cauliflower contains a considerable amount of folic acid (vitamin B9), reason for which, if we eat it in the evening, before going to sleep, some raw cauliflower with cream and some crisp food, such as corn flakes, we could have after that a profound state of calmness which will ensure us in the following night a calm and refreshing sleep.
Eastern civilisations used mushrooms both as food as well as medicine. Mushrooms are a very good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavine) and vitamine B3 (niacine). Vitamine B2 is involved in a great number of reactions that produce energy. This is why, a mushroom dish is so appreciated for its regenerating effects. On the other hand, a deficit of niacine (vitamine B3) can cause depression. When the niacine level is low, the body produces vitamine B3 from tryptophane, and the remaining quantity that is to be transformed in serotonine is very low. This reaction is not favourable for maintaining a state of well being and psychic balance. Because mushrooms are rich in niacine (vitaminea B3), their use in the alimentation proves to be very useful. Mushrooms can be cooked with olive oil and then fried on the grill. Some of them, such as the mushrooms called champignion could be consumed even raw, in salads.
Avocado has been known and used in alimentation for more than 7000 years. Incas and aztecs appreciated avocado for its soft texture and the multiple great effects of this fruit. The avocado fruit contains potasium, follats, carotenoids, and vitamine B6 (piridoxine). A cup of avocado sliced in small pieces (146 grams) contains 874,54 mg potasium, 90,37 mcg follats and 0,41mg vitamine B6 (piridoxine). The avocado fruit is a very good source of potasium, fighting against states of tiredness and helping achieving a state of general calm. Vitamine B6, present in the avocado fruit, contributes also in maintaining the psychic and psychosomatic balance. It appears in the processes of decarboxylation from which results precursors alamines of the neurotransmitters (noradrenaline and serotonine). Consequently, either served simple, fresh, or added in raws salads, with tomatoes, mushrooms or squashes, the avocado fruit is a real beneficent „vegetable butter”, which instantly vanish depression, irritability, anxiety or agitation.
Carrots cultivation and their use in alimentation has been done for thousands of years. They are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. A recent British study made a connection between lack of vitamin B8 (biotin) from carrots and nervous breakdowns. It is well known the fact that vitaminB8 (biotin) is a key in the glucid, lipid and proteins metabolism, and that it stimulates vitamin C activity. As a result, regular consumption of carots, as fresh juices in the morning or even added in daily food gives us all a general state of well being and keeps us in a permanent good mood. Carrots' Beta-carotene is an excellent antioxidant, which gives them regenerative virtues, helping both the old ones as well as the young .So, a good cup of fresh carrots juice is an excellent solution for fatigue states.
String bean has a rich content of magnesium (28 mg from 100 grams). According to a british study, those that suffer from depression present a lower level of magnesium. The magnesium is an important factor that interferes in maintaining the psychic balance, it is a very good sedative for the nervous system and it has an antidepression effect. The magnesium is present in almost all green vegetables, particularly in the string bean. Therefore, a dish with fresh string bean can increase the level of magnesium in our body, helping us stay on the right side of the emotional balance. In addition, the magnesium from the string bean has a complex action at the cerebral level, generating a stimulation of the nervous cells.
Algae are some primitive plants, photosynthetisants, with a very simple structure. They have been used even from 5000 years ago as nourishment for the man, thanks to the high nutritional properties they have. Algae are rich in iodine that is excellent to stabilize the tendencies to mental fluctuations, to eliminate the states of depression and to improve the general level of energy. At the same time, algae facilitate mental concentration and the vigilant attention. Having a content of over 50% proteins, algae are used to the preparing of soups and sour soups and especially of the dishes based on rice and of a great variety of raw vegetable salads. Frequently, algae replace some vegetables in the nourishment of a big number of people.
Sweet cheese guaranties us a “sweet sleep”. This is because it is one of the best sources of triptofane, an aminat acid used in the production of melatonin that encourages sleep. Triptofane is one of the 10 essential aminoacids that the human organism uses to synthesize proteins. It has an important role in the best functioning of the nervous system, especially connected with the relaxation, the sleep and to the natural capacity of rest. From the benefits it provides is also the one of regulating the appetite. The triptofane share is useful in the cases of insomnias. At the same time the triptofane positively influences the psychic and emotional state, or otherwise said, it cheers one up. The triptofane acts as a forerunner of serotonin, neurotransmitter that helps the organism in regulating the appetite, in the capacity of rest and of general psychic state. Thanks to the function of increasing the serotonin’s level, the triptofane contributes to the treatment of a great number of disorders, among which the insomnia, the depression and the anxiety. So if the insomnia or the state of well-being gives signs of weakness, don’t avoid taking a snack consisting of integral bread and fresh sweet cheese. You can also add on top some fresh leaves of parsley that are also an excellent natural source of triptofane.
Goat milk has rich calcium content: 500 ml goat milk contains 70% from the daily necessary recommended dose of calcium. As it is known, calcium is an important re-balancing element of the psychic and mental disposition. From a physiological point of view, it is very useful for the transmission of nervous impulses. Therefore, remember in time that a calcium deficiency often leads to an increase of nervousness. So, the use of the fresh goat milk can be of great help for the maintaining of the psycho-mental balance. This is one of the reasons for which calcium can be called, for good reason, “the mineral responsible for our state of calmness”. Therefore, don’t delay the use of goat milk each time it is necessary.
Nuts are for a good reason associated with the improving effects of the cerebral capacities. Not at random, nature made the inside form of the nuts, under the shell, look like the form of some miniature brains! Their efficiency in this direction is related to the fact that nuts are an excellent source of Omega 3, that contribute to the good functioning of the brain cells and of the best functioning of its neurotransmitters. At teenagers and adults with deficiency of Omega 3 the accesses of violence and fury are frequent, and at the aged persons the penury of the brain from fat acids of the Omega 3 type can lead to cerebral vascular accidents, memory problems and senile madness. The children of whose mothers had consumed a sufficient quantity of Omega 3 fat acids prove to have higher intelligence.
Hazelnuts originate from Asia. These represent one of the oldest crops, mentioned in the ancient oriental writings as being blessed nourishment. Hazelnuts contain a big quantity of pholic acid (B9 vitamin), favoring this way the decrease of depressive states and melancholy. It is known the fact that in case of B9 vitamin deficiency the process of serotonin production is affected. Disturbances in serotonin production are associated with irritability, aggressiveness, with the diminishing of concentration power and memory deficiency. Therefore the consumption of hazelnuts can be quite helpful. Hazelnuts can be baked or grinded with a blender. They also present a high calcium content (140 mg la 100 g), reason for which the consumption of hazelnuts allows that instead of the depressive states, a profound state of calmness and self control would rapidly install in our being.
The fruit of the almond tree (Prunus amygdalus), a tree from the Rosaceae family, the edible almonds (the sweet almonds) present a very high energetic intake, being rich in unsaturated fat acids, vegetal proteins and sugars. Sweet almonds can be eaten both fresh and dried. The almond kennels can be consumed as such or they can be used at the preparing of the sweets. At the same time the almonds represent one of the most important vegetal natural sources of calcium(252 mg at 100 g).The calcium facilitates the transmission of the nervous impulse, intervening in the processes of the acetylcholine, noradrenalin and serotonin’s releasing, contributing this way to the maintaining of the nervous system’s balance. This is why almonds are much appreciated for the psychic and mental welfare that they offer and for the state of tranquility that appears soon after we eat them. Even more, the almonds contribute also to the improvement of the natural capacity of memorizing.
Sesame seeds come from India and from there they spread in the whole world. Sesame seeds represent one of the best sources of treonine, an aminat acid. The deficiency of this element in the organism can provoke depressions. Sesame seeds can be softly roasted, then grinded finely with a small addition of salt and then the powder can be sprinkled on raw
vegetable salads. Sesame seeds can be also consumed under the form of tahini - the well-known extremely tasty and nourishing paste from sesame seeds. So that it would be easy to digest, it is best to prepare it with the addition of lemon juice, salt and water, until it results a thin paste, close in consistency to fruit juice .
Liquorice is one of the herbs used in the most traditional formulas, both in the millenary ayurvedic science, and in the Chinese medicine. Among its numerous components, the root of liquorice contains also glyceritic acid, component that stops the decrease of the cortisone level, helping in this way the organism to face successfully the situations characterized by stress. Therefore, the root of liquorice can be used to eliminate the states of tension or psychic fatigue. Besides, liquorice contains also isoflavone, a molecule used to eliminate depression. Used under the form of dried powder, liquorice can improve the depressive state and the anxiety. Its specific sweet taste confers a certain state of calmness and tranquility. It shouldn’t be used though in big amounts, at most a gram of powder once, because otherwise it is possible to determine at some persons the vomitive reflex.
Ginseng root comes from China and North America. The American natives knew the healing properties of ginseng so that, when they traveled long distances, they chewed ginseng roots to face tiredness. There are studies that showed that this wonder herb, known and appreciated from ancient times, improves the body’s response to stress and it reduces anxiety. Ginseng stimulates the psychic energy, gives wellbeing and increases the inner energy. It is said that Chinese wise men from the ancient times daily enjoyed a cup of elixir prepared from ginseng root.
Parsley is an excellent source of L-glutamine, an amino acid that increases the power of mental concentration. It also helps in fighting against anxiety and stress, elevating the energetic level of the brain and increasing vigilance. At the same time, parsley is an important source of triptofane, which is a good regulator of the appetite. Therefore, the presence of even a little quantity of parsley in our daily food proves to be of much help for the maintaining of the general state of equilibrium. But when we especially intend to improve our energetic level and our state of attention we must not delay the moment of preparing a salad abundant in fine chopped parsley, to which we could add tomatoes, lemon and cold pressed olive oil.
Archeological researches had shown that corn was cultivated on the American continent over 5000 years ago. Both from its golden colour, and its content, this golden corn cob can bring the sunshine in our house! A portion of corn assures us a quarter of the recommended daily share of B1 vitamin. According to a recent study, vigilance, energy and welfare could be improved after two months of supplementary intake of B1 vitamin, coming from natural food, even without any deficiency in this direction! B1 vitamin (thiamine) is absolutely necessary for the normal progress of the nervous system’s functions. Many of the stressed or nervous persons suffer in reality of a deficiency of this vitamin. The brain is a big consumer of glucose, and for metabolizing the glucose, the organism uses its thiamine reserves. Besides, B1 vitamin is also involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters (for example, acetylcholine). This is why corn represents a very valuable food. It should be eaten either, or under the form of mushed corn, made by boiling properly the polenta flour. In this direction the millenary system of AYURVEDA mentions that by preparing it like this (mushed corn) we can add a great variety of herbs and spice powders, as to the necessities, beneficiating this way of their effects.
The trimethylglicine contained by wheat participates at the production of several chemical compounds existing in the brain, that improve the psychic, mental state, the psychic energy, the state of wellbeing, vigilance, concentration and the visual acuity. The main sources of trimethylglicine are wheat germs and husk. Just for this reason, try to no longer use eat especially white bread and rather choose brown one (integral), where the wheat germ is kept intact, in order to beneficiate from the content of integral wheat.
Beans are one of the oldest foods. Signs of its existence are dated over 2000 years ago. White bean is an excellent source of folic acid (the vitamin B9), of whose presence in the organism influences in a beneficial way the production of noradrenalin, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for the motivation and pleasure sensations. Therefore, if you fell exhausted or apathetic, don’t hesitate to eat a portion of food made of white beans, prepared with olive oil and eventually with mustard or other aromatic spices, such as coriander and caraway. A well cooked bean dish, moderately consumed, is almost always a simple and natural manner to regain the state of calmness and of psychic balance. White beans shouldn’t miss from our weekly food intake.
Lentils contain more proteins than all the other vegetables, except soja and horse bean. Lentils also contains iron (1,00mg per 100g). According to some recent studies, the state of depression is often a symptom of a chronic deficiency of iron, so as the state of weakness, tiredness or exhaustion. A dish of lentils assures us a good part of the daily iron intake recommended. Iron is necessary for the assimilation of the vitamins belonging to the B complex, coming from food. It increases the resistance to tiredness and plays an important part in intellectual development. Therefore, don’t hesitate to enjoy lentils especially as the traditional ayurvedic dish called DHAL, which is a delicious Indian soup based on lentils, or add a handful of baked lentils to a vegetables soup or a raw vegetable salad.
Soya comes from China. 3000 years ago, soy beans were considered among the most important beans used for nourishment. Through a relatively simple process of preparation, the well-known soy milk that is among the richest foods in proteins can be obtained from soy beans. In case of consuming soy milk, the proteins turn into tyrosine, that increases the production of dopamine and noradrenalin, which ares known as chemical cerebral compounds, which help us feel full of energy and make us always have a positive state of mind. For this reason we can choose to replace, for some periods of time, the regular breakfast milk with soy milk.
Tofu is the generic given name to the so-called soy cheese. According to a recent scientific study of the British researchers, the lack of triptofane can be a cause of depression. But this amino acid exists in a big quantity in tofu, the soy cheese, 747 mg per 100g, quantity that is therefore ideal to keep us in shape. If you are not convinced by its spongeous aspect, add it to a mix of fresh fruits and you will enjoy this way its benefits, even if then you won’t feel entirely its pleasant taste and its specific consistency!
Humus is the general given name to a class of traditional dishes from the Near East, that are made of chick pea or sesame paste, or from the combination of the two. Generally, the humus has the aspect of a paste that resembles as consistency the Romanian dish called “whipped beans”. Rich in proteins and in fibers, the humus prepared both from chick pea beans and sesame seeds must be consumed in moderate quantities, usually with addition of spices and lemon juice. The consumption of even a 100g portion of humus, leads to the control of the process of releasing the glucose in the blood, this devolving in a slow and regulate rhythm. This allows the avoiding of too big variations of sugars’ level that usually give birth to emotional fluctuations, depressive states and bad mood. Therefore, don’t hesitate to add to the daily menu the dishes from chick pea and sesame, of the humus type, even as appetizer, beside the integral bread or the cereals preparations.
Tempeh is a traditional food, coming from Indonesia, being based on fermented soy. It is also possible to get it chilled or frozen, to a form similar to the sponge cake. Tempeh is a very rich in fiber food and also represents an important source of proteins, minerals, calcium, iron and vitamin B2. According to some researchers, the aggressiveness would come from a deficiency of B2 vitamin.B2 vitamin interferes in energy production. This vitamin is also necessary to the producing of butyric acid that has positive effects on the general disposition. Tempeh is a very good source of B2 vitamin and this is why it is recommended to be used as a main protein source, being an excellent replacer of meat, for those who want to switch to a lacto-vegetarian diet. Nourishing and calming at the same time, tempeh can be very useful in regaining the general welfare.
The Haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula) is not randomly known and appreciated in the Tibetan tradition under the name “the king of natural remedies”. On the other hand, in the traditional works of Ayurveda, the Haritaki fruits are frequently enumerated as basic ingredients in the most numerous revitalizing therapeutic formulas, thanks to its multiple healing virtues. Ayurvedic tradition underlines the fact that the Haritaki fruits present a remarkable property: the Haritaki fruit has 5 (sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent) out of the 6 known elementary tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent), which through combination, in different proportions, give birth to the entire diversity of tastes existing in nature.This specific combination determines, among other things, the regenerating and revitalizing properties of the Haritaki fruits. Recent scientific researches have shown that the haritaki fruits have important antioxidant properties that contribute in the case of their constant use, to the improvement of the living tissues from the human body. The Haritaki fruits have a rich content of vitamin C, that plays an important part in the improving of the psycho-mental and cognitive functions and contribute at the same time to a better adaptation of the organism to the factors generating stress.
In the oriental spiritual tradition the tree Bilva (Aegle marmelors) represents a living symbol of the spiritual life, being known in India as “SHIVA’s sacred tree”. In Ayurveda, the benefic effects of the Bilva fruits are compared to the benefic virtues of the heavenly ambrosia (AMRITA).Not at random, the Bilva tree in present in India in most of the temples’ gardens consecrated to Shiva and it’s almost permanent in the natural ambiance in which different ritual celebrations of India’s spiritual tradition take place. The mentions referring to the use in therapeutic purpose of the Bilva fruits appear from the ancient Vedic writings and continue in almost all the traditional works of Ayurveda. The famous ayurvedic work “Charaka Samhita” frequently refers to the rejuvenating and revitalizing properties of these fruits, of whose aspect is impressive, through their round shape, of whose diameter often overruns 10cm.The modern scientific researches have shown that the Bilva fruits have a rich content of alpha-tocoferol, the most active compound from the vitamin E class, of whose antioxidant action makes possible the slowing of aging processes. Besides, if they are consumed frequently, the Bilva fruits can help, through the form of the natural vitamin E that they contain, the ones who live in polluted areas and those who, even if they don’t smoke, come sometimes to expose themselves accidentally to the harm of the cigarette smoke that is sometimes present in public places.
Well-known in the tradition of the millenary system Ayurveda, the Amalaki fruits (Emblica officinalis) represent an important and rich natural source of vitamin C: between 600mg and 1800mg per 100g of Amalaki fruits. Whether they are used fresh, or as dried powder, the Amalaki fruits generate a powerful strengthening effect. The vitamin C they contain rapidly generates stimulation effects of the cerebral activity. The big quantities of vitamin C contained in the Amalaki fruits are of great help to forestall the drawbacks that usually derive from stressful situations, when the consumption of noradrenalin and adrenaline is much increased. Therefore, Amalaki fruits represent an important natural way to fight against stress and to improve the psychic and intellectual functions. Not coincidentally, these fruits with a strong and pleasant sourish taste, followed by a surprising, sweet, extremely pleasant, intense and refined taste after being well chewed, are used in the traditional ayurvedic formulas for rejuvenation and regeneration.
Known and appreciated as a genuine “Indian ginseng”, the Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera) represents a valuable general revigourant of the organism. In the frame of the traditional system of Ayurveda, the Ashwangadha root is quoted among the most important remedies that allow the establishing of a profound state of relaxation and that also allows the recovering of the emotional balance in a short time. Biochemical researches and clinical studies recently made show that, statistically speaking, thetherapeutic use of Ashwagandha root leads to a considerable decrease of the cortisone and of catecholamine through the urinary secretion. It is known the fact that their excess represents one of the causes of states of stress. The Ashwaganda root contains the withaferine – A, an alkaloid that stimulates the activity of the acetylcholine at the cerebral level. Therefore, the herb contributes to improving memory performances and to the optimization of the cognitive and learning processes. Also, the glyco-withanoloids contained in the herb contribute to the decrease of the states of anger, tension, anxiety and of depressive states. The Ashwagandha root has a slight pleasant sweet taste, for which reason it is possible to take it constantly, for long periods of time. Used in such a way, it contributes efficiently to the recovery of the emotional welfare and the amplification of mental capacities. Besides, the Ashwagandha root confers a more and more lasting independence in maintaining unaltered the psychic positive and sthenic states.
The lotus flowers, (Nelumbo nucifera) play an important part in the frame of different healing traditions of the East. In Ayurveda the lotus flowers (Kamala) are appreciated as being the most efficient sedative and refreshing, being therefore used to reduce inflammations and at the same time for removing states of contraction, tension or stress. In the eastern spiritual tradition the lotus flowers (Kamala) represent a sacred symbol of deep meditative states that can be reached after the consequent practice of Yoga techniques. In the frame of the millenary Yoga system, the lotus flowers (Kamala) are directly associated with states of interiorization and deep yogic meditation. Usually taken under the tongue, as dried powder, the lotus flowers (Kamala) can quickly generate a profound state of mind calmness, inner centering, serenity, inner peace and therefore it rapidly establishes a sublime state of happiness without object (Ananda). The lotus flowers (Kamala) contain lotusine and nucifere, compounds that determine a specific effect of cerebral stimulation and which generate a general state of extremely pleasant relaxation that is felt almost in the whole body. The pleasant state that is generated by the use of the lotus flowers (Kamala) is often appreciated as being the state of “ravishing joy”.
Well-known especially in the millenary ayurvedic tradition, the Indian herb Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) has become nowadays well-known in the entire world, for its multiple beneficial effects on the cerebral functions. The modern studies have shown that the Indian herb Brahmi contributes to the increase of the mental capacity of concentration, to the amplification of the focusing power of attention and to the improvement of the memory performances. The herb contains bacozides and tritepenoid saponines, both being responsible for the improvement of the nervous transmission. In particular, the bacozides, that are the main ingredient contained in the herb, improve the synaptic activity, that leads to the general effect of increasing the mental power. In the ayurvedic tradition, Brahmi is described as being one of the most important herbs with invigorating cerebral effect. Its constant use as dry powder, under the tongue, can determine gradually the appearance of a general effect of improving the intelligence functions that translates especially into the improving effects of the mental functions of planning and problems solving, as well as into the activation of all the cerebral processes that need a rapid processing of information.
The Gingko tree (Gingko biloba) comes from China, but currently it is cultivated almost in the whole world. Even if it has a slow growth, it is likely to reach up to 35 meters high. Its spread is owed especially to the therapeutic virtues of its leaves, known as being used in the traditional Chinese medicine for 3000 years, due to their rejuvenating effects. Not accidentally, in the tradition of Chinese medicine, the Gingko tree is known under the symbolic name of “The fountain of youth and vitality”. The modern scientific researches have shown that the Gingko leaves contain triptofane, essential ingredient for the maintaining of the psycho-emotional balance and of the general welfare state. The Gingko leaves also contain a large scale of flavonoids of whose antioxidant action is responsible for the maintaining of the general wellbeing. Also, through the bioflavonoids that they contain, the Gingko leaves contribute to the bettering of the cerebral and peripherical circulation. Thanks to their specific content, the Gingko leaves are at the same time useful for the improving of the memory functions. Their use as powder, under the tongue, can help us to rapidly regain the psycho-mental balance and it allows us at the same time to awake and increase the state of optimism.
The name of Passiflora comes from the Italian expression “fior de la passione”. Impressive and triumphant especially through the extraordinary beautiful shape of its flowers, Passiflora (Passiflora incarnata) is a valuable remedy that allows the elimination of the states of anger and tension, anxiety or depression. Passiflora contains a series of flavonoids, which determine the relaxing and deeply calming action that the herb has on the nervous system. The clinical studies and the modern scientific researches that have been conducted on the content of this plant have shown that Passiflora has as main ingredient a monoflavonoid, the chrysene, that acts particularly on the brain, so that the leaves and the flowers of this herb prove to be extremely efficient on the removal of fear without an object or of states of panic, as well as drawbacks and disorders resulting from deep states of emotional stress. The use of Passiflora dry powder establishes the being a profound state of peace and calmness.
Having an extremely pleasant flavor, Melissa (Melissa officinalis) is one of the herbs of whose vivid presence in the gardens of herbs’ lovers is almost permanent. Even a mere touch of its leaves gives an extremely pleasant and calming olfactory trace. Melissa leaves contain geraniol, substance of whose antioxidant effects have been certified by numerous modern scientific studies. Besides, both the geraniol, and the rozmarinic acid and the flavonoids contained in the Melissa leaves determine the existence of a large scale of benefic effects that the herb exerts in the psycho-mental sphere. Discorides enumerates Melissa among the most efficient healing herbs that were used by the ancient Greeks for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The use of dry powder of Melissa leaves improves the performances of memory, stabilizes emotional fluctuations, reduces and removes states of anxiety and psychic tension. It is an excellent sedative. In the 17th century, John Evelyn, a famous naturalist of those times, appreciated Melissa for its strong energizing action that it determines especially at the psychic and mental level. Used either fresh or dried, Melissa can make rapidly disappear the states of melancholy, the ailing emotivity and depression, replacing them quickly with a sthenic psychic state, full of confidence and joy.
Hardhay (Hypericum perforatum) has become famous, especially in the West, thanks to its antidepressive virtues. Recent statistic studies show that there are currently millions of Americans that use the natural remedies in which the hardhay is the main ingredient. The main purpose of the use of natural remedies based on hardhay is especially the improving of psychic and emotional states and the removal of tendencies to depressive states that occur especially among those who live in the great urban throngs. Most of the persons that use the natural remedies based on hardhay often do it in preventive purpose, especially because the hardhay confers them an excellent psychic wellbeing. The modern scientific studies have proved that hardhay contains at least 10 compounds that are responsible for the beneficial effects on the nervous system. For example, the hyperforine contained in hardhay determines especially the balancing emotional effects. Hardhay also contains hypericine and flavonoids, all these contributing to the constant maintaining of a positive psycho-mental state, that allows to overcome successfully stressing situations, anger, tension and anxiety. Used constantly as dry powder, hardhay can make possible the maintainance of a predominant state of calmness and good mood that allows us to fully enjoy what is wonderful and happy in life.
Originating from North America, Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) has become known in almost the entire world for its imunostimulent properties. The modern scientific researches have shown that the herb contains cicoric acid, a compound from the group of the polifenolies, on which it has been established that it considerably increases the efficiency of the immune system. The cicoric acid intensifies the interferon and immunoglobine production, contributing through these to the improvement of immunity. Besides, the cicoric acid has also antioxidant properties. Therefore, the constant use for some periods of time of the remedies that contain Echinacea leads to a rapid increase of the natural capacity of the body’s defense against bacterial or viral infections. Besides this, the herb fully contributes to the decrease and then to the removal of tiredness, emotional disorders and depressive states. The general stimulating effect of Echinacea makes it possible that in a short time a sthenic state of good mood appears, allowing the fast redefining of the inner motivation to be active and confident in that which is good and beautiful.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is one of the most efficient healing herbs with sedative effects. Its name comes from the Latin word “valere” that signifies “welfare”. In the traditional way the valerian root is used as a natural sedative that determines an efficient action of relaxation at the level of the whole central nervous system. Carefully studied by the researchers even from the beginning of the 20th century, the valerian root contains over 150 compounds. Among these, an important place has the gamma-aminobutiric acid, aminoacid that is considered to be an important inhibitory of the neurotransmitters and which is found in almost 40% of the brain synapses. The many clinical studies have shown that this natural compound, present in the valerian root, determines the improving of memory and of cognitive functions and removes tiredness or weakness associated to states of anxiety, anger or stress. Besides, the gamma-aminoburitic acid contained in the valerian root has at the same time an important nutritional value. This is why the use of the natural remedies that contain valerian makes possible the regeneration of the nervous system’s functions and the establishment of a profound state of relaxation that facilitates at the same time a restful sleep. As the many researches and clinical studies the valerian root have shown, a remarkable fact must be remembered and that is: even in the case of a repeated intake of the valerian root, over long periods of time, it has absolutely no negative impact on the state of vigilance or on the response speed to nervous stimuli, processes that take place normally in the state of wakefulness.
It is said that when you plant and then carefully take care of the sage in the garden, it will then offer you the gift of a long and happy life. In the antiquity, sage (Salvia officinalis) was considered to be the herb that helps the old people enjoy life like the young ones. Even from those times, sage leaves were used in numerous natural preparations for improving memory. In Latin language its name means “to heal”, just because of the fact that sage leaves have healing properties in almost all types of illnesses, for which reason it was considered a real panacea. The sage is part of the aromatic herbs. Beside eucalyptol, sage leaves contain also other substances with a strong antioxidant role. Comparative physiochemical studies have shown that sage has antioxidant effects almost as powerful as the different varieties of thyme. Sage leaves can be used in multiple manners both fresh and as dry powder. Chewed whole, either fresh or dry, sage leaves can rapidly generate a state of psychic energisation, casting away amazingly fast states of anxiety, restlessness, fear or depression. Used systematically by those who know it, sage can soon lead to the improving of attention and of vigilance. At the same time it encourages the refinement of the sensory perceptions and it may fully contribute to the amplification of benefic creative intelligence.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a plant that comes from the south of India. Brought from the East for its extremely flavoured taste and for its antitoxic properties, cardamom is now used in Europe also for coffee flavouring, due to the fact that it neutralizes, to a certain extent, the harmful effect of caffeine. The Arabs, good knowers of the herb’s powers, are the ones who called it “the seed of love”. Cardamom is appreciated as aphrodisiac, reawakening not only the sexual appetite, but especially “the inner fire of love”. An extremely simple and efficient preparation in case of physical or nervous tiredness or lack of sexual appetite is obtained by mixing a fresh egg yolk with a little spoon of honey and a tip of grinded cardamom seeds. An extremely delicious and nourishing desert is the integral rice with milk and honey spiced with cardamom, coriander, ginger, and saffron and of course with cardamom seeds, all these in equal quantities. Cardamom seeds are also used for making cakes, to which they give an exquisite flavor.
From the herbs used for healing purpose, basil (Ocimum basilicum) is the one known and appreciated currently almost in the whole world. Even from the time of ancient Greeks, basil was significantly named “the king of healing herbs”, the Greek term “basileus” having exactly the meaning of “king”. Basil comes from India, its growth spreading even from antiquity in the south of Europe. Having an extremely pleasant and refined flavour, basil was and continues to be used to the flavouring of different dishes, among others also because of its digestive properties. The volatile oil present in its leaves contains linalol, eugenol and anetol. Basil is unanimously appreciated as a herb that can encourage spiritual awakening. The specific flavour of basil generates in the immediate ambiance an ineffable state of sacredness, in this way producing in the being of those who let themselves penetrated by its pleasant scent, a spontaneous orientation of the mind towards the good and luminous thoughts. The constant use of dry powder from basil leaves is extremely beneficial for those who seek to awake in their inner universe a state of harmony between the heart and the mind.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is appreciated to be an excellent fortifier, even from the time of ancient Greece. Fennel can successfully replace any other exoticherb, being a very strong stimulant for digestion and generally for the organism’s functions. Fennel is often considered to be a food that is at the same time a valuable natural remedy. Fennel seeds represent a very good flavoring for sweets. Together with aniseeds and cinnamon, one can obtain an extremely tasty and flavoured combination for sweet dishes, for cakes or fruit salads. Sweet milk with fennel seeds is an excellent remedy for the irritable, quarrelsome, angry or anxious persons. The recipe of preparation is the following: in a glass of hot sweet milk add a little spoon of fine grinded powder of fennel seeds, then let to cool off. Drink it immediately with small swallowings. The powder of fennel seeds, administered separately, rapidly generates a state of psycho-mental energisation, increasing in this way the vigilance and determining the establishment of a good mood.
Present in wide areas from Asia and Europe, chickweed (Stellaria media) is relatively common, but less known and appreciated in rapport with its wide spreading. The modern scientific researches have shown that the herb contains triptofane, beside the lavonoids, cumarines, saponines, mucilages, triterpenoids, sicilium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Emollient, fine and with a pleasant taste, the chickweed generates sedative effects on the psychic and on the mind. It contributes to a much better psychic and mental relaxation, it gives a state of calmness and it helps the establishment of a profound interiorizing state, characterized by much enhanced lucidity.
Sringataka (Trapa natans) or the “water chestnut” is known in ayurvedic tradition as one of the most important herbs with revitalizing virtues. In India, in the rural environment, Sringataka fruits powder was used as a substitute for cereal flour, especially by those who followed certain purifying diets. In the Hindu communities, the flour of Sringataka fruits was included in the fasting before th religious holidays, for the preparation of small cakes or small breads, slightly roasted. The plant is rich in mineral elements, especially calcium (20 mg per 100g). In Yoga practice, the powder of Sringataka fruits is used for the amplification of vitality and for stabilizing mind fluctuations. The use of Sringataka fruits powder gives a profound stability of the mind and it allows entrance to a superior state of contemplation. The state of “immobility” of the mind that results from the use of Sringataka fruit powder makes the plant useful to those who intend to improve in the accomplishment of the yogic technique LAYA YOGA. The constant use of this vitalizing plant creates the premises of an expanded dynamization at the level of ANANDA MAYA KOSHA, facilitating in this way the access to a profound inner state of happiness.
Known for over 5000 years, vervain (Verbena officinalis) is a healing herb used in different traditions of the world. During the ages, vervain was appreciated as “the herb of love”. In the Middle Ages it was used for the preparation of some magic potions, that were able to tame the passionate nature of the warriors. Vervain is known and used also in Indian tradition. In the Yunani medicine, vervain is used as tonic, antifebrile, but especially as sedative, for the treatment of nervous disorders. In China, vervain was used to treat the states of irritation, stress and anxiety, because it was known for its profound calming and relaxing effect, that give a very good state at the psychic and mental level. What is remarkable in the vervain’s case is especially its special quality of shaping in a beneficial way the roughness specific to the masculine nature that is not harmonized sufficiently. The use of natural preparations from vervain or of the dry powder of this plant can lead to the appearance in the men’s being of an deep state of emotional openness towards the feminine nature.
In the East, Lajja (Mimosa pudica) is a herb highly appreciated for the beauty of its flowers as well as for its sensibility. Lajja is a plant sensible to touch. The Vedic tradition and the ayurvedic one mentions that this herb, if wisely used, can transfer its special property also in the subtle structure of the human being that uses it properly, amplifying this way the tactile sensibility and the refinement of the perception through touch. The modern laboratory researches have shown that Lajja contains calcium, mimosine, as well as some substances of the adrenalyne’s type, that all together can lead to an accentuation of the sensory receptivity in the case of the human being. In the ayurvedic tradition, the Lajja root is especially appreciated for its tonic aphrodisiac virtues. As aphrodisiac, the Lajja root increases the erotic sensibility and refinement. From the point of view of taste, it is extremely mucilaginous and sweet. Constantly used, for a certain period of time, Lajja root helps very much the increasing of an inner state of coherence and it also amplifies the state of harmony between the vital and the emotional spheres.
The name of the Indian herb Kumarika (Smilax chinensis) comes from the Sanskrit word “kumari” that means “young girl” or “virgin”. The name suggests the intense state of purity that the plant can generate in the human being that uses it properly. The herb is used not only in the ayurvedic tradition, but also in the entire east-Asiatic region. The Kumarika root is very much appreciated for its regenerating effects. In Ayurveda, Kumarika root is characterized as having a prevalent sweet astringent taste. The herb contains saponines and flavonoids. These generate calming effects and lead to the harmonization of the psycho-emotional state of the being. The use of the dry powder from Kumarika root encourages the installation in the being of an intense state of calmness and of mind clarification. In the past the herb was frequently used by the yogis because it confers a much bigger ability to perceive distinctively the elevated subtle energies and eases at the same time mental concentration, through the elimination of the parasite mental fluctuations. In Yoga practice, the Kumarika root is very useful when the aspirant seeks to generate in his inner universe a disposition as favourable as possible for the accomplishment of deep meditations and of long duration.
Article from The Book of the International Yoga Symposium, Costinesti 2009
by Natha.netPsychic theories & spiritual training in Tibet
- a westerners meeting with the magical and mystical Tibetan art of meditation
Introduction to the textThe following text is an extract from Alexander David-Neels "With magicians and mystics in Tibet", about her fascinating journey and life in Tibet. She was herself initiated in the Tibetan spiritual system and considered the first western Lama. In this chapter is her unique explanations and descriptions of the Tibetan art of meditation, as she experienced it in Tibet only 100 years ago.Click to the right and read more about the author or her story about the spiritual seeker Karma Dorjce.Psychic theories & spiritual training in Tibet
- an extract from "With Magicians and Mystics in Tibet" by Alexandra David-Neel"Breath is the courser and mind is the rider," say the Tibetan mystics. So it is essential that the courser must be well trained. But breath, in its turn, influences bodily and mental activity. Consequently, two methods have been devised: the most easy one which quiets the mind by controlling the breath and the more difficult way which consists in regulating the breath by controlling the mind.To the breathing drill repeated several times each day, the recluse often adds the contemplative meditation practiced with kyilkhors.
(Written dkyilkhor.)The latter are, also, most important and conspicuous in the magic rites called dubthabs (method of success).
Kyilkhors are diagrams drawn on paper or material, or engraved on stone, metal or wood.Others are constructed with small flags, altar lamps, incense sticks and vases containing various things such as grain, water, etc. The personalities whoare supposed to dwell in the kyilkhor and their requisites are represented by pyramidal cakes named torma.Kyilkhors are also drawn with coloured powders on the temple floor or on boards. I have seen some which measured about seven feet in diameter.The word kyilkhor means a circle, nevertheless, amongst the numberless kinds of kyilkhors, there exist square and quadrangular forms, while those used in black magic or for the coercion or destruction of malignant entities are triangular.The monks who wish to become proficient in this kind of art spend years studying its rules.One of the four high colleges which exist in all large monasteries teaches the art of drawing the kyilkhors that are parts of the official lamaist magic rites. As for secret ones connected with mystic training or black magic, each student must learn them privately from his own teacher.The least mistake in the drawing of a kyilkhor or the place given to the tormas in its construction, may have most terrible consequences, for the kyilkhor is a magic instrument which hurts him who handles it unskilfully.Moreover, no one should construct or draw a kyilkhor if he has not been empowered to do so, by a proper initiation, and each variety of kyilkhor requires the corresponding initiation.That which is the work of a non-initiated cannot be animated and remains powerless. As for the true understanding of the symbolic meaning of the kyilkhors, and the theories which support their use in psychic training, very few are aware of them.Needless to say that elaborate and large-sized kyilkhors cannot find room in the tsams khangs. Their form, there, is very much simplified. At the beginning of his spiritual education the novice is likely to be taught by his teacher the way of constructing a diagram which is to be used as support (rten) to fix the attention during meditation.One of the exercises most generally practiced — either with or without a kyilkhor — at that stage of the training, is the following:A deity is imagined; it is first contemplated alone, then from its body spring out other forms sometimes like its own, sometimes different. There are often four of them, but in some meditations they become hundreds or even innumerable.When all these personages have appeared quite clearly around the central figure, they are one after another reabsorbed in it. Now the original deity remains again alone and gradually begins to disappear. The feet vanish first and then slowly the whole body and finally the head. Only a dot remains. This may be dark, coloured or purely luminous. Mystic masters interpret this as a sign which shows the degree of spiritual progress attained by their disciples.
Then, the dot moves towards the man who beholds it and sinks into him. One must note the part of the body in which it seems to disappear. A period of meditation follows that exercise, which may be done again and again as many times as desired.One may also imagine a lotus. It opens slowly and on each of its petals stands a Bodhisatva, one of them being enthroned in the heart of the flower. After a while, as the lotus begins to fold its petals again each one emits a ray of light that sinks into the centre of the flower, and when it closes entirely, light escapes from its heart and penetrates the man in meditation.There exist many kinds of similar practices. Many novices do not proceed farther. Thus dryly described, such visions cannot but appear absurd, yet they constitute a somewhat fascinating puzzle on account of the multifarious unexpected aspects they assume after a certain time of training.They provide the recluse with spectacles which rival the most beautiful fairy-plays that can be seen on the stage. Even those who are well aware of their illusive nature may enjoy them, and as for those who believe in the reality of the divine players, it is not surprising that they are bewitched.However, it is not to amuse the hermits that these exercises have been invented. Their true aim is to lead the disciple to understand that the worlds and all phenomena which we perceive are but mirages born from our imagination."They emanate from the mind
And into the mind they sink."In fact this is the fundamental teaching of Tibetan mystics. If we now consider the case of a monk (who instead of placing himself under the spiritual guidance of a lama who is a regular member of a monastery) ventures to solicit the teaching of a contemplative anchorite naljorpa the training takes another aspect. Methods become strange, sometimes even cruel; we have seen it in a previous chapter.The trilogy: Examination, Meditation, Understanding, takes a peculiar importance among the followers of the "Short Path" and the intellectual activity of the disciple is exclusively directed towards these results. Sometimes the means that are used seem extravagant, yet when closely investigated one sees that the object aimed at is quite reasonable. It is also clear that inventors of these curious methods perfectly understand the mind of their brethren in religion and have devised them accordingly.Padmasambhava is said to have described the stages of the mystic path in the following way.To read a large number of books on the various religions and philosophies. To listen to many learned doctors professing different doctrines. To experiment oneself with a number of methods. To choose a doctrine among the many one has studied and discard the other ones, as the eagle carries off only one sheep from the flock. To remain in a lowly condition, humble in one's demeanour, not seeking to be conspicuous or important in the eyes of the world, but behind apparent insignificance, to let one's mind soar high above all worldly power and glory.
To be indifferent to all. Behaving like the dog or the pig that eat what chance brings them.Not making any choice among the things which one meets. Abstaining from any effort to acquire or avoid anything. Accepting with an equal indifference whatever comes: riches or poverty, praise or contempt, giving up the distinction between virtue and vice, honourable and shameful, good and evil. Being neither afflicted, nor repenting whatever one may have done and, on the other hand, never being elated nor proud on account of what one has accomplished.
To consider with perfect equanimity and detachment the conflicting opinions and the various manifestations of the activity of beings. To understand that such is the nature of things, the inevitable mode of action of each entity and to remain always serene.To look at the world as a man standing on the highest mountain of the country looks at the valleys and the lesser summits spread out below him.
(Compare Dhammapada: "When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise
one, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools. Free from sorrow, he looks upon the sorrowing crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain." The Dhammapada is a work belonging to the Buddhist canonic Scriptures in Pali language.)It is said that the sixth stage cannot be described in words. It corresponds to the realization of the "Void" (In a general way, one must understand here, the realization of the non-existence of a permanent ego, according to the Tibetan current fomula: "The person is devoid of self: all things are devoid of self", which, in Lamaist terminology, means the Inexpressible reality.In spite of these programmes, it is impossible to establish a regular gradation of the multifarious training exercises devised by Tibetan mystic anchorites. In practice, these various exercises are combined. Moreover each lama adopts a peculiar method, and it is even rare to see two disciples of the same master following exactly the same path.
We must make up our minds to accept an apparent chaos which is a natural result of the different individual tendencies and aptitudes which the gurus, adepts of the "Short Path," refuse to crush. "Liberty" is the motto on the heights of the "Land of Snows," but strangely enough, the disciple starts on that road of utter freedom, by the strictest obedience to his spiritual guide. However, the required submission is confined to the spiritual and psychic exercises and the way of living prescribed by the master. No dogmas are ever imposed. The disciple may believe, deny or doubt anything according to his own feelings.
I have heard a lama say that the part of a master, adept of the "Short Path," is to superintend a "clearing." He must incite the novice to rid himself of the beliefs, ideas, acquired habits and innate tendencies, which are part of his present mind, and have been developed in the course of successive lives whose origin is lost in the night of time.On the other hand, the master must warn his disciple to be on his guard against accepting new beliefs, ideas and habits as groundless and irrational as those which he shakes off.The discipline on the "Short Path" is to avoid imagining things. When imagination is prescribed, in contemplative meditation, it is to demonstrate by that conscious creation of perceptions or sensations, the illusory nature of those perceptions and sensations which we accept as real though they too rest on imagination; the only difference being that, in their case, the creation is unconsciously effected.The Tibetan reformer, Tsong Khapa, defines meditation as "the means
(The word used by the author is khungs, which means the "source," the "origin." The quotation is taken from the work called The Lamp of the Way. A similar definition is found in the Yoga sûtras of Patanjali.)
of enabling oneself to reject all imaginative thoughts together with their seed."It is this uprooting of the present "imaginative thoughts," and the burning of their "seed," so that no fanciful ideas may arise in the future, that constitutes the "clearing" which I have just mentioned.Two exercises are especially prescribed by the adepts of the mystic path. The first consists in observing with great attention the workings of the mind without attempting to stop it.Seated in a quiet place, the disciple refrains as much as he can from consciously pointing his thoughts in a definite direction. He marks the spontaneous arising of ideas, memories, desires, etc., and considers how, superseded by new ones, they sink into the dark recesses of the mind.He watches also the subjective image which, apparently unconnected with any thoughts or sensations, appears while his eyes are closed: men, animals, landscapes, moving crowds, etc.During that exercise, he avoids making reflections about the spectacle which he beholds, looking passively at the continual, swift, flowing stream of thoughts and mental images that whirl, jostle, fight and pass away.
It is said that the disciple is about to gather the fruit of this practice when he loosens the firm footing he had kept, till then, in his quality of spectator. He too — so he must understand — is an actor on the tumultuous stage. His present introspection, all his acts and thoughts, and the very sum of them all which he calls his self, are but ephemeral bubbles in a whirlpool made of an infinite quantity of bubbles which congregate for a moment, separate, burst, and form again, following a giddy rhythm.The second exercise is intended to stop the roaming of the mind in order that one may concentrate it on one single object.Training which tends to develop a perfect concentration of mind is generally deemed necessary for all students without distinction. As to observing the mind's activity it is only recommended to the most intellectual disciples.Training the mind to "one-pointedness" is practiced in all Buddhist sects.In Southern Buddhist countries — Ceylon, Siam, Burma — an apparatus called kasinas, which consists of clay discs variously coloured, or a round surface covered by water, or a fire at which one gazes through a screen in which a round hole is pierced — are used for this purpose.Any of these circles is stared at until it is seen as clearly when the eyes are shut, as when they are open and actually looking at it. The process does not aim at producing an hypnotic state, as some Western scholars have said, but it accustoms one to concentrating the mind. The fact that the subjective image has become as vivid as the objective, indicates — according to those who patronize that method — that "one-pointedness" has been reached.Tibetans consider the object chosen to train oneself to be of no importance. Whatever attracts and retains most easily the thoughts of the disciple should be preferred.There is a story well known in the Tibetan religious vorld which illustrates a successful result of this practice.A young man begs the spiritual guidance of a mystic anchorite. The latter wishes him to begin by exercising himself in the concentration of mind."What kind of work do you usually do?" he inquires of his new disciple.
"I keep the yaks
(Yak, spelt gyag. The Tibetan wild hairy ox that has been domesticated.)
on the hills," answered the man.
"All right," says the gomchen. "Meditate on a yak."
The novice repairs to a cave roughly fitted up to serve as a habitation — a few such shelters can always be found in the regions inhabited by herdsmen — and settles down there.After some time, the master goes to the place and calls to his pupil to come out of the cave.The latter hears the gomchen's voice, gets up and wants to walk out through the entrance of his primitive dwelling. But his meditation has achieved its purpose. He has identified himself with the object on which all his thoughts have been concentrated, he has forgotten his own personality, he feels himself a yak. Now, though the opening is large enough to allow the passage of a man, it is too narrow for a big bull, so, while struggling against an imaginary obstacle, the young man answered his guru: "I cannot get out, my horns prevent me."Though deeply respectful of everything connected with religion, Tibetans always retain a keen sense of humour. They do not fail to notice the comic effect that such practices produce when performed by simpleminded novices.The following story was told me in the course of a tramp with a naljorpa from Gartog.After having spent some time with his guru to receive his instruction, a zealous disciple was returning to his hermitage. While walking, he began to meditate and, according to a well-known reverential custom, he imagined his worshipful teacher was seated on his head.After a time, he entered a state of trance in which he felt perfectly sure that he was carrying his lama.
A stone or some other obstacle caused the man to fall, but so strong was his concentration of thought that the shock did not break it. He got up loudly apologizing:"I beg your pardon, 'Precious One.' I am so sorry to have let you fall, I hope you have nothurt yourself. . . . Where are you, now? . . "And the good disciple hurried away to examine a ravine near by in case his lama had rolled into it.Another story about "the lama on the head" was told me by a Dugpa
(A native of Bhutan.)
lama. The joke is coarser than the former one and reflects the mind of the sturdy massive Dugpa hillmen.A nun, it is said, was advised by her spiritual teacher to imagine him seated on her head when meditating. She did so accordingly and was so successful that the weight of the venerable lama who was a well-fed, tall and stout man, gave her great pain. Women of all countries, we must believe, are peculiarly clever at finding a way out of their troubles.When paying another visit to her guru he asked if she had carried out his instruction and imagined that he was seated on her head."I did, 'Precious One,' " answered the nun, "and indeed, your weight became so painful, that I changed places with you and sat on your head myself."One variety of exercises in concentration consists in choosing some kind of a landscape, a garden for instance, as a subject of meditation. First, the student examines the garden, observing every detail. The flowers, their different species, the way in which they are grouped, the trees, their respective height, the shape of their branches, their different leaves and so on, noting all particulars that he can detect.When he has formed a subjective image of the garden, that is to say when he sees it as distinctly when shutting his eyes as when looking at it, the disciple begins to eliminate one by one the various details which together constitute the garden.Gradually, the flowers lose their colours and their forms, they crumble into tiny pieces which fall to dust and finally vanish. The trees, also, lose their leaves, the branches shorten, and seem to be withdrawn into the trunk. The latter grows thin, becomes a mere line, more and more flimsy till it ceases to be visible.
Now, the bare ground alone remains and from it the novice must subtract the stones and the earth. The ground in its turn vanishes. . . .It is said that by the means of such exercises one succeeds in expelling from the mind all idea of form and matter and thus gradually reaches the various states of consciousness such as that of the "pure, boundless space," and that of the "boundless consciousness." Finally one attains to the "sphere of void," and then to the sphere where "neither consciousness nor unconsciousness" is present. (That is to say that it is an indescribable state to which the ordinary notions of consciousness and unconsciousness cannot be applied.)These four contemplative meditations are often mentioned in early Buddhist Scriptures and are recognized by all sects as part of the spiritual training. They are called "formless contemplations."Many methods have been devised which lead to these peculiar states of mind. Sometimes the later states are produced by a contemplation absolutely devoid of cogitations, while in other cases they follow a series of minute introspections or are the result of prolonged investigations and reflections regarding the external world. Lastly, it is said that there are people who suddenly reach one or another of these four states of mind without any preparation, in any place or during any kind of occupation.The following exercise has already been briefly described in the story of the man who felt himself to be a yak. However, it includes developments that were unknown to the hero of that story.For instance, the disciple has chosen a tree, as an object of meditation, and has identified himself with it. That is to say that he has lost the consciousness of his own personality and experiences the peculiar sensations that one may ascribe to a tree. He feels himself to be composed of a stiff trunk with branches, he perceives the sensation of the wind moving the leaves. He notes the activity of the roots feeding under the ground, the ascension of the sap which spreads all over the tree, and so on.Then, having mentally become a tree (which has now become the subject) he must look at the man (who has now become the object) seated in front of him and must examine this man in detail.This done, the disciple again places his consciousness in the man and contemplates the tree as before. Then, transferring his consciousness once more into the tree, he contemplates the man. This alternative transposition of subject and object is effected a number of times.This exercise is often practiced indoors with a statue of a stick called gom shing (meditation wood). (Properly speaking, the gom shing is merely a stick at which one gazes to obtain fixity of mind. The burning incense stick is a variety of gom shing.)A burning incense stick is also used in an obscure or completely darkened room to dispose the mind to meditation. But I must again lay stress upon the fact that it is not intended to produce an hypnotic state.Preparation for meditation is called niampar jagpa. It consists in bringing the mind into perfect stillness and the contemplation of the tiny dot of fire at the top of the stick helps in producing that state of calm.People who habitually practice methodical contemplation often experience, when sitting down for their appointed time of meditation, the sensation of putting down a load or taking off a heavy garment and entering a silent, delightfully calm, region. It is the impression of deliverance and serenity which Tibetan mystics call niampar jagpa, "to make equal," "to level" — meaning calming down all causes of agitation that roll their "waves" through the mind.Another exercise which, however, seems to be seldom practiced, consists in "displacing one's consciousness in one's own body." It is explained as follows.We feel our consciousness in our "heart." Our arms seem to us to be "annexes" to our body, and our feet seem to be a distant part of our person. In fact, arms feet and other parts of the body are looked at as if they were objects for a subject dwelling elsewhere.
Now the student will endeavour to make the "consciousness" leave its habitual abode and transfer it, for instance, to his hand, then he must feel himself to have the shape of five fingers and a palm, situated at the extremity of a long attachment (the arm) which joins on to a big moving structure, the body.That is to say, he must experience the sensation that we might have if, instead of having the eyes and the brain in the head, we had them in the hand and then the hand was able to examine the head and the body, reversing the normal process which is to look downwards in order to see the hands or the body.What can be the aim of such strange exercises? The most frequent answer given to my questions will probably seem unsatisfactory by many inquirers, yet it is probably quite correct.Some lamas have told me that the aim of these practices can hardly be explained, because those who have not felt their effects could not understand the explanations.One attains, by the means of these strange drills, psychic states entirely different from those habitual to us. They cause us to pass beyond the fictitious limits which we assign to the self. The result being that we grow to realize that the self is compound, impermanent; and that the self, as self, does not exist.One of these lamas seized upon a remark I had made as an argument in support of his theory. When he spoke of the heart as the seat of thought and mind, I had said that Westerners would rather place thoughts and mind in the brain."You see," immediately replied my interlocutor, "that one may feel and recognize the mind in different places. Since these Philings (Foreigners.)
experience the sensation of thinking in their head, and I experience it in my heart, one may believe that it is quite possible to feel it in the foot. But all these are only deceitful sensations, with no shadow of reality. The mind is neither in the heart nor in the head, nor somewhere outside of the body, apart, separated, alien to it. It is to help one realize this fact that these apparently strange practices have been devised."Here again we meet with the "clearing" process. All these exercises aim at destroying habitual notions accepted by routine and without personal investigation. The object is to make one understand that other ideas can be put in their place. It is hoped that the disciple will conclude that there cannot be any absolute truth in ideas derived from sensations which can be discarded while others, even contradictory to them, take their place.Kindred theories are professed by the followers of the Chinese Ts'an sect.
(Called Zen sect, in Japan.)
They express them in enigmatical sentences such as: "Lo, a cloud of dust is rising from the ocean and the roaring of the waves is heard over the land.""I walk on foot, and yet on the back of an ox I am riding.""When I pass over the bridge, Lo! the water floweth not, but the bridge floweth.""Empty handed I go, and behold! the spade's handle is in my hand."And so on.The doctrine of the Ts'an sect has been defined by one of its followers as "the art of perceiving the polar star in the Austral hemisphere." This paradoxical saying resembles that of the lama who said to me: "One must discover the white in the black and the black in the white."I shall cite a question, current in Tibet, which mystic hermits, as wed as philosophers living in monasteries, put to their pupils."A flag moves, What is that which moves? — Is it the flag or the wind?"The answer is that neither the flag nor the wind moves. It is the mind that moves.The followers of the Ts'an sect ascribe the origin of this question to the sixth Patriarch of their sect. Once, in the courtyard of the monastery, he saw two monks looking at a flag floating in the air. One of them declared: "It is the flag that moves." The other affirmed: "It is the wind that moves." Then the master explained to them that the perception of a motion which they experienced was not really due to the wind or to the flag, but to something existing in themselves.
We are in doubt as to whether such ways of thinking have been imported into Tibet from India or from China. I may, however, state the opinion expressed by a lama: "The Bönpos," he said, "taught such things long before Padmasambhava came to Tibet.''
(This means before Buddhism spread into Tibet.)Abandoning further investigations on the transcendental results of transferring one's mind to different parts of one's body, I may remark that during this exercise, a peculiar sensation of heat is felt at the spot where one has "transported his consciousness."It is rather difficult to ascertain whether the phenomena consists in a real increase in heat or a subjective sensation only. The very idea of undertaking such investigation would break the concentration of mind and so destroy the cause that produced heat. As to making observation upon other people, it is almost impossible. Tibetan hermits and their disciples have nothing in common with Western professional mediums who work for money and allow us to examine the phenomena which they produce. The most insignificant pupil of a gomchen would feel astonished if such a proposal was made to him. I can hear him answer: "I do not care whether you believe or not in these phenomena, and I have no desire to convince you. I am not a juggler giving theatrical performances."The fact is that Orientals, excepting vulgar charlatans, do not make a show of their mystic, philosophic or psychic knowledge. It is most difficult to win their confidence in these matters. A traveller in search of information may be the guest of a lama for several months, drink tea daily with him and go away thinking his host is an ignoramus, while on the contrary, the lama could have answered all his questions and told him more things than he has even thought of.
Whether the heat be actual or subjective the exercise has more than once warmed my feet, and given me a refreshing sleep while spending the night under a tent — or even without any tent — outdoors in the snow. But unless one has been trained for a long time in the practice, it requires strenuous efforts which make it extremely tiring.To conclude, I will call attention to the fact that the terms which I have translated by "consciousness" and "mind" have not exactly the same signification in Tibetan as in English.Tibetans distinguish as many as eleven kinds of "consciousness" and have three words in their language which we are compelled to translate by "mind," though each of them bears a special philosophic meaning.A frequent way of ascertaining the degree of the concentration of mind is to place a small burning lamp on the head of the novice who is to remain in solitary meditation.Tibetan lamps consist of a cup-like receptacle, made of metal or mud; the base of the lamp enlarges at the bottom, which is shaped like a second cup turned upside down. These lamps are filled with melted butter; a wick is thrust into a small cavity bored for that purpose at the bottom of the cup. When the butter cools it forms a cake and the lamp is ready to be lighted.This apparatus easily rests on the crown of the head as long as one preserves absolute immobility, but it falls off at the slightest movement. Now as perfect concentration produces complete immobility, any failure is proved by the fall of the lamp.It is said that a lama who had once placed a lamp on the head of a pupil found him the next day still seated in meditation, but with the lamp beside him on the ground without any butter in it. Answering his master's question, the novice who had not understood the aim of the exercise replied:"The lamp did not fall down, I myself took it away when the butter was exhausted and it went out" — "How could you know that the lamp went out, or even that you had a lamp on your head, if you had reached true concentration of mind?" retorted the teacher.Sometimes a small bowl filled with water is used instead of a lamp.Certain masters also command their disciples either before the time of their meditation or immediately after it, to carry from one spot to another a bowl with water up to the brim.This exercise aims at testing the degree of tranquillity of the mind. The slightest agitation of the mind, whatever may be its cause — joy or sadness, memory, desire, etc. — is likely to produce a movement of the body. Now, the least quivering of the fingers is sufficient to shake the bowl and the quantity of water poured out, as well as the number of times the accident happens, discloses the more or less violent movement of the mind. Such at least is the theory on which the exercise is based.This theory and the exercises which have been devised from it, are known all over the East. Indians tell pretty stories about them. Here is one.A rishi (A Sage often possessed with supernormal powers.) had a disciple whom he believed already far advanced in spiritual development. Wishing that he might receive supplementary teaching from Janaka, the kingly Sage of great repute, he sent the young man to him. At first Janaka left the new-comer for several days outside his palace gate without allowing him even to enter the courtyard. Nevertheless, the well-trained disciple, though he was of noble descent, did not show the least sign of being grieved, offended, or displeased by this humiliating treatment.When he was finally admitted to the presence of the king, he was given at the door of the throne hall a bowl filled with water up to the brim and ordered to walk with it in his hand all round the hall.Janaka, though his mind was utterly indifferent to all worldly things, was surrounded by true Oriental splendour. Gold and precious stones glittered on the walls of the great hall, the courtiers wearing costly jewels surrounded their sovereign, and the palace dancing girls, as beautiful as goddesses and scantily clad, smiled at the young stranger passed before them.
Nevertheless the disciple went through the prescribed ordeal without spilling a drop of water. Nothing offered to his eyes had been capable of producing the slightest movement in his mind. Janaka sent him back to his guru saying that he did not need any lessons.Tibetans are acquainted with the theory regarding the khorlos (wheels) which is classic among the followers of Hindu Tantrism. Most likely it has been imported into Tibet from India or Nepal, but the interpretation given by the lamas differs on a number of points from that which is current in Hindu circles.The khorlos are said to be centres of energy that are situated in various parts of the body. They are often called 'lotus.' The practices connected with the khorlos belong to the esoteric teaching. The general aim of the training in which the khorlos play a part is to direct a stream of energy to the higher lotus: the dabtong (lotus with a thousand petals) which is situated at the top of the head. The different kinds of exercises in this training aim at utilizing the energy naturally expressed in animal manifestations connected with sex, for the development of intelligent and supernormal powers.The lamas belonging to the Dzogschen sect are practically the only masters of this teaching.Again, certain disciples are advised to contemplate the sky and sometimes to confine themselves to this practice only. Some lie flat on their back in the open, in order to look at the sky with no other object in sight. This contemplation, and the ideas which it excites, is said to lead to a peculiar trance in which the notion of personality is forgotten, and an undescribable union with the universe is experienced.All lamas agree regarding the usefulness of most of these strangely artful training practices. Yet, when reading certain treatises about them or listening to oral explanations given by some mystic masters, one not unfrequently detects a restrained impatience.The teacher who instructs us seems to say:
Yes, all that is necessary, perhaps, even indispensable to the majority of novices, but as a preparatory drill only, the goal is elsewhere. Let us make haste and finish with the preliminary process.The following sober method keeps closer to this goal; at any rate its working is more easily understood.The master orders his disciple to shut himself in tsams and to meditate — taking his Yidam (tutelary deity) as object of his contemplation.The novice dwelling in strict seclusion, concentrates his thoughts on the Yidam, imagining him in the shape and form ascribed to him in books and images. Repeating certain mystic formulas and constructing a kyilkhor are parts of the exercise of which the aim is to cause the Yidam to appear to his worshipper. At least, such is the aim that the master points out to the beginner.The pupil breaks his contemplation during the time strictly necessary to eat (Generally the recluse has only one meal a day, but drinks buttered tea several times. However, during such periods of retreat some ascetics subsist on water and roast barley flour only.)
and the very short time allowed for sleep. Often the recluse does not lie down and only dozes in one of those gomti which have been described in a previous chapter.
(See the end of Chapter II.)Months and even years may elapse in that way. Occasionally the master inquires about the progress of his pupil. At last a day comes when the novice informs him that he has reaped the fruit of his exertion: the Yidam has appeared. As a rule, the vision has been nebulous and lasted only a little while. The master declares that it is an encouraging success, but not as yet a definitive result. It is desirable that the recluse should longer enjoy the hallowed company of his protector.The apprentice naljorpa cannot but agree, and continues his effort. A long time again elapses. Then, the Yidam is "fixed" — if I may use that term. He dwells in the tsams khang and the recluse sees him as always present in the middle of the kyilkhor."This is most excellent," answers the master when he is informed of the fact; "but you must seek a still greater favour. You must pursue your meditation until you are able to touch with your head the feet of the Yidam, until he blesses you and speaks to you."
Though the previous stages have taken long to be effected they may be considered the easiest part of the process. The following are much more arduous to attain, and only a small minority of novices meet with success.These successful disciples see the Yidam taking on life. They distinctly feel the touch of his feet when, prostrated, they lay their head on them. They feel the weight of his hands when he blesses them. They see his eyes moving, his lips parting, he speaks. . . . And lo! he steps out of the kyilkhor and walks in the tsams khang. It is a perilous moment. When wrathful demi-gods or demons have been called up in that way, they must never be allowed to escape from the kyilkhor, whose magic walls hold them prisoners. Set free out of due time, they would revenge themselves on the person who has compelled them to enter this prison-like consecrated circle. However, the Yidam, though his appearance may be dreadful and his power is to be feared, is not dangerous because the recluse has won his favour. Consequently, he may move about as he pleases in the hermitage.Even better, he may cross its threshold and stand in the open. Following his teacher's advice, the novice must find out if the deity is willing to accompany him when he walks out.This task is harder than all previous ones. Visible and tangible in the obscure hermitage fragrant with incense, where the psychic influences born from a prolonged concentration of thought are working; will the Yidam's form be able to subsist in quite different surroundings under the bright sunlight, exposed to influences which, instead of supporting it, will act as dissolving agents?A new elimination takes place amongst the disciples. Most Yidam refuse to follow their devotee into the open. They remain obstinately in some dark corner and sometimes grow angry and avenge themselves for the disrespectful experiments to which they have been submitted. Strange accidents occur to some anchorites, but others succeed in their undertaking and wherever they go enjoy the presence of their worshipful protector.
"You have reached the desired goal," says the guru to his exultant disciple. "I have nothing more to teach you. You have won the favours of a protector mightier than I."Certain disciples thank the lama and, proud of their achievement, return to their monastery or establish themselves in a hermitage and spend the remainder of their life playing with their phantom.On the contrary, others trembling in mental agony prostrate themselves at their guru's feet and confess some awful sin. . . . Doubts have arisen in their mind which, in spite of strenuous efforts, they have not been able to overcome. Before the Yidam himself, even when he spoke to them or when they touched him, the thought has arisen in them that they contemplated a mere phantasmagoria which they had themselves created.The master appears afflicted by this confession. The unbeliever must return to his tsams khang and begin training all over again in order to conquer his incredulity, so ungrateful to the Yidam who has favoured him.Once undermined, faith seldom regains a firm footing. If the great respect which Orientals feel for their religious teacher did not restrain them, these incredulous disciples would probably yield to the temptation of giving up the religious life, their long training having ended in materialism. But nearly all of them hold on to it, for if they doubt the reality of their Yidam, they never doubt their master's wisdom.After a time the disciple repeats the same confession. It is even more positive than the first time. There is no longer any question of doubt; he is thoroughly convinced that the Yidam is produced by his mind and has no other existence than that which he has lent him."That is exactly what it is necessary for you to realize," the master tells him. "Gods, demons, the whole universe, are but a mirage which exists in the mind, 'springs from it, and sinks into it.' "
(A declaration continually repeated by Tibetan mystics.)
- (Spiritual techniques)
The steps for the technique of Blessing are listed below:
• We focus internally, both mentally and spiritually;
• We point our attention, our soul and our emotions only towards God the Father, as this inner attitude is essential;
• We focus our attention at the level of Anahata Chakra (the area in the middle of the chest) and Sahasrara (the area on top of the head) simultaneously. We feel a state of elevation, of a unique euphoric emotion, with countless nuances;
• We say mentally the formula of Blessing in such a way as to feel it with all our being;
• We raise the hand in the indicated position;
• Then after saying the formula and keeping the eyes closed, we orient our gaze to become slightly cross eyed as we focus on Sahashrara;
• When the Divine Energy starts to flow in our body, the gaze relaxes and the eyes remain closed;
• Simultaneously we try to perceive what is happening in us and through us;
• We become aware of how the flow of Divine Energy penetrates the top of the head, travels downwards and floods our whole being and then a part of it flows through our right arm into the person we are blessing. If Self-Blessing the energy remains within.
• Paying as much attention as possible to the 5 stages of the manifestation of Divine Energy, we become aware of:
a. climbing to a crescendo;
b. reaching a climax;
c. gradually decreasing;
e. the global effects.
• After these five stages are over, the hand relaxes to a normal position;
• If the person we bless does not deserve it, according to the blessing formula, nothing appears, the flow of energy doesn't appear;
• Those who do not practice yoga should focus on the areas of the chest and the top of the head, both inside and outside the physical body;
• At the end, we thank God (it is not necessary to say the prayer of thanksgiving after each blessing, only at the end).
The effects that appear intensify in time. They are complex, multiple and remain for days, weeks, months, and years both in the blessed one and in the one who blesses. The energy we receive is infinite. God always has energy for everyone. Therefore we can do the Blessing as often as we wish.
The Blessing is more than a prayer, because in prayer we can make mistakes by asking God certain things. However, through Blessing, God grants us exactly what we need (in Self-Blessing) or what the blessed ones need. The Art of Blessing implies our free will. Only if we ask can we receive, as they say “God can bestow on us anything, but he does not place it in our bag”.
There houses, objects, aliments, situations, actions, can also be blessed in which case we modify the blessing formula. The Energy of God's Spirit can be directed towards anything, because deification can appear in everything. The blessing does not need to be preceded by a consecration because it is about the Spirit of God which is both in manifestation and outside of it, and it is an action done by God himself. Through the Art of Blessing we activate the invisible energetically centers and connect ourselves to the field of synchronicity.
Recommended Posture for Blessing
• Stand on your feet (both the blessed and the blessing one), with your spine straight.
Have your right arm as relaxed as possible, raised sideways and bent 20 cm away from the shoulder. Keep your fingers open and slightly curved as for catching a ball. You should adopt this position from the very beginning. This is the position recommended if you do not want to touch anyone or when blessing a small group of people who are a short distance away.
• For larger groups of people (more than 50) or if the blessed one is very far away, you should stretch your arm in front of you.
• If Self-Blessing, keep your arms down near your body as normal.
• If you have great vitality and your inner force is sufficiently large, you can touch the person you are blessing with your right arm on her forehead, the open fingers oriented towards Sahasrara, and without covering the top of her head.
• It is essential that your right arm and fingers are relaxed.
If you want to bless a loved one who is far away, you should imagine her and visualise her face. If it is a group, visualise the faces of each member of the group.
The distance in between you and the other person or group does not matter!
Formulas used in the Art of Blessing
The formula used when we ask for a Blessing (said internally):
“O Lord, our Heavenly Father, I beg You full of humbleness, if this human being named …
(the baptist name or names are said) deserves, bless him/her, bestowing upon him/her, through me, Your Supreme Grace. Thy Will Be Done. Amen.”
The formula used to bless a group of people:
“O Lord, our Heavenly Father, I beg You full of humbleness, if this group of human beings deserves, bless them now, bestowing upon them, through me, Your Supreme Grace. Thy Will Be Done. Amen.”
The formula used for Self-Blessing for men:
“O Lord, our Heavenly Father, I beg You full of humbleness, if the one who is asking You now, having the name of … (your baptist name or names are said) deserves, bless him now, bestowing upon him Your Supreme Grace. Thy Will Be Done. Amen.”
The formula used for Self-Blessing for women:
“O Lord, our Heavenly Father, I beg You full of humbleness, if the one who is asking You now, having the name of … (your baptist name or names are said) deserves it, bless her now, bestowing upon her Your Supreme Grace. Thy Will Be Done. Amen.”
Thanksgiving words said at the end (or even later):
“I thank Thee Heavenly Father, for making my being the vessel of Your Supreme Grace.”
These words should be learnt by heart and then used!
Published by natha.net
Taken from yogaesoteric.net
- (Various Topics)
by Gregorian Bivolaru
The revealed secrets of the Golden Ratio explain the Mysterious Intelligence of Nature and in the same time they allow us to discover the fascinating mysteries of the Divine Proportions.
Without a doubt all of us have wondered about the secret of beauty, harmony and diversity of the wonderful forms that appear in nature. Aren’t they governed by the mysterious Sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power Tripura Sundari that only the initiates have access to?Man has always asked himself these questions and through certain revelations offered to him in elevated states of consciousness, he thus obtained many stirring answers. In reality, all the amazingly beautiful creations of nature are manifestations of a divine harmony which makes us perceive intuitively that behind any form there is a constant necessity. From the Golden Ratio to the mystery of the beauty of the forms of nature, to natural selection, passing through genetics, fractal geometry and art, we offer you through this book new answers to this search, which is as old as human kind.
Many geniuses, visionaries with the eyes wide open and with effervescent minds, as well as many scientists aimed to decode the secret of beauty and harmony of forms in the natural world. Fascinated by the diversity of beauty and the harmony of all structures created continuously by nature – the shells’ spiral, the shape of fish or of the human body, etc. – the initiates, geniuses, artists, philosophers, mathematicians, naturalists, physicists or informaticians have always aspired to remove the veil of appearances. They were and are still convinced that eventually they will discover, beyond any manifestation, a mysterious general and generating principle, the universal law of natural morphology, the essential “formula” that creates the beautiful form: The Golden Ratio. This mythical number – The Golden Ratio– is in fact the expression of existence and manifestation of the secret Sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power TRIPURA SUNDARI.
A divine revelation regarding the Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio is the Mysterious number after which all species of life that have appeared in water, earth and air, were made. It is the same fundamental Number (?) that man was based upon and it is the same as the Number of Grace and Love and as the Number of Salvation and final Resurrection into Spirit.
Listen carefully and try to understand as well as possible that which no one until you has understood: this Golden Ratio is the mysterious essence of eternal Love. At the same time, it is the expression of Universal Order and of the Divine Law of Love, Order and Law which exists now and will always exist, forever expressing God’s beauty, greatness and endless power.
And then Love took ground, which was like the cream on the milk and, with the mysterious power of Her hands, kneaded it properly and made the first human out of it, according to the Golden Ratio of Her Order. Then, She blew upon him the Breath of Life. And Her Breath became Soul in the man, which spread immediately in man’s entire being, forever sealing his connection with the Golden Ratio of Order, after which man was created. But know that not only man was created after this Ratio, but all the spirits and all the worlds that exist in the Infinite Space (Macrocosm), including both the Earth, with everything on it, as well as the Moon and the Stars.
The words full of wisdom of Jesus Christ, dictated to the famous prophet Jacob Lorber.
“Everything is a sign. Moving from sign to the signified thing means entering the mysterious depths of the World, which reveals God.” Andre Malraux
In the western world, arithmological and geometrical symbolism is almost inevitably associated to Pythagoras’s name and to his followers, the Pythagoreans and the Platonists. Long after the age of the original Pythagorean schools, the so-called “mysticism of numbers” was highly cultivated in the circles of the cabalists and Christian mystics. It is a less-known fact that the Fathers of the Church such as Saint Augustine, Maxim the Confessor (see the Philokalia), or Christians such as Jan van Ruusbroec (1293 – 1381) believed that Numbers are symbols and paradigms of the Divine Principles.
For the Greeks, arithmology has a long history. It was studied and applied practically together with “the scientific number”, far from the market trade of the “vulgar number”, being respected as the pure science of the universal laws of the Cosmos.
Even today the idea according to which the laws that govern the Universe are “numerical” is very present, even if many claim to be more satisfied with “exact and scientific” formulas. Most of the time, the latter do not realize that the Numbers appear here also, though dissimilated. The difference is only in the language, because after all the Truth is only one. Thus, most of us remain fascinated by mysterious mathematical phenomena such as Fibonacci’s sequence of integers or Titius-Bode’s law of planetary distances (see fig 0.1). In ancient times, people tended to give special significance to Numbers, by analogy with the structure of the World, thus searching for a deeper meaning for all things and beings. Paradoxically, nowadays, when so many secrets of nature have been revealed and so many modern technologies have developed, yet we are flooded with spiritist and occult approaches, which popularize a pseudo-science of Numbers, full of superstitions such as “13 brings bad luck” and all sorts of mental patterns. In this mixture of contradictory information, many get the idea that the Pythagorean metaphysics of Numbers was just simple, ungrounded speculation, and the repeated warnings of Plato regarding an unwritten, oral, secret doctrine are hardly taken into consideration.
The natural logaritm of the planet's
period of rotation around the Sun
The order number of the planet
Fig 0.1 – In 1750, Titius and Bode discovered a simple law that made it possible to obtain a proportion between the measures of the planetary orbits. Thus, it starts from the numbers of the row: 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 and 384 (we notice that starting from 3, the next term is obtained by doubling the previous one) and then number 4 is added. The resulting row: 4, 7, 10, 16, 28, 52, 100, 388 corresponds to the planetary orbits, except Neptune. The formula predicted a missing planet at 28 units between Mars and Jupiter. Later, on January 1st, 1801, Piazzi discovered the asteroid Ceres, the biggest one from the asteroid belt, which corresponds exactly to the missing planet.
History says very little about “the beginnings” of Arithmology; its method of study seems to aim rather to transmitting knowledge from one civilization to another, over time. But the spiritual approach is less concerned with the purely historical aspects, and more interested in the metaphysical principles and significance. Etymologically speaking, the word “beginning” comes from “in-caput” (which in Latin means: “in principle”, “in essence”). From this point of view, authentic spiritual traditions (and together with them the Pythagorean tradition, which Arithmology is part of) are asserted from the “in-caput” of the revelation offered by “gods” to a “founder”. The famous initiate Rene Guenon said that the Primordial Tradition is the divine, atemporal thesaurus of the Supreme knowledge, which nourishes all spiritual schools. Each spiritual school nuances it according to its specific time and place, but without altering its essence. This is where the confusion appears: according to certain thinking patterns, many would rather “somebody” “had invented” Arithmology (the Hindus, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Greeks…), while all wise men say that it already existed in the mind of God, together with all the divine laws; “the founders” are those exceptional beings which (re)discovered it through the Grace of revelation. It is not by chance that we easily find the same laws of Numbers in the Chinese, Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, and Arabic traditions. In some situations the name is different, or the elements of the specifics, or at least the point of view. The correlations and analogies that can be made clearly reveal the common body of all doctrines: the Primordial Tradition.
The most convincing way to prove this is to aim at gaining some practical knowledge of Arithmology ourselves. Genuine individual search is the only way to experiment and understand, because we should not forget that “he who seeks, shall find” and “he who knocks, it shall be opened to him”.
In the following, we will outline some ideas and guidelines which, hopefully, will make us more pervious to the arithmological symbolism, at the same time revealing its intimate connection with the Divine Proportion.
The term “number” (defined through the word arythmos or rythmos in Greek) comes from the root rheo, which means “to flow”. In this way, it stands for the rhythm and vibration. Heraclites allegorical expression “everything flows” corresponds to the ancient Eastern saying “everything is vibration”. First of all, the Ratio signifies the steps of resonance or, in other words, of vibration of the Universe, which are manifested in the specific cycles of Multiplicity.
Within the Absolute or, in other words, within the Whole, the Number Decade is the archetypal cycle, the symbol of the non-separation between Being and Non-Being (associated to 1 and 0, respectively, in the arithmological symbolism) glyph of the perpetual return of things and beings to their Creative principle (One) and to the omnipresence of the Ultimate Essence (Zero), which sustains any emanation and resorption. Knowing this, we can correctly say that the Decade represents God the Father.
In this way, it resumes and synthesizes all the other Numbers (principles). Having this knowledge, the Pythagoreans experienced the living presence of the Decade in the world so intensely that they used to swear on Her Name. It is not by chance that Philo of Alexandria noted in “Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesim”, 4.110, that “in the world as well as in the man, the Decade is everything”. With the same meaning, in the Pythagorean environment it was said that “the fundamental nature of the Number is the Decade”. The symbolic representation of the Decade through the ten points arranged in a triangular shape, called Tetraktys by the Greeks (see fig 0.2), is probably the most revealing manifestation that underlines the intimate connection between the Numbers of the decimal cycle. Paradoxically, its essential simplicity allows, among others, the understanding of the universal laws of resonance.
Fig. 0.2 - The Pythagorean Tetraktys
The point is the symbol of Unity, of the seminal principle of things. Therefore, the paradigm of the Tetraktys is that of the Decade of the first reflections of the emanating Power of God the Father. In this way it constitutes itself in an essential model, which reveals the intimate structure and the unity of all phenomena in the Universe to the one who knows the law of analogies and of subtle correspondences.
The Pythagoreans said that “the Decade is fulfilled by Four” (or, if we “develop” the metaphor, explaining it at length: the Decade is the fulfilment of a triangular growth in four steps), in this way outlining the fact that the fundamental cosmic cycles mutually sustain and generate themselves through the harmonious triplet of the process of expansion (emanation), balance (maintenance) and contraction (resorption); in such a vision, Four and Ten cannot be conceived separately. In fact, they are limit-thresholds of the unique Flow of the Divine number.
If we evoke some of the projections of this Archetypal Four in the world, we are amazed to find four seasons, four cardinal points, fours intermediary directions, the cross of the four elements, four ages of humanity, four fundamental states, etc. Thus, we intuit their mysterious and indestructible communion with the ten Great Cosmic Powers.
But, at the same time, we can see it differently: the Central point and the Cycle of its nine exterior points represents Transcendence and Immanence, Eternity and cyclic Time, which polarize each other and are always joined in the bosom of the Whole.
Seen from a different perspective, the tops of the big Triangle symbolize the Cycle of the three Worlds and the three bodies, the three phases of any phenomenon, while the six remaining points remind of the six days of the Creation and the six universal levels of polar vibration. The central point can be considered as the fixed FOCUS that governs the fundamental laws of Three and Seven.
We can continue the metaphysical and arithmological meditation indefinitely, because the correlations are many and all connect the Principle–Numbers into a Unique Flow, which converges at the Spring of Eternity. The simplicity of the symbol gives it force and magnetism which are worthy of Pythagoras’s name. At the same time, Tetraktys is the model of triangular “growth”, fruit of the transcendent Trinity, which thus contains, implicitly, the Secret and the Force of the Golden Proportion, which manifests as a perfect connection between any two things, as median or mediator term, as the core of all creatures.
Let us have a closer look at what it is that actually allows us to say that the Trinity and the Divine Proportion are so tightly united.
The term “proportion” comes from the Latin “proportio”, which has the same meaning as the Greek word “analogia”, which was essential in the metaphysic doctrine of the Pythagoreans. The etymologies of the two words are very helpful for understanding the original meaning of the concept of proportion. Thus, the term “analogia” comes from “ana” (which in Greek means “up”, “superior”, “corresponding to”, “which is reflected through”) and logos (meaning “raport”, but also “seed”, “germ”, “essence”, “word”). At the same time, the word “legein” is translated as “to connect”, “to unite”, “to gather”. In a metaphysical interpretation, we could say that what is up, in the world beyond, connects, gathers, brings back to the bed of the Primordial Spring – through the cause-effect relationship or even beyond the necessity – the fruit spread into the world of the Spirit. Thus, in a broader meaning, “analogia” signifies the similitude that connects and unites things and beings, the reflection of Ideas (infinite seeds) into the Manifestation, the law of the mysterious subtle correspondences between Whole and Part, between Earth and Sky, between Up and Down, between essential and substantial, between Macrocosm and Microcosm.
Fig.O.3 – The stages of the triangular growth of the Tetraktys
First Stage: a “little stone”
Second stage: we add a row with an extra “little stone”
Third stage: we add the third row and another “little stone”
Fourth Stage: the last one completes the decade (10 “little stones”)
In Latin, the term “proportion” (“pro” means “before”, “which offers grace and favours”, and “portio” means “part of the Whole”) refers to what is – ontologically speaking – before the part, meaning the Whole which sacrifices itself through partition and in this way it makes holy and divine the part it generated. If we look carefully, we notice that, indeed, the part is never separated from the Whole, like a wave that appears, for one moment, on the mirror surface of the Ocean, only to melt back in and to return to its Unique Plenitude. Analogically speaking, the proportion expresses both the uniqueness of individual manifestations (which can be seen as part) and the fundamental unity of the Creation (which can be seen as Whole).
The radical “logos” from the term “analogy” at the same time signifies the quantitative relationship between two measures, the actual rapport, so that the proportion is intimately connected to the equivalence of the relations. Here we make reference to the relation in the general understanding of the word, as being that which allows the perception of the secret connection between things, beings and ideas, in the vast space of the discriminating intellect.
For the Pythagoreans – philosophers, as well as mathematicians – the representation in numerical terms of the proportion was an enumeration such as:
1, 2, 4, 8, or, more generally, a, b, c, d,
which today would be written as the equality between two reports:
1/2=4/8 or, more generally, a/b=c/d.
In this way it is represented the fact that 1 is the same for 2 as 4 is for 8, and a is the same for b as c is for d, so that the rapport between 1 and 2 and the rapport between 4 and 8 is the same. At the same time, a and b are in the same rapport as c and d. Thus, the rapport between the consecutive terms of the proportion is the same and it underlines in a more realistic way the reflection, analogy, the “flow” of an identical secret vibration through the two rapport-relations, the one between 1 and 2 and the one between 4 and. Or, generally speaking, the relation between a and b and c and d. Of course, this flow is the effect of triggering a phenomenon of resonance, which tends to maintain the rapport between pairs of terms of the same kind. This rapport is the expression of a certain directive model, mirrored through a corresponding relation between the terms. Thus, proportion is intimately related to the phenomenon of resonance.
In Jesus’ parables we find a very good materialization of the archetypal model of proportion, which can help us understand it in a way, with an application in life. Jesus wisely pictured the law of karmic reward through the words “Do to people as you wish to be done unto you”, “He who lifts the sword, by sword shall he perish”, and “Give and it shall be given to you”, “It will be measured for you with the same measure you measure”, “Do not judge and you shall not be judged”, “Forgive and you shall be forgiven”, “He who sows wind, shall reap storm”. The old proverbs “Do good and you shall find good”, “You sleep as you make you bed” and especially “What you reap is what you sow”, also make reference to the same phenomenon. In any of these sayings, the maintenance of a certain relation is obvious, and of a certain proportion in the relationships between man and the world, but also between man and other people. Each one of them outlines the vivid way the principle of analogy functions. Thus, in the future, the others will behave towards us exactly in the way we behave now with the others and what we do to them, they will do to us. As we lift our sword against them, they will also lift the sword against us; as we give to them, they will give to us. In the same way, our attitude towards the others will be reflected in the other’s attitude towards us.
New Moon First Square Full Moon Last Square
Fig.0.4 – The quaternary division of the lunar cycle is one of the most known applications of the Tetraktys, seen as a 4 stage process. Each of the four stages of the Moon corresponds to the relative position of the Moon (seen from the Earth) in relation to the Sun. Thus, the New Moon stage corresponds to the conjunction (0º) Sun-Moon; the First and the Last square correspond to the two quadrants (90º) and the Full Moon corresponds to the opposition (180º).
In the sayings above, we have underlined the existence of a relation between “us” and “the others”, between “us” and “them”, exactly as before we had relations between 1 and 2 or between a and b. We notice that the divine laws (such as the karmic law) fully respect the principle of analogy and proportion: always, the karmic answer is proportional with our deed. We always obtain results according to the actions we have done. Everything in the universe “flows” according to the law of analogy and proportion. The “mathema”-tic model of proportion only establishes this universal truth through a symbolic mark, much more synthetic and concise and, necessarily, more abstract. It leaves us to awaken our attention more and more and to notice the overall presence of the proportion in our life. This will help us understand that nothing happens at random in the world, that everything has a cause and it is according to the divine rules. In this way, we will always be able to act correctly and to be perfectly integrated.
The proportion with four terms - a, b, c, d (which today is written a/b=c/d), which was called “disjunctive” by the Greeks, in fact represents the model of quaternary development, the model of projection of the Principle at the level of the Earth. The extreme terms (a and d) and the median terms (b and c are polarized two by two, complementing each other and at the same time being symbols of the opposite manifestations - “discordant”, according to the Pythagorean expression. The divine harmony naturally implies “the approval of the discordant”, meaning the unification of the polarities. Its model is that of One-into-Three, of the Middle - essence which unites the opposite ends (principles) through the law of Trinity. Here is how Plato introduces, in Timaios, the notion of ideal proportion, which unites three terms: “… it is not possible for two separated terms (and thus, broken from the Harmony of the Whole) to form a beautiful composition without a third. Because a secret connection must exist between them that brings them closer to one another. And out of all connections, the most beautiful is the one that gives the most perfect Unity to the terms it connects. This is the proportion that connects in the most beautiful way.”
The consonance between parts taken two by two and, respectively, between each part and the Whole, is thus the harmonious result of the connection of the things that make the Whole. Coming back to the proportion with four terms, complementary two by two, a/b=c/d or a, b, c, d, its harmonization is done through the fusion of the denominator of the first fraction and the numerator of the second into one unique factor of connection, according to the scheme of the middle, which unifies the extremities through the power of Trinity.
Thus, the proportion with four terms transforms into “continuous” proportion, with three terms
which, in an enumerative notation, becomes the series a, b, c. Here a and c are the symbols of the “discordant” terms, as the Pythagoreans call it, or of the polar opposed forces, of the complementary phenomena, feminine and masculine, Yin and Yang, + and -, while b is the symbol of the median term and at the same time of the essence which realizes the balance and the harmonization or the “accord of the discordants”.
Maybe many have wondered – reading about “The Golden Ratio” – why is it marked with ? and why it equals 1.6180339…, where does this value come from and what is the guarantee that beauty has any connection with it. The notation with the Greek letter ? (phi) was adopted as a sign of homage to the Greek sculptor Phidias, who was harmonizing the effects of his works of art using the Divine proportion. Regarding the numerical value 1.6180339…, it comes from the continuous proportion. The “Golden” proportion (and at the same time the most beautiful proportion) is, according to Plato, the one to which the “connection”, the median term, gives the most complete Unity. Here we speak about that ideal beauty that the Creator insufflates through the likeness with Him, meaning through reflection and analogy, to the entire Creation. Any emanating process starts from the unique Being of the Creator, which is also called the non-separated godly Whole; because of this, we will make a scheme of the calculation (symbolic, of course, and with metaphysical implications) which allows us to find what is, in fact, the numerical expression of the most beautiful, ideal, harmonious, perfect connection between the Creative Whole and the created part.
In chapter III of this book we will show (using the means of elementary mathematics) the way in which this condition of complete unity leads us to the Divine Proportion and to the Golden Ratio. Thus, these appear as being intimately related to the idea of middle and perfect mediation between two things (or two beings), as well as to that of core, essence which connects, knits together, unites. Etymologically speaking, the term “middle” comes from Latin (medius + locus) or, in other words, “the location” of the core, of the essence.
The calculations are not strictly necessary for understanding the idea of Divine Proportion. But they make the above principles more concrete in a numerical form. Those who have forgotten the way in which such calculations are made must only remember that the divine law of analogy and unity of the Creation – as well as the principle of Unity in Trinity exposed by Plato – allows us, as a concretely numerical application, to find again the value ?=1.6180339… Practically, all we do is rediscover the symbolic explanation of the reason why such a long line of Pythagoreans present this Proportion and this rapport (and not another) as the absolute canon of Beauty in a modern context. Thus, instead of being, like many contemporary “Pythagoreans”, just enthusiastic about the idea of Golden Proportion, we also have the metaphysical key of the principle upon which it is based, even if this is not in itself a demonstration with hypothesis and conclusion, as in academic mathematics.
Aside from this, we can also metaphysically interpret the fact that the median term of the continuous proportion is geometrical mean of the extremities (b2 = a.c). In this way, the idea of Unity appears more and more clear, expressed in multiplicative marking (which, symbolically, is the correspondent of the creative process that leads from Unity to Multiplicity).
The Law of Trinity governs Creation doubly: thus, we have a transcendental Three, immovable and unchanged, Three-in-One, which corresponds to perfect Balance, Stillness and Repose and actually constitutes the archetypal Unity and Harmony of the principle, in which no part is separated from the Creative Whole; at the same time, we also have an immanent, dynamic Three, which expresses the growth and asymmetric Movement of life in Manifestation through the number ?, constantly related to the unchanging Pole of perfect Divine Harmony and Symmetry.
The Divine Proportion exactly reflects that unique superior force which creates and in the same time reabsorbs, which gives life and destroys, which materializes and sublimates, which ascends and descends, which unites and divides, most often represented through the model of Three in One and of One in Three of the Holy Trinity. This is present in Christianity, in the Sri Vidya tradition or in the Trika school of Kashmir, in different specific visions, of course, which can not be assimilated or overlapped mechanically. The divine Logos, the secret creative Word, is the median term, therefore being represented in manifestation by the Golden Proportion. This can be understood as the vivid, all-present and perfect connection that mysteriously governs all harmonious relationships. Philo of Alexandria said very beautifully that “God the Father gave Logos both the power to mediate between Him and the Creation, as well as the power to make the difference between Him and the Creation.” This means that actually the Logos is the seed of the Divine Consciousness from the belly of the Manifestation, the threshold between Transcendence and Immanence, the Point in which the universal emanation and resorption merge. It is profoundly significant that we find the line in the Bible: “Where Two or Three are gathered in My Name, I will be with them!” (Matthew, 18:20)
Symbolically, and not at random, the Hindu tradition places Brahma the Creator in the Navel of the World, and the ancient Greeks were worshipping the Omphalos as the Centre of the World, from the same metaphysical considerations.
Fig. O5 – The diagram from the Hermetic manuscript of Giorgi allows the construction of the succession of musical octaves, quadruples and quintuples that form the harmonic system given by Plato in the Timaeus dialogue (a modern representation is shown on the right side)
The notion “mean” (the geometric – harmonic – arithmetic triad) is closely connected to the Divine Proportion and the Tetraktys, the Perfect Decade. Dividing a segment in the Golden rapport also implies the geometrical mean: the rapport between a/b and b/c leads to the formula b2=a.c. In fact, this means that b is the geometrical mean between a and c.
Fig. 0.6 The Lambda from Plato's Timaeus
Fig. 07 The numbers that complete the Lambda by keeping the law of formation unaltered
When Plato suggested dividing the primordial Mixture (the Triad of the Identical, the Different and the Being) through the Number (Resonance) (Timaeus, 35b-c), he also presented the scheme that was later on called Lambda (see figure 0.6). On the left side we have the powers of 2 and on the right side, those of 3. The Feminine, Earth (2) and the Masculine, Sky (3) merge together in the Unique Principle (1) and thus they emanate the three levels of the World that complement each other. The division of the Soul of the World is a profound subject in itself, so we will not develop it further here, but those who want to deepen it can find it in the Timaeus dialogue, together with the way of forming the musical chords (see figure 0.5). What is amazing is that, without much difficulty, Lambda appears as being “extracted” from Tetraktys, the fundamental archetype of the Pythagoreans, thus starting the formation of the Tetraktys by adding the three missing “stones”. Now our problem is what numbers complete the Tetraktys, at the same time keeping its law of formation unaltered. The answer is a new confirmation of our hypothesis and it is provided by the very law of triangular growth, a real archetype of fractal development (which reproduces a unique model through the quality of so-called “auto similarity”, repeated over infinite iterations) or holographic (in which the parts are copies on scale of the whole): The original triangle 1-2-3 must be reflected (proportionally) in all the others. Thus, between 4 and 9 appears 6, because the progressions 2-4-6 and 3-6-9 both hide the triplet 1-2-3. They are obtained from this by multiplying the terms with 2 and 3, respectively. In the bottom line, out of similar reasons, we complete with 12 and 18 (4-8-12), 6-12-18 and 9-18-27 also keep the 1-2-3 rapport). In this way we obtain the scheme from figure 0.7.
Besides, we notice that 6 is the geometrical mean and middle of the pairs 2-18, 4-9, 3-12, in the centre of which it is (62=2.18=4.9=3.12) and at the same time for the triads 1-8-27 (63=1.8.27), 2-12-9 (63=2.12.9) and 3-4-18 (63=3.4.18).
It is indeed unexpected, but the respective “coincidences” only strengthen the idea of an extremely coherent metaphysical-mathematical system (for the initiates) of Pythagorism. Here is another impulse for a better reflection upon the significance of the arithmetical operations and to a more profound focus upon the numeric symbolism, which can open unexpected gates for us.
Coming back to the Divine Proportion, we notice that in fact the complementarity of the Identical and of the Different is fulfilled through the unifying Principle of the Being, and after portioning Unity through the powers of 2 and 3, the sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 27 is obtained. Plato describes the filling of the intervals through the use of arithmetic and harmonic mean. Thus, they regulate the proportional (comm)union of the extreme terms, becoming “representatives” of the mediating principle (connected to psyche – the soul) between the spiritual – causal (intelligible) domain and the physical one (sensitive). In this direction, it is significant that the means correspond analogically to the three Worlds. Thus, we can say that the Causal world corresponds to the arithmetic mean, the Astral world corresponds to the harmonic mean and the Physical world corresponds to the geometrical mean.
Therefore, we have outlined a specific way of metaphysical interpretation, which allows very special correlations between Arithmology and the Golden Proportion, all these being revealed to us as the elements of a structure that is impossible to break.
For the ancient Greeks the Trinity (truly Holy) was the carring force of the Concordia, Harmony and “marriage”. At the same time, it was the cohesive, unifying factor of the opposite and discordant pairs of terms. Homer (Iliad, 15.189) said that “Everything was divided into three”; according to Nicomah of Gerasa, the virtues were somewhere in the middle between two vicious states (one through excess, the other one through the lacking) and reciprocally opposite. The virtues are under the incidence of the monad, thus being something wise and defined – because the mean is one – while the vices are governed by the dyad and are indefinite and meaningless.
Expression of the Great Cosmic Power TRIPURA SUNDARI, the Trinity of the Divine Proportion appears as being the unique Canon of Harmony in the three worlds, each fundamental level reflecting its light, as much as it given through the Universal Order.
As far as we are concerned, we must know how to apply this canon in different ways, because if in the physical level we can use the measure of lengths and the value 1.618033… in order to outline the harmonic rapport, at the emotional level we must live fully and to integrate inner states. With regard to the causal level we must reveal within ourselves, as intensely and profoundly as possible, an ineffable overview which secretly synthesizes and unifies the ideas. The arithmological model for this way of acting is the mean, which corresponds, analogically speaking, to “the middle way”. Not by chance, Jesus said of Himself that he is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, and Buddha found the “median way”. Also, in folklore there is the wise saying: “The Truth is in the middle”. Therefore, for the lover of wisdom, the arithmetic, harmonic and geometric means are tools which symbolically evoke the integration of all tendencies and latent imprints of the being, as well as of the inferior tendencies (corresponding to the extremes, and to the discordant) through the cultivation of the state of neutrality (which corresponds to the Mean, Balance, Harmony and Unity).
Though it might appear ordinary, the simple measurement and comparison of some relations to the 1.618033… value is a good start, because even if this constitutes a minor application of the Divine Proportion, it has the power to gradually awaken something mysterious within us.
Quoting the inspired words of the apostle Paul, we could say that by doing this, “[now] partly we know, and partly we foretell. But when that which is divine and perfect will be revealed to us COMPLETELY, than that which is offered to us as part will transfigure us.” Knowing all this, we just have to get involved with our entire being, body, soul and mind in this fruitful search that gradually leads us to finding our essential Unity. In this way, at one point we will fully, completely and profoundly experience the inspired saying from the ISA UPANISHAD:
“That is perfect. This is truly perfect. Perfection brings perfection. Beauty calls for beauty. Take perfection from perfection and thus you will see that what is left is perfection.”
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