Article written by Advaitananda
Taken from concordiayogaforum.net
Millenary wisdom revealed that: “what is here (in the inner universe) can be found anywhere outside of us (in Macrocosm) and what is not here cannot be found anywhere else”. Therefore, it was noticed that, for example, if a person is upset, this inner state can be easily noticed, by somebody who has the necessary experience, in the bodily attitude of the respective person. Practically, all our inner states manifest specifically through our bodily attitudes. In the same way when somebody is happy, that person’s body is relaxed and the attitude reflects this state. This observation becomes useful in order to be able to “read” somebody’s inner state by their bodily attitude.
Starting from this observation, and from the fact that our structure constantly maintains processes of occult resonance, spiritual seekers discovered something amazingly easy and of an exceptional practical importance: the attitude creates the aptitude or the skill. That means the bodily attitude creates, by the resonance corresponding to that bodily attitude, a skill or an aptitude manifested by the energies accumulated in the being due to the resonances triggered by the respective attitude. Therefore, it is not only our inner states that are reflected in our bodily attitude. In its turn, according to the principle of correspondence, our bodily attitude triggers specific states in our consciousness.
In time, as a consequence of this fundamental observation, great wise tantrics and yogis developed a methodology based on assuming bodily attitudes in order to trigger in the inner universe of the practitioner controlled specific processes of resonance. This gives the possibility to be able to have at will and precisely those resonances we aspire towards. And it will happen irrespective to our momentarily energetic predominance, should we assume the right body attitude.
Considering how the resonance processes are triggered and controlled it comes with no surprise that in the case of bodily attitudes, our inner state can be generated or influenced by the position of the body and by the attention we focus upon this position.
An asana is a position of the body or an attitude that tune our system in resonance with very precise Macrocosmic energies. With other words, an asana is a resonating energetic configuration that we create by arranging the body – and implicitly positioning the energetic structure – in a specific position. In this way, the asana becomes an expression of our aspiration to merge by resonance into the energetic ambiance, specifically with the frequency of the energies that the asana-s is in resonance with.
When practicing the asana the bodily posture is firmly maintained, but without tension. The attention is entirely focused to perceive the phenomena of resonance with the specific universal energies. In the same way in which mental focus maintains the mind focused upon only one object of perception, the asana maintains the body still and and the attention firmly focused upon only one state of resonance. One of the great advantages from the practice of the asanas from Hatha Yoga is coming exactly from this easiness on taming the mind into one position when is aligned with the position of the body.
Due to a misunderstanding of these fundamental aspects, nowadays many mistake the asana with a physical exercise, something practiced in sports class if the teacher has some eastern inclinations or a gymnastic with some psychosomatic effects. Yet, there are fundamental differences between asana and physical exercises or even psychosomatic gymnastics.
In order to make this aspect even more clear here are some of these differences:
- The asana always implies an operating key that will give efficiency to the method. This key consist of the indications regarding the way of focusing the attention during the exercise upon the energetic resonating center (chakra) as well as upon the flow if the energies through the energetic body. Sport exercises imply only the attention focus generally on the body and particularly on its dynamics, in such a way that the exercise is performed very well.
- The purpose of a sport exercise is to energize especially our physical structure and in this way to indirectly induce a state of well-being in us. The purpose of an asana is to align our physical structure with our subtle structures, in a sublime aspiration to become aware as much as possible of the supreme state of Divine unity. The inner state that appear while performing the asana is precisely in accordance with the resonances that are facilitated by that asana.
- Physical exercises do not imply focus of the mind besides the few performance aspects upon which we need to focus in order to perform correctly. After the physical exercise was repeated several times, one can enter a state of automatism. Even on auto-pilot, the gymnastic exercise will provide its effects upon the physical body, without much focusing required. In case of an asana, even if we will repeat this exercise thousands of times, we need to focus each time in order to be able to enter in a state of resonance with the energetic macrocosmic center corresponding to that asana.
- Generally, an asana is a static position, in which the body stays still and relaxed and the attention is firmly focused only on the specific processes of resonance that take place in and beyond the physical body (with rare exceptions, which are special cases). Sport exercises are generally dynamic, with strong movements and with the attention focused only on the body in order to ensure a correct performance of the exercise.
- To better understand the difference, here is the analogy with the radio. If we take the radio set and we train by lifting it repeatedly to the ceiling and back to the floor, this is what means to practice sport. But if we place the radio in the best position in the room for receiving the signal of the radio station we want to listen to, and then we put on the radio and we pay attention to what the device transmits through resonance, we can say, analogically speaking, that we practice asana. After lifting the device to the ceiling for thousands of times, we can say that we know very well what means to lift the radio box and we can even do that gesture automatically. But even if we know the frequency of the favorite radio station, what comes on that frequency is extremely nuanced. Therefore, although the process of tuning in can be always be the same, what comes through this tuning is always different. Therefore the gesture of tuning of the radio might be the same every time, just like the gesture of lifting it, but every time we tune it we can listen something new and our attention is always needed.
Considering the above, for the asana to have the expected effect here are some fundamental conditions:
- The body attitude must be as relaxed as possible. As known in yoga, the more relaxed is the body the more it allows the energies to flow through and to be harmoniously distributed in the entire structure. Besides, the phenomena of resonance take place according to its rhythm and all we can do is to become aware about it and in this way to maintain it for a longer period of time. This secret is reflected in the famous treaty Yoga Sutras of the great sage Patanjali through the following explanation: “Asana-s are mastered through the disappearance of the physical effort and through the fusion with the Infinite.”
- While performing the bodily posture, the attention is firmly and effortlessly focused on the ineffable processes of complex resonance which are settled between the practitioner’s being and the Universe. More precise the connection through resonance is established between some of the universal energies and their correspondence within the being of the practitioner, making his/her being growing from individuality toward universality. This cosmic integrating awareness makes it so that a state of ecstatic euphoria establishes in the entire being of the practitioner, which cannot be associated to any superficial bodily cause. To illustrate this condition, here is a quotation from the famous spiritually yogi master Vyasa: “Asana becomes perfect through the intimate communion between the practitioner’s being and the Universe. Then, the effort to realize it disappears and the couple of opposites is balanced, generating an ecstatic state.”
- During the practice of an asana, a state of self-transfiguration transforms the being of the practitioner. Due to this state of exemplary self-transfiguration the entire being of the yogi becomes a manifestation of the universal “archetype” represented by that asana, a manifestation which constantly tends towards the perfection within itself. The mind and body of the yogi tend to align in order to make a unitary whole which vibrates in unison with the Divine Universal energies represented by that asana.
- After performing an asana, it is important to continue focusing on the specific processes of resonance for 1 – 2 minutes (this is the minimum recommended, and not the superior limit). In this way, the new attitude we started to gain through the resonance induced by the bodily posture – asana – is assimilated and will become available outside of the asana performance, in daily life. The new attitude and state becomes an integrated part of our inner nature.
When these conditions are fulfilled, the Consciousness transcends the world of senses and it becomes free, spontaneously able to express itself fully, beyond the limitations imposed by the body and in this way revealing the true ultimate nature of the yogi. In fact, this is the real purpose of an asana.
Performing asana in this spirit, the practice becomes effortless, the posture can be maintained for long periods of time and the benefits increase proportionally. The identifying communion which takes place then help us to maintain the asana without getting tired. In this way we succeed to stay still for long periods of time without the feeling of being tired.
By Yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
At first glance, healing with colors seems the subject of a sci-fi movie. And yet, this is the reality. Pains caused by arthritis can be diminished to the maximum by irradiating the back of the neck with a red colored light, for 20 minutes. With a “relatively” similar recipe one can treat burns, asthma, cellulites, the injuries from a traumatism, hemorrhoid crisis, the state of irritability, psychic depression, etc.
Therapy with the help of colors is a simple treatment method (all it takes is a lamp and a colored filter), it is natural, efficient and very revolutionary. The French doctor Christian Agrapart says: “It is a form of energetic medicine, based on directing to the ill or painful area a colored ray of light, according to the affection. Each color stimulates the rehabilitation of the energetic balance in the affected area. The colored ray does not act through its power of penetration, but through its ability to integrate itself into the body’s defense mechanism. It does not aggress the body, as it is the case with medicines, but rather it induces a greater ability to fight a disease (a reaction)”.
Chromotherapists can already bring many healing cases as a proof, but it can be used successfully also in everyday life. Do you know, for example, that if you are a person who often goes through depressive states, you should wear as often as possible red colored clothes, in order to make these ridiculous states disappear? But, if you have digestion problems, it will be very good to prefer the use of yellow in your outfits. Green will be extremely useful if you wish to remove insomnia without sleeping pills.
By applying any of these recommendations, you will spontaneously make use of one of the most ancient medical practices: color therapy or Chromotherapy.
The symbols of colors have been known since the most ancient times and the significance of most colors has remained unchanged.
In Ancient Egypt, the famous God Thot was the master of colors and he used them one by one or in a fascinating combination, in order to awaken, amplify or maintain the latent spiritual abilities in most ignorant and narrow minded human beings.
Through the Yellow color, Goddess Isis awoke and amplified the spiritual abilities of a human being. But, the vital force of action was developed by the Red color of God Osiris.
In our case, ultraviolets needed a complete scientific confirmation. The Greeks and the Romans had discovered and used ultraviolets long before we did and they used them with an extraordinary efficiency. At a careful analysis, this was only a particular form of color therapy.
In their diagnosis, the Chinese have used and still use the certain indications connected to color (color of skin, eyes, tongue, etc.)
Indians have fully contributed to the discovery and spreading of the most important natural therapies. In this way, from the Indians we have inherited certain perfectly natural and famous therapy methods, many of which often use medical herbs, vegetables, fruits, cereals, diet, massages, certain procedures for inner cleansing, controlled and focused breathing, different contractions done at the level of certain bodily areas, various physical postures meant to determine both the therapeutic effects as well as certain spiritual states and… even colors.
Due to the Indians, who practiced various Yoga techniques, it was possible to find out for the first time and to establish precisely the intimate relationships between the different colors and the seven essential centers of the human body which, in yogi tradition, are called chakras or secret foci of the subtle macrocosmic energies, existing in the being, through which an unsuspected range of paranormal phenomena becomes possible.
When they are well dynamized, these main chakras act in unison and accumulate luminous subtle energies, of different colors, which then they modify according to the specific of the being, distributing them in our inner universe. At the same time, by resonance, they put into action the plexus of each chakra. Therefore, it is obvious that each of the seven chakras has a predominant correspondent in one of the seven basic colors of the white light spectrum, decomposed through a transparent prism.
In the case of a disturbance or malfunction determined in many situations by a weak energization of the respective force center (chakra), it is enough to dynamize and charge as much as needed the body part corresponding to the respective Chakra.
In a way, color reigns over the entire nature and for us, people, according to specialists, colors identify with life. In a monochromatic universe, our life would stop. Between the colors surrounding us and, respectively, our psychic state, surprising correlations are established.
Most people’s favorite color is blue. Then, the order follows: red, orange, yellow and cold colors: indigo, blue and violet. Green is the only neutral color (it is not warm nor cold). The first ones favor the processes of adaptation, having stimulant effects upon us, while the colors from the second group have inhibiting, neutralizing, sedative virtues.
Colors ability to reflect light is variable. Below there are some examples of colors and the light proportion reflected by them: white and cream 70 - 80%, light green 57%, dark blue 40%. It is obvious that the more a room is painted in colors that reflect light, the brighter that room will be. But also furniture has a role in producing this effect. for instance, oak wood reflects 30-50% of light and walnut tree wood reflects 10 - 20%.
The psychological effects of colors have been proven in the last years by many specialists. Thus, red is an active, dynamic color, exalting enthusiasm, orange awakens joy and good mood, green has calming effects, dark grey evokes monotony and sadness, etc.
While studying the influence of colors upon the human body, a group of researchers from the Polytechnic Institute in Budapest have reached certain interesting and unexpected results. Tests done on blindfolded people, placed in different chromathic environments have showed that the heart beat, blood pressure and even body temperature change according to the changes in the colored environment. In the case of bright red, heartbeat accelerates; in a yellow environment, heartbeat intensifies in a slower rhythm; on the other hand, in the case of all shades of blue, the heartbeat slows down and all subjects have manifested sleepiness. Researchers explain this phenomenon through the action of electromagnetic oscillations that modify in rapport with the change of the chromathic environment.
The world of color puts an imprint on our clothes, on food, as well as it interferes directly in interior design, in architecture, medicine, cosmetics. Human psychic balance needs the entire range of colors that nature offers us and, not accidentally, we image many new color combinations.
The importance of colors in some situations
There are many easy and handy methods for using colors both for improving health as well as for harmonizing our being in many directions. Colors can also be used in order to induce and maintain a state of complete happiness, for awakening the latent potentialities of the being, as well as for accelerating our spiritual evolution.
According to the situation and the state we have to deal with predominantly, we can choose our clothes according totally to the characteristics of each color and, of course, according to our own necessities, which we aim to satisfy. This can be done by anyone, in this case avoiding colors with negative effects.
They also have extraordinary virtues. The major inconvenience in their case is the price that, unfortunately, does not allow anybody to adapt to one's needs the precious stone the color of which would be beneficial.
It is enough to have some ordinary bottles, already made in a certain color, which fit our intention. Such a colored bottle, having of course the color we wish, will be filled with drinkable water and then it will be placed in the sunlight for as long as possible, with a lid on. Instead of any other water, we will drink this water. If we do not succeed to find bottles in the color we need, we can use transparent bottles, wrapped in cellophane of the adequate color.
Any strong lamp used by photographers in photo labs, which is closed tightly and to which one can attach different colored filters according to our needs. When we use it, we will attach to it a filter of colored glass, according to the effect we aim for.
We will place ourselves in this adequate light from 20 minutes to 3 hours daily. Obviously, the filters for this lamp must be changed according to the chosen color.
If we have, we can also use a slide projector with a bulb of 150 - 400 watts.
In this case, it will of course be attached in the outside, above the objective, either a filter glass in the right color, or photographic filters, according to the existent colors, fully adapted to our needs.
If we do not have a slide projector, we can even use a convergent condensing magnifying glass, aiming to point its focus especially on the affected area. Naturally, in this case, in front of the focus we will put a glass - filter of a color that fits the situation we want to treat.
In the light of traditional information about chromotherapy, the failure of many treatments for certain affections comes from the blockage and stagnation of vital energy at the level of the plexuses mentioned above. In other cases, the weak dynamization of these plexuses generates a state of devitalizing that attracts a range of disturbances, due to lack. In other cases, the energizing of different levels of the being is unequal, some plexuses are overcharged and generate predominances, and this leads to unbalances and even affections.
Using Chromotherapy intelligently, after having become distinctly aware of our lacks and predominances, we will succeed to rebalance the being, compensating the different levels that have been affected due to stagnation or poor dynamizing, by energizing the correspondent plexus through direct exposure of the respective area to certain colored, more or less intense, irradiations.
Initially, it is necessary to have a health check-up, using the indications given by colors, because when it is done correctly it will allow us to evaluate the vital potential both within us as well as in a human being we wish to help, thus estimating the possibilities for recovering.
Making this analysis correctly will also allow us to outline or to perceive intuitively the organic or psychic causes of the unbalance.
The universal method used for healing through chromotherapy is the projection of colored radiations focused, according to our lacks, upon the naked body. If we wish to have accelerated results, we will focus these high intensity radiations, in the necessary color, upon the affected area, organ or part, especially if we aim for relaxation.
Equally, we will use irradiations through pointed focus upon certain plexuses when it is about unblocking the stagnating or inertial energy, especially when we wish to heal certain precise affections.
The exposure is done directly on naked skin, unless there are other counterindications; nudity is necessary. In some cases it is possible to treat more plexuses at the same time, through focused irradiations, using two or more projectors with different colors, especially in the case of a profound unbalance.
In the cases when two different colors are recommended for the same illness, we will use them in turns,not simultaneously. In this case, after the treatment with one color, we will use another one. The use of more focused colors simultaneously is done in the case we treat the unbalance of more plexuses, especially in serious disturbances.
Taken from the book “Chromotherapy”, by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru?
"Ayurveda indicates what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, happy or unhappy in the living conditions of the being, what is favorable or unfavorable for longevity, as a measure of life itself." (Charaka Samhita)
Ayurveda and Yoga - Two Twin Systems
Art and in the same time science of restoring and maintaining the physical, mental and psycho-spiritual health, Ayurveda is deeply intertwined with yoga, both being revealed by the Divine to the Rishis (the sages from the East). The subject of both sciences is the same: the immortal spirit (ATMAN), and their common denominator is the system of the five basic elements. Ether, water, fire, earth and air are emitted from the Supreme Cosmic Consciousness and underlying the whole creation. They structure also the surrounding nature and the human nature.
Tridosha theory - the basis of Ayurveda
TRIDOSHA theory argues that the subtle human physiology is influenced by three key factors (Doshas), which were created by combining the five elements. For more information, please read the article The three constitutional types of Ayurveda system.
The three DOSHAS are: Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha. They manifest, in varying degrees, in every human being. No human body can survive without all three Doshas. The proportion of Doshas, when being in a state of harmony, determines the individual constitutional type, PRAKRITI. By disrupting even only one of the three essential factors of this triad the body condition called VIKRITI is resulting.
When selecting the best yoga techniques, one of the most important factors that will lead us in choosing them is VIKRITI or the imbalance nature in our being, manifested as a certain physical condition or a negative state. If we are in a state of harmony, if we hit a perfect natural balance and we burst out of vitality, joy, power of work and happiness, then we can create a spiritual program according to our constitution (PRAKRITI), the season type and the time of the day.
What type of yoga techniques are the best for you?
If you have a VATA constitution or a VATA type of imbalance, the most suitable techniques are the relaxing and calming ones, the vitalizing ones and those which have a heating effect.
If you belong to a PITTA constitution or you have a PITTA imbalance the most useful yoga exercises are the ones which have a calming, pacifying effect and which help the sublimation and the refinement of the fire energy in the being. If PITTA is too much aggravated, exercises of cooling down the structure can be added.
If the predominant constitutional type is KAPHA you or have a KAPHA imbalance the most suitable exercises are the dynamic stimulating and heating techniques.
ASANAS which balance VATA DOSHA
Generally, most of ASANAS are good for the VATA unbalance, because they have a mind calming effect and they remove the specific agitation. Since VATA DOSHA accumulates mainly in the lower area of the abdomen, in the pelvis and colon, the techniques which comprises these areas have an increased efficiency in balancing the DOSHA. Still there are some body postures with a particular benefitting effect in such cases.
One exceptional technique is Yoga Mudra (photo). Sit on your knees, keep apart your heels with 5-6 cm between your toes. Lower your buttocks so it can sit in the "bed" made up by the feet. Then lean forward until your forehead touches the floor, aiming for the buttocks to stay as much as possible stuck to the heels. Place the hands in front, palms facing down, like in a worship gesture. The abdominal compression created by this ASANA is excellent for constipation and flatulence, troubles caused by the unbalance of VATA DOSHA.
Another very useful asana to rebalance the VATA DOSHA is VATAYANASANA (photo) or PAVANAMUKTASANA (the gas removal posture). This is done starting from lying on the floor on your back. Pull your feet towards the abdomen so that your knees together can reach, as much as possible, under the chin, and your heels to be as close as possible to the thighs. Then hold your calves with your hands and bring your folded legs as closer to the trunk. This ASANA, as it name says, is very good in case of flatulence.
Other postures recommended for the VATA DOSHA imbalance or for the human beings belonging to VATA constitutional type are: PASKIMOTANASANA (The tongs posture), HALASANA (The plow posture) Padmasana (The lotus posture) and SHAVASANA (The corpse posture). By doing this you will notice a decrease of mental agitation due to VATA excess, along with a state of calm and inner silence.
ASANAS that balance PITTA DOSHA
The ASANAS which balance the PITTA DOSHA are the ones which compresses the umbilical region and solar plexus, as the PITTA’s main location is the small intestine. Such ASANA is DHANURASANA (photo), useful for improving the liver and spleen function, and for eliminating the PITTA specific states of irritation and anger. To perform this, lie on the floor facing down. Lift the chin, simultaneously grab your ankles with your hands, while arching the back. The legs are the only active element of DHANURASANA, the arms remain passive (as the string of a bow, perfectly straight, bringing together the shoulders and the ankles). Push the legs in front and up, through a sharp contraction of the thighs, which arches the back and raises the shoulder. The dynamic phase follows, consisting of a swing, just like that of a boat on the waves, slowly in the beginning, then increasingly gradually, so that the support point of the movement comes between the chest and the thighs. A very deep abdominal massage is done in this way.
PASCHIMOTTANASANA (the tongs posture) and KARNAPIDASANA (the ear pressure posture) are also useful for human beings with a predominance of PITTA DOSHA or with an imbalance of this DOSHA.
ASANAS that balance KAPHA DOSHA
The asanas which balance KAPHA DOSHA are generally those that relax the chest and abdominal area because the aggravated Kapha accumulates mainly in the lungs and stomach, in the form of mucus. These are excellent ASANAS to prevent and treat respiratory catarrhal diseases (for example bronchitis) or the constriction ones (e.g. asthma, emphysema).
Extremely useful for KAPHA DOSHA is SIMHASANA (lion posture) (photo). Get down on your kneed and cross your legs, putting the right leg ankle above the Achilles tendon of the left leg. Place your palms on your hips, with fingers pointing to the trunk and elbows out. The fingers will be kept together. Take then a synchronized contraction of all muscles of the neck, face and jaws, while the chin is pressed down as much as possible. The eyes are closed and oriented in a slightly convergent strabismus in the middle of the forehead. The trunk will be maintained straight as much as possible.
The stimulating, dynamic yoga techniques like UDDHYANA BANDHA, NAULI KRIYA, SURYA NAMASKARA (the sun salute) or the reverse positions such as SHIRSHASANA (the head standing posture) have a diminishing effect of the KAPHA DOSHA excess, which can be manifested like apathy, lack of dynamism, obesity, etc
The selection of yoga techniques, for the individual SADHANA, according to the seasons
The HATHA-YOGA spiritual practice can be adapted according to the season, in order to prevent the occurring of some DOSHAS imbalances which are favored by the seasonal changes. For example, during cold and wet time (spring) it is good to do the ASANAS which create the balance of KAPHA DOSHA. In the summer and early autumn the postures which reduce the PITTA DOSHA excess are recommended and in the time of the year characterized by cold and dry weather (late fall and winter) the techniques that balance VATTA DOSHA are useful.
In order to determine your constitutional type and thus to be guided in choosing different ASANAS, you can ask someone who has studied ayurveda or use the guiding table below.
Ayurveda questionnaire to determine the individual constitutional type (Prakriti)
VATA constitution PITTA constitution KAPHA constitution 1. Thin structure, skin-and-bone, too tall (or too short), low weigh 1. Average weight and structure 1. Robust structure, heavy weight, even overweight 2. It is very difficult to gain weight. Sometimes undergo weight fluctuations from one period to another 2. Weight is average and constant and weight 2. It is difficult to lose weight. They gain weight 3. Dry skin 3 Hot and oily skin 3. Cold and oily skin
4. They find it difficult to stand the cold. Sweating little
4. They find it difficult to stand the heat. Sweating a lot 4. They like heat rather than cold. Moderate sweating 5. Skin may have dark shades and dryness 5. Olive or pink skin. Easily turns red in the sun or intense emotions 5. Skin is pale or ”white as milk” 6. The nose is crooked, crooked or thin 6. The nose is pointed 6. The nose is large 7. Suffer more often than other structures from constipation or flatulence 7. Suffer more often than other structures of stomach burn or diarrhea 7. Suffer more often than others of heaviness in the stomach, which persist long after the meal 8. They like fat and hot foods 8. They like cold food 8. They like dry and warm food 9. In critical situations, they react with fear, anxiety, extreme agitation 9. In critical situations, they react with anger or irritability or verbal violence 9. In critical situations they feel depressed, lethargic or totally indifferent 10. They are characterized by states of excitement, joy, but in case of imbalance fear, anxiety, feeling empty can occur 10. They are very focused, easily competing with anyone (even themselves), they like to lead – aspect which might take them to despotism in case of imbalance 10. They are characterized by patience, stability, kindness, but also rigidity, obtuseness, heaviness, slowness in case of imbalance 11. They sleep "easy", they wake up easily, and sometimes they suffer from insomnia 11. They sleep well and they wake up when they aim to 11.They sleep very deep and they wake up difficult in the morning 12. Their dreams often contain a flight or with lots of motion scenarios 12. Their dreams contain fire (fires, sun, lightning), richly colored images or conflict situations 12. Their dreams contain water (lakes, rivers, waterfalls) or domestic scenes
When you answer to questions in the „Ayurveda questionaire” mark with 2 points the statements which fits you very well, with 1 point if the ones which fit you to a certain extent and with 0 points if the statemenet is not true. The number of points will show you the degree of the three DOSHAS in your constitutional type. Each individual is an unique combnatin of the three vital forces.
This article is taken from the journal Yoga-Magazin, issue no. 9
- (Past events)
Today, for the seventh year in a row Natha Yogacenter holds the tantric festival in Bhoga ashram. The festival has become a wonderful tradition, each year dedicated to deepen a certain aspect of the tantric approach to life. This year the topic of the camp is to understand the game of polarity – and ultimately to transcend the two opposite poles of manifestation by understanding them through direct experience.
This is the 6th tantric festival I participate in and I have been looking forward to this one with curiosity and excitement since my experiences the previous years have been very beautiful and have taught me in a direct way some very valuable aspects of yoga and tantra. Being a yoga student for nearly 10 years now doesn’t at all mean that I have learned all there is to know about these aspects, on the contrary. It seems that the more knowledge I get, the more I realize how many things I still need to learn. Nathas leading teacher, Mihai Stoian, and his wife Adina Stoian, kept the opening conference in the afternoon explaining why polarity is such an important issue on the tantric path. All the yoga practices and advanced tantric techniques are based on the game of polarity between the two fundamental energies in the universe, the feminine creative energy and the masculine energy of consciousness. Without a basic understanding of the interaction between these energies the different techniques will be of little efficiency and you are unable to truly practice tantra. Therefore it’s of great importance for beginners as well as advanced yoga practitioners to gain a deeper insight into the fascinating game between Shiva and Sakti. To support and intensify this process of becoming aware of the game of polarity during the festival certain rules will be applied. Men and women will live separately during the first days of the festival and follow different spiritual programs. It’s a very common misunderstanding in our society today that men and woman are the same and must be treated completely equally, since in reality men and woman are as different as the sun and the moon. It’s a source of unhappiness and frustration when we lose touch with the specific characteristics of our respective natures and become incapable to understand our self as well as the opposite sex. In this festival all participants are invited to join the game of re-discovering the polarity which has as its ultimate goal the transcendence of duality by obtaining the state of androgyny.
After the opening conference some re-arrangements were necessary to make in order to separate men and women, but this unexpected change in the living conditions were received with openness due to a great willingness to gain deeper self-insight by direct experience. The last “common meal” was eaten together before the separation of men and woman took place. After a delicious dinner there was a short introduction of the program of the following days and a meditation on the state of unconditional happiness. The male participants in the festival had to get up 4.30 next morning in order to start a long program of intensive yoga practice for amplifying the masculine energies and were quick to head off to bed. Being a woman I had the (in my eyes at least) privilege of sleeping until 9 the following day, so I stayed with the other woman enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake. It felt really good being a woman and the same sensation appeared when I was woken up at 4 in the morning by the bell announcing that the men’s program started. I snuggled up in my sleeping bag with a feeling of admiration for the men who would spend the next two hours in meditation outside in the cold morning air. I felt how the process of polarization already started to appear.
As mentioned yesterday the woman’s program started at 9 with 2 hours of common yoga practice. It was my first experience to practice yoga together with such a big group of only women and the difference in the energy, compared to my normal yoga class, was easy to perceive. Even if many of us didn’t know each other yet, a feeling of togetherness was starting.
During the day we hardly saw the men. They were all keeping mauna (silence) so the only thing you could hear in Bhoga ashram was the sound of women laughing and talking happily. When the meals were served men and woman stayed at each side of the dining hall and the effects of the polarization was becoming even more obvious. The men were silent and introspective, making the women feel light and joyful. Suddenly it was a striking experience just to look a man into the eyes and the emotional numbness due to the (sad) phenomenon “unisex” and lack of polarization in every day life was replaced with a thrilling sensation of playful attraction.
In the afternoon, while the men continued their intensive yoga practice, the woman met for a conference with Adina Stoian. A lot of interesting material was presented explaining about the ideal of the perfect Sakti, for whom all doors in this creation are open. We were reminded that everything we experience in life is created by our thoughts and we are fully able to create the life of our dreams. Each woman gave a short introduction of her-self and as the hours passed an atmosphere of friendship appeared. By listening to each other and sharing I became aware of women’s great capacity to assimilate the best qualities in each other. A feeling of sympathy and I dare to say even love started to arise between us.
In the evening lecture the woman and men met for the first time this day for a common activity. We were situated in each side of the room facing each other, and the game of polarization was now manifesting in a very obvious way. The field of energy between the two poles was vibrating in the room and filled me with a great joy. The strong polarization made me feel complete and at the same time very energized. Even after a long day full of impressions and experiences I stayed up till late in the night to finish some tasks and just a few moments before the men would start a new day of intensive practice, I went to bed with an even deeper admiration than I felt the night before. If you haven’t experienced it perhaps a little hard to understand what is so attractive about a man getting up even before sunrise, meditating outside in the cold, keeping silence, taking cold showers and doing all other kind of activities that you don’t usually find on a woman list of things she would like a man to do. But not even the best suit and nicest car can match a man who has set himself a goal and without any further hesitation follows it. It gives a feeling of inner security because you know that here is a man who you can trust to follow. I am somehow amazed how many things already start to crystallize after being just two days in the festival. A big chapter of life has been opened and as I start to read it I discover infinite many secrets hidden between the lines.
The third day of the tantric festival was guiding us even deeper inside. Through simple code of conduct, staying in silence, restraining from eating and an intense meditative program our being was purified and lead towards a continuous deepening of our inner world.
How do we find our way in life? In the morning lecture Mihai explained how we often use a different roadmap than the one which actually corresponds to where we are in our life. On any roadmap you have infinite possibilities of choosing your way. There is always a left or right turn to take and only in the moments where we reach a dead end not included in the map do we realise that we are using the wrong map.
We often believe that we are somewhere which we are not and for this reason we often take actions or decisions which are based on pure imagination or superstition, and which have nothing to do with reality and our real situation in life.
This day was the moment of truth for everybody in the camp. Silence and introspection prevailed and only sporadically could the sounds of whispering or the walking across the courtyard be heard. Everybody had the chance to relax deep inside and let go of all tensions and reactions, which often are created inside of us when we constantly interact with our surroundings.
Staying in such conditions somehow naturally give us the opportunity to align ourselves with the truth through a constant awareness on our inner reactions instead of, as we often choose, to project any problem or personal limitation on the outer reality. When the only feedback we receive is what our mind produces, it becomes more clear how all problems in fact derive from our own lack of awareness and honesty about who we are and what we are about.
Everybody received a questionnaire with questions helping and guiding us to go deeper inside and in complete honesty and transparency of our heart consider some fundamental conditions of life. Even though you are not here with us in the middle of this amazing process of tantric self enquiry I invite you here to consider some of these questions in connection with your own life situation. Remember that the answers are for your selves only. It is not to prove anything or create a certain image in the eyes of anybody else. And they are not meant to be answered in a formalised way, creating a certain explanation or correct answer. The questions are guidelines to penetrate deeper inside your selves and unveil all your habitual masks and self images, and slowly to get closer to the true and objective perception of yourself. This is often not even a mental process, but a process of reflection on another level, where the mind becomes still and thereby allows us to access both the deeper realms of the subconscious and the sublime serene intuitions of the superior consciousness. So sit down comfortably and let go of all other projects and worries before you throw yourself into this exercise. Good luck!
Are you happy about your relationship with God? Can you do more for that relationship to get better?
Did you fulfill your goals in life until now? Are you happy with the way you are going for that?
What is the level of consciousness are you at now? Can you define it by describing few of its characteristics?
What is your very next goal to achieve in your spiritual practice? Are you doing enough for the moment to achieve it?
Are you happy with your job? Is it going in the direction you aspire in the deepest corner of your heart?
Is your love life satisfactory? Do you love enough so that you feel your heart fulfilled? If not, how much more do you need? How many times did you express your love in the last week in an exceptional way?
Look back at your life as it is the life of a friend. At first sight, what are the actions of that person (which is you) indicating? What are the real goals of that person if you would analyze those actions? Write down the result of this analysis and after that read it with detachment. Is that reflecting what you wanted in this life?
Would you be able to give your life for something? If yes, name clearly that thing that you would give your life for? Imagine with details a situation in which you give your life for that thing? Is the image vivid or pale? Do you believe that you would do such a sacrifice?
Do you feel appreciated at your real value by the people around you? If not, what is the most important misunderstanding regarding your person that most of the people are doing? Why do you think it is like that?
Do you appreciate correctly the people around you? Have you ever been wrong? When was the last time you told to somebody: “I was wrong, I am sorry.”?
If you were in the last minutes of your life now, what will be the last thing you would like to do? What is keeping you from not doing it right now?
My alarm clock rings at 0345 and in a state of bewilderment I wake up reaching out to stop the alarm. This is the fourth day of the Tantric festival and I have yet to get used to getting up at this hour.
A few seconds after my alarm clock goes off the sound of a gong can be heard in the distance.
This is the summoning of the men to morning meditation.
I am sleeping in a room with 7 other men who, like me, roll out of their beds in a state of bewilderment.
It is an amazing feeling that the body can feel tired and completely broken after just 2 and a half hours of sleep but that the soul can feel invigorated and alive. Putting the physical body in unusual situations can at times make you more aware of the more refined layers of the being. This is a state that I have come to know a lot of since I started my spiritual practice 5 years ago.
Slowly and in a zombie like state we proceed to the big yoga hall. Here we will do one hour of what are called “sublimation techniques” in yoga. This consists of yogic exercises which can raise unrefined levels of energy in our being to higher more refined forms of energy. This is very necessary for men who aim to achieve what is called “sexual continence”. Sexual continence starts with the preservation of the vital sexual energy (sperm) in the case of men. This vital sexual energy which when “un-sublimated” expresses itself as “heavy balls” on the physical level or emotional frustration, lust, desire or stress on the emotional level, can through these exercises be transformed to the more refined feelings of valour, love, intuition, aspiration etc.
Initially I am very tired and my inner dialogue is continually prompting me to return to bed. By ignoring this inner dialogue and focusing in the heart where the soul resides I slowly begin to feel fresh and invigorated as I roll my stomach in circles (a very effective yogic exercise to sublimate the energies). The yoga hall is filled with the sound of huffing and puffing of the other men making the same exercise.
Other men are making the “sun salutation” technique as the sun rises a bit after 0400. I am filled with a quite sense of humbleness and awe looking at my fellow men saluting the sun. I stand for a moment with the palms of my hands pressed towards each other in a yogic prayer position called prathanasana. This is my way of welcoming the sun as I never myself learned the sun salutation.
At 0500 we proceed to the dining hall to pick up our chairs which we carry out with us to the “shiva lingham” statue located in the southern garden.
A shiva lingham statue is a phallic symbol of shiva or the “universal masculine”. The universe is divided into masculine and feminine essence. The masculine essence relates to terms such as consciousness and transcendence and the feminine relates to terms such as energy, immanence and life. By meditating together around a shiva lingham statue men are reminded of their masculine essence and thereby get in touch with their deepest nature.
The men place themselves in a circle around the shiva lingham. The ground is very soft and some of the men’s chairs sink halfway into the ground. A very humorous sight indeed!
After a lot of scraping and moving around we are finally still and await the arrival of our teacher Mihai, who arrives at 0510. We make a short consecration and start the meditation. Meditation is much facilitated by the presence of one who is experienced in meditation such as Mihai. In the course of the two hours of meditation he sits perfectly still and straight, exactly like the shiva lingham statue itself. Many of us (myself included) periodically fall asleep. It is easy to see when somebody falls asleep in meditation. The back may remain straight but the chin falls to the chest. A person who is half asleep makes sudden jerks as he falls asleep but awakens before he gets too far out of equilibrium. It was certainly an amusing sight the first day to see all these men wrapped in many layers of clothes jerking back and forth half asleep in their meditations while Mihai remains completely straight but today the concentration was much better. We were much more awake and there was a strong field in the meditation. It is an ecstatic feeling to see people improve and to feel how we day by day through simple techniques become more and more masculine.
After the meditation I make a round to inspect the premises. The participants have different tasks assigned to them as the running of a camp with so many people needs a lot of work. My tasks are to coordinate the “handymen” to fix things that are broken, to do administration and to update the internet. Our biggest task of the day is to finish the outdoor showers for the men. I drive to Copenhagen with a fellow yogi Martin to pick up all sorts of materials needed at a specialized plumbing store. Up till now the showers for men consisted of two garden hoses connected to the cold water but today we will upgrade them to warm water showers. Cold showers are good for men working on continence but now it is time to give them more luxury up to the pending meeting with women in one of the days to come. Here they need to be well rested and vital.
We come home in time for lunch. Our meals are fascinating experiences due to the special atmosphere created by the splitting up of the sexes. The men eat on one half of the dining hall and the women eat on the other half. They are separated by a long table upon which the food is placed.
The men are in silence, not allowed to say a word, but the women may speak and giggle with each other as much and as lively as they feel inspired to. It is a huge contrast, the giggling laughing women on one side and the stern silent men on the other side. As the women go up to take the food the men gaze at them, some with lust others with longing and others with deep transfiguration. The women are fully aware of this and send teasing glances back at the men. Some make extra gestures as flinging back the hair and blinking their long eyelashes. Just after a few days separation the game of the sexes has become very intense.
In the afternoon there is yet another meditation for men around the shiva lingham statue. This time I have an awesome meditation. I was introduced to a special type of strap on device which goes around the knees and the lower back. When the strap is tightened the back becomes straighter enabling a better and more focused meditation. A straight back is absolutely necessary in meditation. A straight back is a physical suggestion of being awake, being masculine and being alert. If the back is not kept straight, drowsy states appear after a few moments.
The sound of the leaves in the wind of the big trees surrounding the garden is an incredible sound which facilitates to deep states of meditation. Nature loves the adept who meditates and sometimes in incredible ways the meditator joins into a subtle communion with nature. When he breathes, nature breaths, when his mind becomes restless the wind picks up, the leaves make more noise and the meditator returns to the meditation. A kind of communication appears where mother nature is reminding the meditator to focus on his meditation. Often states of Samadhi in the meditator appears simultaneously with sudden changes in the weather. My deepest states in meditation have often been accompanied by the sudden starting of rainfall, as if nature itself starts crying with the catharsis that accompanies the entering of the state of deep communion with God the father.
In this case though, I was very happy that it remained dry!
The weather forecasts promised really bad weather with strong wind and lots of rain, but each time us men made the meditation the rain stopped and at the end of each of the shiva lingham meditations the weather was lighter and more fair.
In the evening we have yet another incredible lecture with Mihai. Again the men were sitting in the eastern half of the yoga hall and the women in the western half.
Mihai expanded more on the roles of men and women. The gist of the lecture was that women provide the choices to men but it is men who must make the decision. As an archetypical symbol of never ending creativity a wise woman offers a series of wise choices for the man to choose from. A woman continuously throws apples (meaning choices or energy) at the man and it is the man who must pull out his sword of discernment to cut the apples, meaning to cut the bad parts out and leave what is good.
A biblical example is when Eve offers the apple to Adam. Adam should have cut of the bad part of the apple and given it back to her. This is what a woman wants, the wise discernment and the generosity of the man. Instead Adam ignorantly and greedily takes the apple and eats it for himself. Adam shows that he has not understood the basic fundaments of polarity and in this way begins the whole misery of separation. They are expelled from the Garden of Eden and we as human beings will remain separated from wholeness until we begin to understand and apply the principles of polarity.
As Mihai gets warmed up offering more and more examples of how polarity applies in daily life, examples that all of us can relate to, the atmosphere lifts and people laugh more and more.
The lecture ends quite late and I make my way to bed. I know I have to get up in a couple of hours for the men’s morning meditation but it feels like more than enough when the soul feels nourished.
Today was the last day when men and women were separated. Until the evening, the program was similar to the other days with yoga practise and exemplifications in the morning and a sakti conference in the afternoon (and the men continued their long hours of meditation). A part of the program for the coming days was revealed and the woman started to prepare for the future activities – let’s keep it a secret for now what will happen, but it made the whole ashram vibrate with joy and creativity.
In the evening the men and woman met in the yoga hall and one by one every participant in the festival made a personal presentation. The men had to perform on a stage, alone, in front of all the women. There were a few questions all of them had to answer but the difference in the way it was done was amazingly big. Some men made the woman cry from laughter other touched our tender female hearts with poetry and acts of love towards sakti. It was very beautiful to see and feel the manifestations of Shiva who until this point had been somehow hidden due to the separation phase. The polarisation was very strong and the (brave) men were met with an enormous amount of energy when they stood in front of us.
When the men’s presentation was finished it was the women turn to be courageous. Our approach was much more soft and emotional. It was beautiful to see each woman express herself, sharing her unique qualities, her dreams and aspiration with the audience. For me the challenge of standing in the spot light was not so hard to overcome, it was more like a spontaneous game and the atmosphere was full of openness and encouragement. Some persons were great entertainers others could hardly speak a word due to nervousness, but all were equally embraced by the audience and appreciated. It’s not really possible to describe in words what is happening in a spiritual camp like this one. There are some very subtle processes creating a stronger and stronger energetic field which is supporting the transformation people are going through. It feels as if we have borrowed a small piece of heaven. People become more beautiful, friendlier, and more alive. We shake off our robot habits that in daily life keeps us locked in all kind of pre-programmed reactions, and we start to discover much more profound aspects of our nature. When stress and agitation begin to diminish and inner beauty appears. People start to smile, but real smiles. They start to laugh much more. They start to look each other into the eyes, and tonight it felt as if we also looked into each others souls for a moment. A magic moment – and I have a feeling it will not be the last in this camp.
Until yesterday evening the different activities in the camp were steps of preparation for increasing the field of polarity. Now the game has fully unfolded. It’s like we have carefully prepared a bonfire, ignited it and are now stepping into the fire. Inside of myself I feel a big energy awakened that catalyze different realizations and states.
The meditations are deeper and more profound than in the beginning of the camp and my awareness about different phenomena related to polarity is increasing. It’s a direct knowledge through experience that is by far surpassing all the theoretical explanations I have received through the years.
In the morning men and women did the yoga practise together doing couple asanas, meaning different yoga postures that a man and woman can do in. It’s very different from doing yoga alone where your focus is inward. In the couple asanas you focus to perceive the streams of energies between the man and woman, and it’s a wonderful, intimate experience. It unites the couple at a deep level and helps to develop the capacity of empathy. It also increases the polarity in the couple because you create an energetic field together amplifying the polar energies.
In the afternoon was made a special tantric exemplification. Aftewardsr, in the evening, men and women made separate meetings to prepare the activities for the following days – and also in this way to experience the effect of avalanche after the exemplification. When a couple separate the energies between them amplify greatly so in tantra it’s highly recommended to experience this process consciously after for example love making.
The woman’s meeting is still taking place at this moment. Imagine 40 women in a room, all full of sparkling inspiration and wonderful ideas, supposed to plan in details the day for surprising the men, but instead making an (apparently) never ending brain storm... Well, only 39 women now, since I silently escaped the event in order to write this text. I felt that there were enough great ideas generated and me adding a few more were really not needed. We had enough suggestions to fill out the whole festival next year and we only have one single day at our disposal (Friday). Sakti is an inexhaustible source of creativity and divine inspiration, but without Shiva to give the energies a clear direction it turns into chaos. In comparisons the men’s meeting which started one hour later has already finished. Or perhaps they just didn’t get that many great ideas, without Sakti to inspire them ;) Probably by the end of tomorrow I will apologize for this remark after having experienced the day of my dreams, since tomorrow the men will surprise the woman. I am very curious to see what they have prepared. Perhaps a gentle massage, a walk in the forest and chocolate cake… A (very) romantic movie, flowers and manifestations of strength, generosity and love. My wishing list is endless, since a man can make a woman happy in infinite many ways.
I apologize, I apologize, I apologize! For my remark yesterday about the men that were perhaps lacking ideas without the women to inspire them. The men in the camp made the most wonderful day possible as a gift to the women!
It started already in the morning. We made a long session of couple asanas and received in the end a red rose each. Already my heart was touched. There is something magic about roses that is irresistible for a woman’s heart.
For lunch the men had prepared fruit salad with cream for desert and other delicious dished that made us feel spoiled and appreciated.
In the afternoon the men made a special angel walk where each woman was sent through a tunnel, created by the men, gently guided them forward and embracing them with statements of love and soft caresses. It created a deep state of transfiguration and surrendering. Afterwards followed a lecture with Mihai Stoian. A man went around and offered all kinds of chocolates placed on a silver plate, decorated with candles and flowers, all kinds of chocolates. Heaven!
The peak moment was in the evening. The men had prepared a candlelit dinner, taking care of every little detail. There were flowers on the tables, nice napkins, wine glasses, candles and soft music. I watched the men while they prepared the meal and I was so touched by their efforts in making this the perfect evening. They prepared the food on plates, arranging it in such a way you felt you were eating in an expensive, exclusive restaurant. It was done with so much attention and carefulness that every movement became an act of love. It was perhaps the most wonderful dinner in my life. I almost couldn’t eat because my heart was so overwhelmed. There was a man serving bread and the way he offered the plate to each woman was a poem of love put into action. I felt embraced, loved, adored, and appreciated beyond words by Shiva. For desert were served strawberries with chocolate sauce – I had tears in my eyes. Then banana split with ice cream – I was speechless. When an enormous amount of chocolate cake was ending the feast I was convinced beyond any doubt that these men were some of the most wonderful men in this world. It was not the actions themselves but the love behind them that touched me deeply. You could feel how the men had put all their heart into giving the woman what would make her the most happy. Every detail was taken care of.
After dinner we watched an extraordinary beautiful movie “Ashes and snow” which were a perfect way to end this truly amazing day. I felt so taken care of and so loved. I thank all of the men in the camp on behalf of all the women for devoting today to Sakti in such a beautiful and perfect way. It has been divine.
Today was the day, where the women should give the men a gift. A gift that they would like to have. I guess I don’t have to explain that the men were getting rather curious as to what the women would come up with especially after yesterdays surprise from the men to the women.
The women had been asking us what we wanted and even set up a suggestion box. It might be that some of the men wrote down their hottest fantasies - personally I said I would like to be shown how to make the women happy. But I guess that was a bit too unclear for the women…
To begin with all the men drew a number that matched a girl that was to be their hostess for lunch. All the girls were dressed very beautiful and began to serve the men food and drinks and made pleasant conversation. I was so lucky to be served by an especially wonderful woman and I must admit I could get used to being served like that…
Later we were literally worshiped by the shaktis! Placed in a big circle with our eyes closed all the women bowed in front of us in adoration. While listening to beautiful music and a soft voice speaking words of worshipping Shiva the slowly rotated around all the men gently caressing them and in all ways showing their adoration. It was such a beautiful experience and it made me feel very solar and masculine. Or should I say even more solar and masculine since that was a state that had been building up during the entire camp.
After a lovely dinner there was a big surprise for desert! Suddenly a curtain was pulled away and there was lying a gorgeous naked women completely covered in fruit! After some minutes of admiration we all started eating until nothing was left. Very tasty! Everybody was overwhelmed and actually it seemed that the naked woman there was the one enjoying the whole thing the most…
And that wasn’t all: After the dinner there were some very skilful erotic dances that left us speechless in adoration. And finally all the women came very lightly dressed carrying candles and danced through the room like a river of beauty overwhelming everybody.
As the big finale of an amazing day the shaktis had prepared the big yoga hall with candles and light curtains that made some small private spaces. And maybe the biggest gift of the entire day: A nice oil massage that could be as erotic as the couple both felt like. To judge from the sounds some of the couples went quite far… ;-)
Feeling happy and loved I decided to head for the tent at 5am. What a beautiful day!
The silence has returned to Bhoga. Most participants have already left, but you still feel the echoes of the intensity that has characterized the last 10 days. It’s the moment for contemplation. When I came last Friday my mind was full of thoughts relating to the daily life, now I can mostly feel my hearts quiet contentment.
We ended the camp in the afternoon with a meditation and after that I went out in the fields to be alone for a while. The camp has been so incredible full of experiences and impressions that I needed to crystalize the essence of it. My main goal for participating has been to deepen my understanding of the spiritual path I am following and to become more conscious of the way I live my life. As I was sitting in the field, feeling the sun, that has finally returned, caressing my face, I was not sure if I had achieved what I came for. My meditations have not been that great, my understandings not that profound. I wondered how to measure what I have learned in the camp? When you set a goal you can measure in different ways if it has been accomplished. You know that you can drive a car, when you are actually doing it. But how could I know if I had truly learned anything from the last 10 days experiences? Was I more conscious? Wiser perhaps?
I went for a long walk. I walked through the fields, feeling I was crossing an ocean of yellow waves. It was an incredible beautiful evening. After almost a week with rain and storm the sun light felt like a blessing, bringing out the colours in everything. The wind was strong and made me feel as if I was almost lifted from the ground expanding into the sky. I walked to the beach and the sight of the sea was breathtaking. The waves were powerful and the golden light from the sunset created a beautiful frame of pink and purple clouds in the horizon. As I kept walking, for hours, something happened in my heart. All my questions were one by one silenced. I could suddenly feel the present moment and realized how unique and incredible perfect it was. I felt polarized and complete. It was as if the last piece in a puzzle was put in place and I could now see the full picture. It had been there all the time, but I had not known how to look at it. It had been right beside me, but I had been gazing forward into the future believing that only there I could find what I searched for. I felt embraced by an endless love created by the game between Shiva and Sakti, between the man and the woman.
I stayed up all night and watched the sunrise. The moment was simply too beautiful to end. How could I go to sleep when I had finally woken up to experience love and happiness? 10 days ago my mind was full of useless thoughts, and from experience I know that they will one by one appear again, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the tears in my eyes are from happiness and not from pain, that the sun is rising because of love and not necessity and that my heart is open to give. The tantric festival has been a celebration of life as it should be lived, full of love and intensity. Perhaps I was looking for something else when I came, but I realize now that I have found what I was really searching for; the essence that is in every cell of existence. Something I can only receive by giving it away. That magic star dust God is pouring into our hearts with infinite generosity. Love.
An article by Mihai Stoian.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
What happens with all our mental capacity?
Did you ever experience to try to focus on something and another thought to come over and over into your mind disturbing your concentration? Have you ever had a situation where you heard a melody (even for only a few seconds) and then for hours or even days that melody is singing in your head “by itself”? Did you ever try to remember something and you couldn’t and after you drop it the memory came to you vividly? Have you noticed that in some circumstances you are able to concentrate for hours in an exemplary way (like when you’re reading something very interesting and you don’t even hear people calling you very loudly) and other times for other activities (that you are not much interested for) you need a huge effort for results that aren’t even close?
All the aspects that we have described above are happening under the direct control of the mind. But analyzing these situations one might think that that mind is not controlled by the one that owns it. It seems like the mind has its own life, out of our will power and control. It seems that we have a huge mental capacity on one hand and on the other hand that we don’t really control that potential. Then the questions here are: if not us, then who is controlling our mind? And more, what happens with our mind when we don’t use it?
The answer to the first question is that nobody and everybody controls it at the same time. From a certain point of view, our mind is like a very advanced computer that has a lot of pre-installed programs and routines, and is running them under the impulses that are coming from the “outside world”. In the “outside world” we include everything that is from outside of the mind. This also includes perceptions that come from inside, like feelings, emotions, inner perceptions of all kind, and thoughts, which are usually mixed with what is coming from outside. For this reason the mind reacts to many stimuli that are coming to it in an automatic way, which is out of our conscious control. When we get angry for example, we become conscious of that only when we are already deeply in the state. But the state is the result of some settings that the mind has beforehand, in the subconscious area in relation to certain perceptions that we react to.
The state that we become aware of is the final result of a lot of combinations and “superimpositions”, and was created without us being aware at all. We are “served” only with the conclusion, without being given the choice. The state is already there, and we were not participating in its formation. And in fact we are not even aware that we could have a choice. We think that if we get angry that’s a fact that does not leave us any choice. “It comes from outside and I can’t help it,” we usually say. In our sleep-walking existence, the choice is almost inexistent because in order to have a choice the first condition is to wake up.
In the ancient tradition of wisdom, the uncontrolled mind was compared with a monkey. One who has a monkey-mind is acting like a monkey is controlling him/her in many situations.
Fig.1 - Monkey Mind
The answer to the second question is even simpler. When we don’t use our own potential then we are used by it, we become automatic machines that are reacting according to predefined schemes. Of the unitary flow of universal energy - information that comes to our mind we use only a very small part, the rest becoming just “noise”, unconscious activity that is using most of the power that is given to us without us being in control. When we are “intensively” thinking about a certain object for example, hundreds and in some cases thousands of “parallel” processes are taking place in our mind at the same time. What looks like a “dense” and continuous process of thinking is in reality as full of holes as a fishing net. The flow of mental energy is divided between many “parasite” processes that our main conscious activity has to share the energy with. As a result the conscious mental processes are often almost “suffocated” by the intensive activity of the subconscious mind. The process of focusing the mind is in fact gathering the forces in the same direction as the one we consciously choose. In this way the power of mental concentration is very much increased and the “density” of our attention focused toward the object of our concentration is much better.
Fig. 2 Divergent thinking process
Fig 3. Focus (convergent) thinking process
The hypnotic monkey
In order to better understand the importance of the mind and of the understanding of its functioning, there is a classic example in the ancient texts that gives the dimension of the power of the mind in creating our reality. Imagine that you enter a half dark room and on the floor is a rope. You see the rope and get scared thinking that it is a snake on the floor. Your body can react violently and you might even have a heart attack. But in reality the snake didn’t exist, even though it scared you. Where was the snake? The snake was in your mind. If we think deeply about this example, we can see that the mind has the power to create the reality that we dwell in, considering it to be perfectly “objective”, and being so convinced about its “objectivity” that we can even react strongly to it. One can say that the example is a rare situation, but we can find such examples in every moment of our existence because the same mechanism that make us superimpose the image of the snake on the image of the rope make us superimpose the desires we have over an objective reasoning, and in this way influence the result.
Upon closer inspection we can see that most of our experiences are subject to the same mechanism, and we don’t usually have any way to check. The dangerous part of this situation is that the process itself is not controlled by us and therefore we can be the “victim” of our monkey mind at any time. And if somebody knows how to use this in a skilful way we can be even “killed” by the snake that exist only in our mind and that was “suggested” to us by a skillfully placed rope on the floor. In fact many of the situations that take place nowadays with us are the proportional combination between the objective experience and mental projection, and the problem is that we never know what is what. A common mistake when we try to understand this situation is to judge only the perceptions that arise from the activity of the senses. But there are a lot of other experiences that are more “subtle” and that are not the result of the activity of the senses, but we can perceive them inside of our being: for example feelings. But the perception of aspects like feelings is often far from being accurate.
Often we try to find the answer to questions like: “Do I love this person?” and in a strange way the answer seems to be very difficult give. If we don’t think at all we might have a clear answer based on the mysterious “intuition”, but if we try to think a little bit we will not be able to give a clear answer, and the more we think, the more the answer is unclear. This phenomenon happens because we are confronted with the same superimposition of mental patterns over some objective perceptions of the emotions.
Usually we try to escape this kind of situation by choosing to live at the surface of things, never trying to get into the depth for the very simple reason that we might get lost into all kinds of ghost-like impressions, into the labyrinth of our own emotions. On the other hand, if the mind will not interfere we will know for sure what we love, what we like, what we don’t love, what we don’t like, what is beautiful, what is ugly, what is right and what is wrong. All these answers are instantaneously known in our being and it only takes an accurate capacity of perception (without the interference of the “monkey mind”) to know them at first sight.
The “monkey” in the mind that is “playing” with the tuning button is almost always imposing mental activity over objective perceptions and experiences (from the outside - coming through the senses - and from inside - coming directly through the mind).
Fig. 4 The superimposition process.
Get back what is yours by Divine right
The mental potential is ours by Divine right and the fact that we do not use it fully is just a choice that we have made. As we have shown before, the mental processes are out of our control firstly because we don’t think that is possible, because we don’t know otherwise. For this reason we have to start to study the functioning of our own mind and to gradually take conscious control of its functioning.
In our consumer society is very hard to make this step, especially when it looks to be against the general current that tells us “let go!” Some are saying here that the problem for them is that they are too much in control, that they have to relax and let go. This is usually a mistake because the condition of these people who feel tensed and obsessed about control is just that they are controlled by these tendencies that they cannot stop. In such cases, tensions of all kind are mistaken for control. A person full of tensions is not “too much in control” but is just dominated (controlled) by tensions!
When talking about the control of the mind we are talking about the capacity to have choices in whatever aspect of our states or inner experiences. A good control over the mental processes means that if we choose to be happy in a moment or a situation when we usually are sad, than we will be happy. If we want to create art and we need inspiration than we tune at will with the mental vibrations that are characteristic to the state of artistic inspiration and we can create like a genius. The control over the mind doesn’t have anything to do with the effort.
Of course the questions at this stage are many, but the best answer that we can recommend is meditation! By understanding meditation you will gain a very practical understanding of the intimate functioning of the mind.
Rediscovering the wheel
One of the oldest definitions of meditation is found in the famous yoga treatise, the “Yoga Sutras” of the great sage Patanjali. Thousands of years ago Patanjali gave one of the most simple and clear definitions for meditation: “when the mind flows through the attention toward the object of meditation in an uninterrupted flow, the meditation is attained”.
Other definitions of meditation – to be read with an intuitive openness.
Meditation is a Lotus flower arising from still waters.
Meditation is the action of going towards the middle, towards the Supreme Center of the (human) being.
To meditate means to travel inside the own inner world to the Inner Source Gate (Portal), and if the soul is sufficiently purified, to merge with it in a final impulse.
Meditation is the royal path that leads to perfection, to spiritual Liberation. It eliminates any suffering, sadness and blockage. Meditation confers the vision of Union and the direct perception of Uniqueness.
Meditation is the path to divinity. It is the mysterious ladder form Earth to Heaven, from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from pain to joy, from worry to peace, from ignorance to knowledge, from death to eternal life. Meditation leads us towards knowing the Self, eternal peace and supreme happiness (joy).
To better understand these definitions we first should take a look at the concept of concentration and what “mind” actually means.
Concentration can be defined as “to control (to stop) the mind”.
The nature of the mind is like the nature of the wind. In the old traditions it was stated that the nature of the mind is motion. When the air is still the wind doesn’t exist and the air is invisible. But when the air is moving the effects are visible and we call that “wind”. In the same way, the mind is invisible if completely still but when in motion we can see the effects of this motion (the thoughts) and this is what we call “mind”. In this way we erroneously identify the mind with its movement. But in reality the mental substance that remains after the mental phenomena are stopped is the “conscious principle” that has its manifestation in motion as mind.
Once the thoughts are stopped, the mind “disappears” and there is the non-mind state, a state characterized by the highest degree of spiritual creativity and intuition. This is the state of meditation!
When concentration is maintained for a long enough time, then meditation appears in a natural way, as day follows after night. Meditation is not a practice in itself unless we have the level to enter the state of meditation. Meditation is a result of the practice, when the practice is successful, it is a state. The usual misunderstanding about meditation is to mistake it for the concentration. Concentration is the voluntary orientation of the attention toward a certain object (interior or exterior) with the purpose of keeping the mind fixed upon it.
Not everybody who stays with eyes closed and in a special meditation posture is meditating. Only if the conditions inside are fulfilled does meditation appear. Until then we can say that we practice mental concentration.
When we have attained the meditative state, this becomes gradually the background of our existence. To make this clearer we have to underline here that in the process of obtaining the state of meditation, we are not “building” some extra abilities. Our inner nature is a meditative state, but due to successive superimpositions we cover it with all kind of mind games. The mental concentration that makes the mind able to remain under control, focused only on the targets that are given by us and in rest silenced, is practically removing all the obstacles that obscure the meditative state in our being, bringing it to the light of the consciousness. Therefore, meditation is not an extra “layer” on top of our personality; it is the basis of it brought to light. For this reason, once obtained it easily becomes the background of all our experiences, thus all the experiences in our life transform enormously.
Searching for carrots and discovering diamonds.
The work of the mind is amazingly complex, but the reality that we perceive consciously is far simpler than the whole picture that we have in the subconscious. Most of the activity that we are performing is done behind the stage and we are not part of it.
The work of our entire structure is based on the phenomenon of resonance. If we take the example of a radio, the station that we listen to there is the one that we have tuned to. By rotating the tuning knob we are able to change the station that we listen to at will. In the same way the human being is an analogical radio that can tune by resonance to different energies – vibrations. The tuning knob for us is attention. The things that catch our attention are in fact the aspects that we immediately tune into. Usually this process is automatic and the “monkey-mind” is playing with it according to whatever comes. For this reason the control of the attention is essential in the practice of concentration.
By the constant practice of mental concentration, we are regaining control of the tuning knob and in this way we are able to control all our states that are nothing else but different resonances. By doing this we are able effortlessly to “rephrase” our destiny, to take our life in our own hands. This is one of the big rewards that we get by practicing mental concentration. In the beginning we try to obtain control over some states, but then we realize that by modifying the predominant states that we have in the everyday life we in fact modify our destiny.
In the focus of the mind lays the secret of all the powers.
Meditation is the sign that we have succeeded in the mental concentration, it is the treasure that we discover while searching for power.
With a focused mind, all the resonance phenomena can be maintained for a very long time, producing effects that are far from the usual states of daily life. The so called paranormal powers for example are nothing else but expressions of the ability to keep the mind under control and to focus it on specific resonances for much more than a normal person, thus generating the exceptional energies that are responsible for the “paranormal” phenomena.
The difference between a normal and somehow “flat” state and a very vivid and intensive state is the intensity and continuity of our concentration upon that state. If we want to have a very intensive state of happiness all we have to do is to focus continuously upon that state (we can evoke a state of happiness that we have experienced in the past) for enough time, and the state that appears will be more or less intensive in proportion with the time of our uninterrupted concentration. What is important to note here is that it is possible to control the intensity of all the phenomena that happen with us by controlling the mind and where it’s focusing.
In this way the power that we usually have as human beings and that we manifest in our daily existence is not relying on the outside circumstances but very much on the degree of mental focus.
The balance between love and knowledge is a successful meditation.
The mind needs discipline and the heart needs freedom. Usually we are in the opposite situation: our mind runs freely around without control but our heart is locked away, closed to any contact with reality. To change this status we have to train the mind and bring it under control by means of practice of concentration and to learn to let the heart express freely without the mind interfering. The best way to strengthen the heart is LOVE.
It is said in the spiritual traditions that meditation appears spontaneously in the mirror of a mind that reflects a heart full of LOVE.
The practice of concentration has to be built on a strong feeling that we love what we are doing. If the exercises are done in a flat and boring way, without “putting heart” into them, the results will not come easy.
The daily practice of mental concentration is a very important help.
The positive habit of practicing concentration and to aim for meditation every day is an amazingly efficient tool in order to create the necessary calmness and detachment for a harmonious life in the middle of modern society.
Swami Shivananda praised meditation: “The overall sum of the pleasures of this world is nothing compared to the happiness resulting from concentration and meditation. Do not give up this practice at all. Go on with your practice; be patient, persevering, happy, tenacious and trustful. This way you will succeed.”
Even if you only practice a little in one day, the constant practice is a very important aspect of the mental training, firstly because the nature of the mind is to change, and this constancy in practice is helping to regain control over the mind.
Simple techniques to practice mental concentration and attain meditation.
A Simple Exercise of Mental Concentration
Sit in a comfortable position (on a chair for example), keeping the back and shoulders straight, with the head up so the spinal column is vertical. It is recommended to face the Magnetic North Pole if possible. Choose a simple object that will become the “support” for your mental concentration. Place the object in front of you so that you can observe it easily. Close your eyes and prepare to follow these steps:
• Relax rapidly and profoundly, from the feet upwards. The relaxation takes every part of the body in a gradual process.
• Observe your respiration and deepen the relaxation until it becomes calm and quiet.
• Focus your attention inwards, withdrawing the senses from any exterior stimuli that might distract you. Start by isolating the mind from any thought that may appear. Observe “from outside” any thought that might appear and observe how the thought observed long enough dissolves into the mental background.
• Focus the mind upon the chosen object.
• Empty your mind from all thoughts, then bring the chosen object into the field of attention, without allowing the mind to jump to another object or thought. If this happens, bring it back with calmness and patience.
• Maintain the attention on the object chosen for concentration. It is advisable not to force it or to be tense. Be calm, quiet and focused.
You will realize that in fact mental concentration is a static process: during concentration, the mind is blocked, thinking ceases and mental activity is suspended. The only mental activity that is permitted is to bring the mind back to the object of the concentration when it loses its focus.
• Focus attentively on the object of concentration: approach it with amazement and the curiosity of a child, as if you did not know a thing about it. This approach should not be rational or intellectual, but rather you should get to the essence through feeling and intuition.
• Explore the object in a state of creative silence, without any goal, only waiting for impressions. Then only you and the object will exist:
• Get into a state of continuous euphoric expectation, accompanied with a high degree of perception. Allow your being to be absorbed in and by the object. Do not try to define, to form opinions or to understand, only be permeable to that object, looking at it as if it were for the first time. This will open you towards the object itself and will create the state of mental receptivity in which intuition (or the supra-consciousness) is able to function. By following this process, you will soon notice that surrounding objects have many meanings and messages that you usually miss. Everything becomes pure wonder, a fascinating mystery that you will gradually unravel completely. You will discover that everything is sustained by an invisible energy and that you can get to feel and control this in time.
If you notice that this exercise fails lamentably in the beginning, accept this fact as normal. Remember that in Yoga there is no useless effort. In other words every effort will be fruitful, as the wise men say, “the mud is as valuable as the lotus flower it feeds”.
“Silence is golden,” says a folkloric proverb.
The practice of SILENCE for a long time (hours and maybe days) is extraordinary for the effortless control of the mind. It allows us to observe the mind’s processes and to gradually become aware of them.
Silence can be at different levels. It can be only physical, or it can be deeper, going all the way to non-thinking. These are the extremes we can define our daily life by.
We can say that the power of the mind is given by its silence. A person that knows how to be silent is a person with a powerful mind. Silence leads to a state of luminosity inside and acuity in perceptions. For the spiritual path, silence is a very good discipline and goes very efficiently together with any other practice.
But the best way to understand the amazing power of Silence is to try it as an exercise. We recommend choosing one day a week in which you practice Silence for the whole day. It is a radical change
Fig 5. The practice of SILENCE for some.
Meditation – Effects
The beneficial effects which result from the constant practice of meditation are due to the resonance with the subtle energies of the Universal Mind.
Ancient texts together with the modern studies indicate certain effects that are specific to meditation, no matter the form of training that is performed.
The specific effects of the meditation can be synthesized as follow:
• Makes the amplification and inner directing of mental and psychological processes possible.
• Gradually eliminates nervousness, shallowness, and lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, prejudice, psychosomatic diseases, and inferiority complexes.
• Eliminates stress and simultaneously offers a state of calmness and harmony, both inside and outside us, which is reflected in improved relationships and communication.
• Removes doubt, suspicion, psychological troubles, lack of spiritual energy, physical exhaustion.
• Harmoniously activates the creative imagination.
• Rapidly and profoundly regenerates the personality.
• Establishes self-knowledge of the innate potential of each individual.
• Makes one aware of the depth of consciousness, sub-consciousness and supra-consciousness.
• Accelerates spiritual evolution.
• Increases the capacity to control emotions and thoughts.
• Strengthens the mind and by revealing its potential, leads to growing self-confidence.
• Improves rapidly the memory and intuition.
• Opens the gate of supra-consciousness; that of intuitive knowledge and countless paranormal powers.
• Creates changes not only in mental and emotional states but also in sensory perceptions: the individual becomes more open to ambience, more conscious of nature's beauties and colors, of others' happiness and sadness. He feels the texture of life as the gardener feels the petals of a bud opening.
• Leads to a decrease of the metabolic coefficient, diminishing oxygen consumption and carbonic gas production.
• Lessens the percentage of lactose in the blood which is determined by anxiety and stress; meditation does this almost 4 times faster than if the subject was resting calmly.
• Increases skin resistance up to 400%. Interior agitation, anxiety and stress control the level of skin resistance to electricity.
• Tends to slow down heart rhythm.
• Dramatically increases the number of slow alpha waves (8-9 per second).
Psychologists who have used meditation in treating patients under clinical conditions demonstrate that for certain individuals, meditation reduces stress, anxieties, stress associated psycho-pathologies (insomnia, stammering, high blood pressure) and self-blaming. They also predict that meditation is useful for decreasing drug dependence, increasing self identity perception, improving mood, facilitating the expression of emotions, and increasing activity and energy in general. Furthermore, meditation results in a calmer mind and a decrease of the impact of suffering.
Physiologically, Dr. Lawrence Le Shan states: "Meditation essentially produces a physiological state of deep relaxation, along with a state of hyper-awareness. The metabolic coefficient decreases, as well as cardiac and respiratory rhythm. The model of physiological responses of meditation differs from sleep or hypnosis. The physiological state produced by meditation appears to be opposite to that produced by rage or fear. From a technical point of view, we can say that meditation determinates a hyper metabolic state, completely different from the "alarmed defense" state, corresponding to the reaction of "fight or flight". "
Drawings by Hans Hvass
- (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
By Yoga professor Gregorian Bivolaru
Is it true or not that the great thinkers had been talkative? Is the spiritually evolved man recognized according to the multitude of words meant to drown anyone who comes close?
Do crossword puzzles truly help us to develop our intelligence, or do they represent one of the most dangerous “vampires” of mental energy? Do we know how our mental energy can be best used?
Once, long ago, a disciple named Bhaskali approached his Guru, Bhava, and asked him: “Where is The Eternal and what does The Supreme Absolute mean, who is Brahman (God, The Father) that the Upanishads talk about?" However, his master did not reply, but he remained silent. The disciple insisted and asked him again and again, but in spite of all these, the master did not answer at all, abiding in his quietness. Only much later he said: “I have already told you, over and over, but you are not able to understand me. What can I do to you? Brahman (God, The Father), The Absolute or The Eternal, cannot be explained in words! Only in a profound silence, full of aspiration and love, can one know Him. There is no other place where He can be found, except in the profound silence of the Supreme Self (ATMAN)! This Atman is, above all, the everlasting Silence (Aham Atma Santah).”
The peace beyond sound is God
God, The Father, or Brahman is primarily The Supreme Silence. The soul in its depth is Silence. The peace of the mind is Silence. Atman (The Supreme Self) is Silence. Silence belongs to God, the one perpetually mysterious, essential language. Silence is the deep language of the heart, and because of this, it is the true language of the wise, because, first of all, quietness represents an immense power, and living proof of God’s true eloquence.
Profoundly acknowledged silence is God. Therefore, it is the ultimate substratum or the essence of this body, of prana, and of the mind. Silence is the background where the entire universe of senses is projected. It is an esoteric reality. That profound, beatific peace, which transcends any rational understanding, is the real Silence. The essence of life, but also the target of our whole existence, is that Silence. Beyond all noises and all sounds, is where the Silence is found. It is characteristic of an awareness that perceives reality directly through ecstatic, intuitive experience. It is, in reality, your profound being. To be deeply submerged in silence, actually means to open yourself up completely for the UNITY with God. That is why, the ultimate purpose of life, may be correctly considered the perfectly aware re-integration into God’s mysterious and intensely beatific silence. And regarding to this, we find enough examples: the message of Sahara desert is Silence; the message of Himalaya Mountains is Silence; the message of the wise Avadhota who lives naked on the frozen peak Gangotri, or Kailas, is Silence. When your heart is full of God’s love and when you are in ecstasy, then you’re in Silence. Who can describe in words the overwhelming glory of Silence?
There is no better healing balm than Silence for those humans whose hearts are aggrieved because of failure, disappointment or loss. There is no better remedy than Silence for those whose nerves are over strung due to their tumultuous lives, stress and quarrels of all kinds. Each time we get into the state of profound sleep without dreams, we experience the mysterious and ineffable state of Silence, but the veil of ignorance (Avidya) hides this experience from our consciousness. The Silence that we reach during profound sleep without dreams, and also the Silence that lays inherently over the entire being when the night comes, are proofs of the existence of that Mysterious Endless Ocean of Silence or Brahman (GOD, The Father).
From physical quietness to the state of perfect repose of the mind
For the common man, the mind is almost permanently bewildered or roused by at least one of the 11“organs” (Indryias) subordinate to it (these are the five organs of cognition- for smell, for taste, for sight, for touch and for hearing – the five organs of action – for talking, for grip (with the hands), for motion, for excretion and for sexual activity – and, finally, the inferior mind, which acts like a SUI GENERIS filter-interface between senses and the consciousness of the ego). To achieving absolute control of the mind, the modification of the activity of these organs at will is therefore necessary. Only then, the Silence inside of us will be revealed.
On the level of common intellectual understanding, to remain silent for a certain period of time, without talking to anyone, means to withdraw yourself in silence, but, by extension, this experience is applicable to other domains too. For instance, if your best friend does not write to you a longer period of time, you will be tempted to think: “My friend manifests a long period of silence. I do not know why.” If, in a conference, the orator stops speaking for a few moments during a thrilling lecture, we will relate this situation in the following manner: “There has even been a drop of silence, yesterday evening, at the conference.” When in India, you may meet two people who have attained the state of holiness (Sadhu), it is possible that one of them will tell you: “This holy man (Sadhu) is steadfast in Silence (Mauna). He is my friend, and he has respected this pledge stringently for six years now.”
All these represent physical silence.
But if you stop letting your eyes see, and you put them away from objects constantly, through the practice of Pratyahara or Dama (the perfect forbearance of the sense organs), this brings on the silence of one of the Indryas, sight. If you stop letting your ears hear sounds, it means that you’ve achieved the silence of another Indrya, the hearing. Likewise, complete fasting in the holy days of feast involves the calmness of another organ of action (Indrya) - the tongue. If you do not move at all and you practice the lotus posture (Padmasana) continuously for three hours, you will make the calmness of activities of the hands and feet possible. All these are useful, but what is most desired is the calmness of the agitated mind. We can stringently respect the pledge to keep physical silence, and, with all these, our mind can generate new images further on. Then the process of thinking (chitta) will again be able to bring all kinds of memories in the field of our consciousness.
Imagination, motivation, reflection and other various functions of the mind will not necessarily stop their activity simply by strictly holding to a pledge of physical silence. Therefore, we must realize that this kind of silence alone does not guarantee achievement of real peace or a state of perfect inner silence!
In this case, the only solution left is for the intellect to stop functioning as long as we are not urgently in need of it. This function of the astral body must then be in a state of perfect relaxation, in order to be able to go beyond it more easily. It is necessary to create complete quietness of the mental waves. Our mind must rest then in The Mysterious Ocean of Silence or Brahman (GOD – The Father). Only then we will truly be able to perceive the real and unfading Mystic Silence.
The four pledges
The direct meaning of the word “Mauna” is the pledge of silence, but in reality there are more kinds of Mauna:
1. The complete control of the act of speaking is named Vak Mauna. Therefore, if you keep the organ for the act of speaking (Vak Indrya) perfectly quiet, this is Vak Mauna.
2. The complete suspension of all the voluntary physical actions is Koshta Mauna. In the perfect state of Koshta Mauna, which is EXTREMELY USEFUL especially for aspirants who pursue to reveal their Supreme Self (ATMAN), you are supposed to hold even your head unmoved. You are not to make any sign. You do not write anything on a paper and nor try to express your ideas in any way. However, in the state of Vak Mauna and Koshta Mauna, the fluctuations of the mind are not suspended.
3. An entirely equal point of view upon all things, human beings and phenomena, and also the firm keeping in mind of the idea that, eventually, all is nothing else but Brahman (GOD- The Father), it represents Susupti Mauna (Susupti actually refers to the way the human consciousness in the state of profound sleep without dreams works). The almost complete dismissal of all doubts from the mind, which follows the firm realization concerning the illusory character of this world, is also Susupti Mauna. The fair conclusion that the whole MACROCOSM is nothing else but Brahman’s BODY (GOD-The Father), is Susupti Mauna as well.
4. Brahman (GOD-The Father) is named Maha Mauna, as He is the supreme impersonation of the Silence. Maha Mauna is, we can say, the true Mauna. That is why, Vak Mauna represents not only a phase on the path to the attaining of Maha Mauna, and this is the reason that places Mauna of the mind on a far superior level to Vak Mauna or the Mauna of speech.
The act of speaking keeps the soul in a state of error
Vak Indrya, or the organ for the action of speaking is actually a powerful weapon of the phenomenal illusory world (Maya) for maintaining. The Alive Soul (Jiva) in a state of error, by perturbing the mind almost constantly. Thus, the act of speaking provokes a continuous exteriorization of the mind.
Quarrels, disputes, etc., mostly occur due to the game of this turbulent Vak Indrya. In such situations, language may be considered to be a sword and words as arrows. In this way, we often hurt the feelings of others and generate resentful attitudes. Women, especially, are very talkative. They almost always create a certain kind of noise, when they are gathered in groups, sometimes generating a stressful atmosphere.
A more thorough study of a particular scientific domain - literature, law, Sanskrit language, etc., - makes some people become very talkative, as they feel almost pushed to get into discussions (mostly useless!), propelled by their own elation, to show their scholarly erudition. Scholasticism or the unnecessarily exposure of their knowledge is a specific attribute of still immature and vain students.
In this direction, there is a very significant pattern of ancient wisdom, which compares the behavior of a new and enthusiastic aspirant on a spiritual path to the noise produced by the air when it is forced out by the water rushing into an empty bottle plunged under water.
Unlike this case, the behavior of an aspirant who has almost reached to the realization of the Supreme Self (Atman) is, analogically speaking, similar to the imperceptible noise produced by the air when the bottle is almost totally filled with water. Once it is completely filled (in other words- having achieved the realization of the Supreme Self – Atman), Silence follows…Vak Indrya is mostly impetuous and turbulent, and that is why it is considered as being very harmful. Through diligent practice, full of firmness, it must gradually be brought under control. When we begin to succeed in controlling it, it will try to act disobediently. But we must be very determined and courageous.
In such situations, we must not allow anything to come out from the mind through Vak-Indrya. That is why it is necessary to pursue to the realization of Mauna. Diligent, constant and detached effort is going to help us. When success appears we will know that we have removed an important source of agitation. When we are successful, we will be also able to control our ears (or the sense of hearing) much more easily, because if we get to control Vak Indrya, it may be stated that we already control half of the mind.
The force which heals incurable diseases
A lot of psycho-mental energy is lost by useless speaking and chatter. Common people never become aware of this aspect. Mauna conserves our energies and thus we are able to carry out any beneficial physical or mental activity, efficiently and concomitantly with increased focus. In this way those engaged on a spiritual path will be able to do more meditations successfully.
Maintaining ourselves in Mauna for a couple of days has a very good influence on the brain and nerves. By practicing Mauna systematically, the subtle energy of speaking is gradually sublimated into Ojas – Shakti, or spiritual energy.
Additionally, Mauna considerably develops willpower; it increases the control of the imagination (Samkalpa), thereby helping its transformation into a truly creative force and inhibiting the impulse for foolish, uncontrolled speech by keeping it under control, bringing about peace of mind. Mauna is of great help for consistently respecting the truth, and also for controlling anger. In this way emotions are easily controlled and irritability disappears all of a sudden. Through the help of Mauna we will stop lying, and we’ll also get the power of endurance. When somebody is ailing, Mauna will gradually confer that person the peace of mind, and this condition makes any suffering easier to bear. That human being will also be able to mobilize herself much better in this way to fight against a disease or to eliminate the cause of her suffering.
Thus, one who respects and applies Mauna constantly, reaches a state of peace, strength and happiness, which is completely unknown to common people. They will exult in inexhaustible energy, because Silence is the source of some unimaginable powers: wisdom, profound peace, joy, balance and beatitude. In silence, as well, we discover true freedom and affection. If we practice it, we will achieve profound peace and spiritual force
People who are very busy with activities which require much effort of communication must practice Mauna at least one hour daily. If they are able to do this for two hours a day, it is even better. On Saturday or Sunday we can practice Mauna for six hours or why not, all day long. In any case we are less disturbed in the weekends. As people can get used to the fact that some of them go regularly to places of entertainment, they will start to get used to us practicing Mauna at certain hours, as well. Step-by-step, our friends and the members of our family will spare us of troubles and will stop distracting us, if we have previously let them know about our intention. It is very useful to utilize this period of Mauna for praying, at the beginning, and then, as we will advance in our spiritual practice, for Laya Yoga or meditation. If we intend to practice Mauna in a profound way, we are supposed to be sufficiently preoccupied with meditations or with the spiritual practice, in general. In such a period of time, it will not be useful at all for us to associate with people with exclusively materialistic preoccupations.
We must also avoid staying away from the location of our spiritual practice for too long. Proceeding in this way, the subtle energy of speaking will be sublimated and used in an elevated manner. Only then, will we be able to truly enjoy serenity, profound peace, calm, and a great spiritual power.
During the Mauna practice we must not read newspapers at all. Reading newspapers (or watching TV ) will not only bring new information into the consciousness, but also the reactivation of some latent impressions linked with certain thoughts from the subconscious mind (samskaras), and thereby the peace of mind might be perturbed. Even if we live in the peace and the serenity of the Himalayas, but at the same time we continue to read the newspapers, our mind will actually still be in society. This way of proceeding will not bring us the high benefits of the Mauna practice, and the spiritual meditation will be seriously perturbed. To understand this context more adequately, it is worth reflecting deeply on the content of the Bhagavad-Gita verses (sutra-s) 62-64, chapter II:
Ponders on objects of the sense, there springs
Attraction; from attraction grows desire,
Desire flames to fierce passion, passion breeds
Recklessness; then the memory- all betrayed-
Lets noble purpose go, and saps the mind,
Till purpose, mind, and man are all undone.
The great wise and liberated Sri Balayogi ( the yogi-child)in the highest crisis of his terrestrial existence( getting into the state of continuous divine ecstasy, samadhi, for years, on 27th of March 1949), enunciated one of his famous aphorisms: “One can meditate to the Almighty God even when he carries out his daily duties, inclusively the ones regarding to an emperor, but then how can you still be able to reach the state of perfect mental stability? Agitation will never disappear completely. From time to time, a human being must bear some suffering, which will seem endless. She will not be fully flooded by the infinite grace of God anymore, unless she will get to completely transcend these worries.”
During the Mauna practice it is necessary to reduce actions such as writing notes, making gestures, or expressing our thoughts to the ones in the nearby. It is recommended even for laughing to be restrained. When the conscious orientation of the being starts to be prevalently directed to the Self(Atman), Mauna becomes naturally euphoric, from the Self, as well. When you get to live into the Truth, Mauna comes totally from the Self(Atman), so thereafter we will be part of God’s absolute peace, and we’ll fully live the state of divinity.
Talk little and listen much!
We should only try to be a human being who practices Mauna based on an innermost need and conviction, and not because it is a new Yoga technique, which is now in fashion. Through Mauna we pursue to become people who measure their words wisely. Mauna helps us learn to easily avoid long, useless, flaming, passionate discussions, and generally all discussions which are not absolutely necessary or which seem to be sterile and vain, right from the start. Mauna easily allows us to move ourselves away from the society of those who, in lack of discernment, lose themselves in such disputes almost all the time. In this way we can become aware of how practical Mauna is for us.
In the superior phases of Mauna practice, we are allowed to chase each word carefully. This may gradually become a high mental discipline. So we will have the revelation that, practically, words represent a great force that each of us must become aware of. Mauna teaches us to utilize WORDS very attentively, it helps us to control the act of speaking and it offers us the possibility of not letting the tongue speak incontinently. He who has sufficiently practiced Mauna correctly controls his words before they cross over his lips. That one talks little and listens much. He has learnt to be silent.
The preponderant use of erudite, complicated words provokes an exhaustive and often sterile preoccupation for the language. Such a way of speaking is very tiresome. Thus, by using as simple and sharp words as much as possible, we conserve our energy. It is wonderful to conserve our energy in order to love God as much as possible, and it is essential to consecrate more and more time for an interior life of meditation, of introspection and of contemplation of our Supreme Self (Atman). It is very important to purify our mind and meditate. Through Mauna, we discover THE INNERMOST VOICE OF SILENCE, and therefore to realize that, in his Supreme Self (Atman), each of us is one with God.
By practicing Mauna correctly, we calm our mind down, we silence our dispersed thoughts and we easily sublimate our transient emotions. Mauna helps us to submerge into the mystic depths of our heart, and to fully enjoy its oceanic Silence. This Silence is mysterious and euphoric, and it is the gate for us to enter into Stillness.
Each man who sincerely aspires to know God The Father, must previously know this Stillness. He is then the silence itself, and, in this way, he becomes a Maha Mauni, realizing God The Father, HERE AND NOW.
This article is taken from Yoga Magazine nr. 17 and 18.
By Paula Suciu
To continue the tantric exercises we offered you in the previous article, whose purpose was to become aware of the flow of fluidic energies, the purpose of the exercises in this article is to harmonize your mutual interaction through certain simple, but extremely efficient movements.
In this way, you will quickly learn to synchronize your movements and breath, to perceive each other empathically better.If you have not read the first part of this article, we suggest that you first read the introductory elements and the first set of exercises.
Tantric exercises for yogic couples that love each other and want to go deeper with the Tantra Yoga practice
6. The exercise for flexing the spine, keeping the legs crossed. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Keeping the legs crossed, we place the hands on the area where the legs cross each other. Looking into the eyes of our beloved we begin to flex the spine in synchronicity with the breath: we inhale, bending slightly forward and then we exhale, bending slightly backwards, bowing the head in order to keep in permanent visual contact with our beloved. For this, it is necessary that the lovers coordinate their movements.
This exercise will be performed slowly, breathing deeply. In other words, the time during which we inhale profoundly, without any tensions and contractions, must coincide with the time of a complete flexion. The rhythm of the flexion must be established by the one who has the smaller thoracic ability.
At the end of the exercise return to the initial position, with the back straight, then inhale, exhale, inhale again and remain in full retention, as long as possible. Then exhale slowly.
Option: the exercise for flexing the spine, sitting on the heels. This exercise can also be performed sitting in Vajrasana (the yogic diamond posture).
Attention! If you feel weak or get dizzy, it is recommended to stop and breathe naturally a few times.
7. Synchronized flexions of the knees. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Starting from a standing position hold hands with our loved being, keeping the fingers crossed together. After breathing profoundly a few times, exhale, crouching down and then rising up, inhale. Continue this movement – crouching down and rising up, synchronizing it with the breath. The duration of a complete movement must be the same with the duration of a complete natural breathing. The starting position can be seen in the picture and the final position coincides with exercise number 8.
8. The crow posture. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Crouch down, supporting your body on the soles of the feet; aim to bring the knees as close as possible to the chest. Hold hands with your lover. Stay in this position and breathe deeply, slowly, together with your lover.
At the end of the exercise, inhale, exhale, then inhale again and remain in full retention for 10-15 seconds; afterwards exhale, then come back to the normal position and relax.
9. Rising up from Vajrasana. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Start from Vajrasana, placing the knees very close to our lovers the knees of (without touching each other). We hold hands, with the fingers crossed. Hands are placed at the level of the shoulders. Then we inhale rising on our knees and simultaneously raising the hands upwards, so that our bodies are close to each other, keeping the spine straight. Then we exhale, going down into Vajrasana. Continue this movement of rising and descending. The duration of a complete movement must be equal to that of a complete profound normal breath.
At the end of the exercise sit in Vajrasana, inhale, exhale, then inhale again and remain in full retention for 10-15 seconds. Then exhale slowly, breathe normally and relax.
10. The cradle. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Start from Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana, sitting so that our knees touch the knees of our beloved. Hold the hands or the wrists of our beloved and inhaling lean backwards, arching our back until the top of the head touches the floor, while the other one bends forward, exhaling. Then, the position changes gradually: we exhale whilst rising up and bending forward and our partner inhales, leaning backwards. Continue to perform this alternation of movements and breathing. The duration of a movement must be coordinated with the duration of a complete normal and profound breathe.
At the end of the exercise come back to the initial position, inhale, exhale, then inhale again and remain in full retention as long as necessary. Next, exhale and breathe normally, relax. In the pictures the exercise is exemplified in Sukhasana.
11. The position of the moving Cobra. Duration: 3-5 minutes
Start by lying down on the floor, facing downwards in front of each other, the heads should be 15-30 cm distance from each other, in the starting position of the Cobra posture. With palms facing downwards, under the shoulders, look into your beloveds eyes. Start to breathe deeply, rising upwards by stretching the hands, in unison with your partner. Thus we take the Cobra posture. Next exhale, lying down on the floor. The duration of a complete movement rising up and going down is equal to the duration of a complete normal and profound breath.
At the end of the exercise, come back to the Cobra position, inhale, exhale, then inhale again and remain in full retention (for 10-15 seconds) aiming to have a state of liberal expansion and profound empathy with our beloved. Then, come back, remain on the floor, breathing normally, relax and continue the awareness over the state of empathic and affective communion with your partner.
Option: The static Cobra position. We take the static Cobra position, without performing the movements of rising up and going down. We can breathe either slowly, profoundly, or with short and fast breaths, but always in unison with our beloved.
(to be continued)
Article taken from www.yogaesoteric.net
Published by Natha.net
We will present you with a series of special articles dedicated to all the yogic couples who love each other and make love with continence and transfiguration.
The two lovers can integrate some simple tantric exercises successfully in their couple relationship in order to deepen their couple relationship, so that for them it will be a true source of happiness, but also a “trampoline” that will propel them towards exceptional spiritual experiences. The purpose of these exercises is mutual auric harmonization, and practicing awareness – which is so necessary in tantric practices. These exercises will help you know each other and know yourself, to develop empathy, intuition, to awaken your subtle perceptions, but also to explore the meditative dimension of your lovemaking experiences.
Although simple, these exercises will have miraculous effects for those couples that show boldness and perseverance and who make them consistently, with attention and transfiguration. These couples especially will understand through direct practical experience that the goal in Tantra is the perfection of the being on all levels and discover the mysterious spark from God the Father, which is the Immortal Supreme Self, ATMAN in the inner expanded universe.
General rules: Attention, awareness and attitude of transfiguration are essential
The yogic tradition says that the most favourable moment for practicing tantric exercises is early in the morning, but if your program does not allow it, it is good to know that these exercises can be successfully practiced in any other calm moment of the day. Therefore, choose a time when neither lover is in a hurry and a place in which the possibilities for being disturbed are minimized (at home it is even recommended to unplug the phone). Also, when practicing more complex exercises, do not eat 2 hours before or eat something very light and wait for one hour before starting.
Always begin by establishing a state of harmony, interiorizing and aspiration towards everything that is uplifting and divine. Sit down comfortably, with the spine straight, close the eyes and hold the hands in a prayer position, in the central chest area, near the heart. The bases of the thumbs are gently but firmly pressing the chest. This posture calms down the mind, by momentarily suspending certain energy flows that run through the body and because of the pressure on the subtle flow of the mind (one of the Nadis that influence directly the mental state), which passes through the central chest area. Together with your beloved consecrate all the fruits of the exercises to be performed to God the Father, to Shiva or to a Great Cosmic Power.
Focus inside, going deep within, aiming to perceive the reflection of our Divine Self in our being, which is for us a true inner teacher, which we now ask to guide us. Aim to enter in resonance with this source of spiritual intuitions. (If we can feel our soul close enough to our spiritual guide, then we will ask him to subtly guide us spiritually, to inspire and protect us). We maintain this attitude for 2-3 minutes, until we feel tuned in to this energetic source.
Then, become aware of the consciousness over the entire being. Imagine we are penetrated and surrounded by a subtle bio-energetic field, and then aim to feel how the energy of the loved being interflows with ours through luminous flows within our being. Deepening the state, feel how the two fields fully harmonize each other, so that the flows of subtle energy run freely from one to another. We may start only after becoming clearly aware of all these steps.
Finally, it is indicated to repeat the procedure presented above, but backwards. Close the eyes and then focus to re-absorb the energies, allowing the appearance of a very thin, but firm “veil” rising between us and our beloved. This distance must be seen as being full of love, or better said as a refinement of the subtle connection between us, which now tends to be felt not only at the bio-energetic level but especially at the psychic, mental and spiritual level, and not like a heavy metal barrier. At the most profound level, in reality we are ONE, but at other levels individuality has a decisive importance, which must be respected; thus, the process of opening and closing the energy fields is essential.
At the end of the long term meditative exercises, it is recommended to raise the hands upwards and to breathe a few times profoundly. Only after finishing this set of complete breathing can we come out of the meditation posture we had been in so far. If the meditation lasted for a longer period of time, we can massage each other feet, full of love. (In this massage, we can even put as much pressure on the legs as possible, thus stimulating blood circulation and energy). Then we can also massage each other’s back.
Article taken from www.yogaesoteric.net
Published by Natha.net