Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Human Struggle to Reach the Divine by Maro Papamichael

When Korina suggested that I should participate in the Yoga Step by Step course, I was reluctant to do so, because I felt that I didn’t need to acquire more theoretical knowledge about spiritual awakening. I needed to strengthen my ability to transcend thinking and analysing and connect with the space of presence, more often. For the past decade or so, the experiences, difficult circumstances and people that I had encountered, had brought about a shift in me, an opening into a new dimension of life that I became aware of after reading Eckhart Tolle.
I believe that what made me change my mind and attend the course was not the undoubted power of persuasion of our yoga teacher, but a voice inside me. The reason I had decided to start yoga practice with her, in the first place, was the physical problems that I had developed after doing radiotherapy, so I had the intuition that she hadn’t come into my life by chance and the same applied to my illness too. I now believe that it was a necessary next step to take at this point in my life.
Firstly, being in a group of people who shared the same need for spiritual awareness, was very helpful, comforting and inspiring. It also complied with my Dharma path i.e. the need to work closely with people.  Secondly, a new, more analytical dimension of spirituality was disclosed to me that enabled me to see it from another viewpoint and equip myself with the means to maintain access to it.
It was very useful to learn about prana and the five bodies and how important it is to save, charge and direct prana. How to keep the energy channels in our body free through pranayama techniques and yoga practice, allowing prana to flow evenly and freely, aligning the first three bodies so that we may move messages to the two higher bodies.  A knowledge very important for our spiritual development, since misalignment of the physical body, the pranic body and the mental body, will prevent us from connecting with our superconscious mind and our blissful, spiritual state.
I found  the practice of Pratipaksha Bavana very useful and I recommend it to assist people I care about. When my mind (emotional body) is suffering with anxiety, stress or fear, doing a physical activity like a walk in the quiet and serenity of a park full of trees, looking at the vast space of the sky, the colours of the sun, or dancing to music, really helps remove harmful emotions and bring me back to a balanced state.
We have learned that Regularity, Repetition and Rhythm are the key characteristics for our pranayama practice to be effective. The discipline to do so must arise out of the conscious awareness that we need the practice, to keep us in a healthy physical balance, to prevent the kleshas, the Ego and past conditioning to gain power and prevail, obscuring awareness. The same applies for practicing the Yama and Niyama.
Religions have attempted to control man’s lower animal instincts and drives, by enforcing sets of rules similar to Yama and Niyama : non-violence, non-stealing, truthfulness, control of sexual urge, and non-greed, reinforced through austerities, discipline, self-study and submission to Cosmic Will or obedience to Cosmic Law. I believe that suppression has the opposite result and causes extreme behaviours, psychological issues and suffering through feelings of guilt, or remorse.  Whatever is suppressed by physical or emotional force, will inevitably become stronger, or cause more harm than good.
When we are aware, though, that we carry programmings and habits that go back to millions of years of evolution and that we are creatures torn between our bestial urges and our divine nature, struggling towards the light but chained to the past by these instincts and drives, then we may be kinder and more understanding to ourselves and others.  We may observe these obstacles (the kleshas) described by Patanjali as they arise in our daily life, accept them as inevitable and work on transcending them in order to evolve and achieve connection with our Conscience (Buddhi) and the higher consciousness (Chit), by practicing the Yama and Niyama. No guilt, no fear, no suppression, but through awareness of our six-fold existence. An awareness that our true identity is not limited to our senses, our cell memory, impulses and instincts, the sense that we exist, being able to use the thinking mind, the Ego, as a tool, a servant of the soul.
If we feel, for example, extremely upset because someone has parked in our space, we may be able to realise in us the deep-seated instinct of a false sense of individuality,  mine-ness wanting to protect our territory just like animals do.  If we are extremely competitive, it is again due to the same error of ignorance of the real nature of things, being in the grip of the Ego.  Engaging in gluttony or in uninhibited extreme behaviours and excessive sexual acts which result in blocking the flow of prana and wasting it, harming our physical body and other human beings, will be seen as the result of being submerged in the animal drive to pursue pleasure.  Our fear of illness and pain, the survival instinct, clinging to life, may result in extreme and obsessive behaviours which throw us off balance, wasting our prana and having the opposite result on our physical well-being.
Awareness of the above animal instincts in us and the need of the soul to experience difficult situations in order to burn karma, allows us to step back and observe the situation at hand from a different angle, not being dragged like a dog on the leash by each situation, but consciously choosing the appropriate response to it.  Through detachment and taking responsibility for our actions and our difficult experiences, we burn karma without creating more, freeing ourselves from the endless chain of births and deaths. The key word in our lives must be love, the sense of oneness. Everything that happens in our lives is then of relative importance, not absolute.  We must allow love to filter all our actions and reactions and show us the way.
The way to awareness may vary with each person. Theory and analysing, or praying in front of icons, may be useful but are not a prerequisite for spiritual awareness and connection with the Divine. For some people the portal to the Divine may open through religious practices, for others through meditation, or as a result of extreme suffering, or by just sitting still in the forest, listening to the sound of the water flowing and the leaves rustling by the soft touch of the breeze. The following story was told by E. Tolle in one of his talks: A Zen master was walking with one of his disciples in the forest when the disciple asked “Master, how do I enter Zen?” The master stopped and said “Be quiet for a while.  Can you hear the sound of the stream?” The disciple stopped walking and tried very hard to hear the stream flowing.  “I can hear it master!” he said after a while. “Enter Zen from there!” the master said and continued walking.  After a while the disciple asked again “Master, what would you have said, if I couldn’t hear the stream?” The master replied “Enter Zen from there!”
I would like to end my essay by quoting the final paragraph of the text on Evolutionary Quirks, Yama-Niyama & the Human Brain by Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani:  “The long evolutionary meandering through the flesh of 8.400.000 incarnations can thus be shortened.  One may rise out of the blind bestial passions in the darkness of unconscious ignorance, to the radiant Divine Consciousness of a truly Enlightened Being.  The long journey is shortened and the goal, so long distant, becomes a living reality.  The dewdrop slips into the shining sea!  The “devil” is vanquished by the Divine.  The beast becomes the beauty. The old, old story has a happy ending.
Maro Papamichael - 09/01/2020

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Sawara breathing and the importance of the three major Nadis by Marios Vardas

After our discussion in the class about breathing techniques and mentioning swara, I decided to write few words about swara and the three major nadis and I hope this will be sufficient for this assignment.
Swara is an ancient breathing science which unites the different vibrations created from the sound and rhythms of breathing and alters our psycho-physiological activity. Swara can help in all aspects of life and practically explains what one should do in order to make life harmonious and healthy.  It can also be very powerful and it is very important to practice it with good intentions as otherwise it could be possible to harm yourself or someone else (maybe not so easy for this to happen in the modern world we live where the subtle vibrations most of the times maybe extremely low).
This ancient science is extremely broad and realizes the cosmic consciousness through the control and manipulation of breath (prana).  It associates the breath with the activities of sun, moon, the various seasons, the physical and mental conditions of individuals etc.  This valuable science enables us to enrich our lives physiologically, mentally and spiritually with full awareness.  It actually aims to directly awaking the highest human potential.
It is important to understand that most of the time breathing occurs only through one nostril.  Sometimes the left nostril is active and sometimes the right.  In rare times both nostrils are active. Physiologically it has a particular effect on the nervous system, producing a certain type of stimulus and has a specific influence on brain which requires very systematic regulation.  Usually, every hour or so, the active nostril changes and this rhythm regulates all the psychological and physiological processes. 
The flow of breath creates a flow of energy (prana) in the body.  It is important though not to confuse swara breathing with pranayama, which involves a different aspect of breath. Although both deal with prana, swara emphasizes the analysis of the breath and the significance of different pranic rhythms and understanding their effects in body and mind. The different patterns of the breath either in right, left or both nostrils can influence our worldly affairs, either positively or negatively. It also influences the spiritual aspect of life. This science of breath, deals with the interaction between cosmic rhythm and individual pranic patterns in each person. Different rhythms create specific physical, mental, and emotional patterns and alter the state of consciousness at all levels i.e. conscious, subconscious and unconscious, which are experienced in daily life.  Pranayama involves techniques to redirect, store and control prana or even strengthen, purify and balance the nadis.
This flow of energy passes through energy channels that we have in our body and which are called nadis.  The subtle body has many thousands nadis and the most important that are known is ida, pingala, and sushumna.   Ida or Chandra (cold/blue) is frequently called the moon or Prakriti channel and is situated on the left side of the spine and so it rules all the nadis of the left half of the body.  Pingala or Surya (hot/red) called the sun channel and the symbol of the Purusha principle and is situated in the right side of the spine and so it rules the nadis on the right side of the body. The third and the most important nadi of the subtle body is the sushumna nadi.  Sushumna joins the center of the skull to the pelvic plexus and is known as the meru danda, the axis of the human body.  Sushumna represents the perfect balance between the two polarities, the right and left, sun and moon, consciousness and energy.  Hidden inside the core of the sushumna nadi is an extra subtle channel called the vajrani which runs the entire length of the sushumna.  Within the vajrani is another subtle pathway known as the chitrani through which runs the shining Brahma nadi, the cause of yogic samadhi and enlightenment. The Shat Chakra Nirupana, beautifully described these extra subtle pathways as follows:
“She ( Chitrani and the Brahma nadi) is beautiful like a chain of lightning and fine like a lotus fiber, and shines in the minds of sages. She is subtle; the awakener of pure knowledge; the embodiment of bliss and pure consciousness. The Brahma-dvara, entrance to the region of ambrosia, shines in her mouth.”
When breathing through the left nostril we activate ida and the right brain hemisphere is also activated. When breathing through the right nostril we activate pingala and the left brain hemisphere is activated as well. When both nostrils function together equally then the sushumna (the main channel) is activated. 
When the left nostril (ida) remains active, prana moves in a particular direction and the mental energy is predominant, and the pranic energy is weak.
When the right nostril flows (pingala), the pranic forces are stronger and the mental aspect is weak.  Thus by making the prana flow through the right nostril during the night, one can have a good sleep, work the whole day without becoming tired, and can easily digest food.
When both nostrils operate together (Sushamna) it indicates that the spiritual energy, the force of atma, is in power. Therefore equalizing the breath is important.
Generally, when the ida nadi (breath through the left nostril) is active you can take important decisions, plan for something that has long-term effects, do wise thinking, a thorough study, drawing an architectural plan, plan a journey, selecting a career, buy a house or a jewelry, do a research, study, practice spiritual exercises etc.  A creative, calm and thoughtful state of the mind associated with supportive endocrine activity implies upward flow of prana from the corresponding extrasensory charkas.  A harmonious breathing through the left nostril in this case also indicates that the brain and the molecular, cellular components and organs of the body are receiving adequate amounts of the subtle currents of vital energy. That is why the ida is referred as auspicious for the above kinds of constructive, beneficial, provident and intellectual actions.
When breathing through the right nostril and therefore the pingala nadi is active, activities which are violent, invigorating, aggressive and strong like fighting, struggling against a barrier, forceful debating or arguing, hunting, sexual coupling, practicing a tantra, do tough/hard works in general, difficult physical exercises, etc, can be performed more successfully. The intense, rapid, energizing flow of prana associated with this nadi is essential for awakening the mental and bodily faculties.
The moments when both ida and pingala are active and therefore the prana flows through the sushumna nadi are of great importance for spiritual endeavors. This duration is referred as sandhikla, a junction. For example evening is the sandhikla between a day and night. Similarly the phase of about early hours of morning till the dawn of the new day is the sandhikla between a night and the next day. During these time-intervals is the best time to do devotional practices like Pranayama, meditation etc.  Eating, sleeping, or any worldly activity during these hours is harmful for our physical and mental fitness. The equilibrium state of swaras when the prana flows through the sushumna is like a blessed opportunity for the individual self to leap forward in spiritual elevation. These are the moments when all vices, illusions, attachments and ego are naturally pacified and the divine inspirations and enlightened thoughts are awakened. Any spiritual determination, saintly thought or feeling occurred in these rare moments is inspired by the soul and therefore proves to be absolute. It is said that blessings and curses said in these moments surely materialize.
Sushumna is a powerful channel which can act like fire and is said to burn all worldly pursuits. It is best to use it only for meditation and other spiritual practices. When this vital breath flows through this nadi, suspend all secular occupations. Do not curse or bless anyone.  Just sit in a quiet, clean place and meditate on your chosen deity or on the formless, transcendental Reality. It is said in the ancient svarodaya texts that even rituals and pilgrimages are useless during the flow of the sushumna. This channel brings either death or spiritual bliss. There is no need to take the word death here too literally. It is likely that the death referred to in the svarodaya texts is the end of the ego and not the death of the physical body. According to the Tantras, death of the "ego" is always considered to be the real death. Once the sense of "I-ness"-the sense that I am different from the cosmos has gone, physical life or death loses its meaning. Death is no longer looked upon as annihilation, but as change from one level of consciousness to another.
The mystic knowledge of the sadhanas of swara is activating the sublime energy vibrations in the pancha tattvas and awakening the supernatural potentials. Those who are awaken, many times are found having clairvoyance, clairaudience, prophetic precognition and other supra mental faculties. They can grasp the subtle vibrations of ether and can therefore sense the happening of events much before their materialization in the sentient world.
When we apply the swara science, the three nadis mentioned and described above in combination with the chakras, the pancha tattvas and other elements, we can become aware of subtle changes which take place all the time in our body and mind and we can achieve a lot for our physiological, mental and spiritual evolvement.  I understand that this science have much more qualities that I could not examine yet in order to elaborate in more detail.  Just to mention that each nadi has its own name, planet, nature, gender, deity, color, time, element, sign, day, direction, number etc.  It can be used through different techniques for specific purpose during different times, days, periods of the year etc. You may even regulate what gender will be the child you will born and what type of life will have.  You may be able to predict death or you can extend the lifespan to many more years. You can use elevated energy to heal directly or you can energize natural herbs that can be used as medicines.
Finally, through my research I came across some interview where it was said that studies have indicated that the performance efficiencies of verbal and spatial tasks during both phases of the nasal cycle demonstrated that verbal efficiency is greater while the subjects were breathing primarily in the right and that spatial skills were enhanced during left nostril dominance. This supports the theory of contralateral dominance in the nostril/hemisphere relationship, and the different functions of nadi.
Studies have also shown that schizophrenia is associated with greater left brain hemisphere dysfunction and that depression and the other affective disorders are associated with greater right hemisphere dysfunction. This also justifies the theory that blockages in the pingala nadi lead to schizophrenia, and that blockages in the ida nadi lead to depression. Depression is the result of emotional blockage, which is controlled by the ida nadi. It has been suggested that the pituitary hormonal secretions, cardiovascular function, and fuel regulation are associated with the nasal cycle. Dominance by the left nostril improves the functioning of the immune system. Swara justifies this concept as it states that the left nadi provides nectar and strength for the body.
The fascinating thing about this science is that is suggesting that by being aware of the dominant nostril you can manipulate the results of what you are about to do and ensure in advance the success and positive outcome of any action that follows.

Marios Vardas


Step by step class

Pranayama & The Art Of Breathing
by Christine Breese, D.D., Ph.D.

Nature's Finer Forces & The Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)
by Rama Prasad

By Swami Sivapriyananda


Diagnose, Cure and Empower Yourself By Currents of Breath
by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya

The mysteries of fire kundalini yoga
By Samael Aun Weor

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Στην Ψευδαίσθηση Όλα Είναι Πιθανά

Μέσα σε ένα βαθύ συνειδητό ύπνο
Η πύλη του Όλον ανοίγει
Ο φρουρός με προειδοποιεί:

«Όλα τα Αντίθετα θα σβήσουν…μπορείς;»

Δεν ξέρω ακριβώς τι εννοεί.
Γνέφω «ναι» χωρίς να ξέρω γιατί.
Γνέφω «ναι» με τρεμάμενα κόκαλα, χωρίς να ξέρω γιατί.
Γνέφω «ναι» γιατί αν δεν το κάνω , δεν θα μάθω ποτέ γιατί δειλιάζω τόσο.

Εκείνο που πεθαίνει στον κόσμο του Όλον
Γίνεται αφύσικα τεράστιο
Αφύσικα δυναμικό.

Κραυγάζει: «Μέσα στα έγκατα των Αντιθέτων, εκεί, στο μοναδικό ενδεχόμενο να ζήσω απόλαυση, θα μου πάρεις την ευκαιρία;»
Ξαφνικά η λέξη αυτή αποκτά υπέρμετρη σημασία
Ακόμα κι αν -κι εκείνο- δεν ξέρω τι σημαίνει ακριβώς
Τολμώ να ρωτήσω
«τι σημαίνει απόλαυση;»
«Δεν έχουμε χρόνο για κουβέντες»  απαντά σταράτα
«Το ένα από τα Αντίθετα της ψευδαίσθησης»
Αντικρούει συνωμοτικά ο φρουρός
«Το άλλο;;»  Ωρύομαι πριν ακόμα τελειώσει τη φράση του.
Και οι δύο φωνές έχουν χαθεί
«Το άλλο Αντίθετο;;;» επιμένω
«Τελείωσε ο χρόνος.»
συμφωνούν και οι δύο πλευρές.


Επιστρέφω στην αποχαύνωση της ψευδαίσθησης.
Όμως το διαβάζω σαν «ζωή».
Όμως το διαβάζω σαν δράση.
Και εκεί , στην ψευδαίσθηση
Σαν αναλαμπή τρυπώνει ο εξής συλλογισμός:
Απόλαυση σημαίνει θεμιτές επιθυμίες
Το Αντίθετο της είναι οι αθέμιτες
Θεμιτές, γιατί μπορούν να γίνουν
Αθέμιτες γιατί δεν θα γίνουν ποτέ.
Και αυτό είναι το Αντίθετο της απόλαυσης.
«Μην στέκεσαι στις επιθυμίες: αρκέσου στις μικρές χαρές! Αυτό είναι απόλαυση! Το Αντίθετο της είναι ο πόνος!» Αναφωνεί μια άλλη πλευρά.
Ο κόσμος των Αντίθετων Αντιθέτων. Αντίξοος, Αντιτιθέμενος, Άπειρος, Αχανής, Προκλητικός.  
Εκεί που όλα είναι πιθανά. Στην ψευδαίσθηση , όλα είναι πιθανά.
Η ψευδαίσθηση έχει απόψεις, προτιμήσεις, αναλαμπές, προκλήσεις, αλλαγές, προτιμήσεις, διεκδικήσεις, οπτικές, αλλαγές, ανταλλάγματα, Αντίθετα
Μόνο στην αλήθεια όλα είναι σταθερά.

Κλείνω πεισματικά τα μάτια , 
σφίγγω το μυαλό να κλειδώσει ο νους , 
μένω αφύσικα ακίνητη , 
αφύσικα αμέτοχη, 
εκλιπαρώ να πάω πίσω στην Πύλη του Όλον.

Ικετεύω για μέρες μα η Πύλη δεν εμφανίζεται.
Ποιος ικετεύει τελικά; Μήπως η ψευδαίσθηση είναι η αλήθεια;
Μήπως η Πύλη ήταν φαντασία;
Πως μπορεί όμως η αλήθεια να ζητά απόψεις ;  
Πως μπορεί η αλήθεια να ζητά τα Αντίθετα;
Συνεχίζω να εκλιπαρώ.
Μέχρι που τα Αντίθετα γίνονται τόσο δυνατά που υπάρχουν χωρίς τη συγκατάθεση μου.
Μέχρι που οι επιθυμίες γίνονται τόσο κραυγαλέες που κατακτούν την ψευδαίσθηση ολοσχερώς.
Κατακτούν την ύπαρξη που ορίζω σαν δική μου.

«Μερικές επιθυμίες
δεν ανήκουν ούτε στο εγώ ,
ούτε στην ψυχή.
Αιωρούνται αυτόνομες , σαν καλοθρεμμένα φαντάσματα
Περιμένοντας την κατάλληλη στιγμή.
Σώσε με...»


Μα κανείς…


image from: 

Monday, 1 April 2019

Η Βασανιστική Διαφωνία των Αντωνύμων μέρος 2 - Κορίνα Κονταξάκη

-Η αδυναμία συντονισμού που εύχεσαι να φέρει οργή, αλλιώς φέρνει αβάσταχτο πόνο.
-Η άπειρη αγάπη της Πηγής που τη βιώνεις μόνο όταν γίνεις Αυτό.

-Η τραυματική μονοτονία να στηρίξεις όλη την ψευδαίσθηση.
-Η γενναιόδωρη ευκαιρία να φύγεις από το σώμα νικητής.

-Ο εγωισμός που διαβάζεται καινοτομία και η καινοτομία που διαβάζεται δογματισμός.
-Ένα συνωμοτικό χαμόγελο συνεννόησης.

-Η πεισματική άγνοια, για υψηλούς λόγους επιβίωσης.
-Η στιγμή που ένα απλό μοίρασμα γονατίζει την ψευδαίσθηση του ατομισμού.

-Ο φόβος του θανάτου, που είναι κατά βάθος φόβος της ζωής.
-Η αλλαγή που φέρνει το βίωμα του προσωρινού.

-Όλα αυτά που είναι καλύτερα επειδή κάποιοι είναι μακριά....
-Όλοι εκείνοι που είναι καλύτεροι επειδή είναι κοντά.

-Η τυραννική αχρηστία της σιωπής.
-Η στιγμή εκείνη που η σιωπή αποκαλύπτει τη χρυσή της αιτία.

-Ο διαπεραστική οδύνη γιατί ακόμα μια φορά, η ουσία δεν θα γίνει αντιληπτή.
-Εκείνος ο μοναδικός που αντιλήφθηκε , αλλά δεν θα το πει ποτέ.

-Η υλική δράση που επιμένει να απορροφάται από το αόρατο.
-Η εσωτερική αδράνεια που αποκαλύπτει τη δύναμή της, αργά και σταθερά.

-Ο πόνος που φέρνει η αποτυχημένη προσπάθεια να Αγαπήσεις.
-Η σημείο εκείνο που ανακαλύπτεις την προσωπική Της φύση.

-Όλα εκείνα που νόμιζες ότι κάηκαν, αλλά είχαν προσωρινά θαφτεί.
-Το παιδί που γελά δυνατά μέσα στο στήθος, χωρίς τα μπροστινά του δόντια, ενώ νόμιζες ότι μεγάλωσες.

-Οι επιθυμίες που σε σπρώχνουν, όταν θέλεις να βιώσεις την ακινησία.
-Οι επιθυμίες που σε διατηρούν, όταν η μόνη ελπίδα φαντάζει να είναι το τέλος.

-Η στιγμή εκείνη, που ξέρεις δεν θα επαναληφθεί.
-Μια καινούρια στιγμή που θα μείνει η μοναδική.

-Το βασανιστικό δίλημμα όταν τα αντίθετα κυριαρχούν.
-Η ακατάληπτη γαλήνη όταν τα αντίθετα πεθαίνουν.

-Τα μάτια εκείνα που σε κοιτούν κτητικά και επιμένουν να το διαβάσεις «αγάπη».
-Η ευγνωμοσύνη που προσφέρει η ελευθερία.

-Ο ασύλληπτος πόνος της αδυναμίας.
-Η ακατανίκητη δύναμη του μοιράσματος.

-Τα μάτια εκείνα που δεν θα έχουν ποτέ την ίδια έκφραση- γιατί έκλεισαν για πάντα.
-Μια οικεία, ακατανίκητη έκφραση που σου θυμίζει κάτι που δεν μπορείς να θυμηθείς.

-Η φτηνότητα της μαζικής αποδοχής
-Η λυτρωτική εμπειρία της ασημαντικότητας.

-Η αποδυναμωτική επιβολή της εξάρτησης
-Η μέρα που έχει νικηθεί ολοσχερώς.

-Τα ανυπόφορα
-Τα ,αντίθετα τους, υποφερτά.

YogaMahaRish Patanjali , sutra 2.33
πρακτική Pratipaksha Bhavana (αντίθετη στάση):
“Όταν οι σκέψεις δεν είναι οι επιθυμητές, συγκεντρωνόμαστε στο αντίθετο τους»

Μέρος 1ο εδώ

Friday, 29 March 2019

«Τα Απάνθρωπα»(Δεν είναι φιλοζωική πρωτοβουλία) - Κορίνα Κονταξάκη

Το σκουλήκι σέρνεται στο πεζοδρόμιο μετά τη βροχή
Ψάχνει να φάει
Ένας περαστικός το πατάει -σκουλήκι ήταν, δεν πειράζει
Ξεχνάει πως και εκείνος για φαΐ βγήκε
στο διάλειμμα του από μια δουλειά που απεχθάνεται.

Η γάτα τρίβεται στα πόδια του σουβλατζή
Κάποιοι τη φωνάζουν Νταίζη, άλλοι Φλάφι
«Είμαι δικιά σου»
γουργουρίζει και το εννοεί
Όπως το εννοεί και στην κυρά Μαρία που την αφήνει δίπλα στο τζάκι όταν κάνει κρύο.

«Νταίζη!!Μόνο για να τρως με θες»
Μουγκρίζει ο σουβλατζής
Ξεχνάει πως έχει δεσμεύσει τη γυναίκα του να μεγαλώνει τα παιδιά του χωρίς να την ποθεί πια.
«Φλάφι! Θα πάρω σκύλο που είναι πιο πιστός» Κλαίγεται η κυρά Μαρία
Ξεχνάει πως έχει αφήσει τη μάνα της μόνη στο σπίτι , γιατί ο άντρας της δεν θέλει την πεθερά του στα πόδια του.
Ξεχνάει πως ανέχεται τις απιστίες του γιατί νομίζει ότι δεν έχει που να πάει.
Ξεχνάει πως η μάνα της έχει έξτρα δωμάτιο που μένει μια άγνωστη που την προσέχει όχι από καθήκον, αλλά από ανάγκη.

Μια μέρα ένα αυτοκίνητο λιώνει το κεφάλι της Νταίζης (ή Φλάφι)
Είναι για μισή μέρα στο δρόμο μέχρι να χάσει εντελώς το σχήμα της
Να μη φαίνεται ούτε Νταίζη, ούτε Φλάφι
Μέχρι το βράδυ η Νταίζη (ή η Φλάφι) έχει γίνει μια κοκκινόμαυρη μάζα χωρίς όνομα ή ιδιότητα
Τη νύχτα γίνεται μεζεδάκι για τους αρουραίους .
Ο σουβλατζής περνάει και τους βλέπει να τρώνε τη μάζα
Δεν αναγνωρίζει την Νταίζη (Πως θα μπορούσε)
Αλλά αηδιάζει με τους αρουραίους που καθαρίζουν το πτώμα από το δρόμο
Ξεχνάει πως κι αυτός πτώματα τρώει
Μόνο που εκείνος δεν καθαρίζει τα αποφάγια.

Οι αρουραίοι μαλώνουν για το τελευταίο κομμάτι , και βγάζουν κραυγές σαν από ανθρώπινο ολοκαύτωμα.
Ο άντρας της κυρά Μαρίας ξυπνά, κοιτάει το παράθυρο και γίνεται μάρτυρας της μάχης
Παίρνει το όπλο και πετυχαίνει έναν αρουραίο
Αύριο θα είναι ο ήρωας της γειτονίας
Ένας αρουραίος λιγότερος εξ αιτίας του!
Ξεχνά να συγκρίνει τη μάχη του αρουραίου με τη μάχη του στο γραφείο , στο μπαρ που συχνάζει, στις συναντήσεις με τη πεθερά του.
Ξεχνά να συγκρίνει τις κραυγές των τρωκτικών με τις κραυγές που βγάζει όταν χάνει η ομάδα του στο γήπεδο.

Ένας άλλος γάτος κάνει την εμφάνιση του τώρα
Αλλά δεν τον θέλουν γιατί κατουρά στις γωνίες
«Διώξτε τον - βρώμισε ο τόπος!» Εκλιπαρεί κυρία του ρετιρέ.
Δεν ξέρει κανείς το όνομα της.
Ξεχνάει πως τα συσκευασμένα κινόα που αγοράζει για την ημερήσια της πρωτεΐνη ήταν το σπίτι δεκάδων αγριόγατων πριν γίνουν καλλιέργειες
Το ξεχνάει γιατί οι άνθρωποι δεν κατουρούν στις γωνίες όταν καταβάλουν τα δάση
Κατουρούν σε βιοδιασπαζόμενες τουαλέτες
Και βρωμάνε οι τουαλέτες μέσα στα δάση, όχι όμως τα δάση.

Ο γάτος τρέχει από πίσω μια γάτα
Πρώτη φορά τη βλέπουν στη γειτονιά
Μαλώνει με τον μαύρο γάτο του διπλανού τετραγώνου
Ο ένας χτύπησε στο μάτι και ο άλλος κουτσαίνει.
«μην τους ταΐζετε για να φύγουν , δεν μας άφησαν να κοιμηθούμε από τις φωνές τους»
Συνεχίζει η κυρία του ρετιρέ
Ξεχνάει πως έχει αυπνίες, όχι από τις φωνές των γάτων που διεκδικούν τα θηλυκά,
Αλλά γιατί κανείς δεν την έχει διεκδικήσει. Και φοβάται ότι ποτέ, κανείς δεν θα το κάνει.

«Υγεία πάνω από όλα!» της λέει πολλές φορές η κυρία Κούλα – η καφετζού της γειτονιάς. Πάσχει από καρκίνο και χρειάζεται κάτι παραπάνω από τη σύνταξη της, για τις χημειοθεραπείες.
Η κυρία του ρετιρέ την επισκέπτεται κάθε βδομάδα,
με το φλυτζάνι του πρωινού της καφέ,
στην τσάντα της.
Έχουν μια πολύ ωραία συνεργασία.
Η κυρία του ρετιρέ της συμπληρώνει τα λεφτά για τις χημειοθεραπείες
και η κυρία Κούλα τις δίνει ελπίδες.

Μόνο που μια μέρα δεν κατάφερε να αγοράσει τις ελπίδες της.
Αντί για την κυρία Κούλα, βρήκε ένα φέρετρο.
Πέθανε χθες το βράδυ
Την ώρα που ο μαύρος γάτος , και αυτός που κατουρά στις γωνιές
Μαχόντουσαν για την θηλυκιά.
«γι αυτό δεν μπορούσα να κοιμηθώ…» ψιθυρίζει με λυγμούς η κυρία του ρετιρέ
(Έλλη, Έλλη τη λένε τελικά, το είπε κλαίγοντας στο σουβλατζή που έτρεξε να δει τι γίνεται)

Δίπλα στο φέρετρο ο μαύρος γάτος γλύφει το τραυματισμένο του μάτι
Και αναρωτιέται
Γιατί τόσοι λυγμοί
Απλά, για ένα φέρετρο,
με ένα νεκρό σώμα μέσα.
Αναρωτιέται γιατί τόσες ψυχές μαζεύτηκαν
Γύρω από ένα σώμα που δεν έχει πια ψυχή.  

Για λίγες μέρες,
Οι αρουραίοι , οι γάτοι και τα σκουλήκια
Θα ακολουθούν τα ένστικτα τους ελεύθερα.
Γιατί οι άνθρωποι μόνο θα φοβούνται
Να ζήσουν
και να πεθάνουν
σαν την κυρία Κούλα.

Κορίνα Κονταξάκη
"Η Ψευδαίσθηση του Διαχωρισμού" 

Friday, 18 January 2019

Prana - universal energy by Maro Papamichael

Our yoga philosophy teacher, defined prana as the vital energy necessary for us to function in the physical world.  She asked us to describe how we perceive it to be  through personal experience.  Language has its limitations because it has been created by humans in order to communicate on the level of the perceived, physical world and the scientifically proven one.  We cannot arrive at a full realisation of that to which the words point to, unless we have a direct experience of it.  For example, we may acquire a lot of encyclopaedic information about an orange, but unless we taste it, we will never really realise what an orange is. Words are only signposts.  If someone points to the moon and we just look at his finger, we will miss the moon, we will think the finger is the moon and we will not know what is naturally bright vs what is naturally dark.

Our teacher used the analogy of the lamp and electricity to explain what prana is.  A lamp cannot function without electricity, but electricity is not the lamp and the lamp is not electricity.  Likewise, our physical body cannot function without prana, but our body is not prana and we are neither prana nor our physical body. Prana is used in Hindu philosophy and is the Sanskrit word for “life force” or “vital principle” constructed from “pra” meaning movement and “an” meaning constant.  Prana is the universal sea of energy that infuses and vitalizes all matter.  Every atom, molecule, and cell is an extension of prana, just as waves are extensions of the sea that lies beneath them.  Prana is also the power that flows in all living forms and performs vital functions.  This is the life-force aspect of prana which possesses an inherent intelligence enabling it to carry out the life-sustaining processes.  When the life-force flows properly, the result will be a natural state of health and vitality.  This life force has been named by other traditions as “chi” or “spirit”.

Prana could then be described as the breath of God, of the Source, being the vital energy of the one source expanding and giving life to the many.  Having as its source the “One”, we may reason that there should be a balanced and properly functioning flow of prana in all animate and inanimate matter.  The fact that we need to know how to save and recharge our prana, means that we, humans, have somehow managed to get our species off the track of this harmonious, natural and balanced state of health and vitality. What has brought about our expulsion from the paradise of a blissful and harmonious state of existence?

The term “human being” is defined as “a man, woman, or child of the species homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power to articulate speech and upright stance.”  The development of thought was the evolutionary result of our species.  The following dictum said to originate from Pythagoras is relevant : “Consciousness sleeps in minerals, dreams in plants, wakes up in animals and becomes aware of itself in humans.”  A dog may cry when it is hungry or hurt, it may stop eating when it is sick, it jumps about wagging its tail whenever it sees its owner even if they were separated only for five minutes and this behaviour is always constant. The dog doesn’t carry about a mental commentary about its life. It has no opinion about itself or its master.  It doesn’t think that it is not pretty enough, or smart enough, or unlucky, that it doesn’t deserve love. It will never hold a grudge against its master for not taking it for a walk.  It just exists through its animal consciousness, in harmony with its natural instincts.

Humans, on the other hand, instead of using their mind as a tool, begin to identify with it developing at an early age, an image of themselves through thinking, based on their appearance, abilities, family status and the circumstances experienced while growing up, losing touch with their true nature, their inner body, the invisible thread that connects them with all of nature and other humans.  The illusion of a mind made self, the ego, results in an underlying sense of lack, of dissatisfaction, of never having enough. Incessant, unnecessary thinking disconnects humans from the power that each moment can offer, by disconnecting them from their inner energy force. Thoughts proliferate causing emotions such as fear,  stress, anxiety, which diminish prana energy and disrupt its free and balanced flow, resulting in physical and mental ailments.  Humans get caught up in the vicious circle of this imbalance.  Low energy levels affect our mood and may lead to bad nutritional habits, lack of exercise and addictions in our effort to cover up the uneasiness and feeling of insufficiency.  The resulting illnesses and medication then make it difficult to achieve the ideal balanced free flow of prana.

Realisation of our true innermost nature has the power to free us from this vicious circle and make it easier for us to return to balance.  This realisation may help us to use thinking only for practical purposes, not allowing our thoughts and the conditioning of our past, to define us.  We may then be able to choose the right practices to help us free ourselves from this dysfunctional state. I am convinced, from personal experience, that good nutritional habits, physical exercise and yoga practice, play an important role in disentangling us from this imbalanced state.  Physical contact with elements like the soil and water, being in places with  fresh clean air, flowers, plants, trees, or being in the company of animals, gives me a boost of energy, a sense of tranquillity and well-being. On the contrary, excessive use of electronic devices, pathetic tv viewing, noisy surroundings and excessive talking, or listening to other people’s excessive talking, especially negative talking, drain my energy. Yoga practice and swimming, has helped me to overcome the physical and psychological discomfort and consequences of a serious health issue I had a few years ago.  

Last night, after finishing the first page of my yoga philosophy class assignment on my tablet, I pressed the wrong button and the text was deleted.  My immediate reaction was overwhelming.  I felt my body heat rising dramatically, I started to sweat, over-breathe, felt faint and dizzy and fully drained of energy. I now realise I had a small panic attack.  Then something inside, like a neutral force, took control.  I sat upright with crossed legs and started doing the full breathing we do at our yoga practice.  In a few minutes, I felt better and decided to start writing my assignment patiently again from the beginning.  What had happened was the result of alarming thoughts caused by attaching excessive importance to my assignment.  From early childhood I developed the trend of being a perfectionist, competitive and strict on myself.  The fear of failure resulted in a stressful childhood and adolescence.  This state of mind and all fears and emotions, disrupt the free flow of prana and drain the body of this energy and the result is physical discomfort and the blockage of all creative capabilities .  Attaching absolute importance, instead of a relative one, to the end result of our actions,  is the work of our ego.

I am certain that by the recognition of the dysfunctional state and workings of our mind, the realisation of our inner self and the vital and powerful force of prana inside us and around us and by adopting the practices for saving and replenishing this force,  we can have access to a life of balance and to our creative capabilities, thus being able to receive and give, that which we were destined to give and receive during the course of our present lifetime.

Maro Papamichael 17/01/19   

The Human Struggle to Reach the Divine by Maro Papamichael

When Korina suggested that I should participate in the Yoga Step by Step course, I was reluctant to do so, because I felt that I didn’t...