Text transcribed and edited by Eleni Cosma
“This piece of soil which I reserve,
Let it feed the earth when it returns to it.
This piece of sky marked by my presence
Let it enrich the earth for as long as I reside within this flesh,
And let it enrich the Source, as it returns to it.’’
This prayer, which brings to light our aim through the concept of ‘’The Upside-Down Tree’’ – in other words, confronting our life from the perspective of our Divine being, and not through our physical, material presence – precisely expresses our condition.
We have now reached the third year of our training, and I would like us to conduct a brief overview as we conclude this great cycle. I will read the words of your diploma which offer an appropriate deduction of our work. I would firstly like to clarify that the realization of the Self, which is the ultimate goal of the Wholistic Spiritual Training is precisely the realization of the Trinity (Soul, Consciousness, Source) for which all religions and all Masters speak. This realisation is not something which in any way prevents us from living within the constructs of society; in fact, it does the very opposite. The realization of the trinity enables us to handle life through a healthier, more pleasant and more effective way. Nobody needs to go and live in a cave!
“ WHOLISTIC SPIRITUAL TRAINING – FINAL DIPLOMA
This is to certify that _________
Has completed the three-year training on RAJA YOGA – WHOLISTIC SPIRITUAL TRAINING
Wholistic Spiritual Training is a life training on the eight steps of Raja Yoga that lead each person to the Self:
FIRST YEAR: PHILOSOPHY AND PRANAYAMA
Yama – social guidelines to prevent us from creating negative unconscious programming
Niyama – personal guidelines so we can deactivate negative unconscious programming
Asana – practices for a strong physical/emotional/mental body
Pranayama – ability to feel and control the vitality
Pratyahara – ability to detach from the senses and from the daily occurrences of our life
SECOND YEAR: CHAKRA
Dharana – ability to concentrate
THIRD YEAR: MEDITATION
Dhyana – ability to concentrate without the ego (to become the concertation point)
Samadhi – complete absorption and the ability to delete deep programmings that affect our being
Now________ is ready to spread the teachings of RAJA YOGA through Wholistic Spiritual Training, either by teaching or through her own example.
*We are always One – Self. ”
In order to achieve the above, we used, aside from the eight steps of Raja Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali) three additional tools:
- Devotion (Ishwara Pranidhana) /Or our spiritual chain (paramparai).
1.From your experience, how has repeating a set phrase with a specific vibration (mantra) contributed to your meditation, and thus indirectly to our development?
- Guides our awareness (energy) in a specific path, preventing us from losing our way.
- Focuses the mind
- Clears and fortifies our goal
2. Why do we use a specific bodily posture and precise connections of our hands/fingers (mudra)?
- Creates specific nerve connections which help to guide our energy.
- Protects the nervous system
- Strengthens the flow of the energy
3. Many of us could not have come as far as we have without their focus on something higher than themselves. This ‘’Higher’’ can be whatever the individual requires to strengthen their faith: God, Jesus, a saint, an angel, a divinity.
I would like to speak also however, for the spiritual chain (paramparai) which in our culture does not exist as such, as in the tradition of Yoga. Personally, I would not have been able to develop my own spiritual self, without the support of our spiritual chain (Swami Gitanananda paramparai).
The microcosm which we create as a group and which contributes to this energy, is of great importance. The spiritual family is much more powerful than the biological family. But we must first feed it with energy. Hierarchy is what builds this strong energy. The spiritual family and the spiritual hierarchy are very strong tools, and this chain is known in India as ‘’parambarai’’ I take energy from my teacher, who in turn takes energy from his teacher, you then take energy from me, others will take from you, and thus a great spiritual chain is formed which has incredible power. Remember, that not everyone needs to teach.The light can also be spread through our example. But we must recognize and respect the spiritual chain to which we belong.
With these tools we move forward, and will continue our development!
Let us now read a poem written by our own Eleni Cosma, as an offering to her group (you). It is relevant, as it explores the concept of the Upside-Down Tree.
And the tree, the tree is overturned
For what roots are known when they have met with clouds
While the route of birds is undisturbed...
What leaves are known when they are one with earth,
While the worms leave not a moment to rest...
Above it, around it, everything, everything moves
As if ignorant to this great disruption of being,
As if there is no inkling that the tree has stretched its roots into the boundless ocean of sky
Meeting with the mist from whence it came
And the stories it finds seep deep within as it feasts on its own true makings
While something ancient is arisen
Where earth and sky are accountable
The mother and father of this great overturn
In dialogue at last.
Yet everything, everything moves still, undisrupted by this great violation of nature
In which nature finds and loses itself
In which nature is found and lost and there is more so much more....
For once the roots have planted themselves in the embryo of their master
There is nowhere else for them to belong.
And while the leaves sink into what the roots once knew,
They bring this ancient wisdom back to its earth.
For the rhythm is beating now for those who can listen
And everything, everything knows not that it too is merely awaiting this great overturn.
And all the while the tree lies still, basking in the blessings of its glorious view
Eleni Cosma, for the graduation of the First Wholistic Spiritual Training group, with Korina Kontaxaki