Recently , on 3 of February 2013, in Ananda Hall located at NathaYogacenter House – Concordia, a lecture named STRESS MANAGEMENT took place. It was sustain by Advaitananda Stoian , the coordinator of Natha Yoga School.
It was addressed to all who more or less face the stress factors in their life. The main quality of this lecture, making it both original and more interesting than other lectures of the same topic, was the fact that it was presented from the point of view of a highly experienced trainee in yoga and meditation, namely Advaitananda.
Advaitananda ‘s spiritual practice goes back more than 25 years.
Stress has now a day become one of the most common maladies, of this century. It can be argued that this ‘disease’ is much more devastating than cancer. As a result is the increased attention by doctors and scientist, in order to fight stress symptoms.
But one thing is clear: this ,,fight” is totally misunderstood. All of us should look into the stress-matter from another perspective, namely a revolutionary one. For that we have to change both our attitude and understanding upon the stress phenomenon. This is in order to include the psycho-mental and even spiritual aspects. Advaitananda’s sustained this angle on this subject with solid arguments during his lecture.
Many of us falsely create a self-image as ‘connected’ people. We believe we are connected to the others, but there’s no doubt that we live totally involved into a world of alienation and separation. We are excessively concerned about our life security, living almost constantly with the obsession of an invisible terrorist-enemy as a threat to each level of our existence.
Furthermore we have fooled ourselves. We put a lot of attention into creating a sterile environment in order to protect ourselves from a death, which sooner or latter will come anyway. With this defensive attitude we basically isolate ourselves still trying to connect with people by means of electronic devices such as computers, Smart Phones etc.
It can be observed that stress is the cause for almost every external stimulus, such as sea gull scream, a bee drone or a breaking car, to agitate us.
It is obvious to notice that something is wrong. What we call ‘stress factors’ are basically life in its infinite diversity. Constantly trying to eliminate stress factors does not make sense unless we want to eliminate life itself.
Eliminating stress factors means more or less either to eliminate life, or to isolate oneself from life. This fact puts contemporary humanity in a paradoxical situation: To preserve our existence away from all kinds of imminent dangers or choose to ignore or reject the manifestations of life itself.
Advaitananda s revolutionary vision upon stress builds upon the notion that all stress within us exists nowhere else but in our being. Actually there’s nothing new under the sun because according to Hans Seyle, the inventor of the modern notion of stress “It is not stress which destroys us, but our reaction to it”.
So what remedies does a tenacious Yoga teacher such as Advaitanada suggest in order to solve the contemporary stress issue?
YOGA and most vitally MEDITATION.
Advaitanada highlights the fact that meditation is by far the most efficient method in eliminating Stress. He argues that preparative phase of meditation require a very relaxed state, eliminating all the contractions and tensions. This basically represents a method, which helps us to become immune to stress factors.
Another innovative approach addresses the manner in which the human being perceives the stress factor on every level of his consciousness. At the level of the Chakras they may generate persisting energetic blockages. The most important aspects on how these stress factors manifest on each chakra where presented, as well as some very simple and useful methods for distressing and harmonizing each energetic level, by eliminating the blockages responsible.
Here are some practical indications aiming to discharge stress meaning the specific blockages on each chakra.
*erase the excessive tendencies to materialism and the tendencies of isolating and ignoring stress factors
*Erase greed and the tendency to accumulate material goods
*control your imagination
*Cultivate a healthy correct attitude towards temptations and desires
*Seek to cut out the projections and the expectations in your relationship
*Apply Brahmacharya, the sexual continence in your erotic life
*Practice correct and well focused Hatha Yoga corporal poses,
The result will be the refinement and sublimation of the energies at this level as well as the state of harmony at this level.
*Cut off the tendency to want to control everything in your life and start controlling YOURSELF strictly.
*Cultivate the tendency of taking decisions intuitively and not as a result of a thinking process
*Settle your feelings around the deep feeling and understanding of TO BE
*Cut off the vicious association between your feelings and life events that run simultaneously.
*Choose a superior orientation in your life based on the highest idealistic goals that you feel sympathy for.
*Cultivate a transfigurative and loving attitude towards what ever you are doing at any moment of your life, by putting heart in everything you do.
*Cut off the so called “metaphysical sadness” caused by an intuition about how life could be something more than it appears to be, or the idea that something is missing in your life
*Feed your soul, your spirit with genuine spiritual food and deep spiritual knowledge
*Always follow your own intuition when taking a decision
*Approach the notion of TIME wisely and full of common sense which characterize this chakra and impose yourself a strict time management
On this chakra Advaitananda highlighted very specifically the fact that mental agitation, the main perturbation on this level, without any doubt, is the disease that affects the whole humanity most dramatically. It is the far most dangerous illness ever.
Here are a few remedies:
*Train and practice the discipline of your mind by directing your attention at will, focusing the mind by choice. Hold this focus on the same object or action as long as possible.
*Erase mental impurities without any compromise. Mental impurities are the very source of all diseases. Practice strict MENTAL HYGIENE cutting off parasite thoughts during your daily actions.
*Have a constant practice of daily MEDITATION. This will work as remedy for obtaining profound calmness and mental purity.
*Cultivate great enthusiasm and spiritual aspiration. Combine it with a tenacious spiritual practice. This will fill up the lack of perfection you might perceive in your being as a gap
*Cultivate in your being a fully transfigurative attitude upon daily life in order to reduce and thus completely annihilate the conflict between your spiritual life and your everyday routine life.
Finally, Advaitananda heavily underlined a few general attitudes on how the right attitude and understanding of the process of transfiguration will help us remove stress from our being.
We have to profoundly understand the fact that when we truly want to change ourselves deeply it will be a “devastating” process that will greatly affect our being. Therefore this process must be assumed courageously and in an entirely responsible way. Transformation never comes by accident or by chance. Transformation always comes after a consciously chosen decision. Just as when someone decides to renovate his house completely from basement to roof.
Tightly correlated with the notion of transformation come two other notions: awareness and feedback. The awareness process resides in extension of the field of consciousness. Feedback is the very essence of learning spiritual lessons of life, no matter how punitive they are. From this perspective it becomes necessary to reconsider the notion of education, more precisely individual education. This notion has completely lost its meaning and purpose. The purpose of individual education is to accept and understand the spiritual lessons of life by accepting and deeply understanding the feedback we receive from life itself. In this way even the most dramatic and harmful event turns into a major spiritual lesson meant to “polish” and refine us. It will then purify and elevate our spirit.
That we oblige ourselves inner transformation – by operating profound transformations on each level of our consciousness and simultaneously consciously learning from all the spiritual lesson – does not only mean a gradual achievement of a genuinely healthy life by removing stress out of our life, but it also means that we manage a magic tool able to operate directly on our spiritual evolution.
These are some of the reasons why Natha Yoga School’s slogan is COUNTINOUS TRANSFORMATION!