WINTER. The divine nourishment that comes from God
By yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
Coming close to the end of our spiritual journey this year, it is time to make the balance of our achievements and progress on the path of self-knowledge. In this season of the year, we are preparing to restart, on another level, a new cycle of life and to continue our spiritual journey. At this stage of life cycle synthesis, we meet the close beings that we love and friends in the long winter evenings to warm up and nourish ourselves in the light of love and friendship.
In the winter, the earth prepares for the creative requirements of spring. Animals hibernate, regenerating their vital for the coming year. The plants, seemingly asleep by the cold, feed through the roots in the depths of the earth, which is now frozen to the surface. Remembering the heat of the Sun, we realize that all the difficulties go with time and that any end always precedes a new beginning.
Winter is the moment when we refresh our soul. We have a life in front of us, a divine miracle. We now ponder the contribution we can bring to the world when we come out of darkness to the light and the divine hope that each year brings. We can then ask ourselves the question: “What is the beneficial power that we have and which we can offer with love and detachment to others?” From the unique position we have on our wonderful life, we can help them and support others in our specific way.
In winter’s respite, we can deeply reflect on how we can begin a profound, beneficial, divine transformation, manifesting us then as a true relay of Divine Will and superior spiritual integration. We will seek to become aware of the fact that God always gives to beings who fully and unconditionally consecrate the fruits of their actions a divine state of spiritual integration that enables them to manifest the sublime state of “divine relay” in everything they accomplish at unison with the Will of God.
Regeneration, rest and dreams
Deeply beneficial, regenerating and well-earned rest
Frozen winter can give the earth a seemingly unpleasant appearance, but the seeds of a new life are in fact deeply hidden in the ground, waiting for the summer sun to start heating it again. Birds who stay with us in winter find their food very hard, benefiting from the crumbs and seeds that people leave out, so that they can survive. Food is one of the keys to this stage of our journey, as we have all stored nourishing resources for this austerity period of the year. Now is the right time to rest and regenerate. The process of regenerating our whole being is a perfectly natural process, which naturally begins to unfold in this winter season. That is why we will let ourselves be guided by the natural cycle of the seasons and we will relax to benefit from the fruits of our harvest, dreaming at the coming of a new spring and all the new and wonderful aspects we want to discover and realize in future.
If we did not experience the cold and dark days of winter, we could no longer appreciate the glow of the summer solar celestial body. It is useful to revolt against the discomfort we feel almost inevitably in this cold season. Winter is the time when we begin to nest in our welcoming homes and spend much more time with family and in the company of friends. This period gives us the opportunity to rediscover the love that we can find only among the close ones.
Let us recall the story of the wise man and the wild horse that I presented to you in the chapter about March. One of the significances of the story was that the way we look at the events we live is very important. Apparently adverse or apparently favorable conditions are not necessarily what they seem to be. This reveals the unpredictable importance of the point of view. A cold and rainy day can be considered, from a superior point of view, a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. Most people think winter’s chill weather periods are unpleasant and tend to be dissatisfied when the cold begins to feel its presence. However, the winter period is a wonderful opportunity for regeneration and recuperation, especially due to a restriction of the sphere of dissipative activities. Winter is also a period of austerity, which allows us to discipline our minds, to order our thoughts and to make a lucid review of our achievements over the year.
Here is a simple sui generis yogic technique that makes a superior, profoundly beneficial austerity view appear in our being. We sit in a meditation posture, close our eyes and center within as profoundly as possible. We become aware of our respiratory flow, however without modifying it in any way. We then concentrate, one by one, on all the good aspects we have discovered over time that are brought by the times of austerity in our lives. We can think especially about the cold times of the year, but also about the longer periods of our lives where austerity has predominantly manifested for a long time.
We note that in this introspective approach our inner state depends decisively on the superior and divine integrative manner in which we can look at the austere events of life. This once again reveals the unpredictable importance of the superior, benevolent and divine point of view. We then write down in our spiritual diary all the improvements we want to make in our lives after reflecting profoundly on the inner nourishment of our soul, from the new and bright angle that the beneficial point of view on austerity gives us.
The deep state of wonder that most beautiful dreams often bring us
Some animals hibernate and fall into a long and deep sleep, in dark and frosty places, to return to the light, regenerated, when the first gentle adhesion of spring is felt again. As we sleep, we humans often have dreams. Then we venture freely and without stops in an extraordinary subtle world (the Astral Universe), where we can accomplish almost any beneficial aspect that we imagine. Many great spirits, but also ordinary people, have long meditated on the nature and significance of dreams.
Australian Aborigines call the daytime waking state “dream time”, considering that “walking on the ground” – physical existence – is simply a much clearer form of dream, in which we have some more conscious attention. In analytical psychology, dreams are considered to be a symbolic message that addresses ourselves and which, if appropriately translated and decoded, are capable of expressing our deepest desires and preoccupations, whose roots are in the various layers of the subconscious. Some people think that dreams are a process of transformation of thoughts, feelings and sensations that are undesirable in the waking state. Others wonder if dreams are actually separate messages, predictions of the future, or even glances to various aspects of the spiritual world. The wise Chuang Tzu used to meditate on the relationship between the consciousness of the dream state and the consciousness of the waking state. He dreamed one night that he was a butterfly. When waking up, in waking state, he wondered if he wasn’t actually a butterfly who dreamed it was Chuang Tzu.
Simple yogic technique no. 36
Gradual and creative deepening of states of wonder
In order to deepen and better understand the states of wonder that persist in the waking state after we have awakened from a restful sleep in which we had only beautiful dreams, we can do the following simple yogic technique:
1. Immediately after awakening from sleep, we remain relaxed, with our eyes closed, without moving too much from the position we have woken up.
2. We aim to keep, as long as possible, the memory of the beautiful dreams we had during sleep, fixing our attention to the various significant aspects we lived in dream, as if the dream would continue to unfold in our consciousness .
3. We are gradually pursuing to select the amazing aspects that have arisen in the beautiful dream that we have had and pursue to remember them as clearly as possible.
4. We are aware of the deep state of wonder that has appeared in our being after deepening all the wonderful aspects of our beautiful dream.
5. We slowly open our eyes and begin to move our bodies little by little, while continuing to keep in consciousness the specific state of wonder that we have realized as being predominantly present in our being, and then we get out of bed. We begin daily action, and we remain careful to observe the beneficial way in which the state of wonder generated by the beautiful dream influences our perceptions of the day.
How can we become acquainted in another magic, transfiguring way, with the mysterious Astral Universe that reveals to us in the beautiful states that appear in certain dreams
Some dreams are exceptionally alive and are loaded with a mysterious feeling that disturbs or exudes the dreamer, communicating that those dreams are important and that we have to take them into account, not to neglect them. If we had a dream about an imminent calamity, would we not take into account the measures necessary to prevent it from happening or to protect us? When we have such premonitory dreams, it may be useful to communicate them to a friend to whom we are greatly open, or we can write them in a notebook, and if these dreams are not bad, we can act according to their benevolent pattern, in the wisest possible way. Such dreams can be intermingled with certain beings as celestial messengers. Others are generated even from the depths of our being and are meant to help us achieve a superior state of peace.
Simple yogic technique no. 37
Let’s enjoy and always benefit of all our wonderful dreams in order to fully benefit, in a superior way, from the wonderful dreams
To take full advantage, in a superior way, of the wonderful dreams we have, we can proceed as follows:
1. Before falling asleep, we remind ourselves that the time we spend in our dream world represents almost a quarter of our lives.
2. We relax deeply, physically and mentally, prepare to fall asleep, and then, during this transition from waking state to sleep, we seek to see what sorts of subjects or concerns our mind tends to turn to spontaneously.
3. After waking up, after having had such a beautiful dream, we aim to realize carefully what the dream communicates to us.
4. While still deeply physically and mentally relaxed, we seek to explore and understand our own oneiric symbolism. We discover that our dream world, which we visit almost every night, is a magical place that can be seen as our own scene where attractive, creative and particularly beautiful pieces are played, which are made up of sequences of unfolding experiences that take place in the subtle astral dimension.
5. Whatever the nature of our dreams, it is useful for us to write them, either in our spiritual diary or in a special notebook designed to mark dreams and interpret them.
6. After writing down the dream, we can become aware for a few minutes of the state of happiness that exists in our lives, the love we feel in the heart, the nourishing and regenerating nature of sleep and the richness of our dreams.
7. Finally, thank God gratefully for all these.
Simple yogic technique no. 38
Deep and creative transformation of a vision of nightmare into a bracing, benevolent vision
Dreams may not always be nice. Nightmares are, by their very nature, terrifying, and the terror that we feel in our dream world can darken our entire day after such a nightmare. This simple yogic technique aims at neutralizing nightmares and sublimating them in beneficial and pleasant diurnal visions. For it, we need paper and colors for drawing or painting.
1. Immediately after waking up from a dreadful dream, we decide to draw or paint a representation of the most frightening moment in this nightmare. We call this representation no. 1.
2. We aim to get as close as possible to the nightmare vision we have, and then to think of a wonderful thing we really want to see in our lives. Once we have clearly identified this aspect, we aim to draw or paint it, and we call it representation no. 4.
3. We look and compare the two representations, representation no. 1 and representation no. 4.
4. We then conceive two other representations, intermediate, which we will call representation no. 2 and representation no. 3, starting from the assumption that the images that we draw will be able to connect the representations no. 1 and no. 4 so that in the end we have a linear and coherent series of four representations illustrating how our nightmare turns into a wonderful experience we have been able to imagine.
5. We then contemplate with detachment and lucidity the transformation thus suggested in the four stages which are illustrated in the four representations.
6. We are finally aware of the bracing feeling of success and we realize that we have succeeded in enhancing our confidence in our capacity of mental regeneration.
Excerpt from the book Simple yogic techniques and some traditional methods that generate intense, profound and surprising beneficial effects by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru.
January 18, 2018
Also available in: Română