|AHYMSIN newsletter, Issue - September 2011|
Manu in Chile and Ecuador
Dr. Manuel Fernandez, who has directed the Meditation Research Institute at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama and who many of us we know as “Manu”, has decided to stay in Chile and will no longer be in charge of the lab at SRSG. His activities are now focused on the teaching of meditation and hatha yoga in Chile and the world. He has prepared a course on relaxation and meditation called “Opening Ourselves to the Principle of Universal Joy.”
“For me there was never an ending of something regarding the work I have been doing in India but more of a continuation, so I feel one part of me still continues doing his work in India and elsewhere,” Manu writes. “I would like to continue serving the Tradition as much as my capacity to channel the Lineage allows.”
Manu made a presentation on "The effects of yoga on brain waves, heart and autonomic nervous system: the science behind meditation,” at the Sadhana Yoga Conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the 13th and 14th ofAugust 2011. The Sadhana Yoga Conference (http://www.sadhanayogaconference.com/), a "Fair and Latin American Congress” on Yoga and Meditation Sadhana was organized by the magazine Sadhana and DM3.
A power point presentation from his talk can be found at this link: http://www.hytchile.org/ponencia-de-manu-en-el-sadhana-yoga-conference-dias-13-y-14-de-agosto-2011#content-top
On 16 August 2011, Manu wrote of his experiences at the conference:
“Today I returned to Chile. The Sadhana Yoga Conference 2011 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was beautiful. I don't know the exact number of attendants, Gustavo (Arjun) can give the exact numbers later, but they were hundreds, perhaps around 400 people? In my talks I counted around 200 attendees each day. The hatha classes by BJ Galván and the lectures by Dr. Vera de Kohn and by Spanish author Ramiro Calle had "full class" attendance. The attendants were very motivated in general, and it was moving to see how after the lectures and classes many people would approach the lecturers or instructors with open hearts and pure eyes for further questions and interaction. Sometimes they will share personal stories and so forth. It was therapeutic to many.
I attended all classes/lectures I could. All instructors/lecturers were inspired during the conference and channeled pure teachings coming from the Lineage at different levels (sometimes, depending on the instructor and circumstance, there was more of a worldly vibration and sometimes the vibration was more sublime).
I enjoyed learning about "Ashtanga yoga" and trying its cleansing effects with Baptiste Marceau; doing a more internal "Dharma Mittra yoga" with Sebastián Ramírez; learning about the spirit-raising Anusara yoga and "trying it" with the energetic BJ Galván; hearing the wonderfully articulate lectures by Ramiro Calle; learning about the interesting feedbacks that the spiritual icon Dr. Vera de Kohn had to share with us — I also enjoyed her ligthness of spirit; and hearing the Gandharva-like voice of Gina Salá in her kirtan performances…
The Sadhana Yoga Conference not only consisted of talks, classes, and performances, but also there was a yoga/meditation fair that included stands representing different traditions of spirituality and yoga present in Guayaquil, including yoga traditions from non-Hindu traditions, such as Buddhist and Taoist.
Arjun, his wife Cintamani (Claudia), and Gisella Gandolfo were wonderful hosts, we were taken out, housed in nice places, and so forth. Guayaquil is a nice, rather small town, easy and cheap to get around, very clean, green, and tropical, with a strong influence from the United States. It feels a bit like Miami. They even use the US dollar as currency there! The people from Guayaquil are extremely friendly and warm, very laid back, relaxed. I think Guayaquil got the best of a tropical little village together with first-world facilities. Of course I did not see everything in Guayaquil. For the people who are planning to go next year to Ecuador, I imagine that Galapagos would be even nicer than Guayaquil...”
(Note: Swami Veda is currently scheduled to visit Galapagos in the summer of 2012.)
Manu, as both lab director and as a sadhaka, has given much sewa to the sangha at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. In addition to studies and research done at MRI, he has made presentations and taught at SRSG as well as representing the Himalayan Tradition at National Yoga Week in Delhi and at the Yoga for Health and Social Transformation Conference in Haridwar, India, and helping organize the Himalayan Tradition participation in these events and others.
He presented at both the Meditation for Pain Management Conference and the Yoga Nidra Conference, both held at SRSG. At the yoga nidra conference, he conducted and designed a live experiment to test the brain waves during yoga nidra of a long time practitioner (see http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1105May/01.html).
For more about the Meditation Research Institute, please see http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Meditation-Research-Institute/the-meditation-research-institute.html. This article was written in 2009, and there has been continuing progress made with studies there.
Gustavo Plaza has written, “It’s good to pass the link on YouTube where we have uploaded a video summary of what was the Sadhana Yoga Conference. An event that has left a trail of light and consciousness.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC6qPBoq72U