Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - Dec 2012  

A Weekend in Wales

by Sabina Cesaroni

Crossing the long bridge that, shortly, will take us to the land of Wales...

Swami Nityamuktananda has been driving for hours and her attention is sharp, her driving safe.

A nice warm day … in a while we'll leave England. Gently we drive through green valleys of dense woods climbing up the black mountains, opening and (literally!) closing gates …
around us the beauty of the valley

Horses running wild, families of scary pheasants, strange birds and, of course, hundreds of sheep!!

Small villages greeting us with their fresh bright coloured flowers arrangements.

Just a stop at Tintern Abbey to admire the beautiful ancient Cathedral, place of pilgrimage founded by Cistercians monks. Before we enter, we are invited to read:

Monasticism - devotion of one's life to the service of God in isolation,
or within closed communities which originated in the near east. It was given new direction in the early 6th century when St. Benedict formed
a community at Monte Cassino, Italy, drawing up a code of conduct
that was to become the basis of traditional monastic practice.

The rule of St.Benedict embodied a threefold vow which all who
professed to become monk were obliged to take:

Obedience - to the Abbot and to God's laws
Stability - to remain with the community
Conversion of ways - to embrace the religious life

These vows were reinforced by 4 basic requirements:

  • manual labour
  • seclusion
  • restriction in diet
  • rejection of  personal possessions.

These words, written at the main entrance are familiar to us, and we just consider that in the whole world God's word (verbo di Dio) meets humanity in silence and order, that form of respect and observation was accompanied by "practice" and personal experience, that experience which through witnessing becomes knowledge.

We observe 2 minutes meditation … while white doves fly high above the Abbey … free.

After a winding road, we finally reach our destination. People welcome us...a tasty fragrance of ready made fresh bread in the air!

The workshop is open, the participants already organized questions before hand.

Swami Nitya knitted the workshop around these questions:

relationship with partners - the quality of love being in a relation. These introduced
the subject of Belonging.. Which is that lack of love we feel which makes us suffer, pushing us in so many different directions? When the love and the beloved become one there is union and neither separation nor suffering.

"One" is not a number but a state of Being ( in fact, we start counting from 2!)

Swami Nitya quotes Plato and the famous "Symposium" (the myth of the half). The need, the quest for the "part" which was lost, those unsatisfied desired correspondences...the answer is to find out our space of Belonging, that origin that has no gender but is just wholeness. Who am I … that I am …

Swami Nitya (a fantastic story teller!!) adds stories making things easier and clearer.

Then introduces another important subject : "Death and life", talking about Ramana Maharshi's experience of death to discover what was it about … letting himself almost die … to see that unique, infinite, fluid, constant movement which is Divine energy continuously assuming new shapes! We identify with our mental pattern calling it individuality.Curiously, individual means not being divided!

Sanatana Dharma, the Cosmic Universal Laws...we have to recognize things the way they simply are, being in the present time, not dispersing energy and practicing the 5 pillars of Sadhana: Silence, fasting, control of sleep, celibacy and meditation. These are merely tools which can help to live in an integrating way, getting very close to the ideal of the  monastic laws we met at the entrance of Tintern Abbey in our journey reaching Wales …

Sabina Cesaroni
Himalayan Institute of Florence