1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The aim of Spirituality is Pleasure October 19, 2012

image by axinia

Even though Spirituality has become a trend and many householders (normal citizens, not ascetics) are seeking and finding their spiritual practices the understanding of it remains  a bit perverse: the mainstream and often the seekers themselves perceive Spirituality as the opposite to the pleasures of life. What a wrong idea indeed!

Now I would like to make a few statements that some people may find shocking. But let’s face it, this is what it is!

1. Any longing for self-development and evolution – which sooner or later anyways leads to a spiritual practice is the most egotistical acting because it means the INDULGENCE in the SELF. Seeking the Spirit and finding it is in fact the most powerful longing of a soul and is the driving force behind all uplifting actions.

2. Being a spiritual person means having a lot of FUN! In the light of the Spirit one sees many things differently, for instance angry or idiotic people just make one laugh. One starts not only seeing fun in many situations, but also enjoying situations which for a non-spiritual person may be unbearable. (more…)

 

I’ve got the answer on Willpower! May 21, 2012

The question about the nature and meaning of Willpower kept me busy for some time. I even posted about it already twice, but still I could not understand what is the mystery behind. The other day I talked to an old friend about some private issues and suddenly he dropped a sentence that “The willpower is there to overcome the negativity/circumstances/destiny and thus to make another step in the personal evolution”. That’s it, I thought!

For instanse people who had problematic parents and difficult childhood – now they are comfortable in the victim position and say  “you know I have so many problems because of my childhood”. But why not overcome it? The Will Power will serve greatly if one takes to it.

Indeed, what is the fine border between a destiny and willpower? All great spiritual Masters talked about both, that a lot is already predestined and Divine Plan does exist. At the same time a human being has the Free Will, which makes us different from animals. If we use this Free Will we evolve further. Thus, at some point the Free will becomes the Will Power, the force that makes many great things happen.

Obviously today the question of Willpower is not popular. I remember in the Soviet Union we were brought up on the ideals of heroic people – not like Superman, but real heroes, existing people,  people who showed wonders of Will Power in their personal achievements or their work for others… Either in the industrialisation period, or during the Second World War or even after. I find it’s pity that today’s children miss that kind of upbringing. Today they only learn the ego-boosting.

I made my personal experiences with Willpower – not many but still some. I know what it feels like and I know how much courage it demands. And finally it’s a great mixture of thrill and discipline. A strange mixture that makes every personal journey worth tryting.

LOVE

axinia

 

My feeling of Oneness April 18, 2012

Oneness is a spiritual phenomenon suggesting that All is One, that all living creatures and materia are tightly connected and we can percept and enjoy that.

Some people get fantastically beautiful experiences of Oneness, I posted already the story by Daniil Andreev, let me quote it:

“Everything on Earth and everything that must exist in the heavens poured exultantly and noiselessly through me in a single stream. In bliss barely supportable by the human heart, I felt as if slowly revolving, graceful spheres glided through me in a universal dance, and everything I could think of or imagine merged in a jubilant oneness.

The ancient forests and clear rivers, the people sleeping by the fire, the peoples of countries near and far, cities waking up and busy streets, cathedrals with sacred icons, seas tossing tirelessly, and steppes with blowing grass— everything indeed was within me that night, and I was within everything. I lay with eyes closed, and beautiful white stars, large and blossoming, not at all like those we are used to seeing, also floated along the world-turned-river like white water lilies.

 Although the sun was not visible, it was as if it, too, were flowing somewhere just outside the range of my vision. Everything was suffused not by its glow but by a different light, one I had never seen before. Everything flowed through me and at the same time rocked me, like a child in a cradle, with all-soothing love.”

I am in awe of that overwhelming feeling! I could never experience that, at the most just the feeling of dissolving in the sorrounding.. Another stunning experience of Oneness I found in the book I reviewed recently here.

My personal experience of Oneness is much more modest, but luckily ongoing.  (more…)

 

Staying in the present leads to happiness – study proves February 12, 2011

 

image by axinia

 

I love these sweet studies that prove some old wisdom – it is so lovely to see how someone is trying to prove the obvious. But probably we still need that kind of certification?

 THE STUDY:

 Using an iPhone app called trackyourhappiness, psychologists at Harvard contacted people around the world at random intervals to ask how they were feeling, what they were doing and what they were thinking.

When asked to rate their feelings on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being “very good,” the people having sex gave an average rating of 90. That was a good 15 points higher than the next-best activity, exercising, which was followed closely by conversation, listening to music, taking a walk, eating, praying and meditating, cooking, shopping, taking care of one’s children and reading. Near the bottom of the list were personal grooming, commuting and working.

When asked their thoughts, the people in flagrante were models of concentration: only 10 percent of the time did their thoughts stray from their endeavors. But when people were doing anything else, their minds wandered at least 30 percent of the time, and as much as 65 percent of the time (recorded during moments of personal grooming, clearly a less than scintillating enterprise).

On average throughout all the quarter-million responses, minds were wandering 47 percent of the time. The figure surprised the researchers, Daniel Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth: “I find it kind of weird now to look down a crowded street and realize that half the people aren’t really there,” Dr. Gilbert says. (more…)

 

Positive Psychology – studying what has gone right, rather than wrong in both individuals and societies October 5, 2010

I was pleased to learn about one interesting recent branch of Psychology, which does just he contrary to the common psychological studies and practices:  Positive psychologists seek “to find and nurture genius and talent”, and “to make normal life more fulfilling”, not simply to treat mental illness. By scientifically studying what has gone right, rather than wrong in both individuals and societies, Positive Psychology hopes to achieve a renaissance of sorts.

The purpose of Positive psychology was summed up in 2000 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities.”. Yes, finally somebody got it!

As a born psychologist I of cause see the problems and illnesses of human beings and societies very well. But honestly, it’s getting so boring! Why can’t we all start learning how to enjoy the beauty of life and not to make our lives difficult for ourselves and for others?

According to positive psychologists, for most of its life mainstream psychology (sometimes also referred to as ‘psychology as usual’) has been concerned with the negative aspects of human life. There have been pockets of interest in topics such as creativity, optimism and wisdom, but these have not been united by any grand theory or a broad, overarching framework. This rather negative state of affairs was not the original intention of the first psychologists, but came about through a historical accident. Prior to the Second World War, psychology had three tasks, which were to: cure mental illness, improve normal lives and identify and nurture high talent. However, after the war the last two tasks somehow got lost, leaving the field to concentrate predominantly on the first one. How did that happen? Given that psychology as a science depends heavily on the funding of governmental bodies, it is not hard to guess what happened to the resources after World War II. Understandably, facing a human crisis on such an enormous scale, all available resources were poured into learning about and the treatment of psychological illness and psychopathology.

This is how psychology as a field learnt to operate within a disease model. This model has proven very useful. Martin Seligman highlights the victories of the disease model, which are, for example, that 14 previously incurable mental illnesses (such as depression, personality disorder, or anxiety attacks) can now be successfully treated. However, the costs of adopting this disease model included the negative view of psychologists as ‘victimologists’ and ‘pathologisers’, the failure to address the improvement of normal lives and the identification and nurturance of high talent. Just to illustrate, if you were to say to your friends that you were going to see a psychologist, what is the most likely response that you would get? ‘What’s wrong with you?’. How likely are you to hear something along the lines of: ‘Great! Are you planning to concentrate on self-improvement?’. (more…)

 

Highly insightful: why it’s so hard to become happy, what is dramatically wrong in our child-care and how to overcome it June 23, 2010

There are very few books that can deliver some truly fresh, insightful information. Most of the things have been repeated for ages. One of this rare, uniquely insightful books is “The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost” by Jean Liedloff. (1975)
 
Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is.
And that is:
  • the aggressiveness is NOT in a human nature, and even children may never fight! “Not only did they not fight, they never even argued. This is not at all what we have been taught human nature is — boys will be boys. So I thought well maybe, boys won’t be boys.”
  • every human being is born as a happy, confident, stable personality. “Society is unpleasant, dangerous, unhappy, alienated, and unstable because in childhood our nature — being confident, joyous and loving — has been undermined and we simply live the way we are expected to. What we believe is what we make our experience into. And what we believe is what we have been taught to believe by our parents and our experiences.”
Jean Liedloff claims that it all our problems can be traced back to the general misconduct of child-care and upbringing. We’ve got disconnected to the natural/true method ages ago, no wonder the evolution has taken a somewhat weong track…
She discovers that the basic difference in what the indigenous people do and we don’t – is the so called “in-arms period”: from the birth till the baby starts crawling, a mother carries it 24 hours a day on her body (including sleeping in one bed). A child gets an enormous dose of security and happiness, since there is nothing more important and beautiful for it than the mother.
 
 Let’s have a look at the common practice in the modern Western childbirth and child-care. A baby experiences: (more…)
 

What men really love about women March 9, 2010

Since years I have been interviewing men who seemed to be in happy relationships about the secret of their choice. “Why that woman? What does she give you?”… And you know there is a pretty common answer which I keep receiving from  males of various cultural and social backgrounds.

There is one word which they all mean: inspiration. “She inspires me: She awakens my desire to live, to create, to move, to achieve….”

We are the INSPIRATION….amazing, isn’t it? Just think that this is probably the core of Femininity…

Here is what a saint says about Inspiration: (more…)

 

 
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