There are some good reasons to believe that Nietzsche was interested in Eastern philosophy during his lifetime. In the Antichrist he states: “Buddhism, I repeat, is a hundred times more austere, more honest, more objective. It no longer has to justify its pains, its susceptibility to suffering, by interpreting these things in terms of sin—it […]Nietzsche and Eastern Philosophy (Buddhism)
You may suddenly feel uncomfortable when in a crowded room and not know why. You don’t instantly like a perceived villain on TV yet a word is spoken. You suddenly feel your personal space is being violated once a complete stranger nears you. Then there are certain people, complete strangers who you are instantly attracted […]The Mystery Of The Human Aura Scientifically Defined
Another year, another lockdown, another bad news, the ambiance is apocalyptic. With the outbreak of new variants and economical cataclysm, one can’t help asking what would come next. Oddly though, Covid19 being this unfortunate event, imposes spiritual practices.
It is a scientific truth now that the coronavirus spreads through sneezing and speaking droplets. If the world shuts up for fifteen days won’t we be able to win over the virus? Silence is a spiritual discipline.
Another scientific truth goes about social distancing, another wrong word for physical distancing. Learning to be alone is a spiritual discipline.
Lastly, we know that overeating leads to chronic diseases. Since the virus outbreak, food awareness was spread; less is more. Here is also the importance of fasting, known with the fancy word intermittent fasting or simply IF. Fasting has been around for thousands of years as a spiritual practice in all religions.
Being alone, quiet and in a fasted state is a meditative spiritual practice.
Since the subject of meditation is less clear than I anticipated I decided to sum up a description of a Buddhist to save you 1 1/2 hours of listening. The core of the Buddha’s way to liberation consists in the practice of meditation It was by meditation that the Buddha reached enlightenment himself and it […]A summary of Buddhist meditations
Since meditation has taken social media by storm and everyone is trying to do some kind of meditation, this post clarifies in details the differences between each type of Buddhist meditations.
To those of you who are interested in meditation (especially in hard times of pandemic and financial instability and insecurity), I urge you to check this post of my expert friend and learn step by step meditation.
There is nothing wrong with sitting comfortably and meditating, just like the common taught method of meditation. However, I feel there is something in this that doesn’t work for me. Meditation is an individual practice, although done sometime in groups. The meditative experience remains different to each one of us. This is a why a seated meditation doesn’t work for me.
Longtime ago, thousands of years ago, when meditation was invented as a technique to calm the mind and bring awareness to people, life back then was totally different. People used to walk all day to bring water and food and walk back home carrying whatever they gathered. They laboured their lands, picked fruits and vegetables, hunted animals, cooked and cleaned, guard their herds. Surely at the end of a long active day, they needed to sit down, close their eyes and meditate.
Nowadays, especially in big cities, life is busy in a different way. We sit down for too long, counting on machines and vehicules to do the daily chores. Food is abundant and easy to get, as long as we can pay for it. Then, why to sit even more just to meditate? We should meditate while moving more.
Meditation is commonly refered to as a prolonged concentration on breath and on being present. Which means it can be done in any activity. Put your heart in it, concentrate on the present task, focus on your breath and you are meditating.
Usually criticized for being counterproductive starting from school, slowness (often understood as laziness) has been the antidote to success and ambition. So, the world revolved into one huge running field with one aim: fortune. If the State promoted activity in the sense of having a job and being ambitious, it is for 2 reasons: making people busy (so they are unable to think of important issues) and therefore making them pay taxes. The more you move the less of a thinker you become; the more you move the richer you become, the more taxes you pay. It’s a double-bind equation.
In this scenery and ideology, many types of work are considered slow: philosophy, painting, writing, poetry, teaching etc. These types of activity don’t include speed and fury. Socially speaking, they don’t include climbing the social or professional ladder: once a painter, always a painter. No titles, no fitting in the crowd, artists, philosophers etc. are misfits.
Slowness is not idleness which is inactivity also known as slothfulness. Therefore, here are the benefits of slowness:
- Thinking: it is mainly an individual and lonely activity, evolving with time. To think deeply about existential matters needs time.
- Creativity: there are days where creativity is absent. But to be inspired requires a constant awakening of the mind, which means less running and more contemplating.
- Freedom: which is solely a faculty of the mind and it comes with time. To be free is to be ungovernable by others.
- Spirituality: I haven’t heard of any type of spirituality that promotes speed to reach enlightment.
- Silence and stillness: they are fuel to the mind and the body
In a world of speed, slowness is so old-fashioned. However, were we meant to be fast? Aren’t diseases multiplying? Isn’t confusion the keyword?
painting by Albrecht Durer.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is a Danish philosopher who is widely considered to be the founder of existentialism. Believing in free will, Kierkegaard thinks that anguish or angst is what motivates any free action, or as he calls it a “leap”. So, what is the link between angst and the original sin?
Angst, or anguish, is a feeling of suffering when facing emptiness in life or when facing many options. Any action taken would be a leap, good or bad and ugly. Angst is therefore, not fear. One is scared because of a scary object. However, angst has no object. It is the vertigo in front of many possibilities.
Kierkegaard analyses the story of Adam in Eve in terms of angst. God had forbidden them to consume the fruit of knowledge, better known as the apple. Adam and Eve broke the divine law and ate the fruit. This was the first illegal action in history, and they were the first outlaws.
In Kierkegaard’s theory, Adam had an alternative (assuming that Eve was tempted and weak in front of the snake, known as the devil): to do God’s will or to follow Eve’s recommendation. Facing these two options, he acted out of angst and leaped. The rest is history.
To Kierkegaard, we didn’t inherit the original sin; since one cannot inherit the crimes of their ancestors. We, humankind, inherited angst and freedom.
The sound vibrates from the heart of the earth all the way to our spine; extend your arms and feel the energy. That same cry of the universe celebrates its birth, and still on lingering intensely through our bodies. OM, life is singing, the sky is thundering, the ocean is roaring and the wind is blowing. Everything moves to the sound of life, from planetary rotations to Sufi whirling, from falling leaves to flitting butterflies. Fast and light, slow and heavy, spinning to party, spinning to pray, spinning to music, this is the highest ode to life. Rumi (Jalal ud-din), the Persian and mystical poet wrote once:
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion”.
Sufi spinning is an active form of meditation performed within a worship ceremony. This is sought through abandoning one’s ego or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one’s body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. The influence of the Persian poet Rumi (Jalal ud-Din) on Sufis is significant. It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Rumi was transformed into an ascetic.
Shams had travelled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”. A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?” Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said, “The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya.” On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumoured that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi’s son, ‘Ala’ ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship. Later, Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of whirling Dervishes developed into a ritual form. Rumi wrote:
“The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries”.
If religion, any religion, isn’t of that beauty, then it is not a religion and doesn’t deserve to be one!
There is nothing more captivating to the senses than the observation of a nature’s scenery. The colours and smell of flowers, the 50 shades of green, birds singing, rooster’s screaming from the top of its lungs, a gentle breeze and a slightly foggy sky. Amidst this peaceful break, the cat hunted an unlucky lezard and ate it in front of me, the same lézard which had probably eaten some insects before.
These are few manifestations of the immanent life in all of us (humans, animals, plants) driven by the desire to survive, for our survival is linked to a balance set by life itself. Breaking the cycle of nature means breaking the logic of life and the intelligence of what is mighty and somehow eternal, nature, eternal in its becoming and transformation, eternal with its desire for survival, eternal in taking different shapes and figures, eternal desire of desire, eternal love… in other words the conatus as Spinoza said it.
Easy like sunday morning is an easy, short meditation on the simplicity and the complication of life.. it takes few minutes to realise it…
One of the most famous wisdoms, Horatio’s famous quote means to live the moment without caring about tomorrow. This wisdom is found in many cultures, many philosophers and poets proclamed it in many different versions. Maybe the most practical of them is yoga…
The aim of yoga is not to become more flexible, nor to be able to do unconceivable postures, but to live a better life. The latter starts here and now, on the mat, since spirit and matter are the same. In more modern semiotics, all is psychosomatic. The flexibility of the body means the flexibility of the mind…
Without getting on details about the benefits of yoga which can be found easily on the net, the carpe diem attitude is quite disturbing, in a world full of conflicts. It can be seen as indifference, as irresponsibility, as burying the head in the sand, not wanting to take actions in the world… All things media tries hard to push us to do the opposite! But on the other hand, books and websites harass us about the importance of seeking happiness within us by the carpe diem. So it is normal to become confused to say the least.
A carpe diem attitude is a schizophrenic one, not by the means of the mental disorder. Or perhaps it is, because we can’t cope up anymore with what is happening around us, for it is way excessive: excessive violence, excessive corruption, excessive wars, excessive stress, excessive madness… Therefore, live the present, for tomorrow is never certain to come, for solutions and justice are less likely to be fast!