ITALY OF MY HEART
La svolta, storie di conversione al Cristianesimo
ITALY OF MY HEART
La svolta, storie di conversione al Cristianesimo
CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas
By Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA
Printed in Issue 24 – Death to the World
DEATH TO THE WORLD
I’m an Orthodox Christian living in Homer, Alaska and experienced Jesus Christ in the Himalayas, in India.
I listen to the heartbeat of rain outside…
Cold, Alaskan fog blowing in off the bay, emerald hills now that autumn is here and summer chased away into the mountains. But a milky white fog spreads over the bay like a silken ghost. I used to visit Trappist monasteries, back when I was Catholic, at the beginning of high school, and searching for a relationship of love. I read plenty of philosophy then to know that knowing isn’t enough, that having a realization in the mind is entirely different from experiencing a revelation of the heart.
I spent two birthdays in the Himalayas…
Traveling along gravel roads that drop deep into icy gulches where the Ganges river rages below not yet packed with the filth and mud and newspapers of villages, not yet carrying remainders of Indians in her current, I found Christ found me. It’s a difficult and strangely compelling atmosphere to confront oneself, – – India, – – sandwiched with black corpses, white snow, pagan fires and virulent animals.
I took a bus north from Delhi. It was crowded, tight and cramped, flies buzzed between my face and the windows smeared with brown slime. It’s so Continue reading “The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA”
Orthodox Christianity: About Yoga
ORTHODOX HEART SITES
On Spiritual Deception
by Fr. Dcn. Charles Joiner
Deacon at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral,
Greenville, South Carolina Area, USA
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
The author of the Orthodox Way of Life blog, Fr. Dcn. Charles tells it like it is.
Having recently discovered that throughout much of my Christian life I was involved with “spiritual deception,” I find it necessary now to seek ways to fully understand and totally reject this error.
My deception began with a well meaning pastor at the United Methodist Church where I grew up. I asked him,
“Why are there so many different religions? How can we say that the Christian way the the best way?”
His answer was,
“There are many paths to God. Ours is the most direct and easiest path.”
He did not know how to answer this question from a true Christian perspective and advise me of the struggle that I would necessarily face. I now know that what he taught me was a serious deception. It is very clear now that the other paths will not lead to a God-oriented spiritual life and union with God. They only lead one to a life of self-satisfaction and greater pride.
Jesus Christ came after these early attempts to reach God which were inadequate and showed all mankind how to gain union with God. He showed us the need for extreme humility in our relationship with God. He showed us a path that involves purifying ourselves and continually struggling against many things, yet relying on God’s will. I discovered that the path He opened for us is not an easy path.
It is a difficult one along which we are easily deceived by seeking pleasures though various forms of meditation, yoga and others activities, taught by well meaning teachers from other eastern religions who have not discovered for themselves the way of Jesus Christ.
I now know this from experience, having experimented with Vedanta, a Hindu religion, Buddhism, and Eastern forms of meditation. Regrettably, I even led an effort to find the Continue reading “On Spiritual Deception – Fr. Dcn. Charles Joiner, South Carolina, USA”
HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY
On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter
Walking along the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kaluga or any other large city will be enough to get added evidence that today yoga is a popular and widespread phenomenon. Yoga advertising posters, if not signboards of yoga centers, will inevitably catch your eye. Or you can get on the internet instead of going outside. For instance, the Yandex Russian top search engine has as many as 850 million search results for the query “yoga” compared to only 474 million results for the query “Orthodoxy” (that is, half as many results).
As we know, the Soviet Union collapsed, and its godless ideology wasn’t replaced with a new one. On the contrary, the state declared that it wouldn’t support any ideology thenceforth. But that’s not how life works. For the absence of ideology is a kind of an ideology in itself and it has contributed to the unprecedented propagation of the ideas that had been banned and oppressed by the atheist state for decades. The Church came out from the underground too. However, the minds and hearts of the overwhelming majority of the former Soviet citizens were captivated by other phenomena and teachings the representatives of which emerged, made themselves known, and immediately began to “preach” on TV, the internet, in the press and other mass media. These were psychics, sorcerers, astrologers, fortune-tellers, adherents of alternative medicine, and, of course, yogis…
What are the similarities between yoga and materialism?
What attracts people to yoga? In my case, it was a thirst for something mysterious, some teaching that would allow me to develop some superpowers, such as telepathy, breath-holding, etc. I discovered yoga as a primary school student back in the early 1980s thanks to my elder cousin. I would sit in the lotus position at the lessons, and the teacher would rebuke me, telling me “to sit like a human”. And my last mentor was a yoga fitness instructor, under whose guidance between 2008 and 2009 I refreshed my skills in the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga that I had largely forgotten over the years of my office work. And there were a great number of books, groups, seminars, and teachers between these two “mentors”.
When I was in my thirties, I wanted to comprehend the essence of yoga, and I was more interested in meditative practices than in physical exercises (asanas). The fact is that if someone starts yoga and doesn’t quit it, sooner or Continue reading “On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter – Dmitry Druzhinin”
CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
ON HOW FORMER KRISHNAITE ANANDA RUPA
BECAME OLGA AGAIN
Peter Davydov, Olga Gagushicheva
One day the following notice appeared on the door of the Krishnaite Ananda Rupa’s astrology office: “The office is closed because of my return to Orthodoxy. I sincerely wish you the same. May Christ save you. Olga.” This talk is about how Olga Gagushicheva, who had been baptized yet was absolutely unenlightened, became a Krishna worshipper and practicing astrologer, why she returned to her paternal home and Christ, and what came of it.
* * *
The days are evil (Eph. 5:15), or an unorthodox “Orthodox life”
—Olga, Did you know anything about Christ before completely falling into the grip of astrology and other spiritual delusions?
—When I was one year old, my parents wanted to have me baptized. According to my mother, on the appointed day the weather was sunny and dry, so the family decided to go and gather berries instead of going to church. During that berry-picking hike I fell seriously ill and the illness lasted three years. I learned this from my mother when I was sixteen. I naturally drew a conclusion that I must go and receive Baptism. You see, I was empty-headed. Many of my relatives joined me. And that was the end of my “Christian living”. Though I also got the “knowledge” of the Church and God in the Soviet school. It was a real mishmash. Of course, I was a Komsomol member. We were warned that in no case should we, Komsomol members, attend any church services on Pascha. But we were curious to see what would happen during the church service, all the more so because we were told: “It is not allowed!” So we forced our way through all the police cordons and Komsomol activists who were wearing their bands. On the following day we were summoned to our director of studies who gave us a good dressing-down and promised to expel all of us from school. Of course, he didn’t keep his promise. I don’t remember how my Baptism took place as it was not a result of my conscious decision. I did it “for no particular reason”. Later, when I got married, it was fashionable to marry in Church, so we did it as well… Our wedding ceremony was arranged for us in a village church near the city of Cherepovets which was opened especially for us. And afterwards we baptized our children. That was all. You see, it was our unorthodox “Orthodox life”.
A big thank you to the press
—How did you develop an interest in astrology? How was it manifested? When did it happen?
—During my school years. I think it was 1985 or 1986.
—The time when the “gates to the West” opened wide…
—Or yawned open, to be more precise.
—And when all those individuals appeared on TV.
—Yes! Now general secretaries were replaced with sorcerers, psychics and other “enlightened” individuals who were goggling their eyes and moving their hands on TV. And not only TV. The most popular magazines, such as Continue reading “On how former Krishnaite Ananda Rupa became Olga again – Peter Davydov spoke with Olga Gagushicheva”
FRANCE OF MY HEART
USA OF MY HEART
De l’Himalaya jusqu’au Christ:
Récit d’une ascension par le moine rassophore Adrien
Voici un récit de conversion qui me touche particulièrement, et dont beaucoup de ceux qui ont fini, guidés invisiblement (à n’en pas douter) par la Sainte Providence, par rejoindre la nef de l’Orthodoxie, après avoir (à première vue) erré dans les régions spirituelles de l’Extrême Orient, comme beaucoup à notre époque, à la recherche d’une nourriture vivifiante, peuvent se sentir proches.
Il a été initialement publié dans le n ° 190 du magazine “Orthodox Word” et est paru dans au moins deux sites en voici la traduction en français :
“Lorsque nous apprenons à connaître Dieu comme une personne, nous commençons à voir sa main à l’œuvre non seulement dans les circonstances de nos vies quotidiennes, mais aussi dans les événements de notre passé qui nous ont conduit à l’instant présent. Nous voyons comment des vérités partielles, Il nous a conduit à la plénitude de la Vérité, et comment Il continue à nous guider à l’intérieur d’une réalisation plus profonde de Continue reading “De l’Himalaya jusqu’au Christ: Récit d’une ascension par le moine rassophore Adrien╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French”