How is Υoga connected with Hinduism? – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

How is Υoga connected with Hinduism?

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/80417.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

To be clear, Hinduism does not refer to a specific religion. It is a term the British gave to the various cults, philosophies and shamanistic religions of India. If you ask one Hindu if he believes in God, he may tell you that you are God. But ask another, and he will point to a rock, or statue, or a flame of fire. This is Hindu polarity: either you are God, or everything else is a god.

Yoga is beneath this umbrella of Hinduism, and in many ways is the pole of the umbrella. It acts as a missionary arm for Hinduism and the New Age outside of India.[9] Hinduism is like an extraordinary Russian nesting doll: you open one philosophy and within it are ten thousand more.

And the unopened ones are risks. You may swim easily and carelessly in waters you do not know. But unaware of the tides and nuances of the area, you may be in danger. You may be swept away by the undertow. You may cut yourself against unseen rocks and contract imperceptible infection and poison.

This happens in the spiritual life.

When we dive in the ocean, we may be attracted to the brightest, most colorful and intriguing fish but the most colorful and exotic are often the most poisonous and deadly.

The first time I visited India, I took off my shoes and socks and walked through the water, coconuts, discarded candy and shimmering fire of Kalkaji Temple. It Continue reading “How is Υoga connected with Hinduism? – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA”

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What about Yoga & Orthodoxy? – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

What about Yoga & Orthodoxy?

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/80417.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Yoga is a psychosomatic practice, an interaction between mind, body, and spirit(s). We must remember the word ‘yoga’ means ‘yoke,’ like the wooden crosspiece fastened over the necks of animals attached to the plow. St. Paul warns us, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?[18]

Yoga isn’t Scriptural nor is it otherwise part of our Church’s Holy Tradition. Everything we’re looking for, everything, can be found in and through the Orthodox Church. So what would we want from yoga?

It is important to know that in yoga, as well as many mystical schools, strange lights may accompany practitioners but these are often from demons or created lights of the mind, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.[19] Many have and are following the ‘spiritual fireworks’ of the so-called ‘new’ age. Of course, this is not the Uncreated Light experienced by Moses and the disciples on Mount Tabor. It is not the Divine Light St. Gregory Palamas defended in the 14th century against western scholasticism. Direct knowledge of God is possible, and direct experience, but knowledge and experience of evil is also certainly available. We have freewill to choose whom and what we seek. This, of course, requires discernment and testing, where accountability before an experienced priest or elder is absolutely necessary. Indispensable, too, is heartfelt participation in the Mysteries of the Church. We do better looking into the mysteries of our hearts than entertaining these imaginations of the head.

Furthermore, something should be said in relation to the claim that ‘pop’ forms of gym yoga carry no danger or threat to a practitioner. Someone who holds such an opinion is either ignorant of, or chooses to ignore, the many warnings that appear in the eastern yoga manuals concerning the Hatha yoga that is practiced in such classes. Is the instructor aware of these warnings and able to guarantee that no harm will come to the student?

In his book Seven Schools of Yoga, Ernest Wood begins his description of Hatha yoga by stating, “I must not refer to any of these Hatha Yoga practices without sounding a severe warning. Many people have brought upon themselves incurable illness and even madness by practicing them without providing the proper conditions of body and mind. The yoga books are full of such warnings…. For example, the Gheranda Samhita announces that if one begins the practices in hot, cold or rainy weather, diseases will be contracted, and also if there is not moderation in diet, for only one half the stomach must ever be filled with solid food…. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that control of breath must be brought about very gradually, ‘as lions, elephants and tigers are tamed,’ or ‘the experimenter will be killed,’ and by any mistake there arises cough, asthma, head, eye and ear pains, and many other diseases.” Wood concludes his warning about posture and breathing yoga by saying, “I should like to make it clear that I am not recommending these practices, as I hold that all Hatha Yogas are extremely dangerous”.[20]

If an Orthodox Christian wants to exercise, he or she may swim, jog, hike, walk, and do stretching exercises, aerobics, or Pilates.[21] These are safe alternatives to yoga. We can also offer prostrations before God. The Church doesn’t want any of us to be unhealthy or unhappy. We should trust the prescriptions of our Mother the Church and follow them as best as our ability, and the grace of God, allows. No one should try to extend the life of the body at the expense of the soul.

Above all, we mustn’t trust our own judgment. We must be accountable to someone.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.[22]

As Orthodox Christians, we know that the actions of our bodies, such as bows, prostrations, and making the sign of the Cross have a relationship to the state of our soul before the True God. Why would we ever chance copying bodily actions that for centuries have been directly related to the worship of demons? Such actions could have serious consequences for both our soul and body which belong to Christ.

May we be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.[23]

 

* * *

Notes:

[18] 2 Corinthians 6:14.

[19] 2 Corinthians 11:14.

[20] The Sandilya Upanishad gives similar warnings. See Seven Schools of Yoga, by Ernest Wood, pgs. 78-79.

[21] Pilates is a perfectly safe and appropriate alternative to yoga. A mental fitness system aiding flexibility, strength and focus, Pilates is a conditioning routine emphasizing coordination, balance and breathing. Studies have also shown that stretching exercises are an effective alternative to yoga in treating lower back pain.

[22] Proverbs 3:5.

[23] Matthew 10:16.

Hidden fire: Orthodox perspectives on Yoga – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

Hidden fire: Orthodox perspectives on Yoga

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/80417.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

2 Corinthians 6:14–18

* * *

I was raised Roman Catholic. I loved prayer. Walks through woods, playing in creeks, running through the vast fields of the imagination. These were like prayer for me: the silence, the stillness, the hesychia children find themselves in almost by nature. I didn’t always stay in this prayerful place. But I recognized it. And I took it for granted, as a simple activity within the heart.

We all experience this to varying degrees. We use different words—or none at all, because they all seem so inadequate—to express the heart’s movement toward God. It seems when we are innocent in heart, especially when we are very young, there is a tangible perception of two in these experiences. Lover and Beloved. The Someone Else. As I child, I didn’t articulate this Presence as Christ—just as I never articulated my parents by their names. I just knew them.

* * *

As a high school student—my grandparents put me through an all-boy Roman Catholic high school—I wanted to be a Trappist monk. I attended services regularly and read the Bible often. Scripture really is like a door. You can enter through it and the Holy Spirit takes you places without ever really lifting your shoes off the ground. But I knew there was something more. A difference between reading about the experiences and the experience Himself.

Dr. Harry Boosalis writes in Holy Tradition: “We are not called simply to ‘follow’ Tradition or ‘mimic’ Tradition. We are called to experience it…just as the Saints have and continue to do.” We know something is missing in the world around us. Some richness, some depth we are vaguely aware of and long after. This is, of course, the richness of God’s love, light, and grace. But, at that time of my life, I didn’t have the language to express this. Like so many, I attributed this dissatisfaction, this unease, to other things.

Then a psychology professor in high school guided my class through self-hypnosis. My intrigue with meditation followed quickly thereafter. I felt relaxed. I let my guard down to new experiences. I felt as if the back door of my heart opened permanently. I rejected God ‘to go it alone on my own.’ I experienced, very clearly, a light switching off inside me. The Presence, the Continue reading “Hidden fire: Orthodox perspectives on Yoga – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani”

The Uncreated Map: Christ as the Light of Yoga – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

https://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

The Uncreated Map: Christ as the Light of Yoga

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani,

Alaska, USA

Source:

https://deathtotheworld.com

https://deathtotheworld.com/articles/the-uncreated-map-christ-as-the-light-of-yoga/

DEATH TO THE WORLD

I’m reminded of pilgrims at the Himalayan foothills seeking passage around the icy mouth of the Ganges River. Among these hikers were two very different men, one an intelligent geologist and the other a simple backpacker.

The geologist put every trust in his mind.

As he told others, “I know all there is about the composition of mountains and valleys. I know how they’re formed and why they’re here. Look, I understand everything and really don’t need backcountry camping lessons, nor do I have time to get in shape for this journey.”

So, he left unprepared, but very confident for the hard journey ahead.

Meanwhile, the simple backpacker didn’t count on his intelligence alone. Rather, he worked out every day, getting his body into good health, also while getting to know the locals who passed through these mountains. He learned where to find shelter, what places and people to avoid, and knew precisely where he was going. He was very humble about this undertaking.

At the first snowstorm the first man panicked. He forgot all about geology and his journey grew difficult and painful. The simpler man, however, brought to mind what he learned from those before him, drawing on ancient wisdom and, remembering his maps, actually wound around these mountains with much effort but safely.

One man arrived from his journey to new land.

The proud man was never found.

The secret closet, man’s heart, is the starting place where we embark on this journey. It is concealed by many thorns and bushes, within the folds of our passions, thoughts and ego. Our life, then, may seem a Russian nesting doll. When Christ comes like a gardener, we may not recognize Him. Sometimes it is only when we don’t experience Him, though, that like the Prodigal Son we remember His bread and turn to face Him, which is what repentance is all about.

When we taste life apart from Him, which is not truly life but pigs and husks, we experience a foretaste of hell. This often has profound effects upon a Continue reading “The Uncreated Map: Christ as the Light of Yoga – Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA”

Yoga and Christian Faith – Dr. Christine Mangala Frost, India

Yoga and Christian Faith

Dr. Christine Mangala Frost, India

 

I was born a Hindu, became a Christian at the age of 22 and have been an Orthodox Christian for ten years. I was brought up with yoga. My grandfather was a friend of one of the founders of modern yoga, Swami Sivananda, who used to send his books on yoga to my grandfather along with a vitamin-rich sweet herbal concoction we loved to eat. As children we were encouraged to do certain postures and breathing exercises, always with a clear warning that there are different ways of breathing for men and women as their bodies are differently shaped. When I got married and had children, I passed on to them some of the ideas I had found useful from my childhood yoga lessons. We lived on top of a hill, and as the children walked daily to school (we did not have a car), they had to climb up a steep incline. At times, they would complain about how their legs hurt. I would say, without thinking for one moment how odd it might sound, “breathe through your knees.” Somehow they seemed to understand what that meant and did as told, and soon found it less of an effort to climb. Later on, as they grew up, they learnt to do postures from modern western manuals and benefit from the exercises. They were brought up in a Continue reading “Yoga and Christian Faith – Dr. Christine Mangala Frost, India”

Through The Eastern Gate – Nilus Stryker, San Francisco, California, USA – From Buddhism to Orthodoxy

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://californiaofmyheart.wordpress.com

https://whataboutyoga.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

WHAT ABOUT YOGA

Through The Eastern Gate

Nilus Stryker, San Francisco, California, USA

From Buddhism to Orthodoxy

Source:

http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/en/index.htm

http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/orthodox/orthodox_advices_yoga.htm

ORTHODOX ADVICES

Nilus Stryker, San Francisco, California, USA:

I had been a Buddhist for ten years. I was ordained after seven years of study with my teacher in a small family line of the Nyingma Lineage of Vajarayana (Tibetan ) Buddhism. I had a Spiritual Master in that lineage whom I loved and still love. He was, and continues to be an example of kindness in my life. It was through his instruction that I began to see the world with wider eyes and heart. I was ordained as a Ngakpa in the Nyingma Lineage. A Ngakpa is a tantric (priest) ordination that, though there are vows (damsig), those vows are not based on celibacy nor abstention from meat and alcohol. Our sangha were not renunciates but followed basic instruction in tantra and dzogchen; both based on transformation rather than renunciation and sudden moments of insight that flicker in duration and intensity leading to rigpa (a state of mind and perception based on relaxing into the natural state of enlightenment). Those moments were engendered by the energetic intervention of our teacher or our ability to “relax” into the Continue reading “Through The Eastern Gate – Nilus Stryker, San Francisco, California, USA – From Buddhism to Orthodoxy”

Η μεταστροφή ενός Αμερικανού από τον από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία – Από τα Βουδιστικά μοναστήρια του Θιβέτ, Μοναχός στα Ορθόδοξα Μοναστήρια της Αμερικής

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USA OF MY HEART

usa hjuffg

Η μεταστροφή ενός Αμερικανού

από τον από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

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Από τα Βουδιστικά μοναστήρια του Θιβέτ,

Μοναχός στα Ορθόδοξα Μοναστήρια

της Αμερικής

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TRUTH TARGET

«Βρέθηκα περιστοιχισμένος ἀπ’ τίς πέντε ψηλότερες κορυφές τῶν Ἱμαλαΐων, στά 14.000 πόδια ὑψόμετρο. Χάζευα τήν ὀροσειρά Annapurna καθώς ἀνέτειλε πάνω της ὁ ἥλιος. Τό ταξίδι μου στό Nepal εἶχε ἀρχίσει πρίν λίγες ἑβδομάδες καί τό ἀποκορύφωμά του ἦταν αὐτό. Στεκόμουν ἔκθαμβος ἑνώπιον τῆς ἀδιάφθορης ὁμορφιᾶς πού ἁπλωνόταν πάνω ἀπό μένα, ὅταν μιά σκέψι τρύπωσε στό νοῦ καί δέν ἔλεγε νά φύγη: “Αἴ καί, λοιπόν, ποιός ὁ σκοπός;”. Ὁ ἐγωϊσμός μου ἀμέσως ἀνταπάντησε στό τυχαῖο αὐτό σχόλιο: “Ποιός ὁ σκοπός; Τί ἐννοεῖς, ποιός ὁ σκοπός; Ὁ σκοπός εἶναι πώς ἔκανες τόση πεζοπορία γιά νά δῆς αὐτά τά βουνά. Λοιπόν, ἀπόλαυσέ τα τώρα!”. Καί, ὅμως, ἡ σκέψι ἐκείνη ταλάνιζε τό νοῦ μου. Ναί, ἦταν ὄντως ἀπ’ τά ὡραιότερα θεάματα τά ὁποῖα εἶχα δεῖ ποτέ καί χαιρόμουν τή στιγμή αὐτή, ἀλλά, ποῦ θά βρίσκωνται τά συναισθήματα αὐτά αὔριο, πού δέν θά εἶμαι πιά τόσο πολύ ἐμπνευσμένος; Ἡ χαρά τοῦ κόσμου αὐτοῦ ποτέ δέν μπόρεσε νά μοῦ δώση ἱκανοποίησι. Θά ἔπρεπε νά τό εἶχα ἀντιληφθῆ κατά τή διάρκεια τῆς ζωῆς μου, ἀλλά Continue reading “Η μεταστροφή ενός Αμερικανού από τον από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία – Από τα Βουδιστικά μοναστήρια του Θιβέτ, Μοναχός στα Ορθόδοξα Μοναστήρια της Αμερικής”