Pare să fie la modă să practici yoga în zilele noastre. La mine la birou, spre exemplu, aproape toată lumea merge la un curs sau la altul. Zilele trecute, o colegă s-a dus la yogilates cu Carlos l’Abbate și s-a întors un pic mirată.
Ea se aștepta la pură mișcare blândă și ars calorii languros, prin dragostea dintre yoga și pilates, dar a primit și multe instrucțiuni de mindfulness la care nu se aștepta.
Eu, proaspăt întoarsă de la o inițiere într-o tehnică tibetană ca la mama ei, eram marcată de cât de importantă este concentrarea și vizualizarea atunci când practici. Practica spirituală este diferită de aerobic. Poți da jos kilograme, da, dar accentul se pune pe atenția pe care o acorzi fiecărui moment, pe înțelegerea fiecărui gest, iar rezultatul te duce la o calitate a vieții mai bună din interior, nu doar la nivel corporal. Așa că am ridicat sprânceana.
Apoi, cum mă plimb eu random printre cărți pe net când vreau să mă destind, dau peste cartea aceluiași Carlos l’Abbate, Despre prezență. O călătorie spre sine. Dincolo de apariția charismatică a exoticului profesor de yogilates (vine de la Buenos Aires, cu un periplu după care ar trebui să se facă un film), descopăr un căutător profund și autentic.
Și ca să mă zdrobească sincronicitatea, la două zile după asta, primesc o invitație la Fit your life, un eveniment care va avea loc pe 7 martie la Hotel Sheraton, unde primul dintre speakeri era nimeni altul decât Carlos l’Abbate! Păi cum să pierd eu ocazia de a-l lua la întrebări?! Universul îmi cerea! Așa că i-am trimis o scrisoare romanțată în care se pare că l-am convins.
1) What was the moment when you first realized that you have to be present in your life, when you first needed to have a clear mind, to find out who you really are?
Since I was very young I had this feeling that there was something else to life than what can be perceived with our eyes or senses. For example, although both my parents and my close family had no interest at all in religion or spirituality, I was very attracted to the life of Christ. Not really as the savior of the world or the son of God, but as a being that was interested in things that were VERY different from what everybody else was interested in. Somehow I knew that there had to be something, and that feeling is what brought me to search for what can be called “spiritual knowledge”.
The 3 things that you are asking me about, “be present in my life”, “have a clear mind” and “finding out who I really am” did not come out of my own intelligence, but they were the result of my search. This was a slow and gradual process of understanding and discovering that in order to find the truth I was looking for, first I needed to clear my mind, otherwise the mind can easily spend all its time in the worries and problems and desires of everyday life. Then, I realized that the truth I was looking for had to be in the present moment, as the present moment is the only thing there is (past and future, as strong and powerful as they seem to be, they are nothing else than products of the mind). Of course there is so much that can be said about presence… this is a note I like about presence from my blog: http://yogilates.ro/2016/04/18/valuing-presence-yoga/. And finally, I have come to the understanding that this truth had to be in all and everything, and so, if that was the case, how could it be away from what I am, from what I REALLY am? So, besides these mental ideas based on memory and conditioning about myself and my life, the question “what is it that is actually looking trough these eyes?” or “what is it that is truly aware of my experience?”or simply “who am I, really?” became of utmost importance.
2) Is it difficult to stick with your practice? What’s your advice for a beginner on the path of self-discovery?
It is difficult if you see it as a practice, as something you have to do. It is true that in the beginning, and for many things, willpower is very important. But after a short while, and especially for spiritual practice, it is not really that useful. What is useful is a profound understanding of what you want to accomplish and, in particular, why you want to accomplish it. In the spiritual path, what is that one want to accomplish? It varies from person to person, but generally it has to do with knowing the truth of what this is all about, it has to do with finding true meaning, true peace and true fulfillment (as opposed to the short-lived peace and fulfillment that one can get through a quiet environment or the acquisition of a long held desire.) With this understanding in place, just follow your heart. If your heart wants to watch TV and talk fashion with your friends, go for it, but also see deep in your heart the consequences of your choice. Don’t do spiritual practice because you have to. Do it only because it is what your heart deeply desires. This desire for truth, which in Sanskrit is called “mumukshu”, is the most valuable and necessary prerequisite for spirituality.
My advice? Follow your heart, but be very aware of what you really want, and at the same time, notice where, whatever you are doing, it is truly taking you.
3) What is the reason for human suffering, on your experience?
I have a note in my book that talks exactly about this. It is called: “About Suffering”. You can also find a version of it in my blog: http://yogilates.ro/2012/07/12/about-suffering/
In brief, suffering is based on our ignorance of the truth of our existence. It is not what happens to me that matters, but it is what I think that happens to me that counts. We think that suffering is the consequence of certain undesirable things that happen to me, but it is not. The suffering is not in what happens, but it is in the knowledge I happen to have about me and life and the world and, as a consequence, in the attitude and view that I bring to that situation based on that knowledge.
As an example, imagine that somebody insults me. If I suffer, that suffering will not be caused by the insult, but by the believe that that person did it on purpose and/or the believe that he/she should not have done it. If, instead of that view, I take the view that the reason the person said what he/she said was because that person was suffering, for example – then where will the suffering be? This is another fundamental reason why spiritual knowledge is so important. The more I know about the truth of a situation, about the truth of life, the less I will suffer.
4) Does yogilates helps us to better relate with the others, and how?
It profoundly helps to deal better with yourself by making you more aware of yourself and your relationship between yourself and the world; and if you can deal better with yourself, you will definitely deal better with others. In reality, there are no others. What we see is nothing but a reflection of ourselves.
5) What do you think about love? How does love help us to have a meaningful life?
As beautiful as this question is, it is a huge question, one that could require a whole book, or a series of books…
Love can be used as: I love this cookie or, I love my dog or, I love my job or, I love my country or, I love my husband/wife or, I love my kids or, I love God. All of these are very different forms of love. But if we try to see what they have in common, we find that they give you (obviously at very different levels) a sense of freedom and beauty and fulfillment and happiness and well-being. To me, love as in any of the examples I gave before, is like an aspect, like a hint, of the love that true spirituality talks about.
Notice that in all those cases I was talking about, that love is for something outside of yourself, from “you” to a cookie or to a person or to God; from “you” to “it”. But to me, true spirituality, or true love, is not the love for something, but it is love itself. It is not that me, over here, is loving something, over there, but it is that there is no separation between the one and the other. This sense of unity – of oneness – is what true spirituality talks about, and it is what love truly is. Yes, that sense of unity will be seeing form outside as love for others, but in reality, for the one experiencing it, it will not have the sense of “I am loving you”, but something closer to: “I love”, or simply “love” without the “I”.
True love does not help us to have a meaningful life; it IS the meaning of our life.
6) How can we avoid grasping, and dominate, and control our love ones?
By recognizing, or simply searching, for true love. The only reason why anybody will grasp and dominate and try to control is because deep inside in their hearts they feel empty and unfulfilled and in pain. The discovery of true love is the discovery of freedom, of true fulfillment, of true peace. If you feel fulfilled in your heart, will you try to control or grasp? Of course not! Why will you? But as long as true love is missing in our hearts, or at least the knowledge that true love is possible, a deep sense of emptiness and meaninglessness will remain hidden in our hearts; these emotions always bring with them a deep fear of losing what I have and the never-ending desire to get more and more; and these fears and desires will keep generating the need to grasp and to control.