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Orthodoxy and yoga/chakras


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#421 H. Smith

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 04:57 AM

This forum is for the study of Orthodoxy through the Church's patristic, monastic and liturgical tradition. Nothing in post #417 - 417! - approaches the terms of this forum. Personally, I do not want to see pictures of fakirs here.

OK.



#422 H. Smith

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 05:29 AM

Dear Reader Andreas.

 

This forum is for the study of Orthodoxy through the Church's patristic, monastic and liturgical tradition. Nothing in post #417 - 417! - approaches the terms of this forum. Personally, I do not want to see pictures of fakirs here.

 

The best, most on-point resources I can think of would be: the experience of the Jews in India before the apostolic era, St Thomas' time in India, the experience of the church there- especially before Chalcedon, the Church fathers, and modern Orthodox commentaries on Hinduism.

 

May I please ask if any particular writings come to mind, like specific life stories of Thomas or books on Hinduism?

 

I found Kevin Allen's essay saying:


 

As a former Hindu and disciple of a well-known guru, or spiritual teacher, I can tell you Orthodox Christianity shares more “common ground” with seekers of non-Christian spiritual traditions of the east than any other Christian confession!

in the eastern non-Christian spiritual traditions, knowledge is not primarily about the development or dissemination of metaphysical doctrine or theology. This is one of the problems western Christians have communicating with eastern seekers. Eastern religion is never theoretical or doctrinal. It’s about the struggle for liberation from suffering and death. This “existential” emphasis is the first connection Eastern Orthodoxy has with these traditions, because Orthodoxy is essentially transformative in emphasis.

...

As part of their spiritual ascesis, Buddhist and Hindu dhamma (practice) emphasizes cessation of desire, which is necessary to quench the passions. Holy Tradition teaches apatheia, or detachment as a means of combating the fallen passions. Hindu and Buddhist meditation methods teach “stillness”. The word hesychia in Holy Tradition – the root of the word for hesychasm – means “stillness”! Buddhism, especially, teaches “mindfulness”. Holy Tradition teaches “watchfulness” so we do not fall into temptation!
Hindus and Buddhists understand it is not wise to live for the present life, but to struggle for the future one. We Orthodox agree! Americans who become Buddhist or Hindu are often fervent spiritual seekers used to struggling with foreign languages and cultures (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Japanese) and pushing themselves outside their “comfort zones”. Converts to the Eastern Orthodox Church can relate! Some Buddhist and Hindu sects even have complex forms of “liturgy” including chant, prostration and veneration of icons! Tibetan Buddhism, especially, places high value on the lives of (their) ascetics, relics and “saints”.

 

what the eastern non-Christian traditions recognize as “spiritual illumination” or “primordial awareness” – achieved through deep contemplation (Moksha, Samadhi) – Orthodox Holy Tradition understands merely as “self contemplation”. Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov), who was experienced in yoga (‘union’) before becoming a hesychast – monk, and disciple of St. Silouan of the holy mountain, wrote this from personal experience: “All contemplation arrived at by this means (Yoga, etc.) is self-contemplation, not contemplation of God. In these circumstances we open up for ourselves created beauty, not First Being. And in all this there is no salvation for man.”

http://www.pravmir.c...igious-seekers/

 

First, I don't know that I agree that Orthodoxy shares these things specially with hinduism and not with any of Western Christianity. It seems to me that Western churches, especially old school Catholics can have prostrations, chants, ikons, or at least versions of the same.

 

Also, I think that some yoga involves contemplation of God, like Patanjali discussed about devotion to The Lord as part of bhakti yoga.

 

The Orthodox China site says that hesychasts used elements shared with Hinduism:

"Lord, have mercy."



This prayer was prayed by the hesychasts with attention to breathing and posture. The recommended posture was with the head bowed, chin on chest, and eyes fixed on the heart. The obvious parallel between this method of prayer and the technique of Hindu Yoga is interesting, but should not be equated by any means. The rationale behind the breathing and postures are different in that the hesychasts were more frankly hypnotic, i.e., they admittedly used it as an aid to concentration, whereas the yogis embellished the whole procedure with a theory of chakras to justify it.



Breathing and posture were associated with the "Jesus Prayer" by the
twelfth century, but it was minimized as a technique to attain mystical experience; the yogis never modified, much less repudiated, their methods. Thus it would seem that the "mystic consciousness" of the hesychasts and the yogis must be distinct, for if the hesychasts had truly valued yogic consciousness, they would have stayed with breathing and posture as an indispensable part of their method, which they did not.

http://www.orthodox....hers/mystic.htm

 

Do you agree with these claims, including that the hesychasts focused on the heart (bringing to mind the heart chakra), breathing, poses, and even were more "hypnotic"?


Edited by H. Smith, 11 October 2016 - 05:30 AM.


#423 Olga

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:36 AM

H. Smith, your posts in the revival of this thread have continued to stray towards the unacceptable as far as this forum's guidelines allow. Various forum members have repeatedly given evidence from a variety of Orthodox sources that yoga has little, if any, common ground within the teachings and practices of the Church. The supreme god of the Hindus is a very different entity to the God revealed to us. That alone shows that apples are being compared to oranges here.

 

 

As for statements made by individual clerics of the Malankara church, that is of little import to the Chalcedonian Church. They may believe and teach what they choose to believe and teach, and attempting to apply such pronouncements to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy is a pointless exercise. The 22 pages of this thread are ample evidence of this.

 

I have also deleted the photograph of the fakir from your post #417. Its presence was unnecessary and beyond the scope of this site.

 

Please consider very carefully what I have said, before you post again.



#424 Lakis Papas

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:40 AM

Symeon the New Theologian said, the monk must be in the monastery as:

 

one who is,

yet is not,

does not appear,

and is not even known.

 

Meaning: 

 

As one who is in the body,

but in spirit he is not,

as one who does not appear except, through the Holy Spirit, in those who are pure in heart

as unknown, since he has no relations with anyone 

 

This phrase includes the mystic Orthodox core of monastic asceticism, which is so different from any other philosophical ascetic system.  



#425 Lakis Papas

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:54 AM

From the Hagiorite Tome (this is the genuine Orthodox anthropology regarding the human body and asceticism) :

 

...For, if the body shall partake together with the soul in the ineffable good things - and doubtless even now so shares, insofar as its nature allows, in the grace of God that He gives mystically and inexpressibly to the purified intellect - and itself be completely won over to divine things in its own way, then the soul's passible faculty is transformed and sanctified, and not simply rendered dead by habit. By means of the same faculty, which is common to the soul and the body, grace sanctifies the body's ordering and activities. This is because, according to Saint Diodochus (of Photiki), in the case of those who have liberated themselves from the beauties of this world for the sake of their hope in the good things to come, the mind advances securely on account of its freedom from care. It senses in itself the divine, and inexpressible goodness, and, according to the degree of its progress, it shares its own goodness with the body. That grace which then comes to pass in both soul and body is such that it comprises an unfailing reminder of the life incorruptible. 

The light of the intellect is one thing and sense perception in turn another. While the latter explores sensible things insofar as they are sensible, the light of the intellect is that knowledge that inheres in conceptions. Sight and intellect do not lay claim to the same light, but each operates in natural things in accordance with its own nature. But, whenever those who are made worthy are in possession of spiritual and supernatural grace and power, then they see what is beyond all perception and intellect. They see what, borrowing from Saint Gregory the Theologian, God only knows - He and those whom He has moved to such things. 



#426 Father David Moser

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:45 PM

time to take a break






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