Article from Bindu no 6
A refuge in Southern Sweden
Holiday at Håå Course Center
It is one thing to benefit from yoga and meditation classes a couple of times a week or on a weekend course. Something quite different is for a period to really allow yourself to go deep and get insight.
In cultures around the world it is customary for a while to withdraw and, by means of certain techniques and under favourable conditions, open up for increased clarity, energy and inspiration. It may give quite another richness to your daily life and you may increase your knowledge of yourself.Within the esoteric tradition of Europe, for example, the alchemists and mystics lived in refuge for periods of time, with the purpose of committing themselves to exercise and study, in seclusion, in a creative environment, alone or together with others. In modern Japan it is quite common even for business people and officials for a shorter or longer duration to stay in a monastery, to withdraw and contemplate. Indians, Eskimos and Aboriginals have always made use of living in isolation, once or several times during their lives. One of the few living traditions which combines retreat with contemplation and esoteric science is the Tantric yoga and meditation.
In our society the interest for these techniques has grown since the beginning of the century. Today it is common for employees at hospitals, schools and in companies to attend courses in yoga and meditation.Characteristic of the mystic tradition is precisely the mystical, not understood as something strange or foreign, but rather as a science where the foundation is not the analytical comprehension by the mind but a concentration and absorption, based on the ability to experience and to be present.
"The mind is only a thin flickering dimension of your being." (Swami Janakananda)
Maybe this corresponds to science's claim that we human beings only make use of about 10% of the brain's potential. Through yoga and meditation slowly and steadily a permanent balance and strength is created enabling us to awaken the deeper aspects of our being, and thereby creating the foundation for a clearer perception of reality and a greater freedom.To make the process of expanding consciousness possible, one must go about it thoroughly and systematically.
At the courses in Håå we supplement yoga and meditation with physical activity, for example in the forest or in the fields - this, together with cleansing techniques and above all a period of silence. Thus the teaching and the interest and awareness of the individual create a process which forms a unity of it all.To teach at this level, the best possible conditions are required for the course or retreat. In the yoga tradition a place like this is called an ashram, which can be translated to: spiritual workshop or laboratory.
In 1972 the Danish yogi Swami Janakananda founded the ashram in the village Håå, by the shore of a lake, in southern Sweden. Here he and the teachers of the school teach yoga, tantra and meditation - a tradition whose origins we find traces of in Europe, in South and Central America and in Scandinavia. Today it is being re-established as an important part of our cultural heritage.
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