H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Seminars : The Origin of Personality Disturbances

Pinarella di Cervia (RA), from December 27th 2008 to January 4th 2009.
Seaside Resort
 - Pinarella di Cervia (RA) 
Lecturer: Marco Ferrini (Shriman Matsya Avatara Prabhu). Professor appointed to American Colleges and Universities. International Affiliate of the American Psychological Association

The Winter Seminar of Centro Studi Bhaktivedanta took place from December 27th to January 4th at Pinarella di Cervia, in a comfortable seaside resort, on the topic: The Origin of Personality Disturbances and their Solutions. The speaker, Marco Ferrini, held morning and afternoon classes for a total of twelve lessons, discussing the 55 sutras of Patanjali’s Sadhana Pada: a perfectly suitable text for the event, in comparison toBhagavad-gita and other fundamental texts of the Krishna-Bhakti vaishnava culture.

The participants showed attraction and concentration on the Yogasutra Study Sections. They were impressed not only by the scientific language and the rich philosophical and psychological approach to Patanjali’s work, but even more by the practical and skilled commentary given by Marco Ferrini, joining deep awareness and  incentive in an orthopractic analysis to the benefit of every one.
A preliminary overview of the text mapped the way of the journey: from sutra 1 to 7 origin, functions and extinction of social conditionings (klesha); from 18 to 28 the relation between the perceiver and that which is perceived; from 30 to 34, effort and relaxation (yama andniyama) and from 35 to 45 their practical effects; from 46 to 48 benefits of asana postures; from 49 to 53 pranayama; and the last two sutras on pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses from the phenomenal to reach antaranga yoga (which consists of concentration, meditation and samadhi or the Realization of the Self).
The first sutra was a very good starting step for the rest of the work: active Yoga means rigorous consistency (tapas), study of oneself and of the scriptures (svadhyaya), and surrendering to God (Ishvara pranidhana). Tapas, pointed out Ferrini, is dull endurance, but the comprehension of the obstacle and its solution, by means of suitable instruments. Without tapas, there can be no attenuation of the heart’s conditionings and, without this, the experience of samadhi or perception of Reality will remain a utopia. The importance of a deep study is fundamental to insert ecological knowledge in the neural circuit, teachings able to direct the existence of a living being. With no spiritual tension, with no signifying steps towards the Supreme, life will remain limited, tasteless, flat – when it doesn’t become a turmoil – and will not satisfy the inner needs naturally pursued by humans.
Another well developed  topic was the overlapping between the insight of the subject (purusha) and that which can be seen (prakriti), with all its implications for the individual’s perception and experience. According to Patanjali, this identification is the primary cause of suffering. Sutra XXXIII  was widely discussed, in which Patanjali suggests: when disturbing thoughts occur, meditate on the opposite; following is part of Marco  Ferrini’s commentary in this regard: “This is a practical psychological teaching that allows us to activate metacognitive functions, in order to divert our attention and modify the quality of our state of being. It is an efficient technique at no cost, that may allow to immediately restore our emotions to a higher tone and quality and our character to its original the brightness”.
Remarkable for the audience were the consequences of one’s commitment to universal ethic and moral principles, for instance: the practice of ahimsa, non-violence, brings to an end one’s tendency to conflicts.
The many and stimulating questions were an opportunity to satisfy the participants  who were further enthused by the explanations.
Besides the studying of Sadhana pada, the Seminar offered many other activities, such as workshops, asana and pranayama sections, theatre, poetry readings poems and shared moments of leisure, indoors and outdoors, walking along the beach and in the pinewood.
Saturday, January 3rd, the full day was dedicated to CSB Academy students who attended their examinations on several psychological and philosophical subjects; in the evening, as a final award for their studies, some of them received their Master or Doctorate degree. Their touching and genuine speeches filled the evening with warmth and a special sense of intimacy.
Food was a very much appreciated ingredient of the Seminar: a variety of vegetarian, well prepared, delicate and tasteful dishes, cooked by the expert chefs Leeman and Salvini, with the precious help of Marisa Scotto and the whole kitchen staff; the people gathered appreciated the association and the discovery of  new  tastes and flavours.
Even the junior participants were well entertained by skilful coordinators who every day gave them  important lessons of life, teaching with a joyful and playful attitude.
We can meet again at Easter time, from April 10th to 14th at Villa Vrindavana (San Casciano, Firenze), in the same spirit of joy. The title of the Seminar will be: the Science of Meditation and the Evolutionary Transformation of Personality.

No comments:

Post a Comment