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On the Other Side of the Material World/Look How Much Tatyana’s Anahata Grew!
Look How Much Tatyana’s Anahata Grew!
Near the campfire, to which I returned to rest, Vladimir came to me observing.
“Look: what anahata Tatyana has now!” — he said, addressing the others. — “When you came to us for the first time, it was as this:” — he drew with his hands a ball about twenty centimeters in diameter. — “And now it is so grandiose! The flower has blossomed from a bud! Your anahata — even in a relaxed state of the consciousness — no longer fits within your chest, it is much outside of the body! Now this is — not just the anahata, but the true spiritual heart!”
All were happy for me:
“That is — what means Juanito!”
“Such a young and handsome Chief!” — Larisa added, and we laughed.
… But then, again, I began to freeze, even near the campfire. The toes were disturbed most of all.
Therefore, the following meditation, which Vladimir explained, was too hard for me. I had to shine above the opening spaces with the spiritual heart, as by a bright lamp or flashlight. And then — to fill these spaces, merge with their beauty.
Noticing, apparently, that I was not very good at this exercise, Vladimir clarified that it requires from me to merge in no other way, than by the state of love.
I tried. What I was looking at, was really infinitely beautiful, but the flashes of my love… were combined with the rigor of the body.
“Yes,” — Vladimir said, — “if it is cold, no love is possible.”
We returned to the campfire. And suddenly… Vladimir suggested to me… to stand barefoot in the snow!…
He himself calmly took off his rubber boots, which were worn on bare feet — and… stood in the snow, offering me to do the same…
Because I was always interested in trying everything new and unfamiliar, and also if it was useful, and even more if it was told by Vladimir — I repeated all after him…
For the feet, of course, it was cold, but for some reason, at the same time it was ridiculous… This was the reaction of my body to a “positive stress”.
“Enter into your anahata,” — Vladimir said. “Now — it is, in fact, not too cold, right?”
“Hiding” with all the consciousness into anahata, I could really not even feel my feet. But then again they distracted me, and again I held down as long as possible in anahata.
In the end, we stood barefoot in the snow for about ten or fifteen minutes. For Vladimir, it looked like it was quite usual, he did not feel any discomfort from it. But I… — I do not even know what to say about this… — I took this… into my experience… I will have to train for this next winter…
… After relaxing near the fire, I began to repeat and consolidate all the exercises given to me. The most difficult was to hold on my hands — the sea, fish, birds… I stretched out my hands of consciousness, as far as felt… From these exercises, I got tired more quickly, I even began to breathe deeply, as if I had just climbed up a steep slope…
Vladimir helped me by showing yet another place where it was most convenient to perform such exercises. It was much more comfortable and warm, emotions of love appeared much easier. After taking deep breaks for a few seconds, I then started everything in a new fashion. And only when meditations lost their clarity and emotions diminished, I returned to the campfire.
Vladimir smiled silently. He almost never laughed loudly, but just emanated a quiet joy — through his eyes, his smile, his face, his whole being. I only once heard his laugh, along with everybody. It was after the story about the pictures I had seen, where the Orthodox priest in a cassock, standing on the roadside, placed the advertisement: “Benediction of petroleum!”.
… Soon it was time for us to leave the place of Juanito and to board a train. We walked along the beach sand. Water reflected the sun rays.
Anna asked me, if I had noticed that the swan, which I kept on my palm and tried to fill with my love, suddenly began to swim towards me? I replied that I just did not see it because of my poor eyesight, I only tried to keep it on my palm as long as possible, trying to feel as a bird — and give it my love and warmth. Then Anna smiled and noted that, judging by how easily I learned to see, I had every chance of restoring full vision.
… We left the train and walked calmly back home. My head was buzzing, muscles had pain, but the state of relief and joy, comfort and peace — overshadowed everything. We talked, laughed, but no idle word was said, nor any sentence, which would have no relation to God, living for Him. All was so natural, as if we were speaking about the most ordinary daily household affairs. But this was their daily life! And I was hoping the same life would be mine.
… We again touched on the subject of restoration of vision. Anna told the story about one of their former students:
“One nice girl came to us several times… She had eyesight which was much worse than yours — down to minus eight. But at the Eremey’s place of power she had the success of improving her eyesight to minus three.”
“And where is she now?” — I pried.
“She is not with us anymore, Vladimir had to remove her. She did not pass the test: she fell in love with a boy, her disciple. But that boy, from a certain point, could not intellectually master the next steps. And, despite numerous warnings that he was not able to move on, she stayed with him, actually preferring him — instead of God. And then she was very resentful to us that we did not agree that she — as she said — could love that boy and God at the same time…”
“And what happened next?” — I did not appease. It was totally incomprehensible for me: how could this happen? — To reach such heights, to cognize directly God’s Love — and suddenly be carried away by “earthly” relations!
“He was much younger than her,” — Anna continued. — “They were together about two or three years — and parted. But during that time she lost all her positive experience in the spiritual development…”
Such an outcome was not unbelievable for me; I was not surprised.
“And can you tell me her name?”
… At home we ate a very tasty supper. I especially praised highly the fried mushrooms that Anna kept in dried form, but now soaked and fried. They were scaly nedgehogs (Sarcodon imbricatus).
After supper, I secluded from the others and remembered the story of Olga. Would it be possible that this would happen with me?
Once upon a time, reading the New Testament, I imagined Jesus: how He could be, how He talked with people, how He was playing with children — and I suddenly thought that if I was near Him, I would definitely fall in love with Him! But — with that “earthly” love, because I did not know at that time about the existence of any other kind of love… But I immediately scolded myself for this thought: it is not allowed in the Orthodox — to love God in such a manner!…
About Mary Magdalene, I knew in those years, only that Jesus had saved Her from stoning. But I read only in later years that She became the companion of Jesus…