About Presence: a journey into ourselves

Signed by Mia Munteanu


Salteaua de practică. Un ceai într-un colț de cameră. În zgomotul orașului, undeva într-un studio de yoga, niște studenți rostesc împreună o mantră. Yoga este o călătorie, nu-i așa? De câte ori nu ai auzit profesorul tău spunându-ți că practica yoga nu se oprește pe saltea, ea continuă și în viața de zi cu zi? 

Modul în care privești lucrurile din jurul tău, propriile gânduri, relațiile pe care le construiești și emoțiile pe care le trăiești, am putea spune că totul este yoga, însă cu această afirmație nu am face decât să limităm universul de posibilități și să restrângem la o simplă listă de cuvinte și exemple ceea ce înseamnă yoga cu adevărat. Carlos L'Abbate deschide universul de posibilități și lansează la Seneca AntiCafe prima sa carte - About Presence: a journey into ourselves, pe care o găsim astăzi pe rafturile de la Cărturești. 324 de pagini de resurse care să te ajute să navighezi mai ușor în anxietatea orașului.

"What he offers us here is a kind of contemporary book of wisdom - a practical wisdom, adapted to our time and our way of living, in the complex and hectic world of today. It is a wisdom rooted in the simple but profund observation what we are not really present to our life - to our gestures, our feelings, to our relantionships and especially to our thoughts, our mind. And that we need to get closer, to discover real Presence - awareness-presence as Carlos names it - if we want to feel accomplished and in peace with ourselves, if we want to feel harmonisez and happy with our life and the others. It is as if Carlos's terms, we have fallen "under the spell that our happiness depends on the world and so we live our life extroverted without understanding that we are the happiness we search outside on things." Magda Cârneci, Poet & Art Researcher.

Carlos L'Abbate s-a născut în Argentina, a copilărit în Buenos Aires, a călătorit și s-a stabilit pentru o perioadă de timp în Statele Unite, iar astăzi susține clase de yoga în București, la Hermitage, Ota sau în cadrul diferitelor evenimente locale dedicate acestei practici, precum Yoga Day, eveniment organizat chiar de către echipa noastră. Și-a dedicat timpul ajutând micuți fără familie care ajung să-și trăiască copilăria în stradă, dar și celor mai în vârstă care au nevoie de grijă și susținere. Toate aceste experiențe l-au făcut pe Carlos să plece într-o călătorie de cunoaștere a ceea ce numim simplu: viață.

Big moments, small moments. Dealing with worries, the science of life. About values. Being "home". Tacking care of our body. About falling in love. Thoughts as TV Channels. Valuing presence. About Gurus. About spirit. Who am I? The meaning of life. Am I better than you? Being wierd. Find freedom. Sunt doar câteva dintre capitolele pe care le vei găsi în paginile pe care urmează să le răsfoiești. O colecție de gânduri, asemenea unor blog post-uri, unele mai scurte, altele mai lungi, fiecare capitol deschide mintea și invită la introspecție. Am selectat în cele ce urmeză câteva fragmente care să te inspire atât pe salteaua ta de yoga, dar mai ales înafara ei.

"In our day life, we encounter several situations in which we find ourselves waiting for something to happen, for a move to start, for a friend to call, for dinner to be ready, for the working day to be over, and the gap between 'what is right now' and 'what is going to come' is often filled with mindless activities; activities that don't really have to be done, but are used as a way to make time pass. We might decide, for example, to check Facebook because we have 10 minutes before we leave for the gym. But instead of doing that, we could use those 10 minutes as a wonderful opportunity to reconnect back with the simple experience of being alive, of existing, of being.  Many of the activities we find ourselves doing are ways of escaping. We are very much afraid of the sense of emptiness that is 'apparently' created in moments when we don't have something in particular to do. (...) Amazing technology...perfect way to distance ourselves from ourselves." - The 'Gap' Moments, pag. 30.

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"We believe that life is created by the things that happen to us" that if we have a good job we will have a good life; that if we have a good good job we will have a good life; that if we find the right partner we will never feel lonely; that if we live in a good city we will be happy, etc. But, in reality, life is not created by what happens to us, but by the way we choose to see those happenings. We have a specific tool in our brain: the capacity to choose between one thing and another, our wisdom, our capacity to discriminate. (...) The way we react to the things that happen to us is what gives meaning to what happened, not the happening itself. The exact same thing can happen to two people but they will react in two completely different ways. Why is that? Because the situation doesn't have a meaning in itself. Life doesn't have a meaning. We are the ones who give a meaning to life. It is our thoughts and our beliefs that create the meaning." - About thoughts, pag. 61.

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"We cannot stop having thoughts; this is the job of our intellect, to create thoughts. But we can stop believing them without examining them. This is our choice. This is what yoga really is. Yoga is not just about twisting our bodies, this is only a fraction of it. Yoga is about finding a balance between body and mind." - About thoughts, pag. 64.

"Who am I? This is a very basic, but also a very rare question to ask. Who am I? Most people never ask this. And the few they do, answer it very quickly by looking at their life stories. I am...a person that was born here or there, studied this or that, comes from a privileged or problematic family, is married or not, kas kids or not, has done this or that, suffers here and there etc. Most people confuse who they are with the story of their lives, a story that lives in their heads as a group of thoughts, a story that sometimes people write down in a book. But, as fascinating as that story may be - and it often is! - that thought or group of thoughts is not who I really am. Who am I then? Am not my story, I am not what 'I think' I am, but I am this 'presence-awareness- that is present and aware right here and now. (...) When one understands that who is actually looking thought one's eyes and hearing through one's ears is already whole and complete, one becomes independent of everything. - Unhappiness, happiness and true happiness, pag. 118 - 119.

"Everything we perceive, feel and think is only a point of view. For example, problems. We all have them and we all believe they're real, but they are nothing other than a point of view we take on life; in this case, a point of view that actually creates the problems. Every conclusion that we arrive at regarding any experience, thought or emotion, about anything that happens to us, is no more, and no less, than a point of view. It is never the complete truth, only a aspect of it. (...) Depending of which point of view we choose - what aspect of the truth we take - we will have a certain psychological result. if I see the world as a frightening place to live, I will experience fear, worry and anxiety. If I see the world as a benevolent place, I will experience peace, kindness and love. In other words, the kind of effect that the world has on us is completely dependent on the way we 'choose' to look at it. The world is not out there; it is in my head." - A matter of choice, pag. 81.

"What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is now who I am. Who I am then? The ones who sees that." - Eckhart Tolle.

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"In my view, succes in this life is not based on how many things we get - a bigger house, more money, more kids, more power - but on how we mature as human beings, And the only way to mature is by dealing with our difficulties and by learning from them, not by trying to get rid of them. The way to deal with them is by seeing them with a sattvic mind, with a clear and open mind. The problems are never in the world, but rather in the way we see the world. And we see the world the way our mind sees the world. There is no other world then the interpretation that our mind has of what it sees. If we want to change the world - our world - we need to change the way we see the world." - A Sattvic mind, pag. 125.

"I can learn to see thoughts as a channels on TV. We turn on the TV and a channel appears. We look at it for a few second and then we decide, based on our understanding, if this channel is what we want to see or not. I's the same with thoughts. A thought, or a group of thouths, appears on our head. We look at it / them and then, based on our understanding, we decide if they are the kind of thoughts that we want to allow or not. (...) I would say that most of our conflicts, witch ourselves and other people, appear because we have used the wrong thought in any given circumstance." - Thoughts as TV Channels, pag. 133 - 135.

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." - the upanishads.

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