Sports / physical exercise

Putting together ones life with the modern world.
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Mimesis
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Mimesis » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:06 pm

I haven’t commented on this before, because other than agreeing, I had little to add to what those whom have expressed a strong feeling of connection between physicality/physical training and the great work of the spirit have already said.

Recently however, I have considered consistency to be a very great lesson that one can take from physical training, and apply to spiritual work.

For a variety of reasons, the consistency of my own physical training has been sporadic and lacking for at least the past year, although never entirely absent. In these moments of short time, low motivation and lethargy, one falls very easily into the traps of questioning what impact missing one training session will really have. But this 'one time' can itself devalue and turn into our impression of consistency.

Each training session may sometimes - or often - independently seem futile, but in actual fact are each as vital as each other, in reaching for that point of growth toward which we strive. They are each a sum of a much greater part.

Whether one engages in any physical training or not, I think this lesson of consistency is an important one, and largely underpins the greater reasons of mine for maintaining physical training.

Our occult work is much the same, in that each and every step, no matter how small, are imperative.

................

In short, in my early teens and the years that preceded such an age, I had thought the opposite to what I do now - that being, very little positivity toward any physical training. On quite the contrary, I childishly welcomed the breakdown of my body and any consequences that may entail.
This even strengthened when I first began taking my spirituality seriously, as I first adopted the rigid stance of abhorring my body and all things relating to it, and saw no merit in taking any kind of care of it.

However, toward the latter years of my teens, I developed a strong sense of disconnection. Essentially, I feel I had entirely misunderstood the demands of the great work, and was flawed in my personal neglect of my body, predominantly due to the effects it was having on my mind and spirit. Initially, this realisation was directed toward stopping a number of vices that I was regularly using, but eventually also made way for consistent physical training - predominantly in the form of running and later in varying periods of functional strength training - which I have more or less maintained consistently for the past decade or so since.

I now see no difference or separation between the work I do with my body and the work I do with my spirit. Each offer lessons for the other to learn, like a mirror falling from both the dawn and the dusk.
And even on a very simple level, a physical vitality can only benefit the demands and energy required for occult and esoteric work.
"We are such stuff. As dreams are made on, and our little life. Is rounded with a sleep."
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Ormr » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:07 pm

And even on a very simple level, a physical vitality can only benefit the demands and energy required for occult and esoteric work.
To me this is the key. There are many studies available that correlate physical fitness with cognitive efficiency, as well. On a personal level, I find that most areas of my life benefit from a regular physical regiment, from esoteric work and meditation to musicianship and extra focus at my place of employment.
-- O
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Cerastes
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Cerastes » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:57 pm

It surely depends on the personal temperament but for me physical activity is absolutely vital. Others might get into the state of energetic passivity more easily but I’m struggling with it because I’m either active or lethargic. Running through the forest for an hour or so is one way to wake up the mind and calm down my body so it won’t distract me anymore. It feels like my body wants to run so I let it run until it is finally shuts up to let me do my work.
Jiva wrote:Basically, if something’s physically hard work and repetitive (rowing and weight lifting in my case), then I kind of fall into varying degrees of ‘trance’ (or whatever), especially if I'm listening to some repetitive ambient/folk/krautrock at the same time. In some ways I suppose it’s similar to being drunk: an hour passes in what feels like a few minutes, random ideas occur spontaneously etc.

I suppose I’m kind of lucky in that I have a ‘man cave’ – my weights, rowing machine, guitars and books are kept in the same room – so if I feel like dipping into a book halfway through working out then I can. Or, if I’m lifting weights and I notice a book on a bookshelf, I might remember something particularly interesting, or link one concept from one book to another, and so on.

On a personal level, I’ve participated in some sort of sport all my life, so when I don’t exercise or eat (relatively) healthily then I just feel tired and incapable of doing anything. Unfortunately, in the past, I’ve been an idiot (or sometimes just unfortunate) and have loads of old injuries that still affect me today and probably always will, but accepting this has been a valuable learning process in itself.
Yeah, that goes for me too. Especially the idiot-part. :lol: After numerous injuries and titanium nails through my bones (surgeon already called me female jesus to make fun of me) I decided to be a little less idiotic and more carful.

But in my opinion even excessive sports can be a good tool too if done with the necessary amount of self-reflection. I used to run until I could barely stand of my feet anymore and go into trance as soon as the pulse is down. A very efficient way of working.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Mimesis » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:33 am

Red Bird wrote: Running through the forest for an hour or so is one way to wake up the mind and calm down my body so it won’t distract me anymore....
I think that I can fully understand and relate to what you say here, but I would interpret it almost as the antithesis to this.
Running for me has become the closest thing to meditation that I can achieve. In the moments that I spend running, although my body is in its most active, engaged and demanding of states, my mind is the closest it ever is to being silenced, calm and still.
The thoughts and mental movement that do happen whilst running - most of the time, at least - are the most inspired I ever have and are as removed from rationality and self-deprecation that I ever become.
I learn many things about myself in those moments, and in the personal and tangible suffering that comes in running long distance - when ones mind must overcome ones body - I think there can be interesting threads to relating and meditating more deeply on the greater concept, meaning and reality of suffering.
"We are such stuff. As dreams are made on, and our little life. Is rounded with a sleep."
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Cerastes » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:00 pm

Omoksha wrote:
Red Bird wrote: Running through the forest for an hour or so is one way to wake up the mind and calm down my body so it won’t distract me anymore....
I think that I can fully understand and relate to what you say here, but I would interpret it almost as the antithesis to this.
Running for me has become the closest thing to meditation that I can achieve. In the moments that I spend running, although my body is in its most active, engaged and demanding of states, my mind is the closest it ever is to being silenced, calm and still.
The thoughts and mental movement that do happen whilst running - most of the time, at least - are the most inspired I ever have and are as removed from rationality and self-deprecation that I ever become.
I learn many things about myself in those moments, and in the personal and tangible suffering that comes in running long distance - when ones mind must overcome ones body - I think there can be interesting threads to relating and meditating more deeply on the greater concept, meaning and reality of suffering.
Indeed, you seem to function a little different from me at this point.
A few years ago I read a book from a Benedictine monk called fra Michael Bauer “Die Seele läuft mit” (=The spirit is running with you) who mixed Christian spirituality with far eastern meditation practices and applied it to running. It would fit perfectly in your way of meditational running practice but I don’t think there is an English version available. He describes running as a primordial state of a human being. Therefor it releases hidden energies, thoughts and emotions that are usually beyond the surface, which is exactly what happens during mediation.

In most cases, running is not really a meditation for me. It’s just necessary because I’m in office or laboratory all day and it makes me feel like a tiger in a cage. But that depends on a person’s individual temperament.
Yet, there is a point when your body gives you a clear signal to stop running- usually with some kind of pain that can be ignored relatively easy. That would be the moment when the mind overcomes the body. If I go on from this point the whole perception changes and it becomes some kind of spiritual practice because in my opinion this kind of moderate pain has a cleaning effect on the mind. But I need to remind myself on a regular basis to not overdo things like that.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby obnoxion » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:00 pm

Red Bird wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:00 pm
Omoksha wrote:
Red Bird wrote: Running through the forest for an hour or so is one way to wake up the mind and calm down my body so it won’t distract me anymore....
I think that I can fully understand and relate to what you say here, but I would interpret it almost as the antithesis to this.
Running for me has become the closest thing to meditation that I can achieve. In the moments that I spend running, although my body is in its most active, engaged and demanding of states, my mind is the closest it ever is to being silenced, calm and still.
The thoughts and mental movement that do happen whilst running - most of the time, at least - are the most inspired I ever have and are as removed from rationality and self-deprecation that I ever become.
I learn many things about myself in those moments, and in the personal and tangible suffering that comes in running long distance - when ones mind must overcome ones body - I think there can be interesting threads to relating and meditating more deeply on the greater concept, meaning and reality of suffering.
Indeed, you seem to function a little different from me at this point.
A few years ago I read a book from a Benedictine monk called fra Michael Bauer “Die Seele läuft mit” (=The spirit is running with you) who mixed Christian spirituality with far eastern meditation practices and applied it to running. It would fit perfectly in your way of meditational running practice but I don’t think there is an English version available. He describes running as a primordial state of a human being. Therefor it releases hidden energies, thoughts and emotions that are usually beyond the surface, which is exactly what happens during mediation.

In most cases, running is not really a meditation for me. It’s just necessary because I’m in office or laboratory all day and it makes me feel like a tiger in a cage. But that depends on a person’s individual temperament.
Yet, there is a point when your body gives you a clear signal to stop running- usually with some kind of pain that can be ignored relatively easy. That would be the moment when the mind overcomes the body. If I go on from this point the whole perception changes and it becomes some kind of spiritual practice because in my opinion this kind of moderate pain has a cleaning effect on the mind. But I need to remind myself on a regular basis to not overdo things like that.
I can relate to what you are saying. I don't run because of lower back problems, but I take long fast walks (at the moment my pace is about 6,5 to 7 km/h). I've bee doing this for half a year quite regalur, and I have had one or two such experiences of going over the boundary of moderate pain, and going to a state where I really cannot separate my self from my surroundings. I go sort of comfortably numb. All the effort seems to stop and the movement just feels like transportation or like walking in the air.

Nowdays I tend to do most of my creative writing while walking. It has become a vital spiritual practice for me.
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Cerastes » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:21 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:00 pm
I can relate to what you are saying. I don't run because of lower back problems, but I take long fast walks (at the moment my pace is about 6,5 to 7 km/h). I've bee doing this for half a year quite regalur, and I have had one or two such experiences of going over the boundary of moderate pain, and going to a state where I really cannot separate my self from my surroundings. I go sort of comfortably numb. All the effort seems to stop and the movement just feels like transportation or like walking in the air.

Nowdays I tend to do most of my creative writing while walking. It has become a vital spiritual practice for me.
Yes, exactly. Walking a longer distance can be a little like repeating a mantra. At a certain point the sensual percepation starts changing like and it feels like being part of the forest because I hear and see the surrounding differently. The effect is even stronger in a monotone environment like a desert or a big frozen lake. At some point it is not monotone anymore because you are able to sense it's different energies. I'm a little sensitive with energies and all the interference signals of everyday life are exhausting. Maybe this is what goes numb/silent after walking longer distances.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Polyhymnia » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:00 pm

Nefastos wrote:
Tue May 31, 2016 10:22 am

About yoga: Even though the Western adaptation puts so much stress on physical part (Hatha- instead of Raja yoga), that too works mostly with the energetical body or linga sharîra. It is the one that the 19th century theosophists called "astral body" (by which a different principle is usually meant nowadays), and which is the power structure of physical man. If that energetical "double" of body is kept in good shape, the whole body will be equally vital & virile. But it is interesting to note that the linga sharîra can also be twisted in a way that makes it very powerful in an inhumane way, even while the physical body can be in a tortured condition.

That line between keeping the physical body stressedly healthy and vampirizing it by linga sharîra is sometimes a line drawn in water. In monastic asceticism, super-health diets (and eating disorders), extreme physical yoga and a life given foremostly to sports all very easily cross this line and thus become a form of "black magic", so to speak - in a way that the body is constructed actually to be exploited by one's perverted self-will. (Too much stress on one's superego is as harmful as too much stress on id: instead, these two should be made harmonious by the ego between.)
I've recently started working out again (running, weight training) on top of my usual yoga practice (ashtanga, which is quite physical) and today I found myself at the gym asking myself my goals. I wanted to make sure that my goal was not an egocentric goal, or one I was hoping simply to achieve because of my years battling an eating disorder. I'm glad that I came across this today. It echoes my own thoughts and I believe will help serve to keep me thoughtful and working towards my real actualized goal which is to achieve harmony within both my spiritual and physical bodies by keeping my sicknesses within both at bay through a life full of study and self discipline. I now consider exercise a form of a study because I get to learn how my physical body works, what makes it feel good, and what harms it, and I feel clearer in my spiritual body because of this newfound understanding. It's a real difference to how I used to feel about exercise, which was that it's only purpose was to keep me from getting fat.

Could you recommend some reading to acquaint myself more with linga sharira? Or perhaps has anyone read anything in regards to physical/spiritual correspondences?

I'm interested in finding some correspondences and applying them to my daily rituals to try and further achieve harmony within myself.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Nefastos » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:27 pm

Polyhymnia wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:00 pm
Could you recommend some reading to acquaint myself more with linga sharira?


It's nice that this came up at the same time when I am making a lecture for the Graal lodge about sthûla sharîra & its difference with linga sharîra, the energetical body. Sadly, the physical principle is not my forte, and it is very hard for me to name any actually laudable treatises on this. Tantra literature mostly deals with linga sharîra however, and Blavatsky deals with the subject here & there, although she uses a plethora of different terms ("astral light" might be among the best words to search & approach her teachings on this force-body).

Since the relation of sthûla- & linga sharîra, or the clothes-like versus the actual physical principle, is at the same time practical and ontologically deep, it is dealt with sufficient understanding only by advanced authors, others falling to many different pits when treating this delicate subject. It is the "magical" principle per se.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Sports / physical exercise

Postby Polyhymnia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:26 pm

Thank you for the direction. I will start my studies with the body of the three doctrines with some extra focus on tantra. My rabbit hole so far is leading me back to yoga, which delights me, and who knows? Maybe it will lead to me figuring out some SoA specific correspondences for my own yoga practice.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran

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