Visit 1

First Places of Power

        After leaving the train, we, at a very leisurely pace, started walking towards the seashore. There was a strong cold breeze, rain drizzled, and the sun peeped out from the clouds only rarely.
        Then we walked along the shore’s sand, crossed the streams that flowed into the sea…
        Stopping suddenly, Vladimir turned around and said:
        “This is the first, for you, place of power. It is the working site of Krishna. Here He is! You can say ‘Hi!’ to Him!”
        With the flood of emotions and thoughts, I could not squeeze out anything better than “Hello, Krishna!”. And, in confusion, I stopped. Nothing more “reasonable” came out from my head. I could not unite my happy emotions with these words.
        Vladimir tactfully helped me to come out of such a predicament, by offering to continue the way.
        However, he explained that it is possible to speak with God, one can and must learn to talk with Him, to love Him, and to embrace Him…
        … Soon we stopped near an alder-tree, fallen by a storm.
        “This is alder catkins,” — Vladimir showed us. — “Hazel-grouses feed on them.”
        We walked a few feet further to a large fallen birch-tree.
        “And this — birch catkins, it is the favorite food of black grouses.”
        Passing by several fresh stumps, he suddenly stopped and pointed to one of them:
        “Why is this wet?”
        “Here is the exam!” — I thought, remembering how in one of his books, Vladimir described “examinations” for those who were willing to learn from him: at first, it was proposed to them to fill in a form of very simple questions, which showed, however, the intellectual viability of the applicants. On this basis, a decision had to be made: to continue or cease the training.
        … The last rainfall was possibly the cause of the wet stump, — but this would be too banal an explanation. Why did all the other stumps not look as wet? I “suspected” the existence of a more complicated selection of answers. Looking closely, I saw that this “wetness” was thicker than water. So it was the “liquid of this tree”, — I decided, out of fear, simply not being able to recall what its name was.
        “Yes, it is birch sap,” — finished Vladimir, developing my thoughts. — “The tree was cut down this winter. However, since its roots are not dead yet, they continue to produce the sap.”
        … After a while we stopped again. Vladimir declared:
        “We have come to the right place of power. We will work here long enough. So — let us water!”
        As it turned out, this issue was not “restricted” to, or at least caused confusion among the group of Vladimir.
        The men went ahead. The women remained in the aptly chosen by Vladimir spot for this purpose among the bushes.
        … Unexpectedly, a few days later, I heard a “lecture” on this theme from Vladimir. He jokingly called it the “Theory of making water”. But I will retell this event later.
        … And now we, as it turned out, stopped near the working site of the Divine Master, one of the Holy Spirits, — Juanito.
        “Try to feel the boundary of the site,” — Vladimir said, showing it to me. — “You will need to learn independently how to define clearly the boundaries of places of power.”
        At that moment I did not exactly understand what I should feel for. So I had to step over the boundaries several times.
        The small differences in emotional states, yes, I felt…
        But after about half an hour, the feelings became much clearer, the easiness and confidence of their perception appeared.
        And even the sun came out suddenly from behind the clouds and warmed everything up! It was very helpful for my frozen body, including my fingers and toes.
        “Do you know who Juanito is?” — asked Vladimir, when I approached him.
        “The disciple of Lao…” — I hesitantly answered, uncertainly adding: — “Tse…”
        “No, we don’t know His Teachers.”
        I mentally slapped myself on the forehead: how did I mix Him up with the Divine Teachers Juan and Han, about whom Vladimir wrote in the book Classics of Spiritual Philosophy and the Present!… I felt guilty. Although it was an obvious fact that my reaction to talking with Vladimir was the same as taking exams, — and I was the only one to feel so.
        “Juanito was the American Native spiritual Chief, according to His last incarnation,” — Vladimir continued the topic.
        I almost jumped up: American Native!
        … The first book that I read about the American Natives — it was Winnetou — the chief of the Apaches. I was at that time only twelve years old. But instead of enthusiasm from exciting adventures, I started crying, with bitter tears moistening my pillow: “How could such wonderful, such brave, such beautiful and such proud people live on a reservation? What cruelty!” For me it was an emotional shock: I first saw, from the outside of my little world, at least how I thought myself, the cruelty which was… allowed by God.
        At that time, because this did not cause me to doubt His Love, I could only imagine how much I still had to learn and understand. Later I learned that the American Natives’ reservations were not places of imprisonment for American Natives, as we were taught in the “Soviet” schools. But, instead, they were the lands that were given into the possession of American Natives, for them to live the way of life of their ancestors, by that lifestyle which they chose for themselves. And even entering their reservations was prohibited or severely limited for strangers; and this was also determined by the American Natives living in the reservations.
        Soon I read all the available books and other materials about American Natives. At the same time I became acquainted with the Song of Hiawatha, but… did not understand anything about it. Only an after-sense of something very light and mysterious. I also learned the names of all the American Native heroes, their timeline, and achievements. I also searched for their images in movies. I even knew the names of their tribes and in which parts of America they were situated. I even started to learn some of their languages, but quickly understood that studying all of this was approaching the level of abnormality.
        For many years I even dreamed of going to North America to live with the American Natives who lived in the forests and mountains. Almost every night at bedtime I thought out stories, as to how I would find them, get acquainted with them, how they will let me live with them forever. So I invented whole “series” of adventures. I also imagined a prairie where I could ride on a wild mustang, canyons where I would learn to climb fearlessly, the huge sun over a lake where I would be able to see, every morning, wild mammals and birds which would never fear me…
        … But every time, the next morning, I woke up in a stuffy, four-walled city flat…
        … And now my imagination was trying to draw Juanito, as He could be: long black hair up to His shoulders, brown face, brown eyes, eagle feathers in His haircut…
        But I did not dare to ask Vladimir about all this, to clarify.
        … At the forest glade among the pines and firs we found an old campfire site.
        After throwing our backpacks down, we gathered enough firewood and built a campfire. Then we energized ourselves with cheese sandwiches and coffee.
        Vladimir stood up first, approached me, extended his arms, and helped me to stand up.
        Then he grabbed gently my arms, but more specifically — my fingers, checking their level of heat. (In my correspondence with him I told him that I get cold often and dress “like a cabbage-head”, meaning many layers of clothing. I suffered the most from freezing fingers — even at positive temperatures… In response, then, he offered me a few pranayamas for cleansing the meridians of my hands and feet).
        “Well,” — he said, — “you have worked really well: your hands are even very warm!”
        “They are really warm!” — I realized mentally.
        “Relax the legs and bend them slightly at the knees,” — Vladimir began his demonstration, showing an example using himself. — “And let us sway gently from side to side like water-plants in water.”
        Then he extended his arms to the sides, palms up, on the level of his shoulders.
        “Imagine a golden fiery sun on a palm — and begin rolling it from one palm to another — through the hands and anahata. Repeat this exercise many times in both directions.”
        I could not see any sun with my physical eyes. But I could get a very clear sense of an intensely glowing ball rolling from one hand to another.
        “Look from anahata!” — Vladimir corrected me, perceiving my efforts. — “To look with our bodily eyes — this does not have reason!”
        I tried to do everything exactly as Vladimir instructed. But my emotional stiffness in the presence of Vladimir and the again approaching, far of the campfire, cold — hampered me in doing the exercise. Also — the feeling of… strangeness of the experience… and my accustomed position to analyze and challenge all doubts with the mind.
        Otherwise, I was ready to jump with joy: Here it is — now! Finally! I am here! And the dream, that I always had, is finally coming true!
        I was given further free mastering of the exercise — by myself.
        At the same time each of the other members of the group had their own lists of tasks for today. And, as I understood, they were always given such tasks.
        Fifteen minutes later, passing by me, Vladimir said:
        “If you are tired or cold — come to the campfire.”
        I did not put such questions to myself. But, thinking and “listening” to my feelings, I decided that I needed to go to the fire, where all the others were already assembled, getting ready to pour tea from the thermoses.
        … Before I was engaged in intensive athletics. There, “the state of fatigue” means to “give all one has got” when “the tongue is on the shoulder” and “legs give way”.
        But Vladimir explained that in the spiritual work we need to not come to such states of feeling: our memory must record the best, the most vivid meditative states — as opposed to the “weak and feeble”.
        So I stood there, watching the fire. The body got nicely warmed up.
        “The image of the fire could be placed into anahata,” — Vladimir said again. — “After doing this, you can put it below your body, turning it into a huge campfire. By this method, it is possible to cleanse the body making it free of all negative energy insertions.”
        I tried. The image of a big campfire was good and effective.


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