Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Quite a Bit about Death

February 3, 2017

Anna Zubkova

“… When you are anxious,

ask advice from your death.
An immense amount of pettiness

will drop then off you…

Death is a wise adviser
that we have”.

Juan Matus [8,2728]

God regularly reminded me about the death of my material body, especially when I was losing myself in the hustle of earthly affairs…

Vladimir often suggested to us to try, if possible, to have no unfinished earthly affairs and earthly debts, including non-material affairs. He suggested us to live in such a way that if death comes right now — we would not be ashamed to die in front of God. And we would not look back to what we have forgotten to do…

God was very skillfully “playing along” to help Vladimir in this.

God showed me the “face of death” even through the threat of surgery (which did not take place): suggesting me to prepare for it as if I would not come out of narcosis. Or He showed the death of other people. Or was slightly hurrying me, directly reminding me that we do not live in our bodies forever. And that we should think about the things that are really important so that we have the time to get them done…

I will now tell about one of these episodes. At that time, I only started to study with Vladimir, and was still working at the studio. One time, I was running in a hurry at the studio yard with a bunch of suits in my hands — and at a turn I ran into a car, which fortunately was not moving very fast. This was during winter, it was very slippery! I was hit by the car and slipped — and found myself under the car. The driver, whitened with fear because of this, got me out and helped me to stand on my feet. He was surprised to see that I seemed to be all right…

I thanked God for this lesson! He showed me — quite specifically and intelligibly! — that death can happen very suddenly, when we least expect it…

But, God sometimes reminded me of death even after that, so that I did not forget that lesson — and hurried me up: for me to understand how much is still to be done.

For example, my mother, who accompanied a female friend, ill with cancer, to the hospital, told me that the turns of cancer patients were similar there to the crowds in crowded buses during “rush hours”. And I remember how God had once showed me — in a dream — myself standing in such a “turn for death”… Another variant of a turn, shown to me in the same dream, was in a comic form — “a turn” of Those Who had reached the Perfection — in front of the entrance to the Abode of the Creator… I saw then immediately how little I had done on this Path… And I also thought about how important it is to try to do as much as possible for others — so that they would also have time to think about all this…

… The illness and death of my mother’s friend taught me a lot too.

I was deeply grateful to that woman who once, during my first steps on my religious way, taught me the Christian humility. She was a sincere and deeply religious human.

Then — I tried to give her the knowledge that I had gained up to that time, but it did not turn out good. She, being an Orthodox, did not believe the things I was saying, did not accept my views, and did not want to read “sinful” books…

But, once, Jesus, speaking through me, promised her a healing. But He was also asking her — in gratitude for this — to keep fasting — a meat-free diet for all of her newly granted life. If okay, He recommended to confirm that the healing really happened — through repeating the tests on cancer. He told her exactly the date when it should be done. Analyses were carried out — and a reply was received: there were no cancer cells anymore.

But she still did not believe Jesus! The opinion of the church turned out to be more important for her!…

And then the cancer returned to her body…

One of the mechanisms of the manifestation of cancer — is the entering of souls of dead animals, killed and eaten, into the human body. These spirits create there “a nest” for themselves of cancer cells.

She died exactly one year later: on the very same day, in which — the year before — she was healed by Jesus…

She continued to accept with humility her fate until the last breath and strictly performed all the rituals and regulations of the church…

Imagine her shock, and confusion, when after the death of her body… she did not find herself in paradise! All did not turn out to be as the “pastors” promised her…

After she died, she came into my room. I had very little experience of communicating with non-divine souls — and did not immediately notice her. She tried to draw my attention to her. I felt bad, stuffy because of this. I did not understand what was happening and only after a while noticed her.

I sharply felt the pain of this deceived soul… To calm her down somehow, I asked her to sit on a chair, which stood in the room. She hung in the air over it in a sitting posture…

I tried to help her as much as I could… I offered to her to recollect the most tender emotions of love, which she experienced in her life, the peace and transparent silence of the autumn after she was healed, when she heard for the first time in her life how leaves fall to the ground in silence… And she found peace… But it is already impossible after death to obtain the state of love, which was not mastered by a soul during life of the body…

But how much more she could have done, as a sincere and deeply-religious human, if…

I strongly understood at that moment what an obstacle it is to not have access to true knowledge about God, about the meaning of our lives! And how important it is to make this knowledge available to all people!

Wearing “Rose-Colored Glasses” and Meetings with Evil

February 2, 2017

Anna Zubkova

Seeing only the good in everything, not noticing evil, living as if evil does not exist at all, — was the typical way of perceiving the world for me, since childhood. On one hand, it was good — I loved everyone and everything, since when you look through rose-colored glasses — it is very easy to love… But such a “defect of vision” could not suit God: it is impossible to eradicate evil, if you do not see it, it is also impossible to help others in this…

“We can tear out evil only if we recognize it. If we are ignorant of it, it will continue to grow its roots and grow itself in us… Ignorance of it is the mother of evil in us,” — Apostle Philip wrote down [6,8].

I was ready to deal and fight against vices, eradicate them from myself — it was quite easy for God to bring me up to this understanding. But to see that evil exists outside of us too, misunderstanding of this and carelessness in this — may lead to troubles — this was more difficult for me…

So God started to explain this to me.

For example, I thought that, if I loved dogs and was not afraid of them, — then no dog would bite me! So, one day I was walking, overflowed with love and joy, — when a dog pounced on me and bit me. Its angry-drunken owner was sitting on the steps of a store — and was enjoying the scene…

Understanding that there are people who are much worse than the most vicious dogs, who do not even need a reason to do evil, it was becoming hard in me…

Vladimir often showed us the reality of the present and past political situations of our country — and I tried to recognize that the lyrics: “Wide is my dear country, where man breathes so freely!” — do not reflect the real state of things. He also spoke to us about the “Christian” inquisition, about the history of the perversions in other religious movements, about those I had always thought only good, but I knew only about the superficial layer… Every time, I felt like I was scalded with boiling water and that my skin was being removed from me… How easy it is to love a sweet fiction and continue to think: “How everything around is so wonderful!”…

God was strongly trying to explain this to me, so that I could “get it” without having to experience a big calamity on the material plane. He showed it to me up close, but from a side. He was trying to teach me caution — with the same tenderness as it was in my early youth…

… I remember how once, during a tourist trip, I walked alone in the mountains. Just like with dogs, I was not afraid of people at all. I enjoyed the spaciousness and beauty…, when a man, who looked more like a terrible wild animal, approached me. He took my wrist with force and commanded me to go with him. I was not very afraid and said that I did not want to go with him — and I thought that it was enough for him to let me go. But he did not let me go. He also apparently had never seen such a “wild” specimen before. He held my hand for the entire time on the way to the… tourist base… He told me to never walk alone… Only a bruise on my wrist remained after that incident…

So then and now — through pain and tears — God offers to see and realize the existence and manifestation of evil on the Earth. By the same way, He sometimes painfully squeezes my hand and shows me what I previously feared and did not want to see.

He offered to develop in me the wise caution of a spiritual warrior. He suggested to me to love not a fictitious “humanity” while living and serving Him in this world, but, to see the truth, to become namely a wise Love. He offered me to learn to help everyone in everything good — just as He helps!

 

 

Miracles

June 7, 2016

Anna Zubkova

All my life I lived with the desire to see a miracle, with the belief in miracles. I believed that it was possible: to fly, to heal with the Divine Touch, to resurrect…

The real miracles came into my life together with the start of my discipleship. But my childish-egoistic desire of the materialization of something that I could touch with my hands continued to live in me… The miracle of the cognition of God did not replace my ordinary human notions completely, thinking that a miracle — is when things appear “out of thin air” or when a train wagon or a plane disappears or when it’s snowing in a hall…

I already knew how to merge with the flow of Pranava, with Mahadoubles of our Divine Teachers, was entering — just a little at that time — the Abode of the Creator… But I already did not consider this experience like miracles. This became — usual… — what kind of miracle is there to be seen in this?! It was similar to the way we do not see the miracle of the blossoming bud, in a huge tree, in spring which grow out of a tiny seed, in the miracle of life, in the miracle of the beauty of God’s Creation…

And so, one time, David Copperfield explained that to me with a joke — and also with the help of a miracle…

… We were in the forest, it was the end of summer, and we had been working a lot that day, walked at least fifteen kilometers, and were tired…

David came. And it became so joyful due to His presence, that our fatigue passed entirely…

It occurred to me to ask David for a miracle. It would cost Him nothing to materialize a little snowflake on my palm! Nobody would even notice: the snowflake would melt immediately… I walked for some time with the palm of my hand imperceptibly offered to Him, and then forgot about my silly request… — I was walking and admiring David, His Divine Smile…

And suddenly, after a few minutes, in a clear sky with a shining sun, — a tiny dark gray cloud started to appear. And… with a gust of wind, snow and hail began falling on us… The sun continued to shine brilliantly, as a dazzling smile of David shined: you wanted a miracle — here it is!

… I was holding melting snowflakes on my palms, breathless with excitement…

But I also had to repent: we all were soaked because of me.

… And then, again, we experienced the true miracle: our Divine Teachers Sathya Sai Baba, Jesus, Krishna, David — helped us to Merge with Him, we immersed ourselves again into the Abode of the Creator…

I will not even attempt to explain how we feel when an individual consciousness touches the Consciousness of the Creator, will not try to speak about the states of dissolution, or Mergence… This knowledge cannot be transmitted only through words. Let everyone, who embarks on the Path, cognize it by themselves…


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

Teaching

May 16, 2016

Anna Zubkova

We were not only learning new things for ourselves, we were also learning to give received knowledge to others, in particular, to teach.

There have always been a few worthy students ready to receive this teaching. Sometimes we all, in turn, conducted classes with one or two chosen ones… For a very long time, many years, Vladimir did not make a massive recruitment among those who wanted to study. Since then, very few received the possibility to study at least at the initial stages.

One of the difficulties for me has always been the ability to see the drawbacks, mistakes and vices of students. Here my “pink glasses” were greatly hindering me. Drawbacks in others, if I noticed them, seemed to me to be insignificant. I talked about those excessively softly — and… people were just not taking my words seriously…

But this is extremely dangerous — when the process of the growth of consciousness happens… along with the soul’s vices…

Vladimir, of course, scolded me for this. And God scolded me to — and the further I got — the more strict they became:

“Are you really ready to serve Me?

“Here: I give you My children into your hands! You have to love them, as I do, bring them up, as Vladimir does! And you… only ‘smooth’ their defects!

“You, when bringing them up, should take the responsibility for their destinies! Your concern for them cannot be limited to the subjects of: eating, drinking, and giving meditations! For there is also God and ethics, philosophy, there is a life side by side with Me, in which you must be an example to be followed, imitated every second…

“Your role now — is not correct: you just want to be ‘a good mom!’… You depict an upbringing, instead of love, from which I both — scold and praise, and never let My hands go, on which I hold the whole situation from My Depths!

“My Love has no pity! I make precise strikes against vices of My students, because I know that this clears them from ‘ego shells’ which separate them from Me!

“Are you ready henceforth to take the whole burden of responsibility for the people’s lives — of whom I entrusted you?

“Herewith, it must be remembered that the fullness of the responsibility for the fate of the students implies the ability to feel My Will in every moment — Will of the Creator, which is directed to the benefit of each soul!”

… Thus God was teaching me to understand people, to see the abilities and potentials of souls, see the longing for Him, or its absence, see vices and the ability of each student to discover them in oneself and get rid of them…

And it was not always those, who seemed to be more capable than others — due to their achievements of their past lives, who stayed with us. For some reasons, it seemed that God turned out to be… not needed… to many of those, for whom everything was easy to master. And only those, who were working tirelessly over themselves and burning with great love for Him stayed with us. It is such souls ready to fight for their impeccability and filled with love — that are needed from God!

* * *

Sometimes it was very painful for me as for all of us to see and understand that certain persons could not move on…

The causes of their withdrawal in such cases may be different, but the best thing that could happen is if they just lost interest in the work — and leave.

But if a person is unable to deal intellectually with one’s vices and sometimes even defends one’s right to possess them: “I am right, I am scolded for nothing”, or they do not put efforts in their elimination — then a student must be immediately stopped.

God spoke to me about this in such a way:

“Serious meditative practice is associated with the rapid growth of the consciousness, and this requires getting rid of vices quickly.

“And besides the work of remaking oneself is performed by the students themselves, God-Teachers — only help and give advice. The students must consciously accept the Path and put themselves under the guidance of God. Through this, the students ask God to guide them. Thus the students become allies of God in this work over their own imperfections and make maximum efforts to change. They must, with “clenched teeth”, endure the pain of surgery removing the vicious pieces of one’s ego.

If the students do so — they can move on, if not — then STOP!”

* * *

I would like to say one more thing. I personally witnessed this only once, but I have heard that such things happened before.

How easily it is forgotten sometimes, by some former followers, that they did not pave the way that they were helped to go on, themselves, that the most powerful techniques were received by them as a gift!

“And that the one who receives gifts and gives nothing in return is in reality a thief,” — so God taught us (See the Bhagavad Gita in [7].).

But somehow, some of them suddenly say: “Now I will create my own techniques myself, Antonov is too strict and demanding, I now know God better than him, I hear, see and can do everything myself!…“

Then takes place a complete “rollback”, lost of past accomplishment, degradation, or at best a stand still till the end of the incarnation.

As a branch, that grew up attached to the trunk of a tree which would suddenly announce its disagreement with the roots and trunk, which nourished and nurtured it, would dry up and bring no more fruit, — thus the further development of such people are stopped by God…

* * *

Once, Vladimir told us a parable saying that the spiritual Path is similar to crossing to the other bank of a turbulent and broad river. And that in the boat we should not take with us those, who in the middle, suddenly, will be scared, or remember that they forgot to take something with them, want to go back, start to panic and sink the boat… It is better for those, who are not ready to overcome the Path, to stay at their bank. We should not take them with us, even if they strongly ask for it…


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

Monasticism

May 11, 2016

Anna Zubkova

“… The discernment of one person does not stretch the wings on to another.

Khalil Gibran [7,16]

“God is cognizable only in the true monasticism!”
Vladimir Antonov

(From the film “Places of Power”)

I have already mentioned that from a certain point the current of my life clearly divided into two streams. And the one that flowed in the physical world, — was sharply slowing, stopping an unnecessary race for the illusory, transient values. And there was the other one, carrying me to the fullness of cognition of the Creator, — which was incredibly intense and accelerating. From a certain point the habitual course of events ceased to exist. Only the stages on the Path remained, which were determining changes in my life on the material plane.

A monk — is one who is completely devoting himself to God only: learning to cognize Him, loving Him and serving Him, through spiritual help to others.

I fully understood this formulation, outlined by Vladimir. But it is one thing — to understand the theory, but another and difficult task — to implement it in a real life situation.

So God created a situation where I had to make a definitive choice.

… I was combining the work that I loved in a movie studio with spiritual studies for quite a long time. But at one time, I was offered a job on a film which consisted in an expedition to Egypt (a free trip, wages in hard currency, excellent film director and actors). But on the other hand, there was — the Divine Teachers Ptahhotep and Elisabeth Haich Who were beginning to reveal to us ancient time esoteric mysteries from Egypt.

I understood that if I was to go on the expedition — these doors could never open themselves for me again, the ones that God was opening.

I did not even ask Vladimir about this situation: I knew that if I had, he would have said: “Of course, go, if it’s what you want!”… I had to make this decision myself. And it then became clear for me: I decided not to go and transferred all my currant affairs to a good person and then… I left the keys inside the wardrobe, and slammed the door which had two locks… The door of the world of illusions was closed forever for me…

Other ways of life, other than a life, completely dedicated to the service of God and consisting in moving on the Path to the fullness and realization of the meaning of one’s existence, was already unthinkable for me. God no longer needed to ask me about this, there was already no way back!

* * *

Being a monk — is a state of the soul, one on one with God. This is exactly what true monasticism is. It does not consist at all in things like removing ourselves from “the world”, or adopting new names, wearing special clothes, etc.

Vladimir always taught us to interact with God directly.

In particular, he sometimes suggested to each one of us to stay alone with God in the woods, drift apart to some distance, — to feel that there was only Him and each one of us.

Once, each of us even got to live in a complete forest “retreat” for a whole week. At that time, we got to look for places of power ourselves for the first time, and learned to feel the direct guidance of God.

It always has been an invaluable experience that allowed us to learn to have a more complete and intimate interaction with Him — the Loving Father, Strict Teacher, Only Beloved, Infinite Ocean of Love…

God Himself was unfolding situations in our lives so, that understanding came to us: in fact we should rely only on Him and no one else, not even incarnate Masters, not even on the most dear and closest companions on our Path.

* * *

At first, God was only telling me encouraging words on the early stages of the Path, dictating verses of love and talking to me about the bliss of Mergence with Him, but then, the more profound and mature my relationship became with Him, the more strict He became.

The closer you approach Him — bigger are the efforts He requires from His disciples.

I will give now some examples from my conversations with Him to illustrate this:

“There can be no meditation without love!

“Why is it that love sometimes disappears in us? — The reason is that some part of us-soul has not yet been cleansed from the vices and is not crystal clear, only that can merge with Me! The soul must be absolutely pure, fearless in its aspirations, gentle and transparent!

“This is — what you have to do for Me, you have to clean yourself from vices and rebuild yourself as a soul, filled with love, and offer yourself to Me.

“The things, that you do out of imitation and that are not coming from your own inner convictions, — are short-lived and fly off like a husk.

“’The ones who are led to Me by a leash’ cannot enter into Me!

“You must learn to rely only on Me — and be fearless! The heart, filled with My Love, cannot be afraid, neither for oneself nor for others!

“Understand that My concerns are not in the creation of comfort and peace for you or My other students. My concerns right now — are about you overcoming your “self”, throwing off “the human form” (See “The Teachings of Juan Matus” in [7].).

“Study, — for this sake — see My blessings in every situation. I created them for you and for all the living beings. Rain, cold, a train cancellation — everything can be turned into blessings! Learn to use every situation — to become better!

“Do not be afraid of failures! In defeats, the will to win becomes tempered! Those searching for an easy way cannot reach the end!

“Also understand: That I do not expect that you become perfect instantly. Accept calmly the fact that mistakes are inevitable for those who have the courage to act! Just remember that the wise do not repeat these mistakes twice.

“And remember: that I am — near you, I am — always ready to come to your aid!

“I teach you COOPERATION with Me! This is the only way you will learn to live and act in Mergence!

“Remember firmly and forever:

“The state of ‘nothing turns out’ — is a challenge! It is — a challenge to become better, to change — and to take the next step! Life of a spiritual warrior consists of challenges that he/she accepts as a great gift, — and comes out the winner in the battle against one’s own imperfection!

“Learn to act in Unity with Me! I do not accept your service as ‘a shudra’ any more, when one only acts as told. I expect from you a sense of initiative and creativity! And accept — only love as gifts!

“But do not deny the right of the ego to “self-determination”! Offer your gifts to Me, your ideas, your proposals. Then we will be able to work together you and I on the things that I have accepted. This joint work will teach you to Unite yourself with Me!

“You must not be like a chip of wood without any propulsion, helplessly floating on the waves of the ocean, and neither should you be like a ship, going against the waves and the wind, directing your course, — be like a wave, consubstantial with Me the Primordial Ocean! The waves go up and down — but still they never cease to be the Ocean, and when the calm comes — there are no waves anymore, only the Ocean remains!

“Correct yourself! Do not force Me to teach you through pain!

“Understand that when I have to teach you through pain, I always suffer more than you do! So please stop hurting Me!

“There are events that come into your life caused by the inertia and passivity of your life. If a person, embarked on the spiritual Path, for a very long time, and has not yet changed his/her way of life, then the consequences of such mismatch concerning the growth of the soul in opposition to the old shackles of the material plan, cause events that break down those old shackles and old foundations through cataclysms.

“It is required to always have a more intensive and deeper life in Me, with Me! Fearlessness in letting go of all obstacles is required! The process of the dissolution of negative karma can be done slowly. But we can live in such a way, that the manifestation of that bad karma can be diminished in the material plan — through the right actions and Mergence with Me in Love! This applies to everyone who has spiritual aspirations and wants to achieve more than just a ‘life of righteousness’. This is — for those who follow the Straight Path!

“It all depends on the size of your vessel (Size of the developing individual consciousness.): how much you are able to contain. I am willing to offer you the whole Ocean of Me, the whole Ocean of My Love, Wisdom and Power! I am willing to give Myself — to you, and everyone… but you cannot contain the Ocean. Only the Ocean can contain Itself — you, and all that exists. And at the moment, when your vessel will become identical to My Depths and large enough in size for the preservation of your awareness in Me, then I will be able to remove this vessel, to break out the illusion of your separate existence. You will then make the experience that there is only Me, only I exist, that you are Me!

“For now, since you cannot always be in Me, try to surrender yourself to Me, and the best way to do that — is to offer selfless service to Me! This is — the best way of living, allowing one to acquire missing qualities such as: energy, self-discipline, calm, non-attachment to earthly things, broad-mindedness, ability to think quickly etc. And all actions should be done on the background of bhakti, love-devotion to God. This in return allows us to erase vices from the soul and help in the dissolution of the remaining negative karma from the past. This allows us to grow properly. Those who serve Me and forget about themselves, will be brought closer to Me. I surround them with the love and care of a Father and Mother. I stay with them always.

Total Reciprocity* should become the background state. Always feel yourself dissolved in the Ocean of Me! Being able to perceive Me fully, My Will — can only be done on the background of peace and dissolution. If you master this — you will become One with Me.

“Only love can be dissolved in Love! Only in mutual love can Peace be possible, Gentleness, Mergence of consciousnesses! Everything else — the garbage, let it emerge to the surface and be carried away by the current!

“You — are in the Ocean of Me: in the Ocean of Pure Love! Become this Ocean!

“… Contentment with oneself, over one’s own successes — prevents the subtle and pure perception of Me. It is possible to immerse into Me up to infinity, and then come back into a comfortable ‘human form’, without discomfort, or contradiction between these states. But the immobility of the ‘I’ in the absence of efforts to immerse it into the Depths of Me — over time becomes “shackles on one’s feet”.

“One, who stands still, — moves away from Me. This is like a pregnancy: it is fine, for the fetus to stand still while it grows, but when the mother is ready to give birth things should be moving — otherwise? (This is the “birth” in the Abode of the Creator: See the Gospel of Philip in [7]).

“You cannot sit on your achievements, when the level of your previous achievements forms a marshy lake with stable banks, — instead of the mighty river flowing into the Ocean of Me!

“The Mergence with Me, that does not bring one to go deeper and to expand in constant search of new opportunities to give love to Me and Me to others, — after some time ceases to be in Mergence with Me, for I do not let you stagnate.

“One, who thinks, that the Goal is now reached and that it is now possible to “rest on his laurels”, — enters into the path of degradation.

“The Mergence which does not become deeper — diminishes!

“Love that does not increase, — dims!

“The task — is to become Me in its entirety! And you will not get your way through “pleasing” Me with small things! The stage of ‘shudra’ has ended for you a long time ago! You have the option to take a new direction in life — if you do not, your present incarnation may end!

“And I do not expect at all that you will be able to take this new direction the first time you try. I never condemn those, who fall, rise and start all over again!

“Bless the difficulties, for through them we grow!”


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

Birds

April 28, 2016

Anna Zubkova

 

“You can believe, that all beings —
Are My little children!”

Krishna [6]

Vladimir always taught and is still teaching us not only the art of meditation but everything! He is teaching us to — see the harmony and beauty of nature, to be careful, to have gentle interaction with each incarnate soul. Every living being — blades of grass, trees, small spiders, ants — were becoming for us those, who we should sincerely love. It was inadmissible “to miss” an ant on a trail and accidentally step on it. Or walk past a rusty sheet of tin, which crushed down young grass without removing it. He always noticed when a living creature needed help, for example, by releasing a young tree from a dry branch that hanged on it, by cutting ropes that were wrapped around tree trunks by someone which hindered the growth of trees.

Vladimir is not only teaching us by words, how we should act. He always gives the example himself, by the way he lives: by practicing the laws of love towards every creature. And this is how we were learning from him; we saw an example before our eyes, as he was putting it into practice.

He also taught us to recognize birds by their voices.

It was not easy for me to do this… During the first spring of my discipleship, voices of birds were naturally joining into a united harmony of happiness expressing the first touches of God, and I was not able to remember their names or their songs. My skills in ornithology* were limited to the ability of distinguishing a crow from a cuckoo. If I saw a bird, I was able to distinguish a thrush from a woodpecker, a robin from a chaffinch… But by ear… and when they all sang together…

It was like if Vladimir asked: “Who is keking?” As we knew the answer: we spotted a woodpecker and said “kek-kek” — it was written in our cheat sheets. A black woodpecker says: “I’m sitting down” when he sits on a tree, and whistles, as a police whistle, declaring to everyone that he flew. “Pink, pink” — means chaffinch. Jay — gently “croaks”. And blackbirds, if they are just talking among themselves or fighting off other birds from their nests, — cracks.

But if the same kind of thrushes starts to sing — it is very difficult to distinguish: a blackbird, a redwing, a song thrush or a fieldfare… You will never guess! And you can not record their verses in cheat sheets!

And only with time did it became clear to us, that those who have not yet learned to contain in themselves love for all living beings — His children, also can not love God. And that you can truly love them — only if you are willing to know them: learn their names, recognize their voices…

Vladimir did not only manage to overcome such resistance from us. He did not only give us the possibility to see, near our big city, black grouses and snipes, woodcocks and curlews, foxes, hares, beavers… We became witnesses and participants of a transforming miracle: when we learn to live in subtle harmony with nature, animals and birds cease to be afraid of us and approach us, fly up close. When we got in forests instead of parks, tits and jays came to eat cheese sandwiches right out of our hands. Lizards were letting us pat their backs warmed by the sunshine. Robins, with their big eyes for their little furry bodies, were looking at us: they seemed to be asking themselves… Who are those big creatures radiating love? They were flying up close and were sitting on branches very close to us — and gave us the pleasure to hear their beautiful songs.

Then, when we were filming the birds for our movies, I really got to know about their lives — and loved them even more, as Vladimir wanted! And I learned their songs, while I was offering robins and chaffinches, thrushes and warblers the possibility to sing their songs in the microphone — for the pleasure of those people, who, perhaps, will hear their voices in our films for the very first time.


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

Divine Teachers

April 13, 2016

Anna Zubkova

Disembodied Divine Teachers, Who in the aggregate are called the Holy Spirit (Brahman) — can manifest Themselves in many forms. They — are Those, Who throughout the existence of the universe, were able to merge with the Ocean of the Primordial Consciousness. Divine Souls, Who became consubstantial with the Creator, and then could manifest Themselves as Divine Teachers, Who are emanating from Him. They implement His Will in His Creation.

Some of Them are well known, and Their Teachings became the property of humanity. But there are also Those, Who were not known by many people, and because of that, the way They lived, and what They said, — did not get preserved in people’s memory.

Sometimes They reincarnate again into human bodies. They then are called Avatars, Messiahs, or Christs. They do this out of love for us: They then are able to help us better.

I would like to talk a little bit more about my own experience of communicating with Them.

* * *

I was living in this world, without knowing anything about the lives here on Earth of Sathya Sai Baba or David Copperfield. I had never even heard of them before my acquaintance with the books of Vladimir Antonov!

My acquaintance with Sathya Sai Baba started when reading Vladimir’s book Sathya Sai Baba — the Christ of our days. While I was reading this book, created with His blessing and blessed by Him afterward — in a published version — in His Indian ashram — I felt His Divine presence. It was the same when subsequently — I read His other books and books speaking about Him. With His immediate help the understanding of many different sentences were starting to unfold their real meaning to me, giving me a much deeper understanding than the one that I would normally have had.

In particular, He, helped me through directing my thoughts in the right direction while flooding me with His Love, or by explaining the drawbacks that I should eliminate right now.

And sometimes He created small miracles, by allowing, for example, to find and buy books about Him that were not reprinted for many years. Once, He put into my hands exactly two copies, one for Maria and one for me, — which were the only ones that “accidentally” were available at the seller. Or a stranger in a bookstore would suddenly give me His portrait…

I was already confidently feeling the presence of Sathya Sai in my life — and was anticipating my first meeting with Him at His place of power, as did, probably, His devoted followers who were going to India to see Him.

… Vladimir took us to one of Sathya Sai Baba’s favorite places — a place, where His Mahadouble can be easily seen and where it is especially easy to communicate with Him.

When we got there we took off our backpacks, had a little break after a long trip and then stationed ourselves next to His Mahadouble — Vladimir initially explained: Baba is approaching and is extending His Hands to us, He is touching our anahatas in us with them. After that he proposed to us to communicate with Him directly by ourselves.

I clung with all my being, with all my consciousness to the enormous Body of Consciousness of Sathya Sai and told Him, how I loved Him, how I would try to learn very, very hard… Then I ran out of words — and it became surprisingly blissful… I was completely surprised to hear His voice distinctly, addressing me — me who knew nothing and who was not able to do much yet, who was standing just at the very beginning of the Path. He said to me:

“We have — one Heart for all: the Heart of God. This is your “Highest Self”, this is what you will cognize, by becoming Him.”

I remembered those words my entire life. I lived with them, was repeating them like a mantra, like a password, that would let me be allowed into the Abode of the Creator.

And some time afterwards, while we were taking lunch, Sathya Sai Baba, Jesus, and Krishna came to bless us. When Baba approached me He stood behind me and cuddled me against Himself as a little girl. Something in me just “overflowed over the edge” … Then I saw clearly His large smiling Face bent over me.

Sathya Sai became for us since that moment one of Those Who is and will always be with us. He responded immediately. For example, He kept telling me “Do not fear anything, I am here, near you, always with you. Your Baba”. And those words “Your Baba”, were the ones that I kept hearing from the depths of my heart. They always helped me to find strength, courage, and patience and to understand what I had to do.

* * *

Our studying continued. Vladimir looked at us cleverly and said:

“Well, what should we do now? Try this!” — and he then gave us a task.

So we got acquainted with Huang Di — one of the first Avatars of the Earth, Who embodied several times in China. It was He, through Lao Tzu, Who dictated Tao Te Ching. He was “the Tenant”, Who, loving various extravagant jokes, gave secret knowledge to the group of Nagual of Juan Matus.

* * *

A forest trail. Around us — thick high spruces. Only the singing of robins and finches were braking the silence.

Vladimir introduced us to Huang Di. In particular, he told us how, once, Huang Di condensed His Body of Consciousness so that It became visible even for very beginners.

Vladimir then mentioned to us that it was possible for us to invite Huang Di into ourselves in the anahata and start chatting with Him.

… I could not see the face of Huang Di in my anahata in the beginning, so I began to imagine His image from the descriptions that Vladimir gave us — my art education allowed me to do this without any difficulty. A mongoloid type of face with broad cheekbones… Suddenly His eyes came to life and sparkled with joy, expressing a smile filled with tenderness… His face showed a real life mimicry!

I tried to speak with Him, but could not hear anything: due to the excitement I was not able to be relaxed enough to perceive the response. Then I asked Huang Di to answer by winking His eyes: I asked Him that if the answer was “yes” — to wink with his left eye, and with the right one — if the answer was “no” . And… — it worked!…

I asked Him a few questions and then, by the same “winking” system and having obtained His consent, I clutched to His neck by the hands of consciousness and asked:

“Let’s go behind the ‘Mirror’!…”

And then I got into the state of warm, dense peace of the eon of protoprakriti*.

I continued “to ride” on Huang-Di’s neck, over and over again, and asked Him “to roll” me by eons, until I could hear very clearly:

“You’re just lazy!”

But this was said so gently that I even could not get grieve. So I continued to enjoy with this amazing experience of cognition of the real God — Living, Gentle, Merry — with all His Universal Might!

However, remembering about this, I felt “uncomfortable” due to my own effrontery. How could I take “advantage of God” so easily? He was the One in my then notions, Who should only be prayed to on my knees! But what was I suppose to do?! Huang Di was here — Alive, Real! And falling on my knees before Him… — did not make any sense: He did not need this at all! And how can one even try to find the knees of the spiritual heart: if it has only the hands of love!…

* * *

Time was flying by in a strange way. On one hand, in the material world, I was living my ordinary life as usual with my work, family, and other relatives, whom by the way were all waiting: for the moment when all this “folly” would end, how long could it last?! And on the other hand I was living in a world, where only God existed. And Vladimir led us there very quickly, not giving us any breaks. Only a few months had passed by after the beginning of the classes!

… Vladimir took us to see the spring sunrise during the time of the black grouses lekking. We had been driving since the evening before, and were without tents.

… After leaving the bus, we quickly got immersed into the silence of the night forest. The starry sky, it seemed, was laying down on the Earth, a cozy blanket filled with the stars. I felt like I could touch the sky with my hands or grow my consciousness to such an extent, that I could just touch the thickness of the sky near me, which was filled with starlights. And through looking from the infinity, I was able to feel as if the little planet Earth was swimming in a soft universal expanse.

Huang Di came — and the whole infinity got filled with His presence. The coolness of the night suddenly disappeared, and everything around us got filled with warm Peace, saturated with His Love.

Happiness was filling me to the brim and was ready to splash out of me! But the Peace of Huang Di was stronger, and therefore my happiness had to burn as a tiny star in the Ocean of Universal Huang Di.

… We arrived to a place where we could spend the night. We were gathering firewood in complete darkness. When, at last, the bonfire broke out, Vladimir invited all of us to lie down comfortably and sleep for three hours before dawn, until the moment when we would go closer to the grouses.

I was not able to sleep, I was asking myself: “Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing on this Earth? Why am I here? What should I do here?” — How many times had Vladimir suggested to us not to forget about these questions! But now — it was not only necessary to ask them to ourselves, we also had to answer before God — directly, with full awareness and with full responsibility: “I am — a part of the Absolute, a tiny droplet of the Living Consciousness. I am — that which is embodied in order to grow and realize its own consubstantiality with The One, to Whom we should strive.” And now I must tell Him about my own readiness to go to Him without hesitation. For there is nothing in life more important than this Goal!

Huang Di connected to my experiences and reminded me about an idea that I had read in one of Vladimir books: God never gives to humans unbearable tasks for them; but they must not continue to live in the dreams of something more**, not making every effort, that depends on them, for reaching the Goal, — it is necessary to not only make a choice in favor of God, we also have to note everything in our own life, preventing us to go to the limit of our own possibilities daily, hourly…

… I slept a little bit while holding the hand of Huang Di.

… We got up before dawn and, after we silently collected our things, we moved to the place, where grouses would be singing. In the predawn mist there were flying woodcocks, gently flapping their wings over our heads. Then the snipes began to sing their delightful songs, rising up, and then falling down and cutting the thick morning air with their splayed tail feathers, which were making the inimitable sound of bleating.

We also listened to the grouses…

… The sun was rising higher and higher and illuminating the fields. Birds were filling the space with their voices. Each species of birds was participating in the general chorus at a specific moment in relation to the quality of the brightness of the light. Males of all species were trying their best to attract females through their songs — so as a result of their love, children would be born, and then they would learn the songs of their own species from their fathers.

Vladimir told us all about this, and taught us to distinguish the voices of the birds.

And then he depicted, through compacting his consciousness into a new form, how grouses sing: so that we could see it more closely.

… If some of you have seen the actor Lebedev, depicting a very old horse in the play “Strider”, then you know that a person can portray a horse like no horse can.

So now try to imagine a man on a small hillock among the fields, who slowly turns into a huge singing grouse. He was tilting his head and torso, spreading his wings, which were almost touching the ground, spreading, as a fan, his large feather tail made of black and blue tinted feathers — and started “to warm up”, by shaking his torso and uttering grouse’s “chufykaning” sounds that later were growing into a jubilant song…

Then Vladimir straightened up, took a human form again, and laughed — and we all laughed with him.

… After this we looked at the Sunrise on a hill inside the Mahadouble of Sathya Sai Baba, Who had emanated from the depths of the boundless Ocean of the Creator.

… After that we went swimming in the icy water of the river, wich had barely got rid of its ice, and then took a sunbath under the already summer’s sun. All the experiences, tensions and delights of the night were washed away by a new day, which we had to live for God, here and now.


* About the eons (lokas) of the multidimensional space, look in [7] and other books by Vladimir Antonov.

** Words of one of the earliest songs of Boris Grebenshchikov.


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

Places of Power

March 30, 2016

Anna Zubkova

“God — the Great Infinite Universal God — is Love. And in order to get closer to Him, cognize Him,
to join Him — we also have to become
very-very big love!”

(From the film “Sattva of Spring”)

Then we went to the wood to Assyris’s place of power. The things that I did not even dare to dream about, were starting to come true…

A huge sphere of Living Divine Light, which is visible by the eyes of the consciousness that developed from the spiritual heart… The Shining Sun of the Divine Love… Again — was giving an intense Bliss of Contact…

It seemed that I was burning with happiness — and I asked and prayed:

“Assyris, what are You? I want to see, hear, understand, feel you so much more fully — in all of Your Divine Omnipresence!”

Vladimir saw my troubles and approached me:

“Exit back from the anahata. And try to push off from the back of the body by the hands of consciousness. Then you will be able to swim into Assyris’s Light of Consciousness. Then you can try to merge with Him through filling His form.”

After an hour of effort and hard work, which were only replaced by a piercing feeling of blissful Merging for a few seconds, I was tired and exhausted like never before in my life.

… As we were walking to the bonfire, Vladimir asked me on our way: — So. How did it turn out? Did you like it?

I was confused as I did not know how to reply. Because I had no idea of how THIS should turn out!

He smiled, and then assured and encouraged me that it turned out okay… He then began explaining to me how a human’s consciousness gradually develops. In the beginning, most people have the consciousnesses about the size of a tennis ball and that they are often attached to some chakra. The methods of Raja Yoga allow one to learn how to move by his own consciousness through energy structures of the body and, at the same time, clean them. When energies of the body and consciousness itself have been cleaned and made subtle in a sufficient measure — then a human can begin to learn how to get out of the body, to tune, as a consciousness, to the level of subtlety of the Divine Teacher. The next steps — growing in size, volume of the consciousness; is called “crystallization” — similar to the growth of crystals in a proper environment.

… Then we had lunch and rested at a fire. After that — we were given some home-work to do: to continue the work of cleansing and development of the chakras further. In particular, we had to sing special mantras for chakras.

To show us how this should be done, Vladimir, coughed slightly, and sang all the mantras in an amazingly high pitch. They sounded gentle, subtle, the whole snow-covered wood space was filled with the sound of his voice, which did not seem to belong to his body. Vladimir, with his soft fluffy beard framing his face, wearing a quilted jacket and rubber boots, was standing in front of us, and the sounds of the mantras were filling the whole space around. His body seemed to have nothing to do with it. All the air transparency was suddenly coming to life and it was huge, composed of a flow of his soft voice…

… Those tuning sounds for chakras allowed us to tune our bodies with their energy structures — as tools which are suitable for further work to improve consciousnesses.

* * *

He left us to work independently for some time.

I was feeling and watching, being amazed and delighted of how powerfully God was coming into my life and throwing away “garbage and trash” from my everyday life.

From that moment every morning, as soon as I woke up I kept remembering Assyris. He immediately was coming to me — and was filling me with joy and hope.

When I “was forgetting about myself” in the hustle of the city life, sometimes like out of nowhere, through the haze of clouds over the wet snow, for a few seconds appeared in the sky the solar disk… — and I was igniting with joy when this made me remember about Assyris. Inside my consciousness, lines of poetry were beginning to be heard. I did not compose them, they began to manifest themselves — as some kind of rhythm, that were gradually filled with words… — words, which took me away and beyond the bounds of this world of illusions…

* * *

Every morning we were doing a set of exercises given to us and were singing mantras for the chakras, while hiding in the bathroom: in order not to wake up relatives at six in the morning. The neighbors above and below, probably, were wondering what was this suspicious hum coming from the water pipes…

And so I wanted to go — faster, further!

One time, Vladimir called us to inform us of a new class.

I informed Maria about this… But she said that unfortunately that day she was busy and could not get rid of her work…

This situation, and what happened to her next, became a life lesson for me with the meaning that we had to go to the limit of opportunities. She was despaired that God did not take her, did not let her come closer to Him… And, if not now, the opportunity could never present itself again! “The bird of freedom flies — and it never stops and does not come back!” — this is what Juan Matus taught through Castaneda’s books. Her despair was so great that I did not know what to do. I had no way to console her…

But everything was resolved very simply. God having done His test, Vladimir just postponed the time of the meeting for two hours, so Maria could come to work, and at our class.

… So, snow and rain were splashing under our feet, the sky was gray with heavy clouds…

But before us — there was a wonderful plant of power — a poplar. It differed from all the surrounding poplars by his huge cocoon of subtle and lightful energy, and was completely consonant with the energy of the developed human spiritual heart. This — warm tenderness and light, could be seen by the consciousness, despite the dampness and gloom around. We could also feel the boundary of the cocoon from the outside and the inside, through filling the cocoon by ourselves — ourselves as spiritual hearts. Or we could even go with the concentration of the consciousness below the earth’s surface — the place, where the cocoon covers the powerful roots of the poplar. The surface of the earth ceased to be perceived and we then could freely pass through the earthly firmament…

But this poplar — is not just a tree with anahata energy: it is — a consciousness, which had human incarnations in the past. And through the life of his tree body, it now develops a peace that could not have been learnt when living and loving as a human…

We could speak, and emotionally communicate with this soul … The reality of communication of consciousnesses beyond the physical world became obvious for us at that time. It was impossible to no longer understand that life is seen as a movement of material bodies only from one side. But, as we looked deeper beneath this matter we could feel its heartbeat, and so it was getting clearer to us that we — are not bodies but consciousnesses, that — there are an infinite number of other evolving consciousness around us — as alive as we are…

We were instructed to continue to work with the poplar, and we worked there every morning before we got to work and every evening, we came back to him, greeted him, hugged him with the hands of the spiritual hearts. And this big and kind soul taught us harmony, tenderness, love and peace, and helped us clean the energy structures of our bodies. It also helped us get used to being as big as him.

… I recently came back to our poplar friend and asked him: what should I write about you in the book? What would you like to say to people? He replied:

“I hardly remember what books are. But I know what it means to love, love, love!…”

… And I no longer wanted to hear any words, I just wanted to respond with my love — to his love.

After all, to love — is much more, than to speak about it!

* * *

Then Vladimir taught us to exit from the anahata through the meridian chitrini and to merge with the Holy Spirit over the earth’s surface…

During the few hours living with him we were able to master what people sometimes take more than one incarnation of hard work to do…

At that time we did not realize yet the enormous help that God was giving us in order for us to go to Him…

… In particular, I had the gift of experiencing myself through a fundamentally new state. Speaking in the terms of Juan Matus, I managed to completely “collect myself into another world”, leaving the physical body to go into the Living Light of the Holy Spirit in the third level of density of Its manifestation.

The sensation of my body completely disappeared. I was swimming by consciousness, extending the hands of my spiritual heart and aspiring to be there with all my being, where many living souls are mutually merged into One Consciousness manifested by the Light and Love of the Creator in the Creation. I stopped looking and turned back my attention to the physical world, I did not remember where my body was, when performing the meditation… Meditation — as an active job — suddenly ceased to exist for me. No more efforts were required anymore… The world of the Infinite Living Light became the only Reality… I was met there by the Embrace of Love, I was expected there, was expected for a long time

This state did not last very long, but while I was there I was not realizing time. When I “flipped” back into my body, I could not repeat it at will all by myself. I just captured this state and subsequently tried to “catch up” to it. It was the appetizer of God: He had shown and given me once again, in one other variant, the bliss of really cognizing, feeling Him. And then all depended on my efforts — to comprehend Him fully and Merge with Him in the Abode of the Creator.

to be continued


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

The Beginning of Work over Oneself

March 23, 2016

Anna Zubkova

“… There is one miracle
that is possible for (any) one to accomplish.
It is when, full of a sincere belief,
one decides to root out
from the mind all evil thoughts,
and to attain the Goal,
forsakes the paths of iniquity!”

The Life of Saint Issa, 11:8 [18]

In the beginning, it was necessary for me to try to fix the mind and suppress my own coarse emotional states: anger, irritation, envy, greed, etc.

Also it was necessary to learn to love all living beings, including those of our younger brothers and sisters, whom for some reason, humanity persistently strived to “love” as a tasty food.

Switching to killing-free nutrition was the first difficulty for me. But it did not consist in refraining from the desire to eat meat or fish at all: I absolutely calmly did not eat meat and fish, when I was fasting as it was understood in Orthodoxy. The thing that was hard to break was the stereotype “that one does not have to be like everyone else”.

So God had to educate me through pain: to teach me not to cause any pain to others…

For example, I was going to Moscow for shooting the film and thought: “It would be somehow inconvenient to show my new way of eating in front of everyone — when everyone on set was fed the same way! They certainly would not cook separately for me!”

… And the next thing I knew – is that I got ill with a temperature of 40 degrees C. The next two days I was still trying to go to work… Later, while I was lying in a hotel room, I was thinking how inconvenient it would be to die in a foreign city: how much trouble it would be for my friends and family to deliver the corpse!… The temperature was not falling below the mark of 40 degrees and nothing could bring the temperature down… My head was splitting from unbearable pain… I thought about my body, about the fact that it was so close to death and that it had “no place to be put”…

Finally, I realized that I had to switch unconditionally to the killing-free nutrition once and for all! And… I recovered almost immediately!

* * *

I wanted to share with someone all the things that I had understood and discovered. But I was surprised to see the total lack of interest! The true reality, which I saw on every page of Antonov’s books, did not produce any impression on my acquaintances and friends! Even those who, kind of, believed in the existence of God were satisfied with… just remembering about His existence on “holidays” or in misfortunes, while for the rest of the time it was easier to live… without Him.

But God gave me another great gift: a friend on this Path — Maria. She was not a temporary companion: we were helping and supporting each other, and moving up the steps of the Spiritual Path…

We also met each other at the movie studio. We worked together and sometimes exchanged books or talked about our kids… Once I gave Maria Antonov’s books and received in return Carlos Castaneda’s books with the Teaching of Juan Matus.

… Only a few persons reading the books of Castaneda can see, behind an entertaining mystical story, the real work of God with His incarnate disciples…

Maria did not only see this reality. She, while reading and rereading these books, … would wait for the time when the Sonora desert with the Nagual would be here, nearby. And so — she waited until this came!

Our teamwork of working on ourselves began from this point. Maria, having understood the priority of the ethical side of spiritual growth, switched to killing-free nutrition easily: as if it was always understood.

We read a lot, discussed, looked for ways to fight against our own “complexes”, against laziness, against irritability and against all other negative emotions that we could detect in ourselves.

And it greatly helped me to feel that every morning , at the same time as me, on the other side of town at 6:00 am, Maria was doing the same psycho-physical exercises as me, that were described in the books of Vladimir Antonov…

* * *

However, I modestly evaluated my successes.

God — too…

And He had to scare me a bit…

One night I woke up with the full understanding that, if I was not ready to begin serious work over myself right away, that in a very near future I would have a cancer and a painful death…

In the morning I wrote a letter to Vladimir Antonov.

He phoned me on the second day. Although… the letters never come that fast in our city…

He invited us to visit him…

When I told Maria about this invitation — her reaction was: “Is this already beginning? Oh, how scary and great!”

… We arrived in advance. There was a strong frost and wind, so we were shaking with cold and fear. We found the entrance and apartment, but… we walked around the house for about half an hour: so that to arrive exactly on time, not sooner or later. Understanding that our inner selves were going to appear before him without any barrier, that all would be visible, as is, without any embellishment — just thinking about it did not give us much courage.

… We rang the bell with trembling hands. The door opened… We were met by Vladimir on the threshold.

… When a stranger is accepted in embraces and kisses — then we know that we enter another world of relations: in a world where Love reigns and where — we feel like we are all children of God, and that the spiritual Master should be called “thou”.

The most amazing thing that I remembered from that meeting was silence. But this silence was not awkward, it was… calm and nice.

I always felt uncomfortable because of silence in the presence of unfamiliar people. I felt a sort of tension in these situations. Here — all the tensions, all my internal “scenarios” due to the desire to look better, to behave and to speak correctly, retreated, were washed away by the soft wave of peace and quiet. There was a feeling that in the presence of this peace we could swim, and being completely relaxed — dissolve in it.

At that time, of course, I did not possess the ability to dissolve. And so — from time to time I emerged on the surface and with excitement plunged again into the bliss of that peace.

Of course, we talked. Vladimir told me that I had “achievements” coming from a past life, that I was already living in the anahata. He said that I had developed arms of the spiritual heart and that when I was correcting the costumes of actors, the light was flowing out of my hands — that was why he paid special attention to me…

Vladimir very softly and gently touched the topic of my Orthodox upbringing and suggested leaving the narrow limits of religious ritualism to me. He spoke nicely about the Orthodox church and remembered his own Orthodox past. The conversation on this subject appears to have clarified everything for me.

to be continued


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

The Beginning of This Life

March 14, 2016

Anna Zubkova

“There is a certain transforming touch of God
to the soul, after which the old life of sin
and vice becomes impossible
and mentally unendurable.
This is called the moment of truth”.

Mark the Evangelist [6]

I was born in a quite “normal” atheistic family for those times in our country, however, very friendly and full of love and respect for one another.

Only one, my grandmother, believed in the existence of God. I remember her firm conviction that the church — is one thing, and Jesus Christ and His teachings — is quite another. She believed Jesus and did not believe priests.

However, I did not become a believer. I was an atheist “goody-girl”, quite appropriate for the environment.

…But the image of Jesus, thanks to my grandmother, remained in my memory…

And when I was studying in 9th grade, I read the prohibited Bible, which was given to me for a few days for the first time — the Gospel touched me very deeply.

But… my childlike reaction was: “What a pity it is what it is — a fairy tale! And how great would it be if all of this was true!… ”

I still had a lot to read and comprehend — before understanding the Existence of God.

… When it finally happened, I already was an adult and took baptism consciously.

By this time, I had no doubt that One God exists, and that religious beliefs of different people just reflect variants of how to honor him. But, since I live in Russia, — that led my way to the Orthodoxy.

* * *

God is constantly knocking at our hearts. We only need… to open the door of the spiritual heart to Him.

When this happened to me — God tried to give me the greatest gift in life: a living incarnate Master!

But I… was not ready to recognize him yet… I was quite satisfied with my own life: considered myself a believer and did not see the necessity to search for something more… And moreover: I was not aware of such a possibility…

It is said that, when the student is ready, the Teacher arrives. But, if the student is not quite ready yet, does not search for the Teacher and does not want to be a disciple at all… — then things do not happen so smoothly… God has to make a lot more efforts then…

It was as follows:

At that time I was working at a cinema studio “Lenfilm” as a costume designer. The scenario, that I was suggested at that time, was a parody on the theme of the creation of the world. When it dawned on me that I could not participate in the making of a film, which ridiculed the idea of God’s Existence, when I realized the inadmissibility of such work for me — I could not dare to declare this among the collective of atheists for some time. But then, nevertheless, I decided — and refused to participate in such a work, and honestly said aloud the reason of my refusal:

— I believe in God!

Thus, I was able to pass this little test.

And miracles started right away! The next day I was offered work on another film. And… soon Vladimir Antonov came right to the film studio’s wardrobe: an assistant of actors accidentally met him and persuaded him to star in a movie episode.

At that time I had no idea to what extent this meeting would change my life. But each word was etched in my memory, each thought of that meeting were as if fixed in an internal film in slightly slow motion.

At first, when he came in, I did not notice anything special, just a man, with clothing that was out of fashion since a long time ago, however, perfectly clean. The thoughts even came to me that: “When people come in decent places — they should dress better!” Later, I was very ashamed of this thought…

While we were walking to the sewing workshop and back, Vladimir told me, that right here, at the kiosk in the lobby of the studio, his books were sold.

And I kept thinking: “So many weird people are in this world!… And in a film studio you meet them much more often…”

Having said goodbye until filming, I continued on my way to work and passed by that kiosk with his books… But I never had “the time” for it, and did not even take them in my hands…

… The shooting days of the film started. When from seven in the morning you dress up 500 persons in costumes of the Peter the Great epoch — the attention dissipates. But nevertheless I noticed that this time he was dressed in a denim jacket and jeans. This for some reason suddenly made me very pleased, as if it was done for me… As if his warmth and tenderness embraced me, I felt Love and Peace emanating from him. This made a significant impression on me…

I continued to fuss, since I had so many things to do: correct all costumes, and check them all up… And when he came and spoke to me, I continued to hurry, unable to stand still I wanted to run somewhere, do something… He then took my hands and talked with me: he spoke very simply… And I still could not understand…

… Thus God introduced me to my future Master.

… Then I read his books again and again during the whole year… And when it was difficult, painful, or bad — I was warmed by thought, that right here, in this city, lived a man who cognized God, which I saw, and that he held my hands…

* * *

Before that meeting I never searched specifically for religious literature. Such books were coming into my life from time to time… as if by themselves. I was reading them, analyzing and building the foundation of my own worldview from what seemed to me similar to the truth. Those building blocks in my foundation where alternating with empty spaces filled with question marks. But I was not trying to find the answers to these questions by myself. I was just very happy when the answers came to me as if by themselves and filled the empty spaces.

When I read the books of Vladimir Antonov, I received a foundation already made — a durable, real, unconditional one. Everything that I developed as my own world view so far, was correlating with him, similar to a plan on paper with all its shortcomings — ready to build, possible to execute in real life, sustainable building, what I wanted to create myself!

I easily accepted everything that was written there! I found there, everything that I was lacking, and also much more than that — something that I had not started yet to think about. I was reading again and again the books one by one. The most valuable truths of all religious concepts had been collected, explained, and analyzed in them very carefully! The higher knowledge about the Creator, the meaning of our human life and the ways of realizing this meaning is given in the most accessible way. I only needed to read, realize, and absorb this knowledge.

Everything, that I have read, is so grandiose, real, and at the same time… simple! These books where not just about how and why God created everything in the universe, under what laws of His everything develops, but was also about, what follows from this: what each of us, humans embodied by God on this planet Earth, should do.

While I was analyzing myself by the schemes of psycho types described in Antonov’s books, and despite all my desire, I could not find my place near the top of those schemes. My imperfections — in all beauty and fullness — suddenly fell on me! When I understood that I had not been serious enough for real spiritual work yet, I undertook changing everything about myself that did not match the ethical standards.

to be continued


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/


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