From the 16 to 19th May 2013 the exhibition grounds of HELEXPO hosted the 10th Thessaloniki International Book Fair. Cultural organizations, spiritual institutions and more than 200 publishers from Greece and 18 other countries participated in this important annual event.
Garuda Hellas participated for its third consecutive year in the International Book Fair and had the honor of hosting an event with Swami Sivamurti Saraswati, spiritual master and author of the new book “The quiet mind. Antarmoouna: an ancient tantric meditation technique for the modern mind”. The event, held on Saturday 18th May, 5-6 pm, was attended by over a hundred people and impressed the general public and professionals in the publishing industry alike.
Swami Sivamurti Saraswati was born and raised in Australia. In 1978 she founded Satyanandashram Hellas which, since its inception at Kalamata, has spread throughout Greece. In 1984 she established an ashram at Paiania. In 1993 Swami Sivamurti was recognized by the IYFM (International Yoga Fellowship Movement) as a Yoga Acharya (Master of Yoga). In 2004 she was appointed an official emissary of Satyananda Yoga by the Bihar School of Yoga. Swami Sivamurti is a founding and executive member of the European Yoga Fellowship and a member of the Education Council of Bihar Yoga Bharati, India (Institute of Advanced Studies in Yogic Sciences). She is also a guardian of the Satyananda Yoga Academy Europe and a member of its Governing Body. Swami Sivamurti is regarded for her wisdom and ability to synthesize ancient yogic teachings into modern day language. Through her seminars and writings she inspires and guides aspirants from many parts of the world into the teachings of Satyananda Yoga. Her books are a source of strength and positive direction to all those who seek the true Self that is within.
In her talk, Swami Sivamurti referred to the meditative technique of antar moouna, through which we can bring about a state of calmness in mind, a condition necessary to be able to experience our true Self. There is only one way to quite our mind: to identify with that within us which observes the mind and to know that we know. When we do this, we realize that we are not the mind, because we can observe it.
With the technique of antar moouna we learn how to calm the mind down. We understand that mind is just an instrument and we learn how to govern it, instead of being governed by it. It is difficult to say exactly what the mind is. Perhaps the closest description is that mind is an experience, and we are all under its influence. According to yoga, we cannot be free unless we can control all the different components and aspects of the mind and identify with that Self which in reality we are. Until now we have evolved our mind up to the point where we can experience the thoughts and emotions. However, we have not yet evolved our mind to the point where we can experience the Self. For this to happen, the mind must be quite.
In Sanskrit“antar moouna” means inner silence. This specific book refers to the stages of this technique, which can be applied by both beginners and advanced practitioners. The first step is to externalize the senses and become aware of how they influence us and how we respond to them. During the second stage we withdraw the senses into the mind. This resembles the state that we experience during sleep at night, when the senses have retreated, with the difference that in the technique of antar mouna we reach this deep state while maintaining our conscious awareness. In the second stage we learn to our thoughts and feelings. We start to get to know the functions of our observe mind, how the ego self-arrogates, how the intellect rationalizes, how we memorize, how we store observing impartially, just witnessing the mind without criticism. We observe how and recall information. There are also other stages in this technique, for example, we learn how to create certain thoughts, how to transform a negative thought pattern into a positive one or how to remove unpleasant thoughts from our minds, until we eventually reach a state of thoughtlessness. The technique of antar moouna is based on ancient texts and was created by Swami Satyananda to suit modern man.