Another particular day

The more this is right, the more seems wrong. Isn’t this a paradox?

My problem has nothing to do not with worldly achievements (or maybe yes) – I think am in peace with that – but I cannot bear the subtle feeling of being stuck exactly where I should be. What is a human being? Is it an independent being? and if not what is the nature of its dependence with other beings?

If we consider man as an independent being we should have no problems living in solitude for long years and accept ourselves as we are. This goes against the experience of everyone. We have to deduct we depend on each other, we depend on everything takes a part of universe. The infinity complex of this network is simply inintelligible. When – and if – we get a glimpse of lucidity we see an infinitesimal portion of it.

So we are what we perceive and also what we don’t. That’s why we have to develop trust in the skilled methods which allow us to proceed through darkness, or better to proceed through the dazzling splendor of life as blind men.

If we have been doing good in the past lives we may have for a limited time what Buddhism defines as a “precious human body”, which means we have ALL the conditions to work profitably on the spiritual and energetic path. This is just a potential of course and doesn’t mean it will happen by itself, but it’s the result of an infinte work.

Infinite work, acceptance and rejoicing of good conditions, releasing suffering and the causes of suffering, renunciation. These are the highest goals for us and the scariest words, something close to what Freud defined as the “depressive state”. But is it depressive?

I have to say that since I dedicated a bigger portion of my life to the spiritual path I have some problems integrating it with “normal” life, resulting in a slight depression which some days seems overwelming.

I have a big house in a beautiful place, a project. In some kind of way a career through yoga and spirituality is opening in front of me. I should be happy as a dog with a bone, but I also feel alone (I do not have a partner) and a drop out. The more I grow and expand, the more difficult is for me to find someone.

Also impermanence and its realization is changing my vision of relationships. Now I think it takes a lot of strength and courage to establish a relationship (let’s say marry someone) when you know since the beginning that the more you will feel happy, the more you will suffer when it’s over. At this stage it’s not about being happy, it’s about the meaning of all this.

Life it’s not made to be happy (at least now), but it can be meaningful and constructive for all the sentient beings and for our future lives – this is something that most of the people cannot honestly claim, and not because they are worst than us, it’s just not their time yet, as is not for us the time to harvest the splendid and precious flower of enlightment.

We do not have to trust our thoughts so blindly, not either our emotions. They are not us, they just come and go as the clouds in the sky and the waves in the see. The children in me does not show appreciation for the priceless and skilled human body, he wants more and more and in this way he will permanently be deluded and frustrated.

Isn’t this the root cause of unhappiness? Isn’t this being uncompassionate with ourselves?



The tales of brave Ulyisses

Our trajectory is a universal parabola

there is nothing really bad with hanging out with Circe

or being attracted by the mermaids’ chant

(apart than seing your travel buddies going crazy and transformed in pigs)

if you can resist, if you rememeber that this is just a swamp where some good plants flourish

but the most is not

We, the swamp, Circe and the pigs

are the same energy, this is the secret (and this is not a secret)

Keys are everywhere, provided to us constantly, generously, but only karma defines the conditions for us to make them useful or not. Personal will, wisdom, knowledge, true commitment and devotion are the source of real power. But power to do what? This is the question we are named to answer.

This is the query of the Sphinx.

I see

Summer Spleen

My story with Andreja is vanished like a dream at dawn, this is the time of abandon. I knew this from long time ago but I feel bad.

Is this due to an unresolved paternalistic complex? Or is just I fear to be alone in this big house with my guests? I don’t know. I strive to keep my core solid, to be concentrated on what is happening or not happening right now (I guess she is doing the same). This is the point, is the struggle to carry on our own choices any meaninful in the context of spiritual growth?

Do we need to be alone to listen our deepest parts? What is the role of social life and community in all this? I smoke more tobacco than before. Ok, I am still a minor smoker, but the habit consolidates, the gesture still possesses me. Can we compromise with this?

I have to go down my way, I have to accept and assimilate the solitude of the existence as a natural condition, without distractions but also without eccessive rigidity. I am 35, and I often think to what a 35 should be; I can say I chose my way but it reveals a vene of sadness and depression that was hidden while being in a couple. Is this temporary? Whent it’s the two of us we tend to project on the other our flaws and bad habits, but when you are alone there is no more way to avoid the confrontation. Is this useful?

Walking, taking sun baths, reading this book on shamanism my Myrcea Eliade, cleaning the rooms for my guests, receiving visits, looking for the momentary confort and distraction of the family, doin asanas, meditating, cooking, being bored, going to the city for my Lama’s teachings, taking blessings, waiting, riding with my motorbike, sleeping alone, attending some concerts. This is my life, a privileged life. Life is life, it is not just fun or pain, everything is melt, sometimes I think that what really matters to me is to expand my comprehension to include all those parts I was not really aware of, like composing a puzzle. The funny thing is that instead of emerging a recognizable image, the image disappears, absorbed by our true nature, like the clouds leave room to an empty (although still sometimes not very clear) sky. Being there to me is like watching life like you watch a movie, you know that a certain point it will end and that it is just a metaphore. But is there a REAL life? I don’t think so, this is the life and we are the ones who have the power to make it meaningful. Ways are infinite, like the teachings. I  do not mean hope, hope is just another bad habit, but the tension of the internal figth is eternal and present.

Today while I was meditating – mornings are the hardest part of the day – I had an intuition on compassion: I felt that besides understanding what really means to be truthfully compassionate for someone else, we have to control the flow of bodhicitta like a valve controls the flow of the tap. We have to improve the ability to focus its energy on the the target, otherwise there is no meaning in developing bodhicitta.

Will another woman be the solution of this existential status? I doubt it. But what is life being alone. What company and sociality can satisfy our true and noblest need. I have to find out.


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Working Asanas

I just want to document my daily practice, I am still working on the first series but I am confident I will finish it (and for finishing I mean to reach a reasonable level of fluency and execution without choking) within one year from now. Today I managed to recite pretty good the whole two mantras without forgetting the words!

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Bloom Mindful Retreats

Many times has gone since my last post, so I would like to begin with this sentence.

Eeveryone has two lives, the second one begins when we realise we have just one.

I think my second life begun. I didn’t realised when but now it’s pretty clear it happened and this is great. I do not mean that now everything is easy, on the opposite it is as hard as before, but at least I can move one in a way that has a sense.

I had to put myself in a box and find a way out or die (spiritually).

I was doing a job I hated, and no time to pursue my real goals. I knew in which fields I could have my chances but I was seated at my desk for the whole day. How to realise my purposes? Which those purposes were?

I had a huge experience in sport and a strong interest in meditation but no apparent way to make money and the time was ticking. I was almost 35.

Last May I decided to abandon the absurd practice of controlling/cultivating  violence through martial arts and started with Ashtanga yoga. I chose this practice because it is hard, there is not much talking and I love the aesthetics.

I started with the intention to pose solid foundation for what had to be the definitive practice of my life, which means I am going to be a student forever, and possibly become a teacher asap. Initially I had no connection with teachers, or with the lineage, but I knew that hard work and dedition would have opened the doors.

In fact this is what haappened.

I decided to spend a period in Slovenia (which is my partner’s home country) and attend a six-months intensive course of Ashtanga. In Ashtanga there are no certifications, and the timing to become a teacher is  undefinite, but I was confident.

I clicked almost suddenly with the teachers, a very nice couple with a small son, Leo. She is Slovenian and he is Italian, just like me and Andreja. They run together the studio and I love theit style of teaching which I find incredibly appropriate for my level.

Just before moving to Slovenia I quit my job as engineer in Milan. I initially had no real plan on how to carry on. I had some money in my bank account, not much but enough to pay the deposit for a morgage, hence I thougth: Dario, you have to set you priorities and build a headquarter where you can leave and make your business. I had to buy a place  where I could make a Yoga studio, a bed & breakfast and my residence – plus possibly a garden or a terrace. That was ambitious.

During the semester in Slovenia, and to be more precise in January 2016, I entered in a real estate agency on the Garda lake (a beutiful place close to where I live). I asked if for istance they had what I was looking for: a house to be renovated, with a lot of spaces, in a renowed location, for a ridicolous price.

The agent laughed at me, but after a while he said :”Maybe I have what is just right for you” and incredibly it was. That house he showed has three floors, plus a terrace with an amazing view. There are works to be done, but I knew I could make it, so I took it.

From that moment everything was just like saying: “You made the right thing, man”.

Here you have some picture of the house. I took them when I was with the previous owner. On April 13th the house will be mine, and I will start with the works right away.

I will report the progress of the works on this blog, so stay tuned!

In next post I will reveal my business plan, and the renovation project!

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Impromptu Wien

Sakyamuni was defenitely right, as always. He was beyond the truth.

The correct approach, the best attitude, is always the middle way. This sentence could sound pretty comfortable, but as often happens when is about Buddhism, things are not what they seem in the first place: apparently everything is just grounded in common sense, at the limits of obviousness, but as soon as we try to apply the Buddhist principles to our life they start showing their enormous depth and power.

In Buddhist phylosophy there is nobody else eccept yourself deemed to the judge, the accused and the jury. This is going to be complicated in the beginning. What really means practicing the middle way? I can just tell what is happening to me, and do not pretend to give an universal interpretation. If I would give a concise definition of the Buddhist approach, I would define it as a ruthlessly realistic analysis of the experience commonly called “life”. Since the outcome of this diagnosis is not really comfortable in the beginning, Sakyamuni teached his students to preserve the root spirit of the teachings, as the only real defense agaonst the twisted human ignorance, capable to distort every written word and incapable (in his original afflicted status) to focus  on the meaning of the words and not on the words themselves.

That’s why mind has to be trained: it must be trained because it can be trained. Our true nature is vacuity: this means that as we can trap ourselves in cages built by our twisted mind, we can also be the creators of our releasing. Vacuity is not good or bad, like energy is not good and bad. It can just be used to engage freedom and compassion or negativity and afflictions. The amazing thing is that we can master this. Which part of the mind is really” you? Is there a real “you”? I don’t know yet🙂

That’s what I am going to find out. But still, being in the middle way means that on a relative level we are still living a normal life: having a job, maybe a family, and so on. So, once we see how important and profound the Dharma is, the main challenge for me is not to be 100% committed to it, but finding the balance with the normal life: for example having a job that gives me time enough to practice with diligence. Believe me: this may appear as a minor goal but is not. It is the result of an intense reflection and in my opinion this is the higher goal in life because is motivated by what I assume to be the best interest for myself and for the others.

Is there greater freedom than being able to be commited on our top priorities? I don’t think so. Of course this obliges to choose carefully our goals, but once we have understood what is really important in life being allowed to work seriously on this is the greater luxury, because it will bring the greater benefit. We can be convinced we are destined for something, but the truth is that without all the conditions we can have all the talent in the world, but our dreams will not become reality. That’s why creating the conditions is important as being ready for something.

Narrowing the field of our choices, establishing our top priorities, examining in detail the nature of our motivations, our thoughts, our emotions, our patterns. These are the keys for achieving the access to our new life, not following the caprices of our vagabond mind.

Somebody will not be happy of this. Your ego will not be happy. It will feel delimited in its potential, its choices. It will rebel against everything represents your new choices. But being dominated by ego is really happiness? If it would be so, what need should we have to search for truth? This is not heaven, and ego is just the momentary configuration of the effects of the forces which led us “to be us”. But this is just a lapse, a moment, and something still goes on. Something survives the aggregation of the elements, something survives “us” as persons. I still don’t know what this is for real, and if I will be able to go further with this researc, but I a firmly convinced this the real revolution both at personal and collective level. How can we help the others if we still have not found our way?

I know most of the people like me are just lost in life, but everybody should know that out there there are true masters and noble disciplines specifically made to drive us through the darkness to the light. So there is hope, don’t waste time, don’t procrastinate, follow your true practice, whatever it is and do it today. There is no more urgent thing than this, besides this you will find a way to do everything else is necessary in your material life.

Just breath.



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Why you shouldn’t take it out

Today I want to write about the different ways to deal with anger.

Andreja told me that a large part of our negative feelings often come from our childhood, when we are almost powerless and we need the protection of the relatives to fulfill even the most primary needs. During those first years we are not even able to express how we feel or what we need, and we feel scared to be abandoned or frustrated because the world ignores us.

Undoubtedly this interpretation is partially valid, but we have to consider that often is very difficult to associate our feelings with the originating events. Moreover the emotional resposes to events are very personal and different for each of us. Events follow one another constantly, overlapping processes that deploy at different levels simultaneously,  resulting in a dishomogeneous inner landscape where the most important thing is to orientate indipendently from the mutual influences and the causes of the events.

It does not make too much sense to overanalyse the causes of the events in the majority of cases. We should focus on the acheving of the main goal, which is to be liberated from the negative state of minds – such as anger, ignorance, constant doubt, sadness, exaltation, envy and possessive desire.

Someone could argue that it’s always necessary to comprehend exhaustively all the causes of a phenomenon to solve defenitively the issue, but this is not my opinon (at least in a complex scenario like our inner world, where this results often in a sterile research). Buddha once made an example to clarify this: if a man has been deadly pierced by an arrow the priority is to save his life, and not to investigate on who has shot the arrow or why, and so on…

When I became a young adult I discovered the power of my mind and my body. In order to satisfy a latent sense of revenge I was imposing my will to the people around me, I was violent but in that moment I could not see this. It was my right to make my choices, the more impopular the better. I was strongly egocentric, and a lot of sufference came from this to myself and to the people I loved.

More or less in those years I started practicing martial arts, and I discovered I was very good in figthing. My ego felt grand and, although the confrontation with opponents helped me realising the nature of the wild pleasure of violence, nothing really good came from this. The sense of peace and relaxation after trainings and competitions always quickly evaporated, being caused by tiredness and not by a real development of the mind. Moreover, the theatrical representation of violence on the stage of sport was reinforcing and planting new seeds of anger in my mindfield.

Although on a gross level martial arts require to reduce the power of the ego, on a ore subtle level they reinforce it but here we should debate on the difference between martial arts which have a healing scope and are a wonderful path and figth sports which are also fun, but much more limited in the personal growth possibilities.

After many years of practice I realised I do not fit anymore martial arts, and although I love this disciplines, they did not solve defenitely my problem with anger. I do no say this is valid for everyone, it’s just my story. I also have to mention that to this end strongly contrbuted my entring into Buddhist dharma path many years ago and the daily practice of meditation.

I found two incredible tools to approach emotions and their causes in a constructive way: meditation and yoga. Now, I do not think is the case to enter into the topic of the different kind of Budddhism, meditation and yoga practices, but I jus want to remark that in my opinon there is not a metter path in absolute for everybody, but this is different for each of us and also can change with time. With meditation we can calm our mind and be more aware of our inner unknown world, full of adventure and monsters: by being just present with our thoughts, emotions and peceptions we build a more balanced relatiotship with our ego, that is ironically our worst enemies for its enormous power. Getting closer to our intimacy we can explore with the mindfulness our inner landscape, which is a necessary step to appreciate it. I would say that meditation approaches issues in apparently soft way, but when we analyse it more in depth I appreciate more and more its radical and sophisticated logical ground.

On the other hand Yoga works also at a more physical level, with a slighlty different cut. No need to say that they are both extremely clever healing system, and that can be perfectly combined. The physical work of yogic meditation, in addition to working with the mindfulness and mental formations, has the scope to accelerate the maturation of the negative states of mind without representing the ripen action (and therefore vastly reducing the negative karmic consequences).

As a side affect of a period of intense yogic practice we could experience strange feelings such as anger, sadness or even euphory without apparent reasons, but this is the consequence of the deep effect of the yogic work that unblocks our mind also by physical manipulation and should not be misunderstood with the reinforcement of the ego.



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Dal relativo all’assoluto – ovvero, il coordinamento delle forze.

Mattina, 7 a.m.

Stavo facendo colazione poco prima di dirigermi verso lo studio di Anja in Parmova Ulica 51 per il mio secondo workshop di Ashtanga yoga. Stavo cercando di afferrare un biscotto che si trovava sul fondo di un sacchetto ormai quasi vuoto e, visto che la mia l’altra mano era impegnata a reggere la coperta che mi cingeva i fianchi, con sulla destra annaspavo sul fondo. Per afferrare il biscotto dovevo bloccare la confezione con una mano, mentre con l’altra afferravo il biscotto.

Se la natura, come dicono, è dotata di una grande quantità di energia propria e se può essere opportunamente indirizzata e focalizzata per ottenere un particolare scopo, spesso si rende necessario a tal fine impiegare un sistema di forze opportunamente coordinate: sia sollecitanti che vincolanti.

Mi dimenticai di questo episodio mattutino e mi diressi in Parmova Ulica dove pratico giornalmente sotto la supervisione degli istruttori della scuola di Anja. Oltre alla pratica quotidiana, il corso che sto seguendo prevede alcuni workshop che si tengono durante i fine settimana e durante i quali si approfondiamo numerosi aspetti del significato e della struttura del percorso yogico.

Nella seconda parte del nostro incontro si stava parlando del fatto che alcuni alcuni insegnanti usano correggere manualmente le posizioni nei loro studenti ove lo ritengano necessario. In quel momento l’episodio del pacchetto di biscotti accaduto poco innanzi mi venne in mente e lo associai alla discussione in corso. Ne vidi il parallelismo: vi sono casi in cui è necessario combinare vincoli e sollecitazioni nel modo opportuno. Il coordinamento delle forze ne determina il risultato, che trascende – almeno per un momento – le forze messe in gioco. Insomma l’insegnante che sollecita e lo studente che resiste/collabora sono neutri nell’attimo in cui trascendono la propria soggettività per raggiungere un fine comune.

Trovo che questo sia un esempio di quello che si definisce “andare oltre al dualismo” di soggetto e oggetto, di interno ed esterno, si sollecitazione e vincolo. Una metafora applicata che ci mostra come possiamo sperimentare ciò che razionalmente facciamo fatica a spiegare.

Morning, 7 a.m.

I was having breakfast just before heading towards the studio of Anja in Parmova Ulica 51 for my second workshop of Ashtanga yoga. I was trying to grab a cookie that was on the bottom of its almost empty package and, as my other hand was committed to hold the blanket I was covering with, with the right I was searching the bottom of the pack for the last cookie. To grab that biscuit I had to block the pack with one hand, while with the other I grabbed the biscuit.

If the nature, as they say, is equipped with a large amount of energy of its own and if it can be appropriately directed and focused to achieve a particular purpose, it is frequently necessary to this end to employ a system of forces suitably coordinated: both soliciting and binding.

I forgot about this episode and headed to Parmova Ulica where I practice daily under the supervision of the instructors of the school of Anja. In addition to daily practice, the course I’m following provides some workshops, that take place on weekends and during which we explore many aspects of the meaning and structure of the yogic path.

In the second part of our meeting we were talking about the fact that some teachers use some manual correction to adjust the asanas of their students – when they deem it necessary. At that moment, the episode of the packet of biscuits came to my mind and I associated it to the ongoing discussion. I saw the parallel: there are cases where you need to combine forces of different nature in the right way (often apparently opposed).

The coordination of forces determines the outcome, which transcends – at least for a moment – the forces brought into play and with them their respective subjects. In short, the teacher and the student are neutral for that moment that transcends their own subjectivity to reach a common goal.

I find this an example of what is known as “going beyond dualism” of subject and object, inside and outside. A metaphor applied that shows us how we can experience what it is hardly explained rationally.

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Why we all should listen carefully our sense of guilty

I strongly believe what Buddha said: everybody has a buddha-nature.

Our true nature, what is closer to our honest being, is what Buddha and all the masters and realized souls of all the religions, philosophies, countries and times considered the most valuable treasure and the shining diamond of our real destiny. The higher and most noble scope of our life is to discover with enthusiasm and gratefulness this truth.

Life is here, death will be here soon, unexpected. Nobody really knows what will happen in 5 minutes, nobody can guarantee that tomorrow we will have the same conditions of today. What do you want to do with your time? Don’t you think there must be a reason if you and me are here, now?

The simple truth of facts is the opposite of our imaginary world created by ignorance.

Ironically that imaginary world is more similar to the true hell we try so desperately to escape from.

I always had a strong sense of guilty: I felt guilty for not being what the world expected from me, for not doing what was expected from me, for being imperfectly me. For years I fought against this suffering feeling, but a few days ago I understood that my sense of guilty is probably one of the most delicate and sensible parts of me: the best guide I have.

If I would refuse it … well, that would be a terrible mistake:)

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Blog About Russia

“Blog About Russia” is a project run by Alex Markovich. Alex Markovich is a 38 year old male living in Russia. A photographer, writer and lecturer, as well as translator. A regular guest on “Radio of Russia” and other radio stations. Main subjects of the programs: “Traveling through Russia” and “Photo Art” (Alex arranges photo exhibitions in various Russian towns and cities, as well as abroad). Alex’s favorite genre is sci-fi (lots of his stories are translated into various languages and published in dozens of online and offline publications). Alex has developed his own course, namely: “The methodology involved for an artist, photographer or writer to present their material effectively, so as to develop a following and become popular”. Alex conducts lectures on this subject throughout Russia. E-mail: MarkovichUniverse AT gmail DOT com


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