Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nine orders of Holy Angels

The nine orders of the angels are divided into three heirarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.

The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of the SERAPHIM, CHERUBIM, and THRONES.

The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Mker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: “And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings” (Isaiah 6:2). They ar fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:29); “His throne was a flame of fire” (Dan 7:9); “the appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire” (Ex 24:17). Standing before such glory, the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire” (Ps 103:4). They are aflame with love for God and kindle others to such love, as i shown by their very name, for “seraphim” in the Hebrew language means: “flaming”.

After the seraphim, before the All-knowing God, Who resides in inaccessable light, stand the many-eyeed CHERUBIM in ineffable radiance. More than the other lower orders of angels, they are always radiant with the light of th knowledge of God, with the knowledge of the mysteries of God and the depths of His Wisdom; being themselves enlightened, they enlighten others. Their name “cherubim” in translation from the Hebrew language, means: “great understanding” or “effusion of wisdom”, because throught the cherubim wisdom is sent down to tohers and enlightenment of the spiritual eyes is given for the seeing of God and knowledge of God.

Thereafter stand the God-bearing THRONES (as St Dionysius the Areopagite calls them) before Him Who sits on the high and exulted throne, being named “thrones” since on them, as on inctellectual thrones (as writes St Maximus the Confessor) God intellectually resides. They are not called “God bearing” according to essence but according to grace and according to their office, as the flesh of Jesus Christ (as St Basil the Great writes) is called “God-bearing” according to essence since it was indivisibly united with God the Word Himself. The thrones are then called “God-bearing” not according to essence but according o grace, given for their service, which is mystically and incomprehensibley to bear God in themselves. Residing on them in an incomprehensible manner, God makes His righteous judgement, according to the word of David: “Thou hast sat upon a throne, O Thou that judgest righteousness.” (Ps 9:4). Therefore through them the justice of God is pre-eminently manifesed; they erve His justice, glorifying it and pour out the power of justice onto the thrones of earthly judges, helping kings and masters to bring forth right judgement.

Th middle hierarchy also consists of three orders of holy angels: the DOMINIONS, the VIRTUES, and the POWERS.

The DOMINIONS are so nemed because, being themselves free, they dominate over the rest of the angels which follow behind them. Having abandoned servile fear, as St Dionysius the Aeropagite says, they voluntarily and with joy serve God unceasingly. Also they send down power for prudent governing and wise management to authorities on the earth set up by God. Further they teach how to control the senses, how to subdue in oneself dissolute desires and passions, how to enslave the flesh to the spirit, and how to rule over one’s will and be above all temptations.

The VIRTUES, [the usual translation of the name of this order of angels as "virtues" is readily misleading if the old meaning of the word "virtue" as "power" or "force", especially as regards to divine beings (cf Oxford English Dictionary), is not remembered. Note of translator.] filled with divine strength, quickly fulfill the will of the All-High and Omnipotent Lord, strong and powerful. They both work very great miracles and send down the grace of miracle-working to God’s saints, who are worthy of such grace, in order that these may work miracles, such as heal every sickness and foretell the future. The holy virtues also help people laboring and those overburdened by the bearing of an obedience placed on them by someone – by which their names “virtues” is explained – and they bear the infirmities of the weak. They also strengthen every man in patience, so that he does not faint away in affliction but rather bears all misfortune with a strong spirit, courageously, and with humility, giving thanks for everything to God, arranging all for our benefit.

The POWERS are so called because they have power over the devil, in order to restrain the power of the demons, to repulse the temptations brought upon people by them, and to prevent the demons from harming anyone to the degree that they would wish. The powers strengthen the good ascetics in spiritual struggles and labors, protecting them so that they may not be deprived of the spiritual kingdom. They help thos wrestling with passions and vices to cast out evil thoughts and slanders of the enemy and to conquer the devil.

In the lowest hierarchy there are also three orders: the PRINCIPALITIES, the ARCHANGELS, and the ANGELS.

The PRINCIPALITIES are named thus because they have command over the lower angels, directing them to the fulfilment of divine orders. The management of the universe and the keeping of all the kingdoms and princedoms, of lands and all peoples, races and nations, is also entrusted to them since each kingdom, race and people have for themselves a special deeper and manager from the heavenly order called the principalities, for all their country. Further, the service of this angelic order (according to the explanation of St Gregory the Dialogist) consists in teaching the people to requite each person in authority according to his calling. Finally, the angels of this order raise worthy people to various honorable offices and direct them so that they take power not for the sake of their own gain and benefit, nor for the sake of love of honr and vain renown, but for the sake of honor from God, for the sake of spreading and augmenting of His holy glory, and for the sake of the benefit of their neighbors – as serving the general needs of all their subordinates.

The ARCHANGELS are called the great heralds of good news, announcing the great and most glorious. Their service (as the great Dionysius the Aeropagite says) consists in revealing prophecies, knowledge, and understanding of God’s will which they receive from the higher orders of angels and announce to the lower order, ie. the angels, and through them, to men. St Gregory the Dialogist says that the archangels strengthen people in the holy faith, enlightening their mind with the light of knowledge of the holy Gospel and revealing the mysteries of devout faith.

The ANGELS are the lowest of all the orders in the heavenly hierarchy and the closest to man. They aannounce the lesser mysteries and intentions of God and teach people to live virtuously and righteously before God. They are appointed to guard each of us who believe: they sustain virtuous people from fallen, and never leave us though we have sinned, but are always ready to help us, if only we ourselves want it.

All of the heavenly orders are also called by the common name “angels”. Although they have different names according to their situation and grace given by God (as seraphim, cherubim, thrones and the rest of the orders), yet all in general are called angels, because the word “angel” is not a denomination of essence, but of service, as it is written: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister” (Heb 1:14). But their service is different and not identical: each order has its own service; for the All-Wise Creator does not reveal the mystery of His design to all to the same degree, but from the one to the others, through the higher He enlightens the lower, revealing to them His will and commanding it to be as in the book of the Prophet Zachariah. There it is said that one angel, after conversing with the prophet, met another angel who ordered him to go again to the prophet and reveal the future fate of Jerusalem: “And behold, the angel that talked with me went forth and another angel went out to meet him, and said unto him, Run, speak to thes young man (that is, the prophet Zachariah), saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of mena and cattle therein: For I, saith the Lord will be unto her a wall of fire round about” (Zach 2:3-5).

Deliberating about this, St Gregory the Dialogist says, “When one angel says to the other: ‘Run speak to this young man’ there is no doubt that certain angels send others, that the lower ones are sent, that the higher send” (St Gegory the Dialogist, Interpretation of the Gospels, #4).

We find exactly the same thing in the prophecy of Daniel, that one angel orders another to interpret the vision to the prophet. From this it is evident that angels of higher orders reveal the divine will and intention of their Creator to angels of the lower orders, that they enlighten them and send them to people.

The Orthodox Church militant, being in need of the help of the angels, celebrates the Assembly of all the nine angelic orders with a special supplication, as is fitting, on the eighth day of the month of November (Nov 21 OS) ie. the ninth month, since all these nine orders of angels will gather on the day of the Terrible Judgment of the Lord, which the divine teachers of the Church call the eighth day. For they say, at the end of seven thousand years will begin as if an eighth day, “When the Son of man shall in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him” (as the Lord Himself foretold in the Gospel – Matt 25:31). “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds.” (Matt 24:31), ie. from the East, West, North, and South.

The following is from the Minea of St Dimitry of Rostov

The Hand of God ( Father George Calciu )

My beloved, you ought to never despair, because in the worst circumstances of your life, the Lord will stretch out His hand to deliver you. I could speak to you of hundreds of instances in my life when everything seemed lost on the horizon, when I saw no hope for me, yet at that very moment God opened a door…. Countless times in my life, especially when I was imprisoned [in the gulag-tr. note], God delivered me form sin and from this world.

I remember when I was appointed professor at the theological seminary. It was during the summer time and in the fall, the Patriarch Justinian came to me at the seminary and said:

“Prepare yourself for the priesthood!”

I did not have enough theological training at the time, as I completed only the college training, not yet the Seminary, so I had some knowledge but I wasn’t too confident! When I reflected on how Saint John Chrysostom fled when he was to be ordained a priest, and on St. Gregory [the Theologian], who also wrote of his experience, I too feared! If these saints fled from the priesthood as been a great responsibility, who was I not too? Then the patriarch came to me the second time that fall and said:

“Thursday you’ll be made deacon!”

As that following Thursday was dedicated to the seminary; and I was troubled again, especially when he added:

”And on Sunday, you’ll be ordained priest.”

And it was so. I tried to pray…. but he said: “You’re ready.”

And I was ordained a priest.

Many [terrible] things have happened in life, which can trouble many people. But God freed me from all as if my guardian angel would have pulled me by the neck and deliver me from everything; from great spiritual temptations while imprisoned, threats, etc. They all passed over me like a cloud, which God drove away. And even though I was in prison with no hope to be freed, God delivered me from this also.

When I go to visit my village and meet with my fellow primary-school mates, there are only two or three left [alive], and they have not lived the gulag experience, and from my fellow high school colleagues, there are only ten left.

All these things that God works with us, we ought to see. We must see the hand of the Lord over us in all circumstances. Let’s not be carried away by temptations that we’re strong, or wealthy, or smart, or that we can accomplish much…

My brother, let’s not give into any temptation, but we ought to always say: “God willing it will do this and that” … And it [His] will be done. Do not imagine that chance, luck or fate governs your life, as our life is in the hands of God. Let us remember what our Savior said:

“Not even one hair from your head will perish without My knowledge.”

(Excerpt from: Father George Calciu’ Living Words: “To serve Christ means suffering”,

Παιδί δεν υπάκουει και αντιδρά

- Γέροντα, όταν το παιδί δεν υπάκουει και αντιδρά, πώς πρέπει να φερθούν οι γονείς;
- Για να μην υπάκουει το παιδί και να φέρεται άσχημα, κάτι θα φταίει. Μπορεί να βλέπει άσχημες σκηνές ή να ακούει άσχημα λόγια μέσα στο σπίτι ή έξω από αυτό. Πάντως τα παιδιά στα πνευματικά θέματα τα βοηθούμε κυρίως με το παράδειγμα μας, όχι με το ζόρισμα.

Περισσότερο μάλιστα τα βοηθάει ή μητέρα με το παράδειγμα της, με την υπακοή της και τον σεβασμό της προς τον σύζυγο. Αν σε κάποιο θέμα έχει διαφορετική γνώμη από εκείνον, ποτέ να μην την εκφράζει μπροστά στα παιδιά, για να μην το εκμεταλλεύεται ο πονηρός. Ποτέ να μη χαλάει τον λογισμό των παιδιών για τον πατέρα. Ακόμη και αν φταίει ο πατέρας, να τον δικαιολογεί.

Αν λ.χ. φερθεί άσχημα, να πει στα παιδιά: «ο μπαμπάς είναι κουρασμένος, γιατί ξενύχτησε, για να τελειώσει μια επείγουσα δουλειά. Και αυτό για σας το κάνει».
Πολλοί γονείς μαλώνουν μπροστά στα παιδιά και τους δίνουν άσχημα μαθήματα. Τα καημένα τα παιδιά θλίβονται. Αρχίζουν μετά οι γονείς, για να τα παρηγορήσουν, να τους κάνουν όλα τα χατίρια. Πηγαίνει ο πατέρας και καλοπιάνει το παιδί: «τι θέλεις, χρυσό μου, να σου πάρω;». Πηγαίνει και ή μάνα, το καλοπιάνει κι εκείνη και τελικά τα παιδιά μεγαλώνουν με νάζια και καμώματα και υστέρα, αν δεν μπορούν οι γονείς να τους δώσουν ότι τους ζητούν, τους απειλούν ότι θα αυτοκτονήσουν...
Όταν τα παιδιά βλέπουν τους γονείς τους να έχουν αγάπη μεταξύ τους, να έχουν σεβασμό, να φέρονται με σύνεση, να προσεύχονται κ.λπ., τότε αυτά τα τυπώνουν στην ψυχή τους. Γι' αυτό λέω ότι ή καλύτερη κληρονομιά, που μπορούν να αφήσουν οι γονείς στα παιδιά τους, είναι να τους μεταδώσουν την δική τους ευλάβεια...

YOGA!!! Δεν ασχολούμαστε με θρησκείες...και μετά φταίει η Εκκλησία.


«Δεν ασχολούμαστε με θρησκείες»
Οι υπεύθυνοι κέντρων όπου γίνονται μαθήματα γιόγκα στην Ελλάδα εκφράζουν την έκπληξή τους για τους «αφορισμούς» της Εκκλησίας. Όπως λένε, οι πολίτες που έρχονται στα κέντρα τους το κάνουν για λόγους υγείας. «Δεν ασχολούμαστε με καμία θρησκεία. Στη γιόγκα δεν μιλάει κανείς για μετενσάρκωση.

Μιλάμε για εισπνοές, τη στάση του σώματος, πώς πρέπει να τρώμε σωστά. Πράγματα που παραπέμπουν σε έναν υγιεινό τρόπο ζωής, τον οποίο μάλλον δέχεται και η Εκκλησία» λέει στα «ΝΕΑ» η Δέσποινα Λυκομήτρου που είναι υπεύθυνη του πολυχώρου Εssence Ηuman Space στου Ψυρή, όπου παραδίδονται και μαθήματα γιόγκα. «Για παράδειγμα η forrest γιόγκα που διδάσκεται εδώ έχει να κάνει μόνο με εισπνοές και την άσκηση του σώματος.

Και βέβαια, οι περισσότεροι άνθρωποι που έρχονται να κάνουν γιόγκα το κάνουν διότι αναζητούν μια άλλη ποιότητα γυμναστικής και όχι για να βρουν πνευματικό δάσκαλο...» προσθέτει.

Παρόμοια είναι η άποψη που διατυπώνει η κ. Βιβή Λέτσου που διατηρεί στην Αθήνα κέντρο στο οποίο γίνονται μαθήματα γιόγκα. «Αυτό που λέει η Εκκλησία ακούγεται στενοκέφαλο. Η γιόγκα γίνεται για σωματική και πνευματική ευεξία. Σκεφτείτε ότι εκατομμύρια Αμερικανοί κάνουν γιόγκα. Το κάνουν κυρίως για να αντεπεξέρχονται στο στρες» τονίζει.

                                 ΤΑ ΝΕΑ


Οι ινδουιστές είναι διαιρεμένοι σ εκατοντάδες αιρέσεις - σχολές που έχουν διαφωνίες αλλά και εχθρότητες μεταξύ τους. Όλες όμως αυτές οι σχολές υποκλίνονται στην Μπαγκαβάτ - Γκιτά (= Θείο τραγούδι), το «Ευαγγέλιο» του Ινδουισμού. Είναι ένα κείμενο που συναντιούνται όλοι οι Ινδουιστές. Ένα κείμενο που θεωρείται «ιερό» και «θεόπνευστο» απ΄' όλους...
Το κείμενο αυτό το μελετούν και το ψάλλουν ως λατρεία στο «θεό» Κρίσνα καθημερινά οι γιόγκι. Στο άσραμ του Σατυανάντα, στο Μακγκύρ της Ινδίας, κάθε πρωί επί μία ώρα έψαλλαν αποσπάσματα από την Μπαγκαβάτ Γκιτά, μ' ένα λατρευτικό τρόπο.
Τι είναι η Μπαγκαβάτ -Γκιτά; Είναι διάλογος, υπό μορφή ποιήματος. Κάτι σαν τη «θεογονία» το ποίημα του αρχαίου Έλληνα Ησιόδου, όπου περιγράφεται η «γέννηση των «θεών» του Ολύμπου: κάτι σαν την «Ιλιάδα» του Ομήρου, όπου με αφορμές τον πόλεμο της Τροίας «Θεοί» και ... άνθρωποι συμπλέκονται σε έχθρες και φιλίες.
Μέσα λοιπόν στην Γκιτά, κατά τη διάρκεια ενός πολέμου, λίγο πριν αρχίσει μία μεγάλη μάχη, ο «θεός» Κρίσνα αποκαλύπτει τη γιόγκα στο μαθητή και φίλο του Αρτζούνα. Ο βασιλιάς -μαχητής Αρτζούνα ρωτά και ο Κύριος (=Κρίσνα) δίδασκει. Αλλά ας δώσουμε το λόγο στο ίδιο το κείμενο που είναι αποκαλυπτικό. Όλα τα αποσπάσματα είναι από το βιβλίο Μπαγκαβάτ-Γκιτά.

Αφιερώνεται από το μεταφραστή στο γκουρού του Σουάμι, Gihanananda , του τάγματος Rainakrisna , πρόεδρο του Ramakrisna Vedanta Center του Λονδίνου και προλογίζεται ευμενώς από τον νυν πρόεδρο του Κέντρου Swami Bhavynanda .
Σύμφωνα λοιπόν με την Γκιτά, η γιόγκα δεν είναι ανθρώπινο εύρημα, ανθρώπινο δημιούργημα, όπως λόγου χάρη η επιστήμη. Η γιόγκα είναι «θεία» αποκάλυψη, δώρο, που ο «Κύριος της Γιόγκα», ο «Θεός» Κρίσνα προσφέρει στην ανθρωπότητα, μέσω του Αρτζούνα.
«Ο κύριος είπε: Στον κόσμο αυτόν από παλιά ένας διπλός δρόμος φανερώθηκε από μένα, ω αναμάρτητε. Του Γνιάνα-Γιόγκα για τους ανθρώπους της συλλογής και το Κάμμα Γιόγκα για τους ανθρώπους της δράσης» (Κεφ 3ο, στίχος 3/33).

Κι αλλού ο Κύριος (=Κρίσνα) λέει στο μαθητή του Αρτζούνα:
«Ο κύριος είπε: Αυτός ο ίδιος ο αρχαίος Γιόγκα σου φανερώθηκε σήμερα από Εμένα. Λάτρης μου είσαι και φίλος κι αυτό το μυστικό είναι πραγματικά υπέρτατο.» (κεφ.4ο, στίχος 3) .
Λίγα ακόμη από τα' αναρίθμητα αποσπάσματα της Μπαγκαβάτ Γκιτά θα μας πείσουν ότι η Γιόγκα είναι μια μορφή λατρείας με την οποία ο «θεός» επιθυμεί να λατρεύεται από τους οπαδούς του. Λέει λοιπόν ο Κρίσνα:
«Μα οι μεγάλες ψυχές ω Γιε της τιρίτχα, που έχουν θεία φύση, Εμένα λατρεύουν ,με απαρασάλευτη σκέψη, έχοντας γνωρίσει την πηγή των άρτων, την Άφθαρτη. Πάντα δοξάζοντας με και αγωνιζόμενοι με αποφασιστικότητα προσκυνώντας με, με λατρεύουν με αφοσίωση πάντα σε Γιόγκα».

H ετυμολογία της λέξης yoga πηγάζει από τη λέξη ''yug'' όπου στα σανσκριτικά σημαίνει ''ένωση''.

Αινιγματικός φιλόσοφος και συγγραφέας, ο Patanjali υπήρξε ο πιο γνωστός υπέρμαχος της Samkhya, μια από τις έξι κλασικές σχολές της Ινδικής φιλοσοφίας. Σχεδόν κάθε δάσκαλος της Γιόγκα έχει μελετήσει μέχρι κάποιο σημείο την πραγματεία του, τις Σούτρες (Yoga Sutras), που θεωρείται η πρώτη συστηματική παρουσίαση της Γιόγκα.

Η γιόγκα είναι μία αρχαία πρακτική τέχνη περίπου 3000 χρόνων, η οποία διατήρησε τις ρίζες της στην Ινδία και διαδόθηκε στη δύση από τον μεγαλύτερο σύγχρονο γιόγκι τον Παραμαχάνσα Γιογκανάντα, που γεννήθηκε στην Ινδία, στα τέλη του 19ου αιώνα και ξεκινώντας από την Αμερική, μετέδωσε τη γιόγκα σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο.

Η γιόγκα συνδέεται στενά με τη θρησκευτική πίστη και τις πρακτικές των ινδικών θρησκειών. Η επιρροή της γιόγκα είναι επίσης ορατή στο Βουδισμό, ο οποίος διακρίνεται για την αυστηρότητα, τις πνευματικές ασκήσεις, και τα στάδια έκστασης του.


. Σε ένα πιό πρακτικό επίπεδο, η Γιόγκα είναι ένα μέσο για την εξισορρόπηση και την εναρμόνιση του σώματος, του νου και των συναισθημάτων. Με την πάροδο του χρόνου αναπτύχθηκαν διάφοροι κλάδοι της γιόγκα όπως:

Χάθα (Yoga), Ράτζα (Raja), Γκιάνα (Jnana), Κάρμα (Karma), Μπάκτι (Bhakti), Κουνταλίνι (Kundalini), Κρίγια (Kriya) είναι μερικοί από αυτούς, οι οποίοι καλύπτουν τις ποικίλες ιδιοσυγκρασίες των ανθρώπων. Οι πιο διαδεδομένες πρακτικές της στο Δυτικό κόσμο, ιδίως κατά το δεύτερο ήμισυ του εικοστού αιώνα είναι η Χάθα, η Ράτζα, οι Τεχνικές χαλάρωσης και ο Διαλογισμός.



Η Χάθα Γιόγκα χρησιμοποιεί τις εξής τεχνικές αυτοελέγχου:

Κάθαρσης (Κρίγια)
Σωματικές ασκήσεις & στάσεις (Ασάνες)
Αναπνευστικές ασκήσεις (Πραναγυάμα)
Χαλάρωσης (Νίντρα)
Αποστασιοποιημένης αυτοπαρατήρησης (Πρατυαχάρα)
Συγκέντρωσης του νου (Νταράνα)
Διαλογισμού (Ντυάνα).



Η Γιόγκα έχει και κινδύνους, όταν δεν την εκτελεί κανείς σωστά.

Σαν τέχνη, η Γιόγκα χρειάζεται μέθοδο, τεχνική, καθοδήγηση από έμπειρο δάσκαλο, ατομικές προσαρμογές και διορθώσεις, σταδιακή βελτίωση και τακτική εξάσκηση.

Περιλαμβάνει ασυνήθιστες στάσεις και πολύ ακραίες θέσεις για τις αρθρώσεις.

Οι κίνδυνοι αυξάνονται όταν οι ασκήσεις γίνονται με ανταγωνιστική προσπάθεια και υπέρβαση των ορίων ασφαλείας.

Κακότεχνη Γιόγκα μπορεί να προξενήσει φθορά στις αρθρώσεις - ισχία, γόνατα, καρπούς - πόνους της μέσης, της πλάτης ή του αυχένα, αυξημένη υπερένταση και εξάντληση.

                             ΤΟΤΕ ΓΙΑΤΙ

Σεμινάρια για όλους τους εκπαιδευτικούς Πρωτοβάθμιας και Δευτεροβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης

Η Yoga στην Εκπαίδευση

§ Για τους εκπαιδευτικούς της Δευτεροβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης
Σάββατο 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009, ώρα 10.30 π.μ.
§ Για τους εκπαιδευτικούς της Πρωτοβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης
Κυριακή 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009, ώρα 10.30 π.μ.

Ο Σχολικός Σύμβουλος φυσικής αγωγής Β΄ Δ/νσης Δ.Ε. Αθήνας
Γερμανική Σχολή Αθηνών

Είσοδος ελεύθερη
§ Εγγραφές κατά την άφιξη.
§ Θα δοθούν βεβαιώσεις συμμετοχής.


§ Η Yoga στην Εκπαίδευση
Για τους εκπαιδευτικούς Δευτεροβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης
Ξένια Ντόβα, εκπαιδευτικός
Χρήστος Κωνσταντινίδης, εκπαιδευτικός
Μαρία Μαυρομμάτη, εκπαιδευτικός
Κανέλλα Περιβολάρη, εκπαιδευτικός
Παναγιώτα Ψυχογιού, εκπαιδευτικός
Νικόλαος Τριπόδης, Σχολικός Σύμβουλος

§ Η Yoga στην Εκπαίδευση
Για τους εκπαιδευτικούς Πρωτοβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης
Ξένια Ντόβα, εκπαιδευτικός
Χρήστος Κωνσταντινίδης, εκπαιδευτικός
Σταμάτιος Τριπόδης, μοντέρ, τεχνολόγος μουσικής και ακουστικής
Κανέλλα Περιβολάρη, εκπαιδευτικός
Αλεξάνδρα Τεννέ, εκπαιδευτικός
Νικόλαος Τριπόδης, Σχολικός Σύμβουλος


Ξένια Ντόβα, εκπαιδευτικός φυσικής αγωγής, δασκάλα Hatha Yoga
Νικόλαος Τριπόδης, Σχολικός Σύμβουλος φυσικής αγωγής


10.30 - 11.00 Εγγραφές

11.00 - 11.30
§ Η φιλοσοφία της yoga και τα οφέλη της.
§ Η σωστή ευθυγράμμιση του σώματος.
§ Ο ρόλος της αναπνοής και της χαλάρωσης.

Hatha Yoga
11.00 - 13.00
Αναπνευστικές ασκήσεις (Prananayama):
§ διαφραγματική αναπνοή,
§ πλευρική αναπνοή,
§ θωρακική αναπνοή,
§ πλήρης αναπνοή (Ujjayi Pranayama).

Στάσεις (Asanas):
§ στην όρθια θέση,
§ στην καθιστή θέση,
§ στην πρόσθια στάση,
§ στην ύπτια στάση.

Βαθιά χαλάρωση (Yoga Nidra).

13.00 - 13.30 Αυτογενής χαλάρωσης (training autogeno) με σωματικές ασκήσεις.


Οι εκπαιδευτικοί που θα παρακολουθήσουν το σεμινάριο είναι απαραίτητο:

§ να φορούν αθλητική φόρμα και να έχουν γυμνά πόδια,
§ να φέρουν μαζί τους αθλητικές κάλτσες, ένα ελαφρύ φούτερ και μια πετσέτα μπάνιου.

Νικόλαος Τριπόδης
Σχολικός Σύμβουλος Φυσικής Αγωγής

Να μας πουν ξεκάθαρα τι πρεσβεύουν.

Why should a child be baptized as an infant ? ( Elder Cleopa )

There are some who say Baptism should only be given to adults because we must first have repentance and faith. Earlier I was asked to comment on this subject and recently found the teaching of Elder Cleopa on this topic.

The Elder begins his explanation by pointing out the precursors to Baptism found in the Old Testament. He writes,

There in [the Old Testament] we read how God appeared to Abraham when he was ninety-nine years of age and, among things, told him to circumcise all the men and to circumcise all the male children who would be born from that time on on the eighth day after their birth. As for him who would not be circumcised , he would perish (Gen 17: 10-14). We see, then, that God did not say to Abraham that children and youth should be circumscribed when they became adults... Some say the Baptism of babies is meaningless since they don't understand anything when they are Baptized. But what did Issac, Abraham's child, understand on the eighth day? Undoubtedly he understood nothing. His parents, however, understood. This is how it is with Baptism as well, as it is practiced in the Orthodox Church, since it is well-known that circumcision symbolizes Baptism in the Old Testament.
He gives another example of the Exodus from Egypt and the passage through the Red Sea which is also seen by Church Fathers as prefiguring Baptism. This is affirmed by Paul who says, "Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor 10:1-2). Moses had told the pharaoh , "We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds we will go." (Ex 10:9).
He then points out that on the day of Pentecost the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and preached to the people what the Spirit had tight them, telling them to repent and to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for "the promise is unto you, and to your children" (Acts 2:39).
Elder Cleopa says,

"For what promise? The promise of Baptism. Thus, the promise was for the children as well. When it is said that they were baptized, it does not say three thousand men and women were Baptized, but three sous and fouls, which means that among those baptized were children."He next presents examples of families who were baptized as recorded in the New Testament. Lydia with her whole family (Acts 16:14). The prisons guard who took Paul and Silias to his house who was Baptised with his whole family ( Acts 16:33). Then there was Crispus and his family (Acts 18:8), and Stephanos and his household (1 Cor 1:16).

He writes,

Jesus Christ likewise, made it clear that little children ought to be Baptized, for when they brought Him some children to be blessed by Him, and His disciples obstructed them, the Lord scolded them, saying: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven; And He laid His hands on them, and departed hence" (Matt 19: 13-15). Hence , if the Lord calls children unto salvation from a young age, why would we obstruct them from receiving Holy Baptism?But how about the question of faith. Is it possible for children to be saved without faith?
The Elder responds,

"It is true that children are not capable of believing at the young age of their Baptism, but neither are they able to doubt or deny Christ. He is not saved who only believes, but he who first of all is baptized... While children do not have faith, they have godparents. These sponsors are adults who accompany the infants to Baptism and make the required confession of faith in their stead. Godparents are the spiritual parents of the children whom they baptize and undertake to guide them into a new life in the Holy Spirit... The priest conducts the Baptism based on the faith of the parents, the sponsors, and the other witnesses present.It is written in Scripture that the faith of a few can save others.
Here are examples given by Elder Cleopa,

"By faith the Roman centurion healed his servant (Matt 8:13). The servant did not believe, but on account of the faith of his master, Christ returned him to full health. Four people brought a paralytic tot he Savior: When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the also, Son, thy sons be forgiven thee (Mark 2:3-5)... On the basis of the faith of Jarius the Lord raised his twelve-year-old daughter (Matt 9:18). On account of faith of others, the Lord healed a dumb, demon-possessed man (Matt 9:32). On account of the faith of the woman of Canaan, the Savior healed her daughter, casting out the demon that possessed her (Matt 15:21). Likewise on the account of faith of a father, the Lord healed his epileptic son (Matt 17:14). These and many other testimonies from Holy Scripture make clear to us that on account of the faith of parents, and others who stand as witnesses at Holy Baptism, the Lord grants sanctification and salvation to the baptized children."We also see this practice from the early days of the Church, The earliest explicit reference to child or infant baptism is in the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, about 215 A.D.: "Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them." (Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition 21:15, c. 215 A.D.)

We must also keep in mind that baptism marks the beginning of our Christian life, each of us who are baptized must continue daily to persevere in our faith until the end of our earthly life. As St. Paul says: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect... I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do... I press on toward the goal to win the prize..." (Philippians 3:12-14)

Elder Cleopa
Reference: The Truth of our Faith, Vol. II, 17-34

Being cognizant of death ( St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol )

Before David became the King of Israel, he was a servant of King Saul. Since Saul knew that David would someday take his throne, he attempted to kill him. Once when his life was in danger, the Prophet David said to those who were his supporters: “I am only one step away from death.At one time I was almost dead.I hardly had a pulse and my heart almost stopped beating.But the Lord was merciful to me and I am still weak and I am able to speak to you only in a seated position.I wish to tell you something very important about this. I want to talk to you about being cognizant of death because it is very close to each one of us, as it was close to me last Saturday.Anyone of us can die suddenly at a time when it is unexpected.You should know that the lives of many people are ended abruptly.”

Remember always—engrave the name of the Lord in your hearts.Always remember this and do not ever forget it.When people prepare to go for a long walk or start a new chore, they gird themselves for the effort.And when they walk in the darkness of night they carry with them a lantern and this is very important because it must always light our way.

The same thing is true about our spiritual lives.We must gird ourselves and keep our lanterns lit.We must be untiring workers of God and we must struggle against Satan who tries at every turn to hinder us from reaching Christ. He tries to kill us with temptations.This is why the Lord Jesus gave us this command: “They encircled us while we had our lanterns burning.”

We must never forget that earthly life has been given to us so that we can prepare for eternal life. Our fate in eternal life will be judged and based on how we have lived our lives in this world.

You should be faithful to Christ.You should be faithful to the way of life He has shown you in the Book of Revelations written by John the Apostle and Evangelist.He tells us in that book: “Become faithful until death and you will be given the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:8).We must be faithful to God.We must serve God tirelessly every day, every hour and every moment of our lives.Our life is short, we cannot waste the few hours, days, and years living our lives aimlessly.We should always think about the hour of our death.

All of the holy ascetics always remembered the hour of their death.It was part of their daily prayer life.They even had human skulls in their cells to remind them of their own death.They would look at them with tears in their eyes knowing that they too would follow in their footsteps.They served God tirelessly and worked for the Lord just like St. Seraphim of Sarov did.They would remember every day the words of the 33rd psalm which is read at the vesper service: “The death of the sinners is evil.”Just like you, they also remember the following words: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 16:5).Sinners have a great fear of death and I have seen many examples of this in my life.But there is one particular incident that I witnessed forty years ago that made such a deep impression on me that I will never forget it.

At that time I was a provincial doctor and I was invited to the home of a very evil man.As I entered his house I was startled by the great deal of turmoil that I found there.People in the house were running all over the place.An old man was lying on a bed. His face was very red and as soon as he saw me enter the room he began to yell out at me saying: “Doctor, I beg you to save me.I am dying, I realize now that I will die.”

Where was this man before this moment in life?What was he thinking when he was terrorizing so many people during his life?What was he thinking when he was taking all the people’s money?Now death had arrived.It is here and it is too late now to say: “I am dying, and I realize that I will die.” He should have lived his life knowing someday that he would die so that he would not now be prepared for death.

Who is there in the world that does not fear death?Only he who follows Christ and lives by His commandments does not fear death because he knows the promises made by Jesus Christ in the Beatitudes: “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” (Mt 5:12).

The deaths of the saints were completely different from those of us who lack faith. St. Seraphim of Sarov died while kneeling in front of an icon of the Holy Mother to whom he always prayed.He fell asleep in the Lord on his knees for precious was his death in the eyes of the Lord.

Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us: “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtakes you.”(John 12:35).While you are alive you still have the Light of Jesus Christ. In life you still have the ability to go to Church to hear the commandments of God and to hear the words of Scriptures.You should walk in that Light because when death comes, the Light will go out for you.This is so because beyond the grave, there is no remission of sins and you will receive your reward in accordance to the good deeds that you did in life.

Therefore, walk in the Light while you have the Light so that you will not be overwhelmed by the darkness, the eternal darkness of death.St. Paul the Apostle says: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
(2 Cor. 6:2).Now that we are living is the acceptable time for our salvation.Now, we should think about our salvation and to prepare ourselves for eternal life.That is what all Christians do, all those who love Christ.

Seventy years ago a doctor lived in St. Petersburg, Russia.His name was Gaaz.He had been assigned to serve the needs of those in jail.He had a very kind heart.He had a heart full of compassion and he loved all people.In his position as a doctor to those in jail, he did everything in his power to help these unfortunate people. He saw the prisoners being sent off to far away prisons in chains.He knew that they would be forced to walk thousands of miles until they reached the jails in Siberia and his compassionate heart went out to them.In order for him to feel their pain, he also wore chains on his feet and walked for hours around the yard of his home.When he was on his death bed, this holy man and physician said to the people around him the following miraculous words, words that all of us should keep in our hearts.“You should make it a priority in your lives to do good deeds for people.It is urgent for you to do this because death awaits all of us.Do not be frivolous in your lives.You should be faithful to Christ until death and God will give you the crown of life.”

The Prophet Isaiah said something which we also should remember andimprint it upon our hearts.“Be troubled you complacent ones; strip your lives bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists.” (Isaiah 32:11).

Tremble and remember death.You should always remember the time when you will leave this life and do not ever forget it.In order for us to have this mindset, and to follow Jesus Christ, we need the help of God.Without this help we will not be able to defeat the temptations of Satan.This is why we should ask God to send us Divine Grace.

Lord, have mercy on us sinners. Lord help us.

We should entreat Jesus like the idol worshipping woman did as you heard today in the Gospel reading.She was a Canaanite woman and when she saw Christ with His disciples she began calling after Him and entreating Him with the following request: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, my daughter is severely demon-possessed.” (Mt. 15:20).But the Lord did not pay any attention to her and He silently continued his journey.The woman continued to entreat Him but He would not answer her.Finally His disciples said to Him: “Send her away, for she cries after us.” (Mt. 15:23).And the Lord answered: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” (Mt.15:24).

The woman continued to entreat Him. What did the Lord say to her?“It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Mt. 15:26.And in response he heard an astounding answer filled with humbleness and compassion.“True Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” (Mt. 15:27), give me a crumb from your mercy.The Lord stopped when He heard this and said to her: “O woman, great is your faith.Let it be to you as you desire and her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Mt.15:28).

Many of us live a life that is not consistent with the Christian message.Many of us are burdened with various sins.Many of us have forgotten the Word of God which says: “The sting of death is sin.” (1 Cor. 15:56).Death wounds the person who becomes a slave to sin.Then, if we areweak and if the garments of our souls are all black with sins aren’t we like the dogs?Shouldn’t we also shout unto Christ as the Canaanite woman did: “Lord, I am like a dog, have mercy on me!” “You have girded me with strength for battle and the lanterns are lit around me. Amen.”

St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol

Prayer- (St. Theophan the Recluse)

St. Theophan the Recluse, On prayer, Homily 1 Written by Theophan the Recluse
Delivered 21 November, 1864
"On the feast day of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most-holy Theotokos, I find it timely to give you instruction in prayer - the main work of the temple. A temple is a place of prayer and arena of prayer's development. For us, entry into the temple is entry into a prayerful spirit. The Lord has the kindness to call our hearts His temple, where we enter mentally and stand before Him, ascending to Him like the fragrant smoke of incense. We are going to study how to attain this state.

Gathering in the temple, you pray, of course. And in praying here, you surely ought not abandon prayer at home. Therefore, it would be extraneous to speak to you about our duty to pray, when you already pray. But I do not think that it is extraneous in any way to give you two or three rules about how to pray, if not in the way of teaching, then simply as a reminder. The work of prayer is the first work in Christian life. If in everyday affairs the saying: "live and learn" is true, then so much more it applies to prayer, which never stops and which has no limit.

Let me recall a wise custom of the ancient Holy Fathers: when greeting each other, they did not ask about health or anything else, but rather about prayer, saying "How is your prayer?" The activity of prayer was considered by them to a be a sign of the spiritual life, and they called it the breath of the spirit. If the body has breath, it lives; if breathing stops, life comes to an end. So it is with the spirit. If there is prayer, the soul lives; without prayer, there is no spiritual life.

However, not every act of prayer is prayer. Standing at home before your icons, or here in church, and venerating them is not yet prayer, but the "equipment" of prayer. Reading prayers either by heart or from a book, or hearing someone else read them is not yet prayer, but only a tool or method for obtaining and awakening prayer. Prayer itself is the piercing of our hearts by pious feelings towards God, one after another – feelings of humility, submission, gratitude, doxology, forgiveness, heart-felt prostration, brokenness, conformity to the will of God, etc. All of our effort should be directed so that during our prayers, these feelings and feelings like them should fill our souls, so that the heart would not be empty when the lips are reading the prayers, or when the ears hear and the body bows in prostrations, but that there would be some qualitative feeling, some striving toward God. When these feelings are present, our praying is prayer, and when they are absent, it is not yet prayer.
It seems that nothing should be simpler and more natural for us than prayer and our hearts' striving for God. But in fact it is not always like this for everyone. One must awaken and strengthen a prayerful spirit in oneself, that is one must bring up a prayerful spirit. The first means to this is to read or to hear prayers said. Pray as you should, and you will certainly awaken and strengthen the ascent of your heart to God and you will come into a spirit of prayer.

In our prayer books, there are prayers of the Holy Fathers - Ephraim the Syrian, Makarios the Egyptian, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and other great men of prayer. Being filled with the spirit of prayer, they were able to up that living spirit into words, and handed it down to us. When one enters into these prayers with attention and effort, then that great and prayerful spirit will in turn enter into him. He will taste the power of prayer. We must pray so that our mind and heart receive the content of the prayers that we read. In this way the act of praying becomes a font of true prayer in us. I will give here three very simple instructions: 1. always begin praying with at least a little preparation; 2. do not pray carelessly, but with attention and feeling; and 3. do not go on to ordinary work immediately after prayer.

Even if prayer is common for us, it always demands preparation. What is more common for those who can read and write than reading and writing? However, sitting down to read or write, we do not immediately begin, but we calm ourselves before beginning, at least to the point that we can read or write in a peaceful state. Even more so preparation for the work of prayer is necessary before praying, especially when what we have been doing before praying is of a totally different nature from prayer.

Thus, going to pray, in the morning or in the evening, stand for a moment, or sit, or walk, and strive in this time to focus your thoughts, casting off from them all earthly activities and objects. Then call to mind the One to Whom you are praying, Who He is and who you are, as you begin this prayerful petition to Him. From this, awaken in your soul the feeling of humility and reverent awe of standing before God in your heart. As you stand piously before God, all of this preparation may seem small and insignificant, but it is not small in meaning. This is the beginning of prayer and a good beginning is half the work.

Having stood up in your heart, now stand before your icons, make a few prostrations, and begin with the usual prayers: "Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee. O Heavenly King…", and so on. Do not read hurriedly; pay attention to every word and let the meaning of each word enter into your heart. Accompany your words with prostrations. With this effort, the reading of prayers becomes pleasant to God and fruit-bearing. Pay attention to every word, and let the sense of each word enter into your heart; understand what you are reading and feel what you are understanding. No other rules are necessary. These two – understanding and feeling – have the effect of making prayer fitting, and fruitful. For example, you read: "cleanse us from every stain" - feel your stain, desire cleanliness, and ask it from the Lord with hope. You read: "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" - forgive all in your soul, and having forgiven everyone everything in your heart, ask for forgiveness for yourself from the Lord. You read: "Thy will be done" - completely give up your own will to the Lord in your heart, and honestly be prepared to meet everything that the Lord is well-pleased to send to to you with a good heart. If you read each verse of your prayers in this way, then you will be truly praying.

The Agony of Christ in Gethesemane

In order to facilitate the development of true prayer, take these steps: 1) keep a prayer rule according to the blessing of your spiritual father - not more than you can read unhurriedly on a normal day; 2) before you pray, in your free time become familiar with the prayer in your rule, fully take in each word and feel it, so that you would know in advance what should be in your soul as you read. It will be even better if you learn the prayers by heart. When you do this, then all of your prayers will be easy for you to remember and feel. There is only one final difficulty: your thoughts will always stray to other subjects, therefore: 3) you must struggle to keep your attention focused on the words of your prayer, knowing in advance that your mind will wander.
When your mind does wander during prayer, bring it back. When it wanders again, bring it back again. Each and every time that you read a prayer while your thoughts are wandering (and consequently you read it without attention and feeling,) then do not fail to read it again. Even if your mind wanders several times in the same place, read it again and again until you read it all the way through with understanding and feeling. In this way, you will overcome this difficulty so that the next time, perhaps, it will not come up again, or if it does return, it will be weaker. This is how one must act when the mind wanders. On the other hand it may happen that a particular word or phrase might act so strongly on the soul, that the soul no longer wants to continue with the prayer, and even though the lips continue praying, the mind keeps wandering back to that place which first acted on it. In this case: 4) stop, do not read further, but stand with attention and feeling in that place, and use the prayer in that place and the feelings engendered by it to feed your soul. Do not hurry to get yourself out of this state. If time cannot wait, it is better to leave your rule unfinished than to disturb this prayerful state. Maybe this feeling will stay with you all day like your guardian Angel! This sort of grace-filled action on the soul during prayer means that the spirit of prayer is becoming internalized, and consequently, maintaining this state is the most hopeful means of raising up and strengthening a spirit of prayer in your heart.

Finally, when you finish your prayers, do not immediately go off to any sort of work, but remain and think at least a little about what you have just finished and what now lies before you. If some feeling was given to you during prayer, keep it after you pray. If you completed your prayer rule in the true spirit of prayer, then you will not wish to quickly go about other work; this is a property of prayer. Thus our ancestors said when they returned from Constantinople: "he who has tasted sweet things does not desire bitter things". So it is with each person who has prayed well during his prayers. One should recognize that tasting this sweetness of prayer is the very goal of praying, and if praying leads to a prayerful spirit, then it is exactly through such a tasting.

If you will follow these few rules, then you will quickly see the fruit of prayerful labor. And he who fulfills them already without this instruction, of course, is already tasting this fruit. All praying leaves prayer in the soul - continual prayer in this manner gives it root, and patience in this work establishes a prayerful spirit. May God grant this to you by the prayers of our All-pure Mistress, the Theotokos!

I have given you initial basic instruction in the ways of raising up in yourselves a prayerful spirit, that is, how to pray in a way appropriate to the meaning of prayer - at home in the morning and the evening, and here in the temple. But this is not yet everything. Tomorrow, if God helps, I will teach you a second method. Amen."
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