Lovely guy Alessandro, seems he reads my blog occasionally as when we met on the course he asked me how I was, referring to the Kidney stones, kind of him to ask.
Thank you Alessandro.
Hyon Gak Sunim ( that's him, the monk, chanting in the Video) puts it best perhaps in his Share of the video on fb
"A GREAT video about Zen meeting Ashtanga at our recent retreat in Rethymno, Greece. Wanna see the soft, wide world of yoga meet the laser-like technology of Zen? Please share this video! Please share this video! Just another amazing work of art by Alessandro Sigismondi.... "
M. got excited watching this pointing me out, a toe here, part of a thigh there , my belly, a glimpse of my blue with white rabbits tengui shouting "there's Guri....there's Guri....Guri....Guri again...and so on (Guri being short for Gurimu i.e.. Grim, Japanese work in syllables).
The shots below are for M. of course.
And the bit right of the end of Kristina singing, just beautiful, can't get it out of my head, what is that she's singing?
This piece of music has been haunting me all day. i sampled the bit on the video and looped it to use during savasana this morning. First thing I did when i got home was to ask Alessandro if Kristina mentioned what it was she was singing. ( could have asked Kristina herself but was a bit embarrassed ). Turns out it's the most Ancient, Song of Seikilos
some notes from the Youtube upload
"This song is one of the earliest examples yet found of a complete musical composition from the ancient world. Although other songs have been found that pre-date 'The Song of Seikilos' by many centuries, they only survive in fragments.
Seikilos carved the song on a grave pillar in dedication to his wife.
The Grave was discovered in 1883, near Aydin in Turkey. Archaeologists believe it dates between 200 BC and AD 100.
Seikilos also inscribed a poem on the gravestone, it reads:
"Hoson zēs, phainou
Mēden holōs sy lypou;
Pros oligon esti to zēn
To telos ho chronos apaitei."
"As long as you live, shine,
Let nothing grieve you beyond measure.
For your life is short,
and time will claim its toll."
From the Atrium Musicae de Madrid directed by Gregorio Paniagua, recorded in 1979"
I've just bought the mp3 album on Amazon, still prefer the simplicity of Kristina's version (and with the Ashtanga breath in the background of Alessandro's video), but this is nice to, growing on me. Thank you to both Kristina and Alessandro.
I actually went to Uni to study Classics, it was during an Ancient Greek Philosophy class ( the pre-socratics) that I decided to switch to straight Philosophy in the second year, listening to this I almost regret it.
We all met in the shala the evening before practice and Kristina mentioned that if we wished we could meet up at the white church nearby the following morning and head over to her place to chant with Sunim. The idea was that after chanting we would walk silently back to the shala to practice, nice.
I'd noticed Sunim, an American monk from Korea bouncing around in the shala with a huge fan and in his monks garb. What came next I wasn't expecting. We all squeezed into a room in Kristina's house behind the monk who passed us a little piece of paper with a mantra,
Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ.
And then the monk began to chant this huge reverberating voice that you hear in the movie, powerful stuff.
I didn't realise that this was an option available for us every morning as it was M. was getting up early with me. I'd planned on doing some pranayama and chanting as the sun came up. As it was, every morning M. andI just sat quietly together and watched the sun come up from our balcony drinking Greek coffee before I headed off to the shala.
I think Sunim would have approved.