It was a difficult summer for me, my father left for his last journey. We were really close and as much as I had prepared myself for a situation like this, the sadness and the pain is something you can’t avoid. It is only natural that our parents will go one day, and it doesn’t matter how many people you have around you their presence is something irreplaceable.
There were a lot of things & paperwork to be done and I had to be in contact with the christian church, my father was a deeply religious person and I wanted everything to be done like he would like it to be. And that’s how it was done, with me feeling his presence at the funeral & with a deep pleasure that everything was done properly, like he was enjoying it, right there, besides me.
My relationship with religion and the church has been through many different stages, as a child my parents kept all the traditions and we were often visiting the “House of God”, I was fasting, I was receiving the holy communion, and I did everything I supposed to in order to be a good christian. Later when I was older and started making my own choices I distanced myself completely, except maybe some visits during Easter and even those not as a priority. As far it is concerned if I believed in something, probably the answer is no, for me it was something indifferent and I couldn’t understand why all these people believe, pray, worship etc. I mostly believed that all these things are done in order to control the masses and create human sheep.
Entering my yoga journey my faith at the Divine presence changed dramatically, I started believing at this Higher Power that it is everywhere, in humans, in animals, in plants, in all the living and not living elements on Earth, at the Universe end even further. The meaning of the word faith acquired an active role in my life, and instead of feeling a sheep it felt more like an awakening, I could pray and dream again for a better tomorrow for everyone, and when sometimes someone asked me if I am a Buddhist I busted into laughs (this happens even now). My faith is something beyond the religions and separations, the Truth is one for everybody, it is Love and through Love we can create a better Self and so on a better World!
My random visits to the church continued and when I was there slowly I started feeling a devoutness and at peace, something different than what I felt before, I was understanding, I was feeling and I was respecting the ceremonies and I was uniting with the rest of the people at this prayer, at this Holy moment. Because collectively the energy of all these people that were it can only be something sacred. So instead of all these things some representatives of the church say about yoga, for me yoga was the key to come closer.
My faith and whatever this word represents for me was also the key, or I better say the cure for the physical absence of my father, his presence, his energy is everywhere, because I know it is everywhere, in every step I take, in every decision I make, in all the small and great moments of my life. My faith makes it possible to have his presence & companionship whenever I want it, and this is one of the gifts of my practice.
When 9 days passed I had to go to the church again for the priest to give me a blessing, I was currently at the city of Nauplio that day and I arranged an appointment in the church of the area. The priest accepted me with joy and asked me my name, what I do for living etc. and started saying the prayer for the 9 days of my dad’s death. When he finished I tried to open my purse to give him some money and he tells me NO, I don’t want any money, come with me.
He took me to one of the corners of the church and started telling me some stories like to pray everyday because if I salute Virgin Mary once she will salute me 100 times back and things like that, he understood that I was emotionally overwhelmed and he told me “You are a good soul, come back tomorrow to receive the Holy communion, I don’t think you have something to say to me, the only thing I want you to know is that fear and stress is a sin, you must forgive yourself, God forgives everything at once, come with me now to give you a blessing.”
When I left I realised again what I already knew all this time, that everybody says the same things, every religion, every philosophical system in every corner of our planet, that Faith is one, that Truth is one, Love. And Love begins inside us..
After all these years and under all these weird circumstances the next day by coincidence was the 15th of August, Virgin Mary’s day which is also my name day and as a child my parents forced me to fast, go to the church and receive the holy communion. Dad I received the holy communion.