Ancient Oriental Baths, Exercises and Rituals
The Sumerian Bath
Holy Ganges Ritual
Balinese Water Dance
Floral Vapor Bath
Herbal Vapor Bath
Oriental AnointmentsPalestineRoman Pool and Bathe of Aesculapius
ANCIENT ORIENTAL BATHS, EXERCISES AND RITUALS
The preceding descriptive material gives a general bird's eye view of all component parts of Mille Meditations. The role of this little epilogue is to give an idea of what is being done from a functional standpoint at Mille Meditations. To be able to penetrate into the innermost essence of ancient cultures and teachings, it is not enough just to see and study their most representative material; we also have to reconstruct their practices so that we can learn not only through visualization and meditation, but also through action. For instance, we will penetrate much better into the spirit of the Toltec culture by playing the Sacred Cosmic Ball Game, than by simply reading a book about it. We will be able to put ourselves in the place of an ancient Sumerian much more easily if we take a Sumerian Bath in the same way he did five thousand years ago. We will feel the inspiration of an ancient Hindu much more if we perform the Holy Ganges ritual in the water. Here follow a few descriptive lines about each ritual so it can be easily practiced.
The sun should be hot, the water cold. One alternately lies on his back four minutes, on his stomach four minutes, on his back four minutes, on his stomach four minutes, coming to sixteen minutes in all. In this manner, half the body is always exposed to the sun, half to the cold water, resulting in remarkable stimulation of the circulation. It also results in an even, golden tan, and is an extremely pleasant way to take a sun bath.
Holy Ganges Ritual Bath
Stand in water which comes to the diaphragm. Then, simply perform breast stroke with the arms while the knees bend rhythmically with each stroke. Inhale as arms spread, exhale as arms come together. Variations may be performed by alternating knee bends with hops from one foot to the other (always in rhythm with the arm movements). After a time, the body movements become automatic, and one may continue even for hours, becoming more and more refreshed. From a spiritual standpoint, performing the Holy Ganges ritual is to combine sun, water, air, and movement through all three.
Balinese Water Dance
Start in water a little below the shoulders. Walk forward crossing one foot in front of the other. As one foot crosses over the other, swing the arms to the opposite side. (For example, as right foot crosses over left, swing both arms to right.) Try to bend the waist gracefully as you walk, imitating the movements of the matchless Balinese dancing girls.
Floral Vapor Bath of Ancient India
All the mysticism of ancient India is invoked as the delicate fragrance of aromatic floral oils permeates the air of the 110 degree vapor room. The body is cleansed, the mind refreshed, and the skin becomes like the petal of a flower.
Herbal Vapor Bath of the Ancient Toltecs
An exact reconstruction of an ancient temescal, used to refresh the Toltecs after playing the Sacred Cosmic Ball Game. Herbs of many varieties are placed in an earthenware pot over hot rocks, and the aromatic vapors in the hot, dry air are excellent for the circulation and metabolism, as well as being delightfully relaxing.
The Old Testament
From time immemorial, the anointing of the head with oil has had deep spiritual significance. at first only practiced by the few, the custom gradually came to the people and became common practice. Besides psychosomatic value, the floral oils are excellent for replenishing natural oil of the hair and scalp, simulating the practice of ancient Palestinians, whose dry climate was very much like ours in southern California.
In India, floral oils were also used, but on the face more than any other part of the body. Again the applying of the oils to the face began as a ritual of spiritual significance, later becoming a daily custom of the people. The blend of these floral oils is a fascinating archaeological reconstruction, while their volatility is beneficial to the complexion.
One of the great joys ot the Roman people, both the nobility and the middle class, was daily to apply pure floral oil to the entire body. The floral oil massage was an integral part of the Roman Baths, a favorite pastime of every Roman.
To keep their hands and feet supple in the dry Mediterranean climate, the ancient Greek athletes regularly applied floral oils to their hands and feet. Their skill at discus throwing and long distance running depended on the condition of their hands and feet, and the anointing of these extremities with floral oils was an obligatory ritual.
THE SACRED BALL GAME OF THE TOLTECS
The Cosmic Ball Game takes the player through the Kingdoms of Quetzelcoatl (good) and Tezcatlipoca (evil) on his journey to the Teocalli (house of the Gods), where the spirit of Man resides. The game is played on a large X, symbolizing Ollin, the sun, representing power and movement. While learning the philosophy of the Toltecs, the player combines all the movements of golf, football, soccer, croquet and basketball, experiencing total physical involvement as well as intellectual and spiritual enlightenment. (For rules and instructions, see Chapter 15)
The walls are of a special opaque material, bathing the entire indoor area in soft, diffused light... towering, rugged rocks form the natural patio, dominated by the figure of Confusius... sliding glass reveals a thrilling backdrop of the changing panorama of nature... a structure designed to house the creative instinct, to translate into the different languages of music, art and literature eight thousand years of wisdom, to inspire man to ever-finer thoughts, words and deeds. Here will be recorded on film archaeological reconstructions, and here will those films be shown. Here plays will be written and music composed, and here, against the curtain of nature, will those works be performed. Here will gather creative minds, drawn by the irresistible force of unity - unity of all the great teachings of the past - to lecture, to teach, and to learn... always governed by the great philosophy of Socrates, who, by the use of Dialogues, achieved the most perfect system of education, in which both teacher and student benefit and to the utmost degree through the use of questions and answers. Here is the intellectual heartbeat of Mille Meditations, where fertile minds will constantly be creating new and exciting ideas in every art form, thereby continuing the work of the Creator on this planet.