7th Lojon with Maxim Leschenko
by Carl Stepath, PhD
I was very fortunate to be able to attend the recent Seventh Lojon course taught at Dzamling Gar, Playa Paraiso, Canary Islands, España from March 19 – 24, 2019. The instructor was Maxim Leshchenko, who is known here at the Gar as Max. The course went from 09:00 – 11:30 and 15:00 – 17:00 daily, and not only was it very challenging, but Maxim presented the information and hours of practice with us in a very soft and gentle manner. I did not talk to any of the other participants who did not really enjoy this course.
This course was very professionally presented, with the goal of teaching the participants how to enter or deepen experience of meditative stability in the state beyond thought according to the practices of the base of Santi Maha Sangha and Yantra Yoga. It also used the practice of Kumbhaka to help us remain focused while we learned to internally clarify the trainings as we attempted to gain somewhat of an understanding of mind as it relates to nature of mind. The idea of understanding this concept was very difficult for some of us, and the extreme patience, and continued gentle explanations of these types of ideas were very well received by the students.
This course was restricted to people who had received transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and are members of the Dzogchen Community. For the week prior to the scheduled course, Maxim led whoever was interested in a very thorough and helpful pre-course training practice in the 1st Pranayama with the Four Characteristic Conditions, as outlined in the Yantra Yoga, The Tibetan Yoga of Movementtext (ChNN, 2008, pp 95-96). This provided attendees with a better and more thorough preparation for this 7th Lojon course. He also recommended for us to study and practice the Table of the Breathing Cycles for the Pranayama of the Four Profound Applications (otherwise known as Rhythmic Breathing, pp 144-47 in the Yantra Yoga text), and work toward being able to hold a Minor Kumbhaka (8-32-16).
Maxim is a 3rd level Yantra Yoga Instructor from theUkraine who now lives in Tenerife, Spain. He teaches all over the world, has been practicing yoga for over 13 years, and has devoted himself to Yantra Yoga. The Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu authorized him as a Yantra Yoga instructor in 2010. He is one of three authorized 3rd level teachers in the world, and will be traveling around Europe and North America for the next year or so. Maxim is also an instructor of “Harmonious Breathing”, certified by Fabio Andrico, and he teaches these courses in either English orRussian.He has been teaching this 7th Lojon course for a number of years, and the students found it extremely interesting and informative.
During this course with Maxim, we learned about the three parts of the 7th Lojon, it was presented by learning each one these three different parts separately for a number of days each. Actually learning to implement these parts is accomplished by gently doing a number of Yantra Yoga practices, breathing techniques, and then remaining in meditative position while utilizing various breathing techniques as well as kumbhaka to develop a joyful and blissful feeling based ons generating heat in our bodies. Maxim was very patient, soft and thorough in his instruction of this very complicated procedure. All the students were very satisfied, and were able to complete various amounts of these activities, as their physical limitations, ability and available time permitted. It was very worthwhile experience for me, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to take this course and learn so much from such a patient and giving instructor. This course was very helpful for all the students to learn better how to integrate the Dzogchen Teachings into daily life.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, 2008, THE PRECIOUS VASE, Instructions on the Base of Santi Maha Sangha, Third revised edition in English, Shang Shung Edizioni, 58031, Arcidosso GR, Italia.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, 2008, Yantra Yoga, The Tibetan Yoga of Movement.A Stainless Mirror of Jewels, A commentary on Vairocana’s The Union of Sun and Moon Yantra in English, Sun Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York