Archive for January 2009

Dalai Lama, Tibetan People and Jesus Christ

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I feel that I have to speak about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. This is a post to send them my deepest compassion, respect and love. Every tear is one of mine. Your pain is my pain since we are connected souls and spirits. My heart pulsates and radiates with your wounds and suffering and I will wait with patience for the moment that all of what I experience right now will turn into light. I want more than ever to be connected with love, grace, gratefulness and peace. From all over the world I received caring and loving letters and e-mails. Let us all, from a distance, heal this part of the world, knowing that this simple action will not only reach the people in Tibet, but will also spread to the rest of the world.

Your holiness the Dalai Lama, I want to thank you for being always an example of true compassion, love and peace. I feel grateful for the brilliant and enriching teaching you still bring to planet earth. I hope and wish that you know how many people learned from you and still do. In all turbulence and suffering you are a shining example of calmness, harmony, wisdom and wholeness.

Your love influenced my life tremendous and in respect of what I learned from you I will send my love to all people involved.

I feel my heart beat and I experience painTears run over my face A silent cry is waiting for an answerBeyond the darkness from the light

I think of Jesus arms around meHolding as his loving childMother Marie I call up on your healing powerLet your love enter all our hearts

Angels of the universe guide all traveling soulsDirect them to the one and only soulGive them wings to fly and let them dance In the glorious world of stars

Ancient masters send your loving energyAnd fill the earth with golden beams of lightSaint Germaine I call upon you to burn the Powerful violet flame

Erna Oldenboom

Jc2_2 At Eastern it is obvious to spend time to talk of Jesus and to let the Christ energy flowing in our life. Jesus was killed for preaching love and respect and it seems that we still continue in the same habits and actions. Walter and I were watching television and we saw a wonderful interview, documentary about AbtPrimas Notker Wolf. We enjoyed it so much to listen to his wise words, his sense of humor and his brilliant open mind. (And  by the way he is a rock guitarist, yes you read it correct.) Nicolas Sarkozy explained that the Christian origin should take more part in normal daily life in France. I very much like this idea. I would like to invite the Christ energy in our ordinary life. Jesus preaches Peace and Justice. He was an example of forgiveness until the very last moment. His teachings encouraged unconditional self-sacrificing God-like love for God and for all people. During his sermons, he preached about service and humility, the forgiveness of sin, faith, turning the other cheek, love for one’s enemies as well as friends. Jesus was also very courageous and explained very well his ideas of sustainable performance and responsible management.

350pxtemplejerusalem_2 He created a disturbance at Herod’s Temple by overturning the tables of the moneychangers who set up shop there, and claiming that they had made the Temple a "den of robbers."

The teaching of Jesus include all different other spiritual practices and religions. Atheism is a “religion” as well since it includes believes and assumption and are also included in the great spectrum of diversity. The beauty of Jesus, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Marie and Mother Theresa and many, many others is that they spread the words of compassion and love and include(d) all forms of life.

Abpnw_2 What I recognized in Notker Wolf was very much the same and I felt spontaneous “IN LOVE”. Walter and I smiled and felt touched in our heart. All of these wonderful beings have in common that Man and Woman love them. All have in common that they love diversity. All have in common to talk about values and all like to serve the world. All have in common that they live a disciplined life and feel connected to others and respect all existence of different expressions of life. They never separated themselves from others. They all combined many different aspects of life. It seems to me that whenever we search for wholeness our soul experiences freedom. All bounderies are desolved and free us from prison. All are multi talented. I like to share with you some poems of a well-known Sufi poet:

Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

I died as a mineral and became a plant,I died as plant and rose to animal,I died as animal and I was Man.Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soarWith angels blest; but even from angelhoodI must pass on: all except God doth perish.When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existenceProclaims in organ tones,‘To Him we shall return.

Rumi’s Universality

What can I do, Submitters to God? I do not know myself.I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Zoroastrian nor Muslim,I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,not from existence, not from being.I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of KhurasanI am not from the world, not from beyond,not from heaven and not from hell.I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.Beyond "He" and "He is" I know no other.I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.I have no concern but carouse and rapture.If one day in my life I spend a moment without youfrom that hour and that time I would repent my life.If one day I am given a moment in solitude with youI will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.O Sun of Tabriz (Shams Tabrizi), I am so tipsy here in this world,I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture

I want to finish with some interesting pictures of The Iranian Film director and Photographer Abbas Kiarostami who is a member of Magnum Photos. About his photography Abbas writes:

« My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder. A reflection on the subject precedes it. A meditation on finality follows it, and it is here, during this exalting and fragile moment, that the real photographic writing develops, sequencing the images. For this reason a writer’s spirit is necessary to this enterprise. Isn’t photography « writing with light »? But with the difference that while the writer possesses his word, the photographer is himself possessed by his photo, by the limit of the real which he must transcend so as not to become its prisone.

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  I connected many different souls and in my mind they are related. Let us protect, respect and love all diferent parts of ourselfsBirdinhand_2

Diamonds are Forever

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While traveling a few years back with my son through Morocco, visiting Marrakech a story came to my mind. A story that never faded away.

Once in the deepest part of the dessert a small girl grew up always carefully listening to the sound of dessert sand. One time the blowing sand whispered “Suraya run to the water well and you will find a miracle”. Suraya instantly new that she had to follow the instruction of the whispering voice and her small legs walked the path as fast as possible. A few hours later she arrived and she could hear the beating of her heart. “I will wait to drink the holy water. I have to honor it first", she thought. Seven times she walked around the well, praying and singing the name of Allah. After she finished her sacred rituals she drank of the water. Slowly, with awareness as dessert people always do. She smiled to the other people that came to the well and listened to their stories, drinking tea and eating all together at the fireplace. All nomads share the knowledge of dessert’s mysteries. She forgot about the miracle and wanted to return. A small shining, glittering, glimmering something came to her eye. Curious as children are, she looked at it and saw a small ring with a beautiful stone. She took the ring and showed it with happiness to the other people. Dessert people share their findings. “Look, I found a diamond, look I found a diamond”, she told everybody. All of them laughed and told her that she could keep the diamond ring. “How wonderful that she believes she found a diamond”, people told each other. All of them were touched by the innocent child. Suraya ran back to the place and the people she grew up with and showed what she found to the people that always took care of her. “Look what I found”, and she showed her ring to everyone. Everybody smiled. “Let her enjoy her dreams of having a diamond ring”, people said amongst each other. “Poor child”, many people thought. Nobody knows were she came from. She was found in a small basket somewhere close to a water well. God has given her grace and beauty but no parents to love her. “How will her future be?” Inshalla = only God knows. Many years after finding her miracle, people told her that the diamond of her ring was just a stone. “Suraya you are old enough to know that the diamond is a “normal” stone”, they told her. She never believed them. A young man coming from another part of the dessert saw the eyes of the beautiful girl. “Who is she, this lady of beauty and grace”, he asked. “She is "nobody", but we call her Suraya”, people told him. “She was found when the Pleiades = 7 stars were visible”. 300pxpleiades_elihu_vedder The stranger could only see her beauty and hearing her voice that touched the strings of his heart. When thinking stops and the hearts take over, pure consciousness will enter the empty space. “I will come back to you Suraya and I will marry you”, he told her before leaving. “Poor child” the people thought. “How can he marry her when there are no parents to give her away? He will never come back”, they thought in pain with worried hearts.

The young man could only think of the dessert girl and he told his father that he found "the love of his life". The father, a wise man, knowing the wisdom of the heart, told his son: “We will invite her and we will wait for a sign”. The young man went back to "his" dessert girl and escorted by wise woman she entered the house of the father and son. “Come my child, I am curious to know more of the young woman that touched the heart of my sun. Come closer and let me see your face”. Shy and knowing that she should bow her head she kneeled. The father looked at her small hands and he saw the ring. His face showed excitement and he asked her: “Can I see the ring?”. Suraya showed him the ring and he was astonished. “This is the sign I waited for” he explained to all that were in the house.

"Once upon a time I drank sacred water with a holy man Elmorya2and the man told me: Your son will marry a girl so beautiful that even the sun does not want to sleep. She will come to your house wearing a diamond ring of which everbody believes that it is a normal stone. The ring represents the 7 stars”, he finished his story. Everbody could hear the

silence and watched the sky. Pleaidesblue

Suraya, daughter of the dessert, married the young man and she became the “Queen of the dessert”, since she saw diamonds everywhere.

People came to visit her, since her heart was listening and her voice sounded fresh as sparkling water. Suraya practiced devinity and shared more than everybody else everything she had and served the world and not only during Eid-ul-Adha.

Dessert people believe in miracles and surrender to God

INSHALLA

I walked with my son through the small streets and Kasbah and it is easy to believe in miracles in Marrakech. We drunk (sweet) mint tea with Berbers. We negotiated prizes every single second of our stay. I enjoy that just for the fun of taking part in this playful process. Sometimes people do not like this since they want security of the “real” prize, not knowing that a “real” prize does not exist. We pay more money for gold than for clean drinking water. Inside yourself you intuitively know what a “good” prize is. Taxi-drivers of cars and horse and carriage brought us everyday to the same place (a carpet shop) in the Kasbah of Marrakech. We started to believe that this was not a coincidence and we laughed about it.

“It is us again” we told the sellers and praised them for their nice products. I was constantly called “La Gazelle”. Tn_dsc_2845w_2 We enjoyed a belly dance performance and we eat wonderful food. Marrakech lively changes during the evening in a majestic place. Snakes, fire and food everywhere. And when you listen carefully stories will come spontaneously.

The story of Suraya never faded away. I learned a miraculous lesson and I hope you too. When I look into the faces of the young adults in the class room I see diamonds everywhere. Other people can tell me that I am old enough to know that they are “ordinary people” but Suraya, the wind and the sand of the dessert told me a different story. They tought me to show respect to everybody in the street and to be aware of the "nobodies". The people that live in the streets. The invisible ones. "Nobodies" can change the world. Curiosity, an eye for signs, love, imagination and trust are the ingredients of the story that came to my mind. Whenever we use them we will find diamonds. Once you meet Suraya she will never leave you. She will stay forever. Were you can find her? Everywhere! In Marrakech, China, France, in a smile, in the face of a stranger and in the eyes of a beloved one.Yellowsmileyhat Let us surrender to the world of imagination.

                                     INSHALLA

SAI MAA Gele_roos

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Growing Beyond FLEE and FIGHT

Flee or fight?

I went to a very special seminar called Somato Respiratory Integration (12 stages of Healing) by doctor Donald Epstein Donforweb during the last weekend of February 2008 at Como, Italy.

The brochure that all of us received explained:

The Somato Respiratory integration is an educational forum and a transformational healing workshop. The program explores each of the 12 Stages of Healing, their associated states of consciousness, and the exercises which assist in experiencing and nurturing these states, its goal is to develop lifetime skills, to promote wholeness, safety, strength, wisdom and love in relationship to the experience of one’s body, its vibration, structure and energy”.

During the whole seminar I felt grateful, energetic, joyful and peaceful and I learned every single minute. In the first place I love Italy. It is such a wonderful place to be. I went with a not too small propeller plane from Marseille to Malpensa, Milan and arrived excited and safe. I really did not know how to arrive in Como and I therefore asked some people and went by bus to the central station in the center of Milan. It took quit long (there are better and shorter connections) but I enjoyed it. I saw on the billboard that the train to Como would leave at 9.15 hours in the evening but I could not find the platform at the station. The only train that was scheduled to leave at this hour was the train to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In my perception it was impossible that this would be the train to Como but surprisingly it was the train that would stop in Como. It felt funny to be seated in the train to Amsterdam, to the country in which I was born, knowing that I had to leave this train at the very first stop. I liked it and I had nice talks with people that traveled to Amsterdam.

When I arrived at the Hotel in Como I felt hungry but the restaurant was closed. A wonderful person working at the bar of the hotel saw, without asking, that I wanted to eat something and I received some cheese, olives, nuts and some other nice snacks. I immediately felt that this person was willing to serve. He does not need any course in building up relationships with clients since he intuitively knows how to serve in the very best way. I felt extremely grateful.

The next day I went into a taxi-boot just for the pleasure to be on the lake. Como is a very pleasant, peaceful little town with nice shops, excellent coffees, a wonderful cathedral (duomo), 46876delicious food and I met only nice people. I always burn candles for beloved ones in churches. I suppose that many people do that. A woman was cleaning her windows on the first floor and a very well-dressed man passed by and at the same moment half of the bucket of water felt down. The man, soaking wet, looked up, his arms reaching to the sky and said: “Scuzi” and walked by. I saw this and could not stop laughing, which drew the attention of the man and the only thing he could do was also laugh.

Coming back in the hotel the course started and as I said in the beginning I felt great. The exercises were not easy, much better to mentally and intellectually understand than to practice and more often my mind was telling me that some of the exercises were (physical)too much. When this occurs I automatically know that I can and have to do more. When I less like to practice certain exercises I know that these are the ones that I need to practice most of all.

The first stages and exercises are associated with the lower layers of consciousness. These are the layers that re-act, respond immediately and are active when we are in danger. The first stages are associated with flee or fight reactions. It is the state in which we discriminate, distinguish between the one and the other, agree and disagree, right and wrong, the desire to have less of something and more of something else. I recognize these layers very well and by embracing them it gives more “space” for developing other skills and for growth to other levels. On the higher levels there is full connection and wholeness. We worked this weekend trough all the levels and coming back in France I recognized muscles that I never knew existed.

Going back to France I was seated in the same propeller plane and sitting next to a man that told me that he was very thirsty. I offered him my bottle of water but he thankfully refused to drink it. Before the take-off of the plane the pilot told us that we would have turbulence due to whether conditions. A woman sitting in front of me started to be even more worried than before. After the take–off, a man in front of the lady brought his seat into a sleeping position. The lady cried furious that this was extremely impolite and shacked the chair in front of her. Due to that the man stood up and screamed at her and both of them were not able to stop their argument. I always feel a bit uncomfortable when things happen like this, since I do not know where to go. There is no way out of a flying plane. I decided to stand up and to offer my seat to both the man and the woman. Both refused but stopped screaming. I decided to offer “my” seat to both of them since I did not feel “for” or “against” one of them. People like it when one chooses for the one or the other. If they are in pain (blaiming that this is caused by what somebody else did), they expect that others are “against” this person as well. Support to both is seen as a (judgmental) mistake. Being neutral is not always seen as a (welcome) possibility. I did not feel any reason for judgment and preference for one or the other, I followed my own need and desire to have more quietness and safety in the plane. When I came back to “my” seat my neighbor asked me what has happened and I explained that there were some discussions.

France should be for the French. When you walk through Marseille how many real French people do you see?” he asked me with a foreign accent. For some reason I did not answer the question. Just before arriving in Marseille, I recognized that I had seen the man next to me before and I asked “out of the blue”: “Are you in the Foreign Legion?”. “Yes” he said and I remembered that he was born in Russia. I once borrowed yoga-mats from the foreign legion for an International Seminar at Euromed.

Life is an illusion” came to my mind. A legionary from Russia is telling that France should be for the French to somebody from the Netherlands that lives and works in France. Are these reactions of the lower parts of the brain? I guess they are. The man was not able to observe that the lady who shacked his chair was extremely nervous. If he would have recognized this, he most properly would have had a different and more adequate reaction. The woman did not recognize her own fears and was (wanted to be?) triggered by the man and made him responsible for her anxiousness. Both were not able to observe what was really going on. The first response is one of “attack and defense” . The legionary, trained to be French, believes that this happens more frequently between foreigners. How often do we see our own brothers and sisters as foreigners? I ask myself.

A few weeks before I went to Como, the inauguration of an agricultural exhibition took place in France and Nicolas Sarkozy tried to reach for the hand of a visitor. Nicolas Sarkozy was rejected with a “Don’t touch me, you make me sick!” from the previous. I know from my own experience that rejection of something you offer can hurt. It seems that my needs for respect, love and recognition of my true intentions are not met. I always feel this in my heart. Important to recognize this and to have compassion with your own feelings and emotions and to take responsibility for them. (non-violent communication Marshall Rosenberg). If you refuse or deny to do this, your lower brain will take over (first stages) and will respond immediately. This happened to Nicolas Sarkozy as well. He responded by “Casse-toi, pauvre con!” (translated “F… off, you stupid bastard!” As a sad expression of unfulfilled needs. Both are French and not foreigners in the meaning of nationality and we can observe these reactions everywhere, in the first place in ourselves.

We can observe leaders and managers that are unable to work together, based on the idea that they have a different vision, point of view and ideas, instead of trying to reach a higher level of connection and respect. As a result “employees” have no clue how to react since they feel almost pressed to be “for the one and against the other and visa versa” even when they experience gratitude and respect for both.

Nicolas Sarkozy on the one hand and managers on the other hand, are “Fathers” of a nation and a company. They are chosen (and paid) to be the visionaries, the ones that are the examples of shared values and behavior, from a higher state of consciousness. They are chosen to be committed to all their “children” whether they like it or not. As a consequence of their position, they should show an attitude, behavior and wisdom that is far beyond personal interest (and money), political ideas and concepts only. We expect from a “father” recognition for all the “children”, for their needs, their well-being and their future.

We can help them doing that by sending our respect and being an example ourselves. “Children” are many times the best “fathers and teachers”. “Children do not like to chose between their father or mother”. They like connection for their own well-being.

I like to end my story with some nice phrases that I read in the 2008 Shift report “Changing the story of our future”, The Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Although people appear to be black, white, or brown; gay, straight, or bi, male or female; able or disabled – these are resonances that reflect a universe that appreciates and solicits difference. Sexuality, gender, class, and race are not deterministic categories; rather, they are fugues and etudes in a larger and more complex symphony.

Barbara A. Holmes

"There are no others"

Ramana Maharishi

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Separation

It could be that your mind starts thinking about divorce since this is what came up immediatly when I sourced on google trying to find some creative input for my new post.

I do want to write about separation in another sense. I came up with the idea as a response on the comments of Emmanuelle on my previous post. I completely agree that life and death are connected. Everyday we die at least a little bit since many of our cells are renewing and for this process others have to die first. The (re)birth of new cells happens on a continuous basis.

Is it the physical death of somebody that causes beloved one’s mostly an incredible pain? I believe it is more the feeling of separation and the need for interconnection with the one’s we love that makes us sad. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started his journey to the other world at an age (91) that most of us will never reach, what does not mean that therefore we are not allowed to mourn. Allowing all emotions and feelings is at least for me necessary to grow on my path to true compassion and love. If emotions and feelings would not have existed I personally would have invented them. I learned more from listening to my feelings and emotions than through my thoughts and mind. This does not mean that I assume that they are not related. I perfectly understand and experience that they are highly connected. When Maharishi passed away I felt sadness in my heart and I instantly knew that I had to open my heart even more to let this feeling transform into love and compassion. I feel grateful for this opportunity. There is nothing wrong with sadness, anger and other so called “negative” feelings since these are the doorways to pure consciousness.

I read in the newspaper and listen to the radio in which the French president Nicolas Sarkozy expresses himself to the journalist that his “personal” relationships are part of his private life and that they have nothing to do with his position. I wondered and asked myself whether you can separate your private and public life, especially as a president. Many questions filled my mind.

Is a police officer allowed to steel in “private” ?  Is a judge allowed to use heroine in “private”. Is a teacher allowed to abuse children in private? 

We all will immediately explain that all the things I mentioned are regulated by law and are different from what the president wanted to express. I am the first one to agree that my comparisons are not completely valuable but the words of the president are mind puzzling and my first spontaneous reaction is that I would like to call the separation between private and public life a serious example of suffering from Schizophrenia.

I am aware that we observe in business and other parts of life a lot of separations;

-        between our private and public life

-        between thoughts, mind and feelings and emotions

-        between body, mind and spirit

-        between management and employees

-        between shareholders and stakeholders

-        between governmental and private organizations

-        between men and women

-        between generations

-        between rich and poor

-        between victims and criminals

We can meet wonderful parents, grandparents that will talk in private about (small) crimes and about the unsafe environment caused by young adults (more often foreigners) in the streets. Having outspoken opinions about “right and wrong” and on the same moment trying to avoid (legal) taxes. As we learned lately again from some examples in Germany. Fraud in the construction business seems to be “normal” in many countries in the world. I do not even want to talk about, in my opinion, illegal activities that are taking place in the arms trade, cheap labor and child labor. I talk about “normal” human beings that are more often respected members of our society.

I have heard managers (high salaries and bonuses) explaining to the employees that the above average financial results not automatically lead to increase of salaries and without any self-reflection expect that they will be paid a fortune themselves. I have heard managers telling that the salaries of the employees for the coming years need to be frozen and at the same time negotiated for a “golden parachute” themselves.

 

I have the idea that we rather often suffer from collective schizophrenia. Would it be helpful to reflect and to ask some questions?

Is what I am doing something that I am looking forward to talk about with my children and grandchildren? Are the activities I take part in serving others? Is what I think in line with my feelings and emotions? What is my “inner” voice telling me when I listen carefully, especially when nobody else is there? Is my behavior respectful and sustainable to others? Is what I preach to others in line with what I do myself?

Last but not least I am not a supporter of (gossip) reading private affairs in the newspapers, hearing them on the radio and watching them on television since they do not serve me and others. I prefer to live my own life.

I want to know more of the basic concepts, thoughts, ideas and I like to observe the expected outcome on a longer term from a president.

I will not judge a president on his personal preferences and romances. Although I do feel that the interest of the media in his personal affairs is first of all caused by himself. I would not call Nicolas Sarkozy a poor victim of the sensation press and therefore I would like to suggest him to put his awareness from a blissful state on all levels (meso-macro-and micro).

Nicolas Sarkozy is elected by a majority of the French and I hope and wish that he will be successful. I do not feel  schadenfreude” knowing that his popularity has lowered. It would be selfish and egocentric and not at all sustainable since his failure(s) would be a disaster for this great country in which I am allowed to live. I like to thank him for taking responsibillity and initiative and for intergrating ideas into concrete actions. I would like to make him more intelligent, brilliant and creative since making somebody smaller by unnecessary critizism does not serve anybody. Different (political) ideas are enriching and I definitely have another paradign in mind but I still have the feeling that I like to respect him for his hard work and continious commitment. When I lived in Spain I followed a belly dance course and I learned from the Arab dance culture to put the best dancers in front. We supported them with every single cell to be better, more passionate and powerful and the result was that everybody of the audiance thought that we all were the very best dancers. A separating mind is ego centered and forgot the idea of wholeness. Maharishi explained that in more profound words and therefore I like to express my gratitute for his teaching even if I never met him personally. Sometimes we think that people are always with us in their physical form. We take it for granted instead of expressing gratitute. I always wanted to meet the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela since they are exceptional human beings to me. At this moment I realise that I can always meet them in my heart. I can show that I learned from them in the words I use, in all the activities I undertake. Is what I do, think and feel from the heart? Is it causing separation or connection?

I like to express my gratitude to Nicolas Sarkozy since his “small talk” has given me a lot to reflect on and has left me with more questions than answers. I wish him and his wife Carla Bruni a wonderful, passionate and happy life in a stable and harmonious France.

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(I absolutely admire Carla Bruni’s arstical performance and love to listen to her wonderful debut album quelqu’un má dit)

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Sri Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Mmy_red_garland_2 Sri Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

A world leader started on February the 5th 2008 his journey to the other world. I received the Namasté newsletter from the Chopra Center in which it was announced. I felt a deep sadness not exactly knowing why. It was just what I felt. I never met Maharishi personally and I never learned Transcendental Meditation. The Beatles and the Beach Boys were attracted by the peaceful teaching of Maharishi and became devotees. They separated after a while and different "gossip" stories were told about the reasons. I never read even a small phrase by Maharsihi himself about the separation. It might be that he never had a need to "defend" himself since it seems that he never felt "attacked". I smile and know that I still can learn from him being a good example. It is good to learn not to judge and to gossip about others. "Schadenfreude", as defined as the pleasure taken from someone else’s misfortune is frequently (or commonly) used by people. I very much like the book and DVD "Messages from Water" by dr. Masaru Emoto.  I can highly recommend to read the book and to watch the DVD. "If thoughts can do to water, what can they do to you"?

Courtesy_2

It is equally important not to feel distracted by the opinions of others. I learned from my own experience that whenever you feel deep inside that your actions are based on respect and love and when you take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions that it is possible to stay connected to your dreams, intentions and the power of creation.

Maharishi lived his last years in the Netherlands, a country from which many spiritual leaders said an still say that the feminine energy is very strongly present, due to the attraction of the Moon. I always liked the idea that Maharishi lived in the country where I was given birth and I many times honored him in silence.

I learned Ayurvedic Massage in the Netherlands thought by Robert Swami Persaud. Walter and I received many opportunities while practising and learning the Ayurvedic concepts and massage techniques, to be aware of the power of compassion and love and being in the “present” by working with people. I am also a Creating Health: Magic of Healing Instructor of the Chopra Center and the knowledge I received from the teachers of the Chopra Center are based on the Ayurvedic Principles. Deepak ones told his audience how he met Maharishi in an Airport, while he was on his way to a medical conference and how this meeting completely changed his live. 

I feel grateful for the wonderful stories told by Deepak Chopra and last but not least by my beloved teacher Roger Gabriel (Raghavanand) who always shared his profound wisdom and love. I feel blessed that I met them. I would like to express that all the experiences I had with "my" teachers changed my life as well. Due to Deepak and Raghavanand I met other beautiful people around the world. All these extraordinary people introduced me to other wonderful souls and I now feel connected with many great spirits. I recognize that I observe the world through different eyes. "The world did not change but the observer received new glasses and brand new perspectifs".

I want to share my feelings of deep gratitude for the “teachers” I met and to whom I feel strongly connected. I love them intens for their willingness to share their experiences, wisdom and love. Thank you Maharishi that you brought the richness of Ayurveda to our western world. Thank you for sharing your ideas of health from a holistic perspective with so many people. I will rember you in respect, peace and love. Thank you.

I like to finish this short commemoration with the loving words of my teacher

"Honor your soul’s courage and know the path of the heart is the only path to be in"   

Rode_roos_3                                                                    H.H. Sai Maa 

Learning

I very much like the post of my husband Walter Baets I very much understand his post, since I as his wife know the background, the context based on the many dialogues and discussions we had.

I like to support him in the many activities he develops and I fully underline his thoughts and ideas of learning. Learning "should" be pleasant and calling upon the creativity, intelligence and curiosity of the delegates. Schools and Universities "should" be safe and friendly environments and “teachers and professors” an example themselves of these values. Marshall Rosenberg prefers to use another English word for "should" and I completely agree with him but I can not find another word (I am not native English) that signifies the strong need I feel for what I like to call fundamental for learning.

It needs courage to go beyond the mainstream since we have unfortunately many examples of people that were killed due to their ideas, different assumptions and personal involvement. I believe, feel and experience that this is a sad expression of unfulfilled needs. Safety, love, respect, happiness, peace and harmony are not always present in the life’s of individuals and in groups. It is since we have the idea that “others” are not as “we”. As long as we separate ourselves by talking about “them and we”, as long as we express ourselves in words as “the insiders” and “the outsiders”, we will actively and passively spread violence and aggression into the world. It is based on fear and it causes an artificial separation between all living creatures, who are fully connected and enact in the same time and space.  I watched late in the evening “National Geograpic” and saw how four individual scientist worked in their field on natures “history”. All of them found, while working in different fields and in different places in the world some “surprising” outcome of their scientific approaches. The question they all came up with was: “What the heck happened about 75.000 years ago”? How is it possible that in the ice layers at Greenland the sulphite percentage about 75.000 years ago was much higher? How is it possible that in certain areas on planet earth volcano dust exist that we can not relate to a specific volcano we know. (Every volcano has his/her own fingerprint, like an expression of DNA). Somebody else sourced at the LakeToba at Sumatra, an Island of Indonesia and was wondered by the incredible depth, the size and the dust and volcano stones he found in this area. All worked separately from each other and could not find any further answers to their questions, until the moment their knowledge, findings came together. Instead of competing and fighting each other they connected their wisdom and knowledge and came up with new evidence of a what we would call an eruption of a SUPER VOLCANO. An eruption of a super volcano in the area of Lake Toba that caused an enormous disaster that all of a sudden changed the water temperature with 6 – 7 (lower) degrees.

“Some 75,000 years ago a super-eruption from the site of Lake Toba in Sumatra blasted out more than 200 cubic miles of ash and volcanic debris. Now, NGC investigates the devastating aftermath of one of the most powerful volcanoes of the last 2 million years, including the fascinating theory that it triggered a human genetic bottleneck – leaving a population of as little as a few thousand survivors to preserve the entire human race”.

Why is this important? Since it shows us that when people start working together and share knowledge, we can find interesting things that hopefully lead us to knew questions.

Nature also shows us that what happens in some areas of the world, can influence every other region, continent miles and miles away. This super volcano had an enormous impact and when it would happen again it can cause the destruction of all life on mother Earth.

The re-searchers continued being curious and worked together from a mind that is "willing to discover". This is what we like to talk about in the class rooms sessions. About synchronicity, that things happen at the same moment in space and time. That you do not “lose” when you share the outcome of your work and allowing others to take part in it.

I watched television in the middle of the night since my son Derk Jan was working on his mathematical assignment. Walter and I choose to stay with him and to support him and I liked it very much since otherwise I would not have discovered the research of these brilliant scientists. I did it in the first place for my self since my need to support him was met. Indeed, I experienced how important this is, since I received an enormous richness thanks to National Geographic’s. 

I fully understand some of the parents of the “students” we have at Euromed, since I feel connected to them and I share many of their concerns. I have a need to know that “my” children are safe. I have a need to feel convinced that they are in a pleasant, enriching environment. I have a need that they can explore an open mind and can ask as many questions as possibly. I have a need that they find their ways in freedom and are not manipulated by a rigid vision that only leads in one direction. I share all of that and even more.

Yes, I talk about feelings, emotions and other paradigms, since I feel that it is time to find some new understandings of “reality” since our environment is asking for new approaches. Yes, I do support the search for another economic vision, paradigm, other than shareholders only, since I think and feel that it caused and still causes disasters. Yes, I believe that what happens in other parts of the world, will have consequences for yet other places.

Poverty, starvation, aggression, violence, wars, child labour, depressions, maltreatment (human, animals) obesity, illnesses caused by pollution and chemical reactions, global warming are SUPERVOLCANOS and will affect all of us. It seems that they are going beyond borders. We can built tower high walls between countries but epidemies, diseases, polution and the effects of natural disasters do not know the boarders we created artificially.

When seen from outer space, our beautiful blue planet has no national boundaries. Dalai Lama

Is this “negative”? I would think the contarary, since we can have another impact by making other choices. Respect, empathy, grace, beauty, kindness, love and a peaceful state of mind does not create boarders. It is the same energy used in another direction. I hope that we agree that Love is the most powerful one.

AMOR VINCIT OMNIA

OMNIA VINCIT AMOR

This is what I express during "my" lectures and where I ask questions about. Yes, I know that I have an impact. I am sure I have.

I was always impressed by the expressions used by: P. Watzlawick 

Paul20watzlawick

Even when you do nothing, it will have an impact”.

“You can not NOT communicate”

I love to finish with some beautiful words:

We have a choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place or not to bother.Jane Goodall

Action without love is meaningless, and love without action is irrelevant. Hafsat Abiola

It is on our shoulders to create the future. Nobody’s going to do it for us. Andrew Cohen

(All the phrases used are found on the site of The Alliance for a New Humanity)

Benazir Butto

On Thursday the 27th of December 2007 Benazir Butto Benazir_butto was assassinated in  Pakistan. I watched television and felt personally hurt by the sad news. “A mother is killed”. A mother of three children and a mother of a nation. I asked myself in silence: “Why did she return to Pakistan? Why did she take the risk?” and I can only imagine what the fundamental reasons could be for her to come back to “her” country.

For me she was always an example of intelligence, grace and beauty and I thought that she was remarkable and I liked her presence and ability of speaking and her profound knowledge. I know that many people are blaming her for corruption, but I really do not know whether this was true, or just an attempt to bring her in discredit. I also feel that corruption can never be accepted as a reason for killing somebody. I would like to express that there is never a reason to kill somebody.

It seems that some journalists, politicians and other people have a very different idea of truth. I do not mean that we all have to analyze and to perceive everything in the same way, since I embrace diversity. In my opinion different views, ideas, thoughts are wonderful possibilities to experience many things in different ways. What I do mean is that some people, even when they know themselves better, will explain, or tell to others whatever comes to their mind when they think it can be of help to manipulate other people’s vision. I spoke with my sun of the Movie "An inconvenient Truth” of Al Gore and he asked me whether everything was true what was shown in the documentary. I told him honestly that I really do not know. Many people, even when they know better, try to bring Al Gore in discredit by telling that he and his family is using more than average electricity and other resources and that a lot of research is not proven to be true. I really appreciate that people have many questions and are looking for serious answers and truthful meaning, but it sometimes seems that this is not the background of what they are doing. For many people, including me, this is very confusing. A good reason to find your own inner truth, not influenced by others.

The American pre-elections are taking place and I feel sad that both candidates for the Democratic Party find reasons to talk about each other in a very negative and disrespectful manner. We more often call this “normal” since we are used to it and it is part of what we define as competition in Business, Politics and in other parts of our life. I hope and wish that we can, as soon as possible, re-define democracy, integrity, honesty and other values that in my opinion are fundamental for making progress in our human potentiality and for future life. In our history books we find a past of wars, violence and aggression and therefore we created a deep collective aggressive, violent mindset.

We think that this is very “normal” since we observed it in the pass, in the present and before we know, in the future. We are slaves of our own created idea of ourselves. We talk about people that are addicted to drugs and alcohol but we are unable to observe our own addicted fear based patterns of bad habits like gossip, violent communication and disrespectful manners to others and the rest of all living creatures in our Global World.

I see pictures of Ingrid Betancourt, Ingrid_betancourt another mother that lives in very bad circumstances. I hope and wish that she will be reconnected to her loved ones.

I see pictures of starvation. I observe in many places in the world, people and animals dying due to wars, aggression and violence. I hope that it will stop as soon as possible. I wish that the new politicians are examples of peaceful non-violent communication and behavior. That they will show us that it is very well possible, even in time of elections, to have a respectful, peaceful and loving mindset about “the others”. Let us be focused on the most decent president.

All what happened in the past can help us to create something new. We do not need to stay addicted to what we have written about our passed. We just re-write it. Let us be focused on peace, respect, love, grace, beauty and a blissful state of mind.

We can, full of hate, focus ourselves on the people that killed Benazir Butto or we can be focused on sending love to her children and husband. My beloved teacher Sai Maa would send her "A shower of love".

Some parts of my body feel painful by her death and I feel at the same time a deep compassion for all the people involved. I pray for a mother that died, asking that the pain can be resolved, from my own heart as well.

Bless you Benazir

Cost reduction

Before you immediately want to stop reading this new post I promise that I will make it more interesting than normally when it comes to this subject.

In many organizations “the management” is very proud to show, in the first place to themselves, and to others that they are real champions in cost reduction.

I always thought, and I still find myself in the same mental model, that an organization is driven by visions, missions and a purpose, but I experience(d) many times that I was and that I am still absolutely wrong. It seems to be that cost reduction is the “slogan or mantra” of especially not really entrepreneurial organizations. I always thought that:

- Airplane companies want to deliver safe and pleasant transport of passengers.

- Insurance companies want to deliver the very best services to their clients.

- Universities want to offer the best academic and pedagogical approach.

                           

I was unfortunately completely wrong!

You will find in many organizations the so called financial specialists and accountants at the top of the hierarchy in many (bureaucratic) organizations. They are responsible for the management of all the financial resources (which is fine) and more often due to this, as well for the many other activities and resources.

I worked many years as a Human Resources Manager for a well-known International Organization. We, our department, faced many times the decision, that because of cost reduction, we should stop all recruitment of new and future employees. This was a bit frustrating since we exactly knew, at the same time, based on our experience, that in about 6 months we would face the challenge, to make sure that we would be able, to have enough qualified people in a very short period of time.

We found very creative solutions. We did as if we stopped all activities, but since we were not real idiots ourselves, we continued some of the, in our opinion, important fundamental actions. We became champions in “how to use procedures and decisions in a creative manner”.

It could be that you still have the idea that financial figures and statistics are objective and show the (financial) truth. If you want to continue dreaming and thinking that it cannot be any different “sleep well and enjoy your dreams”.

I experienced interesting phenomena. I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears that financial facts and figures can be changed to whatever result we like to show.

It can change from a negative final financial result, due to financial losses somewhere in a far away country, to financial profits of 20% when we want to convince our shareholders. I talk about the same organization and department at the very same moment in time.

Why is it that still so many people want to have “concrete” data even when they know, that this is impossible? I found this question interesting and after some research I recognized, in most cases that I observed, that this need was/is driven by fear, due to a lack of creativity and real management qualities and that this leads to the misleading obsession, to correct and to control others. It is not so different from how our dog “Columbus” is behaving. He wants to show others who is the most important one and that he is the “boss”, by marking his presence by urinating at as much as possible different places. Explaining to all other dogs: “I WAS AND I AM HERE AND THIS IS MY AREA!”  It seems weird that we are still not so much further than this animalistic behavior, but unfortunately this is what I frequently observe.

Travel expenses (of others) are cut without any further explanation. It seems that they want to tell their people, that they did not take any responsibility for the costs they made. We often hear: “Humans are the key factor of our organization”! I observe often the use of these beautiful words but not many serious actions that show the outcome of these wonderful phrases. Instead of taking care of employees health while traveling over great distances to far away countries we want the travel expenses as low as possible. It seems “normal” to let them travel economy class even when we expect them to perform in a professional and successful way immediately after their arrival. Indeed we reduced travel expenses but could it be that we lost human sense? I do not talk about some occasional long distance flights or flights less than 7 hours. I talk about people that regularly need to fly for their companies, who have very little time to recover and need to perform as professionals. 

Instead of asking employees to find new innovative solutions and ideas, that can be of great importance or benefit for the future of the company, since this will create more future value, we put their attention on cost reduction and mostly very boring procedures and forms.

Afterwards the financial experts (the manager?) wonder why every initiative and any kind of creativity is killed, almost before it was born. They do not like to take any responsibility for their own actions, wondered by the fact that continuous learning never last longer than a few years in their organizations. It seems that they are unable to reflect on their own behavior and (autocratic and more often bureaucratic) requests/demands.

I like to bring your attention to some nice phrases: 

The analysis of data will not by itself produce new ideas”

Edward de Bono

(Maybe never?)

"Many of the things you can count, don’t count. Many of the things you can’t count, really count"Albert Einstein

I am longing and look forward for visionary leaders who are capable and like to share and who are transparent in every action they take and who are (emotionally) intelligent enough to listen to the wisdom, ideas, thoughts, of the people they work with. Leaders that believe in the value, mission of their organization instead of managing “numbers”. Leaders that less compare to Scrooge McDuck  (Oncle Picsou) without having his other qualities. 175pxscroogeswim

I am longing for visionaries that know that money is an important flow of energy. Of course it is important to watch carefully the inflow and outflow of money. Of course we should not spend more than we are able to receive. Of course we should be able to calculate cash flow but this seems surprisingly never possible. I very much support the idea of serious and responsible “financial” management. But I observed very little evidence that cost reduction is the same as sustainable, responsible financial simple statements. What I observe that people who speak most of all of cost reduction are more often the ones that have high bonuses and other “interesting” profits. It seems that they personally have a lot benefits of cost reduction of others.  I had a very interesting guest speaker, responsible for sustainable development of a well-known international organization, in “my” course Leadership and Sustainable Performances, who shared his (long international) experiences. He never saw people being more motivated by the idea of cost reduction.

We faced enormous scandals and disasters in many companies. Enron is unfortunately only one of them. It was not because they ignored cost reduction.

As we all know it happened by given the importance to SHAREHOLDERS ONLY! The same shareholders that very often like cost reduction since it will give more value, on a very short term, to their shares.

If the organization is doing less due to their short term vision  (cost reduction is one aspect) they face very little problems by selling their shares just before the ship sinks. I firmly believe that the vision SHAREHOLDERS ONLY is old fashioned, and completely outdated. Time for change!

Robinhood4_2

         Let us trust the future!

Dreamed of Africa

How deeply I still recognize this book written by Kuki Gallmann. As a child I wanted to participate in the circus. Traveling from one place to the other as a member of a group performing and bringing adventure, fantasy and magic in the world. When I was six years old I tried to do some extreme difficult exercises which ended in a brain fracture.

End of my dreams as a circus artist? I really do not know since I am a "teacher" at a Business School and I wonder whether there is a difference?

My desire to visit different places in the world never disappeared and visiting game resorts in Africa was one of my preferences. In the first week of November 2007 I was able to visit South Africa for the second time and I was/am touched by the beauty of the country. It took me some years to make it happen but in the meanwhile I danced African dance and I loved watching documentaries of Africa.

Arriving on a Friday night we immediately started the next early morning to drive to the Kruger Park.The whole tour was already a miracle. Being with great people, Elza, Koos and Ezanne, a true angel and beloved friend and driving trough the most wonderful nature sceneries. Amazing beauty!  Immediately after we arrived at the Kruger Park we saw one of my most favorite animals: The Elephant. How graceful, despite their size. How spectacular to watch them in their true nature.

Olifanten_a

I still smile thinking back of my sons first (real) presentation at school when he was about 8 years old. A presentation about “the elephants”. All family members were his audience and we had to listen over and over again. We will never forget the famous first phrases of my sons presentation:  “The ancestors of the elephants we all know are the mammoths”. A week before his presentation a little female elephant (Indra) was born in the Zoo of Amersfoort and of course we wanted to see her as soon as possible. How grateful I feel for these wonderful memories. Now I see these incredible animals in their own environment and I enjoy so much their presents that I feel tears burning in my eyes and I am sure they will feel my warmth.

How magnificent to be in nature. How thankful I feel. We spotted so many different “wild” species without having any expectation. Grateful for all what happened. Nature showing us abundance. Everywhere life is present in all different forms. Through the eyes of our guides, our untrained eyes discover new magic life forms. Small differences in color, unpredictable little movements. Only visual for the eyes willing to observe.

How many times we think that what we can not observe is not there? Ignoring what happened just in front of us. How much a small shift in perception allows us to make new baby steps in a new magic world of unlimited possibilities.

How many times I was unable to recognize the wonder of my richness, wealth and health? How many times I took all my experiences for granted? How many times I did not discover the diamonds in my surrounding due to the fact that I thought they were simple stones?

Nothingisobvious00

I am thinking of another great experience I had in South Africa. Koos brought my husband and me to an exhibition of Willem Boshoff. What I saw was just amazing. How magnificent to observe the world trough the senses of a true artist. How incredibly he uses words, woods, letters and stones. I am deeply touched by his work.

Does it matter to have to learn to be more conscious? In the present state it does not seem to be of great importance. In the present state there is only compassion and love. Beyond good and bad, new landscapes are enfolding.

I think about my children and smile. How grateful I feel that I was allowed to take part in their birth on planet earth. Hoe many times I thought that I was the only one that knew what was good for them? How many times I tried to fix their lifes? How many times I brought fear in their life caused by my unconscious mind?

How many times I forgot to be non-judgmental? How many times I forgot to communicate in a non-violent way as Marshall Rosenberg is explaining. In another perspective I feel that life never has given up on me. I received new opportunities for learning over and over again. How patient and how loving while observing all what happened in a broader perspective.

How many times I forgot to have faith? I remember a phrases that I received from the Chopra Center.

“ Faith is not a matter of trusting that events will always occur to our liking, but of trust that, whatever happens, our inner resources will be equal to the moments”

John Robbins

Did it take too long? Can I call myself a slow learner? I do not think so since how many times I used non-violent communication? How many times I served others? How many times I was non-judgmental? How many times I was able to listen? How many times I was supporting, loving, caring and respecting others? Being completely honest I know that I am far more respectful, compassionate, grateful and loving than being in the opposite state, as most other human beings as well. It is just that we focus ourself more on the imperfection instead of knowing that they are part or belong to the complete interesting picture. Light is more present when we allow the shadow.

I smile while reflecting, knowing that everything we experience depends on our own perception (especially of time). In the unlimited possibilities of undiscovered landscapes it took not even a millionth of a second.

Let us love ourselves and allowing our own talents, passions to explore in their own unique ways without self-judgment and self-criticism. We all do our very best.

Special messages for my beloved daughter Carmen:

Angel of the Universe: “Spread your wings and fly”

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           LIFE IS PASSION

Post from a Goddess

I am pleased to share with all of you the wonderful post Emmanuelle made for "my" blog. I feel very grateful that I met Emmanuelle. Last week we had "The International Seminars" at Euromed and as always Emmanuelle took care off, not only every single International Teacher, but also of all the administrative and organizational "stuff". It is always impressive to observe with how much dedication and great fun and compassion she is serving others. It seems easy and simple, but all of us know that this is due to the fact that Emmanuelle is fully committed. Thank you Emmanuelle.

I feel grateful for your wonderful words. Thank you for your continuous support, deep compassion and love. Blessing to you and your wonderful family.

My great teacher and beloved Sai MAA would say: "I send you a shower of love"

Post by Emmanuelle

The very first time I was travelling to Ethiopia (a breath-taking country, you should really visit it !), I was impressed by their sense of spirituality. In fact, after some more analysis, I found out their spirituality is more a cultural and social fact: children are educated in the church, in an enlarged family including actual members of the family and also members of the church community, the village etc … Very African-like, actually. Anyway, their faith is very impressive.

During this first trip, when they asked me about God, their first (and sometime only) question was: are you a Catholic ? For them, all European falandji (local word for foreigner) are catholic, as they see mainly French and Spaniards.

My answer is no. Am I a protestant ?. No. An Orthodox ? No. A Muslim ? No.

I am a person coveting her own personal spirituality; God is inside of me, and, just like any human being, I have been given the Good and the Evil, the intelligence to make the difference and the capacity to choose between both in any occasion.

Putting God outside of me, in a Church for example, (I have been raised a Catholic) has given me plenty of opportunities to wonder about and criticize the actions of this God (and their consequences) which were so difficult to understand. It has also given me plenty of opportunities to not understand and accept things that happened in my life.

Since the day I have found out all this is inside of me, I have understood, taken the blame for what happened when needed, accepted all others; I have authorized myself the Good and also the Evil, and found myself far more human and far more divine.

I am a member of the Church of Humanity, and I recognize you all as both Human and Divine creatures, no matter what you do (to me or to anybody else), or think.

Of course, in a day to day life, I am still inclined to look for Good and Evil outside of me, but I am trying my best, and all people I have chosen for being around me definitely help me in this.