Saturday, 14 April 2018

Retreat

I am traveling in France at the moment, the almost magically beautiful region of the Loire valley and we are staying at the moment in a very old castle, one that was built in 1520. Small and winding corridors, worn out marble floors, wooden stairs that crack under you feet and paintings on the wall by famous artists.

Before it was sold to the current owner who uses it now as a hotel, it was mainly used for retreat. I remember a retreat when I was in secondary school (highschool). Our whole class was brought to abbey in the center of the city. Behind the outer walls of the abbey lay, wonderful gardens, large with old trees and amazing flowers. We got a small introduction by an inspiring leader and then we were asked to "retreat". Each of us got a room and we had to spend time alone to think about the question:
Who am I?!?

I took the exercise quite serious. It was before the time that everyone carried a smart phone and being alone in that silent room, looking out on these superb gardens felt a bit awkward at first. But then I started to try and answer the question: who am I?

The first thing that came to mind: I am Hans (my name). But then if people would change my name, or if my mom called me a sweet name, it would not really change the me, that I am. On top of that there are so many people called the same name and they are all very different from me.

So, the question, who am I, which on the surface seemed easy, was actually an extremely difficult one. Next I thought about my family ties, that somehow I felt defined me. I am the son of Romain and Mariette, the brother of Mieke. And even if that was quite unique and much more of an identifier then my name, There could have been easily more sons of my parents, that would have created more brothers for Mieke too. Whatever other ties, I had, to school, to friends, to whatever I did, nothing really made me uniquely who I am.

I thought of being my very unique body, but then again if people got amputations, their body is less, but they are still the same being. After quite some thoughts, I came to the conclusion that the values and principles I adhered to, were somehow making up my personality, my character and that that was quite close to who I really was.

And then what makes up my character and personality?
I will write soon a small reflection on that.

(PS: almost three years ago, I wrote a small piece on a similar topic: it was titled, who am I. Can click here  to see it)

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Peace of mind

Dear friends, brothers and sisters,

This is an important one.

Have you ever saved someone's life? Or been involved in such an activity? Or contributed in a big way to the well-being of some persons in need. Do you remember how you were feeling when this was happening. Did you feel pure joy, peace of mind and true happiness?

Have you been to a party where most of the people were drunk or half-drunk. With music louder than comfortable. A few jokes that made you laugh. Perhaps you were popular for jokes you made yourself. Did you truly enjoy it? Did you feel healthy and well the next day? Was this the kind of happiness we are striving for in our life? How does it compare to the feelings we get when we perform some selfless altruism?

I have written something like this before, but I elaborate here a bit more, since this is such an important message. We have experienced the superlatives of happiness through helping others in a big way. We have experienced the small pleasures of life through acquiring things or getting in a position of power or just going to a party. The difference is soooo big in the level of satisfaction and happiness we experience. That is how we were created in this big universe: small pleasures in things that ensure our survival (or were helping to ensure it in the past) and true peace of mind and serenity when we manage to fulfill the bigger purpose of life.

I think, people like Mother Theresa were fully aware of this and chose consciously for the bigger levels of satisfaction. I have tried to be more and more aware of this as well, but so often our little ego comes to interfere. Not only our own little ego but also the consumerism of our society and the widespread advertisements in our media. The media use advanced psychology to lure us into the belief we have to consume to be happy.

The huge fallacy around the consumption of alcoholic drinks is just one example. The almost magic charm people tend to contribute to having alcoholic drinks together is nothing more than a fallacy, an indoctrinated belief for business purposes. I respect people's taste and preferences but having an alcoholic drink is not more cozy or friendly than having a wonderful fresh fruit juice or a cup of coffee or tea together and the latter may actually be more healthy.

We do not need a lot of alcohol, a lot of material things to experience the highest levels of happiness. Sure enough it is nice to have a good level of comfort in our lives, but so many people who have huge levels of luxury in their life do not find true happiness. Living a life of purpose is an essential ingredient to live a happy life. Surely there are other necessary ingredients of happiness, but these three: altruism, gratitude and forgiveness are certainly among the most important ones. 




Acceptance

A million flowers bloom today.
But those blooming yesterday,
are right now withering
They are about to die
and yes we do cry
we cry over them and ask why,
why do flowers have to die?

We love flowers,
they are wonderful
but when they wither,
our love is gone.

We keep the wonderful memories of the budding, blooming flower,
but try to forget the withered flower, which we threw away.
Sometimes we choose to hold on to the image of the withered flower,
of the dead flower. We get upset about it, we have a hard time to accept.

I do not understand the reason for the transient-ness of all forms of life.
No matter how much we imagine that permanence would be wonderful,
in reality permanence might be scary.

No matter how we like stability and continuity,
it is change that makes us grow, especially if we talk about spiritual growth.

We can maintain a grateful heart for the wonders of yesterday,
the wonders that have passed and are no longer here.
We can maintain a grateful heart for the wonders of today,
the new beauty, the new good things.

Wow, it looks like a really difficult topic.
It feels good to think about the difficult topics as well.
We may not have the answers,
but acceptance is often  a greater thing to achieve
than desperately trying to understand everything :)

Monday, 9 April 2018

Those little efforts near the end of the day

On and off, it happens that near the end of the day, we still have something quite important to do. We feel tired and consider putting it off until the next day, but there is this little piece of conscience that nudges us not to postpone it, but forget how tired we are and still do it.

It is often during these small extra efforts we make that we encounter the nicest opportunities to do something really meaningful for our fellow human beings or something really useful. I share here a small story of this afternoon from my work:

This afternoon I got a call of one of our medical officers about a child of 1.5 years old, who was connected to a breathing machine (ventilator). It was a ventilator they had borrowed from our unit (for newborn babies) and he asked some technical questions about the settings on the ventilator and the settings (pressure, timing) the child should receive. I give him the advice that I felt best suited the child and promised to pay a visit to the child as soon as my teaching finished. 

After my teaching I was called by my own ward of newborn babies. It was late in the afternoon when I remembered the promise to go and see the child, I had been consulted for. The child was not directly under my care and I felt I had been well informed over the phone and given adequate advice. That was my ego, trying to talk me into going home instead of making the long walk to the other ward. I tried to silence my ego and followed the nudge of my conscience and went to the ward. 

The baby was in a stable condition and had responded well to the suggestions, I had given over the phone. I reviewed the charts and blood results and the monitoring of the child and decided to keep the ventilator settings unchanged. Then the mother started to talk to me. We talked for a while. I think it meant quite a lot to the mother.


Looking back, I am glad I went to see the child and had not listened to my ego. I was reassured that the advice I gave over the phone was OK. And what was more, our universe had given me a wonderful opportunity to relieve some of he worries of a mother in distress. And that gave me truly peace of mind. 

Over time, in my profession as a doctor, I have had quite a few similar experiences, when I went through a small struggle between ego and conscience and whenever I managed to listen to conscience, I have found a sense of peace of mind and often some serendipity (unexpected good things) within the event.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hope this little story will inspire some friends. It is not at all intended to boast about myself :)
 

 

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Harmony

If our rituals, if our religion is a source of any disharmony between us and other people, let us be aware that we are on the wrong track. Rituals and religion have been abused a lot in our human history. While religion is meant to show us the path to our Creator, so many scholars and religious leaders have abused it to gain and maintain a position of power over others. In order to remain relevant they ask people NOT to think for themselves. The scholars assume an attitude that gives the impression that they are the only ones who can interpret all sacred scriptures and tell us what to do. 

If any religious talk or sermon is making you feel anger, hatred or superiority towards or over any other human, you may have been the subject of a manipulative effort from a religious leader. True religious leaders will guide their followers towards harmony. Harmony with our family, harmony with our neighbors, harmony with our friends, harmony with our colleagues and yes, harmony with whom we call our enemies. Nobody is as strong as the one who can create harmony with his enemies. Prophets of every religion have not only conveyed the message but lived it in numerous stories of sublime levels of love and forgiveness. 

Creating harmony with our enemies is not meaning we allow ourselves to become victims. It is not easy. Let us start with the easiest one. Create harmony within our family. This is perhaps the least difficult one, but how many of us truly succeed in this on a daily basis? Let us make it silent in our heart today for a short while and think about ten ways to increase harmony in our family. If ten is too much, at least 3. We have to discover the beauty of harmony ourselves in order to fully understand that living in a way that our Creator wants us to live, is a way of harmony. If we achieve harmony most of the time for our family, let us expand bit by bit, to neighbors, to work environment, and in the end, we will find it logical that harmony with our 'enemies' is just as desirable. 

Harmony, first with our family, then let us go on and on....

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tuning in

Radios have been gradually replaced by the internet and our I-gadgets. I still think most of us have radios, at least in our car. I love the radio. Just tuning in into my favorite station, and listen to the songs, that are not chosen by me but by my favorite DJs. Many of the songs that I know and like, but on and off the unexpected melodies; a pure delight.

This small reflection is not really about radios. This afternoon I had a small discussion with my really good friend from Scotland.We like to discuss many topics from the light and superficial to the heavy and deep.We touched the topic of the existence of God. Even though there is no proof, no tangible proof that God exist, equally so, is there no tangible proof that love exists!

Only when we experience love, we know for certain that love exists. We cannot see it, hear it, touch it, smell it or taste it, but we can feel it with our heart, we can feel it with our soul. We can experience also God, the love of our God, that is. All we have to do is to make it quiet, and tune in. If we just open our radio and do not try to tune in, to find the right frequency, the right wavelength, we only hear noise, nonsensical noise, noise that makes no sense. If we try to connect to God with utmost skepticism and disbelief, we will experience only noise and try to enforce our fixed narrow beliefs about spirituality. If we manage to explore the frequencies and wavelengths of gratefulness and forgiving, of silence, of prayerful reflection, we will tune in and suddenly it starts to make sense...

Love is surrounding us, peace is surrounding us. 
Let us find the right frequency and tune in . Even if you cannot make yourself to believe that God truly exists, the universe and the air around us is filled with love, peace, kindness and wisdom. Let us explore the right wavelengths, open our hearts and our mind and feel it.

Before I wrote this small piece, I remembered that I wrote about tuning in before. I just clicked on the search tool in the left upper corner of this page and typed tune in. I enjoyed my old reflections about this, especially the one about equinox and I hope you enjoy them too.

I wish you lots of love, peace and wisdom and happy tuning in :)

Friday, 23 March 2018

The story of Mr. robot!

Imagine you create a robot. 
It is so important that the battery gets charged on and off.
So you program Mr. robot to feel low if the battery is low
and to experience some pleasure when the battery is charged.

The purpose of Mr. robot is that he helps people 
and that he is always friendly and good. 
So you program the robot to feel very good when he does that.
He feels great satisfaction and a superb peace and happiness
if he helps, is friendly and good.

Then you start up the robot and you have big expectations.
The robot is starting his 'life' and to your big frustration,
he is spending almost all of his time 'running' after the small pleasures
you had installed when he did the things necessary for maintenance.
He completely ignores his main purpose and 
remains most of the time ignorant of the huge benefits for him
you had installed when he would be helping people. 

Stupid Robot!

Weren't we humans created in a similar way?
Our small short lasting ego-pleasures to help us sustain ourselves and our species!
Our great satisfaction, peace of mind and true happiness depending on our altruism!
But perhaps everyone on Wall Street and so many of us with them, remain focused on, and believe that happiness is to be found in, the transient ego-pleasures that were meant to help us merely survive. It is high time that we become fully aware and act continuously on the firm knowledge that a much bigger  happiness and peace of mind is lying in a life of purpose, a life of altruism, goodness and kindness.
Happiness, fulfillment, peace, love and kindness are waiting for us.
Let us choose a life of purpose and finally see the small pleasures for what they truly are!   


Small quote:
When we chase happiness (through chasing pleasures) it tends to flee and fly away
When we choose a life of purpose, happiness tends to come and sit on our shoulder


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Within!

Tonight I was peeping silently in my heart.
You know what I found?
I found peace sitting there
I found an awful lot of kindness planted there
I find so much love, ready to be given away.

Then I was confronting my mind: 
Hey, mind, if there is so much peace, kindness and love in my heart,
why do you not make full use of it and let me enjoy it all, every day?

I got to understand that it was not my mind that was to blame. 
Mind was just obeying my own choices I made day by day.
It was thinking the thoughts I was wanting it to think.

But I wanted to choose peace, kindness and love all the time.
I was praying for it and searching for it!

Why did I choose the thoughts that brought so often the opposite?

Reason chipped in with a thought:
Perhaps, you are looking for peace, love and kindness in the wrong place
You seem to keep looking for it and expect it from the outside all the time 
Now you have seen where it really sits, it is perhaps time to start looking from within.


I hope you enjoyed the small conversation above with my inner self.
Aren't we all wanting peace and love and kindness very much?
Let us look for these happiness bringers from within.
In a spirit of gratefulness and forgiving, we look within
and we will find all these things not only to be ours,
but to be so abundantly ours that we want to give them away
that we want to share them with everyone we meet.
And these people, we share it with, will share so much back.
Give it a thought, search within and live love,
live peace, live a life filled with kindness!

Friday, 9 March 2018

Knowledge and action

Being and doing good, starts with knowledge.
But knowledge alone is not enough.
We need strength, motivation, inspiration as well.

1. Knowledge
The worst thing for many of our friends is ignorance. 
Many of us are blinded by the completely wrong belief
that more material wealth will bring us more happiness. 
True knowledge of our own happiness consist in knowing
that when we care, when we are randomly kind, 
when we give selfless service, selfless bits of our time
selfless bits of our possessions; only then we get closer
to true happiness, peace of mind, harmony,... 

Gaining a new possession, surely makes us happy.
But it is a happiness, more like elation, enjoyment, delight.
It lasts for awhile and then we get used to the new possession,
and we want more. Get a new car! We are elated. 
But how long does the elation last? Not long after, 
we want something bigger, something faster, something better

Performing some selfless service, helping a poor soul,
giving some time to a person in need, a simple smile,
a friendly word, a pat on the back, a small inspiration.
These things give us happiness too, 
but it is a very different kind of happiness. 
Here we talk about bliss, contentment, joy.
It tends to stick, to stay. When years later, we think about it,
it still gives that warm feeling of being good, doing good. 

If we manage to know and convince ourselves about the above,
we have gained a piece of superb knowledge.
We give up our ignorance and gain from it tremendously.

2. Action 
However this knowledge alone may be not enough 
to make us do good all the time.
Too often we know what we should do,

but our big ego nudges us to different things. 
That is why sometimes, we share this extremely valuable knowledge,
but then so often we are caught not practicing what we 'preach'.
That is quite normal and does not mean the knowledge is not valuable.

To act on our knowledge we need reminders, motivation, inspiration
we need to read, to listen to talks, to see videos, to talk to each other,
to keep our motivation, our level of inspiration high. 
We can build up our goodness, our reverence, our altruism by practice
Just like regular training can build up our muscles and physical strenght
we can build up our capacity to do good through practice.
The more we practice, altruism, goodness, reverence, the stronger 
we become mentally, spiritually and 
the easier it becomes to put our ego a bit aside. 

The sad thing is that is a kind of taboo to talk about our charity.
People easily label us as doing charity just to boast about it later.
This is a pitiful thing, because it deprives so many people from inspiration.

If we do not have to be shy to talk about our good deeds,
if we would easily share the things that truly give us peace of mind,
we can go on and inspire so many other people.
The world is truly getting better. We can speed up the process

1. by sharing our knowledge (even if we do not manage to live up to it all of the time)
2. by sharing our inspiring stories of helpfulness, of random kindness and altruism

Let us all participate in this process. 
The time of the idea of universal love and kindness has come
It is unstoppable now. 
Let us all be active participants!








 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Scholar

While reading the American scholar, a speech and essay by RW Emerson, I felt like some of my own thoughts/feelings were expressed there. He wrote that the scholar has three main sources to learn from:

1. Nature
The scholar sees nature in a superbly holistic way. He uses all senses and connects to the wisdom of the ultimate Source of nature while spending some quiet time there. To connect, to enjoy the sight, the sounds, the wind, the smells; it is so inspiring and so much wisdom and thoughts do come to us in silent reflection in nature

2. Books
He started by going back to the wise man of old age. They could see, and discovered giant truths through direct contact with nature and the ultimate Source of wisdom. We got so enchanted by their wisdom, and we value what they spoke and wrote so much, that often we forget to connect ourselves with the highest Source of wisdom. Scholars become then not thinkers but parrots of other people's thought. Surely books are useful for our dark moments who definitely appear in our life, but in times of flow, we should write the poetry and wisdom for the next generations.

3. Action
Scholars often feel they have to isolate themselves from society, cave in, become like hermits. Not good! Most of the things we do learn through action and pure hard experience of life's reality. Reflection on our actions and our own experience it what generates wisdom rather than just isolating ourselves in a cave

Whenever I read Emerson, I feel a sort of connection with what he wrote more than a century ago.  Of course, whenever we read we read with a critical mind and not everything Emerson wrote is equally valuable, but there are many gems of wisdom in his essays and his poetry.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Unfolding

Tic toc, tic toc,
close to dawn;
magical moments.

Amazing love,
Tender care,
moves slowly from my heart
where it was safely stored,
to my awakening awareness
 
My mind bathing
in this lovely care;
a gentle wave of joy
washes over my spirit.

The first orange sun rays are coming in,
in my room, in my eyes, in my soul;
and my mission for the day becomes:
to share the love and care in which I bathe
with every soul, I will meet 


A morning reflection (written in Dec 2016)
When I manage to make time for a small morning reflection
it feels so good and so useful for the rest of my day,
that I invariably plan to make every single morning
the time for a nice morning reflection,
but then too often the next morning already I fail
to live up to that wonderful plan. :)

Today, let us make the intention together to make 
every morning a bit of time for a small reflection 
 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Poetry

So many days go by, without me reading any poetry
So many days go by, with me getting so absorbed by negative news
So many days go by, without me listening to sounds of nature
So many days go by, with me living a life almost on autopilot

I have made a decision
that I will read a poem every day.
that I will try to write a poem at least every week,
that I will pay more attention to nature
that I will give more love and more kindness to the world.

I hope you are with me on this.
I have read today a wonderful poem by Rabindranath Tagore and
I want to share it here with you:

Where The Mind Is Without Fear 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Saturday, 17 February 2018

All connected

Gratefulness, Mercy (forgiving) and Loving Kindness . They are all connected so intensely.

Just giving thanks for the sun, for all the good things in our life. Giving up the grudges or any hatred that resides in our hearts. Living a life filled with kindness and bliss. These things are connected so tightly, so intensely.

Giving thanks will keep us focused on positive things. This will facilitate forgiveness. Both of these will create so much love and kindness in our heart.

Oh, yes thanks and mercy are so tightly connected to kindness. And kindness to thanks and mercy, and mercy to thanks.

Let us plan now, to make the next hour more filled with thanks and mercy and kindness than the previous hour.
Let us plan now, to make the next day more filled with thanks and mercy and kindness than the previous day.
Let us plan now, to make the next week and year and decennium filled with thanks and mercy and kindness.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Five steps



Two activities really can improve the levels of chemicals in our mind that result in huge peace of mind. They are gratitude and forgiveness!

We will look a bit closer at forgiveness. It is something we often refuse to do because we do not want to free the one who caused us harm (physical, emotional or any form) to be free of the guilt of hurting us. And it is true, somehow by forgiving the person, we set them free. But what we forget is that the person suffering most from our grudges, from our hatred, from our anger, is not that person that harmed us, but our very selves. (See *venom below)

If we forgive whole-heartedly, we do a favor to the perpetrator, but a 100-fold bigger favor to ourselves. We set ourselves free from continued suffering, from continued negative emotions. I heard recently a talk (online) by Michael Beckwith who proposed five steps of forgiveness:

The first step to forgive someone, is to be willing to forgive. This is often the most difficult one. Since they harmed us, we have the right feel hurt. By forgiving truly that hurt will be no longer ours. Somehow we see our hurt, our grudges as a retaliation for the wrong that was done. It is not! It is something we can free ourselves from and whatever was done, we will no longer allow it to hurt us anymore, we will get it over with; we will stop perpetuating the effect of the nastiness that we encountered.I think sometimes we have to sincerely pray for the strength to forgive. It is somehow the way of our Creator and when we ask for help in going that way, we do get the help.

Once we find in ourselves the willingness to forgive, we can move on to the second step and that is actually do the forgiving. Saying to the person in real life on in our own thoughts world, I forgive you. Saying it, living it, feeling it. 

The third step is to try to understand why the person was so nasty to us. This is compassion, empathy. Trying to imagine what the person must have gone through to reach this level of nastiness. How much must that person have suffered him or herself for them to feel the need to make others suffer in such a way. If we try to put ourselves for a short while in the skin of the person we have forgiven we will come to a compassionate understanding. 

The fourth step is to wish the person we forgave well. Sometimes we forgave but still rejoice in the feeling of the bad karma that will come over him, or the punishment he may receive in hell. The fourth step is to give up also these thoughts and truly wish him or her will, even if the person is no longer on earth, wishing them eternal peace in the hereafter. 

And the fifth step was to really do something nice for that person. That makes forgiveness truly complete. Could be an anonymous note or send an anonymous present in the mail. Or just meet them and have a nice conversation. Or just praying for their well-being. 

I liked the proposed process here in five steps. I have experienced the benefits of true forgiveness myself and have read and heard so many stories about the liberating effects of forgiveness. I hope we all can think about this for a while and consider forgiving all our fellow humans for all small and big wrongs done to us.  :)


PS:*venom
I read once that nobody dies from a snakebite. After a snakebite, we could die of the venom that circulates in our blood after the bite. It is the venom that circulates causing the major harm. Can be compared to someone causing us emotional harm. The insult can be painful , but most suffering and pain comes when we allow the grudges, the hatred, the negative feelings to go on and circulate through our veins. Forgiveness is like removing the venom after a bite 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Up there

Most of my life I have been living down here.
Meaning: trying to get what I want
Trying to earn more
Trying to get more recognition
Trying to be loved, to be appreciated.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above.

Whenever I manage to live up there,
I am delighted beyond imagination.
The days I manage to just ask: how can I serve?
The days I try to give love rather then to be loved
The days I am confident that the universe and God are on my side
The days I am living from soul rather than from ego,
are so different from the days down there when I mainly live from ego.

Let us all try to connect a bit more to our soul,
have more days or even hours or minutes up there,
rather then down here. :) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Love and care

When I think about my late mom and
the superb loving care she gave us,
there is a soft spot in my heart that jumps up of joy.

Shortly after her death, that same spot used to weep
when thinking of my mom and her fantastic loving care
she gave to her children and husband at all times
and especially at times when we were ill or did not feel well.

Surely I miss my mother still very much,
but the bitterness of grief and missing her
has given way for gratefulness, for thankfulness.

Somehow she has planted in my heart and soul
a loving and caring seed that spouts and grows
and blooms and blossoms, whenever I manage to give it space.

Her care, her love lives on in my heart, in my soul.
It is that care and love, that I manage to keep alive,
which gives me peace of mind and job satisfaction.

I am sure most of us can think back of a person
caring for us in a special way when we were young.

Let us just do that today. Think of the love and care we received.
Let us feel the presence of these seeds of love and care in our own heart.
Let us 'water' the seeds and give them lots of light and space
so they can spout and grow and bloom and blossom into
a wonderful forest of love and care.  

As we do so we will become the planters of seeds
in the hearts of our own family, friends, neighbors, patients, clients,..

Friday, 26 January 2018

Ownership

I have been part of several projects.
Projects where people need to work together
only work if the leadership of the project
gives trust and creative ownership to the members.

The times where good leadership means being in control of everything are over.
People do not work anymore for the boss; they want to work for the common good
and to do so in their way, using their own creativity.

If only more people would be aware of this, many projects could soar to heights
they never reach because the leader wants everything in the leader's way,
does not trust the members of the group and limits as thus creativity badly.

It sounds so simple, but it may take decades before we outgrow
 the old dysfunctional type of leadership.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

On a parking lot...

A lonely flower spouted from a tiny seed;
it'd worked its way through cement and concrete
but it managed to grow and finally succeed;
expression of beauty was not a mere desire but a need

We may be living in a harsh world
looking more like a parking lot than like a paradise,
with plenty of cars ready to drive over our small attempts at beauty.
But there is nothing, that can contain the seeds planted in our heart 
No matter how thick the layers of cement and concrete,
the seeds of beauty, the seeds of love and kindness,
the seeds of honesty, the seeds of compassion and awe,
will work their way through and finally succeed 
to blossom into wonderful flowers and make our world 
look more like a paradise than like a parking lot...

Friday, 19 January 2018

Leader

My son is working in Shah Alam, about 1h flight from where we live now.
He recently was at home for a short holiday and on the way back to the airport,
I had a good discussion with him.

He had recently a bit of a standoff with one of his room mates, or better said, apartment mates. They had not been talking to each other for quite some time.

I asked him whether he wanted to be a leader or a follower.
Of course we want to be leaders. My son too.

I was then saying that if we are good only if others are good to us,
but if others to us behave nasty, we respond in a nasty way too,
we are NOT leaders, but followers: we just follow the other's way.

True leaders choose the way they want to behave.
Let's say you choose to be a good person, nice and friendly.
Then we should stick to that choice, to that decision, no matter what.
If people are good, we are good, nice and friendly
If they are not good, we are good, nice and friendly.
Most likely they will be surprised by this and 
become also good, nice and friendly.
THAT is true leadership.

I asked him to try and greet his apartment mate every day in a very warm way and see how he responds within 3 days. I am not sure my son will do it, but if he does, I am sure he will learn a huge lesson from it.

I have written similar messages in this blog before,
but this is something sooo close to my heart,
that I want to share this bit of wisdom in a variety of ways. :)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Electric !

Electricity existed at the time Moses was walking the earth.
Electricity existed at the time Julius Caesar was walking the earth
Electricity existed at the time Napoleon was walking the earth

Was it God's fault they were walking in the dark
Was it God's fault they had no light?

Surely not. It is just that humanity needed to evolve
to a level that someone could discover the light bulb
to discover electricity, to discover batteries...

Peace and unconditional love and universal kindness
are now here already in this world.
They have always been.

It is in these exiting times that we are evolving perhaps enough
to let them materialize and fully be expressed for all human beings.

Peace is here.
Unconditional love is here
Universal kindness is here
Let us just open up.
The time is ripe
Let these three come to universal expression. 

(inspired by a video by Michael B. Beckwith)

Monday, 8 January 2018

News

" News is the reporting of unusual things happening.
  Since the world is good and getting better,
  the good things happening in the world are usual
  and thus not considered news. "

  If we let this sink in, it'll become clear that it contains some valuable truth.

Sometimes parents go out of their mind and kill their own children.
This is extremely unusual and comes in the world news.
If we see this happen we get the feeling of "where is the world heading?"
But then we forget that at the same time there are hundreds of millions of
loving parents taking care very well of their children with a love
bordering to real unconditional love.

Most news channels and even regular channels that program a news bulletin,
are prepared for no-or-low-news days, where almost nothing unusual (bad) happens.
Should we not celebrate no-news days, more than we celebrate the new year?
Should we not excited about there being days that none of the more than 7 billion humans
gets completely derailed?

But still there are worries.
If we see the politics of America, the politics of so many other countries,
the ruthless business men; there are worries.
But still the idea of a positive psychology, of a loving kind world has come.
Its time has come and as many other ideas of the past whose time came
and changed reality forever, so will the this idea of a kind and loving world
change reality forever.

Let us all be part of the movement to get this idea into the avalanche of kindness it will soon become! 


Good Morning

I was walking with my head facing a bit down, quite absorbed in my own thoughts, when I suddenly heard the joyous voice of one of the hospital cleaners: 'good morning, prof'. I was jolted out of my closed inner world and the joy in her voice was warming my heart only in a way the human voice can. I responded with a 'good morning' too. That cleaner somehow had coloured my self-centered lone morning with the beautiful colours of human communication.

Small things like this can really make a difference to our day. My state of mind had changed from silent introversion to a certain joyful alertness, ready to continue the chain of kindness initiated by the cleaner.

Let us start a few of such chains of kindness ourselves today. Who knows one of such small chains of kindness may snowball into an avalanche of kindness enveloping the world๐Ÿ˜Š

Friday, 5 January 2018

Delicious

A spoon full of life
with a pinch of love on it:
Truly Delicious

A senryu, a small poem with the structure similar to a haiku.
5-7-5 syllables (the '-cious' of delicious is pronounced as 1 syllable)
A senryu is about human nature while a haiku is not.

If we take life as it comes one spoon at the time
and put a little bit of love on it, 
life is OK.

Life can be difficult but most of the time we can find some beauty in it !

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

I love, thus I am - J'aime, donc je suis.

It was Descartes who said: Je pense, donc je suis, I think, thus I am.
I want to suggest a small change to my 'friend' Descartes:
I love, thus I am: J'aime, donc je suis.

First, a small poem:

I Love, Thus I Am 
I am,
I love.
A white rolling wave
in the blue ocean
whispers in my ear:
You are,
You love.
I want to thank the wave,
I want to love the wave,
but before I can,
it breaks on the shore
and ceases to be.
I am,
I love.
The beauty of the wave,
Its silent whisper
are still so much alive.
When I close my eyes
I see and hear it:
You are,
You love! 


And not only we, as a being, are! The love we created, the kindness poured out of our hearts,
comes into existence from nothing. Not only it exists in the moment, but it goes on living
many years after our kind act. Perhaps for eternity.

The small wave in the poem, was so kind and whispered such a sweet words to me,
that the wave goes on living in my memory and its kind words are as much alive
now as when the wave was whispering them.

Of course the poem is a metaphor.
I hope it is powerful enough for everyone to embrace the truth in:
J'aime, donc je suis 
or perhaps better still: J'aime, donc je serai
I love, thus I am
or perhaps better still: I love, thus I will be (forever) .   :)
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Similar message, without the metaphors 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Monsoon Winds

Strong winds of the monsoon season have started today.
Not much rain, episodes of bright skies with some sun.
The big waves of the South China Sea enjoyed the weather.
Their colors were amazing, their sound still thunderous.

The morning fresh air brought small pieces of soft sunlight
to the deepest areas of my chest, illuminating my heart;
red blood cells, laden with crisp oxygen dancing;
the joy of a lovely beautiful  morning was moving my soul.

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Actually beauty tends to be never far away.
Beauty was the painter of our nature.
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Note: let us do everything possible to preserve the beauty of the  earth for our future generations
 ( earth song )