Openness works miracles

Somewhere in the Palestinian Territories

In order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear. The essence of cowardice is not acknowledging the experience of fear. Fear has to be acknowledged. We have to realize our fear and reconcile ourselves with fear. If we look into our fear, if we look beneath its veneer, the first thing we find is sadness, beneath the nervousness. When we slow down, when we relax with our fear, we find sadness, which is calm and gentle. Sadness hits you in your heart and your body produces a tear. You feel sad and lonely. That is the first tip of fearlessness and, and the first sign of real warriorship.

As a warrior, you are willing to take a chance; you are willing to expose yourself to the phenomenal world, and you will trust that it will give you a message, either of success or failure. Those messages are regarded neither as punishment nor as congratulation. You trust, not in success but in reality. But whatever the result that comes from your action, the result is not an end in itself. You can always go beyond the result; it is the seed for a further journey. So from practicing the warrior’s discipline comes a sense of continuously going forward and celebrating your journey.

The lines above come from the book that has been a big inspiration to me. The title is Shambala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior. The quotes in the ticker tape also come from this book. It never seizes to amaze me how true these principles are and I keep being rewarded for staying true to them.

Yesterday I wrote something about how hard it feels to keep opening up to keep opening up to the big, black anonymous void of the blogosphere. I had to acknowledge that feeling because it was true.  It is not something that I’m very proud of; my ego prefers impressive experiences of enlightenment, casually and eloquently described. My ego whishes my words to be so simple and true that Eckhart Tolle’s publisher calls me to tell me that he wants to publish my book and that the retainer is on the way. Alas, this is not the case (although I secretly hope this will change any day soon).

After posting I immediately received a handful of heartwarming reactions. What I experienced as a big black void turns out to be a place filled with people who care, envy, feel too inadequate to comment, are busy or read my posts to their partner over breakfast. And it made me see so clearly that what holds me back is – as always – just my stuff: the need for approval and the fear of not being seen and heard. I have looked at it so many times but he is still there: the little boy whose existence was erased by his father.

I don’t like to project that victimhood out. But if I hadn’t been honest about my reluctance yesterday I would not have gained the insight I received today. This is the secret of opening up: in 24 hours I learned that childhood issues are still trying to hold me back, the void that I fear is not so bad, we are all interconnected and honesty is rewarded with insight.

Sometimes it is hard to keep appreciating the little things. Speaking and listening from the heart has become my way of life. The people that I am meeting are similar. Therefore my interaction with them feels normal. But today I saw a group of Palestinian, Syrian, Jewish and Somalian kids come into the eco-peace center for a workshop. They were blown away. A 20-minute tour with an explanation of the vision of the place in combination with the friendliness and openness of the people here literally lit up their faces and left them speechless. A peaceful place in the middle of the center of the conflict; it was almost too much to grasp. It is amazing but true: openness works miracles.

Thank you for helping me see.

As I did not take much pictures today, I offer you the sunrise of this morning. Picture taken from my meditation spot.


  1. Mam says

    Wow, lieverd, wat een bijzondere dingen maak je mee en wat leer je veel! Ik ben wel heel erg nieuwsgierig naar waar je nu precies zit. Doet inderdaad een beetje aan Teuge denken, haha. Maar dan zonder de ayahuasca neem ik aan.
    Weet je trouwens dat Barack Obama ook zonder vader is opgegroeid? Las ik laatst ergens, deed mij wel goed. En een opmerking die een eveneens alleenstaande moeder van twee zonen eens maakte: je kunt nog zo je best doen, je wordt nooit een vader! vond ik ook wel treffend. Er dwarrelt nog van alles door mijn hoofd, maar dat komt wel een andere keer (misschien). Love you!

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