I hope that one day my words are powerful enough to unite us. That we will overcome our fear of deficit together. At this moment I still feel alone often on this mission because you, anonymous reader, are invisible to me. When I’m speaking from my heart I am — in a way – aiming at your heart. But at the same time I’m shooting my arrows into the dark void of cyberspace. Often the only way I can tell you are here is by looking at the amount of visitors who read my posts. It would be nice if you speak up too, if you would join me on this search for truth and honesty.
”Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the spiritual journey is the we can start with a brand new canvas every day. (Ooh, that sounds good! Wait a minute, the narcissist in me needs to put this on my Basic Goodness Facebook page. It is posted. Now it just a matter of monitoring how many ‘likes’ it will receive.)
It is amazing. I have been postponing this moment for weeks. For some reason I felt reluctant to write, fearing lack of inspiration. And the moment I sit down it feels like coming home.
Dear Anders Behring Breivik,
A lot of the friends I met at Utoya are dead and you are the perpetrator. You are the man who, by coincidence, didn’t kill me. I was lucky.
You might think that you have won. You might think that you have ruined something for the Labour Party and for people around the world who stand for a multicultural society by killing my friends and fellow party members.
Know that you have failed.
You haven’t only made the world stand together, you have set our souls on fire and should know we’ve never stood together as we do now. You talk about yourself as a hero, a knight. You are no hero. But you have created heroes. On Utoya that warm day in July, you created some of the greatest heroes the world has seen, you unified people from all over the world. Black and white, man and woman, red and blue, Christians and Muslims.
The last 13 days I have been fasting and meditating. In between I go running or work out. Some of my fellow retreat participants (who don’t fast or excersize) were impressed by this. My reaction is to say something that I slightly devaluating. “Oh well, it’s just something I like to do”. I wasn’t receiving them. Until yesterday when I suddenly realized “Hey, wait a minute! It is actually amazing how easy I just flick the switch to an extreme regime! And you know what, I can do that at will! I can will anything I want! I do have tremendous willpower!”. With that insight a huge amount of stories I have about myself can go overboard. Beliefs I hold on to like that I’m not good enough, that stuff just won’t work out for me: it’s just not true. I’m showing it to myself and I wasn’t even noticing. I can achieve anything I set my mind to. And all of a sudden I realize that I already came a long way.
One of the children pops the question that puzzles him. “Grandfather, why do people fight?”. “Well” the old man replies “we all have two wolves inside us, you see. They are in our chest. And these wolves are contantly fighting each other”. The eyes of the children have grown big by now. “In our chests too, grandfather?” asks another child. “And in your chest too?” asks a third one. He nods, “yes, in my chest too”. He surely has their attention now. Grandfather continues. “There is a white wolf and a black wolf. The black wolf is filled with fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, and arrogance. The white wolf is filled with peace, love, hope, courage, humility, compassion, and faith. They battle constantly”. Then he stops. It’s the child that asked the initial question that can’t handle the tension anymore. “But grandfather, which wolf wins?”. The old Cherokee simply replies, “the one that we feed”.
Would you like to know what the secret is of living mindfully? Or don’t you even know what that means but you are curious? Do you want to find the doorway to inner peace and feel a Universal connectedness? Let me take you by the hand.
Take an upright position and straighten your back. It can be on your bed, in your chair on the couch or on the floor, wherever you are sitting right now with your laptop, smart phone or iPad. Now relax into this uplifted position, enjoy the goodness of sitting upright and having a straight spine for a couple of moments. This is you being you, feel the simplicity and the dignity of that.
Every now and then you meet somebody extraordinary. I met him in a park in Paris. I was in Paris for a week of zen training at l’Association Dana, the official name of the zen center of my teacher Genno roshi (which is actually just her house that she makes available for students and practice). After the sesshin of last week had finished, I had some time for myself to walk around the city. We met each other in Buttes Chaumont. After coming home in Amsterdam yesterday I decided to write about the fascinating story of my fellow follower of the Way M.
I have a strange relation with boundaries. When I started my search at 29 it was because I was finally hearing the feedback I wasn’t able to hear before. In the eyes of others my ‘problem’ was that I was not respectful of their boundaries. My problem was that I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.