Not change but transformation

Foto dario Lopez-MillsAP

The photo that accompanies this post is shot in Libya. It’s a picture of a gazelle, taken in a bombed part of Tripoli. When I started writing this post I thought the gazelle must be feeling afraid since she finds herself outside her comfort zone. Maybe the gazelle was feeling like me, uneasy with her new surroundings. But when I look closely the gazelle shows no fear, just alertness. She doesn’t seem to have a preference for the bushes or the destructed concrete.

The happiness that I experienced when my perspective on my new house shifted from ‘small apartment in a crappy neighbourhood’ to ‘exclusive pad in renovated monumental building with a long waiting list’ has nothing to do with true freedom. It is just a way of temporarily escaping feelings of inferiority. I find the freedom in the Libyan gazelle, who shows me what is important. She lives her life, abides in the present moment, is aware and alert, embraces her surroundings without judgment.

Liberating the lost child

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What happens when you find back your long lost child? You decide you will never let it happen again. At least, that’s what I decided. From now on my son goes with me everywhere. I will never let him out of my sight, hold his hand tight. My son and me, we will start giving talks and workshops on how you can find back your lost one’s too. Because I feel that every mourning parent has the right to happiness, relief and completion.

Now what is the problem here? What I discovered today is that something involentary has snucked in, something not-so-free. Tagging my boy along to show him to the world as evidence that liberation is possible might not be the most compassionate thing to do. First I locked him away, now I drag him along. In a way my son is not free. Fear has entered the equation again. First I was afraid to find him and afraid to look in difficult place, now I am afraid to lose him. This is my problem, not his. I feel guilty and ashamed when I don’t bring him along.

Surrendering to the vine of the soul


I get tired of being heart broken (what is still what I feel like these days). I don’t mean that metaphorically, I mean that literally. I costs me a lot of energy to feel pain, sadness and remorse over and over again. I often wonder if I’m exaggerating or that I’m abnormally sensitive or dramatic. Last week I spent another two full days struggling with facts that my ego finds painful or unacceptable. When I find myself in the middle of the storm it seems impossible to help myself. While my whole body aches, especially my heart (again: literally) the wise words I speak to myself don’t touch base at all. Then at some point, seemingly out of nowhere it flips and I feel space and love coming up.

What I am starting to learn that my experience of life when I’m in a state of surrender is radically different from when I’m in a state of resistance. Unfortunately for me it seems I cannot gently will myself into surrender, I only submit after serious battle. But what I find striking is that the experience I described in the previous paragraph was very similar to the experience I had in the ceremony.

The struggle for life

Osho Zen Tarot - Ice-olation

Last night I was having dinner with an old friend when his 15 year old daughter called him. He had to walk away from the dinner table to be able to talk to her because the restaurant was crowded. It took quite long before he got back. Turned out that his daughter was desperately sad, she had told her father that she wanted to end her life. She did not want to live anymore.

Let’s call this girl Jill. What her father told me about her was that she was smart, healthy, good looking, had nice group of friends and was apt socially. Still, she was going through rough times. She had developed an eating disorder and was feeling depressed lately.

Finding freedom and forgiveness

Parabola by Alex Grey

An emotional release works on our system. I received proof of that today as I rode into town on my bicycle for a latte in my favorite Coffee Company store. The last two days I had been working on a huge self conceived writing exercise on the topic of my relationship. I did a lot of mourning about the loss of it. I had realized that I had been suffering from a deep fear of abandonment. Many tears had rolled down my face since Wednesday.

So I’m riding my bike, minding my own business when all of a sudden I start feeling an enormous amount of freedom. It felt like the sun came up in my belly and chest. I realize “it is ok to be abandoned”. It was as if somebody was saying the words gently in my ear. And for the first time I really understand. I start smiling and repeat to myself: “it is ok to be abandoned”. I am free! She is free too! She is free to love me and she is free to leave me. No strings attached. Literally. Hello? There are no strings attached! So don’t act like if there are. That’s delusion.

Looking back on my path with Genpo Merzel


Because of all the attention my open letter has drawn and Genpo’s reaction to it (no reaction at all unless you count the disappearance of my post from his wall and the complete deletion of his whole Facebook account a day later as a reaction) I cannot help but contemplate on the relationship with my teacher.

By writing the letter I got a taste of what it means to be controversial. I wonder if this is what Genpo feels and I wonder if it is addictive. Unfortunately, it seems I cannot do the same thing twice so it will be hard for me to find out. I remember writing a funny post about 2 months ago that was very well received. It planted a seed in my head: “you must be funny! More people will read your website when you are funny!”. Long story short: I never wrote a funny post again.

Dreams and intentions for 2011 (and beyond)


It is actually only since I’m back at work that it dawns on me that we have a new year ahead of us. Of course I had noticed when it was New Years Eve but that night was the night that my buddy Mike was at the lowest point of his sickness. I was filled with worries then. The next day we started traveling again and I never really took the time to stand still by the intentions and dreams that I might have for the 2011.

The idea is to write down as many things as you wish to be or do in 2 minutes if there were no boundaries of time, money and space. I might give myself 4 minutes, as I can’t type very fast.

Here we go:

I want to be happy

I want to travel

I want to learn to type faster

I want to work internationally (and get flown in there business class)

The dance of life

Celebration - Osho Zen Tarot

At the end of the day we met up with other friends at the Yoga Barn for a Biodanza workshop. It was my idea to do it. I had done some sort of try out class 4 or 5 years ago, couldn’t really remember what it was like but knew it was with lots of dancing and was pretty sure that we didn’t have to squeeze our bodies into impossible postures. That sounded like music to my ears.

Biodanza is the dance of life, explained our teacher Simon. To make a long story short: it was amazing, sexy, sensual, heart warming, vulnerable, intimate and profound. And all these experiences came from dancing together. By experimenting with different distances, movements and ways of touching different people we get to know ourselves and experience ourself in relationship to others and in relationship with our bodies.

How and where to start your path


We are about to leave Lebongan and packing our bags. Mostly, we just had a lazy time, but with beautiful moments and nice conversation. When we left Scallywags (best restaurant in Lebongan, do not go to Indiana’s, the self-proclaimed 3 Michelin star chef is an imposter) we just knew that it was time to move on. I always find that an interesting phenomenon: that we just know when a conversation or phone call had ended. How do we know that? Anyway, this was something similar. We will be heading to our next destination in a couple of hours.