Raw and tender warrior heart

Ritsuzen under a waterfall

We recovered in the hot springs, meditated under the cold waterfall next to the spring, went to a cock fight afterwards and have the pictures to proof it. How good can it get?

Maybe it can get even better. Because I feel also sad. Everytime I arrive at a place that is even more beautiful than the previous one I wish I could have shared these moments with the girl I love. Now it is the sadness and the desire to share, love and be loved that make it real. This realness combined with the realness of the astonishing view, the experience of the goodness of nature makes me feel tender and raw. Walking away from that rawness would make me live less than my truth. I just can’t make a conscious effort to betray myself anymore, it is just not how I want to live. Sadness is a part of me, allowing myself to be sad makes my heart soft. Realizing that made me see that my sadness makes this experience even more beautiful.

And now it’s time for some synchronicity: I brought with me the birthday present Mike gave me. It is a book called “Smile at Fear, Awakening the True Heart of Bravery” by Chogyam Trunpa. My eye just fell on this quote:

“Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armour. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose your naked flesh, bone and marrow to the world.”

Reading that brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Simultaneously.

Aligning with life, Tirta Empul part II


This is the domain of the heart, the soul and the divine. This experience is what is meant with basic goodness. It is in all of us but we cannot posess it, we can experience it but we cannot grasp it. This is why I feel that it is of absolute importance to do this stuff even when the rational mind cannot grasp it (or especially when the rational mind cannot grasp it): it is an opportunity to reconnect with our innate basic goodness. Experiencing that goodness feels so good and so true that it doesn’t matter what the judgments of the ego are about the weirdness of the things we need to to do to find that place. Breathe, pray, stretch yourself like a dog (downward), or submerse yourself in holy water, it’s ok. It is more than ok, it is fundamentally good. For you, for me, for others, for the planet. Because it aligns us with life.

The miracle of Tirta Empul

Michael Henskens en Atalwin na het ritueel

Today was again special day. We got up early to go to a sacred place and meditate there. The name of the temple was Tirta Empul and it was about 30 minutes driving with the motorbikes. The idea was to get there before the many tourist filled busses would arrive. But even though we were later than expected we were also a bit too early. We wandered around the complex, feeling a bit lost because there was nothing (no signs, no brochures, no guides) to give us some explanation or direction. So we decided to leave and go find the waterfalls that were mentioned in the Lonely Planet to take a swim.

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.

Just get out of the way

Woman meditating on Bali beach

We find our truth in our hearts. In the beginning it’s a bit hard to find because thoughts are distracting us. But if you sit upright and concentrate on your breathing for a couple of moments and just observe the breath flowing in and out you will probably find a sense of ok-ness, of acceptance, of relaxation. What you are experiencing is not the effect of a technique, there is nothing artificial about it. What you are experiencing is the real you, you are experiencing yourself as a source of acceptance and relaxation. You are the source! The mind clutter is the fabrication, and obeying the mind clutter is what makes you artificial. How about that for a paradigm shift? Do you now see why every wisdom tradition encourages some sort of meditation? Otherwise we stay stuck in the realm of thoughts and thinking. We need to go beyond.

Peace Camp in Amsterdam

Peace Camp Zendo

At this moment, sitting behind my computer, I feel very limited as a writer. How do I find the words to sincerely describe the atmosphere in the room during our weekly Peace Camp sessions? I really don’t know.

Maybe it is better to start with describing what Peace Camp is. It is an hour of meditation followed by a workshop led by myself. The evening is hosted by Michael Henskens, co-founder of Bootcamp Nederland, personal trainer, avid martial artist and former high school buddy. Thus Peace Camp is where Basic Goodness and Bootcamp Nederland meet.