Nothing is fixed

Atalwin and lake La Cocha

The reason for that is not the one I would have had signed up for when I started: I realized the other day that I have been disappointed so often that I just don’t give a shit anymore. Things just don’t go as planned or hoped, dreams are not fulfilled and expectations not met. But there is always an alternative. There is always an unexpected turn. Things always work out. Deeply feeling that is wisdom, I realized.

Tomorrow morning I am invited to come meet the coordinator of some exclusive high school. Perhaps I will be teaching the teenagers of Colombian politicians and drug lords soon about how to live with a straight back and an open heart. Sounds interesting to me. But I also received an invitation from a Navajo Chief to travel with them through the US for a while. Sounds cool too.

The little healer

Sam

I arrived on Sunday. Ernst and Gretchen had spent some time together on Maui and had come back that morning. The next day would be Ernst’s first day of going back to work. Everybody knew it would be a raw week. I came with an intention of just being available. I had no idea if I would be able to offer something. I didn’t want to be an intruder. It is kind of a big deal to take a guest in your house during the first days of ‘normal life’ after such a loss. At the same time I think we all had a sense of destiny: our paths crossed at this particular point in time and we are letting it happen. Maybe, just maybe there is something I can contribute around consciously choosing a healing path.

In the oven

Joshua Tree

Everybody wants to be a beautiful, amazing and inspiring human being, nobody wants to burn. When we find ourselves in the oven and have no choice we clench our eyes and fists and tighten our muscles, preparing for the worst and hoping it will pass. But maybe we can try to trust that the Universe is not against us and open our eyes and listen. I know it is close to impossible to see light in our deepest despair and it is counter-intuitive to relax in the midst of pain. But try to find the even the tiniest bit of light and breathe into that. This light will lead us to forgiveness. And that forgiveness will open us up to our humanity like nothing else.

May The Force be with you

Sam van Eeghen

Yesterday Ernst and his wife Gretchen buried their baby boy and tomorrow Bas will make Karin his wife. Both events touch me deeply, they touch both sides of my deep wish to have a family. I really don’t know what to say. Our lives are so precious and so unpredictable. And difficult. It is so easy to see that there is something sacred about two people expressing their love and commitment to each other in God’s house. And it is easy to see that a baby is a result of passion and an expression of pure, innocent love, and that his coming into existence is both mysterious and sacred. I even know that lives are to be lived fully and that a full life doesn’t have to be a long life. Sam did a perfect job. But I still would have wished Sam to stay with us longer.

Is suffering necessary?

Vast Queensland

I had an insight today, and I hope it proves to be true and lasting. I was aware of the big difference between today and yesterday. Yesterday the doubt came up: what the hell am I doing in Australia? It culminated into a moment of feeling sad, lonely and lost. Today I was just happily cruising around. And what I realized was: I don’t regret the sadness of yesterday. I am not happy because it is over, I am happy because I became acquainted with it. It was really a kind of a light-bulb-flicking-on-in-my-head moment.

A rubber ball

Full moon over Tannum Sands

I am not in the most romantic place imaginable: in a Subway sandwich shop with a view over a parking place (with lots of empty spots). I had a salad here and was able to put some electricity in my laptop and phone. With the help of Personal Hotspot (the tethering function on my iPhone) I have access to the internet. So that’s nice. And there is a beautiful full moon in the sky. That is nice too.

I just uploaded to YouTube a couple of clips I recorded today. I have not much better to do than talk to myself during this part of my trip. Because I took the decision to not censor myself you can see me cry on one of the videos.

Hard landing in Sydney

Mourning in the Royal Botanical Garden

My landing in Sydney was a hard one. After meeting my host and going through some trouble to get myself connected (first thing to do in a new country: get a local simcard to get your iPhone working) the first email that I saw with my jetlagged eyes was a message from my now very definitive ex-girlfriend: she moved on. I think it’s for many people a painful moment in the completion of a break-up and it certainly was for me. I had barely landed and I was already hit over the head. I felt numb, sad and disheartened. And I certainly wasn’t in the mood to cheerfully post whatever blabla I wrote on the plane. To make matters worse: the weather shifted from to nice to completely crap and seemed to reflect my state of mind.

I could barely eat yesterday. This morning I woke up literally sick in the stomach but I managed not to throw up. Isn’t it amazing how profound an email from the other side of the world can influence the body?

A long way from home

My motorbike taxi driver

I am on the fast ferry to Koh Samui. I am on a visa run. It is funny that people have created a word for the adventure you have to go through to have your visa extended. Because I passed on an invitation to go on an epic hike through Alaska I can spend more time in Asia and Australia. I have decided to go visit my brother. He lives in Bali.

To be honest I feel deeply sad, lost and lonely. I feel like a ghost, going through the obligatory motions. Perhaps for the first time I don’t feel free to write my truth because I am embarrassed that some things that are supposed to be dealt with are still unresolved or surfaced again. I fear that I made wrong investments this month and that I am throwing my money away. Maybe I want results too fast and am I too impatient. But I was really looking forward to a month of practice after working on Hong Kong and I feel like I made zero progress. I don’t feel free from ‘chords’ and I feel not one chakra spinning. I feel disappointed and empty-handed.

A free meditation on life

Writing in the morning

It is a quiet and somewhat overcast Friday morning. I am behind my laptop at Shangri La, the place with the best caffe latte on the beach of Shritanu. I am skipping yoga school because I want to have at least to posts online in a this week and the weekly update is sent out today (every Friday). My average is three posts per week and I have done only one. Yesterday was one of the first days that my internet connection was so slow and therefore frustrating that I gave up. Which was convenient because I downloaded the series “Game of Thrones” and need my daily fix of medieval slaughter, intrigue, conspiracy and honor more than spending time typing and reflecting.

Remembering The Wayfinder

James Baye

I received the news of the death of James Baye. We first met in November 2006 in Salt Lake City. We were both attending the International Big Mind Conference, an intensive month long training under the guidance of Genpo Roshi and Diane Hamilton. I liked him. He was smart, friendly, devoted and funny. But what really struck me was that he told me, literally and straight to my face: “I like you”. I think that it was the first time I heard somebody saying that to me.

James never came back from a small solo retreat he planned for himself. A year ago his father died and he went into nature to commemorate that. He wanted to be alone with his thoughts, memories and the elements, I guess. According to the report his girlfriend received from the Rangers who found him he slipped from a rock during a full moon hike and hit his chest