Review of the Year 2010 - Experiences and Changes - 31 Dec 10

Another year is over and another 365 pages have been filled with words of my diary. As always, after a whole year, it is difficult to say ‘it was a good year’ just as you cannot say ‘it was a bad year’. It is a big mixture of situations, events and emotions. In my life changes occur very quickly, especially because we ourselves are always moving and changing. You cannot put it all together in one or two words and this is why I want to go through the year by months. Luckily I have these diary entries. With them I can reread what happened and give you a short summary of my year.


We will end this year exactly where we started it: at the Ashram in India. I remember that the beginning of the year was unusually cold. The whole January was foggy and cold and the children had several days off school because of this strong winter. Nevertheless we were glad we were in India – in Germany and many other places of the world there was a big snow chaos.


Very fast after a cold first month, spring started in Vrindavan. Nearly the whole month of February there were thousands of people more in Vrindavan than usual because of the Kumbh Mela. This biggest religious drama on earth had a station in our town before continuing to their actual destination place in Haridwar. They moved on but we remained in Vrindavan to enjoy the festival of colours, Holi.


Right after celebrating the festival of colours we read that so-called enlightened master Nithyananda also liked to celebrate a lot – with women in his bedroom! I wrote about his sex scandal and my opinions about such gurus. Whatever Nithyananda was doing in that time, we kept on celebrating. It was Ramona’s birthday and we spent a very happy time with visitors and guests at the Ashram. In the end of March we left the Ashram and safely arrived in our Wiesbaden Ashram.


In April we started our tour in Europe and on the way I wrote a lot about dishonesty and cheating. Cheating on a partner in a relationship and being dishonest in your business, especially in the spiritual and esoteric scene. The month personally however was filled with honest friendship and love, meeting and living with many wonderful people. We of course came to Erkelenz, another place that is like home, where our friends Sonja and Peter welcomed us. In Bocholt, where we went for the first time, we deepened a beautiful relation to the family vom Kolke. I enjoyed the energy of the little Konstantin and I experienced the best pizza and ice cream of Germany.


We began the month of May with Regina, Jens and Celina and a few days later spent a happy time with Michael and Andrea in Lüneburg. We then managed to take a few friends along with us to Copenhagen to a fabulous Chakra Dance Party. May, too, was a very happy month. Half of May we spent travelling in Europe and then started towards America. At first we were with our friend Asheem in New York before we moved on to sunny and hot Texas.


We came back to New York in June and actually spent the whole month there. In this long time I of course got to know American culture better. I could not help but start comparing America, Europe and of course also India with each other and got the confirmation that American culture is difficult for me to live in. It was not a good month, actually the saddest and most disappointing month of the whole year. It was the month in which I started thinking whether those people whom you call friends are really friends.


In July we were back in Europe. You know I am not good with living with negative emotions. So I quickly recovered and found my happiness again. We went to Switzerland, travelled some more, enjoyed more time with friends again and even had a swim in the North Sea.


In beginning of August we came back home to the Ashram. It was monsoon time – hot, humid and rainy. We enjoyed the first half of August playing with children in the rain but with the end of August, the water of the river Yamuna had risen so high that whole parts of outer Vrindavan were flooded. We started helping.


I want to thank everybody who supported us in helping those who were in need in that month. People had lost their homes and we offered them space in the Ashram. We distributed food several times and even cooked it on the spot. We gave them clothes and we offered medical support to prevent fever and other diseases from spreading. It is a month we will remember because of the many efforts we did to help those whose houses were standing in the water, who were living on their roofs, praying that the water will go down. It was only possible with the support of many people from abroad and from India!


With October, better weather came to Vrindavan and with that our friends from Germany. From nearly a year of interesting experiences I was inspired to write a lot about friendship. It was also the month in which we started the daily yoga for our school.


In November we had the Ashram full with participants of the Yoga Teacher Training, the Ayurveda Yoga Holiday and volunteers. They celebrated Diwali, the festival of light with us. In the last week of November, we started to Germany for a short trip. This time Purnendu was also with us to celebrate how Ramona and I signed a paper which does not make any difference in our love but in necessary bureaucracy.


In December, Purnendu was back in India, Yashendu went for work to Taiwan and Ramona and I were travelling in cold Germany with snow all over the country. This time our journey was not intended for business but to visit friends and family in Bocholt, Tornesch, Lüneburg and Augsburg with Ramona’s father. We enjoyed the pre-Christmas time in Germany and just right before Christmas came to the Ashram so that we could celebrate Christmas in India, too. Thomas and Iris joined us on our flight and in the celebration which had even more German guests as Hans-Christian, Annick, Sophie, Lotti and Konsti also arrived in India. Celebrations went on with Sophie’s birthday and we will end the year with yet another big celebration tonight.

So you see, each year has every emotion and what remains as a memory in the mind in the end, is of course happiness and love. Changes happen as always but they are for good. I want to thank all my friends all over the globe, those whom I know and those whom I don’t know personally, my family of course and also you, the one who is reading my diary and makes it worth to write 365 days a year without missing even one.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Deniz

    It’s a little sad but also kind of funny to read that the month you met me is a month you will remember as one of the saddest months of your life! Hopefully I was one of the brighter spots of your time here, as meeting you was a very bright spot for me. I still think that with a little more planning, your stay in NYC could have been a total joy from the first day to the last for you and your family. Like everywhere, NYC has its faults, but also many beauties, joys, and wonders. It’s a place with enormous cultural riches. I’ve been blessed to have been provided with the circumstances to be able to live here affordably for so many years. I thank my lucky stars for this every day.

  2. Swami Balendu

    Dear Deniz, Yes its true the month we met I was not happy. And for sure meeting you and some other nice people was great in that sad time. Thank you for your Love. I will not blame NYC either. I also think its beautiful and has its own energy which is very nice and I also enjoyed that. Cannot forget our meetings in Central Park. I think the biggest problem was, I was too naive to understand that in American culture what people say many times doesn’t really mean anything and many times words are expressed without any feelings. I could not believe people who claim to be friends and family will not be there for us and will not value their own words. So my trust was shaken which created all sadness around.

  3. Hilary

    Swami Ji, Sorry to hear your experience with American people. Let me say that as an American, meeting your family was very refreshing. NYC is one of the biggest and coldest (in manner not weather) in the US. I come from North Carolina and my time in NYC was also a shock. You just have to learn to “keep up” and then you realize it is just like other places with faults and glories- in NY it is easy to get lost, and for those who are already adapted to the pace it is hard for them to slow down. I hope that you will return to the US sometime and have a happier experience. Big cities are hard.

  4. Samantha

    Thanks for the re-cap Swami Ji. Facebook has an app called “my year in statuses” where it compiles your status from one year, it is such a strange experience to see them all together at once, I mean you see your life in that year in a different and more complete light when you put it all in one place to read over quickly. And I certainly enjoyed reading about your year. Thanks!

  5. Kisha from Vermont

    Swami Ji, I didn’t realize you had visited NY as recently as 2010. I hope that you enjoyed the states and plan on returning.

  6. Camp Witmen

    A collage of some of my favorite photos from your diary!

  7. Candice

    I’m so glad that Purnendu was able to join in the celebration in Germany. Purnendu I hope you find a good assistant soon but if you don’t I know you won’t worry to much about it!

  8. Karla and Rich

    Happy new year Swami Ji. The Johnsons are looking forward to another wonderful year of your entries.

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