I love Sex, Money, Material as well as my Wife and I don’t feel guilty about it! – 19 Nov 15

Some time ago we had a guest at the Ashram who had some very fixed world views. Yesterday I told you that there are people who always want to make you feel bad about whatever you say or do. This man was one of them – and I just would like to give you one example of such behavior.

This man had communist ideas, called himself an atheist and was always interested in a conversation – which often turned out to be an attempt to put others down. In this way, when we were once walking in the Ashram and having a talk when he asked me about my clothes. It is definitely not the first time that I got asked about them. In fact, it happens all the time. This time however, there was a certain tone of accusation along with it: if I call myself an atheist, why do I wear such clothes which give another impression?

I have already explained in my blog that with my clothes, I am not making a statement. I just love my clothes the way they are and I don’t feel like wearing anything else.

The answer to this was another attack: what? You love your clothes? This means you love material?

Oh yes, I do! I do love material and I like making money. I love my work and my wife and child as well! I am not fixed to any kind of religious dogma or to any sort of philosophy that tells me what I should love and what I should not! I won’t let any other person’s idea dictate my feelings!

There are a lot of people who believe detachment from material is the right way. There are also a lot of people who believe in celibacy and detachment in emotional way as well. In India, those are mostly religious sadhus. In the west, these are people in the esoteric scene. They may be unreligious but they still have a certain ideology as well as an idea what you should strive for.

All these people believe that we should not love our clothes, we should not love money and we should not get attached to the people around you. They can believe what they want but I want to enjoy my life! I believe it is wrong not to and that’s how I love my clothes and also my work. I enjoy making money in the same way that I enjoy helping poor children! I love my daughter and my wife, I love sex and I love comfort. I love making holidays, as I am doing right now in Germany, with lots of time for friends and family!

I love enjoying life. I love life and I believe we all should enjoy it as much as possible. If you think differently, please do – but don’t try to make me feel bad about my own ideas. You won’t succeed and will only waste my and your time. I won’t try to convince you. I can only suggest: try enjoying and loving life like I do just for once. It is well worth it!

Young Adults not living their Life out of Love for their Parents – 23 Apr 15

While I yesterday wrote about parenting questions that refer mostly to dealing with toddlers and small children, I would today like to discuss an issue that comes up with elder children, those who are entering adulthood. It is a problem that I have seen quite a few times and which has been described to me in many consultation sessions: when a parent, especially if it is a single parent, depends so much on the son or daughter that they cannot let go – and make it difficult for their child to find his or her own way!

This sounds very abstract but with a concrete and detailed example, you will know what I mean.

One day, a 20-year-old woman came to a consultation. She told me that she wanted to have my opinion, as I might see things completely differently than the people around her. The emotional dilemma that she was in was the following:

She was living together with her mother. When she had been nine years old, her parents had divorced and after some ugly scenes and fights, neither she nor her mother kept any contact with her father anymore. Her mother raised her on her own and put her whole heart into this job. They had grown very close and the mother was the person whom the daughter trusted and loved most in the world.

Two years ago, this young woman had finished her high school education and had applied at several universities across the country for further studies. There were several letters of acceptance, among them one from a university close-by and also one of a university that she very much wanted to go to but which was further away.

She had had the urge to visit the latter, to get out of the caring home of the mother and to go and explore the world on her own. To start the adventure she imagined life to be and which she guiltily felt she had not really started yet – because she took care of her mother in the same way her mother took care of her. She was quick to explain that she loved her mother more than anything and vice versa. In any case she didn’t want to seem unthankful for everything the mother had done for her, with hard work and much love. In the end however, she had stayed. She had decided for the university close-by.

At the point we met, she was still in the same situation. And she had started resenting many actions of her mother, feeling guilty about it right away, too, unable to help this feeling of anger as if the mother kept her from really living her life. In this confusion, she had come to me.

I told her that her anger showed her what she really wanted: to live her own life. I encouraged her to do exactly that and without feeling guilty about it. If she didn’t, she could see already where it was going. Towards a life of bitterness and resentment! Feelings that would easily spoil the love that she and her mother had for each other.

She had ambitions, goals and dreams, so especially at this age, she should go for it and dive into the adventure! That didn’t mean that she would ‘abandon’ her mother! She could still take care – just from a little further away! And after some time would have passed and she would be independent and established, with more roots in life than now, they might as well find a future together again! The situation could come that she would then be able to take care of her mother more closely.

In my eyes, this was the way which would save their love while letting the daughter live her life – and I am sure her mother understood as well!

Time is not a Guarantee for Love – 19 Aug 14

Freshly back in India, I am of course once more sensitive to all the cultural differences that exist between life in Germany and life here. At the same time however, there are so many similarities, even if they are not always very obvious. It makes sense however: we are all human and our feelings are not that much different from each other. Today, it is love once more that I would like to talk about.

As you probably know, a lot of marriages in India, a majority of them actually, have been arranged. Normally by their parents. Often, the bride and the groom even see each other for the first time on their wedding day, although it is getting more and more modern for them to meet at least once before.

The idea behind this concept is that love would develop with time, if you just spend this time together.

But is that really true? Will that happen in between just anybody? I don’t think so.

Everyone starts a marriage and wants to experience love. Wants to give and get love. But love is unfortunately not a part of every marriage, even after a long time. I have seen love come with time and I have seen great love in arranged marriages. My parents have always been and will always be the biggest example of love for me, as they were deeply in love with each other even after 50 years of marriage. I have however seen many examples of marriages where it didn’t work. Where love never appeared, no matter how many people told them it would come with time.

To show you the similarity, I actually have seen this happen in the west as well, even if I may not have seen it quite as often. Let’s take an example: two people had sex with each other. It was a one-night-stand or maybe friends had had too much to drink one night and it just happened. The result was a pregnancy. They decided to stay together and have the child. For the child’s sake, for moral reasons, out of insecurity whether they would ever find someone better than that. Whatever the reason was, it was not love because they actually didn’t plan on ever repeating the intimacy of that night!

They hoped that love would grow with time. It would happen, they would just have to spend time together. Thirty years pass and even more – but they have the feeling that they have never really experienced love. Sad to hear such stories but they are true. The same happens in India: their marriage was arranged, they thought their spouse would be the love of their life but even after twenty years, there is no love in between them. They fight, they are upset with each other and there is not even harmony in between them, not to mention love.

Love does not necessarily grow with time.

Attachment, yes. You get used to each other, you get along well, you think it would be uncomfortable to live with the other one. But it would not break your heart. Maybe love never comes, not even in the course of thirty long years.

Or love happens in just 30 seconds.

Love is a very mysterious matter – and you cannot predict it!

The Cheater’s Rule: You are allowed to cheat others but not me! – 7 Jul 14

I was telling you of counselling sessions that I recently had and of which I thought they could be interesting for you because you might find yourself in the same situation. For this one, I hope you will never come in this situation and if you do, I hope you won’t feel the same as the lady who had come to me. Mainly because I would recommend you not to cheat your partner. Or become the one with whom someone is cheating his partner! But let me explain this to you from the beginning.

A woman came to me with her relationship problem. She warned me right away that it was a bit complicated and that she would need a while to explain it to me. She had been in several relationships in the past and had one child from one of those which lasted longer. For the past four years, she has had a steady partner though – but he was married! So she actually was having an affair,

Her lover – as you can hardly call him ‘partner’, can you? – told her in the very beginning that he would never leave his wife. It was a very clear message from his side: we can have fun in bed, have a relationship on the side and I will cheat on my wife but never expect me to move in with you, leave my wife and other life and just be with you! I don’t want to and I will not! She agreed.

I have mentioned many times in my blog that you cannot be close to someone physically over a longer time, share a bed many times, ‘make love’, as it is so nicely called in English, and not develop any kind of attachment. She said she had developed something like love and was happy with the way things were going. Then however she found out something that changed it all for her: he had another affair with another woman!

Call it strange but she now very clearly had one strong emotion: she felt cheated! Yes, this man was cheating on his wife with her, she was cheating with him on his wife but he should not cheat on his wife with any other woman. He should not cheat on her with another woman! She felt jealous, was angry with this third woman and most of all was sad, as if a relationship had broken. It had, even though it never had a future.

It is a story of a movie – but the only person who got a benefit from this scenario was the man! He told his lovers clearly upfront that he would never really make a commitment. That’s how he could neatly have sex with at least three different women without any problems up to this point.

I told her that she now needed to allow the anger for this man with whom she had wasted the past four years. He obviously was not in love with her and she knew beforehand that nothing would come out of this relation. You have to go through the anger and then let him go, find someone who loves you!

Seeing it from the point of the observer though: isn’t it wonderful how the human mind can deceive its owner? How you can cheat yourself into believing that it is okay when you do something and then get incredibly hurt when someone else does the same?

Loving someone doesn’t take away your Freedom! – 3 Jul 14

Yesterday I told you of a woman who came to me for a counselling session with the idea that she might take a break in her relationship. There was another man who thought about leaving his girlfriend. His situation, however, was quite different and it gave me the impression once more that the individualism that is so popular in the west is really cruel to people’s hearts.

This man told me that he had been married for 20 years, had had a wife and children but then left his family and got divorced. The reason? ‘It was just too much for me!’ he tried to explain. He had the impression that he was too involved in his family life which made him lose his freedom. There were so many things he still wanted to do in life, even in every day’s life, and with a family, with children and all this responsibility, it was just not possible! ‘I also wanted to live my spirituality, express the energy of my real self and live in a more yogic way!’ So he left.

After some time on his own, he met another woman. With her, he started an open relationship. They live in separate houses, she does her thing, he lives his life but they also have a relationship. An open one, which means, to say it clearly, they can both have sex with other people as well. That sounds as though he has his full freedom while having someone to enjoy sex with, doesn’t it? Well, no, he didn’t think so. He actually felt the same as in his marriage years ago!

He felt that this woman was becoming too dependent on him and that he had too much responsibility through this, even without children, even with separate flats. She was attached and although they allowed each other to see others, she didn’t. He said ‘I am again in this situation!’ but he hesitated to break up. ‘If I leave her now, she will be fully broken! She will be destroyed and there is nobody who will take care of her! She will break down completely!’

He summarized it for me: ‘I don’t want to hurt her like this – but I want to have my freedom!’

I asked him: do you love her?

There was silence for two minutes during which he sat in front of me with closed eyes before he slowly said ‘Yes, I think I love her!’

I had known this already. It was not a real question but a prompt for realization! I believe it is love when you care for someone and his hesitation to break up, the fear of hurting her and causing her pain, showed me that he loved her. So why, I asked, would you create this pain? Not only she will be in pain, you will be as well! Because no matter how open you are, if you are in a relation with someone, are close to someone from the heart, there will be love. And when you break this bond, it hurts!

Love is the most important thing in your life. Don’t be afraid of attachment – it won’t steal your freedom! You can be free while being in love!

You are also now free to do what you want but if I was in your situation, I would choose love, not fear!

I don’t think loving God is divine and loving your Family is Attachment – 14 Feb 13

Yesterday I wrote a bit about the change in my life from being a guru and religious preacher to the man I am now, not religious and not even believing in God anymore. So many things have changed over the course of time and of course I could fill lots of pages with the details. In fact, I would even say everything changed, including my idea of love.

When I was preaching the scriptures, I thought of love in the way that the scriptures described it. It is written that the love that you have for your family, your parents and children, your siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, is only attachment. Only your love to God is real love.

I believed in this and told this to people in my lectures. If you have never heard this concept, you may find it strange or even cruel to think in this way but here it is a very normal idea which people can accept as the truth. That is why Sadhus, who want to rid themselves of every attachment, leave their families. They just leave their homes and don’t keep contact even with their own children. They want to live their love to God and people accept it. Even more, people regard them as very pious, holy men of whom they can get blessing. After all, they managed what most people cannot – they separated the ties of attachment to their families.

I fully believed in it then but today I don’t believe this anymore. I believe that the love that you have for your parents or children, for your family and friends in general, is real love. Loving God however is in my eyes never pure love.

I don’t think you can really love God purely. There will either be fear or greed and it is the parents who install these feelings related to God. If you think that greed is too harsh a word, you can call it the expectation of getting something. You get to know God if your parents tell you of him. God sees if you are a bad child! Don’t lie or fight with others, God knows everything! If you want to achieve something, be good and do what God says! Parents use God for their education – either threatening with him or promising that he would reward you.

Of course religious parents may now argue that they never use God’s name in such a way and that they tell their children only about God’s love, that he is always there to protect you, like a father, holding your hand or like a friend, playing with you. In my eyes however that won’t make you love God as much or even more than you love your parents. No, you cannot love God even approximately as much as your family! How could you? He – or she – is not a person like your mother or father who take you in their arms when you need a feeling of security or comfort. Your siblings play with you and make you laugh – when did God do that? Your mother is the one who feeds you when you are a baby. It is her smell, her noises, the feeling of her touch that becomes imprinted in your mind and most importantly in your heart. Not God’s smell, noise or touch. It is impossible that you ever have the great love for God that you have for your family!

So you see, my mind changed completely to the opposite and I believe today that I am right. Obviously I thought the same in that time, too, but wherever my way will lead me now, I will not go back to the belief I had before.

Attachment to Diseases – Emotional Surgery needed to heal – 23 Jun 11

One can notice often that people who suffer from a disease for a longer time have a negative attitude towards their own health situation. Have you ever met a person who didn’t seem to have the wish to get healthy? They are negative about their healing process, say that it will never happen and that they will have to live with their problem.

I have met many people in this situation and always have the feeling, that they started to love their disease. When there is an illness, cancer for example, which remains in the body for a long time, people unconsciously establish a relationship with it. It is after all a part of their body. This relationship makes them feel that they don’t want to be without it – even if they don’t know it consciously or say it.

They don’t actually think it is good that they are ill. They know that their disease is bad for them and that they would live a better life without it. They don’t like this illness but they nevertheless don’t want to leave it.

In this case people have become attached to their problem. It has become an important part of their lives. They don’t like their disease but they like thinking about it and somehow enjoy feeling bad about it. If they really got rid of this disease, what should they think about? They get afraid of this life after their disease.

In many cases people even feel subconsciously special about their disease. After all, this is something that not everybody has and it always is a topic that ensures you the attention of others. People who need attention and who have low self-esteem can act like this. It is their way of getting attention without showing anything off.

These all are feelings that are not very open, that they could be aware of but would normally not pronounce to anybody. Everybody would declare them as crazy, wouldn’t they?

The problem is that getting rid of your disease emotionally is also a kind of surgery. When the doctors decide to cut the affected tissue out of your body, you also need to cut out your disease emotionally. You need strong willpower to do this surgery and to make this decision. Your wounds will take some time to heal completely but they will. Don’t be afraid but let go. Once you have done this surgery, you will notice that life is lighter and easier.

Detach yourself to Learn Controlling your Mind – 16 Feb 10

In a way what I was writing about is also the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita. When our mind is active and it is not concentrated or focused, it is difficult to be in peace. It is all the time here and there.

The Gita also says that you need to control the mind. And for controlling the mind you need detachment. What is detachment? It means not to be attached with material. That is why I ask why these all Swamis and Gurus who even give lectures from the Gita are so much attached to material. If you see their lifestyle, you can see how it is reflecting. I think I don’t need to explain in which way, everybody knows this.

Now a good question that everybody can ask himself: are you attached to material? The immediate answer of many people will be ‘No!’ but we want to go a bit deeper than just this. Maybe you believe that you are not attached to material because you don’t have much anyway but let me tell you, this is not the definition of being detached.

If you really have a lot and lose everything, you will feel if you are attached or not. And also if you don’t have much and lose the rest, then, too, you will feel your attachment to the things that you lost. It may be very difficult not to be attached to anything. Try to be attached to as little as possible, leave old things, throw them out and give them to someone who needs them more than you.

God Does not Need Money or Expensive RItuals – 22 Nov 09

Yesterday I said that our country India is very God-conscious and in the name of religion people become very generous and offer much. This is great to see but I would like to ask a question: why can this generosity not be redirected to practical charity projects? I think then God would be much happier.

Of course some temples have charity projects or support the poor in some way but again I will say that from my point of view there are too many expenses for making a big drama around a statue. Why do you spend money for 17 tons of flowers when God would surely be happy with two flowers, too? The rest could decorate and flourish in its natural environment, on the trees, so that everybody who walks by is refreshed by the aroma and enjoys the beauty of this view.

I am actually not against any particular ritual, ceremony, religion or organization. People can feel free to do what they believe in and what they feel good with but I just want to see the practical side. Why do you need to keep much gold or silver when this all could be used for good causes? What are the diamonds for?

I actually think that God doesn’t want this extraordinary luxury, it is rather religious leaders who enjoy this. This is how you often see Swamis and Gurus in the Hindu religion who have a very strong wish to collect gold, silver, money and jewelry and to show it off. I really wonder why somebody who claims to give liberation of attachment to material is himself so attached to gold and money. Millions of Dollars are saved in their pockets. It is a lot here in India.

Why am I writing this? I don’t say that organizations and people are bad and I am not interested to have a discussion or fight about this topic. My intention is to encourage those who have the possibility to help, to really do it, give your love to children and make the future of your country and of your world better.

From Attachment to Desire to Anger – 27 Jul 08

I was talking yesterday about desire and attachment. In the Gita it is also said that desire comes from attachment. If a desire is unfulfilled, it turns into anger and anger makes you blind. In anger you cannot see the truth and your wisdom is gone. When your wisdom is gone, you have lost much. It is the biggest loss that you can have. We need to go into the love. Not into attachment. I have talked much about love and attachment before. You need to love. This only is the way to see the truth.