Sharing intimate Memories with your Spouse makes your Relationship stronger – 25 Sep 16

The other day in the morning, Ramona and I were talking about our lives before we had met each other. About what we were doing and thinking but also about experiences with the other gender, about intimate times and the first time we had sex. We laughed and joked and simply enjoyed our time together. Such mornings are the ones I love most and they bring us even closer to each other than we anyway are. While talking like this, I said ‘For Indian couples, it is unthinkable to be talking like this!’ And it is true!

In this society, sex is in general a taboo topic. You don’t discuss sex but there is more: even if you joke about sex with your friends – same gender of course – you don’t talk about personal experiences. And even if you touch the topic of your sex life with your spouse, which would already be an exception in an average Indian couple, you would never talk about your experiences of BEFORE your marriage!

That is due to the fact that all Indians are supposed to be virgins at the time of their wedding! Oh yes, even if your marriage is arranged when you are already 35 years old, your parents will present you as a virgin! Of course, everything else would be like second-hand merchandise!

So there is no way you would talk to your partner that freely! There could be huge benefits in talking about those previous experiences because you could already tell what you like and don’t like, you could share funny intimate moments and most of all, you could open up on a level which you are not able to with anybody else! This is what could bring you really much closer and make your relationship special.

It is liberating to talk like this because the other one will know everything about you! There will be nothing hidden and you can trust that the other one understands you and your reactions – because you didn’t hide the sad or scarring moments of your past either!

The sad truth is however that many Indians and even a lot of people in the west still think of sex as something dirty. This thought and feeling has been brought to us over generations of suppressing sexuality. Of course it is not easy to leave such thoughts if your parents told you that it is a sin against god to even think about sex!

However times are getting more modern and a lot of people have already changed their views on traditions and customs – so why not shed the remainders, too, such as guilty feelings when it comes to sexuality?

When Changes bring a Lack of Closeness into your Friendship – 8 Jun 15

I have definitely already written a lot about love and friendship, about closeness from the heart and physical closeness as well. I am sure that every time I have written about such topics, I have mentioned that it's more important to be close with the heart than with the body. Unfortunately I have recently noticed once more how important this fact is!

I have a friend with whom I have always been close. We have known each other for a long time and have gone through different stages of life while being friends, sometimes living closer to each other, sometimes spending long periods of time apart from each other as well.

Even while we were not together and didn't only not meet but even not talk with each other on phone for months, we were nevertheless close. There were years during which we only saw each other once in twelve months! Throughout this time I still had the feeling that when we met, we were connected and that closely.

Now however the situation is different. There have been a lot of changes in me and in life and now we are actually living close to each other, see each other twice a month but unfortunately I don't feel this closeness anymore.

I mentioned a lot of changes and of course one of these changes is a change in feelings. The topics that are important to me are those in which we have very different opinions. So different that we cannot agree at all and so we skip them. For a while, this seemed to work just fine.

Over the course of time however, one notices how a difference in the basic attitude and view on life influences every other topic you talk about. And finally, the meetings and talks seem to remain nothing else but a ritual.

A ritual which I will keep up for the sake of an old friendship.

I believe in expressing my emotions and I did not shy back from expressing this lack of closeness to my friend. His answer just showed me that I was right with my feeling: He said no, everything is fine, we both have changed, so it is normal and alright.

This means it doesn’t matter to him that this closeness is gone – or that I feel this way. This in itself proves that there is no closeness. And it does matter – but that feeling, too, will pass.

Friendshiplog.com – share the Memories of your Friendships – 28 Oct 13

I have made the experience of being popular. I have seen the glitter and glamour that comes with it. There were masses in front of me, all eager to get close. It is exciting, it is full of life, it is great – but I have learned one thing: you cannot be close with the masses. While celebrities get cheered at and wave to big crowds during the day, they need someone in the evening, a shoulder to lean their tired heads on. Someone to laugh and cry with, to share real emotions. A friend.

Those who have needed the help of a friend when they were down, know how valuable it is to have this person in life! You need to look after your relation with these friends – and that’s exactly for what we have created a new website: Friendshiplog.com!

It is a new kind of social media page, one for individual connections instead for a huge amount of people whom you have maybe met once or not even that. On facebook a lot of people look for new connections, for new friends and maybe even for business. A lot of users are overwhelmed with the many new friend requests by people whom they don’t even know. On Friendshiplog, you connect with your real friends, with those whom you know, whom you love and with whom you have already shared memories!

You can write down these memories to keep a record, a log of your friendship – and in several languages! In the footer of the page you can select English, Hindi, German, Spanish or French. Remind your friend of the good times you had together or thank him or her for the support you got. Your friend will be happy to hear of you and will love to read of those cherished memories. Give your friend a virtual hug by writing your experience in a story.

You don’t need a lot of time for one story – there is no need to put your complete friendship into words from the day you got to know each other until today! Simply take one incident, one funny day, one interesting talk, one sad moment when you got your friend’s help and share it with him or her. Can you imagine the joy when your friend gets to read it and remembers that moment as well?

Others who read your stories get inspiration for their own friendships, can laugh about a joke or feel with you if your friendship is a moving story. In today’s world, where we have a huge amount of negative news on TV, in newspapers and on the internet, this page will be an oasis of positive stories where people can go and read about their own and other people’s friendships whenever they feel sad, down or depressed by all the bad happening in this world. Restore your faith in humanity by reading about the great bonds that people share.

So come and join us with stories of your friendships!

You can also like Friendshiplog.com on Facebook!

In a close Friendship there are no Formalities – 5 Apr 12

I told you already that Yashendu started towards the Himalayas with his travelling group. They spent the day in Rishikesh yesterday and are now on the way to Gangotri, the source town of the river Ganges. We are having a good time at the Ashram with our friends who stayed. When I told them that the Himalaya retreat group had arrived safely in Rishikesh, Andrea asked me whether we would talk to Yashendu every day while he was gone. I told her that we were not as formal that he would have to call us every day. We are just more informal with each other.

I told her that we had actually talked several times since Yashendu was gone and that it would probably be like this until he would be back. Those phone calls were however not scheduled reports that he gave us or we gave him about the situations or events. It was more calls like ‘Yashendu, do you know where this or that is?’ and similar questions. Of course he would then also tell where they were and what they had done but if there is a day when we will not be in touch, it will also be okay. I am not waiting for his phone call and he has no feeling that he needed to report what is going on.

In our family we are simply not formal with each other. I believe when you are close, it is not necessary anymore to be formal. You should actually not be formal with those whom you love and with whom you are close.

If you follow formalities, you stick to a protocol. You have to do or say certain things at certain times, otherwise you would be impolite. This protocol thus teaches people to act just like machines. It is like a fixed setting and they don’t use their own feelings to decide what they should do next or what they should say, they follow the formalities.

In my opinion there has to be the possibility to drop those formalities in order to allow a relation to get strong, in order to let feelings into your relation. If you only follow the same protocol for everyone, you cannot make a closer relation with those whom you consider friends. Give yourself the permission to be informal with friends or those with whom you feel you could get closer without formalities.

So many people simply get stuck in formalities of what they should do. When someone comes over you have to offer something to drink and something to eat. If the person has to ask for it first, you were a bad host. You have to shake hands, say good morning, thank you and bless you, you have to make an appointment for when you can meet and you just need to take care with everything you say. If someone wants to follow this all, he is just busy worrying about all those things and whether he did them right. There will really be no chance to just be himself, to express his emotions freely and to show the other one who he is behind all the formal things he has to say and do.

Among friends, this is not anymore necessary. You know the other one completely and that is why you can just come by, meet without an appointment, borrow things from each other or hang out, doing different things but still being together. You get closer, you know each other better and you don’t have to worry you would offend the other one by forgetting a formality.

If someone has no wish to get close, he will keep formalities active in his relation to you. He won’t allow closeness to happen. When there are no formalities necessary anymore, you know that it is a close friendship and love.

Overprotective Parents keep Children from making their own Experiences – 13 Jul 11

Yesterday I pointed out that parents need to give their children the freedom to take their responsibilities and to take their decisions. Doing this is very important for the development of children towards independence and a life of security.

As a parent it is just normal that you want your children to be safe. For this you tell them what to do and you prepare as much as you can for them, so that they don’t have to go through any difficulties in whatever they do. You give them security by taking their decisions for them. They don’t need to think, they don’t need to face difficult situations or maybe negative consequences of their actions because you made sure there are none.

If you act like that however, you take away their possibility to decide and to make their own experiences. You don’t let them take their decisions on their own and they thus don’t know what will happen if they take the wrong decision. In the beginning of life, during childhood and teenage, children need to learn to take their decisions and responsibility, otherwise they will not be able to do it as adults.

Life teaches every human. Let it teach your child, too! You are there for bigger problems, decisions and topics, you can protect when it is really necessary, but let your child face circumstances of life in which it learns of life. How will it learn otherwise?

Don’t be overprotective. Take care of this from the very beginning, otherwise you will notice years later that your child is insecure and cannot take any decision on his or her own. Lack of self-esteem, indecision and also problems with getting into company of others are the consequences. Children who have grown up in a very protected environment and who could not make their own experiences, are always unsure. They cannot have self-esteem because they never did anything themselves of which they can be proud. They are always unsure whether what they did was right or not.

Additionally many don’t feel good in company of others. It is logical why this happens. When you are in a group of people you are expected to act. Every action however needs a decision to act in this way and they are simply frightened that they could act the wrong way! Some time ago I wrote about the problems that children of overprotective parents have when they try to establish a relationship.

If you, as a parent, see that your child doesn’t go out and enjoy, that it searches your closeness and advice with everything, although it has reached an age where it is expected to spend much time with friends and to decide on its own, you have to see that you have most probably been overprotective. You did it out of love but now you and your child face the consequences. It is of course not too late but if you want to change something, you better change something fast. It is your responsibility to give your child its own responsibility.

Don’t overprotect, give freedom and let them make their experiences. They will shape the world of tomorrow, so don’t try to press them into your world. Let them free.

Being a Student is better than being a Follower – 16 Jun 11

Yesterday I described the last one of 10 types of followers whom I have written about in the last weeks. These were the ten types:

  1. Blind Followers
  2. Intellectual Followers
  3. Proud Followers
  4. Secret or Ashamed Followers
  5. Bribed or Paid Followers
  6. Strict Followers
  7. Flexible Followers
  8. Mass Followers
  9. Personal Followers
  10. Celebrity Followers

I have seen many followers in my life, during my time as a guru in India and also now on my travels in the west. This is how I could sort them into these types. Not everyone fits into one single category, most of them belong to several types at once.

What happens usually these days when I meet followers is that they don’t stay with me for a long time. The reason is that they usually search for a guru and I am just not a guru or master. Many leave because they realize it and others try to stick around, try to find a way of being my follower without me minding it and actually develop some closeness. What I do is to always try and let them experience that they are their own gurus.

I don’t really like the word ‘follower’ or ‘disciple’. I think it is good to learn from someone, to be a student and to keep on learning. Guru simply means teacher, so if you have the need for a teacher, a guru, why don’t you simply call yourself student? I think rather than being a follower who follows blindly like a sheep, you should be a student, eager to learn more, enthusiastic for getting more knowledge and experience.
Many gurus are good teachers and you can learn from them. Don’t make them holy and don’t see them as Gods. They are human, make their mistakes and have their faults. Don’t worship them. Give them respect as persons who have some knowledge or wisdom which they share with you.

Keep a realistic view, ask deeper than what is on the surface and see who that person is. Don’t get dependent on one individual and don’t get confused if you hear contradictive statements of several of them. In the end you need to see that you are your own master inside yourself. There is the truth and you can feel for any philosophy and teaching whether it is right for you or not.

Care for Love and Relations – You cannot replace Anybody – 25 May 11

In this picture, left to right: Balendu, Purnendu, Para and Yashendu

In our lives we meet many people, some are closer to us and some are not so close. Sometimes we don’t notice that we have many people around us who love us and whom we love. We are busy in our every day’s rhythm without noticing how important it is to have these people.

Give value to your relations and the people around you. See and feel their love and love them back. Store their love in your heart. Care for friendship, care for your relations, care for love.

It can happen that you sometimes need to let someone go, who does not want to be around you anymore and with whom you cannot share your way anymore. It can happen that these relations get stronger again after some time. Try not to poison a relation. If it doesn’t work, quit quietly. If you can, don’t create bitterness in between you. Anger, ego and other emotions sometimes create aggression but think how far you want to let these emotions take you. Who knows, maybe time changes and a bitter relation changes again for the better. Bitter and better is only one letter apart from each other. Maybe you don’t want that person in your life anymore. That is also okay but even then, don’t create so much bitterness that it becomes irreversible.

I have lost people in this way and I always try not to make it bitter. If it doesn’t work together anymore, I try to be in peace and retreat a bit so that our ways can separate easily. In this way I believe there is always a chance that we can find together again.

Sometimes it happens that you really lose people and it is not reversible in any way. Once someone leaves this world and his body behind, there is no coming back. And there is no replacement for anyone who left. If your husband dies, you can have a new husband. If you lose friends, you can make new ones. But you cannot replace the one who was there before. Who is lost is lost.

Today is the fifth year that I think of my sister Para on her birthday and she is not there anymore. Nobody can ever replace her. There were people before and after her death with whom I had the feeling of having a sister but after some times those people left my life, too. So there is no real replacement for a person whom you lost. But I have my memories of our love.

Why Westerners Think Indians are Prudish – 27 Jan 11

I mentioned that in the west people have much more hesitation to get close to each other than people here in India. Some readers who have travelled to India and experienced life here, might object and say that in the west men and women are more open with each other and that friends of different gender can more easily hug each other or be close to each other. Of course there is truth in this statement.

I described already that tourists here in India on their first days sometimes have the impression that there are many homosexual people in India. They see boys, friends, who hold hands, hug each other and walk closely arm in arm and think they are gay, because in the west, guys don’t do that. Somehow it is more usual that girls walk arm in arm with each other. Or, naturally, if couples walk like that.

In India, you will never see a couple get close physically outside on the road and not even inside the house, in front of family or friends. Physical contact happens when they are alone with each other. You can walk arm in arm with your friends of the same gender, not with your partner. Western people often see this as frigid or prudish behavior.

There are several more things that strengthen this impression. Whenever we bought tickets here in Kerala, be it for the boat ride for getting around in Cochin, the boat ride in Kanyakumari or entrance tickets for monuments and sights, there were two queues, one for ‘Gents’ and one for ‘Ladies’. The funny thing was that the person selling the tickets was always the same, selling tickets in turn, one to a woman, one to a man. What was really funny to us was, when we wanted to enter the boat in Kanyakumari and they separated us into two lines again in order to distribute the life jackets and go on board. This only led to a medium-size chaos inside the boat where husbands tried to get through to their wives to sit together with them.

The sense of this procedure was however, if I guess right, to protect women from being molested while standing in the queue. In a big crowd, where people press forward and push against each other, women often feel discomfort and are sometimes indecently touched by men who seem to find this in some way entertaining.

So it may be that to westerners, it seems frigid behavior and an unnecessary action to separate men and women in this way, but they may be also happy about it if they once experienced it in another way. However I believe that when people get more educated, this will also not be necessary someday anymore. On the other hand, Kerala is already the state with the highest literacy rate in India. The question of closeness between women and men also has a lot to do with what is rooted in culture. With time and education, this all will change but until then, westerners will keep on seeing Indians as prudish.

Does Freedom Mean Physical Distance and Financial Independence? – 20 Jan 11

I already told you that I like the way how in India people more easily are in physical contact with each other and that families have stronger emotional connections among their family members. When I say such a thing, it is more a statement about a fact and not a judgment about the situation in any country. And when people in the west come and tell me about their loneliness and inability to express their emotions through physical contact, I can see the reasons behind that. I have travelled in the western world long enough to know that there are many factors in society that makes people distanced and in a way cold.

If you see the typical lifestyle in the west, it is all about freedom. When I say freedom, I usually mean a freedom of the mind, of decision and independence of any negativity with which you block yourself. When I hear the word freedom in the west, it often means physical distance and financial independence.

If freedom means physical distance – your own place to live, not within the reach of your parents or other ‘disturbing’ family members, it is already clear why there is no physical contact. If you have physical contact and closeness, you are in danger of losing your freedom! This is how it seems to many people. In this situation it is also really difficult to find a partner and more difficult to make the decision to move in together. All the time you feel that your freedom is threatened by the closeness of another person. You need to allow this closeness in order to make an emotional connection, in order to experience love among people, be that friends, partners or family members.

The second meaning of freedom, financial independence, makes people just as unhappy as physical separation often does. Two partners want to be independent of each other, they have high ambitions on where they want to reach and just want to earn more money. There is however never an end to this. You can keep on earning and earning and you will never be satisfied. You will just spend more and more time working and less time with your partner or your children. I warn you that in this way, too, you lose your physical closeness. Through this it can happen that you lose your emotional connection. And in this way you forget how it is to be close and give love through a touch. You didn’t mean anything wrong, you only wanted the best, but the price was your physical relation.

So if your parents, siblings or other family members have never really showed you their love, if you have never received a loving touch, don’t resent it too much. They themselves have been in this situation, they had the same feeling that you had: how can I express my emotions? They may not have found a way through touch and they may seem cold to you now, but the fact that you have made a change can make you open your eyes and see how difficult it must have been for them, too. It is now your chance to give to them instead. Maybe, it will open their heart because now someone else approaches them and they have the possibility to receive and to express emotions through touch.

Lack of a Loving Touch Creates Loneliness in the West – 19 Jan 11

When I am travelling in the west and giving healing sessions, many people come to me and tell me about their loneliness. They experience a lack of emotional connections to other humans and they wish for the physical contact that I described in the last days. Just someone to sit next to, maybe a hug sometime or a loving touch.

Often however they also tell me that they have never or very rarely experienced this kind of loving touch. I have heard from many people whose parents and even grandparents never were affectionate with them. Even when they were small, they were never taken in the arm, never cuddled, stroked, kissed and loved in this way. Some say that their parents were loving people and just could not express it. Others don’t think that positively about their parents. Whatever was behind that, for some of them it is difficult to ever have physical contact with another person in a natural way. They just never learned it.

If they are lucky, they realize it and, with the same luck, they find a partner who can show them what it means to be close to each other physically as well as emotionally. They are the ones who fear physical contact the most although they also long for it the most. They need to learn from scratch what is so natural to others which is why many people have made bad experiences while searching for this touch of love.

Many times, when I hear this kind of story, I then hear that they have searched for another kind of love, another physical contact. Instead of the physical contact with humans, they choose to be close with animals. They have pets, a dog, a cat or another animal and love them just like their children. For me this is also obvious: your pet is a being, able to have feelings and to develop an emotional relation as the result of physical closeness. On top of it, it is so much easier to start an emotional relation with an animal than with a human person.

So whether it is in the west or in India and whether it is the connection with humans or animals, everybody needs physical contact and emotional connections. Without these, we are not complete.

Today we celebrated Tanya's 25th birthday and wished her all the best for a long life full of joy!