Life brings Contradictions and my Blog is a Reflection – 6 Aug 12

If you have been reading my blog since the very beginning, the year 2008, you have witnessed a lot of changes over the past four and a half years. You can see that not only the way of writing and the length of entries have changed. The topics have increased and changed and so have my attitude and my thoughts about topics I am writing about. For me this is just obvious – life is always a process of change.

Ramona and I have lately been talking about all these changes and realized that someone reading one of my posts of the year 2008 could get a fully different idea of me. He may think I believe in things that I don’t actually believe in.

I have once written about reincarnation for example and I wrote that I believed in reincarnation but that my previous or next lives were simply not important to me. I wanted to give the message that you should live in presence instead of trying to find something in your past lives. I still believe that you should live in presence – but now I think the idea of reincarnation, of past and future lives, is only superstition. I have even written exactly that in a diary post not too many months ago!

In my early blog entries you will find me reporting of pooja ceremonies that we did in different places. We did those rituals then and maybe someday you read in the same blog, just some years later, that people are too credulous, that it is unnecessary and doesn’t bring anything to keep such traditions.

People who read such diary entries one after the other may think that this is a contradiction in what I write but I don’t feel like this. Look at the dates! I cannot think now what I was thinking when I wrote my diary entries four years ago. Life is a process and always changing and I just want to be honest and say what I think. I cannot tell you what I will be thinking five years from now! I am open to accept the change and have always welcomed what happened in my life.

I am not only talking about religion or my belief here! Very personal things have changed, too! There was a time when I did not want to ever have a wife – now I am happy married! For some time, my wife and I had no wish for a child at all – now we have our wonderful daughter and the best time of our lives!

I am very happy about all the changes that take place, smaller ones in daily life and bigger ones that take some time. I don’t need to take care of not writing any contradictory statements here because my website and my blog only mirror my life and the process of change that it is.

After all, I don’t give you a big philosophy or a principle like a guru. I don’t tell you what you should believe or that you should follow me. I am just a normal person like you and everyone else whose thinking is influenced by his surrounding and the events happening around him.

This is how my thinking about any topic can change and I will write it down here. You are welcome to be a part of this process. Read this blog as a piece of writing that documents the process of change in my life.

The Privilege of Childhood – Freedom, Living in Presence and no Responsibilities – 2 Jul 12

Last week I mentioned that you should not give your small children a strict time plan as you have but rather let them be natural and learn from the lightheartedness that unfortunately mostly only children have. Maybe old people who started leaving all their responsibilities behind after a fulfilled life can also be like this but you will find only few adults who feel as free and happy like children. The childhood is a very special time and you should let your child enjoy it properly. We often look at our little Apra and are reminded by her that this is really a time of life which never comes back, which is special and amazing.

It is for example the only time in life in which you are fully free of any disturbing thoughts. Why? Because children live fully and completely in the presence. Children don’t think of the past or the future because they don’t have any recognition of time. They don’t have the memory to remember that yesterday was maybe a bad day – which could spoil an adult’s mood immediately. They don’t have any experiences yet which could make them afraid or worried of the future. This is why they are just in the here and now, experiencing each moment.

This is also why they don’t have to spend time on planning. They do whatever comes in their minds in that very moment. They explore the world without any prejudice, without any plan, without any expectations. If something happens that makes them cry, they forget about it the next minute when you make effort to make them laugh again.

A baby also has a fully different perception of him- or herself. A small girl does not worry about how her clothes look like, how her body looks like, if she is slim enough for society to find her beautiful, if her legs are long enough or if her hair shines or not. A small boy does not think whether he is sporty enough either. Children simply are. They feel fine in their body, they are happy with themselves. They don’t have minority complexes because of their outer appearance!

Well, all the points that I mentioned above may be achieved, for example with meditation, the right lifestyle and close attention to what your mind does. Work on your self-esteem and practice relaxation techniques to manage stress better and you can even reach a childlike state. There is however one more point that is difficult to achieve if you live in the normal society of today: only children can walk around fully naked – and nobody will mind it!

It is just great how much trust children have in their parents and people around them. They don’t have any responsibility. They are fully free of having to care for anything. They don’t need to earn money, they don’t need to organize anything, they don’t even need to take care that they eat! Their mother will call them to have food. Very small children and babies don’t need to wash themselves and don’t even need to hold their body on their own. They let themselves fall and you have to be there to catch them. They fall asleep wherever they are and you can see to it that they reach their beds.

This all is only possible when they are small. So give them time to enjoy their childhood. Don’t hurry their growing-up! Don’t try to make small adults out of them! They are only children once and you want them to remember that time happily, with memories full of love and freedom.

Experiences are for experiencing, not for speaking about them – 18 Apr 12

With some of the Ashram guests I lately talked about my experience in the cave. They had seen the cave, had been in the building that is ‘the cave’, they saw the door which had been closed with bricks and the L-shaped window through which I had got food. They had been down to the room where I had spent most of my time and which we now use for meditations. Having seen all that, they still had some questions.

As usual, one of the questions was what experiences I had made in that time in the cave. I have really heard this question already thousands of times. It is not any wonder – people are curious what you do, feel and experience when you spend three years and 108 days in isolation. The reality is however that I can never really give a big answer to this question.

Of course the time in the cave has changed my life. Of course it was an amazing, fantastic experience that I would not want to miss. It is an important part of my life. I am however not able to describe much more than that. One way in which I have used to explain this inability is to say that you cannot explain anybody what the taste of ‘sweet’ is until he has not experienced that himself. I cannot tell you how chocolate tastes until you have had a piece of chocolate in your mouth yourself.

It would be difficult for anybody who has not made this experience himself to know how it was for me. At the same time however I feel that I am also not able to convey that experience because I am now in a fully different state of mind than in that time. You can imagine, I guess, that you come into a fully different mental situation when you meditate for such a long time, only interrupting the Mantras for the fulfilling the basic urge of the body for sleeping, eating, washing yourself or going to toilet. After coming out and getting in touch with people again, my mental state changed again and I re-adapted to life outside the cave. I took the changes along that had happened to me but I feel that it may be impossible for me to explain or describe my experience because it was so different.

In an attempt to understand, our visitors asked whether I saw the time in the cave, when looking back on it, as a long or short period. Did i feel it was a long time, a big part of my life or rather a short time. I answered that I cannot say it like this. It is a fixed block of time in my life. While I was in the cave, I lost the feeling of time. It did not matter whether it was day or night anymore. It did not matter anymore whether I had been in there for an hour or a day, a month or a year already.

They asked me whether there was ever a moment in which I thought ‘Now it is only 2 months more’ or something similar. If I had been thinking like this, I know I would have got crazy. This is another thing that I can surely tell you about my time in the cave: I lived only in the present moment, not counting back how long I had been in the cave and not counting how long I would still be in the cave. It was just me in the present moment.

New Year’s Traditions: Reviews and Resolutions – 2 Jan 12

In many countries around the world it is a very popular tradition to not only make a review for the old year on the 31st December but also to make New Year’s resolutions. So you don’t only reflect about what has happened and what you have done but also make plans for the coming year, create a vision of what you would like to happen and what you want to achieve.

Of course I also was asked this question on New Year’s Eve: ‘What is your resolution for 2012?’ and I answered ‘It should simply be a happy year full of love’. For me, it is really as simple as that. But I had some thoughts about these two traditions that I wanted to write a bit about.

In general I believe it is a good idea to have a look back on the past year – or a certain period of your life – and see what happened. What did you do and in which way has it affected your life? What did you learn? Look at the good things that happened and be happy about them. But don’t neglect those events that made you angry or sad. They are important because they are part of your experience, too.

I also think that it is not a bad idea to have a small glimpse into the future – to set yourself a goal or make a plan. You cannot know what will come but from your experience in the past you may know some things that you would like to do in a different way. There may be some habit that you want to leave or change and there could be something that you want to achieve. I am sure that a resolution can be very positive, if it is carried out with a strong will.

Whatever it is however that you are looking back on or that you are looking forward to, remember that you are living now. Don’t get lost in the past or in the future. It is positive to see what you have done in the last year but don’t get stuck with it. Don’t keep on praising yourself for the things you have done well and don’t feel guilty forever for those that you have done wrong. Let sadness and anger pass and see that also these experiences were good for you.

Don’t lose yourself in the future is something that may be easier said than done because many people often dream for a big part of their time only about what might happen in future. While they are doing something, they envision themselves as someone or something else. They dream themselves away from reality. Make sure that your New Year’s resolution encourages your actions in the present for a bright future.

Act with the knowledge of what happened in the past and with an idea of what you want to achieve but be in presence, be here and now.

Philosophy of Reincarnation forces you to live in Past or Future – 30 Nov 11

Yesterday I spent some time with the participants of our retreats. They had the chance to ask me any questions about my time in the cave or whatever else they wanted to know.

Among many other questions somebody asked:

“Do you think you were special from the beginning and you came to this earth for a special task?”

Before my time in the cave I was living the life of a guru. That is definitely something special. You are a leader, a guide for others and you are special for many people. When I came out of the cave I knew that I wanted to change this. Living in the cave showed me that we all are the same and we all are special.

“So today you don’t think that you were born for this, that you were incarnated into this role? Do you believe in reincarnation at all?”

Of course I believed in this theory or philosophy before, when I was living the role of a guru. This thought is an important part of the religion I was living in and promoting. I had believed it from my very childhood. Until I went into the cave. You can say that this changed in a slow process after my time there. I don’t believe in reincarnation anymore today.

“Why don’t you believe in reincarnation anymore? Even without thinking that you were incarnated as someone special, you could still believe in the concept of reincarnation.”

I don’t believe in this philosophy anymore because it does not let you live in the presence. Whenever you talk about incarnations, you either think of the past or the future. You either think of your past incarnations, wondering whether you have done something good or something bad which has an effect on your life today, or you think of your future incarnations and wonder what you will be in the future. What do you have to do to be incarnated as someone more holy or even to be liberated from the cycle of incarnations? What would you do however with this knowledge? If you even believe in reincarnation and think you found out who you were in the past and who you will be in future, what benefit do you get from this?

Where does this idea even came from? I guess that religion invented this philosophy in order to bring people onto the right way. They told people to do the right thing, then they would be reborn into a royal family for example. If they strayed from the right path they would however be reborn as a poor beggar. Religion made people afraid of the future with this philosophy.

I want to live in presence and this philosophy does not fit with the concept of reincarnation. If you believe in living in presence, you cannot at the same time believe in reincarnation. This philosophy simply does not let you live in presence because it raises thoughts of past and future. Even my life in the cave is only my past. My guru life lies in my past. I want to live right now and I see what I am doing now, not what I was doing before. I think of our children, I think of the work that I do today and not of what I was doing in my past, in this life or another.

Is there a bigger Plan? – Our Need for Security – 24 Jun 11

In a counseling session some weeks ago, a woman said to me ‘I believe there is a plan for everything that is going on now and for what will happen in future. What do you think?’ I told her that I had a very different idea. Let me explain you my thoughts on this topic.

Who do you think has a plan? Usually religious people will answer this with God and people who are less religious will say the universe, the higher energy or something similar. It is thus not an idea that is depending on religion. There may be some religions that tell us God has made a plan but also people without religion believe it.

Where does this idea come from? I think it comes from people’s basic need for security. People want to know that whatever happens is in someone’s plan. They want to have rules. If I do this, something good will happen, if I do that, something bad will happen. The concept of heaven and hell provides security because it means that someone is there who has a plan. Religions were made because people saw that there was a need for this security. They provided it and people came.

Astrology and horoscopes were also made because of this need for security. People want to get to know what will happen tomorrow. They have trust that the stars will tell it and that the bigger plan is written in the stars. Others believe in the clairvoyant power of an individual, someone who reads the cards, someone who predicts the future out of a crystal ball or someone who says he has contact with angels who know about the bigger plan. The problem is that with such predictions depend often on how much money you can give to the one who makes the prediction. The more you give, the more successful you will be in future.

I actually believe that there is no plan and that nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. We can take our decisions and have to take our responsibility for the consequences. Nobody knows before what will happen if you go one way or the other. I believe that everything happens for good, which means that even something that in this moment does not seem like a good thing to you, has some aspect that is positive. But you don’t know about this before and it is not ‘planned’ that this happens. Every event is the result of previous decisions or events. There is no plan.

If nobody can know anyway what will happen on the next day, why should we worry about it? There will never be an answer! We will see what will happen and we will deal with whatever comes. The past is past and tomorrow will come. Live in the presence, today, now!

Typically German: Selling Winter Clothes in Summer – 25 Jul 10

Yesterday we went for shopping. It is up to 35 degrees here these days, some days a bit cooler, some even a bit hotter. People already started saying that it is like India. It is beautiful when the wind is blowing and you get a cool breeze.

Ramona wanted to look for a light shirt because we will now go to India where it will be hot and additionally humid. What we found was typically German: there were lots of winter clothes. We hardly found anything for summer and were told that nearly everything is sold out already and they started preparing for winter, so sorry, no, they do not have any more summer things.

This is typically German: they plan really well. It is July, hot, everybody is going on holidays but they obviously start preparations for autumn and winter already. People are planning and thinking ahead. They start buying things for the time when the weather will not be so nice anymore. Unfortunately you will forget to enjoy summer! You cannot be in presence!
Think about it! Even if you need something for the presence, you have difficulties getting it. You may be lucky like Ramona, she found something but if you do not plan at all, you can get in trouble when you suddenly need something thin!

It is just a little reflection but it is deeply rooted in people’s minds and hearts. Of course everybody should think of the future, too, and I think there is nothing wrong with that but don’t worry too much and forget the presence. Organize, think for the future, too, but enjoy the presence, live in presence, too!

Storytelling of Past Lives – Something nobody can Prove – 10 Jun 09

Yesterday I wrote once again about people who make business by ‘healing past lives’. And I cannot say often enough, that I am just and simply not in favour of making people afraid. I said it in today’s Darshan again. I believe in past lives and reincarnation but I also believe in your power to change your life in the presence, right now. I just hear so often that people are told about bad things that probably happened in their past life and they get afraid or feel guilty. And it doesn’t matter who it is, there will always be a big story in a past life including one or several of the following: rape, abuse, crime, sudden or violent death, a tragic family story or a heavy disease. And this creates fear! But don’t worry, you have influence on your life, you do not need to think of what happened in any of your past lives. You anyway cannot do anything about what happened and you are definitely not responsible for that.

I do not like this work because people, who are vulnerable, come and want to get help for now, something that they can do to change their situation but what do they get? Stories of what happened in some other time, creating fear, confusion and more insecurity. I want to say you that you yourself have the possibility to make a change for yourself. Now. It is your life! Believe in love, believe in God and be honest. God is not punishing, he loves you. Be happy.

Give Advice only when Being Asked – 02 Mar 08

Yesterday after writing the diary I said to Ramona: "Tomorrow we will go to Rishikesh." I said it to Roger, too, because he and Mady wanted to go very much and so we started this morning with our car. We also had to tell it to the driver and my family this morning. I love to live spontaneously and here in India, as I already said, I live without time. I don't even have a clock in the cave where I sleep. It is great just to take quick decisions when you live in the presence. This is how we are now sitting in the car on the way to Rishikesh.

I said yesterday that you have to have something before you can give it to others. It is really important. Many people give advice to others which they are not even following themselves. If they tell others to have more discipline they need it themselves first. You will anyway always get free advice for which you did not ask. Some people love to give advice to others on everything. On business, relationships, health and whatever they can find that others do wrong in their opinion. Certainly they do not mean it in a bad way, they want to help. But you have to see when another person wants you to help and when you are just trying to make him do what you think is right. I never give advice if I am not asked. Everybody has their own perception of what is wrong and what is right. If someone asks for advice, I will tell my opinion. He can decide himself if he wants to follow the advice or not. And he will do that according to his perception of wrong and right. With my advice I want to bring people on the right track of their feelings where they can listen to their own intuition and their inner voice. I never say to anyone that he must do something because I also do not want anyone to tell this to me. I do not like to get this pressure and I do not want to give this pressure. Perhaps I would like to do whatever he says if it is said in another way, without this pressure. In this way I am going to Rishikesh now, not because of pressure but for pleasure.

Enjoy the Presence without worrying about the future – 06 Feb 08

We started in Schwabmünchen around 12 o'clock and arrived in Wiesbaden just in time for dinner. Iris and Thomas are very happy to have us in their home again. They also enjoy having our company and talking about nice things. It is so nice to have friends everywhere. We are talking a little bit about funny things in the past, make some plans for the future but the best thing is that we are together in the presence and enjoy those moments together. Always live in presence! I often talk about that. Why do we kill the joy of the presence with thinking of the past or worrying about the future? We spend most of our time in this. Just calculate how many hours of the day you are living in presence. And if it is not much then begin now. Start tasting your food in the moment that you are eating it. Start feeling your body in whatever you are doing in this very moment. Then many things will be much easier and you will discover a lot of beautiful wonders in this world.