Adventure, Thrill, Excitement and Failure of Relationships with multiple Sex Partners – 1 Dec 15

I yesterday told you how many open relationships break because the involved parties are actually attached to the original partner instead of being open and free. There is a different scenario that often ends these relationships: when one of the two loses interest in the other one. Because being steadily with one just gets too boring!

You see, at the beginning it is all very exciting but there is a certain hesitation as well: such a relationship is a taboo in society. How will others see me if they get to know? Can I really do this and keep respect for myself? Or will I think of myself as a prostitute some day? One partner, the original one with whom the relationship started, is a type of security, a safe anchor both for the people outside as well as the own feelings and thoughts. It is a comfortable framework, something you know how it works and can return to from the adventure of the free sex with others.

After a while however, they get comfortable with the adventure. They get used to the changing partners and maybe gain confidence in this lifestyle after meeting more people who live the same way. You can already imagine what happens: they don't need the anchor anymore!

It becomes boring to be with the same person on a regular basis, to be attached to this one when there are so many more options out there which are exciting, diverse and always new and ready. Why to put up with all the difficulties a relationship brings, even an open one?

What the original partner has to offer is no longer interesting enough to keep them. If both feel the same, these relationships end without bigger trouble and in mutual understanding that they have moved on. If both remain in this lifestyle, they may meet someday for a night’s pleasure but not much more.

If only one of them feels this way, it will inevitably hurt the other one who will soon be cursing the idea to have an open relationship and of course the ego of thinking that the other one won't find anybody more interesting! This person is most likely to return to steady relationships without the concept of being free to sleep with others as well. Once you have experienced this pain, you won't want to repeat the experience!

The base problem with this case is another one however: when people don't connect sex with love. But more about that tomorrow.

Travelling in India safely as a single Woman – 20 Oct 14

Those of you who have subscribed to our newsletter have recently got to know about a new page on our website: Journeys for single Women in India

When you go there, you will see that there is not really any new journey offered. We are referring to our regular journeys and telling women to get in touch with us if they would like us to organize their trip through India accompanied by a tour guide of the Ashram. We were always offering this accompanied individual way of travelling as well, because guests had asked us about that while being at the Ashram. So why did we create this extra page and focus on women in this way?

To help women who don’t have anybody to accompany them on their journey, make their dream come true and travel to India! These days there are so many negative media reports which make people and especially women simply afraid of India! They hesitate, they hear their family and friends ask ‘What, you are going to India? Alone?’

That’s how even those female travelers who already inquire with us, thus having nearly decided to make the trip, always ask us ‘Is it safe to go on my own?’ They ask us whether they should ignore the fear of their surrounding or better give in and go to Mallorca, Italy, Florida or California instead.

I have written four complete blog entries about these questions, giving tips what you should take care of, what you should do and what you should not do. We always want to say yes, come, just do it, don’t be afraid, it is fully safe – but it is not so easy!

Yes, you can do it. You can come to India and if you are well informed, if you know where you are going and what you need to take care of, chances are good that you will actually be fully fine. We always tell people that you wouldn’t go and walk around in the dark in certain areas of Paris on your own either! You would find out before where it is safe and how you will get home.

Many women however decide that they don’t want to travel with this insecurity. I understand that – you don’t feel good if you are not safe to just go out! You know yourself best and can know beforehand that you won’t enjoy your journey if you have to take care with every rickshaw or taxi you take!

We want to help these women to make their dreams come true and enjoy their journey to India without being afraid. We will help and accompany you from the first email through all the planning, the journey and until the day we drop you back off at the airport! It is not only safe – it is also an easy, burden-free and very comfortable way of travelling!

So if you want to come to India but don’t want to go on your own, if you hesitate and would prefer travelling without this nervous feeling, just send us an email. Tell us what you would like to do and see – and we can start the plan! It will save you a lot of worries and hassle. Most importantly, you will feel safe with local male company by your side.

But of course, if you are a man and would like us to accompany you, too, you are most welcome to send us a mail as well!

Why I don’t think I will ever go to South Africa again – 19 Oct 14

Time passed while we were grieving for my sister in 2006. At some point, it seemed that we had cried all tears. Yashendu and I were for a month or maybe a bit more than that in India and then took our flights again. He went back to Germany and I flew back to South Africa.

Before my sister’s accident, I had been in South Africa only for a few days. It was my first time in South Africa, actually the first time in Africa at all – and until today the last one as well. I really cannot say that I liked it very much.

I had been giving private sessions, lectures and also some workshops in different yoga studios in Johannesburg. That’s how I was staying with Indians but was as well in contact with a lot of non-Indian South-Africans. All my remaining program had obviously been cancelled but because of my ticket, which I had bought from South India to India and back, I had another two days in this country.

I just didn’t feel very good. Not safe, not relaxed. The house that I stayed in and the ones that I visited all, without exception, had huge fences or walls around the property, on top of that barbed wire and, as I was told, that is more often than not even put connected to electricity so that anybody trying to get through would get an electric shock.

I asked my organizers whether the crime rate was really so high and I got to know from them and many other people that it was really quite dangerous! A family with whom I was invited for dinner told that just two or three months before, their office had been robbed, in spite of all security measures in place.

Obviously, people always exaggerate a bit when telling such stories but I could not help but think of it when walking outside. Someone could kill you just for your mobile. For the five dollar you may have in your pocket.

I was told not to go for a walk outside in the evening, when it was dark. Except for in bright sunshine and of course in the right areas you could walk – but better it was to use the car. I remembered two friends telling me of having been robbed on their holiday. I knew many people liked South Africa and went there as tourists.

I just never felt good there, in a place where danger is always on your mind and you cannot walk outside at all. So why to go to such a place again where you don’t feel secure? Where you feel you have to be always on guard?

I bid my farewell after another two days there and took my flight to Germany.

I was invited again later to South Africa but I declined. One time had been enough.

Don’t scare your Children! Let them know you will always be there! – 17 Apr 14

I yesterday told you about Apra’s visit to the hospital where a new mother managed with one sentence to tease her so much that she forgot all the amazement and love she had for the newborn baby. Such teasing is nothing uncommon, which is why I already before wrote about it. But I really wonder again and again whether people just cannot see children’s feelings or just don’t care about them.

We have experienced this with Apra uncountable times. When we visit a friend’s home and are even only there for one hour, I can tell you with 100% probability that one of the present people will at least once tell my daughter ‘So you will stay here with us, okay? Let the others go home!’

Congratulations! During a one-hour visit to your home you managed to make such an impression on my child that she doesn’t want to visit you anymore in future. Yes, she has told me this, right after exiting your door. Let’s go home. I don’t want to visit them.

I know, you don’t really mean to keep her but she doesn’t know this! I know you don’t want to create this feeling but don’t you see that you do? I know it is a common habit but don’t you think it is a bad one?

Parents do this a lot to their own children, too. I have to say I really feel sorry for these kids when they are here for a visit, are ready to go home and their mother or father says ‘I will go home now and leave you here!’ Wait, no, I don’t only feel sorry for them, I really don’t want you to do this to me either! Your child won’t want to be with me or stay in my home if you use such threats!

What do you want to show your child? Obviously the opposite of what I would like to teach mine! I want my baby to know at all times that I will be there for her, no matter what happens. I will be there for her in places where she doesn’t feel comfortable. I will be her haven, my lap her safe place and my arms her hideaway if she needs it. She should never have the feeling that I would not be there for her. After she has done something wrong and I have scolded her, we hug. I show her that even after I got angry with her and told her that she should not do such things again, I love her and am here for her.

You will never hear me tease my child, while she is playing and in a good mood, telling her that I would leave her. I don’t want to see her scared. I don’t want her to cry and beg. I want my baby to be happy.

What about you?

What NOT to do if you are a white Woman travelling alone in India – Part 2 – 4 Feb 14

I yesterday gave some travelling advice for western women on what they should not do when alone in India. I would like to continue and end my list today with a few very important points.

4. Don’t flirt

Yes, incredible as it may sound but this needs to be said. You may think that it is unnecessary, when women are anyway already worried about unwanted male attention, to warn them not to encourage them but it happens all the time. And you know what? It even happens without the woman consciously doing so.

Take care of your words, your tone and your body language. Is it clear that you are not flirting, even considering the different culture? Don’t call a man with whom you are talking ‘honey’ or ‘sweety’, something we have experienced with American guests here a lot. In India, such terms of endearment are not part of every day’s language with other people in the surrounding! It would be something that you say to a person who is close to you!

Also, avoid touching the other one. It is normal in many countries to casually put your hand on the other person’s arm or shoulder. In India, this is not the case and body contact in between men and women happens so rarely that a man may think you are interested when you do that.

5. Don’t make Friends with random Men on the Street

I know that with this point there will be some people telling me that I am alienating people and tell them not to be open, something that I actually recommended before. There is a difference however about with whom you are open and with whom you decide to connect. Yes, you should be open, you should enjoy your time and have talk with people, as it will widen your horizon. But don’t choose to do so with just anybody on the road.

Really, when you don’t know anything about a man, when he has no connection to the place you are staying at or for example another Indian friend, I would recommend not telling him everything about yourself and not meeting him alone while nobody else knows where you are. You really don’t know who he is, what intentions he has and why he is interacting with you. Yes, he could be just a normal, curious guy who would like to have a western friend. But you don’t know. Connect with women or with men who are in some way already connected to people you know and thus stay on the safe side.

6. Don’t go alone if you are unsure

If, after all of this, you are still not sure whether you should really go on your own and travel around in this foreign country alone, don’t do it. No, I am not saying not to come to India! Don’t go alone. Convince a friend to come along or take a tour, as we are offering them. Go with an organized group or take an individual guide. When you have someone by your side who knows the country and culture, you will not only be safe, you will also get a deeper insight and more authentic experiences than you could ever get while traveling on your own.

The main thing is: you can come to India without feeling insecure if you are a bit prepared. If you feel like, ask us to organize a tour for you because it will be less worries and you can still just experience this country. If this is your wish and has maybe been your dream for years, why not make it come true?

A Variety of Experiences in New Zealand – 15 Apr 12

With my lectures and individual sessions at my first station in New Zealand in 2003, I got to know a lot of people from nearby towns and villages, too. There were some yoga teachers among them who invited me to their yoga studios to give lectures and healing sessions in their towns, too. So it was good that I had not fixed further program and had kept some time open for staying and travelling in the area. I had had this kind of experiences in India my whole life long. I had travelled much and often without fixing the time when I would come back and so I trusted that there would be enough program to fill my time in New Zealand, too.

I cannot tell you to how many places I have been in the days and weeks that followed. There were so many different people so that I sometimes changed the place every day. Someone came to a program, said they would love to have me at their place, too, and I said okay, let’s go! They took me along right away or one of the next days. I was just free and open to accept whatever would come.

I made lots of experiences in that time with a lot of people. Once a woman picked me up and took me to her town. It was a drive of two hours. Having arrived there, we parked the car, got out and I was astonished when I saw her simply walking into the house – without a key, she just opened the door. So she had been out of her house for more than four hours to pick me up and she had not locked her door! I was amazed that in this country there was obviously so little crime and so many honest people that it was not necessary to lock your door. She was not afraid of anybody robbing her house and stealing her things!

I remember that I also gave a lecture to the theosophical society of a town. I think it was the man who had invited me to that lecture with whom I had a funny misunderstanding. I stayed with him maybe for a few days and at the first meal together I asked him whether he was vegetarian. He answered ‘No, I like my meat!’. I was very surprised and actually a bit shocked at first thinking ‘What? This man eats his own body?’ When I realized what he actually meant, that he simply liked meat, I had to laugh. My English, although it was getting better every day, made me think he ate himself!

What I do remember very exactly from all my travel in the country during those weeks is that wherever I went, to any town, village or city of which I don’t even remember the names now, there was wonderful and amazing nature. I was fascinated by the amazing landscape and the creation of this world. I can say for sure that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places of this world.

Baby Cot vs. Baby in Bed – Physical Closeness, Security and Trust – 16 Jan 12

Our daughter Apara is now one week old. I told you I would share my feelings and experiences with you and it has really been an extraordinary week. The whole Ashram is excited, happy and very active. She has made everyone busy. As parents, Ramona and I don’t even realize how time passes. We started working a little bit but as I already told you, we don’t concentrate on the screen for a long time but spend more time holding our little one or watching her.

We have received a lot of congratulations and good wishes and in many of those mails people wished us peaceful nights or strength for short nights. I have to say, our baby is really very peaceful. You can play with her, feed her or clean her and she will watch and observe what you are doing. She smiles from time to time and very rarely you hear her crying. Of course, her cry is her only way to really express a need but it normally does not last longer than half a minute and she is happy again. So our night’s sleep is interrupted for feeding her or changing her but she does not keep us awake the whole night. She and we sleep very nicely together in our bed.

I have seen in many European countries that people have a baby cot next to the parents’ bed where their baby sleeps in night. Many people recommend giving the baby the habit of sleeping in a separate bed from the very beginning. Others even have a separate room for the baby right from the start or when the baby is just a few weeks or months old.

I have heard different reasons for this separation. One of them, which I find a very funny one, is that parents might roll over the child in sleep and injure him or her. I don’t see how this could happen to a parent who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When sleeping next to my daughter I am aware of my movements and aware of her lying in between us. So this is no reason for having another bed for her.

We never wanted to have a separate baby cot or room for our daughter. I believe it is a western idea because here in India I have never seen this. My brothers and I did not grow up like this and for me and even for Ramona it was never a question that Apara would sleep in our bed. We bought a cradle for her but simply for the charm of swinging the baby in it. It did not get inaugurated though – we have her sleep in our bed and in the Ashram there are fifty pairs of arms to cradle her during the day.

It doesn’t matter how many arguments the west may give for a child to sleep in a baby cot, I will refuse all of them and strongly recommend giving your baby as much physical contact as possible. With this body contact a baby feels safe, comfortable and secure and the emotional bond in between you and your child gets much stronger.

In the night, when Apara has drunk her milk, I put her on my chest to tap her back and she falls asleep immediately, just right there on top of me. You can see in her face and feel in her breathing how comfortable this is for her and how well she feels. I tell you, you can only imagine how beautiful this feeling is for me! After some time, I then lay her down on her back in between us where she sleeps until she wets her diaper or is hungry again. She also spends some time just playing by kicking her legs in the air. We noticed that even if we both are sleeping, she is sometimes up, looking around and playing with herself. I believe that seeing and smelling her parents on both sides next to her makes her feel safe. There is nothing to worry about, she doesn’t have to cry!

I cannot believe babies can feel good if they sleep in a separate bed. They cannot smell you from there, they cannot feel you from there, you are far away! Have you ever watched a baby sleeping? During their sleep, they sometimes seem to get a shock and the whole body twitches. You don’t know what they are dreaming, seeing or hearing but you see that something bothers them. When you have the baby in your bed, you can just stretch out your hand, touch the little body and he or she will be calm and reassured. And if you have your child sleep separately, you will miss smelling the wonderful aroma that only babies have.

I can imagine that parents have short nights if they have a baby bed separate from their own bed. Each time the baby cries, they have to get up and walk over to their child. Additionally the baby will cry more – it has to, the parents have to hear that something is not fine and have to get up. No, I think it is not right. Whenever our little Apara needs anything – a new diaper, some milk or simply a few words whispered in her ear or a touch on her small body, we are there the next second.

When I expressed my feelings about baby cots, some parents in the west told me that they let their little children sleep in their bed when they are afraid or had bad dreams. In that case the children are allowed to come to their beds. I have to ask again why you actually have a separate bed at all. In your mind, this bed is their place, so you create a boundary already in your mind. You give your child the feeling that he or she needs to ask before coming to your bed. Your little one needs to be crying or afraid in order to be allowed to come to you. Why?

Maybe the west created the concept of having a separate bed and a separate room for the baby to teach the child from the beginning to be on its own. I have said before, too, that I see how family relations in the west are not as close as they are in India and that people have to learn early to be alone and on their own. In India, people don’t have the idea to move out of their parents’ home when they get adult and our old ones don’t live in homes for the elderly. Families are closer together and the bond between people is much stronger.

When I hear the argument that a child has to learn to be on his own and that parents put their very small children in a separate room, how I have seen it myself on my journeys, I feel sorry for those tiny beings. Give your child your body warmth, your love over your touch and closeness. You create a deep trust in this baby that you will be there whatever happens. This is what I feel deeply and strongly after sleeping in one bed with my newborn daughter for the last week.

More pictures of Apara at the Ashram

Do Hormones really make Teenagers yell, scream and insult their Parents? – 18 Jul 11

I would like to continue the topic of the last week and keep on writing about teenagers, children and parents as well as their relation to each other.

A very big problem that I see especially in western culture is the lack of respect in this relation. In my opinion respect is very important and every child has to learn it. If they don’t know the meaning of respect, if they just never learned it, they don’t have respect for anybody or anything. They won’t respect their parents, they won’t respect their surroundings and they won’t respect themselves either! So many teenagers don’t respect themselves as they are and they don’t respect and value what they have got in life. They have security in a family, they have their parents and they are loved by them. This all cannot be respected if a child never learned respect in his or her home.

I have been travelling and working in the west for more than ten years now and I have met thousands of families. One thing that always surprises me and which often makes me sad and disappointed is how children and especially teenagers talk with their parents in the west, lacking every possible respect.

I come from a very different culture in which I have learned to give respect. I am very thankful and proud that I have learned it. I never spoke in the tone and language to my parents as I hear teenagers talk to their parents here. They use an abusive language that I could never imagine any child to use in front of their parents! Which words they use and in which tone they speak! They just abuse their parents with the worst words of their vocabulary, screaming and yelling at them! Before I saw this in the west, I could never have imagined that this is possible and I would never expect anybody to talk to me in this way.

Worse however and an even bigger surprise was the response of the parents. They seemed to accept it as normal! Many parents don’t even react. It seems that it has become a normal talking tone and normal vocabulary for them. They accept it. In my opinion this acceptance encourages the child to get wilder and talk to them in an even worse manner. It is not right to make them feel that it is okay what they are doing.

When this happens in front of me, parents sometimes feel ashamed that their child got so aggressive, loud and disrespectful. In those cases I have often heard a great excuse: ‘That is the hormones in this age’. They try to convince me but also themselves that their child’s behavior is fully normal. In puberty and teenage, it is normal to behave like this. Every child does this because of the change of hormones in that age. I really wondered a lot about this explanation. I have also passed my teenage and so have my siblings and friends but I never behaved like that and never saw any of my siblings or friends act in this way. We have had many children at the Ashram for whom we are the parents and I never heard any of them speak to us like that. If the reason really were the hormones, wouldn’t everybody have that, regardless his country of origin or culture?

In fact, this is the worst excuse I ever heard but I know where it comes from. Parents don’t want to admit their mistakes and don’t want to realize that it is also their fault. Their children lack respect and just didn’t learn how to talk properly to their parents. Their parents in turn try to justify this. Let me tell you however, if you do this, it is another mistake! If your children hear you justify their behavior and if you think it is normal, they will get more and more wild and will not stop insulting you in ever worse ways! They can also say ‘It is the hormones’. You showed them that you approve of this explanation, so it doesn’t matter if they are disrespectful, smoke, drink and do what they want, no matter what you think about it.

Those situations occur especially in developed countries where manners have a very big value. People often think of Indians as a rural population, like tribal people, wild and without proper manners but I don’t see this there, I see here, in the west, that children just get wild and parents accept it! Nobody makes an effort to change them! How come? What about their manners? You teach them how to use cutlery properly and when to say thank you and sorry but you are not able to teach them how to behave and talk to their parents? Why can’t you give a clear guideline on what you want to hear in your home?

Set limits! Be strict about them! Teach your child respect! You have to make clear that certain vocabulary, a certain tone and also a certain volume should not be used in any kind of discussion with you and in your home. If they are warned and know that there are consequences, they won’t do it. If you accept it and give excuses and justifications, they cannot learn it.

Of course you are not supposed to give them the wrong example by talking to or about your own parents in this way. If you do this, you are in no position to control your children because they learn it from you. If that is not the case however, and the child learned this language and behavior from friends or in school, you have the possibility to stop them. Give them a clear and strict limit and don’t make exceptions.

If you have difficulties being strict in this point, realize the consequences of this behavior. Maybe you can bear it because they are your children but what about the people around you? Your children do not learn to have respect. They don’t respect the love you give them and what you provide them and they will not respect anybody else either. They take things for granted. Whatever you have provided them, whatever they get from anybody else, their own comfort, their own security, love, happiness and more. Children without respect are not thankful, also not as adults. Additionally they don’t even respect themselves. They start having psychic problems, don’t love themselves and don’t respect their body and feelings. Sometimes they even start hurting themselves. And there is nobody to stop them and set them limits. If they are not nice to you, why would they be nice to themselves?

See these consequences and realize that you set those limits and are strict so that your child has a good future. Children need to learn respect.

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.

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!