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Some Thoughts about my Mother

July 25th, 2017

28 July is the 12th anniversary of the passing of my mother, 28 July 2005, 11.32h. I normally don’t post much about private things but I would like to make an exception and share with you some thoughts from the talk I gave at the church during the farewell ceremony. She still means a lot to me.

“When I think back in my life, to the very first traces of memory, my mother was already there. After all, it was she, or more precisely, father and mother, who gave us children the bodies. She has guided us into life, taught us the first things and coined our attitudes. Now she has passed on. Her departure touches deeply, provokes emotions, pictures, impressions and thoughts.

For me, a decisive imprint was her deep spirituality that characterized her life. This includes the feeling of being embedded into a larger whole, of being carried by it and of devoting one’s life to it. For Ursula, this meant wanting to give more than to receive. To give without expecting anything, in a silent, modest attitude. For her, giving meant not only to give us children food, to ensure a well functioning household. It meant being there with an inner presence, being interested in the others, taking part in what they were doing, and perceiving where others needed help. And thus, Ursula gave – with her visits to the sick, with her commitment in the church community, to people in her circle of acquaintances who needed help.

Ursula had a very big heart and she was always helpful, and often it was with inconspicuous things, seemingly self-evident things like ironing for the family, sewing on buttons or taking care of some errands for someone.

Ursula’s day began early, and I have probably inherited from her the tendency to get up early. When during my visits in the last few years I came out of the bathroom  she prepared already something in the kitchen before she sat down in her room for her “holy hour” from half past five to half past six, meditating, reading, writing down her thoughts. From out of this time of contemplation, she drew strength for the tasks of everyday life before she went into the daily routine.

For many years, as long as her powers permitted, she drove to the public swimming pool early in the morning to make her rounds immediately after the doors were opened. My father took over from her this early morning exercise and he also started his day by going to the swimming pool.

After breakfast and household duties, she went for errands, for visits to the hospital, to women’s congregations or devotions. The regular church visits to the Mass and to devotions were important rhythms and cornerstones of her life.

Ursula was a person of action and not of many words, but she took part in what was happening in the world. She clearly adressed injustices, particularly discriminations and discriminatory attitudes towards women. It was something that I especially observed and appreciated in her older years.

Ursula had her attitudes and principles, but she did not impose them onto others. She was able to accept other opinions and ways of life without condemning, and she could give people space. She was open to our inner search and our experiments with life, even if they were not hers. As if from the background, she supported the family and thus, gave home, a home for our father, for us children, even for the grand-children. The house had open doors for the people who came.

With her passing, we feel even more clearly what she had given us, and it fills me with gratitude. Although we will miss her, I know from Ursula that it is not her wish to see us sad. It is not without reason that the tombstone of her parents, where she is buried, carries the symbol of the risen Christ, and Ursula also lived with the firm knowledge of the immortality of the soul. May this knowledge keep us connected with her.

To conclude, I would like to draw a small picture of her with a short poem for Ursula:

Remained at one place and still walked far
Lived with one man and yet loved much
Remained loyal to one path and yet open other ways
Having given space for being together
Given food, ground and support
Looked for the sky, but not far from the earth
Inconspicuously silent and yet great
A light, a tower, a rock
A heart, a depth, a sea
Woman, mother, and also child
Simply just simple, simple and one”


Ursula Philips, 3.3.1926 – 28.07.2005

 

 

 

 

Leo – Hercules Conquering the Inner Lion

July 21st, 2017

The story of Hercules is the symbolic journey of inner transformation and initiation. Hercules represents the aspirant becoming a disciple and realising himself as a soul. Later on, he further ascends to realise the Universal Soul. The Labours of Hercules are a journey through the zodiac and the fifth labour corresponds to Leo.

Hercules is asked to kill the Nemean lion. The lion represents our lower nature, the personality. Killing the lion means overcoming our ego and realising our identity as a soul. The cave of the lion is the heart. We go inside and listen to the sound of respiration which is compared to the roar of the lion. By observing the pulsation we slowly get to the subtle pulsation; this is called “entering the cave within the cave”. In a deep meditative state, when the respiration ceases, we meet the Higher Self. Only the original thought “I AM” exists; no other thought remains. When there is no more identification with the personality, the “lion is killed”. However, the Teacher tells Hercules that the lion needs to be overcome again and again; otherwise it will return.

For Hercules fighting in the cave with the lion, I worked on a photo (Wikimedia: Sailko) of a Renaissance brooch. In the background there is the transformed initiate who has realised himself as a part of the Universal Soul. For this, I used a photo (Wikimedia: Wouter Engler) of a bronze statue of Hercules of the 2nd century CE excavated in Pompeii (Vatican Museums). The golden colour of the statue symbolises the etheric body of the initiate, where the divine light reflects from above.

See more pictures on the site with my paintings. If you want to print the image, you can download the file in medium and high resolution format.
The different zodiacal signs are clustered in groups – you can see here all my Leo paintings.


20 April 2017, pencils and photo work

Group Life in Billerbeck, Germany

July 4th, 2017

After the group life in Belgium I drove with three friends – from the US and Germany – to Billerbeck. On the highway, we partly had heavy rains and intense traffic. Many friends were already at the seminar hotel “Weissenburg“. People partly travel long distances for the seminars – some were even coming from overseas.

The travel group with Sri Kumar arrived in the evening. The group life started Thursday morning. The theme was “The Incoming Seventh Ray and Building the Temple”. There were fascinating talks the next days, and I was much focused on taking notes and sharing them with the group. Often, the topics are not new but there are always many news facets, and it seems to me like a drilling into deeper planes of consciousness, awakening the awareness to the subtle planes.

The walks in nature with friends and exchanges during the meals or between the seminars were enriching. Friday evening, a short video on “Homage to the Mother of the World” was shown; it was realised by a team of group members from Argentina and India, where I had participated. And later, there was the first meeting of the Executive Board with Sri Kumar and newly elected members. I am always thrilled with what clarity he also deals with organisational matters.

Sunday morning there was a fire ritual after meditation and the blessing of children. And then again saying good-bye to all the friends and a long journey home.

A Group Life near Brussels

July 4th, 2017

It was quite hot when I set out to Belgium by car early morning on 25 June. While the summer countryside flew by, I was enchanted by the audio-book of the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda. In Haguenau, France, I picked up Martine who joined me for the trip to the next group life with Sri Kumar. She proposed to take the way via Germany to avoid the French highway toll stations. Scenes of earlier trips to Belgium popped into my mind. When we arrived in Corroy-le-Grand, where several group members of the Belgian “White Lotus Group” live together since about 30 years, we received a warm welcome. Some group members were preparing flowers for the group life – Benoît had bought plenty of roses and other flowers Saturday evening at a flower market in Brussels for a cheap price…

In the evening and the next morning, we meditated together in the beautiful small chapel in Benoît’s house. A little later, we packed flowers and luggage into the cars and went to the seminar place, the “Golf de l’Empereur” – a beautiful site surrounded by meadows and forests in the south of Brussels.

About two hours later, the seminar room was set up and we drove to the airport to pick up Sri Kumar and the other group members coming from the seminar in Alicante, Spain. Some group members had visited the airport and the other sightseeing places in Brussels. So we now had a joyful pick-nick on the top of the airport parking before we went down to the arrival gates. The plane was delayed, and thus, we had some more time for coffee, tea and exchanges.

At a quarter to four finally, the travel group arrived. A warm welcome, some short talks, and then we took the elevators to the top of the parking. From there, we drove to the centre of Brussels. More group members joined us at the café. Later, we went to the Grand Place, where the gold decoration on the roofs of the old houses shone in the sun. We went to the inner courtyard of the City Hall and formed a big circle. Sri Kumar spoke some words about the importance of the place as the economic centre of Europe and then asked us to stand hand in hand. He then started speaking the Great Invocation and we joined in. It was a very powerful moment, especially when we intonated the OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Then our short “flash mob” dissolved again into the stream of visitors.

The peak of the rush hour was over but still there was heavy traffic when we drove through the quarters of the European Union administration and along the Royal Court. In the evening, there was a welcome meeting at the seminar house followed by evening dinner.

Next morning Sri Kumar gave a short talk followed by a question-answer session. Topics were raised concerning pregnancy preparation, a healthy health system in Europe, love and brotherhood, old age and leaving the body or dealing with depression. In the afternoon the group did a walk with Sri Kumar.

After evening prayer, there was the blessing of children: “We bless the born children with an intent, the intent that they should find the purpose for which they have been born. The blessing of the children by the group is to make the child recollect the purpose for which they have been born. Many of us would not have recollected the purpose of life. It should not happen with the children. Not knowing the purpose of life we mover for long years into different ways but if we know for what we are born we can straight away realise and work for it. In ancient times the purpose was taught from the teacher and the information taught by relating to a fire people were lighting. In all system there was the fire worship and also the sun worship. The worship is to recollect the purpose for which you are born. When children arrive into the world we wish them to recollect the very purpose for which they are born. They are also introduced to sun worship and fire worship so that one fine day they would recollect the very purpose. So they remembered it very early. The initiates recollected the purpose very early. Once it is recollected the journey is again a straight work. Otherwise they go into many sideways and child is lost. Therefore whenever groups meet a blessing of children is arranged. You may put one or two grains on the child and on the parents an also some good wishes.”

Wednesday after morning meditation and breakfast the group life ended. The weather had changed during the night and it was raining. With three friends, I set out for the seminar in Billerbeck, while a travel group with Sri Kumar visited Liege and Aachen before going to the next seminar place.

 

A Summer Solstice Celebration

June 24th, 2017

Summer solstice is one of the cardinal points of the year, where a change of the energies takes place. It is not just the moment where the Sun starts its Southern journey but an entry point for inner alignment to the soul – at summer solstice the Sun is located in our heart.

Last Wednesday we celebrated summer solstice at the Paracelsus centre of the WTT at the birth place of this great initiate near Einsiedeln, Switzerland. We started with a fire ritual on the crest near the pass road of Mount Etzel. It was a brilliant day and there was a grand panorama to all sides. When the fire rose we all experienced the enchanted atmosphere.

Afterwards we met at the Paracelsus centre for celebrating with a little light ritual, meditation, reading, exchanging and joint cooking. We all enjoyed the summer solstice celebration and we are looking forward for the next celebration around autumn equinox.

Group Life near Barcelona on ‘An Approach to Aquarian Energies’

June 24th, 2017

Already a week has passed since my visit to Barcelona, where I attended a seminar of the WTT about “An Approach to Aquarian Energies”. The 4 days group life took place at a hotel on the countryside outside Barcelona, “La Mola”. While going there, the GPS of the car of my friend wanted to send us into a loophole, like it did already last year, but we escaped well and found the right way via small bumpy road…

At the parking, in the glare of the sun, we saw some friends who also had just arrived. And soon more and more members dropped in – a big family gathering with about 180 members from Argentina, Brazil, USA, Venezuela and different European countries, of course most of them from Spain.

The lecture hall had been beautifully set up, and around 5.30 the group living started. And when Sri Kumar entered, you could feel a thrill of joyful attention in the air. The first discourse started after the evening prayer, giving an introduction into the topic. Here is a short extract on the use of concepts from the second talk:

“Concepts are needed and also not needed. To go up to the roof a ladder or a stair is needed. Afterwards it is no more needed. Likewise we are in different states of awareness. Each one is in a different state of understanding. Concepts necessary for some may not be necessary for others. To a child to walk a walker is a mechanical support. After it runs it does not need a walker, it has learned to walk. An old person needs again a support. In some dimensions when we are not self-dependent we need a support. We need a teacher for help at a certain stage. A teacher has found the Master within and in tune with the Master within he functions outside. As a support of the Master inside there is the help of a hierarchy of Masters outside. You need the help of the parents to learn to walk but once you can walk you don’t need their support. In some states of learning support is needed, for other stages it is not. For a bird which is on the ground, eating the grains the legs are needed not the wings. The chick looks for grains and needs the legs but when the bird flies the legs are not needed. The legs fold back into the body and the wings are active. When it is flying there is no need of legs. Concepts should be seen as such, there is no need for concepts as such. There are people who carry with them concepts even if they are not needed. They add to the load. If you cross the river, if after crossing the river you carry the boat on your head it is a load. Boat is the concept. Once the river is crossed we respect the boat, keep it well anchored at the shore and move on. If you keep it, it is a load. When you need and when not has to be very clear. Normally we carry concepts which are not needed at the moment and we don’t carry the concepts we need.”

Besides the interesting discourses, there were for me three organisational meetings with Sri Kumar and different members. Of course, a group life is also a good occasion of networking and exchanging with friends; I had several intense exchanges.

In front of the lecture hall, there were tables with the books of Ediciones Dhanishtha with the new publications, with pictures and other items, and I also had displayed cards of my paintings.

Sunday morning after meditation, there was a fire ritual in the court behind the seminar hall. The invocation of Devas in the presence of the fire is always a very uplifting experience. And towards the close of the seminar, there was the blessing of small children and their parents.

Then, Sunday afternoon, saying good-bye, some last photos and then into the hot car. I stayed one more night with Robert before flying home to Switzerland Monday morning.

Cancer – Artemis, Layers of Reflection

June 20th, 2017

The visible Moon is just the physical body containing the Moon principle. Moon is the Lord of Cancer and it is related to our mind. Like the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, our mind reflects the solar light of the internal Sun principle, the soul. Moon also reflects the light of the higher Moon called Soma in the Eastern scriptures. Soma, the divine musician, presides over the cosmic mind; his rays are received by the Moon via Neptune. Moon stands for the female principle, the mother. It stimulates the fertilisation and the birth and growth of the fauna and flora on earth. Cats attract the magnetism of the Moon; therefore the Egyptians considered them as sacred. Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and of the Moon, can be understood as a symbol of the mind and quick thoughts.

To depict these spiritual dimensions, I worked on the image of a bust of Diana/Artemis with a contemplative countenance. The face is surrounded on one side by a cat and on the other by orchids dotted with starry reflections. On the top you see moon light from beyond reflecting on the bluish globe of Neptune and coming down to the sphere of the Moon. The Moon again fuses with the head of Artemis.

See more pictures on the site with my paintings. If you want to print the image, you can download the file in medium and high resolution format.
The different zodiacal signs are clustered in groups – you can see here all my Cancer paintings.


18 March 2017, pencils and photo work

On the Way to a Seminar in Spain

June 15th, 2017

Wednesday morning when I left the house for catching the train to Zurich it was dripping outside and rather fresh – quite a contrast to the weather at arrival in Barcelona. At Zurich Airport I wanted to meet Sri Kumar and the travel team at a Starbuck café but although I arrived at the same time than they and I looked around several time, I didn’t see them and waited for a long time at the check-in: I hadn’t noticed that there was one more table in a corner…

Thus, we only met at leaving the airport at Barcelona. It was a warm welcome. And when we left the passenger area a group of Spanish group members with smiling faces was already waiting there. It was a very joyful moment – greeting friends exchanging some words, hearing some news…. Like in other years, Aurora had again prepared an Indian lunch for the Master and the team.

It is first stage of his 62nd tour to the West. For the next days, there will be a seminar about “An Approach to Aquarian Energies” in a hotel at the outskirts of Barcelona. While the team was going already to the hotel, Robert and two friends from Germany picked me up. Robert made a little detour to show us some nice parts of Barcelona before going to his home. And it was a nice stay there.


Approaching Barcelona


Warm meeting at Barcelona airport


Welcome by Spanish group members at the airport

 

May Call Day Celebration in the Vosges

May 31st, 2017

Yesterday the May Call Day celebration in the Vosges, France ended with a visit to Strasbourg. We met outside the European Parliament with prayers for peace and European union. It was the culmination of a beautiful festival which had started last Saturday. Friday already, the preparation group met at the home of Martine in Baerenthal in the Vosges for the final planning. The weather was gorgeous and it continued to be so the next days.

Saturday morning we came to the holiday resort in Bitche to set up the hall for the celebration. And in the afternoon the other participants arrived. In a joyous mood we assembled in the garden. Later, with the evening meditation, the festival started. And at nightfall, a water ritual spread its sublime vibrations.

Sunday after morning meditation some motion exercises in the morning sunlight made us “Fit for the Day”. We read extracts from discourses of Sri Kumar; group members spoke on “Astrology, the Big Picture” and “Are Medicinal Herbs only Positive?” giving insights into cosmic nature and secrets of the plant kingdom. Sunday and Monday afternoon Qi-Gong exercises attuned us to the flow of etheric energies. And Sunday evening I spoke on “Lord Dattatreya and His Incarnations”, accompanied by a slideshow.

Monday morning we assembled outside under a tree for meditation and a little fire ritual. It was a splendorous moment when the fire rose with the chanting of mantric invocations. Later, we celebrated the 30th May Call in the West with a cake and light ceremony. In the afternoon we exchanged about experiences which had shaped our path. In the evening, we saw the “Homage to the Mother of the World“, a video project by members of the World Teacher Trust, and sang some songs. At nightfall, the whole group made a walk around the beautiful forest lake Étang de Hasselfurth.

Like at earlier May Call celebrations in the Vosges, we ended our group living with a visit at the European Parliament. This year, however, we were not allowed to enter the inner court – new security procedures after the recent assassinations now require previous registration. For us, it was better – this way, we could sing and speak the prayers in a loud voice next to the building, visualising that we were standing in the centre of the Parliament building.

At the end we realised that a sparrow was sitting on a branch directly over our heads, turning his had in all directions and gazing at us. I was fascinated looking directly into his eyes for a moment – a divine messenger. After some time, he flew away.

Afterwards we went to the old town of Strasbourg and walked along the Ill River to a restaurant next to the Strasbourg Cathedral.

Video: Homage to the Mother of the World

May 23rd, 2017

For the celebration of the May Call Day, a team from Argentina, Switzerland and India has realised a video as a “Homage to the Mother of the World“. A part of the recordings was filmed in a home in Argentina, which is supported by the WTT group Sudama, Buenos Aires. The children are either orphans or have been taken away from their parents because of drugs or violence.

The music was composed and played by the WTT group of Mysore. I moderated the project and gave some support. We drew the inspiration from the book on “Sri Suktam – The Nature and Characteristics of the World Mother” by Dr. K. Parvathi Kumar. It was a very inspiring group activity.