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Some Thoughts about my Mother

Tuesday, 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

 

 

 

 

Marketing for Wisdom Teachings? Opening Doors for Non-Entrants? Or Discovering the Path?

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Recently a friend remarked, “Why are there only few people interested in the wisdom teachings and in group meetings? Why don’t you do some activity in the public to attract more people?” Some time later, another person asked, “Do you do any get-to-know events or meditation retreats?”

I knew that behind the answers I spontaneously gave there is much more than some short remarks can explain. It is about discovering your path. And about understanding what is your inner urge and that of others.

I told the first person, “Spreading the wisdom teachings cannot be done by propagating them but by way of one’s own inner transformation. And to talk about it, there has to be a searching soul showing a deeper intent.”  Curiosity might be a starter but it needs perseverance.
The second person I wrote about some possibilities of coming into contact, and there was no further reaction. There are many such ephemeral contacts. Opening doors for non-entrants?

For a long time, I thought that it is mainly a matter of informing people to arouse an interest so that they find “the spiritual path”. And with my enthusiasm for the path I was going I wanted to get others interested in it. I identified the path with the movements I was associated with for a while. And in a way I thought  that this path I was going was the right direction also for others. However, quite a number of times I discovered after a while that I needed to change my course and left movements.  With each change, temporary co-walkers stayed behind and new ones came.

It took a long time until I really deeply realised that “the path of the soul” and “the teachings I feel associated with” are two different things. And shifts in my inner orientation need not cause, from my side, shifts in outer associations. On the other hand, changes with the path of friends or close ones need not result in shifts in my inner orientation. This realisation caused some profound changes in me. It happened about 3-4 years ago. Now, when people come to me complaining about things – in society, with others, with the teachings – I inwardly check, does it touch my association with what I am doing or my path? I can respond in a friendly way without taking their viewpoints – and without feeling a need of explaining mine.

The wisdom teachings help me understand myself and clarify my understanding of others and of the greater nature. But if I don’t relate them to myself they are like straw and not corn. Trying to “market wisdom” is like distributing straw or giving food to people who don’t want to “eat”. And what is food for others might not be the same for me.

It needs lot of discrimination to realise what is nourishing for your soul and what you better leave off. And not to leave off the right thing because of what others think. It does not matter whether there are many people interested in the things that are good for me, or for you.

An Inner Pilgrimage to my Kuruvapuram

Friday, May 6th, 2016

I sometimes took you with me on my journeys with my travel blogposts. I haven’t blogged much the last time for I was often away on an inner pilgrimage. No, it was not a kind of daydreaming or being “lost in space”. The pilgrimage led me through “virtual reality” though not with multiplayer gaming nor with data glasses – this latest fad of virtual reality, very en vogue at the moment, keeps the people stuck in sensual planes of an insipid taste, like amplified with artificial flavour enhancers.

I was carried away by the German translation of the Sripada Srivallabha Charitamrutam which I finished 2-3 weeks ago. I told you about it before, when I came into contact with this book about the life of Sripada Srivallabha (1320-1350), the first Avatar of Lord Dattatreya in Kali Yuga, in autumn 2014.

I will tell you more about this experience later, when the book will be published in German – it was a long and profound inner journey, a most profound pilgrimage, a kind of excavation. It was like walking through some archaeological site doing diggings through deep layers of time and of unknown worlds. To begin with, I had to fuse three English translations of the Telugu publication into a text-base for the German version, and a friend is working with it on the Spanish translation.

The English texts were like a rough road with many terms and concepts I first could not decipher. A good Indian guide now living in Africa showed up and gave me keys to an understanding. I wrote heaps of footnotes now enhancing the translation. And now, towards the end, I worked out a big register of the many persons, adding short comments, a kind of Who’s Who of the book – you might get lost in the more than hundred persons you come across, not to mention the many divine beings. And to complicate the matter, some persons have several names and of course changing names in successive incarnations. For me it was like finding a diamond when I discovered the name of a then future incarnation which was not given in the book by his now well-known name (Lahiri Mahasaya) but given by his native name.

This unearthing was part of the pilgrimage though not the essence. The essence was an incredible inner touch and guidance which did not end with the translating and typing. It influences my feeling of life, my meditations, my way of thinking. Kuruvapuram, the name I mention in the title of this blogpost, is the name of the place where Sripada lived the second part of his life. I haven’t been there yet but for me it is like I know it. Is it present, is is past where I am? Is it in creative imagination? I don’t think so.

Being fascinated by a book is different from encountering a more profound reality with the help of a book. You find Kuruvapuram on the map. A friend even visited it; he had profound inner experiences there and shared his photos with me. It is a very magnetic, brilliant place in the inner, though in the outer there is not much of it visible. But the physical place is just an anchor in time and space for a sublime dimension. My pilgrimage led me there and profoundly touched me.

In the “Charitamrutam” it says that living in Kashi (Benares) or Pithikapuram (Pithapuram, the place where Sripada was born) is different from living there in the subtle, golden Kashi or Pithikapuram. It is where you are living with your heart, not with the body. The outer might even distract you from the inner, like a veil. As already the Little Prince from Saint Exupéry said, “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

It is more than just seeing, it is being there in the be-ness. And this pilgrimage does not end with the book, also the book is just a cipher pointing to the inner place of the pilgrimage. And many might see the veils of the place hinted by the book but will never enter.

Thank you, Robert, for the photos.

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View towards the island of Kuruvapuram in the Krishna River

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Statue of Lord Dattatreya

 

Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters…

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

A friend from Miami sent me the following beautiful text from an anonymous source:

Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters causing ripples to spread as they move outward.

In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples moves onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of positivity.

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Water ripples, 2008

Spiritual Unfoldment – A Gardener’s Work

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

One of the moments which deeply impressed me during my last stay in India developed its impact only slowly. It was during the farewell ceremony at the end of the seminar. Sri Kumar mentioned that those coming to future seminars should acquaint themselves beforehand about what has been taught in previous Indian seminars. This way they would not get lost and have a better understanding of the teachings. And he explained that he won’t come anymore to the West for giving seminars. He would continue teachings via YouTube, according to American and European time zones. He remarked that he has given so many teachings and that it has become a habit to ask for more without applying what has already been given.

Before my mind’s eye I saw the great sublime structure woven by these teachings given over many years in a grand sequence, bringing to the denser planes of our minds most profound concepts about cosmic dimensions of manifestation, development and re-merging of creation, about their correspondences in us, about the laws of divine unfoldment. And that this knowledge is helping to unfold our inner dimension and speeds up the evolution.

At the same time I noticed how very undeveloped are the inner sense organs of us listeners and of those people over the globe trying to assimilate these teachings. With most there seemed to be a rudimentary inner perceptive system. Many feel attracted by Sri Kumar’s magnetism and by the ambiance of the seminars but not by the teachings. I heard from a number of members that they are not really interested in the teachings or maybe just some small aspects. Some said they feel more drawn to Buddhism and its practices because they are not so complicated. The attitude of mindfulness is very appealing and they don’t want to bother about the cosmological dimensions, which Buddhism leaves out of sight. I answered to a friend that for me the teachings are some kind of a training for our “mental and Buddhic muscles” and that like with other sport training you might feel pain when the muscles are tensed…

The last two days, I heard this from different sides. I thought of the tremendous work done by Sri Kumar and the difficulty of transmitting the sublime teachings. I was reminded of people using a smartphone. It is quite simple to operate, just some clicks – but is it easy under the surface? Who really understands in depth how it is functioning? And how comparatively few know how to build, how to write the software – and how many cooperate, adding specific sub-aspects to the whole, the “simple device”.

A friend said to me, she told Sri Kumar that she cannot understand much of his teachings but that she loves to be in his presence, and he smiled full of love. She added: “A gardener knows, when the seeds sprout and the plants develop.”

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A Bonsai Tree Nursery in India – trees grow slowly

Celebrating Vaisakh Full Moon

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Taurus Full Moon is approaching, a time where abundant sublime energy is available if we attune to it. This full moon is celebrated as the Vaisakh (or Wesak) Full Moon, which is also commemorated as the day of Buddha’s enlightenment. People everywhere in the world celebrate this very special moment.

The exact time (Central European Summer Time – GMT+2) is on Monday, 4 May at 05:42 am. You might do an extra effort of alignment during this time or gather for group meditations during the 18 hours before the exact full moon time. You find some more information about the Vaisakh Festival here. United with many meditators world-wide, you might use the Great Invocation in your meditation.

The Lucis Trust has just published a beautiful video about the meaning of the Wesak Full Moon.

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A vision of the Buddha blessing at Vaisakh Full Moon, picture from the video (c)

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The Vaisakh Valley in Tibet, behind the Mount Kailash, picture from the video (c)

Many Deities or One God? – Irritations between East and West

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

People from the West often feel irritated when they come into contact with the many deities – and masters – worshipped in India. They ask, silently or aloud, what’s the purpose of all this? There are religions which condemn these worships as polytheistic or erroneous beliefs. They argue that there is only one God and monotheism is the only true belief… Yes, of course, there is only One but… comes to my mind. But what?

Some weeks ago I noticed the irritation about the plethora of divine beings with a friend. I know it only too well, this feeling of getting lost:

For many years, this has been an undercurrent in my life. I oscillated between Western and Eastern views of the world. I was striving to bridge the gap. At times it seemed to engulf me. I feel a fascination for Eastern wisdom but at the same time alienated by the many contradictions of eastern practical life, which is often at quite a distance from the heights of their sublime concepts. I noticed, however, that with the years I increasingly perceive the underlying unifying background and came to love the multiplicity.

Over 40 years ago, I came to the house of a member of my then-meditation group and saw there many statues – of Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna… This man had a big collection of partly costly Indian idols of gods. I had no relation to them, I felt disconcerted and at the same time I felt a strange fascination.

A few years later, I started studying Comparative Religion as one of my secondary subjects at University to get a deeper unerstanding. Later, I came into contact with theosophy and anthroposophy. There I learnt that in ancient-most times man lived with natural clairvoyance and could directly perceive the great divine beings of the subtle realms which he revered as Gods, knowing very well that they were facets of the One unknowable source of existence, which he called God. There were guardians (priests-initiates) who showed the way to this sublime vision. In temples and mystery schools the keys to direct experience were safeguarded. With the course of the ages, however, the epochs became darker and the knowledge got lost. Belief replaced experience and jealous religions fought for their God-systems as the only right ones. With the advent of modern critical thought and materialistic sciences the religious beliefs got ridiculed as superstition and accepted merely as a kind of social service.

Now, in the Aquarian age, when more and more people turn again inward and discover the subtle realms, a more differenciated view of the subtle worlds re-emerges. The “Gods are returning”. By becoming aware of the sublime beings of light, the Devas, they start working with us. They bring a splendour into our life which cannot unfold otherwise. Many times, I witnessed this radiance of subtle light shining into the surroundings. To perceive this light, which is nourished from behind, you have to open your subtle eyes; otherwise the curtain remains closed.

Indian Gods in shop windows at Berne, Switzerland, 24 December 2008:
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A Meditative Journey through Life, Back and Forth

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

At the CVV Sharing meeting beginning of Aries I did an experiment with the group guiding it on a meditative journey through life.

Archetypally, our life-span unfolds in a certain rhythmical pattern following cycles of 7 years. In his book on “Uranus“, Dr. Kumar explains: “There is a 7-year cycle with the humans with a grand cycle of 84 years. A life lived for 84 years is considered to be a full life, a fulfilled life.” This is “due to the fact that Uranus functions with the periodicity of 7, for the simple reason that every 7 years he transits a zodiacal sign and completes the zodiacal circle in 84 years.”

Thus, the first 7-year cycle of our life is the Aries period of entering into a new life and starting our self-expression. And the last cycle, from 77 to 84 years, is the Pisces period of completion and preparation for the transition. If you continue after 84, it is regarded as carrying on your journey into a higher turn of the spiral.

Following an impulse received in a meditation some months ago, I outlined a structure for the meditative journey through life, which you can download here in English or in German (PDF). The movement is going back from the Pisces period through the different septennial cycles to the Aries period and then a little bit beyond, to the time of descent into the uterus and of planning the incarnation. Then, we turn around at the point of birth and visualise the unfolding of our life up to the present moment and further beyond, what might still wait for blossoming. Afterwards, we go to the present moment, which is an Aries-point of new beginning, and which was the first day of Aries, when the group experiment was done. From there, we would visualise the seed of the new cycle and the path through the next 12 months. Then we would come back to the present moment and open our eyes.

I invited the group members to relax and close their eyes. For the periods before and after their conscious experience they might intuitively visualise the quality of these cycles, for which I read out a short keynote.

As an expression of the rhythmical heart-beat of life and the undercurrent sound of creation, OM, I kept on intoning a singing bowl, creating a specific “ding” sound when changing to the next cycle. For each cycle I took about 1.5 minutes. The whole exercise took 30 minutes, followed by an exchange in small groups of 3 persons about what period in their lives occupied them most.

It was a very intense experience. While conducting the group, I suddenly started noticing that there was a change in the quality of the atmosphere with every septennial cycle / zodiacal sign, especially when it came to the pre-natal phases.

Several members afterwards came to me expressing that they had been deeply moved by this journey through their lives and especially the moment of touching the pre-natal phases. 2 persons told me that images of a moment of preparing the incarnation came, with a feeling of the plan of their life.

Since it was a a meditative group process, I left it to the members to integrate the experiences of the process into their lives.

Sign                      Phase    Quality
Pisces Time        84 – 77   Completion and preparation
Aquarius Time     77 – 70   Cheerful vastnesses, virgin territory
Capricorn Time    70 – 63   The peak of unfoldment, consolidation and distribution
Sagittarius Time  63 – 56    Sublime goals, implemention
Scorpio Time       56 – 49   Profound transformations
Libra Time           49 – 42  Connections, working together
Virgo Time          42 – 35   Reviewing, reorienting
Leo Time           35 – 28    Establishing one’s kingdom, ruling
Cancer Time       28 – 21   Building the house, preserving
Gemini Time        21 – 14   Equipping, trying out
Taurus Time       14 – 7     Feeling the power, moving forward
Aries Time          7 – 0      Entering into life, expressing

Review at the Threshold Point of Birth:
Pisces Time                     In the waters of the uterus
Aquarius Time                  In the etheric vicinity
Capricorn Time                 Preparation for the descent
Sagittarius Time               Idea and plan for the incarnation

Turning around and prospects at the Aries point of birth
The unfoldment of the flower of life

The Aries point in the Here and Now
Feeling the seed of the new cycle
Envisioning the path through the coming 12 months

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Intoning the singing bowl

A Video on Gratitude

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

A beautiful 6 minutes inspirational video by the visual artist Louie Schwartzberg on Gratitude. The text is written and spoken by Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast and it has the message to open your heart and feel grateful for this day, the beauty of this planet, the people we meet… Louie’s website Movingart, videos on Vimeo.

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Photo from the video (C Louie Schwartzberg)

Taurus Full Moon – The Vaisakh Festival

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The Vaisakh Festival (also written Wesak) is an important annual event for receiving the cosmic energies of Will coming from the “Eye of the Bull” and giving us a fresh dose of Will energy to carry out the work of good will. The festival is celebrated at Taurus Full Moon. The full moon phase is from 13 May, 10:45pm – 14 May 09:16pm CEST.

You can read more about the significance of the festival on the WTT website. In the book “Mars – The Kumara” by Dr K. Parvathi Kumar there is also a chapter about the deeper meaning of the Vaisakh Full Moon. Here is an extract as a PDF.

The Lucis Trust has just released a new beautiful video about the Wesak Festival 2014.

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Taurus – The Vaisakh Festival, (Images of Synthesis 2010)