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Through the Air and Landed

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Flying to India in January is always a very special experience for me. Starting with the train, ther had been fresh snow outside, after a night of storm. In the train I try to observe who will be traveling to Zurich airport like me. There was a young lady opposite me whom I later met in the airport restaurant and later at checkin to Dubai – we smiled to each other.

Entering my “flying caravel” heading to India

In Dubai I was looking out to fellow travelers to Visakhapatnam, but there was none, neither in Hyderabad. But while I was reading infront of the checkin a thrilling book, “Odonate“, by Julie Oxford (she sent it to me as a gift in December), on how she came into contact with theosophy and the Masters of Wisdom and also the World Teacher Trust (I was thrilled to see that when telling about her discovery of WTT she just took from the WTT website several point I found most thrilling when I did the site 5 years ago…), suddenly an Indian came to me and asked me, “Are you going to the Guru Poojas of World Teacher Trust? I will be there, too.”, I smiled and replied “Yes”. I knew I was being guided well. Outside the temperature had changed to 35 ° C- a bit warmer than at home. (I later heard that this year January is hot as never since long…

In Visakh Murthy was already waiting for me with a taxi – a great service. We tried to pick up another friend, but she wasn’t on her flyer.

And then the arrival at the retreat centre. So many “hallo’s” and “NIce to meet you again”. This year there will be more people than in the previous years, about 115, mostly from Argentina, but also many from Spain. The retreat centre being much to small for all of us, a number had to stay in a nearby hotel and in appartments at the sea. I thought I would “camp” in the hall, but I got a small single room in the 4th floor – how happy I was. And on the table there was a nice orange tableclothwith golden embroderies – and the beautiful spiritual symbol of Lord Venkateshvara – I really felt blessed. After such a stressful time having come “home”, tears shot into my eyes, I was deeply moved.

The symbol of Lord Venkateshvara reminds me much of a theme I used in my paintings in the 80ies.

In the evening Sri Kumar came to guide the evening prayer. Afterwards he just greeted us saying: “I wlecome you all to a very enlightening group life.” We then had a small gathering with him, just a few members from the national groups. Sri Kumar said, “The groups really inspired by spiritual hierarchy just have minimum outer structures, there is inner growth and just the minimum growth inthe outer. We are also nearly not known here in Visakh, the work is more done in silence. We don’t have big structures to accomodate people, we donb’t have an ashram. We rent the locations for Guru Poojas. Nobody knows how much the movements grows, it is mostly in the homes of the people, not in any outside structures where the eyes of the public, the govrnment and politicians fall upon. We believe in inner growth and not much in outer. It is the same with our groups. ” (notes by memory)

Tomorrow many more people will arrive. I’m tired but happy to be here.

(I didn’t have internet connection yesterday, so this post had to wait a bit. For want of time I don’t answer for the moment all the mails I get….)

The Ripples

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

An Indian friend sent me the following nice story:

A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake.

The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?” “Hmmm,” said the man. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.

Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.”

The boy said, “Yeah, it is.”

The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, “Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?”

“Yeah,” said the boy, “they spread further and further.”

“And soon, the water is still again,” offered the man.

The boy said, “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.”

The man continued, “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Let’s take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it.” The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out.

But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.

The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind. Time surely is a great healer, but prevention is always better than cure.”

Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value.

At a little nearby river, spring 2008

Potatoes or The Stench of Hatred

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

A friend send me the following nice story:

A teacher decided to let her class play a game. She told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the child hates. So the number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

When the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had two potatoes; some three while some upto five potatoes.

The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for one week. Days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having five potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. After one week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.

The teacher asked: “How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for one week?” The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they went.

The teacher then said: “This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just one week, can you imagine what it is like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for lifetime???”

So, let it go…. and refresh your mind for nice and happy things and thoughts to embrace life.

Potatoes – from Wikipedia


The Tiny Little Frog or The Power of Positive Thinking

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A friend sent me this nice story, which started with: “Don’t let the “Nay”Sayers hold you back.”

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs….who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants….

The race began…. Honestly: No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as:

“Oh, WAY too difficult!!” “They will NEVER make it to the top.” “Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one…. Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher….The crowd continued to yell, ”It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up….

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher…. This one wouldn’t give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out…. That the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic….because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you — the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore: ALWAYS be….POSITIVE!

And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfil your dream, but always be welcoming to listen to and accept sound advise.
“Achievers never expose themselves but their achievements expose them.”

A tiny frog, from Wikipedia.

The Young Lady and the Cookies

Friday, September 30th, 2011

A friend sent me a powerpoint with the following story about friendship and sharing:

“A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport. As she would need to wait many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchair, in the VIP-room of  the airport, to rest and read in peace.

Beside the armchair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought: “What a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him for daring!”

For each cookie she took the man took one too. This was infuriating her but she didn’t want to cause a scene. When only one cookie remained, she thought, “ah, what this abusive man do now?”

Then, the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half, giving her one half.

Ah, that was too much! She was much too angry now!

In a huff, she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding place.

When she sat down in her seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to take her eyeglasses, and, to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened!

She felt so ashamed! She realised that she was wrong… She had forgotten that her cookies were kept in her purse. The man had divided his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter, while she was very angry, thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself… nor to apologize.”

The moral of the story…
There are four things that you cannot recover:
The stone ….     after the throw,
The word …. after it’s said,
The occasion … after the loss,
The time …. after it’s gone.

Hello, nice person, did anyone ever tell you just how special you are? The light that you emit might even light a star.
Did anyone ever tell you how important you make others feel? Somebody out there is smiling, about love that is so real.
Did anyone ever tell you that many times when they were sad your e-mail made them smile a bit, in fact it made them glad.
For the time you spend sending things and sharing whatever you find, there are no words to thank you, but somebody thinks you are fine.
Did anyone ever tell you just how much they like you? Well, my dearest friend, today I’m telling you.
I believe that without a friend you are missing out on a lot.
Have a nice day, and I’m glad we are friends.

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I just got the following story from a Canadian friend. I knew the anecdote, in a slightly different form, but having had very turbulent weeks at my office (with 2 big projects in their “hot” phases, resignations of colleagues in my team and the related recruitment interviews….) I found it a timely reminder – though the work-life-balance is still fine …

“A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.’

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities….. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.’

Stones at the nearby river Aare

The Power of Words

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

A very beautiful YouTube video story about a beggar and an unconventional help with the power of words.

“Wait for a Second”

Friday, February 18th, 2011

A friend sent the following joke:

Conversation with God

Man: God?
God: Yes?
Man: Can I ask you something?
God: Of course!
Man: What’s a million years for you?
God: A second.
Man: And a million dollars?
God: A penny.
Man: God, Could I have a penny?
God: Wait for a second.

Man phoning with God at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. Photo: Wikipedia

Weaving Relationships or A Guardian Angel’s Work

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Boxes are piling up in our living room – end of the month we are moving to a new apartment and, before leaving to India end of this week, we must be ready with the biggest bunch of materials…

Sunday evening I took down the mirror hanging at the entrance, a beautiful mirror with flowers painted on it. The story of this gift came to my mind – over 22 years ago an elder friend gave it to us on the occasion of our wedding. And there was another story behind:

The mirror

Easter 1984 this friend invited me to his house in Canadel at the Côte d’Azur in Southern France (Google street view from the place). He was a British-German architect who was constructing a very nice villa mainly by himself, and I spend about 3 beautiful weeks there helping him.

One day he asked me, “Don’t you have a girlfriend?” I said, “No”. – “I’ll get you one.” – “You are crazy.” – “I will see.”

Some weeks later he was at a spiritual seminar in Switzerland where he met a couple with their daughter. He told her that she should get to know me. She was curious and didn’t have a friend at that time. So he invited her and me to another seminar in Switzerland. I was living at that time in Northern Germany and told him, “No, I don’t come.” However, he invited me for another visit in Southern France for the time of the following New Year and I accepted.
I wasn’t aware that he also invited her, I didn’t want to be made a match, but that way I came to meet my future wife… We had four days together, and that was the beginning.

The only occasion I met our friend again was 3 years later when he came to see us in Switzerland – I had moved there in the meantime – to bring us the mirror as a wedding present.

We lost sight of the man. Time ran by. About 15 years later we were camping with our children near that place at the coast and had a look at the villa – it looked different. There was a French name at the premises and there was no sign of our friend. Some years later I googled his name, but there was a number of persons, none from the place in Germany where they lived.

Yesterday I did another search and came across a newspaper article about the 80th birthday of our friend, who in the meantime was living near Lake Constance in South Germany. This way it was easy to find his address and phone number. I rang him up yesterday evening. The voice at the phone was a bit surprised but sounded the same like 26 years ago. We quickly entered into a vivid conversation. He said he had sold the house to a Frenchman from Lille years ago… He still was working with geomancy, dowsing, experimenting with energy fields and air ionizing. He told me about his experiments. And he wanted to know more about what I’m doing now.

I told him that last summer I had been on a seminar of our spiritual teacher just in his neighbour village. He was astonished and we quickly found out that he knew 2 of my friends living very close by with whom I had been in India last year. He was about to meet one of them today. A small world.

And he told me: “There are guardian angels,  who do in the world a largely unknown work of protecting and connecting people, of weaving links of light. They had woven the link between you and your wife, and I just got the idea to bring you into contact. I tried to do it with other people, but it never worked.” Probably because it was his trying and not the work of the angels.

He added: “A clairvoyant person just told me that today would be a bad day for me, with negative influences.” (By the way, it was the night of no-moon, just before the solar eclipse of today.) I answered, No, I will do my prayers, and they will overcome all negative influences. I had a very good day, and your phone call was just the top of it.”

I smiled and thought, yes, the guardian angel has done a good job to reconnect us.

Read here a follow-up of the story and a later continuation.

An angel in the house of a friend in France.

A Story about Shambhala

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

A Spanish friend sent this  beautiful story about Shamballa, which I put into English with the help of automatic translation:

“Shamballa is a sacred kingdom hidden in some remote corner of the Himalayas. The Tibetans believe fervently in the existence of Shamballa. In this paradisiac place reigns beauty and kindness, because their residents have reached the illumination transcending suffering. Many consider that it is even possible to arrive at Shambhala, but the road is long and full of dangers. He who has the luck to arrive at its doors – often by chance – should take advantage of the opportunity to penetrate into the Kingdom.

If he doesn’t go it and leaves it, it will stop later on; perhaps he will never again find it. The doors of Shamballa open up a single time in one’s life, and if you don’t cross them you are outside forever.

This myth teaches us something very important that we often forget: “Life doesn’t wait”. Therefore, if we have an aspiration, we should try to make it a reality. If we don’t take the initiative with the first enthusiasm, perhaps we don’t make it again.

It is sad to allow the days and the years to pass by without anything important happening. Those who never take a risk for anything are the first ones that complain about being bored by life. They wait that the change, happiness, arrives like a gift for them.

If the door of Shamballa opens up in our lives, let us enter without doubting. It is preferable to make a mistake several times than to fall into routine.”

The painting “Shamballa” by Nicholas Roerich shows the glacier peaks of the mountain range of Thang-La which reminds of the White Island. The painting stems from Roerich’s expedition through the Himalayas, Tibet, and the Desert Gobi in the 1920s. Many thanks to the Roerich Museum in New York.