wolkenlos - poemA poem I found at a wall, author (to me so far) unknown:

There should be more less for you in 2011.
The sky cloudless,
your heart carefree,
your luck wantless,
your guardian angel jobless,
your mind weightless,
your happiness limitless,
your love doubtless,
your work effortless and
the good times endless.

In German:
Im Jahr 2011 soll für Dich jede Menge los sein. Der Himmel wolkenlos, dein Herz sorglos, dein Glück wunschlos, dein Schutzengel arbeitslos, dein Gemüt schwerelos, deine Freude grenzenlos, deine Liebe zweifellos, deine Arbeit mühelos und die guten Zeiten endlos.

Opening the Door

a special heartOpening the door of your heart:

Grant yourself a moment of peace,
and you will understand
how foolishly you have scurried about.

Learn to be silent
and you will notice that
you have talked too much.

Be kind,
and you will realize that
your judgment of others was too severe.

– Ancient Chinese proverb

Ajahn Brahm wrote a lovely book. In 108 short stories you will find practical wisdom for the ups and downs in our everyday life.

For me, this book is outstanding in various ways but most important: it makes you laugh! 🙂 Opening the Door of your Heart/ Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties

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Crazy Monkey Mind

Mingyur RinpocheMeet your Crazy Monkey Mind!

Mingyur Rinpoche gave a great talk about how our mind exaggerates tiny problems, the stress of wisdom and the meditation of sound.

He explains in a very funny way, why our Monkey Mind is so happy to get a job! In addition he shares his knowledge about the importance of the balance between wisdom and experience.

Give the video at least 11 minutes of your time until you decide if you like it or not… Warning: Watching the video might hurt your belly and make you wanna say to yourself: “I am gooooood!” 😉

/edit: the video moved on the Rigpa website. The detailed title is: Mingyur Rinpoche, public talk in Lerab Ling, 11 September 2010: Calming the Mind: The Practice of Awareness Meditation

The Quality of Relations

The Salt and Pepper ghosts in the South of FranceThis blog post is inspired by a tweet from Perez Hilton. Thank you, Perez!

I played matchmaker last night – quite successfully – and I love it! Hopefully, soon, I will meet a QUALITY man myself! I deserve it! #Amen

Have you noticed that some people treat relationships like a (tennis-) match? Even before the two opponents meet, we know already the final result: one winner ”“ one loser

Let”™s have a closer look at the tennis court. Balls are like arguments, the net reminds me of our (inner) censors, the court itself could be named the empathy area and the lines are your (self-set) borders. In the deluxe version you will also find a judge and an audience.

Maybe the following scene sounds familiar: you are happily at a party and suddenly out of nowhere, a couple starts to play. They did not even ask you if you would like to be their judge (or audience). In the not-so-lucky case, you can”™t leave this awkward scene and Scotty just doesn”™t beam you up”¦

What”™s the quality of a discussion victory with a loser and only one winner? It”™s 2010 and you are intelligent! Try a different approach:

Go for win-win, remove your fences, have a look at your own-built limitations (censors, lines ”¦) and have the balls to loose. You can only win, because Love is Louder!

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Real Down

Real Down or Real Down - that's the questionWhen you read Real Down, what concept does your brain present you? Maybe some not so comfortable feelings come up. In the ups and downs of life most of us try to avoid the way down. While sinking, we feel like the Titanic.

Naturally we invest a lot of energy to swim against the current. What a waste, you might miss some good lessons. Humans tend to learn quicker in “negative” situations and fake friends could be worth a fortune for you in the end.

When there’s nothing to do, let go — hit the bottom and ground your-self. Now it’s time to jump up!

P.S. … and Real Down by Barbour will keep you warm in wintertime 😉

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The Stress Window

a new window conceptWhen we are stressed, our window to the world can be full of bricks, in the worst case, all we see is a plain wall. The good news is, you don’t have to be Jackie Chan (or Guy Kawasaki) to fight back your clear vision. Omar Al Rashid Bey wrote in the year 1912(!):

“You enter the room – and out of nothing evolves appearance, movement and design, body, character, strength, effectiveness, development, life in endless abundance and endless changes; from your feelings – the world.

Soon this room will appear to you large or small, high or low, light or dark, hot or cold, beautiful or ugly, or in any aspects desirable or undesirable to your senses, and every gradation between these opposites of your feelings. The ground on which you stand is under you, the ceiling you see above you, the portal through which you have entered is behind you, before you, giving wide views, the open bow, the closed wall here is to your left and that’s the right side of the room.

These are descriptions, judgments that seem indisputable – but when someone stands in front of you, he claims, the side that you refer to as the right one, is suddenly the left one for him and he says, the wall that you call the left , is now his right one. Judgments can not both be true: they are contradictory, are opposites that exclude each other, they cancel each other out.

Here happens the miracle that something with a specific attribute is used simultaneously with the opposite of the term. Who of the judges is right at the end? No one – or, if you want both. The wall is both right and left, also none of the two, neither left nor right.”

(from the German book “Das hohe Ziel der Erkenntnis”)

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Balloon glowing

balloon glowingSome people glow in the dark. Some even lift off…

Recently at a party a guy asked me: “Who are you?” My name is Chris. “Have you ever been to London?” Yes, I have been there several times. (He was shocked!) “Last time I was in London” he went on “we really did scare the English party people! We were four and went to a club and drank six liters of Vodka!!!”

My brain was calculating and searching for the added value in the content of his story. Maybe you already guessed it, he had some more valuable stories to share. Being a good listener, I mindfully followed his adventures through London, Munich and St. Moritz. After a while, he had my compassion for looking for happiness and peace in all the “wrong” places (glasses).

At one point, he reminded me of a balloon. Filled with lots of hot gas, floating over ground. Rising up into higher spheres but without much control. Up and down is easy to manage as long as you have enough gas (drinx) left. Where you finally will land, is written in the cosmic winds.

With two feet on the ground, navigation through life is much easier. Use all your sharp senses and be a proud pilot! You might not glow in the dark but you can be a great guiding light for others. Namaste

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The quality of Sleep

It’s all about quality. The quality of life, love, friends and family. Quantity can make you feel tired, left alone and useless.

How would you connect stress with sleep? My personal life experience is, I can sleep for 10 hours and still feel like a smashed tomato or be totally refreshed after a 15 minutes Power-Nap. What makes the difference?

Our brains are a bit like computers, we have energy saving modes like standby (that’s when you wait in this endless customer support hotline), hibernation (you try to sleep but your brain still takes a backup of today), sleep mode (your brain finally shuts off after you got a blue screen) and dreaming (only for humans, unless you are HAL 9000).

When we enter the supermarket, most of us have a tag cloud in our heads: milk, bread, tomatoes, beer, juice, water, potato chips… We are lost until we start to focus and set priorities. If you want to relax and increase the quality of your life, a good sleep is a great foundation. Power-Naps and Sleep-Ins by ZEN-MEN might be great tools for you. Happy relaxing and Bonne nuit!

iTunes: ZEN-MEN

iTunes: free video podcast by ZEN-MEN

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The Book of Not Knowing

Book cover of The Book of not KnowingThe package from Amazon arrived and I thought: “Wow, quite heavy for one single book!” Opened the box and first of all I had to laugh 😀
Does it really take 581 pages to learn how to NOT know? In one word: Yes.

In the past I wrote about two other books of world champion Peter Ralston: Cheng Hsin and Zen Body-Being. The Book of Not Knowing is basically a manual how to dismantle Your-Self. Let’s do a flight through the table of contents (only a few extracts!):

  • Questioning the Obvious
  • A Powerful Openness
  • Beginning to Wonder
  • Knowing and Not-Knowing
  • Learning to Not-Know
  • Empty Your Cup
  • We Are Culture
  • What Is an Insight?
  • Authentic Experience
  • Honesty
  • What Is a Concept?
  • Concepts Dominate Our Perceptions
  • Masks and Hats
  • Looking for Self in All the Wrong Places
  • The Origins of Your Self
  • What Am I?
  • “Doing” versus “Being”
  • The Never-Ending Story of Me
  • Life in the Loop
  • Living as a False-Self
  • All about You
  • Social Survival
  • Survival Is Not Being
  • Changing from Reaction to Experience
  • On the Shoulders of Giants
  • Feeling Trapped
  • Creating a Place to Stand
  • Looking Both Ways
  • The Nature of Emotion
  • The Paradox of Being
  • A Final Word

Keep in mind, there are even more chapters/ topics in the book! My favorites are in the chapter The Nature of Reality: Fear and Anger

Peter leads the way a bit, provides reflective questions to help us to keep on going the path ourselves. If we would only believe the insights Peter talks about, we would just drop into another concept trap. Have you ever thought about how fear can exist? Fear is only possible in a future space-time and maybe you have already noticed, we live in the Now… A hint: fear is not pain…

Anger and a feeling of being hurt are close friends. You find the fuel for anger in your past. It’s up to you how much you feed that fire. Some let it burn until the therapist fires up the three silver bullets: “You have burnout!

If you know a lot, you are considered clever. If you don’t know much, you are labeled as dumb. Breathing in is a wise move if you like to stay alive - breathing out is considered as intelligent, too!

Besides being a manual, The Book of Not Knowing is also a kind of a dictionary, a travel guide, fun, a translator and liberator. If you are lost in translation at daytimes and are tired of your life in the loop at nighttimes, this book is for you. Thank you, Peter! The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness

Short feedback from Peter:

Thanks for writing about NK. Glad you enjoyed it.
Not sure if “Fear is not pain” will give readers a correct impression, but I doubt it really matters since they’ll have to read up on it anyway.
Thanks for the support, I appreciate it.

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