Merry Christmas

My dear readers,
I send out some surprises allready, but i am sure most of them haven’t arrived yet.
Thats why i am giving you another present right here.
it is once again picture time:

And now for all the fans of furry animals…i give you tigers!

Now we take a night train to our next destination… what an adventure.
So long
Ole

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from Then to Now

Dear readers,

i am pushing myself to finally write another blog entry.
it has been more than a month, the last time it has been so long between two entries was when i was in the middle of the pacific i think.
At least i have a good excuse 😉

Anyhow lets start at the beginning.
Rose and i explored the mountain springs of the Krabi-province. Blue pools and hot waterfalls were awaiting us in midst a beautiful jungle.
We were quite enjoying these natural wonders and relaxed a little before we took a bus that took us straight into a spooky Bangkok.
We met up with old friends Nico from Infinity and my friend Rawi that i met last time i was in Bangkok. Together we jumped into the Halloween parade on Khaosan Rd.
After Halloween war over we readied ourselves for the North.
Our Hotel-concierge recommended to go up early as the festival of lights “Loy Krathong” would be in full flow. So we jumped in the next available bus to Chiang Mai to catch a view of the lantern fest. It was breathtaking.
Like ghosts or ascending souls all over the sky the lanterns were flying.
In columns of thousands, never ending.
They were rising up to the clouds where the flames where extinguished by the moisture.
On their way up however they created a second starry sky.
The river was full with little floating candles which were joined by descending lantern paper.
Of course we joined the madness and wrote our wishes on a skylight and let it fly to unknown heights.
The next day, we were not really expecting anything and had just changed hostels, we got notice from the monastery: “Now is the time, the next opening is in a week”
We were confused, as a couple days later we got information, that we could just walk in.
But we quickly packed our necessities and i tried to contact my parents, so they wouldn’t be worried when their son suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth for a month 🙂

The monastery was intense to say the least.
Feelings that have boiled unknown, ideas and thoughts that presented themselves and memories well remembered and also long forgotten all tried to keep me from the present moment. Some still do.
Meditation is a great exercise to get calm, to discover inner truths and to build up grey matter in the brain. I hope it will be seen as necessary as brushing our teeth in the future.
But enough of that.
Now i am out and on my way to the next adventure 🙂

So Long
Ole

p.s. Pictures will follow soon.

Accept, Accept, Accept – a meditation retreat

Acknowledge,
Thinking, thinking, thinking,
sitting, sitting, sitting,
Rising, falling, rising, falling,
annoying noise in the background..accept!
Hearing the timer
stretching
Standing standing standin
getting ready to walk
raising, moving, setting,
raising, moving, setting
feeling anger…accept
raising, moving, falling,
thinking about what i will do when i come back to germany
-You are here now! Be in the present moment! Accept!

This is basically my head for the last 10 days.
And this is what was going on with my body
-Waking up at 4.00 am
-meditation: walking, sitting, walking, sitting
-breakfast at 6.30am
-sweeping the courtyard for 15 minutes
-Meditation
-lunch at 10.30am
-sweep the yard for 30minutes
-meditation
-report to the teacher at 5.30pm
-meditation
-go to bed at 10pm

No talking allowed, no books, no internet, no diary
just meditation!
Everybody, except for the Monks was wearing completely white clothing.

Does this sound like prison?
well prison is more luxurious 😉
But I can recommend it to anybody who wants to find out something about himself!

The whole Vipassana retreat was in the Monastery Wat Rampoeng in Chiang Mai.
Thank you Kuno for telling me about this place!

An introduction to Buddhist teaching:

Life is Suffering!

When a baby is born, does it laugh?
No it cries!
We suffer when
-we are born
-we are sick
-we are aging
-we die
and
-we loose a loved one
-we have to be together with somebody we hate

why did i divide these two?
The first 4 are nonself causes, we cannot influence them, not even Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed… could resist aging and dying (lets not argue about getting sick)

The second 2 are, as you probably guessed Self inflicted problems.

The 3 causes of suffering

-Anger
-Ignorance
-Attachment/Desire
If you compare these 3 to the 7 deadly sins from christianity you will find a lot of similarities.

The ways to overcome suffering are:
Wisdom, Love and Compassion.
These are achieved through effort.

Thats it 😉

The retreat actually shows you suffering:
Pain in Knees etc, thoughts, emotions….
accept, accept, accept

This develops a mindfulness to your body…really good stuff.

But i don’t want to write a book here …yet 😉

But i want to show you some pictures 🙂

_DSC0911every building has dragons in front, they themself are eaten by other animals…i have not yet understood the symbolic 🙂
_DSC0912The Pagoda: it took me 40 minutes to walk around_DSC0913The Gong: when hit it produces a very cool vibrating deep sound, when stroked on the middle a humming _DSC0914

The most beautiful but hardest place to meditate, crawling with ants, and mosquitoes, just so much distraction!! _DSC0916 The library, my standard meditating spot, cool and mosquito free 🙂_DSC0917The Buddha of the Library_DSC0919 Amazing Woodwork, i don’t know how much you would pay for this !handworked! door in Germany…the monastery was full of it!!

_DSC0920The technique of the “mindful prostration” on the top, which was the “warm-up” for the mind before each meditation session 4 times a day.
And of the walking 🙂

_DSC0933After the 10 days, i am staying with Ay (left) now, a exchange student who spent 1 year in my village in germany…but more from that the next days 🙂

So long
Ole 🙂

_DSC0915