Pending between extremes, finding the point of balance

In this article I reflect upon finding the moderate way. The point of balance, that allows constant growth. Not aiming too high, for it might frustrate or pressure you, neither aiming too low, for it might limit your potential growth.
To make it concrete, I relate this story to my personal quest of writing, which, as it turns out, was a bit too ambitious in writing 100 articles in just 100 days. Time to realign and remember what the actual goal is.

Enjoy 🙂

When you aim too high, you might get frustrated, when you aim too low, you become stagnant. In finding your path to continuous growth and ever increasing happiness it is all about balance, about finding the proper dosage for multiple aspects of life.

Getting to know the extremes

Where is that balance? Well, it is in between the extremes. To find out that point or area of balance, we sometimes have to investigate the extremes first.

Every aspect of life has these extremes. It is part of the principle of polarity. Hot and cold, love and hate, discipline and laziness and so forth.

What seems like opposite things are in fact the same phenomena, they are just different in degree.

We tend to bounce back from one extreme to the other extreme, which is also very natural. This is called the principle of rhythm. Seldom do we remain stuck on one extreme, but instead move from one pole to the next. The further we move to the one side, the further we move to the other again.

Quite similar it was for me with writing. First I was reluctant to write anything at all, then I created a website and set out to write everyday. I then bounced back again to only writing personally, but not daily and most recently I went back yet another time to the other extreme, when I set out to write one article every day for 100 days.

The constant back and forth can be quite exhausting at times. The key here is to become aware of this process, become aware of the constant movement between the extremes and to then come closer to that point of balance.

Balancing the extremes

Nobody can tell you where exactly that point of balance lies, because this point depends on the concrete aspect and most and foremost on your individual inclination.

Whatever it is, you might want to find a point that is slightly above your comfort-zone. A point that allows you constant growth, without adding unnecessary pressure. A point, that is in accord with your goals and allows steady progression in the pace that fits you.

In my personal case with writing, I set the bar too high. Publicly declaring to write 100 articles in 100 days created extra pressure, which is in my particular case not needed at all. I already tend to be extremely disciplined. I meditate twice a day, I do Yoga 2-3 times a day, I eat healthy and all of these each and every day, just to mention some of my habits. So discipline is not really an issue for me. If I was a lazy person, struggling with my growth, that extra motivation of making that quest public might have helped to exactly reach that point of balance needed to progress. In my case however this does not hold true, for it added pressure where there was needed none. Instead I could set out to allocate 30 minutes everyday to working on this skill.

Zoom out, gain perspective

Sometimes we are too caught up in our everyday work and progress, in creating the habits and fulfilling the set expectations, that we lose sight of the bigger picture. I therefore deem it important to every now and then, zoom out. Take a step back, observe the bigger picture and ask yourself, whether you are still in alignment with your goals, and whether your current path is the most beneficial to achieving them in that it is close to the point of balance.

The last two days I did exactly that. I asked myself what I set out to do here. What is it I want to achieve with this task?

What I set out to do was to improve my skills in the science and art of writing. I also want to let loose of the fear, that the contents I write, might not be good enough to publish.

If I zoom out even more, there are two things I want to achieve in life – fulfilling my full potential on every aspect of being from intellectual, emotional, physical to spiritual and sharing whatever knowledge I have acquired, whatever skill I am mastering with others to help them on their individual journey.

Different angles to master a skill

In that quest writing can be a powerful tool, which is why I want to develop it further. There are however different angles and approaches that help to nurture that skill. Writing something everyday might be the most powerful practice to develop the skill. But I certainly do not need to publish one article every day. I can write my 500-1000 words, without publishing them, eventually resulting in a deeper and more detailed essay on a specific subject. Therefore allowing myself a greater degree of flexibility by incorporating different sorts of texts, from spontaneous short pieces, to articles, pose, essays, short stories and other fictional or non-fictional texts.

I can also enhance my writing by spending more time reading great pieces of literature. Learning from the best and consciously investigating techniques and styles of successful authors, of other bloggers of basically any creative or scientific writer.

There are also courses to take. On communication, on creative writing, expression, arts, or in the areas of knowledge I might want to introduce.

So there really are all kind of ways to improve the skill of writing. And so it is with every kind of skill. All we need to do is to set out the intention and finding the amount of time that allows us to steadily progress in a joyful manner to eventually master the skill we set out to learn.

Realigning myself

Having said that, I hereby readjust my quest of writing 100 articles in 100 days. Instead I shall invest half an hour every day to enhance this skill. I am gonna do so by all sorts of methods, primarily by writing. I will still publish some articles and essays every now and then, but I relieve myself from that unnecessary burden of HAVING to do so every day.

By doing this I hope so to release the pressure, and act more from the level of joy and devotion, rather than ambition. Since ambition and discipline is already there, this action of releasing will bring me closer to the balance. It is that balance, that helps me to come closer to the goal of enhancing the skill, and also closer to the two main goals.

It allows a greater degree of flexibility. Should on one day arise the opportunity to be of greater service simply by being present somewhere else, I would be a fool to let it pass only to fulfil my task that I set out publicly. Instead I can be of direct help somewhere else, without losing sight of the goal of enhancing the skill of writing.

That does however not mean, that I regret setting out the task in the first place. It seems to be a valuable lesson, letting go of that self-created pressure and also distancing myself from the idea to having to do something because others might think less of me if I don’t.

So let this be a reminder to myself, and maybe also to you. To try to find that balance point when it comes to discipline and joy, not to do your actions because of what others might think of you but out of an intrinsic motivation and to realign yourself to your goals every now and then.

You can then practice in private and later share in public, which is in accordance with one of the Yogic rules of behaviour. This rule advises to be rather secretive in your quests and only share your accomplishments once you have achieved them. In that spirit, I will continue to craft my skill for the development of clear and understandable language, in the hope that you too, dear reader, might find inspiration for your own journey, might find ideas that help to access your true Self and develop the principles and skills that help you on your individual path, fulfilling your personal potential, allowing you to contribute to the world family so that we collectively rise to new heights of love, peace and abundance.

Acting from a level of joy and devotion

From an early age on we start to compete against one another rather than to collaborate. This creates a tendency to look for opponents rather, than friends and partners. For many of us, life itself becomes much more of a lonely struggle rather than the pleasant and joyful journey it could be.

The survival of the fittest

In a society that focuses on the individual and the competition against others, we are educated in a way to always fight for ourselves. That way we are supposed to become the most toughest, smartest and most successful persons out there, resulting in a great career of our chosen and a high salary.

With the mindset of competition everything becomes a battle and life itself a constant struggle. That struggle is visible in so many areas of life. It is not just in our educational or professional  system, but also in sports, self-development and even in the spiritual progress.

Benefits of the competitive mindset 

In a world where allegedly only the strongest survive, you are up for constant development, which is in itself certainly not a bad thing. It will help you to strive in multiple aspects.

In the fields of exercise it will help you to develop a strong and healthy body. One that can withstand physical stress and crises, one that allows you to go fast and take you where you want to go. Combined with the right diet and nutrition you can lay some groundwork for living a long life, and provide your body and brain with everything they need to produce peak performance.

In your quest for mental excellence this mindset will allow you to develop a great memory and function at a high level. Your brain capacity and the developed focus will allow you to solve complex problems and to do so for many hours a day to perform well in your job.

In your search for answers and spiritual progress the competitive mindset will help to continue the search and to learn about all the mystical schools out there. It might also bring you to various techniques catered to your own journey.

Slow and steady wins the race

Well? Until here it all sounds pretty well you might say. And this sort of mindset does definitely bring advantages.

In our quest to growth however, we have tendency to just do too much. Too many changes in a brief period of time for the purpose of progress.

We change the diet, quit the job to do something else, meditate as often as we can, go visit the yoga class, read books, quit smoking and drinking, oh and those friends of ours might also not be the most conducive to your growth… 

Surely it is good to have a good diet, good routine and a surrounding that supports the inner and outer evolution. But don’t be too ambitious about it. Discipline might do some good, but only to a certain extent. If we are too ambitious, we create yet another filter, yet another version of our Self, that is not our true Self.

We then act once again from the mindset of struggle – of survival of the fittest. We stress ourselves and the well intended changes become a burden for our intellect. Because in order to keep up with all the changes we try to implement and to reach these ambitious goal, every hour, even every minute of the day needs to be well calculated. There is no more room for error, for chance or just for a moment of nothingness.

The created stress certainly does not help implementing new habits. Therefore the key to create the changes you desire lies in consistency. By introducing small bits and pieces, the probability of these changes really becoming habits, greatly increases.

See the beauty and enjoy the ride

It is then the little successes that already bring tremendous joy for they bring you closer to these goals you set. More so these little steps allow some more flexibility, some more playfulness. Because when it comes to learning, stress will not help at all.

Think about it. Who are the best learners? It’s children. And one of their keys is to make a game out of every circumstance and to simply enjoy the act of learning and discovering. They act a from a level of joy rather than stress. They see the beauty in every aspect, are fascinated by the seemingly irrelevant details.

I think there is a great lesson to learn here. Not just about learning and implementing new habits, but from the way of acting itself. To see the beauty and playfulness in things rather than the struggle.

Acting from a level of devotion

When you start to see the beauty in things and realise, that you are but one part of a great family, you may acknowledge, that your path is not just about yourself, but much more about helping others along their path. The motivation for your growth transforms to a desire for other people’s growth as well. You start to act not just from that level of joy, but from the level of devotion. Devotion to the cause of realising your dreams, to the discovery of our Self, devotion to the evolution of others, the collective, devotion to god.

You may then realise that is not necessarily our own doing. For we are but the instruments through which the heavenly love and light flows, allowing us to do what we do. Devoting oneself to that pure essence is the path of evolution. In it we can let go of the ambitious ego, which strives for power. We can let go of that aspect. Instead the ego expands in the cosmic ego, which is free from the earthly power struggles and acts from a level of love and unprejudiced compassion.

When you get up in the morning, as yourself what you can do today to be of service to others. What can you do to put a smile on people’s faces, to help them through their struggles, to help make the world a happier place.

In this path we may free the intellect of its struggles in finding the best way and simply lay out the foundations, suiting to our path. A path without ambition but full of love and light, of service to others, of service to life itself.

Start small, dream big!

When we think of our dreams, many doubts may arise. Sometimes, they just seem too big, too far-fetched, too long down the way. But we don’t have to achieve it in just one day. If we create a clear vision and consistently work towards the realisation of that vision, anything is possible.

Now I might not be the perfect example to tell this story. I am no published author, no successful CEO of a company and not a well-known motivational speaker. I have not realised my goals, yet. But like you I have dreams. Let this post be a reminder to you and also to myself, never to stop dreaming and continuously working towards that realisation.

The importance of dreaming

Every great story of success starts with but a dream – a faint idea. Without that dream there is nothing to be created. In a mental universe, everything starts with this process. The process from inspiration to the idea, to the emotional dream to the journey and up to the realised goal.

Sometimes we may can’t even tell where this idea is coming from. There might be some doubts in your mind questioning this idea. But nevertheless, it is there – and it wants to be heard. It is not to be doubted or down-talked. It is there for a reason. It is there to be fulfilled.

There might be other persons with somewhat of a similar vision. But no dream is like yours. The others can be valuable partners. You may team up and merge the ideas to create a strong team behind this endeavour. But still your dream remains. And it is yours to fulfil. This is your personal footprint to leave on this earth. It cannot be fulfilled by anybody but you, because this is your dream, your mission, your personal quest in this life time. Start living it and enact it for your own’s sake and for the good of others.

It starts with but a small step

As Confucius used to say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Your dream might seem to be distant, unreachable, but that is only because you have not started to consciously walk the path yet. Once you start with the first steps, it will be much more vivid and don’t even seem half as distant. 

Taking these step is important. It actually turns the dream into a vision. It makes it something real. Because now you are not just thinking about it, you are actively walking towards it. And every day brings you closer to it.

Don’t mind taking the wrong step. Going to the left, sometimes to the right or even taking a step back. As long as you are walking, you are getting somewhat closer. And the more you align yourself, the more direct you will walk towards this dream, this vision, this quest of yours.

Aligning your faculties

 As distant as it might seem now, with the alignment of all your faculties, you will draw the strength and the support of nature needed to achieve your vision. Alignment of what? Alignment of all your capacities: Your thoughts, your emotions, your body and your spirit. It is the alignment of these faculties that brings focus and consistency to the steps you take. They form the dream and make it clearer, let it become something more tangible and eventually turn it into reality.

The level of Mind

You start with your mind. Make that commitment to yourself, not to let go of your dream. Eradicate all these limiting beliefs, that you may not be able to achieve your dream.

You will meet many people not resonating with your idea. Thinking it is too far-fetched, impossible to achieve. You may actually be able to learn something from these encounters and fine-tune your skills of expressing your thoughts and inspiring others. But never let their limiting beliefs get to you.

Whenever you feel they these negative limiting thoughts come to your mind, become aware of them, take a deep breath, and let them go. They don’t belong to you but stem from a surrounding that is formed limiting concepts, that tries to keep you small. But you are not! You are of Devine essence and you can achieve whatever you wish to realise. You can do it!

Celebrate the small successes, tap yourself on the shoulder for every little step you take towards your goal and draw courage in them to go some more.

Established in that can-do attitude, start to actively envision this dream of yours. View it from all possible angles. What starts out rather faint, will get clearer and clearer. Add a detail here and another layer there. Keep on imagining and form that dream of yours. Don’t just do it vaguely, but precisely.

If your dream was to build a big house for all of your family, don’t just picture a house, but be fully creative. Visualise that great mansion, built according to ancient Vastu principles on the hillside of your city, facing the sun to the East. Create every single detail, the colour, the style, the Tesla solar panels on the roof, every single room, every single facet. Try to see the garden around it with the beautiful cherry trees and the blossoms flying through the air and into the baroque style spring with the figurine of David. Whatever it is, be creative and precise. Paint a picture as vivid as possible.

Add Emotion to your dream

Now that you have established that clear vision with all its details, imagine being there. Imagine what it feels like having achieved your dream. Feel the lightness, the strength and the energy in your body. Become aware of the emotions. The emotions of joy, happiness, of great pride and even greater humility for having achieved your dream. Connect these emotions to your vision. Every time you think of it, become aware of these emotions, become aware of the body feeling and the joy it creates in you. That way you form your vision. You make it more tangible. And your very being becomes inflicted with it.

The physical level

Being fully established in that clear detailed vision with all the feelings and emotions of lightness and happiness that come with it, you start to use your body to bring it into actual expression.

You may even want to share your ideas. Express them verbally, thereby bridging that gap from your inner to the outer world. You don’t need to tell everybody about it, but you should not hesitate, thinking it might sound too naive or unrealistic. Don’t be apologetic about it. This is your dream, and nobody can take it. Let nobody doubt you. Keep on believing and inspire others with your dream. 

But most and foremost, take action. What do I mean by that? Quite simple – start doing something. Start taking the first steps. Start walking the path. What is it you need to make your dream turn into reality?

Take action and be consistent

Introduce the actions necessary to walk towards that goal. Start making the changes needed to align yourself. You don’t need to do all at once. Just do one at a time and focus on implementing it. It might be that meditation you want to incorporate to calm your mind and improve the access to that creativity of yours. You don’t need to sit down for 10 hours and meditate straight into Nirvana. Start by taking a small step, maybe a practice of just 10 minutes. But do it daily. Just do it. Show up. You don’t need to build that new habit of yours in a day. By showing off everyday for a full month you will have created a habit. Something that supports you in your quest towards realisation of your goal. And then, off to the next thing, that 15 minutes of journaling to work on your expression and reflection abilities. Incorporate it. And then off to the next. That way you can implement powerful habits bit by bit. Habits that create consistency. It is that consistency that helps you to align yourself and walk more straightly towards your goal.

By aligning yourself, you will receive tremendous support of nature

Constantly introducing these conducive habits stemming from a deep commitment, will help you to access that Devine power within yourself. The level of spirit that originally implanted the dream in you. It will help you as a guide, as a beacon in the tougher times. It will provide you with all the support you need. Because this is what you came here to do, this is your path. And if you have the guts to walk it, nature will provide you with the resources, people and experiences you need to fulfil it.

Believe in yourself, dream big and start walking. One step at a time, but continuously towards realising your goal. Committing yourself to your vision, not only will you fulfil your dream and bring it into realisation. Just by playing full out, you will serve as a great inspiration to all of us, encouraging us to dream big and start walking the path like you do.

Become the best version of yourself

I just watched one of the most amazing videos ever. It was a speech given by Lisa Nichols at Mindvalley’s A-Fest in January 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JLjnwuMcA8). I can’t remember the last time I was being moved to tears like that. Crying like a little boy, and embracing it.

This blog entry shall sum up her main message and add my personal take on it.

The main message is simple and straight forward. Become the best version of yourself. Period. Don’t be ok with mediocracy, because you are unique, you are special and you came here with a Devine quest. Dream big, don’t fear your own brilliance. And it is a given fact, it is in there with you.

Don’t fear your own brilliance

We tent to not dream big enough. Pleasing ourselves with average and being contempt with what is. When in fact there is something in us, a little baby of brilliance, if you want to call it like that, that needs to be brought to this world. It’s our mission to give birth to that brilliance. To that one thing that only we can do.

Each of us adds something completely unique and beautiful to this world. Nobody else has it but you. It is your Devine quest to share that – what ever it is – share THAT with the world. Don’t fear your own brilliance, but fully embrace it.

Don’t look back on the wrong decisions you made. Because guess what, there are no wrong decisions, there is no wrong path, there is but your path. And every so called mistake you made has brought you right here right now. And right here and right now is where you can start your journey yet a new. That journey to greatness. That journey to fulfilling the Devine purpose within you.

Forgive yourself, for everything supposedly wrong you ever did, reach out a hand to that little child within you and give it a hug. It is ok. You are ok. In fact you are more than just ok, you are beautiful, everything about you is beautiful. It is even these imperfections that are beautiful that make you unique that make you – perfect.

Hugging that little child within you, cheer up. Draw courage and look to that version of yourself you are going to become. That strong man, that strong women that shines and inspires others.

Your dream is not just about you

Because that’s what it is all about. Your dream is not just about you, it is in fact about all the others around you. You live your dream not just for yourself – no. You live it, so you become an inspiration for all those around you. So that they too dare to dream big, dare to become the best version of themselves, dare to become brilliant and add their divinity to that heavenly quest. Add it so we all can become one wonderful family together, here and right now.

Fulfil your potential and serve as a role model for all the people around you. Every time they breath but your oxygen, they see but your smile and they feel your loving vibe they will know that they themselves, are here to become that. That Divinity within them. They will dare to dream big, to go beyond what they sought to be possible.

The world needs you

It is this attitude. This mindset and this conviction that is needed. That conviction to become our best selves. Not just for ourself, but for all of us. If each of us can be encouraged to be exactly that we will build a wonderful world. One that inspires everybody to be free, to be authentic to be  themselves. 100% all day every day, singing dancing and speaking in their own unique rhythm adding to the world family their specific field and vibe of joy and beauty.

Be yourself, be authentic, be courageous to be fully you. That Divinity within you. If not for yourself, then please do it for all of us.

Thank you Lisa for sharing your wonderful purpose, for the inspiration. Thank you dear reader for taking the time, for caring, and thank you most and foremost for being here in this wonderful journey together with us. Thank you for sharing your brilliance and light. You are awesome!

Collaboration trumps competition

Individuality is important. It helps us to develop ourselves, discover our potential and distinguish ourselves from our environment. In modern society however there is tendency of an overemphasised individualism – of the idea to compete against others, rather than seeking out help or building something together in the spirit of collaboration.

Where does it come from?

The way of permanent growth might be embedded in Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Most of us have heard the main title of his theory “on the origin of species”, but the subtitle explains it even better: “preservation of favoured races in the struggle of life”, or in other words, the survival of the fittest. That idea, that nature selects those species, which are the toughest, or actually which are the most adopted, to let them evolve. Through this process allegedly men was evolved as well.

There are some flaws to this theory, which are however not subject of this article. It is merely put here to explain, why we might think the way we think.

It starts at a young age

From a young age on we learn to compete against one another. Every now and then there is some teamwork involved, but it does not seem to be emphasised. When we attend school, we are asked to sit quietly most of the time and listen. The teachers ask questions, we raise our hands and get rewarded for the correct answers we give. When it comes to the exams we are on our own again. Only the individual performance is evaluated. From an individual point of view it does not matter, whether you’re classmates fail or not.

It is very similar when you attend college. You might form some learning groups here and there but the educational system itself does not promote collaboration, rather focuses on the individual.

In the job it might evolve to be different. Depending on your corporate environment, you may have to learn to function as a team or a unit. But on the next higher level you are again competing against other companies in an open market.

Even beyond that our society is build on the idea of competition. Whole nations compete against one another in the struggle for political or economical power.

Competition brings advantages but is heavily overrated

The constant competition might help in enhancing specific products. To be able to compete with others, you constantly need to adopt to an ever changing environment. So it seems to add to that swiftness of evolving.

The competition also helps in quickly understanding which ideas work and which don’t. You can have great ideas in your mind, but when you put them out into the real world, driven by a competitive market, you will see really how feasible they are. That way the competition helps to sort out the good from the bad ideas.

But then again one might ask what exactly are good or bad ideas. From the current perspective good means most and foremost one thing – profitable. It does however not include what impact it might have on the life of others. Simply, because we are not raised and incentivised in our education to think about those around us. We are not raised to think about the ecological and social impact of our actions.

The danger of the current paradigm

Now what might have pushed our technological advance, does not seem to be applicable anymore in a world that is deeply connected. Our actions do impact the people next to us and our environment as well.

We are currently facing tremendous ecological challenges. The planet suffers from the exploitation of its resources, the deforestation, the pollution of oceans and natural habitats and the extinction of species.

The challenges are also quite obvious on a social level. Widespread poverty, failing states, and ongoing wars are but some of the prime examples, indicating that the current paradigm is no longer feasible.

These problems appear on such a high scale, that they cannot be solved by just one person, a company or even a nation. They have to be solved by humanity.

Collaboration trumps competition

Each of us comes with unique skills and talents to this life. Talents that can be used to solve specific problems. These skills provide possibility for great ideas and solutions. But sometimes a sort of catalyst might be needed. Another person with another skill to bring forth this aspect of yourself. This is one of the beauties of collaboration. The harmonious promotion of talents within one another.

Beyond the skills it might also be specific fields of knowledge, that alone already bring some insights, but when combined with another faculty offer an even greater understanding.

To solve the complex problems of our current society, we need to draw from different faculties and combine all sorts of talents of individuals to come up with solutions that help each of us. Projects like “the ocean cleanup” are born out of this exact process and can only be formed through the combination of, in this case, experts from the fields of engineering, maritime biology, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and many more. 

To go fast, go alone. To gar far, go together

According to this African proverb, we need to shift to a more collaborative way of thinking. An approach that combines the faculties of all members of a group or a society to come up with the urgent needed solutions for the complex challenges of today.

And after all, isn’t it much more joyful and fulfilling to build and create something together that helps all of humanity, rather than fighting on your own and just for your own good?

How to discover the truth

How do we find reality or the truth? In a world full of religions, philosophies and mystery schools, there seem to be numerous opinions on what reality is. How can we know which of these is the right one? How can we discover truth for ourselves?

All schools offer some insight

Each of the religions, philosophies and mystery schools offer valuable lessons if you study them thoroughly. Lessons, that help you be a genuine person, that help you to answer some of the very questions of life. Nowadays however it seems like many of the original teachings have been lost and have been replaced by some of the practitioners perspectives.

That’s why most of these schools provide you with somewhat distorted answers. What they teach as the ultimate truth is in fact but a perspective. And although each of them claim to be so different from the others, they do talk about the same thing – unity.

Go beyond and find out for yourself

It is easy to follow these concepts, for they provide you with answers and free you of the burden of search. But if you are earnestly seeking, you have to go beyond that and find out for yourself.

It is reasonable to be a healthy sceptic about the concepts introduced to you and to reflect upon them based on your own experience. You still want to remain open though, to let in some of the new knowledge, which in its essence is still there. But you shouldn’t just follow blindly.

Your heart can be a good indicator in feeling what might be true and what not, or what might be true and beneficial for your individual path.

The Vedic way

In the quest of gaining a deeper understanding, I found the Vedic way, which to me offers a very practical approach. The Veda is a compendium of ancient texts stemming from the Indus Valley Culture, describing life itself. It is magnificently structured in that it explains the whole creation in just a letter “A” and then unfolds itself into various books and branches (one of them being Ayurveda).

In the Veda the approach to discover reality consists of three different aspects: direct experience, understanding and validation. Each of these steps are crucial in finding reality.

Most of the schools of thoughts can provide us with understanding and validation. They explain to you what man is and how the world came to be. The Christian teachings might be more appealing to you than the muslim teachings or vice versa. Each of them have reasonable perspectives, that can help you in the quest of gaining a deeper understanding. In your study you may also find many overlaps, pinpointing to a common foundation that predates each of the current religions.

They can also provide you with a sort of validation, stemming from holy scriptures and from the experiences of saints, prophets and the illumined.

But in most of these schools there is one thing missing, which might be the most important of these three. It is the direct experience. Only the direct experience will provide you with a knowingness, that something actually exists.

They can tell you all day long about the God, the universe or the transcendent, the field of underlying unity in all the diversity. But words can never begin to describe what these are. They are beyond intellectual understanding. Only direct experience can show it to you. Until you have had that experience, everything will remain a concept, just words. They might be plausible and appealing words, but they remain words.

Direct experience, understanding and validation will lead you

Whatever school of thought you find appealing, you should find a way to validate their teachings for yourself. They should come along with rituals or techniques, that allow a direct experience. If they cannot provide you with that, you may want to try something else.

Once you have these direct experiences, combined with an understanding and a validation of what happened, you have gained a tool that allows you to discover reality for yourself, irrespective of what others tell you. This is the way to “the truth”.

Demystification of life

We live in a world overemphasising the rational aspect of things. Everything needs to be scientifically proven in order to be accepted by western society as factual reality.

Yet there is much to discover that cannot be explained. Mystical aspects of life, that fascinate and attracts us. Especially in a time of complete rationalism it serves as a welcome contrast. It awakens the child within us and makes us wonder.

Both perspectives, the one of the believer and that of the scientist, offer benefits. Currently our society over-emphasises the rational perspective, leading to a broad demystification.

How did we get here?

A milestone is this development happened in 1859 when Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species”. In his work he argued, that the modern man was shaped through a process of evolution and directly descended from the apes.

He came to this conclusion through observation and keen study of his environment and reflected upon his observations based on his beliefs and constructs. It is therefore a valid conclusion. However it is only one possible perspective, not the ultimate truth.

Even Darwin himself knew of the flaws of his theory: “the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain ; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

Despite these flaws the theory remains widely accepted.

With his scientific approach of describing the world he dawned the age of science and rationalism. An age which brought tremendous achievements for humankind, in areas of economics, gross physical medicine and our understanding of our surroundings.

But it also led to the demystification of our world. Things that were formerly described to stem from god, or created by higher forces, were suddenly rejected as being unscientific by a growing amount of people in the society.

There is more than the naked eye can see

Despite the achievements of science there still is a lot which cannot be explained by it (or only by using rather unscientific assumptions to somehow fill in the gaps). Nowadays, many are of the belief, that what is not proven scientifically cannot be existent. So in order for something to be proven scientifically it needs to be perceptive through the senses, or at least through the help of a measuring tool serving as an extension of these senses.

One thing is for sure. Only because something has not been proven scientifically, which might as well be simply the result of a missing instrument of measurement, does not mean it is not existent. In fact there is a whole universe of phenomena (subtle bodies, psychic phenomena, subtler levels of nature…) to discover that goes beyond what we chose to accept to this day.

Throughout history, there have been thousands of first hand reports from people actually experiencing these extra-sensual phenomena. The scriptures of ancient cultures are full of “stories” about angels, higher forces and technology. How can that be? Are all the stories false and the experiences people make just pure imagination?

Certainly not. There is more to it. We may just not have the right tools yet, to affirm specific phenomena or we may simply have not refined our own senses to an extent, allowing us to perceive things beyond what is called “normal”.

The moderate way

Being open to these subtle aspects can bring deep insights, if accompanied by the mind. After all why shouldn’t we use all the capacities that are given to us. Both heart and mind offer different perspectives that lead to a comprehensive understanding.

The purely scientific approach might limit and block us from gaining insights, because certain aspects have not been proven. Whereas the purely believing aspect might lead us to believe everything we hear, creating a world of pure imagination, far away from any factual reality.

Instead we should enjoy the benefits of both these approaches. Both represent extremes of the same thing. They seem to be opposite, but are in fact two sides of the same coin, just different in degree. They can therefore be reconciled and balanced, to gain the best out of both these approaches:

Demystification in explaining things rather objectively and irrespective of the personal background, allowing to credibly introduce the idea to others, who have not made the experience themselves.

The believing aspect, in experiencing that knowingness of a higher force, in the curiosity and the fascination for that what seems to be unexplainable.

Let in the mystical

The way to go is the balanced path. A healthy scepticism as well as a childish curiosity for the wonders of the world. Let in a bit of the mystic! It opens up new perspectives which in the end can only lead to a deeper understanding of specific aspects and most and foremost of the bigger picture behind the specifics, of life itself.

And isn’t it so much more interesting to grow up and live in a world where things are unsolved and still need to be discovered, rather than having everything in a predetermined box already? A world full of mystics and questions. Isn’t it so much more intriguing to investigate and explore deeper and deeper again?

Go beyond your limitations

Mankind is a species of habit. Based on our childhood, on our education and the experiences we make, we develop certain concepts to explain the world around us. This is a very helpful tool in coping with all the different impressions we perceive everyday. Especially in a world evolving so quickly. Although helpful most of the times, it can also hinder us from further growth, which is why we should always be open to rethink and adjust or even neglect our concepts.

The Safe House

In a way these concepts we form become like an actual physical construct. Like a small house, that we build around us. It offers us comfort and safety. When we interact with the world, we open the shutters and let some light in, knowing that in this house we are secure. Everything that comes in, comes through the windows, which are like lenses. They filter every information based on our experiences. It becomes quite difficult to see the world for what it is, since we always see it through these filters.

Although this house offers tremendous comfort, it also comes with limitations. Since we feel so safe in it, we tend to be reluctant to change anything about it. Often times, instead of taking the impressions in for what they are, we tend to reaffirm what we already believe to know. We don’t really search for new insights, but for a confirmation of the construct we have built. Most of the times it happens sub-consciously. We are not even aware of that process.

The safe house therefore becomes more of a limitation, something that is holding us back in our personal evolution. Some might even call it a prison!

Societal Level

This process appears not only on an individual scale, but also on a societal level. Take the subject of ancient civilisations for example. Modern science tells us, that civilisation is about 5,000 years old and that prior to that time, we were hunters and gatherers.

This is the construct that has been built, the lens through which every new information is seen.

There is however information, that strongly suggests that civilisation dates back far longer than that. Even with hundreds of out of place artefacts, scientists are not willing to change their point of view.

This gets even more evident with the Sphinx in Egypt. According to geologists, the erosion on the outside of that structure could not have been caused merely by sand and wind. Only heavy rainfalls could have caused erosion like that. How is that possible? Egypt is not really known for that kind of weather. The last time the region had strong rainfalls needed to cause such an erosion was after the last ice age, dating the Sphinx to be at least 12,000 years old.

Despite this clear evidence, contemporary egyptologists do not sway from their opinion. Since all of their theories are built on that foundation of civilisation being 5,000 years old, they are not willing to alter their point of view for it would question everything they believe in.

So instead of taking in new information to possibly gain a clearer understanding of reality and of the questions we ask, the information is merely used to reaffirm what is already there. And if it does not fit that concept it is neglected as unsubstantial. 

Step out of the prison, go beyond your limitations

For true evolution, we have to go beyond these limiting beliefs. The first step is to become aware of our constructs and beliefs. See them for what they are and try to understand where they are coming from. This will allow us to become more self aware and gain a deeper understanding of our Self. It may also help us to discover some flaws in the constructs we have created.

It would be too much to ask, and also not very practical to get rid of these constructs all at once. Instead, we can begin to question them, to alter them and to remain open for new insights. Every day offers tremendous potential for new learning experiences. And a certain degree of openness is essential, at least to widen these limiting beliefs. So that the small prison may evolve to a mansion, a whole field, a country, the planet, and one day may even evolve to the whole universe.

At this moment there are no longer any concepts at place, but pure reality for what it is. And doesn’t that sound intriguing? Isn’t that something worth striving for?

Let us therefore remain constantly open. Open for new insights, open for new perspectives, open for questioning our current beliefs to gain a deeper understanding of our Self and our surrounding.

It may be uncomfortable, surprising or even difficult at times, but employing that principle and having it in mind, will undoubtedly lead us to a deeper understanding and accelerate our growth as an individual and as a society. 

Podstel – Place to be in Bucharest

Deeply rested after the meditation course, I continued the journey in Romania. Luckily I was not alone, but had some amazing people from the course with me. We travelled along the coast to Vama Veche, a beautiful little town at the shores of the Black Sea. Although the main season had passed, we could still get a taste of the atmosphere of what is still considered to be a hippie town. Indeed it has a special atmosphere.

joyful atmosphere on the shores of Vama Veche

We had a wonderful time, with many little adventures. Walking in the beach, watching the sun set or going for a mud bath.

It was really nice to have some meditators with me and extend the feeling we enjoyed at the retreat. Finally however the day came where the boys had to go back to their lives. We thus headed back to Bucharest.

Alone in Bucharest

After the last one of my travel mates had left, I was on my own for the first time since the journey had started. Having no plan may sound like a lot of fun, but it hit me right then, that it can also be quite a challenge. Not knowing where to go and what to do next, I decided to stay some more days and see where life would lead me to.

On Couchsurfing, I found Daniel. His personal story about travelling the world and eventually opening a hostel to create a special place for travellers inspired me. I still went for an Airbnb first. The story however kept coming up in my head and clearly pointed me to go that place – to Podstel Bucharest.

Beginning of a new adventure

The moment I arrived, I felt comfortable. Stepping in to their door, I was asked to name one of my favourite musicians. I was thus welcomed with Johann Sebastian Bach’s soothing vibes of harmony. This was indeed a special place and as I would soon find out, the beginning of yet another adventure.

After spending one night, I went for a long walk with Paulo, a medical doctor from Rio, who is part of the Podstel Team. We had a wonderful day, exploring Bucharest, its historical sights and its vibrant orthodox chapels. After that walk, Paulo asked me to stay. There was a special event coming up and he wanted me to participate.

The Annual Podstel Gathering

Once a year Podstel closes down its two hostels in Bucharest to gather all of their friends which they have met during their travels, to meet up, enjoy each others company and share the knowledge gained. As fate would have it, one of them had cancelled last minute so there was one spare bed for me.

Thus began yet another beautiful week. Admittedly it was bit tough at the beginning. Coming from a retreat of deep meditation, the change to the vibrant atmosphere of Bucharest and the hostel was rather drastic. Yet a good opportunity to integrate the increased level of silence. I stuck with my program, took my time and started to get to know what turned out to be a unique and highly diverse group of people, including retired high school teachers, life coaches, young entrepreneurs, business professionals, authors, students, nutritionists and enthusiastic travellers.

In the mornings we had the opportunity to participate in Yoga classes from an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. I immediately signed up and was indeed grateful to learn some more postures, gain some new insights and share the joy of practicing Yoga together.

Throughout the day we attended a variety of workshops. Although very condensed, some of them were quite inspiring. I especially enjoyed Hannah’s talk on minimalism. I had heard about the concept before and was keen to dive deeper into the topic. The idea of stripping away the excess and focusing on what’s important appealed to me. Especially since it is not just about the things we keep, but about the emotions we feel, about the actions we perform. It is about prioritising and finding what is dear to us in this life, about finding purpose and becoming part of a community that strives to spread love and inspiration. She rounded it up wonderfully with the phrase: “create more than you consume”.

Equally inspiring was Cynthias introduction in the mucus less diet healing system. This concept was brought up by Arnold Ehret, a German nutritionist from the early 20th century. He suggested cutting out any food that would build mucus in the body, which in its essence points to a mainly plant-based diet, with lots of raw fresh food. Cynthia herself had lived on that diet for a couple of years now and it had helped her to free her body of toxins and more so, to get in tune with nature. I could sense right a way, that she spoke from a position of love and clarity. Not only from what she said, but from the delicious food she prepared for us.

These are just two of many beautiful presentations dealing with a variety of topics such as, traveling the world for free, understanding and dealing with one’s fears or the art of seduction.

Besides the inspiring presentations we went on an amazing hike, to which I will dedicate its own little entry, and rounded it off with a relaxing day at the spa. In that week I learned a great deal of transforming knowledge and more so, built many new friendships. Friendships for future travels and maybe even for common projects. I am truly grateful for that magnificent week.

group shot of the Annual Podstel Gathering 2018

Should you ever be in Bucharest, go check out Podstel. It is a wonderful place where both travellers and locals get together and share the joy of knowledge and inspiration.


Lovely people, deep wisdom and ever increasing bliss

Just one day after my last day at work, I flew over to Bucharest, Romania to start my little adventure. The days before had been somewhat chaotic so I felt relieved, that finally the journey had begun.

In Bucharest I met up with some friends from Germany, so that we could depart together to  Mamaia, Romania to attend the International Young Meditators Course. Mamaia is a beautiful little land strip located at the Black Sea. We were very lucky to have both the beaches of the Black Sea, as well as a beautiful lake right next to the Hotel we were staying at.

Black Sea shores in Mamaia

We were welcomed with open hearts and thus began 10 beautiful days full of joy and deep meditation.

Transcendental Meditation

The International Young Meditators Course is an event, organised by the Global Country for World Peace. In this course young people from all over the world come together to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM), brought to the world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

TM is a simple to learn technique with profound effects. Not only is it joyful to do, but you can actually witness the transformation you undertake, expanding your consciousness and living a more joyful life. It is taught one on one by a certified teacher. After receiving your mantra, you continue to practise twice a day for 20 minutes. Having tried different techniques before, I stuck with this one as it provided a systematic and effortless access to that inner field of absolute bliss and silence. A field I had formerly tapped into just by mere chance.

On such a course the routine consists of three main ingredients: deep prolonged meditations and Yoga, knowledge sessions, dealing with a variety of spiritual topics, and sharing the joy of togetherness.

Deep rounding and the group effect

Due to the support of both the environment and the experienced teachers, we were able to prolong our usual programme, during the course. We did two rounds in the morning and two more in the afternoon. One round consists of a set of Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, TM and rest. The Asanas are easy to do and help to direct your awareness on your inner body, preparing you for the meditation. Being relaxed and warmed up, you continue with Pranayama, more specifically anuloma viloma, a breathing exercise. This breathing exercise increases the coherence of the brain and calms you down even further allowing you, in the most gently manner, to drift over to the meditation practise itself.

Being in a group, you are supported by each of its members. One might think that meditation was only an individual and exclusively inward directed technique, but on subtle levels you keep interacting with your environment. Diving into the deeper levels of your Self, you create a higher level of coherence, not just within, but around you as well. Now imagine being in a room with 50 people, each of them radiating peace and love, you might begin to understand the cumulative effect that is created. It is a silent and joyful atmosphere conducive to deep experiences.

With each day I began to shake away the stressful days before the journey and explored deeper states of being, feeling joyful and connected to everything that is.

High spiritual knowledge

Another beautiful aspect of the course were the knowledge sessions. Usually a tape of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi would be presented. Dealing with all sorts of topics, from higher states of consciousness, the concept of karma to practical day to day wisdom, like the proper way of communication. I enjoyed each of the tapes for the knowledge displayed stimulated my thirst for wisdom and gave practical advice.

One thing that really stuck with me is “Yogasthah Kuru Karmani” – established in Yog (Self, Being), perform action. To be established in Self, means that you are your true Self. It is that transcendent quality within yourself. When you dive deep in meditation you might access exactly that. It is rather vague in the beginning, difficult to comprehend, yet strangely familiar and peaceful. Experiencing this state on a regular basis, more and more of it will be integrated and become vivid within yourself. You peel of layer after layer of all the constructs that are built around yourself to eventually become your true Self. Being established in this state means that there are no more constructs, just you. You don’t worry about the future or past, about success or failure, you are simply present in the moment and from that state, you perform action. Stemming from that level of joy and silence, the resulting actions will be much more powerful and beneficial, not just for yourself but for everybody around you.

Friendships built

In the environment of the course this idea becomes ever more vivid. Experiencing that state of being on a daily basis, the creativity and joy rises and rises. In each conversation I had, I experienced deep connectedness and inspiration. It was actually during this course that I became more and more inspired to actually write this blog. But it is not just the deep mediation and conversation, but more so the prolonged walks on the beach, the swimming in the ocean, the music by the lake and the beautiful outing to the Danube Delta, that gave great joy and became the foundation of many new formed friendships.

It is a true delight to experience such an immediate connection with people from all around the world. Each of us has its own cultural and personal background, its story to tell, yet on the level of being we are all connected. 

My friend Dorian and me enjoying a most stunningly beautiful sunset

Connect and share the joy

It is that experience of connectedness that provides optimism for the time to come, for it is not just this little group of mediators that radiates love and positivity.

I think we can consider ourselves lucky to be part of this period, in which collective consciousness is on the rise. Now to boost this rise even further, I would deem it essential not only to create more of these groups, but to start connecting with others as well. Start to see the common purpose, regardless of your cultural background, of the meditation technique you practice and the religion or philosophy you follow. So we may experience together the joy of this life, as we did during this wonderful course. 

Group shot of the 2018 International Young Meditators Course