Archive | Germany

Transition from Germany to France

After some wonderful and extremely intense weeks in Germany, I’m now in France. It will take me a while to sort out all the inspiring meetings I’ve had and all new thoughts I got. Promise to post the essence of it, here on the blog in the coming weeks.

The high speed train took me from Cologne to Paris in five hours and now I’m in Chartres, couchsurfing at Collin’s and his girlfriend’s flat. Long interesting talk yesterday evening about Big Heart of Humanity, religion and a lot of other stuff.

Can see the cathedral from my window!

This was the best tarte au citron I ever had, they for sure know how to make cakes and cook in France. But I crashed into the rest of the country and am just recovering from the culture chock.

If I exaggerate at bit — no one knows english, everything is half broken, the wi-fi and my computer don’t match, I had to change hotel because they apparently had lost my internet booking …

Well, now I’ve taken some deep breaths, opened my heart and I start to like France. People are friendly and we manage with a little english and a little french. The trains leave on time and it’s beautiful and charmante. I love France!

What do we see? The house, the sky, the bottom, the autumn leafs, the water surface, the mirroring of the tree?

What do we see? The contrasts, the colors, the patterns, the lines, the light, the dark?

What do we feel? think?

What is really there …

The Heart doesn’t care, it just loves it all.

Town centre and the cathedral.

Autumn still life.


All picture from Chartres today.

The Earth inside out

For me the Ruhr area in Germany has always been the symbol of environmental disaster. So when Gisela from the integral group in Dortmund invited me to come and see how the area has changed, I really got excited.

We have been around in the area and seen how the landscape has been shaped by the coal mining during the last centuries and how it’s now reshaped for our time. The spoil tips turned into parks with sculptures and view towers on top and the industry grounds turned into lakes.

Sitting on the top of a spoil tip, looking out over the green landscape we contemplated all the effort the previous generations have put into building the society we benefit from today. Gisela’s father was an engineer in the coal mining industry and they had big disagreements. I’ve been active in the environmental movement since my early teens.

We both sat there and felt into the energy of modernity; of building big industries, to harvest the resources from nature in order to make life better for humanity. We felt the power and beauty in that impulse and we felt gratitude for all their hard work. Work that we benefit from so very much today.

Today we can see the downsides of coal mining, heavy industry and not thinking about nature. They couldn’t then, they had other priorities.



Selfless Sunflower

Got a newsletter from Adyashanti this morning, with a quote:

“When you feel and watch presence expressing itself through your humanity, you see it moves in an entirely selfless way, not because it is morally the right thing to do, but because it is selfless to begin with.” ~ Adyashanti

Took that sentence and changed “your humanity” to “nature”. Why don’t you try that yourself now … 

Then I sat down to meditate
and the sunflower was there in front of me
and we met in that space of selfless presence

No guilt, no projections, no suffering
Only presence and love

What if, not only now and sunflower …

Plants inside out

I’ve had three wonderful days in Osnabrück, couchsurfing with Jorma. We had so many wonderful and deep talks about everything that is going on in the world. Just lovely to spend time with her!

We went to the botanical garden one afternoon and looked at the plants and reflected on our relation to nature.

When I was a teenager I was as a member of the Field Biologist Club. We spent many, many hours to figure out the names of the plants, by looking them up in the flora.

In doing this we learned to see both details and the whole impression of the plant. When we were walking in nature  our eyes were open and as soon as we saw something that we didn’t recognize we stopped. Often it was just some feeling of that this plant was a little bit different. The leafs a bit more oval, the color of the flower a bit brighter, the form of the stem a little thinner …

Then, when examining the plant, we really had to look close. Is the stem of the leaf longer than the leaf? Are the sepals striped? Are the leaf ribs distinct?

When we found the name, we knew how the plant was related to other plants, where it was growing geographically and what biotopes it liked. We got to knew our new friend and we put her in a nice little labeled box.

The seeing I learned back then is still a huge part of my photography. To open my eyes and see what’s there. To be conscious about my surroundings.

But my relation to plants has changed.
As a botanist it’s me looking at IT.
The relation is entirely on my side and I’m not open to the plant in it self. It’s an object.
An object with certain criteria that distinguish it from other plants.
It’s fun to have seen many different plants!

As a nature photographer I look at the beauty of the plants
I admire them, take photos of them and really love them
But it’s still me seeing IT.
The relation is me seeing the plant.

With an open heart it’s possible to relate in an other way
To meet a YOU in the plant
To be a WE
To relate and be present with the Plant

It’s not easy … it takes time … and presence …

Occupy Hamburg

I visited Occupy Hamburg in the centre of the town.
Talked to the demonstrators and asked them about how they think we could organize our economy so that we not only care for all humans but also for nature and the planet.

Nobody knew how we are going to do it.
But everyone agreed that this is important.
That it’s about the whole planet
and it’s about a shift in consciousness.

I really liked the feeling there, a bit like being back in the 70:ties, at some demonstration against nuclear power or cars.
But this is more open, more searching and definitly more aware of the power of heart and collective consciousness.
We evolve!

Birds in Hamburg

Went for a walk in Hamburg. Down at Binnenalster I met a lot of birds and humans having a good time together in a very human influenced environment. Apparently the birds like cities just as we do. A lot of food and opportunities …

How will it be in hundred years from now?
Will we have expanded our human territory so much that all animals lives together with us?
A global civilization that is a good place for all living creatures …

Or will we stop our expansion, put up borders around us and say that we won’t step further, leaving untouched places for wild life.
Or will we just grab the whole planet for our spices and the others can have the bread crumbs …

To Hamburg with Freja

If you travel from Kiel to Hamburg with the train, you join four other people at the ticket machine and together you buy a group ticket. In this way you pay 8€ instead of 30€ for the trip, great!

An other advantage is that you connect to people :-)

I had a wonderful trip together with Freja who studies law and democracy. We talked intensively for one hour and twenty minutes. She is really burning for democracy and is going into politics to DO it. We went into the problems with having to always make compromises and taking decisions in tuff situations. If we want to live in a democracy, we need to take care of our politicians. And we don’t.

We talked about the planet, about our shared connection to trees, about that we are so many humans on this planet and about our impact.

She is training taekwondo and I trained aikido, so we talked about the shared fields you can experience during intense practice or meditation. What are these fields? Do we have a human field?

I should have asked to take a picture of her, but suddenly the train was in Hamburg and she had to hurry … have to learn to use my camera earlier … so the picture is from the railway station in Hamburg. It’s a huge place … much bigger than what’s on the picture.

Ilse in Kiel

An email to Integrales Forum in Germany resulted in an answer from Hanna in Kiel. We had a intense and lovely Thursday evening together and then she left for a weekend seminar. And I was also about to leave, when her mother, Ilse, invited me to stay. So I did.

Have had three wonderful days here, talking a lot with Ilse, walking, working, cooking …

Ilse has been teaching meditation for decades and is working with earth healing in a lot of ways. Now she is 85 and is slowing down, letting life become smaller and more quiet..

For me it has been so wonderful to be with her, listen and open to her slower pace. Relax and see what is really important. Connect to her way of seeing nature as filled with energy beings and love. Thank you!


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