vrijdag 25 december 2009


Today is the last day of my meditation marathon. This morning I did a writing meditation, at the kitchen table with two yellow candles, while outside it was snowing. Somehow I had the feeling that I entered a lighter place in myself.
Eventhough I did not even know I was in the dark.

I wrote about the power of limitation. How it helped me to write on this blog, because I had one topic. Meditation. When I can write about Life, words block, it is too big. Before the meditation marathon this blog was almost empty. But a small entrance gave me space to write. And actually meditation gives a broad terrain - it includes whole life.

So I will keep filling this blog with limitation. And I will limit myself in the new year. These last days I will think how. Which limitations make me grow? Which theme gives me space to write about life? Which commitment, like meditating every day, helps me to go deep?

Limitation as a gift, as an entrance for a broad terrain like a new year.

May you all limit yourself in a deep and meaningfull way ;)!

dinsdag 22 december 2009

Low sun and long shadows

It stayed with me the last days, the subject of light and shadow.

It occurred to me a week ago. It was midday. The sun was shining, but low in the sky.
This gave the big oak in my garden a huge shadow on the fresh snow.

When the light is low, the shadows are long.

Midwinter is a time that shows us our shadows. Shadows show you who you are on this earth. Your bare form, reflected on the white earth, as an almost too clear mirror. No leaves, no flowers. When the sun is low, there is space for reflection. It can be hard to see our dark side; old patterns of impatience, old habits of feeling lonely.

But actually it is a gift. By seeing it we have the space to let go. Because we can only let go of things that are visible.

Yesterday we celebrated midwinter in my house. We built a snow igloo. And in the igloo a fire. The igloo reflected the orange fire. We were standing in an orange circle amidst of snow that made the shortest night light. We through in the fire a Branch of holly (the tree of letting go) and of oak ( the tree of building up) and a note with a word that we wanted to let go. Our shadow was eaten fast by the fire.

By seeing you shadow, you can let go. You can see you are not only this shadow. By burning it we became our own light, shining from within.

From the flower that I planted after burning my shadow Impatience, already grows some Patience. Patience with the sun rising within.

woensdag 16 december 2009


The snow shines as if
the full moon has fallen
from the sky on earth

Guided meditation

A small circle
of new people
on brown leather couches

I lead them to
a situation of joy
of nourishment

The circle gets wider
in between us
are acres of land
covered with fresh snow

We are hold by space
the world fits in our circle

With eyes open close together
around a candle
new to each other

With eyes closed
long familiar
floating in spaciousness


Yesterday morning. With 5 friends in front of my new kitsch Christmas altar. Full of lights, angels and maria's. The garden white from thin snow. Half an hour of deep silence. Strong silence, because we are together.

Yesterday evening. I was alone in my atelier. Nobody came to the Open meditation evening. I felt alone. I did not meditate, but, as a way of distracting myself, I put some more Christmas decoration in my shop-window. Hanged around for half an hour. And than my good friend A. showed up after all. We nestled us on the electric blankets while outside it was freezing. We listened to Jaya's talk from Tiruvannamalai. A. and I were there five years ago. And now again. We heard the rickshaws on the background of the recording. The chickens and the cooks. We stayed longer in our warm nests than planned.

Friends help.

zaterdag 12 december 2009

Free forest?

Walking meditation with my little chiwawa. The sun was sinking. The top of the trees were orange. The sky pink. I left everything at home. My wallet, my bag, to let go of all commitments, only my phone I could not leave behind, as a last piece of busy market mind.
Step by step I slowly arrived in the cold winter air. My dog was happy running really fast on the path before me. Almost there was peace.

Until a policewomen with a gun on her belt walked in my direction.
'Is that your dog?' pointing to a little white point running further and further.
I felt almost proud when I said Yes. So much joy in such a little animal.
'That will cost you 40 euro.'

Gone with the peace. There was no compassion, no love, no patience. Only anger.

'We're in nature! Dogs have to run now and then.'I said it with a red head of blood rushing.
'It is not allowed, he will disturb.' When I stared in disbelief at the police woman I saw she wore blue make-up.
'Did you see my dog, you think this little animal will disturb any one?' I asked.
'I want to see your ID'
'My ID? I am in a forest!'
'You are obliged to bring it anywhere. I want to see you bankcard.'
'Also at home.'
'Your phone?'
'Yes,' and I showed it. The police woman seemed relieved. Ha, now she could identify me.
She asked my number and called me. My Hindi song-ring tone that certainly disturbed more people and animals than my dog that still was dancing around us made her finally believe I was somebody. Nanda with a phone number. Not a human walking freely.

She wanted to join me to my home, but I could not handle the thought of having her in my house. I crossed my arms and fiercely said 'no way.'
It worked. She would send me the penalty. 40 euro for a free walking dog, plus 20 euro for me not having an ID.

I walked away full of tension. I hated Holland. Stupid rules.
Yes, she could me symbolic for my inner censor - fining me when I get too free.
Yes, she could teach me to love and accept every human being.

But she did not. I was just angry. Pfff.

But I have to admit - she gave me a good story after all.

vrijdag 11 december 2009

Market meditation

I have been standing on the christmas-market this week, selling book and Indian blankets. 'Real Kashmiri blankets!' I was telling every just a little interested by passer. And to any one slightly more interested 'A part of the money goes to Sister Mary's micro credit project.' I told it so many times, that I lost the meaning of it.

With my meditation marathon I had to be creative. There was not much time and space. Just that one minute that no one came by and I could sit on my chair.
I tried to concentrate on my breath, my heart, any inner space that I could find amidst of selling marketmen. 'Everyhing half of the half price!' yelled the men selling Christmas ligts. It started my business mind again. Maybe I should also lower my prices. I did not sell enough.

But happily I had a neighbor selling sausages. And in the time that he did not have enough customers (and I was sitting on my chair, trying to meditate)he was yelling: wake up! wake up!
With my eyes closed it became a spiritual message. Wake up. Wake up to the light in yourself! Wake up to what is really important! To support single Indian women! To pass on their stories. Wake up. Do not lower your prices as if the women are sausages. Wake up.

He is still there in my head, this sausage-seller, that by the way was very smart in selling and told customers every story they wanted to hear. Yes horsemeat! No horsemeat! He sold twice as much as me.
He does not know it. But the sold me a very TASTYTASTYTASTY spiritual sausage.

I woke up. And sold some more REAl KASHMIRI blankets. To pass on the light.

zaterdag 5 december 2009

Madonna meditation

This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

At home. Tired. Heavy.

Don't talk to me. Talk to me. Leave me alone. Don't leave me alone. Not tonight. Yes tonight - she wakes up.
In an instance she gets up from my bed. Instead of sitting in front of my altar, she walks to the stereo. She puts up Madonna. She takes of my dirty working jeans, puts on her new pink dress and starts to dance. The music loud. A party for two. For her and me. I missed her. We are on the beach. It's full moon. A sensual night. Together we meditate on the beats. This is who we are.

At home. Alive. Light.

donderdag 3 december 2009

The other side

Today I had an appointment so sit at 7.30 am.
My alarm clock waked me up roughly.
It was raining. I was tired. I went to the toilet.
Took my cushion. Wanted to walk to my housemates room. Turned around, dropped the cushion, went back to bed and slept.

It was the second time this week I decided NOT to do something. Tuesday evening I had a party in a city one hour away. I biked to the station. Bought a salad to eat in the train. On the platform I turned around and walked back to my bike and went home and to bed early.

I always teach my students to also write about the backside of things.
Write what you remember, but also what you do not remember. "I remember it was hot last summer and that I swam a lot, I do not remember if I did this naked."

Natalie Goldberg says in her book Wild Mind: 'Sometimes we write along one highway of "I remember" seat-belt ourselves in and drive. Using the negative, 'I don't remember' allows us to make a U-turn and see how things look in the night. What are the things you don't care remember, have repressed, but remember underneath all the same?'

So here I was. Racing on my highway of commitments. Stopping. Making an U-turn. Seeing the other side. The other side of meditation is sleep. The other side of a party is rest.
I rested in the shadow side. It was the same road. I just took a different direction.

dinsdag 1 december 2009


This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

Sunday I walked with five writers in silence through the forest.
We were walking words on the path. To write steps on paper later.
We made haiku's next to the wood stove. Writing as a way of meditating.
Counting syllables, in stead of breaths. 5-7-5.
Practicing in observing, in being present as a human, as a writer, but not to interfere. That is Haiku. To give the reader a visible piece of autumn.

Still and straight tree trunks
with black bare branches bowing
softly in the wind