Sunday, November 30, 2008

The party

Ten minutes before we had to leave the house, I learned that we would stay overnight. Quickly I packed a bag with all the essentials like toothbrush and toothpaste, a pyjama, another comfortable pair of trousers, my journal.

The party was great: There were even shows performed by professionals and children, food was delicious, people were nice, the location was interesting. We were among the last to go to the hotel. It was far beyond midnight when we finally fell into the bed.

At 12 we left the hotel without breakfast and headed for Munich.
At home we slept the whole day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

..and yoga practice?????

The surya namaskaras were VERY INTENSIVE.
That's true.

Also this is not my act of volition

I am likely to sit under the Christmas tree of my parents this year again. This became clear after the phone call today. My mother is already planning the cakes that I shall eat, my bf awaits me to come to the North to continue the Christmas party a few days later. It seems impossible to withdraw from this Christmas thing. I like daily life, I am even proned to say I prefer it.

After these Indian and birthday troubles with my parents I had other plans for me. I saw me already preparing a 3 course menue for me here in my clean and decluttered shanty on Christmas Day. Alone I would be. Happy, perhaps a bit melancholy. Exotic food I would have served myself. No chance. Routine like every year will happen. It might be better not to plan anything as it is not possible anyway. Deeds are done, events happen.




This seems to have priority

It made me sweating, too, like a yoga practice. Nothing could stop me this morning. I went through another book shelf and dedusted it. One of E.'s file could be thrown away. Thanks to the Source, he could let go of this redundant file. The washing machine is running, I ironed, the dishes are clean, due to my activities this morning.

2 hours are left for yoga and showering. Then we have to drive to the South about one and a half hours or two. We are invited at a birthday party. I hope I don't eat too much. I was shocked this morning when I jumped on my scales, naked and before breakfast. 3 kilos, 6 pounds have to go. Does this tell me to do full vinyasas now? Oh it is better not to intend too much. The very first step now is to role out the mat.

On sadhanas (= spiritual exercises)

The "danger" of doing sadhanas (sitting, chanting, yoga) is that the feeling we are the doer and that we can accomplish anything gets stronger. And this is counterproductive to the understanding that we are not the doer. To wake up is to get rid of the identification of doership. Nothing can be accomplished, life can only be lived. When this is seen life becomes easier.
That's how I understand the Advaita masters so far.

Nevertheless the masters were urged from the students to give them sadhanas so that finally understanding, awakening to the truth can happen:
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: Think passive - not "I got up late", but "It happened that I got up late". (It might happen that I repeat the passive in English and French language.)
Ramesh S. Balsekar: Every evening find out (in writing) what really was done by you out of volition. The result will be: nothing can be an act of volition. Important is to see this regarding to the own life.
Jed McKenna: He recommends the writing process, too. Autolyse he calls it. Examining the thoughts and the truth of them. The death as an adviser is a second recommendation.
Osho: Be aware - is Osho's favourite method. He is the master of meditation and to meditate is to become aware (not only during 10 min sitting or dynamic meditation).

Nevertheless some of the awakened people do sadhasanas, i.e. the man from the Netherlands van de Wetering. In his book "A glimpse of nothingness" he describes his weeks in a Zen monastry in the US. Between the lines it becomes clear that these days are entertainment for him. He does not want to reach anything anymore.

(This was only a humble summary of what I've read lately.)

Nine thirty a.m.

Nine thirty a.m.. Can I still call this "morning"? Probably yes, but it is no more the early morning. It's getting later and later till I get up. This drives me crazy, I have so good resolutions every evening. On the other hand I am also amused to see me loafing. (to loaf is my new learned vocabulary. I like this word)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Led class today - very brave

I had forgotten how speedy the CD by Sharath is. I practiced primary this afternoon.
Every day it becomes later when I start with my practice. It's a shame. But I practiced.

The poses were sometimes rather sloppy. The intention to practrice with the CD is to experience the flow. To go on and to go on and that's what I did. There was no time to float. Only once the ring bell, just after navasana. It was the postman. :) He brought me a book "The book of no one" by Richard Sylvester. Our communication lasts usually less than 1 min. With the right hand he passes me the book that I have ordered, with the left hands he holds an electronic device. There I have to give my signature. When this is done, I can already hear him running down the steps.

Quickly I went on with my practice after that. This little break was nothing in comparison with what happens usually, when I practice alone.

I also realized how short I hold the hero pose. Today I remained in the pose how counted by Sharath. Was this hard. I am obviously not a hero, but I also don't want to be one.

Three times I lifted me up to do urdhva dhanurasna and I held the pose as long as it was counted.
Mari c and d, and supta kurmasana could be indicated only. I need more time to get into these poses. Again, I think the flow is essential when practicing with the CD and not the perfection of the poses.

It is four o'clock. The day is almost over.
Today I decluttered again, this is always satisfying.
I had the courage to switch on the CD by Sharath.
E. invited me to the Greece restaurant this evening.
I guess this was it - almost.
I deserve it to meditate now, there is still some time till dinner.
Nothing must be achieved.
Life must be lived, it is so simple.

Laotse - Sartre - Sinatra

TO BE IS TO DO - Laotse
TO DO IS TO BE - Sartre
DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra

I know the trap much too well

This trap is called perfection. Not only once I did nothing because I had the intention to do a task perfectly. This was not the issue today. I followed the mood to go on with my decluttering activities: Bye bye to an old book on real estate, bye bye to an old cushion, old buttons. Bye-bye.

Not much is done, but something is done.
What is still on my list:
The lamp next to my bed must be replaced. It has a defective contact. This lamp never functioned correctly. I cannot count anymore how often this lamp drove me crazy, made me angry. Yesterday I saw a beautiful lamp. When I got closer to the window I saw that it was designed by a famous German designer: Wolfgang Joop. I am not willing to spend 300,-- Euro for a little lamp. So much cost a trip to Mumbai. I have to find another substitute.

My desk, oh yes my the desk always needs attention. Paper piles grow fast.
And what has this to do with yoga? I do ask myself this question. I don't know.
To declutter has something to do with focus, with a clean and clear envirenment.
It has something to do with becoming clear, essential.
Space and silence outside, space and silence inside me.

Oh,...

The students of a guru were on a retreat and practiced a silence meditation for one week.
In the second night one of them had to sneeze.
"Bless you." said the one, who sat next to him
"Pssst." hissed the third student. "We are supposed not to speak."
"You both are silly, why are you speaking?" said the fourth student.
"Silence!" said the fifth student.
"I am the only one, who has not spoken", noticed the one who had sneezed.

Late risers

To plan to get up after my bf has left the house is not such a good idea. Now it is 9:30 and I just crawled out of the bed. Too often E. adjusts the alarm clock in the morning. He needs the sleep, but I don't. Oh, what could I have done already if I got up earlier.

I need another cup of coffee and then: ready, steady, go. Whatever this means, but this was in my mind right now.

This reminds me of a German actor Christine Kaufmann: Lately she said in a TV show that when she was about 50 she thought that she had to get out of the bed in the morning as early as possible because she had about only 30 more years to live. With 60 this feeling of having not enough time during her lifespan for everything she wanted to do has disappeared.

Another cup of coffee now, I am in a hurry, I am in a hurry. :)
(But nothing must be done.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My life - predetermined

The script of my life is already written - This thought, this new insight drives me crazy. Sometimes I am amused and I think it is nice, because this means that I do not have much to do anymore, but to relax and to be entertained. On the other hand I'd like to have the feeling to have the possibility to avoid the worst. But will I be able to avoid the worst and what is the worst? This all drives me crazy. My life a roller coaster and I have to say "yes" and "Amen" to everything. Nothing else but to play the role that is destined for me is possible. Interesting.

I was out with E. this evening. This time we weren't at our Greece restaurant. They had no seats anymore. We were at E.'s favourite Italian restaurant. In my stomach is always room for some noodles and a glass of red wine. It was good stuff that we found on our plates. We were pleased when we got the bill as it was not as high as expected. We returned to our car and there was the policewoman filling in a form. We hadn't bought a parking ticket. This cost 10 Euro extra. In total the dinner wasn't so cheap anymore. We laughed. You get something, and 5 min later it is taken away again.

What says the time?

Three thirty in the afternoon. Impossible. I just finished my morning shower after my yoga practice. It consoles me a bit that important things were done in the morning. To keep my home clean and decluttered is important.

I practiced till ushrasana. Before dhanurasana I put my front on the fresh cold mat. I wouldn't call it desperation - this would be much too strong, but I felt weak. It was so difficult to practice. I was disappointed with the current achievements in regard to the asanas. I was so proned to stop practicing, but I went on. It was more a mental weakness. It had nothing to do with the possiblities of the body. I went on and I managed it to do urdhva dhanurasana 3 times and I even breathed deeply. Savasana was difficult. I was not really relaxed. So it is sometimes. To be alone on the mat is not a piece of cake. But a piece of cake is now waiting for me in the kitchen and a hot Earl Grey tea, too.

I feel good now where it is over. This practice must be done, that's for sure. :)

On a journey through

A holy man used to live in a tiny room only with a table in it. No chair was in it. The table was used as a bed at night. Everybody who came had to sit on the floor or to stand.
Once a visitor asked: Where are your furniture?
The holy man answered with a question: Where are yours?
The visitor: I am on a journey through.
The holy man: Exactly like me.

The story is out of the book "It so happened that" by Ramesh Balsekar. I have this book in German language, so it is freely translated by me. :)

Me too, I am on a journey through. Not much stuff is needed in order to be able to lean back and to enjoy. Between knowing it and living it is obviously a gap. :)

Satisfying?

Yes, indeed, it is.
Decluttering went on. I could scarcly carry all these old books, that I discarded. Now they are in the garbage can. Some are for sale. Books have no feelings. Yes, the poor trees, that were cut to produce a book, but I am ready to read my stuff online. Electronic books are already on the market in the US, I've heard. This shall be the future and I will be one of the first who will use it. But for now, like inhaling and exhaling, I buy something and I also have to let go. I stroll around and admire what is done so far. I am not yet ready, but for now I stop for a little break.

To go through the pictures took me some time. They only needed to be freed from dust. I don't through away these old pictures. But a calender of the Grand Canyon from 2001 had to go. Oh, was I young 10 years ago (and slim).

I gained more than 1 meter in my bookshelf. This is pure space. What a luxury.

Decluttering has always priority

As soon as I feel the slightest mood to declutter, I give it priority.
When the thought "you can need it one day" is weak I take advantage of it.
Away with the book on German dictatorship, away with the book on accounting from 2005.

I know, I am still not radical enough, I am so cautious, so full of fear that one day I could need anything and then I wouldn't have it anymore. But this is nonsense. There is no lack of goods in our affluent society. Most things can be replaced, if not it is not a matter of life and death.
A most important exercise is" to let go".

First hand grips in the morning

I pass by my PC and switch it on as soon as I am out of my cosy bed.
Quickly I go through the kitchen and to my yoga room in order to turn on the heater.
On my way back I prepare my cup of coffee. I filter it.
Then I make quickly the bed in case my bf is no more in it.
Checking emails follow.
I enjoy my cup of coffee while doing this. Oh, the coffee is good. I am up.

I slept like a dead woman yesterday night. It was so relaxing. Now I am ready for the day. :)

The quote of the day: Everything must be scrutinised and the unnecessary ruthlessly destroyed. Believe me, there cannot be too much destruction. For in reality nothing is of value. Be passionately dispassionate - that is all. (Page 80, I am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What shall I write......

.....Mysore class was great. It was the last one for this year and my body was so willing to do all these crazy poses. I had focus, too. All my dear yoginis were there, and we had a wonderful time next to each other. A great evening.

My hot tea à la menthe warms me now. It gives my body the liquid back that I lost during the practice. First I felt a bit cold, I even warmed my feet with my hands when I was in padanghustasana. But later I sweated. The body became softer and softer with the time. Today I could reach again my wrists when doing marichyasana c and d. Oh, how nice, I thought.

Regarding urdhva dhanurasana I am a bit pessimistic for the time being, but this feeling will fade, too. It is not really important for this world if I can drop back from standing position or not. Nevertheless I will continue working on this pose. Perhaps it will happen next year that I will drop back on my own from standing position- then I will be 50. It is never too late.

E. will return from England at about midnight. I will stay awake, it's reading time for me now(Somerset Maugham "The razor's edge" - Larry must soon go to India, I cannot await till this happens). My sofa invites me to make it comfortable there.
I hope I manage it to get up early tomorrow morning.

I am ready to go

There is still time before I have to go. I don't want to be too long in the cold. B. will arrive 15 min before our Mysore class will start, so it makes no sense to be there too early. I checked my calender and it will be the last Mysore class with B. for this year. Home practice will become again more important.
I know it, I will enjoy this last practice with B. and with my fellow Ashtanga practitioners on this cold Wednesday.

Angels, angels, angels

I just came home from downtown. I had to mail a letter for E. and so it came that I stopped at the bookstore downtown. It is compulsatory. In the second floor is the esoteric departement. I didn't stay there for a very long time: Shelves are full of books on angles, a life after death, how to be happy all the time (not how to find peace in the turbulences of life, no permanent happiness is sold). I flew. This is not my construction site anymore. I am so glad, I can let go of all (most of)these words about everything and nothing.

There (in the second floor of this bookstore downtown) I found a book on Ramana Maharshi, but I am already disappointed. I don't know why I bought it. I remember, it was because of the many pictures in it. It is more a picture book. On each side are quotes, perhaps not quotes but sentences that shall reflect Maharshi's teachings, but they are so out of the context that these sentences do not say a lot. Sometimes the sentences are even contradictory: On one page I read that human beings have a free will, on another page I read that we are on this earth to fulfill a purpose if we think we are the doer or not makes no difference.
What I really fear is that many things are wrongly translated and this leads to a lot of misunderstanding. This I observed in so many cases already. Whenever possible it's best to read an author in his mother tongue. That's again why I am so attracted by Balsekar. He studied in England and his books need no translation.

I also stopped at another departement in that bookstore (and perhaps this can have something to do with a future occupation). I bought 5 (too many, damned) books on writing. When I paid for them, I got the cotton bag and not the plastic bag. "Did I spend so much money that I get the better bag now?" I asked the clerk at the cashier. She smiled, this was the answer.

At home again I prepared a nice dinner for me (cucumber salad and potatoes). At least I didn't finish my shopping spree in one of these restaurants I have to pass.

Oh Source, I hope you have not forgotten, that sooner or later money must come it. I am rather lavish.

A letter by Ramesh S. Balsekar found on his official website

Dear God,

This is my record of eternal gratitude to You.

You gave me birth in a most respected Hindu family, but not high enough in social status to make me proud.

You gave me a physical form well-admired for its perfection, but it was small enough to keep me humble.

You gave me education high enough to be most useful in life, but not high enough to make me proud.

You gave me success in sports high enough to be satisfied, but not proud.

You gave me a career in which You took me high enough to be admired, but not high enough to make me arrogant.

You gave me a wife and family for which I have always beeneternally grateful, but You did not spare me some grief to remindme not to forget what life is all about, and to be always grateful for what I do have.

You did not forget to place an adequate number of temptations in my way so that I may not be too critical of others who have to face their own temptations.

I am now 84, and perhaps the only wish that remains is that thelong life You have given me will not carry a burden at the end.But in that case, I know You will also give me the necessary courage to go with it.

You gave me a lot to show me how little is needed to be content and how much could be given away.

And, undoubtedly, the most important of all - as if the bounty You have showered on me were not enough - You crowned Your achievement by using this psychosomatic apparatus to convey to the world the most important message of Advaita. Truly I am blessed. Or, indeed, my Beloved, have You not blessed Yourself?!

Finally, it occurs to me, if You were to design for Yourself a life in phenomenality, could it have been much different from this one?

And, for this thought, no tears are enough to wash Your Noumenal feet.

The letter is signed by the master himself.

(No, I don't add anything to such a touching letter.)

A phase???

It's all predetermined. You can do nothing, but living your life. The movie is already finished.

This new "Advaita" knowledge does not lead that I stay in bed and do not get up at all, but I experience a certain fatalism. Why to do anything, I wonder. Why to be disciplined, eveything happens, or does not happen. It's all out of my control. It somehow is as if I don't have to care about anything at all. As if I am redundant (which is true). All my efforts were in vain and will be in vain. Then I can also eat the cake in the morning, I thought and done. I ate cakes before my yoga practice.
Ha, what a relief, an optimistic thought came up, right now: Come on, do your chores, take E.'s letter to the post office. Go on with your life, it's not that bad.

It's 9, not good

Up at 9, this drives me crazy. It was difficult to fall asleep, but to get up at 9 is too late.
I enjoyed my clean kitchen in the morning when I made my first cup of coffee. To clean it was part of my evening routine.
Now I sit here and think: It is soooooo late already, soooooo late. Why couldn't I get up earlier.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I started with cold feet and cold hands

Now I feel warm, my face is relaxed, my body flexible. I look even a bit younger as usual. I had some gouts, my left wrist seemed to be a bit swolen. Whyever. It was difficult to practice, mainly mentally. I need the group pressure once a week. Despite this reluctant attitude I am glad that I practiced. It is almost 3 p.m. now and so far nothing else happened, but intending to practice and to practice. Not really much.

Meditation: To meditate became for me a practice to sit quit and to be conscious that nothing must be done. I can relax. I can observe, everything will happen by itself. Thoughts arise at the horizon, they appear and they will also disappear. Nothing must be achieved (OK, 10 min sitting in lotus pose, that's already something, but I allow myself also to stop if it became impossible to go on.) It is time for myself, only for me.

Nothing must be done, it's all leela


Everything happens. To see this, life can be so relaxing.

Today's quote by Osho says about the same what Ramesh Balsekar says:

A really mature person cannot be serious, there is nothing to be serious about. The whole of life is fun, it is a play, a play of consciousness. And that's what meditation reveals to you - that the whole of life is a beautiful play of energy. The same energy is in the trees, in the stars, in the rivers, in the mountains, in you, in animals. It is the same energy dancing in different forms. We in the East have called it 'leela'. Leela means god's play.

Pure entertainment

On the back cover I read: "In Volume Two of Wake up and Roar, Sri Poonjajj deepens the dialog begun in Volume One. He received the direct transmission of a silent mind from his master, Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. Today, he offers that same transmission to all who are ready to end their suffering. " ????????

I started reading the above mentiond book. One chapter is on requirements for satsang. I quote from page 11: "The second requirement is to rid yourself of desire for pleasures of senses." I close the book somehow glad that I can use my time for pleasures of senses instead of reading such nonsense.

I really don't know why this man is considered as a guru. I bought the book because of the title. During my intensive reading this man was quoted from time to time. I wonder why. I don't want and I don't need rules. They are also redundant. The script of life is already written, it only has to be lived now from us.

I feel it already: In the future I will have more time for other activities than reading books by "gurus", who claim to know the truth and tell me what I should do.

That's why I like Ramesh S. Balsekar. He gives no rules. He also mentioned in one of his books that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj refused to answer question related to how to behave in daily life.
So far I haven't found acces to the book by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj "I am That".
But Mr Balsekar I do understand. His teaching is simple: We all have an ego, it consists of the DNA and the conditioning. It is said that the conditioning that happens in the early years is stronger, but it is an on-going process. The ego is necessary so that interhuman relationships can happen. We will live with the ego till the end. The great misunderstanding is not that we are identified with our name or abilities. The great misunderstanding is that we think we are the doer, that we are responsible for the things that happen. " The important point is that when the ego is finally convinced that he cannot truly call any action 'his' action, the ego is faced with the significant question: if no action is my action, and actions actually happen without any necessity of a 'me', then who is this 'me' I am so concerned about? Is there a 'me' at all ?! The question becomes an unbearable pain, arising from the gut, from the Source, and the answer finally comes from the Source: 'My dear child, there never was a "me" to suffer the pain of life and all there has ever been is "I" alone who has been functioning through the billions of human beings.'

Only this has to be understood, other things like feeling guilt or proud will disappear as a consequence of this understanding. What remains is to lean back and to enjoy the show. What role in this life shall I play. It is entertainment pure. I cannot find any rule in the teaching of Ramesh Balsekar. It is deep understanding of what is.

The recommended method to gain the same deep understanding is: "At the end of the day sit alone, quietly, for about twenty to thirty minutes, and think of one or more actions during the day which you were convinced were 'your' actions. Find out if you decided, out of the blue, to do that action; or, was it some thought or event which started that action over which you had absolutely no control? Then, investigate the course of process of that action and find out how much real control you had over it. ...........In other word, you come to the conclusion that no action was truly your action. (Page 44, Confusion no more by Ramesh S. Balsekar)

More is not necessary to understand. I do not underestimate that it is a lot. It is totally different from what I have heard all of my life. I mean so far I felt responsible for almost everything. Not only once I asked myself if I could have done better regarding my jobs i.e. Within 10 years I have had 6 different jobs. But I already start understanding. Nothing could have been done better. Events happen, deeds are done.

"This investigation is really one step further from Ramana Maharshi's famous 'Who am I?' This investigaion that I suggest is based on the query: 'Am I the doer of what I think are my actions?' (page 44, Confusion no more by Ramesh S. Balsekar)

What finally remains is pure entertainment: Sad stories will happen, funny ones. Life will remain exciting, unpredictable.

Let's be entertained.

Picture: It is the Castle Ziethen in Brandenburg close to Berlin.

Late risers we are

It takes us 1 hour from hearing the alarm clock, switching it off quickly till stretching the legs out of the bed. My bf is even worse. I got up before him. I do chores till he leaves the house.
Now is time to write, time to do yoga.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How to get rid of bath oil?

The answer is simple: to take a bath and to pour bath oil into the hot water. To throw it away is an alternative, but not such a relaxing one. (So this is done - the hot bath of course.)

As much as I like it that my bf is at home, but when he starts working from here, which often means long conf calls, it is impossible for me to do anything. So, I call this Monday "Monday" and this was it. Tomorrow I will be again alone in my vacuum that I love so much and which scares me at the same time, because sometimes the thought comes up that I have to do something reasonable with this free time. I must trust that anything will happen. And this "anything" will be the best for the moment.

Sometimes....

....it is helpful not to believe everything at once. In the bookstore downtown I asked the salesperson if they had books by Ramesh Balsekar. She ushered me to a shelf, looked quickly through the books and negated my question. But of course she could order any book I wished. I took the time to go through the shelf by myself. I couldn't believe her and see: I found "Pointers" by Ramesh Balsekar. The book is about talks with Nisargadatta Maharaj and the interpretations of Ramesh. That was the book I was looking for. The book was in German language, but I couldn't wait for the English edition. Other books by. R. B. were there, too. Christmas business has already started. It seems as if the jobs in the shops became stressy already.

I made an early dinner for E. and me today, potatoes and a field salad. On top I put fried peppers and mushrooms. My bf seemed to be happy. Me too.

Bohemien


I was out in the cold and bought bread and bananas, so that we could have our standard breakfast at home - some slices of bread with margarine and jam on it and some fruits accompanied with black hot coffee. We, E. and me had breakfast together this morning.
Nothing has to be done. It is comfortable inside the house and wet and cold outside. As so often these days I'm likely to practice in the afternoon. It is very difficult for me nowadays to do yoga after having written my journal.
An interesting question was discussed in the book "Confusion no more" by Ramesh Balsekar: When we know that everything happens and that we are not the doer, can it happen that we stay in bed all the time? This is really an important question. Me too, I fear that I become lazier and lazier. But Ramesh does not see this as a danger: "Have you ever tried to do that? Can you really do that? Can you really stay in bed so that no action happens? no action, physical or mental? What you probably mean by action is only physical action, but will not there be a multitude of questions arising in your mind which could make you get out of your bed?" (Page 54, Ramesh S. Balsekar, Confusion no more).
Glad, I am already out of my bed (and this since 7 a.m.). Action, yes, I want action, I want to get another book by Ramesh (and this will lead me out of the house), and I want to do more laundry and right now I want to repeat my vocabulary at the leo-trainer. This is all nothing special and probably I should do something else - looking for a job i.e..At least there is movement. Where does this movement lead? Who knows. Who cares. The show can go on.


Up, according to plan

The first thing I did after I got up was to turn on the heater. I dared to look out of the window this morning. The world was white. And it was cold here. My black coffee warmed me from the inside out. I am glad to be at home again. Everything is so familiar. I am ready for my morning routine.

Picture: It shows the restaurant in the castle in Brandenburg, close to Berlin, where we had our last extensive lunch.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Berlin in November

The weather: Oh, it was cold and wet. Snow storms made me shiver.
Yoga: One early morning I woke up and I saw how the snow flakes flew around in the wind wildly and uncontrolled. I decided to stay at the hotel. Both yoga studios were too far away and the classes were too early for me: 7 a.m. This would have meant to leave the hotel at 6 a.m. I practiced once at the hotel. My only practice in Berlin was good.
The hotel: Stylish, very stylish. Even the ananas on the buffet table were cut in long sticks and always 2 were put into a glass. The view over the city when sitting in the breakfast room in the 7th floor was great.
Entertainment a la Berlin: The walls of the bathroom in the hotel room were partly made of glass bricks. When I was sitting on the bed I could see my bf sitting on the toilet. "Darling, I can see you." Quickly he switched off the light. Oh, the show was over so quickly.
Friends: I met the 3 As: my cousin A, my friend A and her husband A. This also meant much talking and eating in good restaurants. It was fun. On our last day we were even at a castle a bit outside of Berlin, but close to the airport.
Back home: I plan to get up early tomorrow. I am glad to be at home again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yes, good

Sometimes limited time intensifies the practice. There was no time for breaks today. I remained on my mat for the entire practice. I guess I didn't hold all the poses for 4 breaths. I was a bit in a hurry. It was amazing how flexible my body was. No uneasiness in the bones or joints or elsewhere. I blame the food for it. I am again more consequent with my vegan food. And I take magnesium. I even lost a bit weight. The weight is the secret. Really. My insolent answer to the question how someone can improve a pose is simple but honest: Eat less and the pose will improve by itself. (This is not true for the very thin among us, but who is very thin?) And so it happened again that my fingers could hook when I did pashasana. At the end I laid down for 5 min relaxation. This was difficult. My eyes opened, but I remained on my mat till I could hear my meditation watch telling me: It's over now, baby.
I am very content now.

My next practice will happen at an unknown place, somewhere in the middle of Berlin.
I must pack my suitcase, the small one will be enough for 4 days.
I am in a hurry, I am in a hurry.

On delegating

I brought the "blanket" (lay-over) of my sofa to the dry-cleaner last week. I just got it back, but it has shrunk a lot. I can still use it, but it is too small and not really clean either. I expect (always expections) that when I give something to experts, that they are able to do a job correctly. That's why I am willing to pay for it. This lady put this cotton in a dryer with 800 revolutions per minute. She said that this was the reason for the shrinking . If I had done it by myself I would have not dried it in a machine. Cotton is not an exotic material. Unfortunately I had to sign something that in case of a damage the company is not responsible for it. If I hadn't signed this there would be not a great difference. Then possibly it would become an insurance case. This "old blanket" isn't worth having arguments with companies and insurances. If the company has too many such cases they are not willing to report it to the insurance company. They are not willing to pay for the damage themselves either. The cash value of the blanket is not so much, it is ony that it is an important part of my sofa. To give me the 8 Euro back that I paid for this bad service could have been something I could have asked for. Would this have consoled me? I don't think so. I only saw how "big" the damage was when I was at home. They had wrapped the piece so that I couldn't check it well at the shop. The damage is insofar big as there is no substitute. I don't want to buy a new sofa because of a few spots or a lay-over which is too small.
I finish this awful post soon.

Delegating is an art. It is important not to say too much (takes too much time, and people get annoyed before they started working), but it must be said what is crucial for the success. I am learning. I am more the type of person who says: Here you have it, do with it whatever you like, you are the expert. But not always this brings the best result.

I have very bad experiences with dry-cleaners. 20 percent of my stuff I get back ruined or not well done. That's why I usually check when I buy something new, if I can wash it by myself. My latest experience shows me that it is the best not to have things that need dry-cleaning only.

This post is another example how important it is to let go. I wasted half an hour of my precious life to write about this shit. I admit I wanted to look up a few new words like revelation. But now my mat is waiting. That way my time is spent so much better.

It is time to throw out this sofa. I prefer to sit on the floor. Perhaps this is the message I should get. Away with it, away.

How to justify another trip to India within less than a year

I want to see one of the few living enlightened masters. (only convinces me)
I want to meet a bestselling author.
I don't get younger either, and perhaps this is my last possibility to do such a trip.
I only follow a calling.
Now, now, when else?

Oh, I have forgotten for a moment that I do not have to justify anything, not in front of me and not in front of others.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We worked hard for the poses

Mysore class this evening: Very good as usual. The yogis and yoginis were rather concentrated. For a long time only the deep breaths of my fellow Ashtangis could be heard. From time to time a few words were exchanged, but that was it.
In the middle of the practice I had a weak phase, but this is exactly where the fellow Ashtangis help. It is easier to go on in a group and so I went on, too. Nothing spectacular happened. The regular practice is spectecular enough.

I enjoy my work that I did this afternoon. I created space. It is relaxing. I walk around and think: well done.

I even collected boxes, small ones and big ones

This happend not without a reason. In case that I could sell anything via Ebay I had to send it. Then I could need these boxes, I thought. I sold nothing, but the boxes became more and more. Half of them is gone now, thanks to "The Spirit" who told me today: declutter, declutter. Before you do anything else, declutter. And I threw away this ironing board only for sleeves. I never used it. Away with it. I won't miss it.

My bf calls it garbage, I call it my business, my future. This morning I organised "my future". I put almost all the yoga mats and cotton bags in the little room half a floor deeper. The rest is in a corner here upstairs. There are too many things in that junk room, too. (Junk room, this word speaks for itself.) I know that it makes not too much sense to organise things that should go to the garbage or that should be sold. I found an interim solution for now, I know. Many things that I have organised this morning, must go, either they find another owner or they are of no use for anybody, then the garbage can will be the right place.

The solution is not a larger flat. To become essential is the solution. Then a smaller flat will be great, too. Soon a large flat can become small, too, if one buys and buys and buys. Of course I see how much money I have spent on superficial things, I could still have it. But that's spilt milk of yesterday. I already noticed that when I travel or when I'm downtown and when I see nice things, I wonder: Do I really need this? Or will this nice thing become a burden earlier than I can close and open my eyes.

No yoga so far, but this evening I will go to a Mysore class. This should be enough yoga for today.

I like spaces, I like vacuum, I like insecurities. I want to create more of it.
I want to live my life simple and pure.

My calender

I look at my calender, again and again. Things will happen, it is not necessary that I plan everything ahead. I will be spontaneous. I don't want to run from one appointment to the next. Everything that shall happen will happen. I don't have to be so busy organising everything.

Good that I got up at 7 today. At 10:20 I start my morning routine. No comment on that.

Planning my Berlin trip

Tomorrow in the early evening I will fly to Berlin. This morning I called friends in order to threaten that I will come. :) Omei is that fun to see all my friends again. 13 years I used to live in Berlin, before the reunification and 2 years after the reunification. Now I am already more than 15 years in Munich.

4 days in Berlin is too short, this I already know. What I see is, that I have to make decisions. I cannot meet everybody I'd like to see.

And one evening I'd like to go to a Mysore class. ......and one afternoon I'd like to go to my favourite cafe.......and and and.

(And of course it is special that I will be at a hotel located at the Kurfürstendamm. For those who do not know: what the Kurfürstendamm is for Berlin is the Sunset Boulevard for Hollywood. Perhaps also not, but the Ku'damm is still THE street in Berlin. That I stay there is not my merit. It is given to me, I have not moved the little finger for it. What is equally nice - at any time I can stay in the home of my friends. )

Monday, November 17, 2008

A day without great events

I made this lentil soup. It was not really very good. Nothing is left, so it wasn't perhaps that bad. As a bit boring I would describe it, but healthy. Healthy food needn't to be boring...........but this soup this time wasn't that exciting.

The nap in the early afternoon was relaxing.

The evening will be relaxing too, probably in front of the TV with a book on my lap.

And for tomorrow I wish that I get back to my morning routine which includes a yoga practice in the morning.

I flew

Conference calls at home now. Good thing is that he, my bf is reported sick. He was really ill yesterday. As usual most important things have to be done. I even believe him. The consequence, he is working from home now. I flew.

I am glad that I had on my to-do list some items that ushered me out of my home: I bought the batteries for our scales, bananas, apples for the breaks and ingredients for the red lentil soup that I will cook for a late luncheon. I took one part of my sofa to the dry cleaning shop. But the conference call still went on when I returned.

With all these discussions in the background I cannot practice yoga, but I can go through my new words: assiduity, what was that again? This is difficult to remember. I still confuse covetousness with gluttony and lechery. OK, let me do this first. And then hopefully we both E. and me can have breakfast together. Fresh bread is in my basket and a "Brötchen".

Sunday, November 16, 2008

He ate nothing

He is ill now, my bf. When he eats nothing, it is a serious matter. He has spent the day in the bed - with fever in the meantime. "You won't go to work tomorrow", I told him. I know that men suffer more than women. Nevertheless fever weakens and is awful. I think it is good that he ate nothing. That tells me that he listens to his body. I hope that the tea à la menthe will refresh him a bit. Food is not so important like liquids.

My kitchen is clean again. I found noodles with expiring date 2005 when I searched for noodles for the dinner. How this can happen in a house like mine, will remain a secret. :) Away with it, away. To create spaces gives me a good feeling.

Hahaha, I just reread my post: E. doesn't fear that I give him old noodles or old food. That's not the reason why he ate nothing.

A Sunday at home

I practiced. It was a late afternoon practice. Other activities stole my time in the morning. My practice was good: intensive, slow, attentive. I became modest, I only practice till ushtrasana these days. The huge advantage is that by then I still have mental power to do urdhva dhanurasana 6 times - 3 times I lift me up from the ground, and 3 times I try to drop back from standing position. I am also still rather strong. Slow and steady is the secret I think.

Another pose improved: It is pindasana. I used to role out of pindasana as soon as my one hand reached the wrist of the other hand. I intensified karnapindasana and now pindasana is not a problem anymore. Doing karnapindasana I tried to take the knees closer to the shoulders. I tried to round my back as much as possible and then I held this pose for a few breaths longer as usual. One anger less. It provoked in me a slight anger each time I roled out of this pose.

Meditaion for 10 min after the shower and my life can go on now.

What else: My vocabulary trainer is good. That way it is fun to learn new words. Oh, it takes time till I remember a new word and then the spelling is not correct. English is world-wide the dominating language, I want to be good at it.

Oh, and my dear bf, he is ill (caughing) and sleeping the entire day. I will cook something for him now, something simple. He wished noodles. He was in Portugal, there he had no noodles, perhaps that's why he wanted something so simple. I will put a lot of garlic in the sauce. Food can serve as a drug as well.

A bit of reading this evening will end my evening. Yes, the book "At razor's edge" by Somerset Maugham is excellent.

And that was it. A simple but satisfying weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

....and what to do after a visit in the Greece restaurant?

I had to gulp down all the dust in my throat. I gulped it down with 2 ouzos and a glass of retsina. That was great.
It was a marathon cleaning day. The results are seen, but it is not seen how much effort we had to put into it. My focus was the desk. It is all much better, less things are on it, less papers and it is clean. From time to time I stop writing and I admire what I've accomplisched today. The other rooms shine, too. Oh no, I am not yet ready with everything. Today I am happy so far.

We fought against dust clouds today and conquered them.
I know they will come back, but then we will fight again.

The question now is: What to do after all this Greece food in my stomach? I also have an answer. I will start reading my new book: "At razor's edge" by Maugham.

Damned this is a yoga blog. Tomorrow is time for second series. The alarm clock is already set: 7 :00 am I will get up.

Daily chores must be done, too.

Why was not time for yoga this morning, I just wondered? I remembered. I started cleaning my desk and this ate all the time.
Saturday is now my cleaning and decluttering day. When I am in the mood, I must act quickly. To think and rethink if an item might have any use in the future makes no sense. Away, away with all the stuff. At least 2 law books ended their lives in the garbage can in the backyard. Quickly I brought them down. Now they are gone. Not really a loss. And all the papers that I could throw away, it is simply amazing.

I have sorted out a huge pile of books that I will sell via amazon. Most books I don't read twice. Let go is the credo here, too. I don't think that I will try selling them today, but tomorrow. I must be patient, progress can be seen, that's something. Rome wasn't built in a day either.

Friday, November 14, 2008

He is 91 years old...

...and in 2009 he will be 92 years old. I am writing about Ramesh S. Balsekar. That people can come to him every morning and ask him questions is a great luck. If this German-Turkish man in Istanbul wouldn't have asked me if Mr Balsekar is still alive, I wouldn't have made a research on the internet. But now I know that he is still alive and that visitors are invited in his living room every morning at 9 a.m.. I have still no questions, but does this really matter? I think I have to go. This all happend to me, there are too many coincidences as if I could have been the decision maker. Yes, this is the right answer, but not given because I am a good student who has learned the lesson by heart. I really think it is so. This all happens. I feel as if I got a message. Awakening to reality, that's it.

I cooked again and I enjoyed the whole process, that began with shopping. Cooking, eating, cleaning the kitchen, I enjoyed each and every step.
It is evening now and yes, I want to see what the Frenchman is cooking. He was such a critical eater. "The perfect dinner" is broadcasted this evening again, the last show for this week. This show also exists in Turkey by the way. It comes from the US, where else.

So good

Tralali-tralala.
Deep breath.
Flexible body.
Full vinyasas.
Only tiniest breaks.
Tralali-tralala.

And because it was so good, I went to a retreat afterwards, I meditated, 10 min.
I feel energized and calm at the same time now.

Time to go on with my life. I must ask the source what I shall do first now. :)

OK, OK no free will ........

....but at least I have good DNA and helpful conditioning, I thought, when I was in bed yesterday, picturing the day and what I have read. The infamous ego is nothing else but the DNA and the conditioning according to Balsekar (I hope I understood him correctly). The ego is not the problem, but that we think we have a free will, that we are the doer. Thinking this we neglect the influence of our DNA and our conditioning and the influences from outside.

OK, I thought, I see I have no free will, but an ego with which I can live rather comfortably. But then I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw the mess, I remembered that I think (and I think this my entire life) that I always have to start from point zero, I remembered that till now I was not so successful at all and in addition I have no flourishing business and no job either. Hope is there always, yes, but nothing else. And then I thought that my DNA and my conditioning isn't so good either........

.........but who is thinking this??????????????? And in addition I shouldn't be so ungrateful, I am in best health. (hahaha, my thinking mind in action amuses me)

Time to do yoga. It is good for my beloved body and I am highly motivated.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An advaita day

A few hours ago I wanted to give this post the title "I am a master............in dawdling". Let me articulate it more elegantly: Today I let things simmer and so it happened that I read in the book by Ramesh S. Balsekar "Confusion no more". Mr Balsekar is so smart, understanding is growing. Unintentionally I discovered a vocabulary trainer on the website www.leo.org. This is the site where I look up my vocabulary and there is vocabulary to look up every day. The trainer pleases me. From time to time I interrupted reading and learned the new words: calamity, sloth, genuinely, and so on.

I also found a novel that I will read next. It will be "Razor's edge" by Somerset Maugham. I read only best reviews at amazon. Mr Maugham refers to the guru Maharashi in his novel. That's what I read in the book by Ramesh and this interests me. One book leads to another one, one thought leads to the next and so on. To open the pages of amazon is always time-consuming, all the recommendations and reviews and lists. It is all endless.

It was rainy and cold outside the entire day. From time to time I stretched one foot out of my balcony door to see how cold it was. I was not invited to leave my cosy home. It felt even too cold to leave the house for a restaurant visit. So I cooked best food today: potatoes with a pea and pepper salad with a French sauce (mustard and a lot of garlic). It was nice to cook and it was even better to eat.

The thriller this evening was exciting and I was also entertained when I watched "The perfect dinner". But this is all nothing that throws me off from my chair. I sit on the floor most of the time anyway. Now I am somehow bored. What can I still do to entertain me a bit I wonder? It is a most difficult question. I am so bored.

I am up

I am up - since eight o'clock. I know that this is not yet a great success, a merit. Nevertheless, I am up and this is good. Strong hot black coffee can be so good. The body is craving for a piece of cake with raisins. This will be my next action this morning - to go to the bakery and to buy something sweet for the body. I am up, how good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Party time this evening

My friend B. invited me to a party. It will take place in one of the big hotels here. All invited people shall come dressed in white. We shall see shows. Delicious food will be offered (again food), and of course something nice to drink (probably best wines).
I will pick up B. at the station. It is still time till I have to go. Time to knit on my blog.

My mat is still waiting. It is unlikely that I will practice at around midnight or even later when I will return. It is crazy that it is so difficult to find time to practice even though I do not work. Today I blame the Italiens. I ate too much for lunch and let's face it, wine already during lunch time is way too early. Point. It's party time again.

I rolled back home and it is only two o'clock

From the beginning:
Was it really necessary to do the laundry this morning? Yes it was. And it was also necessary to wash my yoga mat. To have the smell from Indian floors in it is only romantic for a week.
"Is it really necessary....." this was the beginning of so many questions this morning.
It was necessary to go through my electronic clutter. I know, whenever I feel ready to do decluttering, I have to do it. It was necessary to go to the doctor to pick up my L-Tyroxin and it was necessary to return the penecilin.
Was it necessary to stop at my favourite Italian lunch restaurant when I was on my way home from the doctor? Yes it was.
I guess I was there the last time 10 years ago. The owner looked at me when I entered the little restaurant. I saw what he thought when he recognized me: Oh, she got a bit older. And I thought: Oh, he gained weight, but looks still like a typical Italian lover.
"Hello, where have you been? Do you not live here anymore? Were you abroad? Where have you been?" he asked me. I said that I was somehow too busy, too much work, living at another place.
I ordered a small starter and a glass of water.
He: "Water? No. You drink a little glass of wine."
I had no choice, I accepted.
I had no choice later, too. I had to eat the starter, then a little portion of the main course, then the dessert and then the coffee. They just know how to be with women. They look deeply into the eyes, kiss when you come (three times), Kiss when you go (three times). I got weak. I ate and drank everything they gave me.

But the best thing happened before the lunch business started. They played the Italian national anthem, poured themselves champagne into glasses and went to the few guests to say "cheers". And because this was so nice, they repeated it. "What's that?" I asked another guest. "Since they won the soccer world cup they do it every day before the lunch business starts", she told me. My humble opinion: Only Italians can do such a thing.

Yeah, life is a party.
And now I have to wait till my stomach is ready to bear a yoga practice with a lot of forward bending.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great again

Finally a post on my yoga practice again and not about inkjets and fax machines.
My yoga practice this evening was great. The body was flexible. I couldn't believe it first. I know that it is easier to practice in the evening than in the morning, I needed that kick.My breath was deep and I had the feeling that urdhva dhanurasana improved (a bit). I went only till ushtrasana. The reason: I still want to have enough energy for urdhva dhanurasana. And so it was. It was rather powerful when I went into the pose and I held it rather long. I think that when urdhva dhanurasana will improve also the following poses like kapotasana will become easier.
I do little breaks. Somehow I cannot stop strolling around between the asanas. I start getting amused about this. Seeking distraction during my practice is a weak point and it is out of control. I will observe it.
I am very relaxed now and happy that I didn't give up. Practices in Turkey were so difficult.

Great, this is done now

I managed it to go downtown to buy an inkjet for my fax machine at the warehouse there. At home again I changed it. This task was postponed for months. But now it is done. There was a fax waiting in line. Someone wanted money from me. For today I am happy with what is done.
I wonder if the CD by Paul McKenna "Supreme self-confidence" can have such an influence so quickly. Today was the second day where I listened to it. I wanted to do something that allowed me to be passive. So I laid down on my bed, put my warm green blanket over my body, switched on the CD and just listened. The first part gives information on techniques how to improve self-confidence, NLP oriented. The second part led me into a deep trance. Perhaps during the second part Paul told me: Go downtown and buy this damned inkjet to repair your fax machine. It is overdue. :) I don't know, I was in trance.
Tomorrow my desk will be the focus of my attention. And my accounting 2008 must be done.

Somehow as a reward my new book by Ramesh S. Balsekar "Confusion no more" arrived.

My black mat is waiting for me. It's an evening yoga session at home today.

Picture: Somewhere in Istanbul

Using the best time for stupid activities like ironing

I ironed this morning and I am glad that this is done now. In the middle of my activity I thought that it was not the best decision to use my most precious time for such simple tasks. But it allowed me to do something and to think. I wondered what I'd like to learn next year. Suddenly I had the idea. Why not learning something regarding my writing skills. I like to write, it became a passion in the last years. The idea pleases me and now I think that it was good that I ironed in the morning.
My life might end tomorrow or even today, perhaps I will be on earth another 5 decades. Who knows. Seldom people regret what they have done at the end. More often they regret what they have not done. Why not give something new a chance. Why not.

Picture: Roofs in Istanbul

(And yoga? Guess I will do some surya namaskaras, and a short sequence of asanas. This evening I will go to a Mysore class. This should be enough for today. My morning routine was somehow out of order this morning - free style, chaotic)

Let life happen

Let life happen, nothing else is possible. Just got a phone call and I'm likely to have another interview next week. I had the door to my bathroom open and the washing machine could be heard all the time during the phone call. I had difficulties to understand the caller, because of this. I had to ask several times to repeat the last sentence. This was not very professional and not best communication. I must be better prepared for every event that can occur.

Feelings change during the course of a day. The vacuum gives the thinking mind a lot of time to create movies. Do anything, I tell me, only to do nothing at all all the time is desastrous. Life can be exciting, it is entertaining. Be open, enjoy the moment.

Picture: Another view of the city Istanbul and the Bosporus.



Two books

Two books I read during my stay in Istanbul and both are recommendations.
1. Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair. It is a novel, a bestseller in India. Five women meet in the train and tell each other their life stories. It was so exciting that I couldn't stop reading even though the book has more than 360 pages.
2. Who cares? by Ramesh S. Balsekar. Finally I have found someone again who understood something and speaks a language that I understand. A living master? I think yes.

Picture: Still a picture from Istanbul.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday and I am at home

I slept well and I got up early (7 a.m.). The morning was spent with a lot of activities, chores and yoga. The good news is that I really enjoy it that I still have spare time.
There is still a long list of activities that has to be done: repairing the fax machine, ironing, doing the accounting for 2008 and so forth. This keeps me busy. The tasks are necessary to be done and not only fun.
Nevertheless time comes where it has to manifest that money is coming in:
I need a job or a money source.

Picture: It is taken in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.


Forward bending - a relfexion

Forward bending: It is all about the hips and about lengthening the body.
When bending forward the pivot are the hips. The harmstrings are lengthened, but not only the harmstrings. Also the upper body is lengthened. Inhaling helps to do so, but also gravity helps when doing standing positions. Knowing this gives the practice another intensity. It helps understanding the poses. We bend forward, nevertheless it is important to open the chest. Shoulders tend to go back and away from the ears. Most asanas of the primary series are done with a straight back.
Halasana is done with a straight back. Here, too, only the hip joints are moved.
The position of the legs change from asana to asana, but the principles remain: keeping the back straight, bending at the hip joints, open the chest, stretching the legs and the upper body. These principles can be applied also for mariychasana C and D.
Exceptions are: supta kurmasana, baddha konasana B and pindasana in the closing sequence. These are the poses with a rounded back.

Practice this morning: It was easier than expected. I like doing full vinyasas. After navasana I made a break - a bit too long. The body became stiff again. Then I finished the primary series with a quick closing sequence. I even omitted urdhva dhanurasana. There is no perfection.

Picture: The park of the Palace in Istanbul

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The cats

Everywhere are cats in Istanbul, begging for food, not so much for tenderness. My last picture is dedicated to them.
I am back in Munich. My suitcase is unpacked already.
Half an hour ago I got a phone call from E.. At the airport in Munich we gave us a good-bye hug. He had to go to the transfer flights, I had to go to the baggage claim. He already arrived in Lisboa, Portugal. It is warm there and sunny.
But for me, too, it was not the last trip this month. The week after next week I will spend a week in Berlin.

I am sure we'll come back

I still have to write how friendly the Turkish people are. I was always offered a seat to sit in the crowded tram, i.e. Whereever we were we met friendly and patient people, even though the communication was not always easy, because we do not speak Turkish. We got free teas and a smile whereever we were.

The Palace

This is the garden of the Palace.
I am a bit disappointed now. Every day something happened that was worth writing about. But now I am too lazy, it's all over already. It is so much better to write every day a bit, instead of writing only once when it is over.

Only one amazing story: Once we were in a restaurant. A man came to our table and introduced himself. He was adopted from a German couple and grew up in Germany. He had studied philosophy. Soon we found out that we (he and me) read the same authors: Osho, i.e. He planned to go to India for 4 months to the Krishnamurti ashram. I showed him my book that was in my bag: "Who cares?" by Ramesh Balsekar. He asked me if Ramesh Balsekar was still alive. This was the question of the questions. I didn't know. Back at the hotel I checked in the internet if Mr Balsekar was still alive. He is still alive and he is living in Mumbai. Every morning he answers questions from visitors. (Now I know where I want to go, when I will go to India again.) What a coincidence. I am in the middle of Turkey and I get a hint where to go next. It is amazing.

A view and another cafe

This picture is taken from the garden of the palace. It shows a cafe in the near park. The cafe was almost empty as it was rather fresh on our last days.

Modern life in the park

In the evening young couples meet in the park to exchange some tenderness, kisses and what else. Lust and love does not stop in front of a religious headscarf. On almost every bench sat another couple, busy with love and all which comes with it. Some male voyeur were there, too.

...so many places to stop

A conversation with E. on Advaita:
Me: Darling, do you know that you have no free will, that everything is already predetermined via the body-mind organism, via your programming, DNA and conditioning.
He: This is pure nonsense. Only once I had no free will and this was when I met you.

Hahaha, I like this. He is right. I think it is a good start.

The old Aequaduct

We walked a lot, from one sightseeing to the next, but only in the afternoon.
In the morning I did yoga and it was so hard. I thought: What if I stopped. It was so hard. I came to the conclusion that it was better to go on, even when it is hard. To stop and to start again is harder.

I shouldn't forget the waterpipes

They are produced in all possible sizes and colors.

...and gold

..of course, the women love gold.

....and more sweets


..and sweets

It was impossible to taste everything. Our favourite sweet was Baklava pistacie.

The Spice Bazaar

The Orient is full of colors and smells.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Everything is available at the Grand Bazaar. I bought nothing, I have everything, I enjoyed the atmosphere.

On the roof

Relaxed in the here and now: There are places where it is easier to enjoy the current moment. One evening we were on one of the roofs, my bf smoked schischa there, I drank a glass of red wine. Istanbul was at our feet. That's the Orient now, I thought.

Time to eat in Istanbul

It is possible to get vegan food. Most of the time I had grilled vegetables. I liked it. I also love the Turkish coffee. As dessert they offer these sweets like Baklava or fruit plates.

..and again the "Holy Sophie"

Sorry, but this picture I had to publish. It is one of my favourites from the Holy Sophia.

Hagia Sophia from outside

The light was great. I am sure that I was there 25 years ago, but I couldn't remember anymore.

Hagia Sophia - a well

I guess we were rather lucky that it wasn't the main tourist time. It was possible to take some pictures without tourists on it. :)

Hagia Sophia inside

It is a beautiful space.

Hagia Sophia from inside

The steps lead to the second floor and allow a view over the church.

Hagia Sophia

Cats are everywhere. The Hagia Sophia is next to the Blue Mosque and very beautiful, too.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Five times each day the muezzin remind the Muslims to pray. The voices are heard all over the city. There are loudspeakers everywhere. This was always the moment where I remembered that I was in a Muslim country.

The prove that I was there

Our daily routine: We woke up rather late. We were among the last to have breakfast. At 9:30 we appeared in the breakfast room. The buffet was great, everything was fresh, a wide range of bread was offered. At 10 o'clock the employees started putting the lunch plates on the empty tables. This was an obvious sign that the other guests had to leave, too.
I wrote my journal then and did yoga and meditation, while E. read in his books on mathematics. When it became time for lunch, we went to a close cafe to eat some sweets. After that we went downtown to discover something new. Dinner in one of the restaurants finished the evening. Not everywhere alcohol is offered.

Piqnique on the grass

This picture could have been taken in Berlin, too. Sitting on a blanket and having dinner outside is wide-spreaded. Many women wear the headscarf, but more don't wear it. Despite the religious headscarf I had the feeling that I was in a European city. Once I even saw a transvestite in a cafe. This shows me that people feel free to do what they want.

Entertainment in Turkish

I didn't like to shoot. I chant "peace" every day. But people seem to like to shoot. We were sure in Germany such a business with so less protection wouldn't be allowed.

Turkey - the sea

On our first day we went to the sea. Many men were fishing, children were playing. It was a sunny first day. And we relaxed. E. was watching some guys playing soccer, I was reading. We walked around and knew from what we saw, that we had arrived.

Turkey, Istanbul

Yeah, I am back from Istanbul. It was great.
12 million people live in Istanbul. So good that they have a very good public transportation system. The trams drive without interruption. There is no waiting time. One tram drives and the next tram arrives. All trams are croweded. To go by car is not an alternative as there is a lot of traffic jam. We were lucky that in front of the hotel was a tram station that brought us downtown.