Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's the first time that I'm alone in the evening

M is in the club. She has a business meeting. I could join her, she cares a lot for her guests. But business is business and fun is fun (oh how strict I am today).
R and D went to the cinema to see the latest Woody Allen. I saw it already, so I decided to stay at home. I walked down the street to buy me a piece of cake and Red Bull (my favourite drink here). Then I returned home. My bed is comfortable. I relax, write emails, update my beloved blog and perhaps I will even have time for some reading. Later.

OK, India again

It's one of the tall houses here. I think Mumbai has changed in the last 25 years.

Padmasana - have fun

I mean, I'm very close to become a holy person, the picture shows it.......a gift for this universe.
Just a joke. Wink.
Oh, the arms are straight, this is a speciality in Ashtanga yoga.
Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling.....

..and always forward bending - yoga mudra


I know, I'm sunburnt, worse than I thought it would be......
Oh, oh, oh, the chin must be on the floor of course.........

Baddha padmasana - holding the big toes


Baddha padmasana, crossing the arms behind the back and holding the big toes, an asana I thought I'd never be able to do. And suddenly it happened. Suddenly my arms were long enough for this pose.

Upavistha konasana B

I played a bit with the colors, I admit it. This is upavistha konasna B........
Aftr 5 or 6 years of doing it, I finally try to remember the name of the asana upavishta konasana B.

Mumbai, the city

Just an impression of this lively city.

Thank you for showing me

Thank you for showing me how you can climb, little princess.

Ah, she is good at climbing


Yes, she is sweet.

The kids of Mumbai........

A little girl

If a picture is not good, you probably weren't close enough, a photographer once said. This time I was close enough.
You want to see more?

The sea

Yeah, behind these fences is the sea. There was no access. In order to have a walk on the beach one has to drive about one hour from Beach Candy.

Luxury

Ah, it is not always easy to make such pictures. Often a guard stands in front of such shops and pays attention that no pictures are taken. I was faster. So enjoy.

Cool

"Cool, your toothbrush." said the son of the house to me yesterday, while I was brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush.

He impressed me too. This morning he was walking around with a beauty mask on his face. So cool.

There is always space for an asana - upavishta konasana A

This time I practiced next to the bed. The woman who came for watching Rameshs video is German. So I asked her if she would mind if I went on with my yoga practice. She had nothing against it and so I went again in my room to go on with my practice.

Upavistha Konasana A: When I sacrifice my straight back I'm able to put the head on the floor, but I do not like to sacrifice my straight back. Something else I see on the picture. To relax is so important also the face. The front needn't show wrinkles. This shall be my focus next time, relaxation.

Bandhas: Today I realized how much the bandhas can help to perform the asanas correctly.

I used a blanket on my sticky mat today. That way I slide through, I'm no more stopped when my feet touch the floor. As the goal is to jump through without touching the floor, I will probably not practice with the blanket next time.

Time for another shower, a bit of body care..........

The club and good morning, another day in India, day 7

The club: Here we sat yesterday and had our pizza and red wine and discussions on Rameshs teachings. I remember one sentence: "Work is part of it (of life)". Ramesh must have said it once. M has a very practical approach to life: "Only sitting around and calling friends to ask: how are you and then they tell you that everything is OK, is boring." How true. "Money must come in." Also true. "You meet people when you work." Also true. Without work, me too, I have a very positive opinion on work. :)
So far I have not yet reflected on my further working activities. I hope there comes an enlightenment, hahahahaha. I relax from everything, I enjoy the company of people, I enjoy the Indian lifestyle. All the impressions must sink in.

Before I do anything in the morning I jump under the shower. Also today I woke up sweaty and sticky. We have 3 bathrooms in the house. There is room enough for everybody to shower.
R and D and M have left the house already. But I'm not alone. I love it to live in a community. Even though not alone I feel free to do what I want. I even walk around in my pyjama in the morning. The young lady who helps with everything made me one of the really good chais today. It was sweet and hot, very Indian.

At 9 a lady is coming for satsang. We'll listen to a DVD with Ramesh. I plan to practice in my room today. There is this huge mirror and it can be helpful perhaps to see me doing the asanas. That way I also do not miss the lady.

All the time something is going to happen.......

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flexibility and busy, busy


We finally met at the club and we didn't see the 33 cats. The cats are now on the schedule for tomorrow. I wondered all the time what to do: cats or yoga. I will do yoga. D. will do a documentary on the cats and I wouldn't have time to play with these monsters. Without playing with the cats and taking pictures of them I will have much less fun.
So after the bookstsore we went home. M. has left a message that she was waiting for us in the club. I went and later D joined. Ramesh was our topic during dinner. We had pizza, red wine and bear, it was really good.
So far I have not read a line in a book, I am so busy.
Time to go to bed it's almost midnight.
I'm sweating - hahahahaha

Shree Sharada

My favourite restaurant so far in Mumbai: The food is safe and delicious, the waiters are friendly and from time to time a fresh breeze refreshes my sweating body. Mixed vegetables is my favourite lunch with naan bread. It's sufficient for the entire day.

Mumbai, a balcony

I use the time now to read in the book "I am That" by Nisargadatta Maharaj. I will put on the fan. Oh, it does not work. Hahahaha.


Impressions of Mumbai

A calm street, at least on the photo.

Body sensations


I had lunch at my favourite restaurant a few min down the road. I met the Brasilian couple from yesterday. They had breakfast. Later the man from the Netherlands joined us. Even in Mumbai it's easy to meet people, it just happens. I had ordered mixed vegetables for lunch and it was spicy. My tongue was burning from the hot food. Sweat was running down my body. From time to time I sipped from my cold sweet Coca Cola. Seldom a fresh breeze brought relieve from the heavy air.
D and I will go the the crossword bookstore later, we'll meet R there. Then we'll go to the man with the 33 cats.
Till then I will lie on my bed, reading a bit, dreaming a bit with open eyes.

On the roof, in the shadow

I practiced second series till laghu vajrasana today. I found a place in the shadow on the roof which was wonderful. From time to time a breeze refreshed me.
I tried hard and I could lift my head and my body when I did laghu vajrasana, but I couldn't come up. I hadn't the energy for a second try.

When I did urdhva dhanurasana today the head touched the floor once, only a bit. My arms were not straight enough. This can happen, it doesn't scares me anymore and it didn't hurt either. It only reminds me to respect the asanas. Correctly done they have huge benefits, not practicing carefully I can even hurt myself.

A daily practice is the secret. Then progress will happen even though it cannot be seen every day.

I just showered and my body is wet again, I'm sweating.

Indian life style of the middle class

The family of the middle class has staff, what I'v seen so far. Some call the people, who help in the house servants, I prefer the word staff. Often there is a cleaning woman, a washing woman, a chauffeur, a cook. It's a whole team that often lives in the house. At night they role out a mat somewhere and sleep there, often in the aile in front of door. Yesterday evening when we returned from the party, 3 people were sleeping in front of the door. Our cleaning woman sleeps in the ironing room in the house. The pay for this stuff is very low. Often it happens that one of these people steals. This is perhaps a brave man or woman who wants to support the own children. I do not judge such a behaviour. Most of the time misery makes us doing things we usually wouldn't do.
For us this means that we have to lock all our stuff that we urgently need or stuff that we want to keep: money, PC, camera, jewellery. I got a lock from M and I always put everything in my suitcase. I lock it, I unlock it, I lock it, I unlock it, I lock it, I unlock it. I've heard about this situation also from another woman who said that she locks always all her jewellery even though at home.

I experience it as an absolute luxury that everything in the house is done by someone. Like little brownies they do all the stuff to make the life of the midde class comfortable and this around the clock.
This post is a great thank you to the people who do this silent work in the Indian households.

Up, later as planned

But I have this black instant coffee next to me and I need this black poison more than ever. When I wake up here my whole body is sticky. Today I first went to the shower to refresh me a bit. So I'm up to 4 showers a day. No wonder that the authorities cut water 20%.

Nevertheless there should be time for my daily yoga practice. Second series, today.

Perhaps the following things will happen:

- seeing the man with the 33 cats

- seeing this wonderful woman who invited us in her home

- going to Taj Mahal hotel for dinner

- seeing A when she will have time

- going to a yoga studio here

- making a day trip to Ganeshpuri Ashram (as recommended by a reader).

As usual, I don't set up a schedule here, things will happen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

R's birthday party

Ah, swimming at night in a pool in Mumbai, R's party couldn't start better. We met at the club. The air was warm, so was the water, salty was the water. I loved to swim. And afterwards we had a wonderful dinner. I had asparagus salad, but fish and chips were offered,too. The guests came from so many places of this world: Australia, India, Brasil, Netherlands, Germany. One person was nicer than the other. Ramesh and his teaching connects us.

And at the end we had this most delicious birthday cake. Everybody got a piece in her/his hand. I devoured every little piece of it and then I licked my fingers clean. Ah, so good.

We have a new member in our little community here. A man from the Netherlands arrived this afternoon. He plans to stay for a few days here.

On the back seats you don't need a safety belt

"On the back seats you don't need a safety belt," M said to me. "Ah," I thought.
Our chauffeur drove M and R and me through this hot, colorful, lively city Mumbai.
Inside the car we had air-conditioning.
Michael Jackson: "Beat it."
We: "Beat it." And we clapped in our hands.
"Beat it."

HOLD ME, I start flying.

I need a safety belt also on the back seat..........

Busy, busy

Life has speed.
Soon we (M+R+me) will see Ms mother. In the evening is Rs birthday party. We make no break.
Busy, busy we are.
I just had some fun with taking pictures. It's not only me who likes to take pictures, some Indian wanted to take picture of me. Of course I hugged the 2 ladies who wanted to stand next to me. I put on my sweetest smile I had at that time. And klick, klick. Done.

My skin is sticky. I'm sweating. Oh, I talked about this already. I take a shower 3 times a day now. I reflect on showering even more often. If I only had more towels here.......Hahahaha.

Incredible India


Back from the roof


I practiced and it was a good yoga practice. I have time as much as I want, this helps to have a relaxed practice. Only the sun makes me stop practicing upstairs.

I don't do garbha pindasana. I simply don't want to force my arms through my sticky legs folded in lotus pose. And I give no ambitious to jumping through. Anger comes up when the sticky mat stops me from an elegant jumping through. Today I didn't like the feeling of anger.

Dropping back is amazing. I love it. But also janu sirsasana satisfied me somehow and the other asanas, too. For relaxation, pranayama and meditation, it was too hot on the roof. I came down.

Thank you, thank you my dear readers. I try to do all your recommendations.
Thank you for giving me the hint how to get the book for Zee. He probably needs it for his enlightenment. So it is important.

I love to go to the recommended yoga studio.
Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling.......


For today I'm already in a hurry. R wants to go downtown with me.

I'm waking up


I sit on my bed, checking the news of the world. My body is sticky when I wake up here. As soon as I'm up I start sweating. And it's not yet summer time I was told yesterday.
The evening: M took me to the club where we had noodles. Every Sunday is a noodle day there. We sat ouside, the huge swimming pool in front of us, enjoying our meal. M wanted to have her second yoga class. She is so enthusiastic. In the club is a place where there is a huge yoga mat outside where everybody can practice. So before dinner we practiced. The surya namaskara A seem to be difficult to her, even so she progresses already. Yesterday she wanted to learn surya namaskara B already. But I think she realized by herself that it is good to practice the first suryas first for a while. She loves it (because of my adjustments???) Passion is necessary to go on with Ashtanga yoga. The valleys are deep, but the highs are so good, also. M likes also the calm parts. We sang 3 times aum at the end. That's something she likes. Also the relaxation at the end is a part she likes.
Then we went home. I went to Rs room when I heard that she was back, too. I wanted to spend some time with her after such an intensive day that we had together. I also wanted to know how the cremation was. It was possible to see how the body burnt. We had wonderful music on (don't know what it was, sorry). A fresh breeze came from the sea and played with my hair. I looked at my watch and I realized that it was 20 min to midnight. We remained up, because today is Rs birthday. We hugged each other at midnight and today there is a little party at a restaurant. I'm invited, too. Life went on already. Inhaling, exhaling.......
Time for my coffee, time to free my body from the sticky sweat.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On Ramesh Balsekar

A few days ago I met some people during lunch time: We talked about Ramesh. Ramesh has had an open house. People from all over the world could come to see him from the early morning till midnight to ask questions. He was available for everybody, who wanted to see him. It was very easy. The address is known. One only had to go to his home, ring the bell and one was welcomed. It was not necessary to make an appointment or a phone call in advance. Ramesh was available for everybody any time.
R said to me that a relative of Ramesh told her: And the German woman was the last one who came and could see him.

The cremation of Ramesh Balsekar


Ramesh Balsekars body will be burnt this late afternoon. It won't be the traditional way.
I didn't join R to the ceremony as I want to keep in mind the pictures of this morning and afternoon, picture that were full of peace, silence and beauty.

White clothes

My friend R gave me white clothes this morning as it is the custom here to be dressed in white when someone passes away.

Ramesh Balsekar


This morning R and me went to the house of Ramesh Balsekar. We had learned that he had passed away in the morning. Ramesh house was always an open house and so the door was open also today and we could enter the flat. We went to his bedroom and there he laid on his bed. His eyes were closed, his mouth was open. A red cloth with golden patterns covered his body. I stood next to his bed and looked at that wonderful person. Drops of sweat were running down my back. The fan was on. People were sitting on the floor, tears everywhere. I looked at Ramesh, there was not the slightest movement anymore. He looked so peaceful. Beautiful. We stayed there in the bedroom for about 2 hours. We sat down on the floor like the others. New people were coming, others went. One woman carresed Rameshs head, one kissed him. Most people who came touched the covered feet. Again and again, tears. Here, so close was the man who helped me the most to understand life. I woudn't have been able to float so easily through some events in my life that happened lately, if I hadn't heard his words. I thank him so much.
After 2 hours Rani and me went to buy flowers. We had 4 bags of different colorful flowers when we returned, orange, lilac, red, yellow. We decorated with these flowers Rameshs body, till the whole body was full of flowers. What a meditative activity. Then we sat there again. From time to time we went closer to the bed to say silently good-bye to this wonderful man.
It is the first dead body that I've seen since I'm a grown-up person. This deep silence that comes from a dead body is amazing.
Ramesh leaves a lot of videos and books. That way he will always remain among us.
I'm thankful that I am here.

Ramesh just passed away

We'll go to his house now.

Under the sky, on the roof


This is my yoga place on a roof in Mumbai, close to the sea. After my little yoga teaching (or was I the student???) I practiced on my own. Second series only today till laghu vajrasana.
And, what a surprise: I was able to come up from this last pose laghu vajrasana. I didn't repeat it.
I also tried (a bit) to come up from urdhva dhanurasna. I tried to freeze my movements. I tried to come up slowly without rocking wildly forwards and backwards.
It's absolutely necessary to get up early. To practice under the sun is not so good, shadow is needed.
M was great. I taught her the first surya namaskara a. It was enough. It is important to know exactly what to say. One cannot be precise enough. We finished with salamba sarvangasana and the three sitting positions. 5 min relaxation ended the session.

I'm up, drinking coffee - I'll give my first yoga class on a roof in Mumbai

I sip my hot coffee. M is up, too. She is drinking coffee, too. At 7:30 we'll go up on the roof and practice yoga. I hope she will love it. Not to overteach is also important. I'm curious.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Impressions of the here and now

"Ain't no sunshine, when she's gone". We listen to American music very loud in the middle of Mumbai. The windows are open. The fan is switched off. I'm sweating. I am on my bed, my PC sits on my lap, I update my blog and write emails, I feel connected to the world.

The motto of my last Indian trip was: Relax and all is coming.
This time even "to relax" is no more necessary.
It's all happening.

Life happens.

(M just gave me a praliné............no, I don't comment on this......smile)

When a poor man becomes rich

In the car:
Me to M: Have you seen "Slumdog millionaire"?
M to me: Oh, it is cruel, even the eyes of a child were burnt. I prefer movies when a poor man becomes rich. The expression on the face of a man when he becomes rich, so beautiful.

Mmmmmh: This I understand.
M: If you like it in 3 hours I have the movie "slumdog millionaire" here. Do you like to watch?
To be honest, I'm not sure if I like to watch.

It's all happening

M. got a phone call today. An Indian business man called her to offer her to use his beach ressort. She does not want to go alone, so we are invited. We celebrate all our successes. Me, too, I was successful today: I could cross one of these streets here - alone. (without heart attack). I'm sure R. has had highlights, too.
M. laughs gives me tender slap on my backside and says: And this is all happening. We are all laughing together.

Then the chauffeur drove us downtown. M had some business meetings and R and me went to a beauty shop. Now my feet and hands are well-groomed again with red polish on my feet nails. All these beautiful shops here, I cannot believe it: Best clothes, nicest jewellery, and all these oils. Mumbai is the best city for women in that world. I am in love with Mumbai.

But the best comes now. I was again at the Sitar class with R. A husband of one of the Sitar players joined us and sat down, listening like me. When the couple left the class, he told me that he was reading my blog. Thank you for having said this. And thank you very much for offering help, in case I need it. I feel at home here.

Picture: The skyline of Mumbai

I am on my knees

The sun came out from time to time, from time to time a fresh breeze cooled my body. I inhaled deeply the salty air. This morning I practiced on the roof of this house.
Today I did the first series, without ambition, I only practiced, enjoyed the place and the air, the solitude, the sea. Of course I had to drop back today.
Then the sun became hotter and I knew that I have to get up earlier when I want to practice in the shadow on that roof.
Time to watch videos by Balsekar. My friends R from Australia and A from Italy sit already in front of the TV on the floor of course.
(Picture of the roof follow, I so miss my big camera)

The attitude is important, not the events that happen


The attitude towards events are more important than the events themselves.
And now I take my mat and go upstairs to the roof: yoga time.
Picture: The entrance of the house where I live.

Listening to sitar music

R. took me to a sitar class yesterday. 3 women and a teacher (one of the 3 best sitar players of India I've heared, a strict teacher) gathered together. I was allowed to listen and sat down on the floor, moved my body with the music. I did not know that sitar music can be so rhythmic. Sometimes I had the feeling that everybody was playing her own stuff, a big mess was created. I asked R. later if my impression was true and she admitted it, laughingly. It was difficult to concentrate, she said.
Afterwards we ate at Govinda's restaurant. And talked about Ramesh, and how we see the world. Even though we just met the first time a few days ago, I feel very close to her.

One blond woman is already too much here, but we both are blond. I think we are an attraction here, but nobody is intrusive. We both together are simply a bit over the top. It is as if we come from another world, which is almost true

Mumbai is safe, also during the night. Only the traffic scares me very much. I know the Indians are very good drivers, but this helps only a bit.

I have another body feeling here, but I've nothing against it. I wake up and my body is moist everywhere. I sweat all the time. Thinking of E, I know he would suffer, because he would sweat here so much. He would go with me to the big hotels (air-conditioning) and there we would spend our days. I bombard him with pictures of India, so it is as if he were here. On weekends he usually is missing me, he told me. During the week he is too busy. No U will prepare him a breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Ohhhh.

The plan for today:
- I have to draw money again (eveything is more expensive as expected and I spend more than expected, hahahahaha)
- I have to organize an adapter, but I know where to get one (thanks to R.)
- The Italian guy, who was here yesterday will come and see us again. We will listen to videos of Ramesh. In the afternoon we will see Ramesh.

And a last note for my readers who see me as a yoga teacher. M. wants to learn yoga from me. On Sunday I will show her the beginning of the first Ashtanga series. Let's see how far we will come. I will be traditional. When we come to the first pose that is impossible to do, I stop showing another asana.

I got the message

I was told yesterday by R that it is wished that we have finished our yoga practices in the living room by 9:30. I practiced till after 10. So the cleaning lady wanted me to go out of the living room. That's why she was sweeping around my mat. Fine, I understood. Yesterday I've found another place to practice: The roof.
Imagine: I can do my yoga practice in the middle of Mumbai on a roof, seeing the sea on one side and the highrises around me. The roof has a very well-groomed mosaic floor. I will be alone there. It's possible that R will join me. This is simply too much, it cannot be better. In my boldest dreams I couldn't create such a place. I'm happy, excited, all the positive feeling show up at once.

Friday, September 25, 2009

At Ramesh Balsekars home

This is only possible in India. R and I went this afternoon to Ramesh Balsekars home which is round the corner where we live. We rang the bell and relatives asked us in. They knew R already from former satsangs. I said that I'd like to see Ramesh and I was lead to a bedroom. There Ramesh lied on a huge bed between white cushions dressed in white clothes. His eyes were open. From time to time he moved his legs. He looks very fragile. I sat there on a chair and was there for a while in a very calm and peaceful atmosphere. After 4 min or so a man stood at the door, it was the doctor. I stood up from my chair. "Thank you for your books, Ramesh", I said. I'm not sure if he heard it. Then I left the room. R. was waiting for me in the living room.

Tomato pav bajhi


My first lunch here: tomato pav bajhi. It was very spicy, I had 2 pieces of naan bread with it and a warm Coca Cola. Oh, I loved this food. The little restaurant was a recommendation by R. She spent the afternoon and evening with me and showed me everything, where to draw money, where to buy vegetables, oils. What would I do without her. I hold her hand when we cross the street. The traffic is as expected chaotic, to use a modest work what's going on here in the streets. This evening we were out in a restaurant. We left some food. She said to the waiters to pack it. Later she gave it to some poor people in the street.
And she knows all the wonderful shops. During lunch time I read in my book "clutter buster" that things make not happy. This book is written by a man. Things make happy. I found such a lovely blouse today.

Pearls of sweat

Pearls of sweat were running down my little white body and tickled me between my breasts and on my back. OK, I could have also have decided to write "wet clothes" as a title. But the creative writing workshop is still too fresh: pearls of sweat sounds so much better than wet clothes.
Warning: For those who read during office times, it is possible that my texts become a bit juicier as usual. Better to read my blog at home. But this is not a promise. Hahahaha. I am on vacation in India and full of energy. I practiced Ashtanga yoga in the living room - full first series, full vinyasa, and second series till laghu vajrasana. As already mentioned, even me, I sweat here, the climate makes my body soft, a wonderful experience.
The book "Clutter buster" is obviously too thin to hold me when I do pashasana, I rolled back. Tomorrow I will use "Yoga school drop out". It's thicker. I always travel with a library.
Laghu vajrasana: I couldn't come up, but I tried, oh I fought, but it didn't happen.

The young lady here in the house was sweeping the floor around my yoga mat and a bit she was cleaning also my yoga mat with her broom while I was practicing. Focus, focus, focus, I thought. Oh, she has wonderful black hair. I love this black hair that is blacker than black.

And when breathing is important, it is worth doing pranayama. I did it.
Then I meditated for 10 minutes, I feel full of energy, but relaxed at the same time. And suddenly I felt a pearl, a last pearl of sweat was running down my exhausted body, tickling me..........

Water cut in Mumbai

It hasn't rained enough in Mumbai and therefore during the afternoon there is no water. At 8 in the evening water is running again. But M showed me how to shower also in the afternoon. There is a huge pot in the bathroom full of water. With a little pot I take water out of it and pour it over my body. There is a solution for everything.

R showed me how to stay healthy. She dries the wet cups with her own clothes. And there is always cooked water in the kitchen. It's better to take this when thirsty. I also brush my teeth with cooked water.

I have black instant coffee next to me. The Arabic coffee (filter coffee) is in the refrigerator. I wanted to have it easy on my first day. To deal with filter bags would have been too much this morning.

Picture: My neighbourhood, when I look out of my room. I miss my big camera. Next time.

M just brought me the newspaper: The Times of India.
I will read it. I'm enjoying my coffee.

Life is wonderful.

I just woke up in Mumbai

Being in Mumbai during September is like being in a sauna that one cannot leave. I had nothing to cover my body during the night. It was not necessary. The warm thick air laid on my body like a cover. I slept very well laying on my bed dressed only with my pink piyama bought in the childrens departemant. My skin is moist. I'm a bit sweating obviously.

All the doors are open here during the day. Only who wants to be alone closes them. This community that lives in this huge beautiful flat consists of M and the husband, the son, a woman responsible for the cooking and cleaning, a chauffeur, R. from Australia and me.
Yes, I'm up. I hear the first voices coming from a balcony and R seems to wake up, too.

And now I'm in search of my first coffee here. Smile.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I just killed an animal

I hope it was no cockroach. Can I be brutal.
This is India, too. Little animals where they shouldn't be.

A party of 5


On my first night here in Mumbai I was out with 4 Indian women and 1 woman from NY. We had dinner in a club. A huge swimming pool was in front of us. We talked about satsang and yoga and enjoyed the food. I had pakoras. Delicious. "Thank you for the wonderful evening", I said to M, when we walked home. She:"You were the evening." Oh.

At home again I met R.. What a lovely woman. We will practice yoga together. It is simply a great start.

I have 2 hours, then my power here is over. I have to find a solution for this "issue". The son of the house will help me. He likes my parfum. He said this to me. Yes. And tomorrow in the morning I get coffee from this young woman who is helping here (R said to her: coffee, no tea).
The sea is close. I am not at all tired. It's all much too exciting.

Ramesh


When I entered my sweet little room I couldn't trust my eyes. Pictures of Ramesh Balsekar stood in the shelf. "You can visit him", M. told me, "he lives round the corner, he is waiting for you."

Arrived in Mumbai

My room in Mumbai at Breach Candy: Here I will be for the next 3 weeks. It is hot here, it is wet here. I'm sweating. A chai is offered to me. M. invited me to go to the club this evening to meet some people. I am happy. Life is pulsating and I am again in the middle of everything. I could tell already so many stories. One at a time.

And first I have to brush my teeth with filtered water and my electric tooth brush.
Tracy, this first chai I drink for you, that you can come soon to India again.

In Dubai already

Did I sleep now during the flight or not? It was sort of having the eyes closed, trying to relax, but the mind was active in a chaotic way. I don't know why I feel refreshed now. It is surely the excitement. In 2 hours the second flight will take me to Mumbai.

In the plane next to me sat a woman on the way to Kenia. Her daughter, 33, was kidnapped yesterday. Now she will take care of the 1 year old grandchild in Kenia. In the morning she told me that she stood up at night to walk around, suddenly she was at a totaly different place in the plane. She had lost consciousness. They wanted to examine her after the flight. I hope the story will find a good end. Somehow unbelievable, but I know that it is true.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yes, yes, yes

I do have the passport with the visa in my handbag.
I do have the tickets there, too.
I do have Rupees for the taxi and
I do have the address in my planner.

Sigh, smile.

Accounting before enlightenment, accounting after enlightenment

I just got a job offer for my time after India.
I said: Right now I am on my way to India. But if you like to wait......I like to help you afterwards.
And he wants to wait. He said so. (Let's see, I mean, I know what promises mean. And he must care for his business.). However. I know I will get another job to survive when I'll be back.
But first comes enlightenment. Hahahahaha. Accounting before enlighenment, accounting after enlightenment. Let's see. I open my arms, and what is given to me, I take and say thank you and smile.

The existence cares for you, Osho said once.
Also for me?
Seems so.

Yeah, suitcase is packed. I sit here and wait and wait and wait. Hahahahaha. And I'm so excited, so damned excited, just like before the first kiss.

The last hours in Germany

Oh yes, I am excited. Everything should be OK. Nevertheless. At 4 p.m. I start packing my suitcase. It would be good to take a nap, but I cannot sleep. Too much Adrenalin is in my blood.

It's 30 degrees in Mumbai, this is hot.

I cannot imagine that I cannot sleep in the plane. I've ordered vegan food. There must be a demand for animal free food.
Deep inhaling, deep exhaling, deep inhaling, deep exhaling........

My knees were trembling...

Difficult tasks first. I lifted the receiver and dialed the number of the German tax office. Grgh, this was the fax number. I had still courage to dial again, this time the telephone number. I heard the voice of a man.
"Shall I give you my tax number?"
"Yes."
"I know it, I am too late with my tax declaration 2008. Must I go to a tax adviser now or do you give me a bit more time?"
"How much time do you need?"
"Till the end of November."
"OK".
"Oh, thank you." Smile, also a smile can be heard on the other side. This man made my day. Yepeeeeh. This burden is gone now. I didn't like to take my tax stuff mentally to India.

Now I have to vote.

Be attentive

I am experienced enough to know that after a break of 4 days the body has tightened and therefore it is easy to overstretch. With care and attentiveness I moved my body through the 79 asanas of the first Ashtanga series. Ahhhh, so good. I sweated.

No highlights happened, but I expected this. I was not in a valley today, but I know that those who practice when it's not so super good, will finally be able to master the asanas, also the most challenging ones. Finally the breath will become deeper and deeper, finally the practice can be experienced as a meditation practice: awareness on the mat, awareness off the mat.

Next time I will practice in India.
Next 3 steps:
I want to elect by mail.
I must call the tax office and beg for being allowed to postpone my tax declaration. Grghhh.
Chores, chores, chores, I want that E feels good here alone without me.

The effects of the writing workshop

Writing my 3 morning pages was sort of washing my soul. I wrote down what came to my mind without thinking too much. This morning I thought: Write it as a story what comes to mind. Make a story out of the thoughts that occupy the mind. This is so much more fun and creates a healthy distance. Describe what is, not so many interpretations are necessary. To go to a meta-level, reflexions are surely part of a private jounal, too. What happened really, how does it look like are surely good questions to transform a jounal from "just notes" and "reflexions" to a journal that contains stories, descriptions that are fun reading also after years.
So far I do not reread my private journal, nor my blog. I simply have no time for it. I write it and then away with my words and sentences. But perhaps one day, when I will be over 90.....:)

Back to my beloved morning routine for one day

I'm up, it was 5 when I got up. Coffee is ready, I will write my journal first and then I will practice Ashtanga after a break of 4 or 5 days. Just do it, I think. But coffee first. I'm back to my morning routine.

Nevertheless, it's a good exercise to get out of a routine for a while. It keeps oneself flexible. It can bring awareness into life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Satyananda (alias Jörg Elten) and the creative writing workshop

"She is a nuclear power plant on two legs," he spoke about his grandchild, a little girl from Pakistan adopted by his daughter and her husband. He taught us to use metaphors, but he has the best. It's a pleasure to listen to him and he has so many stories. His stories allow to look behind the curtains as he travelled the world as a journalist.

We had a young man in the group, 18 years old. He was a very nice guy. We had the topic "lust". Yes, it is difficult to write about such a topic with 18 and as a man. So J. (the name is changed)had a writing blockade. "You are in best society," S. said. "There was a top journalist at the best German news magazin and from one day to the other he couldn't write anymore. They paid him his salary 2 further years only in the hope that he could write again. But he couldn't. What if you would write about your blockade. Or simply take a topic that is not given. Write about what you want." Also for us "older" writers it was not easy to write something and to read it aloud to a group of people. I've never done this before. And I wanted to read my stuff in front of the group. Satyananda created an atmosphere that made everything possible. He was a star journalist, wrote bestseller, with 82 he is a most lively man, with a sensitivity and experience that allows him to open up 70 year old writers and 18 year old ones. Thank you, I think, thank you.

I know I also have German readers. Satyananda's workshop are best. Go.
Start reading his books and then go to the workshop. Any questions?

Closeness - a story I wrote at the creative writing workshop

He was sitting at the kitchen table, reading again one of the sad emails of A. He was one of his best friends from his youth and her lover. U. died with 60. Suddenly he laid on the kitchen floor. Dead. Since then A. is mourning. She writes very sad emails to friends. She does not want to live anymore, she does not know how everything shall go on. She has been too young when she met him, she means. E. shows me the email. I read. Then I stand at the kitchen door, rather touched by the intensity of the sadness. E. looks at me: "You weren't so sad when I would die." I laugh loudly. He looks at me and after a little break he laughs back. We both are laughing and are close to each other. He knows me, I think, and he doesn't want to change me. I shall be very sad if he wouldn't be anymore. But not too long. I'm not a child of sadness. But who knows.

I need a break

Perhaps I should simply eat to get some more energy.
I'm excited, of course. Mumbai is something else but Gokulam. But everything is organised perfectly. I have written the address where I shall live in my planner. In addition I have searched for a hotel. Some of my yoga clothes are still on the balcony so that the wind and the sun can dry them. Tomorrow I will pack everything: yoga mat, suitcase, PC, I don't need more.

Time to eat.

Preparations for my Indian trip are in full swing

I have to wash clothes, I have to iron, very important. I don't want to leave my home messy. I have to and I want to return.

It's a summer day here, it's really hot outside. What do I still need to buy, I wonder, to have an excuse to go out for a stroll.

Tomorrow at 10:35 p.m. I will sit in an aeroplane on my way to Dubai and then to Mumbai.

On the road again.

Trapped between steelplate several hours of my precious life were stolen. We stood in a traffic jam. "Is this a good beginning", I wondered.

I carressd his paunch while he sat bored in front of the wheel. I mumbled "wealth, luck and beauty". I learned this technique in Hongkong. A belly is absolutely necessary....Or is this a good beginning.

Kruzifix, verdammte, Scheiße, damned, shit, crap. Perhpas to curse gets attention?

Ah, I simply love to write.

And now I am at home, busy, busy again. The washing machine is working. I have to pick up a book from the mail station. I have to buy a swatch. The suitcase is already unpacked. I'm in a hurry. More of that interesting stuff later........:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Be lively

Be lively and you will write lively. This is the essence of what I take home from the creative writing workshop.

Wonderful were the people I met in that group. I will miss them.

Tired I sit in a bed at my parents home. Tomorrow at 6 we will get up.
Time to focus on my Indian trip. It is as if I fly through my life.

Buh my PC is buzzing, please not, stay healthy.
Good night.

I'm already busy packing my suitcase

After the dynamic meditation (3 times is enough for the next 5 years) we have to check out here. This wonderful workshop is over.
Nataraj meditation was great yesterday in the early evening. We were all so exhausted that we preferred to meditate instead of to write. Nataraj meditation means to sit down comfortably and to buzz for perhaps 45 min. I buzzed and buzzed.

The workshop consisted of meditation, writing, listening, giving feed-back, sauna, dancing, talking, learning writing techniques. It was a lively workshop.

Email-addresses were exchanged already yesterday. At 2 E will pick me up here and we will drive back to the South.

But first: Dynamic meditation. Huh, huh, huh, huh. (Huh, I feel my clalves. They are sore from the jumping up and down.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The last night


I am a bit confused. I have too many different feelings at the same time. The read texts are still in my mind. I am glad that I could relax in the sauna this evening. Time to go to bed.

The creative writing workshop has an intensity I haven't expected.


Up,

No, today I don't want coffee. The dynamic meditation is so exhausting. To jump up and down and to have coffee in the stomach would be a disaster. Yesterday I felt so sick after this phase. I even had to sit down. The stomach hurt. I even feared I had to vomit. But soon I recovered. Today I want to work even more with my voice. Screaming while beating a cushion has something relieving (at the end). The eye blind helps to be even a bit more crazy than usual. :)

After lunch we met again. We lay down and J. read us a text by Henry Miller on writing. We laid on our mats. In that position it was even relaxing to concentrate on the spoken words. One picture I remember: Henry compared his writing as fruits that he gave.

Writing has surely therapeutic effects. It is a technique to reflect over oneself, to get to know oneself, perhaps even to free oneself. Also if I do nothing else but writing a blog and my private journal it's good to learn how to express myself so that it is understandable. This is the art. To write that other understand what is written.

I talk so much during lunch that I forget to eat. I've probably lost already some pounds, and the buffet is most delicious here.

Again I'm curious what will happen today.......

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Observing


In Germany is a sea, too: the Ostsee
After lunch we drove with the car to the Ostsee. The weather was perfect, a hot summer day. We were armed with a pen and a paper. The task was to observe people and to write down what we observe. 45 % of a good piece is good observance. To look closely, to zoom, to see trifles is something one can learn. The first 2 sentences must be exciting, they invite to go on reading.

A German publisher once said: A good story starts with an earthquake and then the story escalates.

A good text must flow.

It's the first time that I read my text loudly in front of a group and I wasn't shy at all. I even wanted to read. I feel lightness. Writing comes easy, too. There is flow during the day, the group is very open and emotional, honest. There were even tears already. Not mine. J put Kleenex next to the chair where the one sat who read his text.

Sweating, writing, sweating, writing

I haven't thought that I would sweat so much at a creative writing workshop.
In the afternoon we did the Kundalini meditation by Osho:

- shaking the body
- dancing
- sitting in silence
- laying on the floor in meditation, observing oneself.

What a lively workshop. To be lively, that's it. To get rid of blockades. Energy must flow. Then the writing will become lively, too.

Closeness

like-minded people
groups
technique
body
parents
connections
liberty
acceptance
wish
death
distance
travelling
blackmailing
to leave behind
symbiosis
mourning
laughing
thoughts
emptiness
to hold
open hand
joyfulness
fear
trust
speaking
fiction
mental occupation
control
arrived at home
alone
with others together
distance
change
opposites
illusion
mental closeness
body closeness
honey
glue
all-purpose glue
desert
prison
sofa
time
tight clothes
time
friendship
crowded rooms
inner liberty

Clustering: Write down a word in the middle of a circle and then write down words that come to mind around this circle. Don't think write. Do it that long till there is a jumping board, a story that comes to mind. Clustering can help if nothing comes to mind.

My story that came up shall be written in an own post.

Warm-up time


Out of the bed and dynamic meditation: I need some time between. Looking outside the window I realize that I am in the countryside. It's all green here. I've already put on some yoga clothes, have springled some water into my face, have brushed my teeth, only the black coffee is missing. From 8 o'clock on breakfast (and coffee) is served. This is too late for me as we start at 7:30.
So first the Dynamic Meditation, then breakfast (and coffee).
At 10 we will start with.......let's see if it will be writing. "Have no wishes, have no expectation", I heard yesterday during our relaxation trip. Curiousity is my main feeling.

Friday, September 18, 2009

From heart to heart


If you want to write a page-turner you must write from heart to heart.
In order to be able to write lively, you must be lively, were one of the key words I remember from J's introduction. We sat in a circle on chairs when we introduced each other. In the middle was a bunch of red flowers.

And as liveliness is so important we started our creative working workshop dancing in the room above. The music had rhythm, but also long melodies that seduced me sometimes to follow the rhythm and sometimes to follow the slow melody with slow movements. Ah, the body.

We are seven people 3 men and 4 women (from all ages and every possible profession), J. and M. We cannot be differently. And we all like to express ourselves via the word, sentences. That's exciting.
One thing I can already say: I love to be here, exactly here I want to be now and I'm so curious to get to know my fellow writers, I'm so curious what will happen tomorrow.
I am also relieved that we get topics to write about. The approach to writing via dancing is a surprise.
The hotel here is beautiful, the food excellent (only vegetarian food is offered). My creative writing workshop couldn't start better.
In the morning we will do the dynamic meditation at 7:30. Time to shower, time to sleep to be fit.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I found it, I found it......

......the book on self-publishing, that I want to take to the creative writing workshop. It was already in my suitcase, it travelled to France with me. With every hour that the creative writing workshop comes closer, the more exciting I get.

I surely must pack a few nice clothes for the evenings........

Spices,

oil, mustard, for my mother as a birthday present is bought. I hope she will like these delicatesses. It's her birthday when my feet touch Indian sole.

So and now I must start packing my suitcase:
Important will be my red bathrobe and shoes to walk and of course my PC, my camera, my yoga mat, my journal, clothes...............

Never go out.....

....without a bit of parfum. Today I put one of my Indian oils behind my ears.......

Downtown now. I'm coming.

Another yoga practice

It is always good to practice, also after an exhausting practice the day before. The body is a bit stiff first, but to stretch dissolves the tightness from the day before.

One thing I don't want to do anymore: To practice and to take pictures. It interrupts my practice enormously. Then I want to check the picture I have taken, then I don't like it and I want to do another shot. When I want to see my pictures I have to get my glasses. Then I don't like the clothes I have put on and I search more beautiful ones. And so on.

I was shocked when I saw pictures of myself doing hanumanasana. The hips were not parallel and I am still far away from the floor. I thought I would be much much closer.

Pashasana: I found something that is very helpful. With the position of the head I can balance. When I go back with the heels I bring my head forward. That way I could remain in the position and I didn't role backwards.
Usthrashana: I used the leg muscles all the time.
Laghu vajrasana: I managed it to come up. This was really the highlight today. I pressed the shins and feet into the floor as much as I could. Only for a fracture of a second my head touched the floor. My knees separated when I came up, but it's done. It's hard, but I will be able to repeat this.
Urdhva dhanurasana: No difference to yesterday. I stretched first before I dropped back and I tried to use my leg muscles all the time, hips should go forward and upwards. Practice and all is coming, I think.

Good that I practiced even though I do not have much time. I must prepare my trip to the north of Germany. I still need a birthday present for my mother, so I must go downtown. Buh.

If this helps??? Or what have my parents to do with my nipples.

"Squeeze your own nipples until they almost hurt but are still tingling with pleasure. You can actually do this, or simply imagine it, or have your trusted lover pinch your nipples so hard they are on the verge of hurting but you are still mostly feeling pleasure. ...........Offer this feeling in your nipples to everyone who has ever hurt you in any way, in gratitude for the opportunity to learn to give the pleasure from your nipples instead of the pain from your memory."
(Instant enlightenment, fast, deep and sexy by David Deida, page 73 ff.)

If this helps in relationship to my parents, who have difficulties to accept boundaries and who always want to interfere in my life? It this exercise will help?
Till now they do not know about my Indian trip. They get crazy when they learn about it. This morning I had a phone call with my mother. The son of a former colleague of my father was on a hunting trip in Siberia. There the hut where they had slept was lit. He and 3 other guys burnt in the fire. And I want to go to India, this is almost the same. "Not everybody likes to sit on the sofa for the entire life," I answered. "You can be killed everywhere," I continued and reminded of the last crime that happened in the underground in Munich. My parents think there are safer places in the world than Siberia and everybody should look for a safe place. The safer the better. My parents drive me crazy. Perhaps I drive them crazy, too, because I do not sit on the sofa all the time (on their sofa would be best). I will tell them via phone 1 day before my departure to Inida about my trip. I hope nothing slips out of my mouth earlier. They will never learn to accept me. They will always try to manipulate me. They will always try to interfere into my life.

"Great spiritual beings love so much it hurts. You can, too. Start with your nipples."
(Instant enlightenment, fast, deep and sexy by David Deida, page 76 ff.)

OMG, this creative writing workshop

OMG, finally I have a bit of time to think. I've enrolled in that creative writing workshop. What have I done??? I become scared now. OMG.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mysore class this evening

Thank you for all the helpful comments re urdhva dhanurasna.

I just came back from Mysore class. It was a great evening as usual. I tried to come up from ud, I thought that I was close, but I can be wrong. I am glad that I know what I can improve. The hips must come up and forward. It would be better to stretch the body first. And the leg muscles must help.
Supta vajrasana: No way to come up today. B. recommended not to take cushions as a support under the head at home. It's best to really keep the muscles working. It can be helpful as well to press the feet against the floor. This pose is so close and so far away at the same time. It keeps me excited.

I focused on the breath as usual, but I also wanted to relax in the asanas.

What else can I mention: My body is tired now, the mind, too. I could also say, I am very relaxed, ready for the bed.

I was playing today: I took pictures, made videos. It was a great day.
I don't miss a job.
When I want that this life goes on I have to do something for it, I must be smart.
Let's see what will happen. I am so excited.

Urdhva dhanurasana - oh, how to come up???

Oh, the hands can lift from the floor, but not far enough. I try to bring the hands closer to the feet. I rock forwards and backwards. How far is it away, that I can come up from this pose???

Baddha konasana

Baddha konasana is also one of the core asanas of the first Ashtanga series.
During the first part of this asana the back is supposed to be straight, chin is on the floor, the feet open like a book.
During the second part the back is rounded and the top of the head is close to the feet on the floor. Knees are supposed to be on the floor. It is a hip opening pose. This is an asana that I appreciate, I have preferences. :)

Kukkutasana

And because garbha pindasana and kukkutasana belong together, I had to take a picture of kukkutasana, too.

Garbha pindasana - front

This pose is simply an invention of a crazy person......
Lotus pose, then stretching the arms through the legs in order to close the ears with the fingers. A core asana, it must be documented, of course, even though I wish I could look a bit friendlier.