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Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation


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Fearing Love

Fearing Love

Once upon a time there was a prince who was destined to marry a beautiful princess. But the prince had never seen his princess. And he only heard of stories. And those stories were telling him that she was oh so beautiful. So pretty, so nice, so kind. And yet this girl has always felt alone.

So when the prince first saw his princess, he was so afraid. He was afraid to make a wrong move. To to say something wrong. Or to ruin the moment. Because the moment he saw her, he knew she was his princess. And so the prince started to fear his love of the princess. And the princess felt this. She looked him straight into the eyes as if she wanted to tell him “don’t be afraid. It’s okay. I know the feeling too. I’ve been there all my life. But I was always waiting for you”.

And so the prince now confused inside his mind, realized he had to find a way out of this. And so he approached the noble wisdom keeper of the court. He was the adviser of his father. He was a wise and old man, skilled in the teachings of life. Also in death, but that’s another story. So he approached the wisdom keeper and he asked “oh wisdom keeper. I’m so afraid to love. What should I do? This princess is so beautiful. And she told me she waited all her life for me and now I’m afraid. I’m afraid to lose her. To do anything wrong.”

And the wisdom keeper looked straight into the prince’s eyes and said “Prince… you’ve been training all your life for this one moment. You’ve been training to fear this moment. Cause you knew from the start this moment would come. And that’s exactly what fear is. Fear is having expectations and knowing these expectations can never be met. So when the princess looked you into the eyes, she had no fear because she never expected anything from you. She only expected you to love her. But because you didn’t see that, you only saw the fear in your own heart. The fear to just let go and to be.

But once you realize that the love inside is what lies underneath your fear, you will see that there is indeed nothing to fear but fear itself. Because love is something which doesn’t belong to you or the princess or to me or to anybody. It’s the essence of life itself. We call it love, but it has many names. It has many qualities. It is our natural state. But if you try to describe for yourself, or to think ahead of yourself, you will start fearing. Cause fear is all about expectations, about the present, the past and the future. Expecting the present to be different. Expecting the future to be either better than the present or worse than the present.

And the past, oh we fear the past. Cause the past is our storehouse of mistakes. But don’t you think that love cannot make mistakes? Isn’t that a hard thing to say to the essence of life? To say that life cannot make mistakes? And yet, in my heart I know that life does not make mistakes. Just because of the fact that life does make mistakes. But that, my little prince, is for some time later. Now for you it is important to realize that you can let go of yourself. That you can let go of your fear of love. Cause your fear of love is the last thing which keeps you from loving. Cause it will show you that the love for the princess is no other than the love for you, for yourself.”

So the prince thanked the wisdom keeper and pondered about it. He was sitting next to the big lake with the beautiful lotus flowers. And he was wondering. “What did the wisdom keeper mean? Why was he saying that fear is nothing but fear and that love lies below?” And then he saw a fish swimming in the lake. The fish was unaware of the eagle flying. The fish was swimming and grasps for a breath, came to the surface and at that same moment the eagle already diving, put out his claws and caught the fish. The prince saw it. And he saw the fish never feared for one moment, because the fish was unaware of what was going on. “The same thing applies to myself”, the prince thought. “I fear because I don’t know what claws will catch me. But it’s strange. Cause why am I comparing myself to a fish”, he thought. Then he reminded himself that he was not only the fish, but also the eagle and the lake and the prince watching. He realized that love is bigger than just him, or the princess and him. He realized that love is life itself. And how can life fear what it’s doing? Cause life cannot hurt itself. And the prince realized that what he had done this day, was perfect. He knew that he did the right thing. Because he knew that he had to learn the lesson before he could truly love his destined princess.

The next day the prince asked his father if he could meet the princess in private. And the father agreed. So when the prince came in, the princess was waiting. The prince brought in a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the princess started laughing. “I see you’ve learned the lesson of love, my dear prince. Yesterday when I looked you into the eyes, I saw fear. You were afraid.  Of me. Of our future together. But most of all, afraid of yourself. But now I see you’ve recognized yourself. Now I will marry you”.

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A simple thing

This morning the train was having a bit of delay. So wasn’t exactly the way i was planning to start my week. Shows that things not always (almost never lol) go my way.
And i guess that’s good. Cause i had a beautiful meeting in the next train. As i was letting other people pass, i moved a little bit backwards in the train compartment.
Standing on this new spot, at first i didn’t see the guide dog. But when i looked down i saw his two front legs and in my thoughts i said hello to the dog.
And before i knew it, she laid her face onto my shoe. Such a simple gesture but it gave me fuel for the rest of the day.
As i had to move on, i gently moved my feet and gave her a little rub on the back of her head before i moved out of the train.

The simple things in life can mean a lot 🙂

28: Retreat

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Retreat

Lines throughout the landscapes
Reflect the path of my life
Surrounded by colors
I find refuge here
Together with friends
Becoming still as the land
Unconditional love and trust
Allowing me to be
By retreating into myself
Opening up
To the world and beyond

I found you when I lost you

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We met in the dark
Your eyes shone as you approached
Keeping the distance you made your moves
Weeks had passed since I last saw you

I had to let you go
You didn’t want to be with me
The choice you made was hard to swallow
I fought it off initially
Seeing it as a phase which would pass

But you were determined
The nights without you continued
When I brought you back in
Within minutes you vanished again

Back to the open door
WIth the food waiting for you
You no longer wanted to be with me
As painful as any loss can be

So to my surprise this night
The pain had subsided
Making room for somehing bigger
A feeling of love and compassion

As you carefully approached me
Never close enough to touch
But my heart was moved deeply
You were at home now

And yet you didn’t forget about me
As you turned around
And walked back to the door
Your meow resounded in my heart

I may have lost you to the neighbour
For the first I know
I truely found you
Thank you White Spot

Trust

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When I first met you I was still young.

You played along with my childhood games as we both shared the fun.

Unaware of the challenges of life I gave in to you without a doubt.

The fullness of life was so overwhelming I did not have to choose.

Later when doubt had entered the arena, you slowly disappeared to the background

Life became complicated with rules, relationships, expectations, punishment and reward.

The simpleness was replaced by intricate thought mechanisms which locked me into place.

Each day my life became more and more an experience of dull and boring rationality.

Playfulness was thrown out of the window in order to make sure I would fit in with everybody else.

But the more I fit in, the less free I felt.

Trapped by tempting promises and nightmares of hope and fear, the web of illusion closed in on me.

The one thing I had lost I had no idea I was missing.

Only when I found you back I knew I had been wandering in a cold and barren desert forever trying to clench my thirst.

The walls build around the inner temple squeezed the life out of me.

I tried to forget, suppressing everything I did not want to hear – I did not want to know.

Cause forgetfulness was better than to be reminded of not having you near.

Oh trust, life saviour, love giver.

On your shoulders I long to build my life.

Better than the sweetest dream, you wake me to a reality which is profound in its evidentness.

You are the atoms which hold the universe together.

Universaly revered because you are so humble.

I can now see myself again when I trust.

Naked with arms wide open, laying myself to rest in the heart of the world.

To trust is to know.

The wise among us know how to trust.

Trust. Let go. Fly.

Farewell dear Pooh

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My dear friend Pooh has left the earthly plane today. He had become very skinny and almost didn’t eat and drink any longer. 2 years ago we were in a similar situation, but back then i had the feeling that his life was not over yet. This time it felt different. It felt that he was ready to leave. So when i came home from the vet yesterday, i thought about what he said. He told me it was better for him to go to sleep. I could not decide immediately but after a few hours i realized that he was right and that i was ok with Pooh having to go.

So this afternoon the vet came and gave Pooh the injections which caused his death. Pooh was calm and died within no time. I’ve been doing a lot of Buddhist practice the last few days and playing a lot of Vajrasattva mantras for him. Pooh was to me a true Bodhisattva, a big hearted lovely creature who taught me patience, being calm and how to rest when turmoil is trying to take over the mind. I am thankful of the many years we have shared together and i wish him a safe journey to the other side.

OM MANI PADME HUNG

Inner riches

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Once you start to notice, it’s intriguing to see everything which goes on inside our body and mind system. Various parts call out for our attention, while other parts try to take the house down and yet other parts try to be the ruler of the inner universe.

Yet all of this happens within one system. Parts may not like the feelings which accompany other parts, or choose to ignore, but there’s always an overview available. The sum is greater than all of its parts. This field of awareness is the ground for all of the parts to play their games.

If one can learn to stay in contact with the field of awareness, integration becomes a possibility. Mindfulness, simply being with all the various parts, not being overwhelmed by the accompanying and often conflicting emotions. This helps to create a compassionate attitude to whatever arises from within.

All the inner riches await us. They may be covered in dark layers of soil, but they’re there. As so often in life, to reach these places within requires hard work, effort and resilience. One needs to learn to deal with conflicting emotions instead of fighting them. Being with emotions, allowing them to show what they’re hiding from us, is a process which can be aided by it curiosity. Curiosity is the key to unlock the treasures within.

If one can befriend one’s inner demons, the inner riches can be uncovered. All the beautiful traits of our childhood can be integrated. Not in one attempt, but as one progresses, each time it becomes increasingly easy to deal with everything which arises within.

All the inner riches are waiting to be explored!

18: Flower of Compassion

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Flower of Compassion

Oh flower of the heart
Shine your light over us
Open up and show your beauty
The guiding force

You know what it is like
To be vulnerable
Naked and alone
You know there is no need
To be afraid of our tears

You grow so easily
As you are inherent within us
On the good soil of pure intent
Our wish for all to be happy
Stems from your seeds

Oh flower of compassion
Love is your guiding light
Teach us to be human
Help us to accept
The basic uncertainty of life

 

This poem was inspired by the documentary Crazy Wisdom (2011) about the late Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Rinpoche taught people how to become warriors of Shambhala, how to become genuine human beings. A beautiful and encouraging message worth contemplating.

The last Lion King

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They once called me the king of the world
The whole animal kingdom was mine to rule
I was respected and all who were wise feared me

Once I was a king living the wild life
Now all that remains are distant memories
The waters of my dreams all but dried up

Today I’m still a king
But what respect does a king get
If he’s locked behind bars?

Inspiration

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Inspiration

The nature of mind
Empty full of compassion
Heartwarming presence
Touching moving gently
Subtly carrying the winds
Everything changes
Everything connected
Death like life like dream
Wake up the heart
Invitation to see
Naked openness
Fearless loving

Light Aware Mindful Presence