Let’s not beat around the bush: I think that relationships are very difficult and I don’t feel very successful at having or maintaining them. It has always been a struggle for me and still is. But I would like to design a workshop that gives some real tools and insights because I feel there is a great need for that. Ok, I need those tools and insights for myself and I need them right now, because my relationship is falling apart as we speak. But yesterday’s conversation gave me the opportunity to look at my own case from another perspective. And I would like to share what I have been learning although I don’t feel that I’ve got it completely yet. It’s still work in progress.
In reality we are not obsessed with doing things right, we are obsessed with the fear of doing things wrong. This fear has a tight grip on us. The way to go beyond this fear is to go beyond right and wrong. So instead of trying to do things the right way (read: evading to do things the wrong way) we can start doing things fully. This way we can add awareness or mindfulness to our lives. We add quality tou our lives and life to our qualities. How? Do mundane things wholeheartedly. No more, no less.
Do things that you love
At this moment, sitting behind my computer, I feel very limited as a writer. How do I find the words to sincerely describe the atmosphere in the room during our weekly Peace Camp sessions? I really don’t know.
Maybe it is better to start with describing what Peace Camp is. It is an hour of meditation followed by a workshop led by myself. The evening is hosted by Michael Henskens, co-founder of Bootcamp Nederland, personal trainer, avid martial artist and former high school buddy. Thus Peace Camp is where Basic Goodness and Bootcamp Nederland meet.
It is nice to find awareness in unexpected places. In a newspaper, for example. In today’s Volkskrant I found a background story behind a new movie “Des Dieux Et Des Hommes”. It depicts the true story of seven Trappist monks who choose not to flee from their remote Algerian monastery when the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) Muslim order the exile of all foreigners in 1996. The brave monks do not want leave the Algerian villagers behind, with whom they have been living for decades and for who the monastery serves as a hospital. The expected consequence is that they will be killed. And that’s what happened.
In the newspaper article the 73 year old Brother Armand Veilleux is interviewed. This Belgian monk was the last one who saw his fellow monks alive. Now what I would like to share today is not about the movie (although I believe we all should see it) but the words of this monk. He tells the journalist that he was very much against the idea of making a movie about this terrible incident but feels that “the result is excellent”. “It is a very correct vision on what happened there. I think it is wise that the director doesn’t make implications about who killed the brothers. Indirectly, the movie will contribute to finding the one’s who are guilty”.
I really don’t know what to think of reincarnation. Intuitively I believe in it, rationally I can’t get my head around the idea. But I know that the rational mind is limited and I also know that my intuition hasn’t fully matured yet. I’ve had experiences in meditation that felt like glimpses of past lives but there is no way to proof that what I experienced was true. So I just don’t know.
I’m not the only one. The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and enchanting, is hard for most westerners to grasp. That makes watching the documentary “Unmistaken Child” extra fascinating. The movie depicts the following of the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation.
Every now and then you meet somebody extraordinary. I met him in a park in Paris. I was in Paris for a week of zen training at l’Association Dana, the official name of the zen center of my teacher Genno roshi (which is actually just her house that she makes available for students and practice). After the sesshin of last week had finished, I had some time for myself to walk around the city. We met each other in Buttes Chaumont. After coming home in Amsterdam yesterday I decided to write about the fascinating story of my fellow follower of the Way M.