Thursday, July 22, 2010


the time I spend in Germany is flying by. Tomorrow I will head back to North California and spend my vassa, the rains retreat in a redwood forest Sonoma coast together with Bhikkhunis, Samaneris and lay women.

If you ever want to do a retreat in Germany, practicing mostly on your own, I would recommend the Anenja Vihara. (just write the name in google and you get to their web page in German or English)It is a small monastery for women in one of the most beautiful places of Germany. I met two Samaneris and two Bhikkhunis there, all very nice, friendly women keeping up strict monastic life. A little bit aside of the mainhouse is a caravan for men, so, dudes you are not excluded from this lovely spot. I hope to get there again one day and will meet the head of the vihara, who was on Tudong for some weeks when I came.

For now I just hope that I will be able to enter the USA without problems and will not be caught in customs for many hours as it happened last time. I have documents that show that I'm invited, that I have my roots somewhere else in, not in America and a ticket to leave the country on time, at the end of October to Thailand. A Thaiwoman whom I met last time will pick me up at the airport and bring me to the Vihara of the Bhikkhunis who together with friends prepared the forest site since months to become a suitable vassa retreat place. I followed their efforts online and feel ashamed that I was not there to help. But I have an incontrovertible excuse, US visa restrictions.

I will be offline with very few exceptions. In case of emergency please write to, messages will be forwarded. But of course I do hope nobody will need to send an emergency-message.

May you who reads this and all beings be happy and peaceful every moment. Love is there when you have it in your heart.

P.S.: As a farewell lunch my mother's friend Willi prepared the world's best apple and blueberry pancake today. Yesterday he made another of my favorite dishes, Reibekuchen ... Danke Willi!

Friday, July 16, 2010

western diseas

Another phenomena of people living in households is to need to be the one who is right.
Yes, I was like that and I apologize if any victim of my former need to be right is reading this. What a hell. We are all getting older. End really comes into sight, we should make sure that we do good for others and to be with people who wants to do good for us as well.
But no! The contrary is the case.
Instead of creating an ambiance of peace and harmony where one cares for the pains and hardships of the others, for the well being of all, care is just focused on the fault of the others and on being right.
There is no sense in wanting to be right, having the last word, dominating the other, in biting and biting back. The seed of hatred is set with every word that is spoken by wanting to be right. That’s pure suffering.
Maybe it comes along with the pain …
When I started to write this blog I was the same, I remember post telling about monks behavior and there was the wanting to be right involved. It changed by the time - yet it's not gone it still arises in me but I can observe it and let it more and more often.
Now I write about people in my environment and feel I do it out of compassion. Is that so, Phalanyani? Even in this compassion that sometimes is unbearable strong there is a touch of "I know better". It upsets me a bit to see people act and speak hurting themselves and others. And sadness has it’s roots in anger or different said: it is arising because I have a disposition for anger and the wanting to be right eg. want the people to understand that developing peace and love is just more fun. Hence, I’m still creating unwholesome … If I were radiating peace and love people around me could see what fun that is.
So, excuse me everybody, there is work to do.

Meeting the past

Now, again at my mother’s house I stay in the room that was my room for long. It is a little bit like a kuti, a small kuti though. It has a bed, a shelf and a heater. It is separated from the rest of the house through a small patio and originally was a storage for tools and stuff but I was very happy to have a room on my own and not to share with my sister. It’s not a perfect nun’s quarter but it is allowable because it is separate. As all things from childhood the room, too, looks smaller now than it did then.
To my big surprise the town has developed to its better. When the family moved here about 43 years ago the settlement was build on farmland in the middle of nowhere on the edge of a small village, some forest, some farms and a highway. The trees of the settlement are grown now some forest is still left. Not that I really like it – but it gained charm with the years.
It is very interesting meeting people, most are very friendly to me, although some stare. My mother’s spouse picked me up and brings me if I have something to do (like applying for a visa) he often cooks (very good), likes my dog and shares his food with it. By the way: It’s not my dog anymore, it clearly states that it want to be my mother’s dog.
I recognize some of the neighbors by hearing their voices but if I would meet them somewhere I would not know them. It quite a while since I came here last time … Only one, I will always recognize. She got older, has feeble health but she is as warm hearted and loving as she always was. Meeting her again after many, many years I wanted to tell her how much she means to me, how she changed my life, directed it into the good direction, how important she was etc. With a short, harsh “I know” she interrupted me and smiled in a way that almost made me cry. LOVE.
All people around me have strong pain, physical they say. It is really astonishing, everybody I meet here speaks of pain. Is it a new German phenomena??? I can’t help because my “accept it”, “breath into it”, ”just observe it and take it as what it is, a feeling” are not very popular. I’m very sorry and would love to be able to give relief from pain but can’t and don’t believe in healing powers other than the power of one’s own mind. But it is interesting to see how different people are dealing with their pain.
From lamenting, silent bearing, taking pills or drown the pain in alcohol every strategy is present. How lucky am I to have no pain (or just very little). There is no escape from it. All these strategies don’t work well, all just temporary solutions. How would I wish to tell all these people to focus on the pain to see through it and make peace with it.