Monthly Archives: February 2019

Choosing the right moment

There is a saying among the ancient Buddhist and Taoist sages that impermanence is a fact of life and most suffering is caused by attachment to that which has gone and is no more.

Yet, the association with change is especially difficult with most people because we are creatures of habit and the dark unknown is perceived as threatening.


Much of it can be attributed to modern man’s disconnect from nature, which is seen as an unpredictable threat.

Especially in the ancient Buddhist and Taoist tradition, the philosophy is all about yielding to the laws of nature rather than opposing and conquering it.

Political and military leaders of ancient China were very careful in choosing the right moment for any important decision. The Book of Wisdom, the I Ching, was consulted regularly, with its origins going back to mythical antiquity.

The I Ching, gained popularity in the West when the famous Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung revealed that he regularly consulted it after it was translated into German from the Chinese by his friend Richard Wilhelm in 1924.

Also known as the Book of Change, the I Ching, picks up on the wisdom of ancient man who saw nature as a teacher.  Like a farmer choosing the right moment of the season to plant the seeds, it is crucial to find “synchronicity” with the laws of the universe.

Rooted deep within the teaching of the I Ching is the philosphy of the Five Elements. Wood is associated with spring, preparing the ground for the planting of the seeds, Fire or summer is the time of growth, action and moving forward. Late summer or Earth is the time for harvesting and  storing the crops for winter. Metal is autumn when it is time to wind down, to close the shutters and withdraw. Water is winter, a time to rest, recuperate and build up energy for the next season.

The over-exploitation of nature – too much fire – eventually leads to the exhaustion and depletion of all resources.  In all of our modern economic and political system there appears to be an imbalance in the sprint and recovery cycle. Its boom and then bust.  The same applies to the average working day. Its a myth that any human being can work effectively and without a break for eight or nine hours. Concentration and performance levels already start dropping significantly after 90 minutes.

Looking at a typical daily work routine we have a similar Five Element cycle. The early part of the day is when we have most energy. Its Wood and Fire. This is the part of day you would want to address your most important tasks. Early afternoons after lunch (Earth) is when we start losing concentration and energy. Its the ideal time for a recuperation or a power-nap. (Metal and Water) so that we can move into a new cycle as we enter  late afternoon and early evening.  You won’t be very effective, if you force yourself into doing an important task when body and mind are demanding a recuperation cycle.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

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Walls again?

I was one of the fortunate people to have witnessed the fall of the iron curtain when the wall came down between East and West Germany in 1989 and some months later saw the abolishing of apartheid in South Africa and the release of Nelson Mandela.

It was an epic and optimistic time in history when the “isms” of ideology seemed history. We seemed on the verge of creating a new world order of peace and a common humanity sharing the values of tolerance beyond ethnic and national boundaries.


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The current political narrative however seems a gigantic step backward with nations walling themselves off and politicians running a rhetoric that reminds dangerously of the 1930s when minorities like the Jews were blamed for all the economic ills. And, we only know too well where that led to.

For too long have we been complacent, enjoying one of the most prosperous and peaceful periods in human history.  There have been wars and there are still wars going on but its nothing compared to the two world wars, and the civil wars and religious conflicts of the dark Middle Ages that wrought havoc in Europe.

What transpires in the outer world is very much a reflection of the collective unconscious mind. We are at the moment at the crossroads where on the one side we have the future-orientated globally thinking, broad-minded part of society espousing  mutual tolerance of diverse races, cultures and religions.

On the other side is the backward orientated “me-and-my-nation first” culture of bigots and nationalists, who have not understood that the very basis of our current prosperity is rooted in close trade and cooperation between nations. The losers of globalization are told their jobs have been taken by immigrants.  The truth is that robotics and technology has been responsible for job losses. There is a perceived feeling of loss of culture and identity, interestingly enough often in areas that hardly have any foreigners.

Culture and identity is never static and always in flux . We pick up food, music, and clothing habits from many cultures. Even the major religions have integrated a mix of different beliefs and traditions.

Building walls is not the answer. The real challenge is to confront the inner walls built with the bricks of fear, the very distorted and colored perspective of the past and underlying prejudice.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

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Dragon from the underground

While much of North America is experiencing Arctic temperatures we here on the island of Majorca are seeing the valleys below the Tramuntana mountains covered in the “snow”  of blooming almond trees that signal the  first signs of spring.

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Chinese mythology compares spring to a gigantic dragon rising from the depths of the underground. It is symbolic of the powerful earth energy that rises from deep below, expanding and finding space to express its true beauty and power.

The Majorcan legend tells us that a king brought his beloved to the island from a snowy country. Problem was that the poor lady got very homesick, missing the snow this time of the year.  So the king went about planting almond trees all over the island that indeed look like the valleys are covered in snow when they start blooming in February.

We can learn so much from nature if we really observe and hear her whisper.  The Chinese teaching of the Five Elements, deeply rooted in Daoist philosophy, is all about the yielding to nature, and finding the right time and place for every action.

Spring is the time of year when energies are expanding, and action is called for. Any vision or dream will remain a dream if we don’t take concrete action. If we want a harvest we need to prepare the soil and plant the seeds.

In the cycle of the elements, Spring is associated with the element of wood, like a tree sucking up the juices from the roots deep below, expanding and feeding the sprouting blossoms and leaves.

If we want to become what we are destined to become, we need to have that room and space to expand. All too often the voices of parents, friends, teachers and family members want to push us into a direction that might fulfill society’s image of what success is, but not what intuition and heart desire are yearning for.

Spring is therefore a good time of the year to do check list on whether you are being true to yourself.  Look into the mirror and ask yourself:

  • Am I taking daily action, even  with small things to pursue my dream?
  • Do I have a support group of friends and family positively empowering me?
  • Am I being distracted by other things such as a job that is taking so much energy from my life that I don’t have any energy left for anything else?

Taming the dragon is about harnessing its power in moving forward in the expression of our true and unique individuality.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

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Filed under happiness, humanity, lifestyle management, self-development, spirituality, Uncategorized