Tag Archives: buddhism

Home and the heart of things

In the past few days I have dissolved a home of 21 years in northern Germany and moved to the Spanish island of Majorca. It poses the question of what we define as home and where to let go of meaningless material attachment.

One of the key lessons of walking the Camino is that the less you carry in your back pack the easier your walk.  You have to go lean to go far. Essentially there is not much we need to feel contentment of heart.

There is not much that remains of those things we clutter our homes with when it comes to downsizing. A rule of thumb is what you haven’t worn or used during the past six months is no longer of value to you.

img_0405Within the word Home, is one of the most powerful mantras OM.  In the Sanskrit origin  it translates as the vibrational Source and connection to the Supreme.  Peace of mind and contentment can only be found With-In. You always take yourself with you wherever you are and with all that with which your mind is preoccupied with.

The bottom line: If you are a grumpy old scrooge at the place where you are now, chances are good that you will remain a grumpy old scrooge wherever you choose to go.

Its an illusion to think that everything will change for the better if you change your wife, your house, your job and your country, if you don’t change your mindset as well.

But its not the whole story.  Who you are is determined largely by your associations and the environment you live in. We are social beings who interact and need to interact with each other all the time.

If the people you surround yourself with and your immediate surroundings are no longer conducive to your further development, then its time to move.

Yet, attachments mainly in the form of material things and emotional baggage of the past subconsciously hinder us from taking a big step forward to new things, new perspectives, new relationships and in the end more lessons learned on the path to a raised consciousness.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

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And, see no evil …

The great Napoleon Hill once said that every evil carries within it the flames of self-destruction. It was a warning by the famous mentor to his students, political and business leaders to reflect carefully on their actions and goals. When they are not in sync with the universe and designed for the benefit of all , those flames will come back to burn you.

Business person afraid of a big monster claw shadow concept

Sometimes those flames can come in the form of such deep disgust and regret with the “Self” that it manifests itself in self-destructive behavior such as addiction or serious illness.

I am watching with sadness how the drama in my home country South Africa unfolds. The political elite, that once had the moral high ground in fighting apartheid, has mutated into a criminal clique, that is on the brink of destroying itself and taking an entire country with it. Currently the knives are out as a leadership battle ensues – evil starting to self-implode. But you can take any totalitarian regime or corrupt government in the world. The end result will be the same. Karma, the sum of a personal or group action,  is ruthless in its final consequence.

So, how do we define evil, you may ask?  This is my take on it:

  • The actions are always designed for the benefit of an individual or those few around him/her to the detriment of others.
  • It is most often a conscious deliberate act of cruelty or destruction
  • Some form of manipulative power is always involved

The other side of the equation is the disciple of good, the servant of the universe,  selfless and holistic in mind and action, reflective, and aware of all participants involved, very much capable of empathy and feeling. They are first and foremost forgiving to self and others. Not many of those people around, I’m afraid. The few exceptional leaders are those who have transmuted the shadow sides of their personality on the  hard training of the school of life.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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The ear to the ground

IMG_4181In sculptures and paintings the great teachers, like the Buddha, are often depicted with large ears to symbolise their wisdom and ability to go with the old saying of keeping, “the ear to the ground”, in being fully aware of what is happening and what people are saying.

In ancient scriptures the ear is also described as the “gateway to the soul”. The ear not only has the exceptional ability of picking up fine nuances of a musical instrument but also to listen to “With-In.

Our ears are already open before we are born in hearing the heartbeat of the mother in an embryonic stage and it is the last organ to depart when we leave this life.

An ancient legend tells us that Maria conceived Jesus through the ear because it is the most sensitive organ and closest to BEING and original sound.

In Chinese medicine the kidney opens itself in the ears. Not suprisingly the ears are shaped like kidneys and regarded as the foundation of good health and vitality. All of the body’s functions rely on the heat provided by kidney qi and the gate of life.

The ability to really “listen” is becoming drowned by the cocophony of the multitude of noisy voices bombarding us.  When under too much stress our body often reacts with tinnitus, or a ringing and buzzing in the ears. An ideal way of winding down is to go out into nature and do the following:

Listen and become aware of your breathing. Then listen through that breathing, become aware of the space around you. Hear the birds singing, then focus your mind on that one bird song or the wind rustling through the leaves. And, behind those natural, healing sound is nothing but open space and silence With-In.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Gratitude – the antidote to fear

Quantum healing energyIts the time of year when Thanksgiving is celebrated. In the U.S. Thanksgiving is a national holiday going back to the first English settlers in the new world in 1621 who would not have survived without the help of the native Americans.

In the mainly agricultural societies of the past, Thanksgiving had a far greater importance. The harvest period was celebrated in religious festivals and rituals as a tribute to a higher deity who was responsbile for sending the rain or the cycle of the seasons.

Modern man, where food flies into his mouth from the supermarket shelf, has lost this direct symbiosis with nature and with it the rituals that align with the greater universe.

Psychological research has found that keeping a daily gratitude journal can have numerous positive effects like making us happier, more successful and less self-centred. In one of the tests participants were given a week to write and then deliver a letter of gratitude in person to someone who had been especially kind to them but had never been properly thanked. Not surprisingly this had enormous positive psychological effects on the participants, especially on those who continued the test beyond the week.

More importantly gratitude is the antidote to the emotion that holds us back in almost every sphere of life – fear. Fear catapults us into paralysis whether its fear of dying from a deadly disease, fear of failure, having no money, losing a loved one. Fear has many demons and in most cases it pulls the mind into some terrible future scenario.We need only to reflect on such thoughts over the past month, year or even five years ago to know what tricks the fear demon can play on us.

I just read a report in  the paper today that a growing number of people fear the outbreak of a Third World War. Its not surprising because most mass media are echo chambers of negative emotions.

Keeping a daily gratitude journal or doing a morning meditation and focusing on just five things that you can be grateful for during the past 24 hours will pull you out of the negative spiral. Especially being grateful to ourself, helps overcome the shadow within. What are you profoundly grateful for?  You can’t be profoundly grateful for all the things that happened in your life and at the same time be fearful, angry, hurt and vengeful.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

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Kick-starting from the down cycle

licht_schattenBy Reino Gevers

What makes some people happier, more successful and healthier than others? Although research pinpoints some heriditary factors the real clue that makes those rare individuals stand out from the rest of the crowd, is how they deal with the natural up-and-down cycles of life.

The common denominator of highly successful people such as Nelson Mandela, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, businessman Richard Branson or writer  J.K. Rowling is that they all learned ways of kickstarting themselves out of terrible down cycles, that would have destroyed most other people.

The natural reaction to a major setback in life is a type of “shock-freeze paralysis.” The kick-starters however, have adopted habits of how to get out of the down cycle as soon as possible. Lets face it life is not all sunshine and glory. We have bad days and they can sure knock us out of all that we trust and believe in. The loss of a loved one, a life-threatening disease, job-loss, bankruptcy, divorce, and an unforeseen accident. Life is full of unforseen circumstances.

While we can’t control external events we sure have control of how we react to them. So how do you get out of the down-cycle? For me walking the Camino in Spain has been a test of up-and-down cycles every time, a real analogy of life. Going on a pilgrimage, or taking a complete time-out for reorientation, has for me been a major help, like leaving a dysfunctional marriage and a well-paid job that was fast pulling me into a burnout. Simply being in a completely different setting with no electronic distractions and having alone time is really important in stimulating creativity  – and more importantly – learning the lesson from the down cycle. People with a generally high energy level and thus physical and mental resilience, will also find it easier to get out of the down cycle. So if you are in a dark spot, here are some tips:

  • Get moving with physical exercise to get those happy hormones going and start boosting the body’s immune system with nutrients from power foods.
  • Find room for alone time,  prayer, meditation or any other ritual that gives you energy.
  • Meet with friends, family, or any other people that you know will lift you up with positive vibes and to strengthen your feeling that you are part of a community.
  • Create a mental picture or vision board where you want to be in six months, three years, five years.
  • Givers Gain: Are there any ways of where you can give to others in serving the community and making a positive contribution to society? It helps get you out of the rut of endless negative self-reflection.

Reino Gevers – Mentoring for Leaders and Achievers

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

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The battlelines are drawn. Which side are you falling on?

View of the planet Earth in space

By Reino Gevers

As humanity moves on into a next dimension of raised consciousness the shadow side of lower consciousness inevitably rears its ugly head. It can be particularly observed in the current highly toxic polarised political climate in many countries.

But what holds true for the public discourse is also a battle within and taking place in daily inter-personal interaction. Here is my own, albeit incomplete list of the battlelines. So which side are you falling on?

Raised Consciousness Lower Consciousness
Global perspective. Concern for the well-being of humanity as a whole. Only if we help and support each other in solving our problems can we survive as a species. Concern limited to the nation or members of ones own ethnic group. Persons outside this group are perceived as the enemy.
Alignment with the higher consciousness. Core values: love, peace, integrity, service. Disalignment. Driven by toxic emotions such as hatred, fear, greed, anger.
Timeline of thinking: Service for what is good for generations to come? Short-term self-gratification.
I need to change if the world is going to change. Ability for critical self-reflection and correction. Narcissism: Everyone else is responsible for my problems, except me. I am right, everyone else is wrong!
Non-ideological. Multi-facetted approach to problem-solving. Probagation of „easy solutions“ based on „ism“ ideologies such as nationalism, communism, capitalism
Asking questions rather than having ready answers. Active listening ability. Dogmatic belief system. Unwillingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Inability to accept other views than ones own.
Givers Gain. What can I contribute to my village, my country and the world. Long-term trust in universal justice Entitlement attitude. The world owes me. I will grab for me what I can get.
Energised active participation I couldn’t be bothered
Appreciation and gratitude Needy and disrespectful. Its never enough
High self-esteem Low self-esteem

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Are our eating habits destroying the planet?

world-in-black-and-white-hands-1Some months ago we decided to get our own chickens, as part of a long-term project to make us more self-sufficient. We chose the French Marans because they are renowned for being especially disease-resistant. The dark-brown eggs are of a high organic quality.

Our five hens provide us an ample supply of eggs for our four-member family and have the freedom to roam around the property as they please. Its what I see as our small protest against the poultry industry. We were therefore aghast to learn that all private owners of poultry in our region here in northwestern Germany have been ordered to vaccinate their chickens against Newcastle disease, which broke out at a mass animal farm of 24,000 chickens in Norrkoeping, Sweden.

The only vaccination available is for 1,000 and more hens and has to be carried out by a registered vet every three months at a cost of around 75 EUR (97 U.S. Dollars) minimum. Meanwhile I have learned that severe vaccination rules apply for pigs and other farm animals. Several organic farmers, who started innovative projects to revive rare farm animal species, have been forced to give up their ventures because of the prohibitive compulsory vaccination costs.

The reason I’m mentioning this small example is that animal diseases, stemming from intensive mass animal farming is out of control worldwide. We’ve had food scandal after food scandal and nothing seems to change. A generation from now will ask us: “How could you have been so stupid and left us with this mess?”

The way we live, and especially our choice of foods, is not only destroying our health and quality of life but rapidly destroying our planet. According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. (Scientific American) 

There is a chain reaction starting from depletion of water resources, pollution from animal waste, loss of habitat to grazing lands and destruction of biodiversity on many levels.

I’m not a proponent of a purely vegetarian diet. But I think we should radically cut down our meat consumption for the reasons mentioned and boycott food coming from the mass animal farm industry.

Yesterday I attended a most inspiring lecture by the Gyalwang Drukpa in Hamburg. He is the head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Buddhist Order, founder of the Live to Love foundation and was awarded the United Nations Milennium Development Goals Award. The topic of the talk was “Mindfulness and Happiness”. He highlighted the importance of individual responsibility in taking concrete action to save our world for the next generation. Volunteering action such as planting trees or becoming more mindful on the ways we can contribute positively to the wider world is a key to living a happy, fulfilled life.

Most people go into resistance or denial when told to change their lifestyle habits or being preached at with a pointed finger. The Gyalwang Drukpa has a different approach. He sees “compassion” as an individual process of understanding that comes from the heart and then translates itself into positive action, into a deep understanding to the needs of the wider world and all living beings.

Looking at the Biblical quotation “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Mark 12:30-31) this translates into developing a deep sense of compassion for oneself within the unity of humanity and our world of which we are an intrinsic part of.

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