I am not

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I am no man.
I am no woman.
I am of no age.


I am not white.
I am not black.
I am not yellow.

I am no Christian.
I am no Jew.
I am no Muslim
or Hindu.

I am no healer.
I am no artist.
I am no writer.
I am no worker.

I am not German.
I am not English.
I am not Amercian.
I am not Swiss.
I am not Indian.
I am not Chinese.

I am no meditator.
I am no Yogi.
I am no Sufi.
I am no psychic.
I am no mystic.

I just exist in this
Lifetime
To be.


Vanessa

Pillars of Light

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In my darkest hour I saw three pillars of light:
One that shone from below,
One within me,
and one from above.

It shone so bright
That all seemed to vanish
In its sight.
Nothing within me
And nothing around me
Was left.

Who was I
But that light?
No organs
No cells,
No other than light.

I looked at the angel
By my side.
Even she must have been
Part of all this light.

She disappeared once I shone
And left without a word
For me to be forlorn.
I cried for my own loneliness
And all that is.
No doubt
I wonder whose it is.

Is it the world’s loneliness
Or mine,
So I decided just to shine
This light upon everyone I meet.

No questions asked,
I admit
Defeat.

Death was

near
At the end of the day,
My ego’s wrath
spilled out dismay
For the beauty of this
New world.

Jerusalem hails
And my I 
Must die. 

Bathing in light, 
I felt Christ’s soft might
Touching me upon my
Own cross
To bear,
Loneliness
Trapped inside
I did not dare
To ask for eternity,
Because I knew
That all must be paid
In due
time. 

Nothing can be mine.
all is His. 

Vanessa

Freedom

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“If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.”

  • Søren Kierkegaard

There comes a time in everybody’s life when one must face one’s fears.
One of my big ones is having to live somewhere for extended periods of time. It is the evervessence of change that gives me strength, where my soul takes flight, and leaves the known behind, just to embark into the unknown once more. It gives me breathing problems once I get to know many people in one place. Even a big city becomes small-town and at a certain point I know that it is time to leave again. Such is my character in this lifetime. I do not look back and I say goodbye to people with a light heart. Maybe I will meet them again, maybe not. They have left their mark on my life and I on theirs. Some I have met again after years or even decades of being abroad, some were like actors in a play that did their part and departed the stage of life never to make a reappearance again. Such is the Divine Lila that we all must play this game that is called life. Most are unconscious of this Lila, they never even question it once. And so others are purely convinced that I am Vanessa whereas I know deep inside that I am only a speck of light in this grand scheme, eternal, yet very much impermanent in my current physical structure. It becomes easier over time and now I know that I will leave this place in a few months. I am already giving the last batch of books away. I have accumulated some paintings, which, for once, I will take with me. I have a feeling that they will serve me in the future. I need to look for another singing teacher where I am moving to, a new arts school, but that is okay. I will be given something even better than now. I know this. It has always been like this.
I love this feeling of embarking on a new adventure yet again.
Yesterday I had the clear feeling that things dropped off of my shoulders, that every person I will meet from now onwards, will have to be looked at with clear eyes. That I must meet people with a completely open heart, with gratitude, with no fear or preconceived ideas, that even old friends, I must see in a new light. There is no other way.
Even myself. I must look at myself each day, each moment anew. Each breath must be a new beginning, each gesture must be the beginning of a tale that rewrites itself all the time. That tale that leaves no traces in this stubborn world.

Is it this that I have feared for so long? The eradication of egotistical patterns, the clinging to old habits? Is it really that bad? No really. We always find new things to do, new people to meet, new places where we can feel the silence that surrounds us. We can make an effort to meet everyone on new terms. We must forget our old impulses and behaviors and say each day to ourselves: “Welcome to this world, you beautiful soul. Today is going to be a new and wonderful day for you. Let us take a look at what is going to happen today.”
In that space one cannot hold grudges, one just forgets what happened just a few seconds ago. One must be brave to restart and reset.
One must forget one’s own style, one’s identity that had been falsely built and one must ask: Who is this person that is underneath all that rubble?

Nothing really. You have to look closely and you will see that all are merely movements of energy, of emotions, of thoughts, of likes and dislikes that play no importance whatsoever. They are mere constructs.
Yesterday I did nothing of any importance, I just watched the garden outside, listened to the squirrels playing and chasing each other. I lay in bed and watched the ceiling and listened to my own heartbeat of love and old pains leaving. So I said to myself: you know that no one can hurt you. No one has this sort of power over you. You are safe, no matter where you are at. Love is your guiding star.

So this morning I walked past an ice cream parlor. It was named: “I am love.”
Of course I am, I thought to myself; yet I am also nothing.
My teacher always recounts this quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: “When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between those two.”
Only yesterday I understood this at the core of my being. One must continuously move in between those two, never holding onto either one. 
I must therefore never judge myself or others for anything, find understanding and compassion in all and everything, set some sort of boundaries, but also never ever judge. When I feel as if others are starting to see me in a certain way, I must prove to them that that is not me. That they are, in fact, building an illusion of me, that all things always are subject to change and impermanence.
I am wondering why my ego has been resisting this for so long? 

That is the freedom people have been talking about. The annihilation of what one thought oneself to be. 
So do not be scared of your actions. You must trust yourself one hundred percent, all the time. Never disappoint yourself, let go of control and ridiculous standards, because that is the prison you are building for yourself. 

Are you on the verge of action?


Vanessa

Embrace

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“It was easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge though, instructed me to embrace God in all things.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

Peace, no matter where we go, can be not only profound, but accessed at all times. It is not a matter of meditating hours on end, but to find in that turmoil that life can be. They are moments of peace. It is in finding that peace that we can access love. With this love, all hatred must die and acceptance of all that is can come out. It is easy to find peace in beautiful surroundings, but the question is whether we can access this peace wherever we are at?
Can you do that?

Sometimes my episodes of peace are so profound that I dare not to breathe for I become fearful that if I took yet another breath that it would end.
Coming back to the city from the mountains was extremely difficult to say the least. The turmoil of my surroundings and its inhabitants hit me and I know now why I become ill all the time. But is it no God that wants me here right now? Is it not amidst this madness that I am being taught to find peace?
It is the quiet voice of God that I must find within the chaos, the eye of the storm. I must become so peaceful and full of gaiety, even in the worst of circumstances that nothing can throw me off the path.
Recently I encountered someone who was talking about conspiracy theories, about governments being corrupt, about newspapers printing fake news, etc. I nearly vomited when I listened to this. Of course there is some extent of truth in this, I do agree. But I have seen that things are running just as they should be running. There is a divine plan behind this. I have seen this many times. We may not know why or how, but even in the most cruel of circumstances, unfortunately, there is a plan behind.

So now I am starting to see that I never go anywhere purely for myself, but rather for others. It is not me who moves somewhere, who becomes restless. There seems to be a larger force at hand.
Yesterday I went to learn portrait photography from someone and when I thought it was for myself, I was very much mistaken. While being there, I understood that this person who was teaching me, needed to wake up. That they must awaken to their divine plan and question life. I have encountered numerous people in my life who told me: “I do not want to awaken.” Little do they know that it is not up to them to decide this, much like I never decide on whom I meet or to awaken myself. I am being sent to places and to people, either for my own learning curve or for others to learn and to awaken to their truth. If they are too resistant I am moving on, still knowing that this energy will work its way through them. One day, like Mrs. Tweedie once said to someone, they will awaken and question their life. They will question why they have been wasting their time on silly pursuits. It can even happen a few times in life. But this I have no control over. They are being touched by Grace. It is up to them to listen to this call. I am merely the instrument, the (fallible human) mirror to show them who they really are. It is not easy, because there are our petty ego and mind who have become a driving force in our society. But there is something that tells me to go to places and see people. And it is always beyond miraculous. I can never describe this feeling. Some people help me, sometimes angels in human form appear (angels always appear in human form!), some I help myself. Or rather they are being helped through me. I never know what may happen at any given day. Sometimes I think: My goodness, nothing is happening, when in fact, a lot of things are happening right underneath the surface.
I was always under the impression that Kundalini Shakti needed to be very active and running all the time, but it is not so. She will run slightly in the background. The moment she is running heavily, it is up to me to ask: “What is Thy will?” It is up to me to say: “Let me be humble, with devotion and surrender to Thee.”
The surges indicate that one is moving in the wrong direction and needs to understand that one’s life is the one of service.

So yesterday, learning photography, there was such tiny movement that I hardly noticed it at all if I did not pay much attention to it. It must have been the right thing to “do”. At work she is running heavily and runs wild, so it must not be the right thing to do. This is my compass from now onwards: Crazy motions of Kundalini Shakti and it is not the right thing. Hardly any movement and it is the right thing to do.

My lesson now is to love all that is averse to beauty. With a deep sigh I must accept the thief, the cruel demeanor, even the tirades of some aggressive people. I must accept that God has a plan. Mrs. Tweedie’s Guru once said to her that when people are angry with him, one must learn to accept that God is angry with one. Then one must ask where one has gone wrong or maybe just accept that God can also have a wrathful form. The tightrope becomes thinner all the time I must say and one walks razor’s edge. One wrong word and one can fall rather deeply, being cut up by sharp rocks that do not brace our fall but accelerate it. It is through pain and suffering that we learn, not through beauty.
And so I must learn to surrender at all times, to love at all times, and to find peace underneath all that rubble that presents itself sometimes.

Have you embraced all things today?


Vanessa

The magic of being

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Once upon a time when I was a child, I remember sitting in one of my favorite trees and while I was sitting there contemplating nothingness, I saw no point of going to school or why we were being educated and be pushed into a system.
When you are a child you see the world in a different manner.

I remember that I learned reading very late. It seemed like a tedious task. But sure, it was a prerequisite in order to enter this system.
Now decades later after having read copious amounts of books, I am starting to wonder about all of this. Do I actually enjoy reading? I have seen that reading all this material has become a hindrance on my spiritual path. Mrs. Tweedie just sat with her Guru. She had read a lot before she came to him, but to understand her awakening she was forced to just sit with her Guru. And that was it. He event old her that education can be a hindrance. I feel that this is my case at the moment. After having read all this material, I feel that it is such a humungous task to get rid of all this knowledge that I have built up.
And most times I understood that even reading can be very stressful for the system. It is yet another form of illusion that keeps one separated from love.
At first I thought it was my ego being lazy, but I figured that it is my mind wanting to be busy and foregoing the act of being.

I even remember doing sound school. They were useful things I learned and I understood that I needed a base for later on, but where I really learned sound, was on the job. The school did not prepare me for that. I had to learn how to lay the cables, how to set up microphones in live sound, even how the artists wanted things to be. Some of the theory of school was even standing in the way there. Sure, I knew how a sound wave traveled, I knew the whole theory behind it, but it did not prepare me for setting up speakers in the rain on a mud-field and pulling cables out from underneath bleachers. Trust me, it is a whole other ball-game.

So I am starting to wonder about all this reading, having watched a gazillion videos on awakening, etc. I can be a bit OCD when it comes to things. So after Switzerland I decided it’s time to be less OCD, to cut myself some slack, and to just go to work and relax the rest of the time. Direct experience of God consciousness does not depend on books. One cannot learn it, happiness cannot be found in anything on the outside. Looking back at my Switzerland trip, I realized that I was just happy being there at this place. I didn’t need to go on massive hikes, just took some photos here and there, and the rest of the time I ate, slept, and was happy.
That’s it.
No reading required.

The first years on tour I was just so happy: I only had to hang speakers, set up support bands, and the rest of the time watch the amps and enjoy the show. That’s it. But then my ego kicked in and it had to be more, bigger, better positions,… You get the point. Little did I know that better positions came with much more responsibility and I lost the fun somehow along the way. I forgot that at the end of the day it’s about the people that you are touring with, the cultures you come in contact with, and the things that you are seeing. I just did the jobs and was there, but in reality I just wanted to be. I stopped enjoying the shows and it became tedious to “do” them, I started bickering, being ungrateful. How bizarre as it had been my dream to go on tour, to see the world.

I also remember that during one of my first years working in sound I visited the sound team on Shakira when they came to Zurich. I met one of the guys hanging the speakers and he told me a story that he had a really bad accident while being on a tour. He said he was so stressed all the time and then he decided that he just wanted to stick with hanging speakers. I did not understand it back then but now I do so many years later. Is it worth all the stress to actually fall ill? I don’t think so. Nothing is worth that.

It feels like I have gone through a complete re-set. I don’t need to read in my free time, I can go and hang out somewhere and watch people. I don’t need to “do” stuff. Just find that joy underneath that rubble. Where has it gone?

You tell me. Is it not nicer to just sit in a tree and watch clouds pass by?

How often are you happy per week just being?

Vanessa

Mountain days

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It feels like the last bit of awakening is taking place.

I have heard from other people how the last year or months were.
A few months ago I had decided that I had to go and meet my teacher in person. I only ever met her online and in email. She lives in Switzerland and since I had a vacation, it was decided to meet. The drive there was tricky as my field has become so widened that I pick up on passengers’ energies when they are passing by. It is a bit better in a car than let us say being at home, but let’s face it: It’s nearly impossible to live in a city and I am triggered all the time. Going to the mountains I thought that I might get the chance to relax the system a bit. Somehow my energy seems to enjoy driving- what a bizarre thing, I thought to myself. Is this not against the sustainability rules of divinity? But apparently not. My teacher said that sometimes we have weird things as we are still human and that if the energy likes driving, I should do that.

There was a group at the place who were doing meditation and some other things, but I ate separately from them as not to disturb the group dynamics. But when I thought that the process would calm down, it actually accelerated there in the sight of the mountains that I had missed for so long. In that pure essence of nature and the altitude, Kundalini went up soaring and people were connecting to me at a massive rate. But the one thing that was different from being down here, was that I felt absolutely happy. I did not need to write or do anything, I just sat and watched nature.
On the second day I looked at my open luggage and saw the clothing I had packed- it was the typical retreat clothing that had been required to wear with a few teachers: white linen clothing. I looked at it and I hated it. It was not me. I was thinking: “What the heck am I doing here?” This is not me. I left it in there and wore my pink jeans and a normal top. I realized I don’t need special clothing for this. Just being me is enough. Maybe not wear lycra or something chemical, but I can just wear normal clothes. It’s not necessary to wear something special. It is in the washing now, so I can then place it in the container for second hand clothing. Maybe someone else will be very happy about it.


My teacher advised me to keep on saying no to people taking energy from me. I have to stay persistent. My energy is my own and no one has the right to take it. I keep on doing it, but I’m having a rough time as this seems to be the set-up I have come to the world with. Or maybe I have taken it over from my parents when I was a kid. I have had all these things when I was a child. I remember this clearly.
So Kundalini was having a field trip in the mountains and the energy was so large that I felt I had become several kilometers wide… The difference was that I just felt so so happy. Incredibly happy for no reason! The whole place radiated out that holy energy, that whole place was filled with manna. It was radiating with the teacher’s energy if when she was not there.
At least I didn’t have to deal with half a million inhabitants, but rather 50000 instead. But who knows, I try not to look who’s where and what they are doing. I rather not know.
On the second day, I met my teacher and I felt nervous as I have made a pretty bad experience with a teacher and the accompanying sangha once. I saw that it was still ingrained in me and I saw how fearful I felt: I thought that maybe there would be rules to follow when I met her, rules I did not understand or know. I felt anxious to say the least.
But when she came in she was so full of love and light, so normal yet not normal at all, that all my fears vanished and I just felt peaceful. I saw all the light that descended and my heart opened in her presence. That night Shakti went soaring, but the next day she slowed down at least a bit. She is still going, but a little less. And I feel like that this may be the last bit of the process. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, starting to feel the finish line (yet, I also understood that there will be no finish line at all).
The tips were simple: Don’t meditate, eat heavy foods, be in nature, get as much rest as possible, avoid any form of stimulation from any side…

Cool, I thought, I’ll do that.
On the evening of the second day the guy who had organized the group retreat asked me: “Who are you?” I thought to myself: “Wow, what a question. Even Sri Sri Ramana Maharshi took 14 years of meditating in a cave to figure this one out and I still haven’t.” So I said: “I am Vanessa.” Even that seemed totally weird at this point. But what he rather meant was what I was doing up there separate from the group. I had a little giggle on the inside about the Ramana Maharshi comparison. Holy humor.


Back in the city I felt as if all of Sodom and Gomorrha descended upon me and I understood that I really need to go and live somewhere else, that city life is horrible and an illusion of stress. Not many people seem happy here, even the ones with kids. I do not want to end up like this. I have been trying for a year and that’s okay. The system is also not helping and here I am again at yet another ending.
I decided that I just want to be healthy and happy, whatever that may mean, that all my striving must end and only then will new doors open.

So what may this next step be?
I do not know, but I have an idea…

But yeah, I am having a hard time with this process. From the beginning until now. Some days are easy, but most are rough.

I hope that all of you who are on this path are having an easier time than me.


Vanessa

The bottom of the sea

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“You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn’t even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide that you’ll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you have for them. If it’s sincere, if it’s pure, they’ll be with you, and take you away forever.”

– Jacques Mayol (Le Grand Bleu- on mermaids)

Have you ever been to the bottom of the ocean?
Where the vastness of the universe seems to be in tune with the heartbeat? Where there is no distinguishing between what is false and what is right?

There exists an exquisite silence right there where there is no noise, no pollution, no questions that one may have to ask. Right at the bottom of all things one can finally relax and tap into the silence.

It marked the year 2013. I had spent a summer in Dubai surfing (even in ankle biters- one becomes pretty desperate in such circumstances), cycling in the summer heat, doing some corporate gigs, and free diving. I had met some locals who were teaching free diving and went out with them on a boat. We encountered dolphins, saw reefs so beautiful, exploding with colors that it was hard to deny that there was a different life-form at play. Plenty of sea live and fish to be had, pure, there seemed to be a set of other rules at play then on top of the world where us humans were residing. It was as if we entered an untouched civilization that stayed eternal. Whether us humans were trying to interfere or not was of no importance. All was as it was meant to be. That summer remained one of my favorites in my heart. Through so much beauty and a healthy lifestyle something else seemed to have been activated. Hard to say in hindsight, but out of a sudden the world seemed to resonate in different colors, frequencies, and became luminous. My heart had opened to a different kind of vibration and I was stunned that so much beauty even existed. I remember paddling out to the Burj Al Arab where only a few people with kayaks came by and I was left in solitude to resonate with the frequency of the water and its inhabitants.
A few weeks later I became terribly ill due to psychic openings that I only understood at a later point. This is another topic for another blog post.

That fall I spent in Bali under not so ideal circumstances with a hip displacement and the above mentioned psychic openings. But at a later point of that stay I did a free diving course. It astonished me that, out of nothing, I was able to hold my breath for four and a half minutes. The teacher said I could even go longer if I wanted to. It would be easy for me with a little bit of practice. On the second day we went out into the open ocean. My very first time under controlled circumstances with a teacher to free dive. And it was beautiful!
Above the surface there was some wind, but not too much, a few waves were coming in, but the spot was secure. As I felt held by the Ocean’s embrace, I did the breathings, counted down, and finally did my first dive down the rope with the teacher. When we arrived at the bottom, I felt that I had an infinite amount of time down there, that somehow I was being breathed by the Ocean itself. For the first time in my life I felt free: Free from the noise that is our world, free from anyone connecting to me, free from the constraints of a body that was starting to seemingly give up. It was this peace that I had been seeking all of my life. The teacher was signaling to take a look around. It was beautiful and I smiled at her. She signaled to even look up and I just recognized the distance between myself and the surface. There was no fear involved or any form of judgement. Down here I was set free.
I finally understood what Jacques Mayol meant when he talked about the depth of the ocean and being judged by the mermaids. He mentioned that it is rather hard to come back to the surface, that one needs an extremely strong reason to re-surface.
It was this peace and this unconditional love that he was talking about that touched me down here. Even though it was only 25 meters below the ocean’s surface, I understood that right now there was nothing that was keeping me above the surface. Maybe I would have stayed down there endlessly but at the end the teacher signaled to go up. I looked at her, nodded and bit by bit we made our way back to the surface. Back above the surface, the world with its terrible might came crushing down on me and I felt unhappy to have been ripped apart from that intense silence that I never knew I had been longing for. I had a headache and a stiff neck, but as I was to learn many years later, this was not mine but from the other people I had been diving with. Subconsciously I had been taking on their things. I just knew that I had to get back down there in order to feel what was our natural human state: Stillness.

In this moment I knew that this was what I had been looking for and that I would not give up until I would find this in my every day life. Little did I know that this became a whole other odyssey in itself.

Have you been to the bottom of the Ocean?


Vanessa

A silent war

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“To recognize the beauty of the world, one must understand its suffering.”

– Vanessa Ferstl

Having spent nearly 6 years in self-imposed spiritual asylum, I feel that I have explored my own depth sufficiently and am ready to face the world as it is. Not only to see its suffering, but the potential and the beauty behind it.


40 years after the Vietnam war, it is still palpable in global consciousness and we must come to an understanding that we are never free from the impact of any historical events. We may live at the other end of the world or may have been born many decades later, but the ripples of these happenstances remain in the atmosphere and are ingrained in our energetic set-up. We cannot stand alone as we are all part of one consciousness. Whatever I do or not do on any given day, will have an effect on others. This is not only through my surroundings but throughout this planet and out into the Universe.


Hence, any historical happenstances are still ingrained into my consciousness and my nervous system. Spiritual development is to unpack these events, to accept them and realize that we all have our part to play in this world. With spiritual development one frees themselves and can come out of the rat-race. Admittedly, it is rather hard as one is being met with a lot of resistance when one wishes to follow this path. Often it can be like Dante’s ninth circle of hell. It is not for the faint of heart.

The Vietnam war has been buried in historical facts and misgivings for a long time. It may have been forgotten, but opening the newspaper today, there it was printed in black and white right in front of me. It ripped open not only a grudge within me, but it triggered my willpower and inner strength. My health may be frail but my will is impenetrable. It triggered something so deeply buried that I had forgotten all about it: One must fight one’s own battles when it comes to every-day life. In extreme situations such as wars or even pandemics one may recognize one’s inner strengths or weaknesses. During the whole of the pandemic I remained steadfast. I said that I will not get covid and will not be bullied by a system into getting a vaccine that has not been tested. Everyone else can be there as a human rat, but I am not bowing down to that. It was rough to be honest, especially last winter when I met a lot of resistance through clients at work, but I decided that it is my body and at least I can control up to a certain extent what can go into it. During war times no one has any say- there are forces at work that most people do not seem to comprehend. We are a dulled down mass of people. We are too content in my personal opinion. We are all too busy with being made into modern slaves as to wake up to the bigger picture. This does not mean to start a new revolution, but rather to think for oneself, to stand up for one’s values and not to be dragged down by everyone’s fears and paranoia. But in the name of an unconditional love, of a flame that burns brightly within each and every individual. You have a choice! You can get out of the conscious collective- disconnect from it. I definitely felt psychically pressured many times and had a few cries here and there, but I know that deep down inside I cannot be touched.
Back to the Vietnam war, I still feel enraged that 40 years after no one has solved this mystery. After having gone through French colonialism first, then the Vietnam war with agent Orange, at the same time a cold war from soviets as much as the US, one part of Vietnam under communist regime, the other liberated, I am still baffled that most people did not speak up. What was the political interest behind all this? Why Vietnam. Once again, the US was unable to stay out of things. But the worst part of it is that people remain ignorant of the real reasons behind the political strategies that remain within an elite that governs civilizations as we know it. We glorify war and the utilization of machinery. Young children are being already infiltrated by little war games- it is cool to be a soldier. No, it is not. It gets turned into false patriotism. People who come out of war zones do not only suffer from PTSD of what they have seen but rather what they have done. It is the beast that can be activated within us. But about this we do have a choice. We may boycott the dulled down senses of our society, we can boycott this beast and recognize that as much as this beast we can awaken to the truth and choose to follow the higher path. I remember being 25 years old, I finished university and I felt empty and lost, because it had no meaning to me. All seemed to be a certain way that we do things, we get into the system and then that is it? It is not enough for me.

I remember being in Lebanon many years ago when I was still working as a touring live sound engineer: I had never experienced such strength yet such frailty in a country. It touched me deeply and I know now that the real awakening must have started somewhere there. The bombed buildings staring at me from the window of my hotel room, I could not discard that this had also been a part of this country, so I had to go beyond the cruelty in order to find its beauty. The sight of Baalbeck and a tank driving through the streets at the same time seemed a large contrast that I would never forget about for the rest of my life. Others may have gone home and never given it a second thought, but for me the heart was seemingly transformed in a matter of weeks.

We can inform ourselves through channels that may not be so broad-band. Get out of your seats, folks. Stop watching TV and wake up. You are in charge of your life.

The last six years I have spent in relative neutrality, but I feel that it is time to speak up rather than staying silent for what is my life worth staying in hiding? It would be fearful to stay in hiding. It does not make me very content- I realized that this 9-5 drill is not for me, never has been and never will be. But I realized that deep down in these horrifying events that keep on taking place, I found my inner peace and also some beauty. Also this no one can take away from me. This is the silent war that we must all fight internally, already the Bhagavad Gita states this clearly.

So what will be your choice?
Will you wake up or will you stay dulled down?


Vanessa

The light

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“And I turned to see the voice that spoke to me. And as I turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks,
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one resembling the Son of man, wearing a long vestment and girded round his breast with a golden girdle.”

– Revelation 2:12-13

Whenst you came from
Thus the angel spake
You shall return to
For you are free.

You are the pillar
That walketh in liberty
Let not your fears
Come in between.

Let this love
Guide you on your path of
Truth.
Let the rose bloom
And forget about your daily
Gloom.

Walk tall and free
For no one
Can imagine your life
But He.

Tears of joy rolling down my face,
I watched as the angel
Let fall her disguise.
I trembled in fright
For her light
Became so bright
That I felt blinded
By her sight.

Have you lost your faith or found it again?


Vanessa

Little miracles

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“Whatever you think concerning Allah-
know that He is different from that!”

– Ibn Ata Allah Al-Iskandar

This year I am learning to watch out for the little miracles in life, no matter how difficult my circumstances may be:
Yesterday, my body feeling very tired, I had to go to work. There was some grand healing taking place as after lunch I had a heart opening, the heart beating twice, in the rhythm of divine love. Curiously, I had not done anything in particular, just following life and hopefully finally surrendering to the will of divine consciousness rather than trying to enforce my will upon it. It always makes me feel more miserable. One day I just knew that what I had to do was to surrender to all that is and that I cannot change things as they are. I just needed to stay open to this Divine love that is constantly pouring in but that we are just too busy to understand.
So even though I am struggling physically with my job, in the meantime while searching for another (and that will come at the right time, divinely guided), I understood that I needed to appreciate the little miracles of every day life. Sometimes I wonder whether my life has not been too grand for my very young life… People were very sweet in general yesterday and a lot of children came into the store. I do feel that they still see energy, because they always look at me with a smile. It also seems to make my energy grow larger and softer, so I always try to remain in this mystery that life holds. They get glittering eyes, they start smiling and either become peaceful or start becoming very energetic when they see me. We usually all laugh a lot.
Late afternoon one of the regulars came in and we had a little chat. She decided to seek out an ayurvedic practitioner I had recommended and seemed very happy to go. It made me smile that she was embarking on this path.
Afterwards a couple came walking into the store. I felt that their love was still young, very soft and fragile, there had been no disturbance between the two and they were so sweet and gentle with each other. They were nearly fifty from what I could make out. As I always love hearing peoples’ stories, I asked them where they were from. Persia they answered. When I asked if they lived here in the city, he answered yes, but that she was living a few hours away. They had just become engaged they told me with a huge smile on their faces. Because they lived a bit farther from each other, I enquired how they met. They told me that they met on facebook. I was so stunned that this could happen, that for a few moments I held my breath. But I felt my whole being vibrate with their love and I felt just so overwhelmed with happiness for them. I told them so and asked them about their wedding. It would take place next year and the Lady was going to move to Essen next month. That was my little miracle in the afternoon and afterwards I just felt extremely happy and even though my body feels weary, it invigorated my spirit.

In that moment my heart understood that this is also Divine Consciousness- something perfectly engineered at a later age. Maybe they needed to learn other lessons first in order to open their hearts to each other. They were both so beautiful in that glow of their love that I nearly wept with joy.

So whatever you think God may be, He is definitely not that.
We cannot have an expression of God consciousness that would fit this miracle. Maybe God only conveys things in miracles, I was wondering when I walked home.


On the way back there was the festival of lights going on in the city and some very beautiful artwork was displayed. The last one I saw, led me through the park near to my place that I enjoyed in absolute silence with only another person around. A beautiful finish to my miracle day, the trees were rustling their leafs in the dark and I spotted a few little rabbits running away from my solitary steps that made no noise on the grassy grounds. How happy life can be…


What was your little miracle today?


Vanessa

Ingrid’s message

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“I am perplexed. How can an angel suffer?”

– Angel of the Desert, Paula Schlier

Is it not love that we must follow in all its colors and shades?
Is it not the absence of love that creates hell on earth?
It is the grayness of all that makes a human being suffer.
But if we choose to step over our fears and ideologies then we can experience perfect heaven while walking on earth.

Yesterday I had undergone a test and I do not think that I passed this very test:
While walking to work, I encountered a Lady who is living on the streets. In one year I have never met her, even though I am walking along those streets quite often. Others I have crossed many times, but not her. She asked me if I would take a poem off her for a hot chocolate. I said that I had to go to work but that I would give her some money for the poem. She gave me one for good luck. But instead of heading off very quickly, I listened to her. She told me about all the things she had learned in life and she was very educated. I was starting to wonder how an educated person could be living on the streets now. How was that possible? So I said to her: “Maybe you should ask the angels.” She answered that she was doing this all the time and that she was talking to God. So I responded that maybe they had a message for her. While we talked something seemed to change in her and I looked at her. I knew this was a test of a sort. Then she asked me if she could come home with her for a night on the couch.
In came all the things I had learned as a child: Don’t bring strangers home, she could take something,… But first and foremost it made me intensely uncomfortable. I was starting to wonder whether this was my uncomfortableness or hers. While she continued to talk she said: “I would love to hear more about the angels from you.”
I said that we would have to talk to the angels and find each others’ paths again- they would organize it.
But what weighs heavily on my soul today is the fact that I used a little white lie: I said to her that my apartment was rented (which it is) and that I could not have guests, which is not true. I should just have said to her that it made me feel uncomfortable that she asked me this.
I asked her if she did not have a public place to stay, but she explained that she had two bullies who usually took her money. It dawned on me that she also was undergoing a test of standing up for herself in front of the bullies. So we were both being tested at the same time. We agreed to use the help of the angels as our messengers.
But before we parted ways, her voice changed a bit and she had a very ancient mode of expression. She asked me first simply: “Do you have a totem animal?” I answered that I had two. She told me hers and then she said: “Also this she can do.” It was said without judgement or any form of suspicion, in a very neutral tone. Just a simple statement. Another person had used the exact same expression a few months earlier for my fable for Holy Scriptures. It was said in the exact tone and voice. It was an ancient phrase. Who would use such a phrase?

When we parted ways, I had carried away Ingrid’s burdens.

Today I was wondering what the lesson of this encounter was. The old adage of setting boundaries? Or maybe I realized that it is easy to give people money, but it does not change their set of behavioral patterns. It was maybe to load off my personal guilt. I also saw that this would be another possibility for me if I did not have a job, but it had no resonant frequency of fear anymore. I had been homeless twice over the last years and both times I was offered very comfortable shelter by friends! So that fear has disappeared and I feel that the karmic burden has lessened through that. I do not know, but in this moment I felt it was sincere to give her the money as she had given me a personal poem that she had written (which is very deep and meaningful by the way). I felt even happy about it. Partially I felt invaded by being asked. The second test was my lie- I did not pass. So it will come up again. The third lesson was that one can learn many things, have a million talents, but if one does not work with one’s talents then it is a waste of precious time and resources. But the last lesson of this encounter was that divinity is everywhere and that it was a message that we both received. It was that one sentence when I knew for sure that it was a message: “Also this she can do.”

Maybe I do not love enough yet to let someone come into my place, to offer them shelter for a night. Maybe I am still too weak. It felt as if something old left me that I had carried along the way.

I will discover with time what it meant. I need to meet Ingrid again.


Vanessa

Free will

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“Lord, make me a channel of Your peace, that
Where there is hatred, I may
bring love;…”

– St. Francis of Assisi


Each human being that is born into this world, has a million angels by their side. They watch over us, guide us, and interfere only when absolutely necessary.
It is for the free will of a human being that they may interfere continuously or rather aid. When we are born, even though we are already divine emanations, we are given free will to experience life as we choose. Only when we turn our face inwards and listen to that silent voice that is oh so persistent, can we finally free ourselves from the shackles of self-imposed suffering. Because also suffering is often free will or a karmic imprint that we must go through. It does not mean that it is a punishment, but as explained in the little story of Tashi and the demon, sometimes demons serve to wake us up. We are capable of so much love, yet we forget it all. And as Rabia of Basra once said, it is only through suffering and doubt that we awaken to great faith. If we look into history, many Saints and Sages, even though highly enlightened, suffered many physical ailments. Hildegard von Bingen, besides her intense visions of God, was said to have been terribly ill. I often wonder what it must have been like for her to receive this intense light, these visions, and carry out these visions. I read a book about her once and she must have possessed immense internal strength. Besides her periods of illness she wrote, she studied plants, constructed an abbey and was never too tired to pray! I cannot imagine what it must have been like.

And so it is with the human being that we have free will to get lost in materialism, to throw away our life in the pursuit of strange things that make us none-the-richer on the inside. You know that you are getting closer to divinity when your wishes start becoming true and you no longer have any attachment towards them. It is very bizarre to experience for it is like a puzzle that one must unravel to embark on any path. The path of life itself. Sometimes one struggles with their ego again or their thoughts, sometimes one gets lost in old habits again or the mind digs out pieces of the past. It is sometimes a maddening affair. One year I remember that I was walking down the streets of Luxembourg and struggling with some of my behavioral patterns that I used to have when I was younger. I felt great shame overcome me, but then the message was conveyed internally: God has already forgiven you.
So we must learn to forgive ourselves, because if we are sincere in our wish to embark on a path, then we are forgiven a long time before the mind encounters difficulties. We are pardoned immediately for it is only the human being that can hold onto grudges and believes in punishment, much like with feelings of guilt and shame.

We must accept our own free will. That is all one needs.
When one comprehends this, we are free to choose and take responsibility for our actions and inactions in life. Only then we will see the path being cleared.


Have you chosen free will lately?


Vanessa

Exposure

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“I am telling you, Tobias: Nothing is as much of a failure as success. All life is reinforced by exposure and not through strength. Through smallness, not through might the human being may win.”

– Angel of the Desert, Paula Schlier

In the darkest hours we come to terms with our own weaknesses. Those are the ones we must overcome. Neither through might nor through fight we can win. It is the art of compassion, of patience, and of unbeatable faith. One cannot waiver. One must remain steadfast. In the face of adversity all must go through the fires of purification.
We cannot expect to go through the process of life without trials for we would never become more understanding. We cannot expect to go through life without pain for it is that exact pain that makes us understand others. We cannot expect to go through life without experiencing ugliness for it is that exact ugliness that makes us recognize beauty. But that beauty is not an external thing- it is a beauty that resides within us and then transpires to our outer world. We must wander in darkness at times in order to recognize that the luminosity that we all carry is so much larger than this small portion of obscurity. But even when the obscuration may seem to overtake, we must hold on to that hope of light.
For how could we stand in that light for if it wasn’t for that challenge of darkness. Your hope, your love must become so strong that even the harshest of trials cannot push you off of your path. You must continue. It is not even a question of returning or changing.

Al you must do is to stay steadfast. You must return to how you were when you were a child. You must become innocent and beautiful, you must have full trust in life and all of its obstacles and obscurations. For only if you let yourself fall off of the cliff, you will be able to trust divine consciousness.

Can you do that?


Vanessa

We are endless

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One morning I woke up and wanted
Out of my misery.
I did not know what to
Belive
In Life.
One person granted wishes,
another one would set you free,
yet another one could cure
Your misery.

Healers and shamans alike,
I forgot about my own might.
I gave my power away
To someone else’s mystery.
What was my own I did not know
And bought into the whole
Show.

Got lost on the way
To my inner sanctuary.

So now let me take back
My inner strength.
I only adhere to love
And only that is my own.
No healer, no shaman, no witch,
Has access to that which
We all possess.

Spirits unconditional love,
A Higher Self
That we must trust.
No other thing
No other person
Can make one happy.
I only trust my inner light
And dwell on eternity
That has always been
And always will be.



Have you trusted your inner power recently?
If not, return to yourself. The answer lies within.



Vanessa

Tashi and the demon

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Last week, as I was shuffling to work, I passed by one of the book shelves that are residing in the city. It had just been filled and I like taking a look at what’s inside. Sometimes weeks pass and there is nothing that peaks my interest and then there are weeks when I find a good amount of books that resonate. It is always as if the book shelve itself speaks to me.

One of those days I found a thin and long book with a beautiful photography of a Tibetan boy. Prayer flags were happily floating in the background. Some of the mountains that I remember so well, I could almost picture myself living there or being the boy in the picture. The title read “Tashi’s New World”. It struck a cord so I took it with me.

On Sunday afternoon when the city had quietened down and people are staying at home more often, the energies of the world had settled, I picked it up and read the story.
It talked about a little boy named Tashi who was living in a village in the mountains. One day he was in the hut with his grandmother when a demon came swooshing through the chimney. Tashi only felt that something was going on whereas his grandmother saw the demon and was shaking with fright. She asked the demon why he would want to harm the boy. The demon answered that his father had trimmed a bush that he was living in and did not honor him. Therefore the boy must pay- it was his karma. The boy fell terribly ill and when he woke up many weeks later his world had turned dark. He had been blinded by the demon.

After a few weeks Tashi learned that his world was not so dark, but rather a new world full of sounds, smells, and touch: He knew who was passing by when and where, heard the different animals and was able to feel their states of emotion. He started to tell the most beautiful stories to other children and when they closed their eyes they saw the images right in front of them as if they were real. As he was not allowed to go to school because of his blindness he was offered a job as a goatherd. He knew where all the goats were hiding because he could hear their different sounds of the bells.
He was very happy with his life until one day two women passed by and told him about a school for blind children that they would open in Lhasa. They told him to come once it was open.
Tashi became overjoyed and told his demon about it. It would be wonderful. But afterwards he started having doubts that he may have dreamt the whole thing up.

A few years later a caravan came to his hometown that would make its way to Lhasa. He remembered the two women and the school for the blind. Even though he was troubled by doubts, he asked to go with the caravan. An old nomad became his friend and Tashi knew he had to find his dharma. The first nights were horrible for him as he was taken away from his demon, from his family, and friends, and also lost his job as a goatherd. He cried bitterly out of his loneliness and for the things he had lost.
After many months of hard travel they finally arrived in Lhasa and to their surprise found a blind boy who led them to the school.
Tashi stayed for many years and when he finally returned to visit his family, he had many stories to tell. As he was with his teacher, they decided to greet Tashi’s demon, give him some food, and tell him that he was protected during a night when demons were traditionally chased out of their hidings in Tibet. He thanked his demon for making his life so filled with joy and adventure.
The next morning the food was gone, but no one knew whether it was Tashi’s demon, the goats, or maybe one of the other animals that roamed the planes….


We never know what demons may be good for. Sometimes a situation may seem very horrible but out of it something so beautiful will be created that we may never have experienced that beauty unless it was for our own inner demons. In my heart I would say that Tashi would have never been able to appreciate going to school as much as he did when he was blind. When everything runs “normal” we hardly ever give any second thought to what we already have, but what we are lacking.

And so maybe you should feed the demon in your home or garden to appease them and to give you a hand… You never know what may come out of it


Vanessa

A day fo benevolence

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“Who if I cried out would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies? And even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.”

  • Rainer Maria Rilke

What an intense year it has been for all of us. It has passed by so rapidly that I feel that I had hardly time for anything else, but moving in circles. Covid made it all bizarre, as if caught in limbo. The war in the Ukraine overshadowing Europe once more, prices are on the rise, but on the other hand it made people become more aware of what they truly want in life.

A few months ago a young guy (maybe 16 or 17) came into the store with his friend. They were both looking for gifts for their Mum. As the store was almost empty I helped them pick out gifts. This guy did not have enough money, but because he was so enamored by the package, I told him I will gift the rest of the money to him. It wasn’t much. Just two euros. He felt embarrassed, but accepted the gift. He promised to come back and give me the money. I said that it’s okay- it is a gift.
I had forgotten all about it and months had passed. Last week there was a day when I felt that something extraordinary was happening: A client came in and he asked me if I spoke english and if I could help him. I asked him where he was from. He said he was from Egypt. So I exclaimed that it must be extremely beautiful. He said that it was and that he loved living there. He gave me a bookmark with Egyptian hieroglyphs on it as a gift, as if he knew that I liked reading and had none. I thanked him and was wondering what was going on. What a nice surprise gift.
A few hours later the young guy from a few months earlier came back in and said that he had been waiting for me to have a shift. He gave me back the two euros. I felt very touched that someone so young would keep his word. Of course he was starting to look for another gift, so we chatted a little bit. He said he would come back next week when I would work, so we could pick out another gift for his Mum for her birthday.

Then another Lady came in and said that she was very difficult with choosing gifts and that apparently everyone at the store has had issues with giving her a hand. She wanted for gift baskets. So I said to her: Why don’t you go and pick what you like and then we’ll see what we can make out of it. I asked the Divine Mother for help so that it would turn out great.
And it did. It was very easy. She picked everything herself and said she would run some errands while I was making the baskets. It all went smoothly and I told her that it was my energy, that’s why she found everything and it wasn’t a problem. She looked at me and said: “Indeed, this is right. Because with everyone else it was so difficult.” We smiled at each other in complicity and she came to the back with her car and we loaded the gifts in.

Why am I telling you this story?
Because no matter what you are grappling with, may it be foul health, an awakening process that is lasting like a million years, maybe you are struggling with emotions like anger, or helplessness. Maybe you are feeling lonely. I would like to tell you that, no matter what, there is always hope and that there are people out there who will uplift you, even when you are having a hard time. Even when you are having dark moments of doubt and life seems to be giving you a hard time, there are people who will speak to you and you will feel as if touched by Grace, by compassion, and benevolence.

That was such a day. Amidst my own difficult year, there is light that is shining brightly and I felt deeply touched that day by small amounts of benevolence and little miracles of every day life.


Have you experienced benevolence lately?



Vanessa

This place is a dream

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“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”

– Rumi

Death came knocking at my door.
Not prepared, I was pleading for more
Life.
She said: “Do not fear me, for I am a part of Him.”
I answered: “Is this not a trick to take me on a whim?”
She felt furious and took my ego in disguise,
I laughed and cried,
I kid you not.

She took her scythe and chopped off my foot.
I screamed at her in agony,
Why was she doing this to me?

She said you must suffer to be reborn
Unless you try darkness
You may never see light.
I nodded my head and this made me sway.

Then I remembered the trick
A teacher taught me:
I prayed to God with all my might
And all at once
The angels came to my aid,
they took away my fears
And helped me to surrender
In tears.
I wailed and sang hail to Grace,
I wondered why I had forgotten
Their mighty embrace.

Death departed with her scythe,
My foot restored,
I said: “You were the devil in disguise.”
Don’t taunt me with your impertinent
Gaze
For I know who you are now
and I surrender only to God
And follow my own ways.

Relieved I sat surrounded by the angels’ wings
Their embrace so soft
Yet put me up to their strings
That lead to heaven.



Vanessa

Don’t leave me, even for an hour…

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“Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because 
then the little drops of anguish will all run together, 
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift 
into me, choking my lost heart.”

– Pablo Neruda


Yesterday I experienced emotional pain. Another date, another strange experience. How come, I asked myself and looked into my heart. It said it was not the right one. People are scared of love.

A little while later at work a co-worker explained her view on love: She said that sometimes one does not need love to get married. Looking at her quizzically she expanded further. I shall spare you the details. This is no form of judgement, just an observation. She was thoroughly convinced of this idea.
When she left it took me a while to recover from this idea of hers. I contemplated it nonetheless, giving a fair chance to it. Why not? If I only ever see my point of view, how can I be certain that another’s point may not hold some form of validity.
But after a while I realized that I disagree for I thoroughly believe in love. In an eternal love.
Love that is so strong that nothing can break it. A love that is like fire, igniting all those around me. A love so intense that people must become blinded by the very fact that one is alive and burning with this love. A love that is so shining and brilliant, yet soft and beautiful that all must perish in its vicinity. No darkness can be left in its radar.

In the night I was sent yet another dream of a man I do not know and that love between us was so intense that no one could come in between. That is what I know to be true in my heart. It is an intense love, one that is passionate yet liberating, one that is quiet and peaceful, one that allows mistakes and the forgiveness of them. It allows for peace to enter one’s heart and to let this tremendous love unfold.

So no, I do not believe that one does not need love to get married. One needs tremendous amounts of love to get into any relationship of any sort.
How could you stay with someone who does not love you as you are?
It would be impossible.

So please love as if there was no tomorrow.
Do not listen to others who have lost their way.
Love as if the world was full with it, because that is the nature of God.
And love is the one thing that is always accessible wherever you are at and whatever situation you may encounter.
It is the only cure there is.

Be love. Do not get discouraged by others.
Stay there.


Vanessa

Sweetest Agony

Night falls
And in its darkness
My nostalgia disappears.
Calling out to no one
Has left me bereft
Of Your void.

Where are you,
My peaceful darkness
That lingers in my heart?
Golden city’s gloom
I plunged into
Your nothingness.

At the cross
I awake
to find devotion.
Streaming light,
Tears of surrender
Rolling down
My ashen face.

Fires burning in the distance,
Thorns edging into
skull.
I die for You,
For love is my sweetest
Agony.



Vanessa