Layla and the Khalif

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“I live for you
This is the madness
Bestowed upon me.

What a true blessing
That I found you,
The last scent of love.

– Majnun

Once there was a Khalif called Harun ar-Rashid. When he heard that the Bedouin poet Qais was overcome by madness due to his love for Layla, he became very curious about this woman that made a great poet Majnun (madman).
He thought to himself: “This Layla must be very special. She must be more beautiful than any woman on this planet, an enchantress with great power and splendor.”
Overcome by his curiosity the Khalif tried everything to get a glimpse of Layla. When he finally succeeded, he had invited Layla to the palace. Standing before him he commanded her to remove her veil. When she obeyed, Harun ar-Rashid was devastated. Layla was not ugly, crippled, and not old. But she was not the beauty he had imagined her to be. She was a simple human with common desires and faults- a simple woman like many others.
The Khalif did not hide his somber discovery: “Are you the one that Majnun is so crazy about? You look like everyone else. What is so special about you?”
Layla answered with a smile: “Indeed, I am Layla, but you are not Majnun. You need to see me through Majnun’s eyes. Only then can you discover the mystery that is called love.”

Have you discovered your Layla yet to be majnun?


Vanessa


Just a beginning

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“If there is to be a future, it will wear the crown of feminine design.”
– Sri Aurobindo


Life just is.
We cannot change it.
There is no end,
Only a beginning.
A new day beckons
Every day.
Dusk must certainly come.

Awaken to your heart’s desire
For in this lifetime
You cannot overcome it.

Listen to your heartbeat
For it tells the truth.
Only a beginning,
Never an end.

End of the day
Signals the beginning of
Night.
Sunset
Signals moonrise.
End of the world
Means beginning of a new one.
End of this physical life
Means the beginning
Of an extension of this one.

The atman is eternal.
Only eternal now.
Never to be seized,
Never to be forgotten.
Only now.

Just a beginning
Of a new life.

 

In Your love

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“I came to give life and to give plenty.”
– John 10:10

You are as brilliant as a hundred million suns.
Your light shines brighter
Than anything I know.
In Your light
All must perish.
In Your light
All must be reborn.

Your path
Is my path.
Your every breath
Is my breath.
Your light is
also my light.
You are not outside.
You are inside.

In Your love
All hate must die.
In Your embrace
All worries
Must vanish.
In Your eyes
I see reflected
The power of a hundred million suns.

So who am I to
Turn my face away
Lest You burn me
To ashes.


Vanessa

NDE

I have no fear of death.
When I was 14 years old, I was gravely ill. I spent weeks in a delirium and no one knew what I had.
I discovered many worlds beyond this one, culminating in nearly dying. It is peaceful.
There is no punishment after death.
There is no such thing as having to go through different worlds.
Once you arrive, there is only love and light.
You can then choose to go back or if you would like to stay, you can work on other levels of consciousness.

In Western society we live far off from the cycle of birth and death. We live in a sterilized environment that promotes living and youth. Then when death settles in, we ship people off to an elderly home where they fade away, out of sight. There is no room for dying peacefully in the West. It is rushed much like everything else in our life.

At the end I realized that I wanted to live and pulled through. For whatever reason, I cannot remember.
It is living that is the hardest part sometimes for me. I used to love life. I tried out everything that came my way. I wanted to live badly and experience everything so that I can later on go and say: I have lived a full life.
Of course I did not account for the Divine Mother Kundalini coming my way and pushing me through tremendous difficulties.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because I want to assure you that the hardest part is living and not dying. That you do not need to be afraid of death, that you will not be punished or have to go through difficulties.
I would like to tell you that death is peaceful and luminous. It is not dark and ominous like most people think.
It is something incredibly special and if one has ever witnessed someone dying, then you know that it is a special moment. Old people seem to become luminous right before they die.


In Tibetan Buddhism they have a practice called Phowa. When the person dies, even if they have not meditated or worked on their spiritual practice, one can still have a favorable rebirth if someone performs Phowa (or transfernce of consciousness) on them.
I am uncertain if I would need that now that I know that death is peaceful.

For me personally it is more the agony of a slow death, the wasting of the body that I would fear rather than death itself.
So take life into both hands.
Love as if there was no tomorrow.
Do things that you would love to do.
Get over your fears and your ego and live a fulfilled live instead of hiding.

Be glad for someone when they die, because they move back towards infinity rather than being constricted by a human body. It is all that I can tell you right now to reassure you that you are loved.


Vanessa

Kismet- Fate

In all traditions of this world, there is something that is called fate. The Arabs call it kismet, Yogis call it karma.
One spends one’s lifetime looking for one’s fate. If one does not fulfill it, one has to come back and try again.

Kismet can look very different for everyone: For some it may be to be a householder, some find fulfillment in being married, some meet one partner in their life and that is their destiny, some become renunciates so that their karma can develop, some are artists and singers, some shopkeepers, some become teachers or adventurers.
As much as there is a huge variety of people out there, there are the number of kismets. We must live it in order to thrive and to walk one’s dharma.

It has been coming up a lot for me lately. I have never fulfilled my fate in this lifetime. It is this restlessness that I know so well, it is my agony and my pain, my depression and my anxiety. It is the illness that is ailing me. To understand my kismet.
Someone said to me once: Some people just have to be. But just being also does not fulfill me. Then it is not for me.
The Arabs say that Allah has the master plan and has endowed us with the means to fulfill this masterplan. Some may call it their blueprint. Whatever it may be, I have been off it for a whole lifetime. Sometimes it felt as if I was on track: I remember living in Dubai and surfing. It felt as if I was on track. I just was and was very happy. Just to go and surf and write a bit here and there. To just be in that moment. But then illness settled in and it has never gone away since. It feels as if I am standing in front of the door of a fortress and that it is sealed shut. It won’t open.

So I must be off of my kismet. In a recent meditation with Shakti, she said to me: You are living a scam.
It certainly feels like one. It feels fake to me. I am selling chocolate that is chemical, full of sugar, to people who are already ill and do not have any money. I live in a city of 500.000 inhabitants. You are never alone here! It is impossible. The more I try to be in solitude, the more people contact me: WhatsApp, calls, messages,… Often I do not answer or just ignore it. My phone is on silent A LOT. I find it stressful. In the park that is close by and even in the forest I am never alone. There are always people there. It is impossible. But then again, is it my kismet to live in solitude? Maybe it is an illusion that I have kept up that does not fit me.
But it is certainly not city life that makes me content. It is too much, too chaotic, too crazy,…

Sri Ramana Maharshi said: Neti neti. Not this, not this.
He meant that throughout our discovery towards the Self, we come to realize that we are not a mother, a father, a householder, a woman, a man, a child, a teenager, a writer,… But that we are rather nothing and that being with God means that we just need to stay still.
I have experienced this stillness many times, it often pervades my every day life. Everyone is hectic and busy, and I just stand still inside. It permeates towards others, but it does not feel like my kismet.
At the moment I feel stuck in a situation that I don’t seem to belong to. It is like groundhog day, repetitive, making similar mistakes, saying the same phrases, doing the same actions all the time, and it feels painful watching it. It is like a spiral.

So I must get out of it and find my kismet.
What has always appealed to me, is to sell all my belongings and just get up and go wherever fate will take me. But is this the answer? Is it not a running away, I wonder?

There has been the dream to live in Bali off the beaten track and to just surf. It is impossible when being ill.
So then my fate is to find my dharma.
It seems like a very large task and at the moment I cannot picture anything that I could do to fulfill this fate of mine…


Vanessa

The pursuit of happiness

Once I met a tiger.
He asked me: “What are you looking for?”
I answered: “I am in the pursuit of happiness.”
He said: “But how can you look for happiness? It cannot be seen.
What do you do?”
I said: “Well, for many decades I searched outside. I traveled far and wide. I looked at many different people in many different countries, from all walks of life. But what I saw was never sheer happiness. There was always a sort of discontent and wanting things to be different.”
He answered: “This is true. You should know that happiness cannot be found outside of you. You must look inside.”
I said: “True. So after many decades of eating out, of partying, of learning new things, of teaching, of wandering the world, the only thing that is left, is to just be.”
He said: “And what did you find in the end?”
I answered: “That each individual has a light and a dark side and that only when the person is ready to encounter their darkness, can there be peace.”

The tiger looked at me for a while and when he did not reply I added: “And also in me there exists this anger, depression, even violence. If I see it in another person, it is also in me. There must be a resonant frequency. So whatever we encounter, that is our mirror to be looked at. Sometimes it may be a faint memory of how we once were, sometimes it may be that we understand a new reality. But it is always a mirror. So we cannot say that we are only happiness, peace and love. Because we are not.”
“This is certainly wise”, the tiger answered, “and therefore we must part ways before I encounter my own darkness and eat you.”

When he left, I followed his direction nostalgically and finally surrendered to the darkness in me.
If the tiger only knew that I was him…


Vanessa

The Fall

“Deep in the sea
Are riches beyond compare.
But if you seek safety,
it is on the shore.”

– Saadî


How many times have You made me fall?
Again and again.
Over and over.
But then how many times have You made
Me stand up?
Until You made me surrender
To Your magnanimity.

Often I have wondered
about Your ways.
They are uncertain
And I am full of doubt.

But You make me wander
In light
As much as darkness
And only a fool
Would be so ignorant
As to call their life
Their own.

Vanessa

The Lake

In the morning breeze all seemed quiet and from where I sat I was overlooking the lake. No one was there to witness the wind that caressed my body, enveloping me in its sweet embrace. It was as if it was carrying a message that was telling me to wait and see what would be in store for me. There was nothing to do but to be the lake. There was no difference between the blue surface and my conscience, both of us dreaming of an ancient lullaby that most are too busy to hear. The trees nearby rustled their leafs and sang their ancient songs of wisdom while swaying in the breeze, the birds slowly starting to chime in. Overhead the lake saw that some clouds were passing by and that father sun was starting to greet the world with its rays of power. Grandmother earth, rumbling in her vibrant tone, causing the lake to whisper and flow.
A sonata of peace we all carried out our duties and none of us asked any questions. Instead we all were of service to a world that was still turning.
As nature one does not ask about the why or how. There is no questioning of motives or where we are going. It is a constant flow of being in the now. Forget a moment and then the next would come along already. Little steps are taken every moment towards a brighter future, no other than consciousness knowing where this shall lead.
Once the moment has passed nature does not bemoan anything that has happened and may only wonder at the business of humankind. It all just is in an even flow with upheavals to shake up humankind. Dreamily the lake made its movement today, half sleeping, half awake and watchful. Parts of it were happy and joyous, a quicker flow to embrace more oxygen. Time is of no essence and so we remain in eternity for most humans do not know what life is all about.

Lest we dream we do not exist at all.


Vanessa

The Void

As I looked up, I saw that night had descended upon the world. It felt like velvet and soothing to my soul, enveloping my being. Instead of staying in one place, I walked along the quay that lay deserted in front of me. It felt as if suspended in time and space. The sheer vastness of the location could make a person feel small or anxious, but to me it signaled peace. Curious, I took a few steps into the seeming void and found a pathway appear right underneath my feet. Barefoot I slowly walked in an easy motion, the gravel underneath not penetrating my feet. The surface seemed hard yet soft to the touch. My body fluidly moved through the impenetrable darkness.
Moving further along, the pathway opened up into a platform that overlooked a vast Ocean, still no noise to be perceived. I decided to sit down and to gaze into the abyss. Looking at the night sky, one was unable to fathom where the Ocean ended and the sky began. They seemed to merge into each other. I knew that there should have been stars above, but much like the blackness of the Ocean, it mirrored what was below. Even though everything was tinted in black, I was not scared. There just seemed to be a knowing about this place. It emanated freedom. Time stood still and I did not know what age I was or what I was doing in life. I just was.
I felt peace descend upon me and there was nothing to do, no questions to be asked. It was all answered and contained within this space.
After what seemed like an eternity, I got up. When I walked back along the quay, dream time had opened up again and I could see the busy streets of Indian nightlife along the river Ganga.