Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas

Vienna, Austria


About 2010 years ago a man was born who inspired some people to found a religion. I guess this man must have been quite powerful and charismatic!

So more than two thousand years later millions of people around the world, Christians as well as non-Christians, celebrate this man’s birthday.

And some Christians wonder why some non-Christians do.

That’s a good question!

Why do millions of people celebrate the birthday of a man who is the founder of a religion that is responsible for some of the biggest crimes in human history like the Inquisitions?

Why do some Muslims celebrate the birthday of a man who kicked-off a religion that would fight them in the Crusades?

I cannot answer this question!

I can only tell you what I feel about Christmas and Jesus of Nazareth.

Every year, again and again people are surprised that me and my family celebrate Christmas… being Muslims.

My perception of Jesus of Nazareth is a man who proclaimed unconditional love for all beings! No Inquisitions, no Crusades!

Unconditional love for all beings!

This is, I believe, independent of any religion!

Love is independent of religion!

And looking at the time of the year it is celebrated we see that his birthday "coincides" with the winter-solstice… when darkness is overpowered by light… when light finally succeeds over darkness…

And I personally prefer light over darkness…

For me, Christmas is a celebration of unconditional love and light… and this is why I celebrate Christmas!

So with this message I want to send all beings around the world, independent of religion, race and entity…

...universal love, light and peace...


vox

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reflections on Love

Vienna, Austria


Yesterday I had an inspiring conversation about love and what it could be. It made me reflect on my past relationships and, of course, what I believe love to be.

I had a few relationships and I always believed my feelings to be love.

Looking back being honest with myself my feelings were always influenced by need and desire.

Some I loved, I needed, not to feel alone.

Others as I had lacked affection in a while.

Some I loved to overcome a previous relationship.

Others as they gave me a future perspective.

Some I loved simply because I got used to them.

Others because I was in fear… in fear to be alone (again) or not to find anyone "better" or not to be loved by someone else as much.

Some I loved as I learned a lot from them.

Others because I wanted to teach or inspire them.

Most of them because I needed them for something!

So I wonder if I ever truly loved one of them!

Don’t misunderstand me: I respect all of my former girlfriends and I highly value all of my previous relationships.

Yet, being honest, at last all these relationships broke up when either I didn’t need them anymore or they didn’t need me no more.

Each and every single relationship would break up the moment the conditions why we loved each other changed or fulfilled.

So I wonder if that truly is love!

Does love depend on these typ of conditions?

“I love you 'cause I need you!”

“I love you 'cause I’m (my happiness) is dependent on you!”

“I love you 'cause I learn a lot from you!”

“I love you 'cause I fear being alone without you!”

“I love you 'cause I fear nobody else will “love” me like you!”

And there are many more sentences like that…

So what happens if I don’t need that person anymore? If I’m not dependent anymore? If I don’t learn from that person anymore? If I don’t fear being alone without that person anymore?

Do I still love that person without these conditions?

I guess it really depends!

If I really love that person I will still do so… So these conditions must have supported a deeper love! But if these conditions “create” love…

Well… I’m not too sure!

It feels like ill-motivated love to me!

I’m not sure if I truly love someone if it is only based on these type of conditions.

So I come to conclude that I only truly love if that love is not based on some ill-motivated conditions! If it is not dependent on various factors but rather if it is detached… detached from ill-motivated desires and needs.

I believe that I can only truly love if I love myself and am happy with myself… if I don’t need my partner to do so.

Of course that doesn’t imply that I may not need my partner at times, may not learn from my partner, may not be more happy being with my partner, may not…

It just means that I’m not dependent on my partner to live my life, to feel good, to be happy!

And of course I’m far away from that state and I need to work a lot to grow personally and reach that state. And of course it doesn’t mean that I won’t have relationships until I have reached that state. Quite the opposite is the case: every single relationship will help me to get even closer.

But at least I want to try to be honest with myself…

…not to fool myself…

…not to clown myself…

and look at what it really is that makes me feel affection for a person!

By doing that I do grow, being honest not only with myself but also with my partner and giving every partner I feel affection for the chance to love that person truly and not ill-motivated!

So this is my personal perception, my personal truth, my personal reality about love... today...

So let's see what I will have to say in two decades from now about this entry ;)


vox

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back to the Roots?!?

Bangkok, Thailand


So maybe it wasn't supposed to be the first time...

And this time it was a good experience! Real good! I couldn't do a silent retreat as it wasn't possible at the moment at the temple I stayed and yet I learned a lot. A lot about myself, a lot about Thai culture and something about Buddhism and Thai temples.



So now it is really time to move on!

Where should I head next?

If I follow my heart I have to go back to my roots... finally...

Sri Lanka was supposed to be next... but i have no roots to find there! At least not that I knew...

Well, going to Iran is not that easy a task though. I cannot just go there. In my case the only other places harder to enter are perhaps Bhutan and the States... at least with that picture in my passport ;)

So the first thing I would need to do is to get my father's blessing.

Maybe that's the thing to do next...


vox

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A God's Birthday

Bangkok, Thailand


Yesterday was the Thai King's 79th birthday and Thailand was all in yellow (the king's colour). People here love their king. He seems to be very wise and caring. So it was nice to experience this day with the Thais in Bangkok.

So now I will move on to a monastery nearby to do a short retreat. If they let me in this time ;)

There is a lot on my mind these days. I reflect upon my friends and friendships in general. Sometimes I wonder how many true friends I have. Perhaps it depends simply on my definition of a friendship.

I believe a true friendship to hold even if I share an unpleasant perception. By this definition I do not even have a handful of true friends!

Most people cannot take my perception...

... but than again maybe I cannot take most people ;)


vox

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bangkok Again

Bangkok, Thailand


So it was not supposed to be!

The trip from Surat Thani to Chaiya usually takes an hour. It took me four and when I arrived the retreat was full... for the first time ever!

I went to the temple nearby to sleep there for the night. It was nice and simple! And I figure I will be sleeping at temples more often in future.

On Friday I took the train to Bangkok. It was a slow train but I was accompanied by a very remakable young Dutch woman and we had a good chat.


So now I'm back to Bangkok and I enjoy the city. Many travelers hate it but I think it's a lively and vivrant metropolis! Although it smells ; )

I'm not quite sure what I'll do next. Perhaps I'll head north to Chiang Mai and Pai or maybe I'll go to Sri Lanka a bit earlier than expected... who knows...

I'll go with the flow!

So for tonight I plan to stay in Bangkok...


vox