Saturday, January 11, 2020

After a sleepless night

Didn't sleep all night until it was far past seven.
I fell asleep, woke up by the alarm just shortly after.
Shower and the whole lot and then I had to give a lesson at the university. Second year medical students.
They had to prepare questions to understand the psychosocial impact of chronic heart disease with the help of a short summary of my files.

As I didn't want to hurry at the side of a cardiologist like last time, I went early, took my time to walk the long stretch, and sat down at the study corner to update my agenda.
Saw I might have missed a meeting last monday. Not sure if there was a meeting planned as I didn't get an invite.

I didn't see any cardiologist to introduce me, but I don't need that, so I went in and started the lesson.
Then the prof came in, made a bit of fun, telling the students I was 'his' most experienced teacher for this subject, smiled and such and went again.
We had a good lesson and I hope they did well with the presentation afterwards.

Came home and was far too tired.

Well, got a proper meal. So that was nice.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020, a new year

After a long silence I decided to restart this blog.

Feel like sticking my head out of the grass and looking around. Careful. In case someone...again... wants to chop it off.

That was what happened in a way.

I thought we had a true friendship. We had planned in the past to meet each other, but what was supposed to be a meeting, turned out to be a miss.
I stayed long at the airport for nothing at all.

But the friendship stayed.

Then suddenly I was told I was discriminating.
I've read and reread, over and over again, what I had written.
But I didn't discriminate.

I just said that hatred between colours can't be solved by violence.

I still feel hurt.

After all those years injustice hasn't evaporated.

But I've seen more of the world and of people.
I've spoken and seen people so often now who discriminate themselves and hit around to confirm their own vision.
I've learned to grant people their wish to stay on an island. If they want to live their life in a certain way, it's up to them. I can't make every person into a peaceful and kind individual who is happy with himself and the world.

But now and then I peek on her facebook. I still miss her.
But the missing has changed.
And I have changed.

Welcome on my new blog.
Hopefully I'm able to use my dodgy laptop a lot more, as the bottom is falling partly off. But that's a different cruel mishap in life.

Happy new year!!


Happy New Year!!



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thoughts on the word "suffering".

Watched the documentary "The Four Noble Thruths" at .

Different people from different traditions commenting gathering to think about bringing eastern buddhism
to the west, discussing the importance of The Four Noble Truths.

The Four Noble Truths are:
  1. The truth of dukkha
  2. The truth of the origin of dukkha
  3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
  4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha
Dukkha is most often translated to "suffering".

But the way we see suffering in the western world is most often bodily suffering, or suffering from mental illness.

A better translation would be ïmperfection"or "inbalance".

This brings buddhism closer to people, because even though many people consider themselves to have suffered from life, suffering is also a kind of far away from our feelings. Suffering is a kind of upper step, one of the most serious forms of unwanted experience.
When looking at other religions one sees that even God is not able to take away suffering from people.

Buddhism doesn't take change outward, to God or the angels, but lies change within ourselves.
We have to practice daily, on a continuous basis, on being a good person and dealing with life as it is.
We are solely responsible for our own happiness.
Buddha just gave us some guidance, but we have to do it ourselves. We can't pray and ask to take unwanted things away. There's no magic to be expected. Just human hard labour.

I think imperfection and inbalance are better translations, and when we put the word "perceived" in from of those concepts it's even better.
We don't mind not perceived imperfections, and when we can learn not to be disturbed by imperfections we can deal with them, or just accept them and be happy with them, we won't perceive them anymore.

Imperfections and inbalance not only lies the experience closer to us, it also makes it (psychologically) easier to deal with.
Interesting is that suffering is a definition that takes into account our inner experience and attitude, creating a feeling of helplessness, and inbalace is more of a description of something outside us. It says something of the outer world, not something of what happens inside us.

To me this translation and definition opens up the possibility that I can deal with the world around me, that I can stay calm even when things happen to me I don't like at all.

It brings me to the second Truth.
It states: the origin of suffering is attachment to the three kinds of desire:
  • desire for sense pleasure (kama tanha),
  • desire to become (bhava tanha) and
  • desire to get rid of (vibhava tanha)
The third Truth states that there's an end to "suffering".
    The origin of "suffering" has no need to bring my personal balance in jeopardy when I'm able to reach the right understanding of what's happening.
    It's like diagnosing an illness by a physician: description, analysing the causes and taking the most relevant solution to get rid of the disease. It might need medication, but more often it's the way we perceive the disease which heals us or which makes us cope with the problems.

    When we perceive imperfection or inbalance we feel the desire to change it.
    This inner longing makes us experience the imperfection/inbalance as a problem.
    When we can loose that inner longing we can reach the next step: cessation of the problem.

    Buddha guides us through the process in the Fourth Noble Truth, about the right path, through the Noble Eightfold Path.
    It consists of 8 elements:
    1. Right View,
    2. Right Intention, 
    3. Right Speech, 
    4. Right Action, 
    5. Right Livelihood, 
    6. Right Effort, 
    7. Right Mindfulness,
    8. Right Concentration.
    This interwoven theory opens up a world of practice.
    We can try every day, learn and try again.
    As long as we make progress in our development it's OK.

    Changing the word "suffering" into "inbalance" or "imperfection" gives us a learning opportunity of even the slightest experieces of concerns. It gives us hope. We can deal with minor things, so we can practice on more serious problems. And maybe we can even tackle real suffering.

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Almost a year

    About 2 weeks to go and I can celebrate my 1 year survival.

    I've changed.

    But the days have still not enough hours to do everything I want to do.

    Today a great inspiration in my life has died. He had cancer. Conquered it and then found out it had returned even worse. He didn't manage the year his doctors wanted to give him, even though he tried all he could to believe in healing.

    All I do is try to rely on my inner peace. Take each day at a time.
    I try to see the world in a positive way (even though that's very difficult. When I see what people do to each other it makes me sick. For instance: the situation in Tibet.)
    I try not to judge people, not to manipulate and make my choices as plain as possible.

    Last weekend I was at the special day organised around the visit of the Dalai Lama. I was both at the lecture and the public meeting. Next to me sat a wonderful woman who radiated kindness. Her being was so nurturing, that I realised even more what I want, how I want to be.
    Strangely enough it makes me feel closer to people and yet understand even more of their behaviour.
    Well, maybe that's what compassion does.

    What do you think?

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    Petition to spread the truth, not propaganda.

    All people in the world have the right to be informed in a truthful and accurate way. But many people have to deal with propaganda, even people in the USA.
    Students and others face the propaganda machine of China, without knowing it. The way it works is called brainwashing.

    To end this, please sign the petition >>here<<.

    Start of Tibetan Uprising March

    The Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro independence Tibetan NGO in exile, has organized a peace march from Dharamsala to Delhi. The socalled Tibetan Uprising March 2014 has started today at Dharamsala and will end in Delhi at march 10.
    This amounts to a total of about 600 km, which means about 20 km per day.

    The March is initiated to raise awareness about the situation in Tibet.
    The president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, Tenzing Jigme, stated in a press conference that the Chinese government has enforced a series of policies to systematically destroy and stifle Tibetan culture, language, identity, and spiritual traditions. "The result is that Tibet is now facing a life-and-death struggle."
    He invited the chinese government to have a different look at the self-immolations and respond in a positive way on the demands.
    The march is dedicated to show solidarity with the Tibetans in Tibet and marks the 55th anniversary of Uprising Day.

    The demands are:

    1. The Chinese government must positively respond to the demands of the self-immolators, who have called for, among many other things, the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet
    2. Free all political prisoners, including 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima, Tulku Tenzin Delek and Rongye Adak who are in Chinese jails
    3. China must allow the world media and an independent international youth group into Tibet to find out the ground reality
    4. Immediately cease population transfer into Tibet and stop insidious ‘Patriotic re-education campaign’ that is being forced upon the Tibetan people
    5. Stop nuclear testing, excessive mining and damming of rivers on the Tibetan Plateau which impact millions of people in Asia

    At the Tibetan Uprising Day, March 10th, Tibetan people and friends will gather at different places all over the world.

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