I have had a fascination for lines of laundry since I started traveling. Not sure whether I am just a bit obsessed or crazy but it just always shows where in the world I am and what life is like. Here the children only have 1 or (if they are lucky) 2 sets of clothing and as it’s really cold these days in the desert, it takes more than a day to dry 1 set (on a barbed wired fence). Most of them only wear pajamas because those were distributed when they arrived here. They did not have time to pack their wardrobes because they had to flee quickly. The kids told me yesterday how they don’t want to go to school because they are too embarrassed to go in their dirty clothes. Plus, they are cold so they are hesitant to leave their tents. Can you imagine? I never had to worry about these things. I was only reluctant to get out of the hot shower into a cold bathroom. I actually still do, here…Crazy differences.
“This week, we will be busy doing nothing”, said Karl-Ludwig, our teacher for the Youth Winter Retreat 2015. I mostly liked the busy part in the sentence and the rest I didn’t even hear because of my beautiful but impatient half-deaf personality: all I could think was “lets do this!”
For some reason meditation has an awful reputation. For many people it sounds like something spiritual, strange and most of all, floaty. It isn’t it. Well, at least not for me. Its not about floating away to different worlds, lifes. Not floating away in the past or the future. Its all about being here. Right here where you are and where your body is. It seems so simple, “being where you are”, doesnt it? But it’s hard, doing nothing and being where your body is. Thats weird, that its easier to do something than to do nothing.
It takes a lot of practice and after 8 years of meditation practice I still suck at doing nothing. Which I think is great, since I am one of the most competitive persons you will ever meet. I can never “win” my meditation competition. You can only be aware or not aware. Here with your mind or somewhere else. I hate it and I love it at the same time. And I can never “finish” so all I can do is sit and do nothing and observe whats going on. Without a goal I can work for. There is no such thing as a goal in meditation. I hate that. And thats why I love it. All you do is breath and be in the gap between two thoughts. And everytime you float away, you kindly bring your mind back to your body: right here, right now. Thats all. Thats it! Sit up straight, like a king or queen, even when youre thoughts or feelings go crazy on themselves and make up gigantic stories. Cut your thoughts into pieces and come back. Cause when a thought repeats itself, it becomes an opinion, which becomes a belief, which becomes the truth and eventually it becomes you. And all of that started with one thought that you made up all by yourself. Don’t let your thoughts make you go crazy! I like to be aware and prevent myself from becoming my thoughts. I’d rather be in the blank space in between the thoughts. There where my body is. On a medition-cushion in snowy Germany and nowhere else.
So going to the Winter Youth Reatreat to sit for hours and meet young and fresh people who like to do that too is something you can make me superhappy with. It was my second time participating in this beautiful program in Schloss Heinsheim and it was totally different than last year. Great, since expectations dont work anyway. Nor do comparisons. Again I’ve met the prettiest people. Isnt that interesting too, that you become so aware, so much in the here and now, that you can look at people and fall in love with them without even talking to them? Have you ever really paid attention to smiling people around you? A smile is food for the soul and I cant stop eating. So I’ve been staring a lot and secretly fell in love a lot of times. What a beautiful stories I’ve heard and how amazing how people are able to express themselves in different ways. It was so easy to connect with them. To be inspired. To feel at ease and loved by there beings.
I just wish I could take the smiles and the people with me in my backpack so I could keep this with me at all times. But everything changes constantly and there’s no use in trying to hold on. Not to positive or negative vibes. Isnt it the greatest thing in the world that everything changes always? Work with your mind and you will be able to let go. Speaking of which, I dont only suck at doing nothing, I suck even more at letting go. I just love to hold on. Or push away. I think I’ve got some work to do. If anyone has some advice on letting be and letting go, please leave your comment below. After you have been busy doing nothing, offcours.
Thank you Karl, thank you Susanne, thank you Anne and thank you beautiful people for being there with me. On our medition cushion in the snow in Germany.