Monthly Archives: June 2013

Thoughts on the book ‘Buddhistische Lebenskunst’ [~Buddhistic Art of Living] by Matthias Ennenbach

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This post is written with a good handful of enthusiasm, thankfulness and ..hopefully…also mindfulness. It’s about a book to which I have been looking forward for quite a while, which has made me curious and very certain that it will be as amazing as all the other publications by Matthias Ennenbach.

The new book was released at the end of May, so just a few weeks ago. It’s about applying buddhistic teachings for your inner liberation in everyday life, as the subtitle of the book says.

So now, what is meant by inner liberation?

What it is not:

-it’s not a denial of all material aspects in the modern world.

-it’s not about shaking off all emotions

-it’s not about letting go of everything, because, well, does it matter at all?

This book introduces the basic buddhistic teachings, such as the Four Noble Truths and manages to put them into the context of our modern, western, everyday life and the challenges arising out of this. The first part of the book explains, why people in our western society are able to ‘make profit’ of buddhism – for example by getting to know the origins of our thoughts. Knowing about our inner mechanisms, such as attaching (not accepting impermanence), resistance or ‘confusion’ you can start to observe your mind mindfully.

How does this work? Matthias Ennenbach explains how developing a stable Meditation practice will help to “examine” your mind and to become aware of your inner patterns much sooner. He says, very clearly, that it isn’t about liberating yourself of emotions but amidst your emotions. Quite unlike other publications which stop by explaining why meditation makes sense, the author stresses how important it is to apply the insights of your meditation practice to your social- and work-life.

The book offers a sort of reframing of the way you look at problems but also to the way you look at positive life events. Positive life events can turn into something painful and stressful as well, when you take them for granted, if you do not accept the impermanence of them or by wanting more and more and more of it. Problems in our lifes are often caused by the way we judge a situation. Or rather, by adding a judgement to everything we perceive, for example ‘The water is cold – it sucks I can’t go Swimming. How bad’ instead of just thinking “Today the water is cold’.

In ‘Buddhistische Lebenskunst’ you find a very effective, very harmonic and structured way to reflect on your personal inner patterns (which lead to behavioral Patterns and finally form your character. The good new is: a change of direction IS possible!).  How does it work? Matthias Ennenbach introduces exercises and questions to ask yourself throughout the book to invite you to a more mindful life. He also stresses that everything he says about Buddhism (just like the Buddha said to his students) can be experienced by trying. It is not about just blindly following a dogma, it’s about acting and experiencing.

Just like the other 5 books the author released so far, this one is a real gem, a treasure of sorts and you can tell how much professional experience and how much of a deeply felt philantrophy made this book come to life.

And just like the other books this one, I mean, my copy, is a young, yet a proud carrier of sticky-notes already – and very likely to be read repeated times!

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Categories: Achtsamkeit, Buddhismus, life, meditation, mindfulness, Psychologie, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeling quite honoured and thankful to accept the ABC Award – Thanks, David!

When I started this blog, I had zero idea of wordpress or blogging in general. It turned out to be something I really enjoy. And most important, meeting likeminded people here , broadening my horizon even…how wonderful.

There is this one person here on WordPress, of whom I knew a wonderful, wonderful YouTube Clip, The “Pebble in your Pocket Meditation” many months before starting this blog.

Then exactly this person’s blog is the first I ever get stuck with and just a few months later, this wonderful, mindful, creative, unique person nominates me for a blog Award. How can I not feel honoured…and how can I not accept it?

So thank you very much, David! 

I know somebody has nominated for the Award yet, but please let me nominate you right back, too, because your blog is beyond amazing.

To accept the Award, I have to do the following things:

1.  Post the ABC Award logo on my site
2.  Write an ABC list that is relevant to who I am
3.  Nominate others for the Award

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Posting Award Logo: check!

My personal ABC-list turns out to be like this:

Artmaking is something I enjoy doing and which keeps me in the here and now

Buddhistic teachings – so peaceful, so deeply philantrophic and a truly rich and deeply experienced form of psychology to me

Creativity is intelligence having fun – a saying I really like 🙂

Drinking tea just to drink tea – my evening ritual after sitting Meditation

Eftalou is a place on the Island Lesvos, Greece, I will never Forget.

Forgiving yourself and others -a real gift and a real challenge at times

Green is my favourite colour – since kindergarten times

Hesse- one of my very favourite authors

Insight – this is what I sometimes have, sometimes don’t have during sitting Meditation

Joy – something precious, something you can share in abundance and it multiplies.

Kunsttherapie is the German word for Art Therapy and I just got accepted as a art therapy Trainee at college- for which I am very grateful

Loggia – my happiest place in the apartment

Meditation – sitting Meditation has become as natural as brushing teeth. I will take my zafu on every trip, even to a sleepover with friends

Never thought It’d take so Long to come up with this Alphabet Poem 😉

Often is a word I use way to often (you see?) and which tends to be a bit attaching here and there…oh well

Painting – is a way to be mindful to me

Quiet – a Quality

Reading – a Passion.

Sea – I love to go visit the sea and spend time at the beach, listening to the waves and doing my “pebble top ten Beauty contest ” 🙂

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma talk on the 2nd of June touched me deeply.

Under the stars – each summer I want to sleep outside under the stars and watch the sky til the eyelids drop.

Vino is not only the word for wine but also the Name of a Pony I wanted to buy aged 11 as soon as I won the lottery (never happened)

Where is my next roadtrip /hiking trip going is a fun question to ask

X strikes me as a difficult letter to be creatively writing about myself here

Zafu – my dear Meditation cushion, has travelled the world with me (so far, Europe, but we’ll see to that)

Here are my favourite Blogs – each of them touching my heart, making me thoughtful or happy, each one is deeply inspiring

  1. itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com/
  2. http://slsmyth.wordpress.com/
Categories: Award, life, poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Nature. A truly gifted artist.

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An almost clear sky after a very cloudy and stormy day, with those paintbrush lines in it and the little half moon on the left.

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

Categories: nature, photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Buddha Garden

 

Photo credit: European Institute of Applied Buddhism

Photo credit: European Institute of Applied Buddhism

Photo credit: European Institute of Applied Buddhism

Photo credit: European Institute of Applied Buddhism

 

As I am not always able to drive the 150 kilometres to sit in this wonderful garden I started to wonder, like always, when returning from an extraordinary place, whether or not I appreciate my immediate surroundings enough and if there is a place, which might become my personal Buddha garden. Besides my breathing room, I mean. I did come up with a spot in a park with very old trees here in my hometown.

Now I am asking you – do you have happy places nearby you really like and which have dropped out of your mind lately?

Maybe you could make a list for yourself of places nearby you might want to visit (with or without camera), being aware of the details you love about this place.

I recommend bringing a thermos with tea, maybe you are like me and enjoying tea slows you down in a healing way, too. ….so you are likely to sit down at your special place, slowly drink your tea, breathing in the scent of the tea…breathing out and living in the very moment.

 

Drink Your Tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,

as if it is the axis

on which the world earth revolves –

slowly, evenly, without

rushing toward the future;

Live the actual moment.

Only this moment is life.

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

 

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Buddhismus, life, meditation, photography, poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day of Mindfulness – June 2nd, 2013 – an attempt to describe this day in words (ending up by posting 2 clips)

On Sunday, June 2nd, the European Institute of Applied Buddhism, EIAB, invited for the Day of Mindfulness – with a Dharma Talk and a Walking Meditatio with Thich Nhat Hanh -[ Thay, as he is being called, which is Vietnames for “teacher” or even “precious/beloved teacher” as I was told]  This blog entry is my attempt to convey the impressions of this day in words.  

And it strikes me as a challenge. Despite being a word-gourmet of some sorts..probably everyone knows that there are experiences which lack any expression …maybe because they are made not through the over-hyperactive-analyzing rational mind but are deeply heart-felt.

     The Headline of this Day of Mindfulness was “Healing Through Reconciliation”

     – this starts with your own healing – your own understanding of inner pain and

      sorrows – because, like Thay said, you are only able to love and forgive others,

      when you are able to be kind to yourself.

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Sunday night, after having returned home from the EIAB, especially after these outstanding moments of the Dharma Talk and quite a few sunny hours in the Buddha Garden, I felt like sketching something which was “heart-related” …

 The Plum Village monastery made a clip of a bit more than an hour of this talk which you can see in this post. It will not be the same as being there in this exceptional presence of Thich Nhat Hanh and the wonderful nuns and monks of Plum Village and the EIAB…

Maybe you feel a bit thirsty for inner peace and healing, some Inspiration to remind you of life-essentials…then you are invited to watch this clip…

This is the reciting of Avalokiteshvara’s Name. It was part of the Dharma Talk…you will probably grasp how deep it went even through this YouTube Clip

Categories: Buddhismus, life, meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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