The August Break – Day # 15 – books [I could post about five hundred photos to this prompt! But I will limit the choice ;-) …]

Aaaaaaaaaaah books! How happy I was to see that Susannah Conway included this theme in her prompt list. My head was spinning earlier while taking photos and looking at archives on my Computer .. too many ideas, so much love for books. I started to read aged 5 because I had fallen for books the¬† very moment I was able to pick them up and carry them myself, probably aged 3 or so. ūüôā

As I so love everything about books, not only the written lines but also the smell, the weight, the paper, the marks and little “scars” they get after a while, I will stay old-fashioned and really can not imagine to purchase some cold electronic device to read a book. Blogs…ok, yeah, love to. But books will be books made of paper as far as I am concerned.

In the photo of the book pile you see the books which are the closest to my heart, which I take and open almost every day.

A good book to me is a book you can open at any page and read and you will feel good or fulfilled just by reading a few lines. These books you can see most certainly have this wonderful effect on me.

For those of you who are curious about the Details, the books are:

Ennenbach, Matthias: Buddhistische Psychotherapie. This means, very easy to figure out, ‘buddhistic psychotherapy’.

¬†¬† It’s written by a very, very experienced, philantrophic, unique,¬†widely talented¬†psychologist, psychotherapist, seminar teacher, who has developed¬†with a lot of¬†heartfelt energy,¬†his own therapy method using a deep knowledge of the buddhistic teachings and having understood how much buddhism¬†appears as psychology. It’s a scientific book but it has this personal level, as the author is able to really address the reader. It’s also a Fusion of western psychology and partly neuroscience and the basic buddhistic teachings. I got the book shortly after its release and have read it as a whole at least 4 times yet, not speak of just opening it and reading a few lines. It’s soothing and uplifting and very deep.¬†The book is very encouraging to start Meditation and¬†Shows up wonderful ways to deal¬†with¬†it as well as¬†describe why Meditation makes so incredibly much sense.¬†It’s being translated at the moment¬†and is said to be released in English in September. I will sure post something about it when the release date is public.

Ennenbach, Matthias: Der Tod des Dalai Lama (The death of the Dalai Lama).

This is a novel which describes the live of his holiness, the XIV. Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, up from Young Age. No, the author isn’t morbid¬†at all, he tries to explain the different levels of consciousness as they are seen in buddhistic teachings. Milarepa and Machig Labdr√∂n also have important roles in this outstanding novel. It’s a novel for readers who want to learn about buddhism but not via classic introduction literature. As you have probaly noticed, the author is the psychotherapist mentioned as the one having written the book “Buddhistische Psychotherapie”. He definitely knows how to write a novel, and you can tell he really knows a lot about both, psychological development and buddhism, you can tell by the way he lets the characters act and talk. This book is such a bliss.

Ortheil, Hanns-Josef: Die Erfindung des Lebens. (‘The Invention of life’).

This is a book which a dear friend recommended with the words “I always went to nice spots in the park or my favourite Caf√© to read this book. I don’t want to rush it, this book is just too good …” Well, this made me curious. And so, I got it just a few days later, more or less exactly 2 years ago in my summer break. Thank god it was the summer break. Because I sure did not have my friend’s discipline, I had to read and read and read… This novel with strong autobiographical traits takes place in Cologne (where I lived for about 6 years), Rome and a lovely little village called Wissen an der Sieg, about an hour from Cologne on the countryside at the river Sieg – fields, little hills, wild flowers, nature’s Beauty at its best. The Story is about Johannes Catt, the Storyteller, who used to turn mute aged 3 as his mother had fallen mute after traumatic experiences after the loss of four children. He describes his growing up from aged 5 to his early twenties, while he is sometimes switching to the present, writing his novel in a small Apartment in Rome. After being mobbed at school in first grade because he didn’t talk, (but played piano for hours at home aged 6) his father takes Johannes to his family in Wissen and teaches him about trees, rivers, animals, gives him space to do his beloved piano practice and gives him small tasks to fulfill at the grandparents’s farm. By this, father and son discover that when the boy sketches the things he is seeing and writes down a descriptive sentence, he can remember the letters and quickly learns to write. Not long after that he even starts to talk… it’s such an amazing Story, quite heavy at times, but so deep and poetic!

Ortheil, Hanns-Josef: Liebesn√§he (“Love-closeness”):

It’s the same author, and it’s the 3rd book of a love-trilogy, each part an own Story. This one is about a man and a woman meeting in a Hotel and the surrounding wonderful landscapes and very slowly pick up communication while falling for each other (or rather the other way around), yet they choose not to directly talk to each other. They send each other signs and a bookstore-owner, who is …somehow…connected to both of them, is being helpful when needed. This Story is amazing and very unique, very intense and sensual, too. What I¬† also love about this book is that it mentions other books I have discovered, such as Basho’s wonderful Report of his hike in Japan (“The narrow Road through the deep North”) or the pillow book by Sei Shonagon.

Oh goodness, I can’t go on writing so much about the books. it’s supposed photo blogging after all.

Well well.

Bowley, Flora: Brave intuitive painting

This book is a gift to everyone who wants to start painting. Amazing photos, amazing texts to make you run and get your art supplies and start painting. I often leaf through this book to get inspired for a spontaneous painting session. the ideas she offers are beyond precious. Check out her Website: www.braveintuitiveyou.com I like that Flora herself loves to do yoga Stretches or meditates before getting the brush, she also teaches Workshops and yoga/Meditation seem to be a part of it.

Leaver, Tara: Creative Spark         (www.taraleaver.com)

This book has been such a gift, such an Inspiration to me that I often carry it with me when I am taking the bus, just flicking it open and read whatever the page opened offers to me. Tara is an amazing Artist and I love the way she encourages to get your “creative spark” ignited, she sure knows what she is talking about. I love her “spark jar” so much (a collection of prompts to help get you started written on little papers and put in a jar so you can draw a prompt to get started) and just everything about this book. It’s a deeply spiritual book to me, too.

Conway, Susannah: this i know

I discovered Susannah ‘s book, and yes, without her I might not be in the Blogging world yet, by the way, through a column she writes in the Magazine “The simple things”. The first few lines were so good that I did a little Research and found her book which I ordered like rrrrright away. It speaks to me, it really does. So beautifully composed in photo and text, so honest and soothing, so inspiring. well, I could “blame” her getting my new camera because her way of talking about photography sure had me appreciate taking photos even more.

Thich Nhat Hanh: Ich pflanze ein Lächeln (english title: peace is very step)

Well, what can I say? I sometimes see old people in parks or the local bus getting old prayer books out of their bags, opening them and having a solemn look about them while starting to read. This book has the same effect on me I guess, as the first one mentioned, Buddhistische Psychotherapie, has, too. I am more than happy to say that I had the Chance to listen to Thich Nhat Hanh giving a Dharma talk in Waldbröl and this day I will never Forget Рthat much I know.

Dear Readers:

This is a whole lot of text for a photography Project, I know…. I know (and I even forgot poor Hermann Hesse, but in short Terms, reading his Narcissus and Goldmund or Siddharta gets me all dizzy because of this intense, beautiful words he uses…). But blame Susannah. She put books on her prompt list. and books have even more letters, don’t they? I am quiet now and Show you the pics.

IMG_1878 (565x640)

There are books in every room of my Appartement. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

There are books in every room of my Appartement. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Categories: books, buddhism, Buddhismus, life, meditation, mindfulness, photo blogging, photography, Psychologie, psychology, The August Break, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Interested in picking up meditation practice? Feel invited to listen to Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche – a very authentic meditation teacher..

While starting Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s wonderful book “Joyful Wisdom..” after having enjoyed his “Joy of Living” last year during my stay in Greece, I was so eager to share his unique insights with everyone who is interested in meditation.

As somebody who has usually a hard time sticking with new habits but having meditated each and every day since May 5 2012 I am by far not anything Close to enlightened…:) ..but I would go so far and call me a witness of how much sense meditation can make.


Cover of "The Joy of Living: Unlocking th...

Cover via Amazon


I am always curious about other people’s meditation habits – so, if you feel like sharing your ways to meditate and your experiences: you are welcome to comment.



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

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

IMG_1819 (573x800)

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 Рand very likely to be read repeated times!

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

     Рthis starts with your own healing Рyour own understanding of inner pain and

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

      when you are able to be kind to yourself.

IMG_1817 (490x800)

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

Neuerscheinung ans Herz gelegt: Ennenbach, Matthias. Buddhistische Lebenskunst. [Recommended Book Release: “Buddhistische Lebenskunst” ‚Čą buddhistic art of living by Matthias Ennenbach]

As this book was just released in Germany, I will write the following thoughts in German only.

IMG_1754 (566x800)Vor wenigen Tagen ist ein neues Buch des Autors (und buddhistischem Psychotherapeut, und Seminarleiter) Dr. Matthias Ennenbach erschienen, “Buddhistische Lebenskunst. Mit dem B-Prinzip zu innerer Befreiung”.¬†¬† Nach den f√ľnf grandiosen Vorg√§ngerwerken von Matthias Ennenbach¬† kann ich nicht anders, als dieses Buch auch ans Herz zu legen…auch wenn ich erst die¬† ersten 70 Seiten gelesen habe.¬† 70 Seiten genossen…¬†und 4 Post-its gesetzt bei wunderbaren Passagen (diese werden in meinem “positive-input-Journal landen…)

Hier einen Ausschnitt aus dem Umschlagstext:

“Gerade in unserer hektischen Alltagswelt entdecken immer mehr Menschen den Buddhismus f√ľr sich. Denn der Buddhismus bietet ein in sich schl√ľssiges Konzept zur Selbstorientierung und -Verankerung und damit Halt und Hilfe auch in Krisensituationen. Matthias Ennenbach er√∂ffnet einen neuen Zugang zur buddhistischen Lehre, der die alte Weisheit im modernen Leben anwendbar macht. Anschaulich f√ľhrt Ennenbach vor Augen: Die Ursachen f√ľr die meisten unserer Probleme liegen in uns selbst – und genau hier k√∂nnen wir ansetzen, um unser Leiden aufzul√∂sen und es k√ľnftig zu vermeiden. Dies wird mit der eigens vom Autor entwickelten Methode m√∂glich: Lebensnah und praktisch vermittelt das ‘B-Prinzip’ konkrete Ma√ünahmen, um eine achtsame und bewusste Lebensf√ľhrung zu kultivieren – zu unserem eigenen Wohl und zum Wohl unserer Mitmenschen”

Gut, dass ich noch genug Post-it’s habe, denn die werde ich brauchen. Da ich finde, dass ein solches Buch es selbstverst√§ndlich¬†verdient¬† ganz gelesen zu werden, bevor es ausf√ľhrlich besprochen wird…und weil¬†eigentlich jetzt auch weiterlesen m√∂chte… : )… schlie√üe ich hier mit dem link f√ľr n√§here Informationen und der von Herzen kommenden Empfehlung: tut euch etwas Gutes, lest dieses Buch…und (noch) andere des Autors, es ist Lebensqualit√§t, sich damit zu besch√§ftigen !!


Categories: Achtsamkeit, Buddhismus, Psychologie | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

365 days of meditation. Some thoughts on this.

IMG_1284 (341x512)    May I introduce to you:

¬†¬† this is my dear zafu, which accompanies me for a while now. It’s¬†already traveled¬†to places with me, it has seen earliest¬† morning, deepest night, worries, gratitude, anger, luckily also peace, loving kindness, equanamity. happiness…¬†¬†¬†non-attachment, balance.

  In June, it will be at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, at the Day of Mindfulness with    Thich Nhat Hanh.

I cannot really say when exactly was the first day ever to meditate in some way. I’ve been doing it the one or other¬†

   way for quite a while.

What I do know for sure is, that for the past 365 days there has been not a single day without Meditation, even if it

¬† ¬†was only for 20 breaths as the roads were full of snow and I had to get to work ….



If you come to think that my middle name is “discipline” then please listen closely: It’s so not!!

A person I know, who¬†published wonderful books about Buddhism and Psychotherapy, Matthias Ennenbach,¬†[he works in hospitals and Clients in a private practice applying his own new form of psychotherapy,¬†built by long personal experience, with heart and love,¬† called “Buddhistische Psychotherapie BPT ¬ģ” (=buddhistic psychotherapy)], has found a way to introduce, explain and recommend¬†meditation which was so motivating, so encouraging, so touching, so structured…¬†that I asked myself what I did all the years before getting my zafu….? ūüôā When the Edition of his first book will be released in English, you’ll probably find me posting quotes here.

However: When he said “why not getting up half an hour earlier in the morning and by this spend time meditating?…, I did the maths and got the 05:00 a.m. result. Oh yes. ūüôāIMG_1262 (800x534)

about 200 and more of the past 365 days I did just this:

getting up at about 5 a.m., lighting a candle, lighting some incense, sitting down,¬†more¬†or less making sure to know I am¬†breathing in, more or less making sure I am aware of¬† breathing out, trying not to attach to thoughts, whatever crosses my mind, enjoying inner peace (which comes and goes ^^) …

Besides noticing how really packed work days or emotionally charged situations started to become clearly¬†less stress-loaded (and add this up for a couple of¬†months and find yourself no¬†longer counting down the days til the next¬†Weekend or vacation so badly anymore….!!) ¬†the morning Meditation had another wonderful effect:



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before starting, the mornings were scheduled for the usual stuff: shower, breakfast, a Cup of coffee Maximum, everything, just everything more or less for the next Phase of the morning to come: going to work. It all had no meaning in itself.



One important¬†reason why getting up early stopped being hard is that by taking time to slow down even before you go to work or do other things at the Weekend,¬† you give your Mornings such a calm, friendly, peacful, healthy&healing purpose.No, it’s not always that peaceful, bright and happy¬†in my head all the time but it is possible to shift to healing thoughts when you become aware of what is going on in your mind. Again: nope, not wearing a purple-sparkle unicornshirt over here, what I am writing is from experience which I am happy to make.

For this reason: the next 365 days have just started!

Dear Reader, please share your thoughts on Meditation, your Habits and your happy places with me if you like.

Categories: Buddhismus, life, meditation, Psychologie, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

…. at the end of the day


Almost every evening before going to bed I spend about 20 minutes drinking¬†a “mindful cup of tea”

This is what inspired me a while ago and which is lovely to read from time to time:


Do you do something similar, too? I would love to hear about it.

Categories: Buddhismus, life, meditation, mindfulness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tibethaus Frankfurt: Veranstaltung zur Buddhistischen Psychotherapie BPT


Dieses Seminar möchte ich gerne weiterempfehlen:
Dr. Matthias Ennenbach macht im Juni in Frankfurt ein Seminar zu (buddhistischen) Strategien gegen Burnout, dabei ist Burnout im weiteren Sinne, also nicht rein beruflich zu sehen … lest den link des Tibethauses bei Interesse.

Es kann einfach nur gut/interessant/spannend/abwechslungsreich/heilsam werden..!!

Schönen Abend euch allen

This is an Event recommendation for a Seminar about Buddhistic strategies against Burnout, taking place in Frankfurt, M.

Categories: Buddhismus, Psychologgie, Veranstaltungshinweis | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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