With love

buddha lanka_seerose1

A white Buddha overlooking an amazing and calm landscape – it feels like this place became that calm because of this statue sitting there in grace on top of the mountain and in never ending love. Or did Buddha come to sit down here, because of the place was that calm and beautiful?
The lotus is a symbol for overcoming hate, jealousy and all negative feelings that are around, rise above them all and then shine like a lotus flower. And I guess we all have times where our very personal lotus flower is blooming more or less … but the good thing is: Flowers start blooming again once they faded. So never stop trying. 😉

These two pictures are Symbols to a religion, who is itself a symbol of peace and loving kindness to me.
Peace and love – this should actually be the only symbols ever a religion has – nothing more or less.

But religions are being used to spread manmade philosophies, hate and power.
All the religions – and yes also Buddhism (there are buddhist monks walking around with guns under their robes, taking the money they get from donnations to build their own house, and showing off their ivory collection…all of this experienced in Sri Lanka, and this is only scratching at the surface).

Perhaps we should just let go off all the religious symbols – not pray to something manmade, not offer things that we paied for, not behave in a certain way that we think God would want us to behave. If these Gods are so great as the preachers, monks and holy books tell us, do you really think they need us tiny little beeings worhsiping them? Telling them how great they are and that only his path is the right one to follow? Woud this Gods not just have made us in a way that all we do is worshipping them, if the need it so bady – I mean at least they created us, so they should also have the power to make us the most perfect. Right?
But wait a second. Did all these Gods gave us brains to think, when we only should follow what they say? Really?

According to me religion should simply be love and understanding and the world would be a better place. And not all this human made crap symbols we should belive in according to whoever thinks he or she is better than us.
Call me a dreamer. A sinner. A lover.
I am all and nothing. And so are you.

But having said all that: I love visiting Buddhist tempels, looking at all the symbolic things you can find there and listining to the soothing chants of the monks.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.”

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Dark red

hands_powder_india

You open the door of the airport cab and boom! The heat, the screaming voices, the chaotic horns, the smile of the vendor already asking you if you buy one of his wonderful hand drums even before you set one foot onto the ground. All this and much more is right there, the first second you arrive in India and you know exactly why you are back. Because it is what it is. And it is a lot. India is hundreds of thousands of things. There are smiles and stares. There are bustling and shouting human beings running through narrow streets, where cows stand in grace and silence, simply taking their time to ruminate. They are holi but what’s in their stomach is most probably evil. Beside the trucks blowing their horns, there is the frail tintinnabulation of a prayer bell. When you step out of the tempel your nose is filled with the fragrances of flowers and incense sticks and just one second later the stinky garbage at the roadside is there to hunt the fragrances away. The chai is as sweet as some laws are sour.
Everything seems to have two extremes but the colors. Bright colors everywhere. Shining happy fabrics. Blue houses. Red Hair. Pink flowers. Yellow bangles. Purple Saris. Orange turbans. Strong. Dark. Firm. Solid. Colors. Everywhere.
If ever one has to find a transcription for India, a little jar of dark red powder would probably do best. Color. Passion. Sheer joy of life, tousend of little particles jammed together, fighting their way up to the top, waiting for the right moment to jump out – pounce at a the arriving ones and then stick with them forever. India gets into your clothes, into your hair and skin and somehow you can’t wash it off anymore. Some parts will always be there with you. For good.

Doors – openings to a new world

Doors - opening up to a new world

I remember it well, maybe too well. This one phone conversation with a person then very close to me. The conversation took place on a secret mobile phone and the number changed every few weeks. Whenever the SIM card had been discovered by the guards it took a few days until a new card was available. I called someone who was a new inmate in an Indian prison. The phone was the door for the people in prison to the outside world and for me the door into the absurd world of this spares cell, where 25 men were kept in a room together, where they ate pumpkin curry each day and had nothing to do all day long. When I called I never knew who would pick up the phone, because the men shared a phone. Was it a killer or an innocent person talking to me, before passing the phone to the one I wanted to talk to? I never asked about the life of these other people, did not open these doors to these lives – probably in self-defense. I do not know exactly.

“Wherever you are right now, is the door open? Can you get out? ” During this exact conversation he repeated these phrases every few minutes. Eventually, I could not listen to it anymore and hung up with an excuse. “Wherever you are right now, is the door open? Can you get out?” It tore my heart, because him being locked up not only kept us away from each other, far more it also kept him away from himself. The constantly repeated questions showed how he broke behind this thick door which was locked several times. A door neither of us was able to open. It stayed closed. For another three years and finally also made me close a door that I had opened two years earlier.

Since the day I had had this conversation I like open doors much more – they symbolize a new beginning, a step into something new and unknown. Open doors let the sun in and people out.

The door on the picture belongs to the Nyingma Monastery Namdroling, the Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India. For refugees from Tibet it is a gateway back to their homeland, while the borders with Tibet will most probably stay closed for another countless years.
While some doors close or stay closed, luckily others are opening up. We have to be willing to see them and pass through.
So did I and hopefully so did he.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Door.”

NB: My English is in progress –  if you see mistakes feel free to send me a note. Thanks!

Looking out

lanka_beach_muslimgirls

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

Shot at the Marble Beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
I wish these kids can ever just take off their shoes and clothes, feel the sand under their feet and then the soft sea water on the skin …  they visited the beach just for a few minutes and then had to go back to their school bus and drive on. Somehow felt sorry for them.