zondag 29 november 2009


Yesterday late evening I had a poetry-reading-meditation in my bed.
Two poems from Rilke (Rilke's book of hours - love poems to God) stayed with me during the night:

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them grattefully
into a single cloth -
it's she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a differend celebration

where the one guest is you
In the softness of evening
it's you who she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking centre of her monologues.
With each disclosure youo encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.


Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.

donderdag 26 november 2009


This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

That is how it goes. Every time I write a definition about meditation, it will proof me next day that every definition is too small.

The other evening I wrote about softening. About a resting body and an open heart.
The next morning I woke up tensioned and full of the nightmare I had. No softening at all.
In my awakened heart were no blue flowers and pink hearts. Darkness was there.
I did not want to lie down anymore. I wanted to sit. I needed to be alert. Clear. Together with my housemate I sat in front of her window. I saw the candles on her altar, but outside it was dark. It was 7.30 am in the morning. I closed my eyes. Saw the night images coming by. A house full of small rooms where I lost my way. A phone call where I could only hear but not speak. A friend that was there but I could not see.

Breathing in, breathing out. Having a straight back. Going back to my sitting bones. Seeing the images passing by. But not drowning in them. Breathing.

The alarm clock rang. I opened my eyes. I was light. I was the bare oak in the garden. I was grey, but day. The sitting helped me to overcome the night.

woensdag 25 november 2009


This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

My meditations the last days are very laid'back.
Staying in bed ten minutes longer. Floating in between sleep and being awake.
Going to bed half an hour earlier. Taking time to soften before falling asleep.
A few years ago this would feel like fooling around. Like not REALLY meditating.
Meditating is being alert. Awake. Is to sit. Straight.
That is true. But it is not the only way.
For me meditation is more and more a way of softening. Of being really gentle to myself. To make a way free for the heart. A heart that awakens when my body and mind fall asleep.

maandag 23 november 2009

Autumn time

This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

The other day I wrote about my ten minutes practice. But after ten minutes I want more.

After writing wildly for ten minutes I touch I a deep voice that wants to speak, scream and dream only more.
After meditating ten minutes I touch a deep rest that wants to sink only more.

So yesterday I could not stop with a ten minute meditation a day. I did three.

In the morning I guided a dance meditation during the writing day for my Writing-Companions. I planned to use the kundalini-meditation cd of Osho, but I forgot it.
But nature came and helped. When we shake up our bodies, we did this on the music of the rain falling on the attic-roof. When we moved our bodies, we did this on the sound of the autumn storm racing around the house. We were really like trees in the wind. And when we rested, the sun came through and warmed our backs.

It feels like the autumn-time is supporting my meditation marathon. The wind shakes of my dead leaves and blows me inside. Literally.

In my lunch break I laid down on the bed next to the window and meditated on the clouds that sailed by. In the evening, wet of the storm I biked through, I went to bed early and sank deep into my roots.

Autumn makes from ten minutes an hour. And is still whining for more.

zaterdag 21 november 2009

I am my best idea

This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

Maybe I am my best idea.

This was a thought during my evening meditation.
Meditation can be painfully confronting with the working of the mind.
And my mind has many ideas. Great ideas. Such great ideas that I immediately want to act upon them. Want to post that new amazing course on my website. Want to invite my friends for that original party. Want to change the outline for my workshop to make place for that new, buzzing exercise.

I fully believe in my ideas. For a while. They can take me over. Until, paf, I awaken from them. After getting out of mu bubble I sometimes see my ideas are just air, sometimes they have potential.

Also during this evening meditation I was caught up in a new idea. Than I woke up and laughed. About this thought: that I am my best idea.

I saw a soul, a mind, an essence - however you call it- floating through the universe. A soul with a Great Idea: Lets have a life as a creative woman with a million ideas! And plop: there I was. Nanda. My soul's best idea.

Sometimes I awaken from this idea that I am. Than I can feel the essence of my soul. I float through creativity. Need no names. No ideas. No form. I am all ideas.

Teachers often said to me; the moment you REALISE that you're thinking, are moments you awaken. Short enlightenment's.

I am an idea where I can awaken from. To discover my real potential. Creativity.

Ten minutes

This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

Internet is a strange thing. It makes you act really fast. Dangerous for people like me with a thousand ideas. An idea like: lets write every day about my meditation marathon.So now I did not only commit (online) to every day meditating, but also (online) to every day writing. AND told all my friends about it...

Actually I did already commit to my morning pages. And to my morning yoga. So I was a kind of busy this morning with all my commitments that are supposed to bring me peace.

An American friend once wrote me that it is typically Dutch to use to word 'busy' so much, and also for the activities that you must not do, but actually like to do. Busy with friends, with meditation, with parties. Like that.

So this morning I was busy with all my new commitments. I was in the internet-acting-fast-mood. Ten minutes of writing, ten minutes of yoga, ten minutes of sitting. The ten minute style for writing is not new. I do it a lot. I take a subject and freely write about it for ten minutes. This can go really deep and is often surprising me with unexpected turns.

The ten minute meditation I did not try yet. But it was a kind of freeing. It makes it light and easy. I just sat for ten minutes on my pillow in front of the window. The autumn sun came just above the bare trees. I closed my eyes and let all my leaves fall. Ah. Breathing to my roots that were suddenly there. Commitments can be good. Even though they keep you busy. Even though you made them impulsively online. They make me act. Not only to wish. In ten minutes a whole world can change.

vrijdag 20 november 2009

First day visitor

This is part of my journal about my 40 day meditation marathon

This evening I was hanging on my couch as a meditation. I was tired from working, but felt relaxed. With my hands on my belly I sank into the pillows. Ah, at home.
Than a visitor came. It sat on my hand and bit me. A mosquito! In the middle of cold rainy Dutch November.
It was big, like the Asian ones.
It is buzzing around me. Eating my hands, feet.

It brought me back to my first meditation retreat ever. I was 20. It was in India, Bodhgaya. The hardest things of that retreat were not my obsessive thoughts or my changing emotions, no it were the mosquito's that I was not supposed to kill. Although they were all over me. My instinct was too big. Before a thought could stop me I already hit the poor animal. Dead. No peace. War.

Yes, later in the retreat I realised that I did the same with my thoughts. Instinctively I killed them.
A new thought came: I could be light. Raised my hands and hit it hard: nonsense. Bang.
A sincere thought: I am love. Bang: too soft.
A deep thought occurred to me: I am not the one who thinks. Crazy! Kill it.
Sitting with mosquito's, can be as sitting with yourself. I killed new thoughts before they could itch.

And now 13 years later I look with wonder at this strange, not expected visitor. I raised my hand, but stopped on time. No war. Peace. Let it itch.

Meditation Marathon

I committed myself. To meditation. For 40 days. Until Christmas. It happened online. Before I knew what I did I said Yes. I clicked and bought every day meditating like I impulsively buy books online.

We were in a Skype-meeting with friends from the international meditation Sanga, Open Dharma. Most of them I know from retreats in India. Because mysteriously my connection at home broke down at the time we would meet, I raced to an internet cafe in the 'bazar' of Utrecht, on the Kanaalstraat. Sitting amidst smoking and shouting men, it felt as if I was in India. My connection was also really bad and I could only hear some words in between a lot of noise.

So I heard: Christmas. Meditation. Together. Every. Gift. Peace. Yes?
And than from all directions, from the US, from Canada, from Spain and Amsterdam; yes, yes, yes, I commit, I do, I want, I will.
Nanda? You hear? Kind of. You join? Eh well, yeah.

Later I pasted all the words together in my mind.

Until christmas we all would meditate every day. By meditating together, we connect. By meditating during Christmas season, we give a gift. To ourselves; some inner peace. And as a small gesture to world peace.

So there I sit now, on my cushion. Before my online commitment I used to sit there a lot, but it feels different now. More important. Bigger. As if sitting is not only sitting anymore. It is part of a world wide intention. An intention to go deep, to find peace.

And to confirm this feeling of importance, I decided to write regularly about my meditation marathon. To bring what is inside, out there.

I write in English, so my Open Dharma friends can also follow.

If you feel, you can join. Just sit/ lie down/ walk for (inner) peace.
If you feel, you can support.
Open Dharma could use your gift.