Britzer Garden in Berlin

Around Mother’s Day 2022, I took a spontaneous mini vacation and visited my parents in Berlin.

As usual, one of the highlights during my stay in Berlin was a trip to the Britzer Garden, a beautifully designed garden landscape which surprised us with a lovely new view at every bend of the way.

There were huge rhododendron bushes, white and pink in full bloom. We also saw cute baby goats, little lambs, huge carps, a communicative frog, and coots with chicks. Here are some pictures.

Art in nature

I love to take walks alone around the fields in our area. Nature makes me calm down. I appreciate the beauty of it all.

Naked trees against the sunset colored sky look like amazing work of filigree silhouette art. The branched shape of naked trees has something fundamental, basic, something which is found also in the form of river deltas, bloodvessels in the body, etc. Maybe that is why I like to stare at naked trees.

Sunlight shining through leaves of grass or leaves of trees and lighting them up from behind looks magical, too. I have read NDEs where people describe how plants in the heavenly realm look as if they are lit from inside. Maybe the leaves of grass are so fascinating because they remind me of some beautiful realm beyond the veil.

And the bold color combinations of nature. Leaves which combine a shade of pale bluish-green and violet. Or the sunset with hues of peachy orange, yellow, blue, and purple. I feel as if walking through an art exhibition – but with the added bonus of getting fresh air and hearing the song of the birds.

I took some pictures in spring 2022 and then had a lot of fun playing around with the photo app on my iPad changing the lighting and the colors. Here are the results:

Bridal gown show of trees
Sunset on the fields in Walldorf (Germany)

Guidance by patterns of events

Within the same week in 2013, both of my children lost their towels after their swimming lessons at school.

What did it mean? I knew about ‘throwing in the towel’. But that didn’t make sense. So, I googled ‘lost towel’ and found many youtube videos about naked people, covered by merely a towel, who let in the pizza service and then suddenly lost their towel.

What did this mean?

I had just started to share my spiritual journey with one single other person. And this pattern mirrored my feeling of vulnerability.

Sometimes there are several events in a row which have a certain element in common. This is a pattern.

The challenge is to notice this. What is the common thing in a series of events? It is not always as obvious as in the example with the lost towels. I have had other patterns where the common feature was, for example, ‘something black with something weird’ or ‘the lid is off and something is pouring out’. This is always a bit of a riddle and reminds me of the computer game “4 pics 1 word”.

After I have decided what the common feature is in all events, I try to find the meaning. The first question is, is it to be taken literally or metaphorically? The pattern of lost towels was an example of a metaphorical meaning.

Here comes an example of a literal meaning. A book by Ramana Maharshi was recommended twice to Renate McNay by different people. The third time, this vey book fell on top of her head out of nowhere when she was in a bookstore. Then she got the message. It is time to read this book. (Source: http://conscious.tv/text/12.htm)

Another example of a literal one: I needed to order a gift for an 18th birthday. At first, I tried to order an amazon gift card. I tried about 7 times, but it failed each time. Either the address was missing, or my bank account was missing, or I could not figure out how to add a text to the gift card. It was like running into a brick wall each time.

Exhausted, I gave up and listened inside. What the heck was going on? Why wasn’t I able to order a simple gift card on this usually very easy to use shopping portal? Because a gift card was not the appropriate present for an 18th birthday – probably.

So, I tried something else. This young woman was about to spend one year in Togo. I found a book about this country and decided to buy this instead. And, lo and behold, this time the shopping process worked smoothly as usual. So, sometimes running into a brick wall repeatedly can just mean that this is not the way to go.

When I have decided that the meaning is a metaphoric one, I try to find the symbolism via an internet search or with
associative thinking.

The next question usually is, is this pattern merely describing my present situation (as in the lost towel pattern)?
Or does it refer to the past and is it something like an explanation for something which just happened?
Or is it future oriented and suggesting an action (or is it an announcement or a warning)?

A subgroup of the descriptive patterns are mirrorings. They usually reflect something back to me which I need to look at. When I was stubbornly resisting the sharing of my journey, I encountered clogged drains, a clogged coffee machine, clogged showerheads, clogged everything in my house, all indicating that I am not allowing the flow of creativity through me.

Here is an example of a pattern which was not descriptive of the present, but a future oriented announcement. In 2014, I was informed by the inner voice and in a dream that I would get a ‘new job description’. Around that same time, I suddenly found myself being around strangers who just had a breakdown with a medical emergency. I would coincidentally walk by people who just had had a breakdown on the sidewalk. In all cases, the ambulance was already there, or at least someone else was taking care of them so that my help was not needed. I was just passing by. The events came so frequently that I suspected it is no coincidence but rather a message of some sort.

Now what did this mean? After some guessing around, I settled on the interpretation ‘you will meet people who have a breakdown’. And indeed, that is what happened. Afterwards, I found myself synchronistically coming into contact with people who either just had a burnout or were about to have one, and other people in transformative life situations, like leaving a job or going through a divorce. So, this pattern of events seemed to be an announcement of a future task or pattern for me.

However, what did not come with the task description was an instruction of what my role was supposed to be. Am I expected to do anything and what? Or would I just meet these people because I have been through a situation of breakdown myself (in the dark night of the soul) and I would attract people in similar circumstances? It turned out that we would just meet synchronistically, connect, and share our stories.

So, the communication via patterns gives me hints. Little clues about what is currently going on or what is about to happen. And to sum it up, the challenges are

-) to notice that a pattern of events is occurring and to notice what the common theme is.
-) to interpret them (i.e. literal or metaphorical meaning? Explanatory for the past, or descriptive for the present, or predictive or advice for the future?)

Finding the lost treasure inside of us

Whenever I fall into a state apathy and lack of purpose, usually some events happen where someone loses something, sometimes right in front of me, and I let them know. The most recent events were a woman who walked into the supermarket and who lost her shopping list. Or some guy who lost a health insurance card. Both people were grateful when I let them know. (The other things that used to happen were that I would walk by people who had some sort of fall or emergency breakdown. It also happened that I met people who asked me for the way.)

I think when I come across someone who just lost something and I remind them of it, this is the universe’s way of telling me metaphorically that part of my job description is to remind people of what they have lost.

Now, what is my message? What is it that people have lost that I should remind them of?

I think it is this:

Inside of each of us is a place of inner peace which is always there. It is the silent observer in the background.

The main reason to connect there is because we get to know ourselves as awareness.

But it also has some nice side effects.
Touching upon that peace not only feels good, but it can also shift things in the outside world. Because thoughts coupled with emotions create literally. And when there is an inner state of peace, joy, and gratitude, the outer world adjusts.

This place of awareness which is always there independet of the circumstances is like the diamond in the pocket of the beggar of which he was unaware. Or like the red shoes of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz which were there all the time and would bring her home.

When I travel, I am sometimes worried about the things that can go wrong like delayed or missed trains or traffic jam. So, I usually make sure to put my mind into a state of inner joy, peace, and gratitude before the travel begins and then keep it like that throughout the travel – even when shit hits the fan.

When unpleasant things happen, I make sure that I go even more into peace, joy, and gratitude, as sort of an insurance which will be able to shift things on the outside.

I think it has saved me from some troubles in the past. I recall several instances of things going wrong, and I put on my happy mind, and then the situations suddenly were resolved . Of course, I cannot prove that my state of mind was the cause, but I have observed this.

On some areas I find this easier to apply than on others. The area of health, for example, is more challenging for me than travel challenges. When my son was sick and I thought it was dangerous, I found it very hard to deal with the fear, for example. Or when I am in physical pain, then I am prone to fall into despair and an inner temper tantrum about having to incarnate at all. I have to try to use the method of inner peace in these cases, too.

I find this place of inner peace with the Awareness Watching Awareness meditation which I described in the blog post Describing the ineffable. It is basically looking back at that which is looking. The beauty of this is that it is available even when a negative emotion is present. For example, there can be sadness and I can be aware of the sadness and feel it, but I can still put part of the focus of my attention back on the ever-present awareness.

But this method does not work for everyone. If it doesn’t work for you, then I’d recommend any other method that works for you to get into a peaceful state of mind. Be aware, though, that this is not about suppressing emotions or about drowning them with drugs or addictive activities. It’s about acknowledging and feeling the emotions, but without wallowing in them. And then reach for a thought which feels better. Or do an activity which makes you feel better. Then you can observe how the disturbing events turn out.

A healing session

The breathing issues in my throat were still bothering me a lot. Often I could not sleep properly at night because I feared that I would suffocate if I relaxed too deeply. And no homeopathic remedy seemed to help.

On July 18, 2013, I met with my homeopath. She agreed that homeopathic remedies did not seem to help here anymore and that she would now recommend that I go to a certain spiritual healer.

Breathing issues and surrender

On July 23, 2013 , I was lying in bed and could not breathe properly. The issues were aggravated after strong bouts of anger again, and now I could not sleep. Breathing out fully was not possible because then the inbreath would become too difficult.

After struggling with the breathing for a while, I gave up and thought, ‘Okay, God, I give up. You have to breathe me.’

To my amazement, the breathing became easier after this act of mental surrender and asking for help.

Dream: grandma takes me to the healer

Then I dreamed that I met my deceased grandmother and she took me on a train ride to the healer which had been recommended by my homeopath.

I interpreted that as a message that I was urged by spirit to go to that healer. I did not want to travel there by train, but fortunately, he offered remote healing sessions. That was okay for me and I made an appointment.

An amazing remote healing session

On August 29, 2013, I finally had the remote healing session.
I lay down in my bed at the appointed time and tried to meditate and relax. Then the healing session started.

The first thing I noticed was that all the way through the half-hour session, my neighbor gave a singing performance of opera music. She has a beautiful soprano voice,  but it was quite loud and earplugs didn’t help. I wanted the noise to stop so that I could meditate better, but I didn’t succeed.

Eventually, I accepted the situation and started to wonder what this synchronicity was about. Maybe it was because the healer (Aldo Berti) had been an opera singer before he followed his calling and started a healing business? Or maybe it was showing me that this session was about the throat chakra and raising one’s voice? Even though I wasn’t sure what to make of it, I was able to calm down and relax.

I tuned into my body and observed all the physical sensations. At first, I felt a knocking sensation at the left side of my ribcage. Then I felt something like a stream of light or vibration flowing down from the top to the bottom which resulted in giving me warm hands and feet.

Afterwards, I felt a knocking sensation at the back of my spine around where the navel chakra is located. Then in an inner vision, I saw my third chakra spinning counter clockwise in the colors yellow, orange, and bright red. I wondered what the color ‘red’ meant regarding that chakra. I thought it was supposed to be yellow according to the texts I had read about it. Was it my anger, maybe? That was the first time that I had felt any of my chakras.

After the amazing chakra vision, I felt a hammering sensation on my head. It started to become uncomfortable, even painful. What was was this guy doing? It felt as if he was attempting to open my skull with hammer and chisel.

At the end of the session, I felt a stitching sensation at the left side of my chest.

Afterwards, I was totally exhausted. I had expected to feel very relaxed and refreshed after this half-hour session. But, no, I was exhausted and went to bed early that evening. During the following night, I had three dreams with the subject of communication and setting boundaries.

The amazing thing about the healer session was not only that I could physically feel something even though it was a remote healing session. I was also surprised and grateful that it helped my breathing issues.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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A map of my spiritual journey

Is there a map for the spiritual journey? There are maps for every phase in life. When kids come into puberty, we teach them what is going to change in their body. When a woman is pregnant, she is taught how pregnancy, labor pain and childbirth unfold.

But what about a map for the spiritual journey?

I searched and found that there are already many maps out there. And they differ not only in the metaphors they use, but also in the emphasis which they give to the single phases and milestones of the spiritual journey. No wonder, because the curriculum of life is highly individualized.

So, I decided to draw a map of my own journey and add it to the number of already existing maps. And even though everyone’s journey is different, I still hope that some readers can relate to my observations.

When I look back at my spiritual journey, I think of it as hiking up and down a mountain. And I can discern 3 phases.

 

Map_journey_1

 

Phase 1:  going uphill.
Starting in flatland where I was unaware of a dimension behind the visible 3d world, my path was slow and winding at first, but steep and direct later.

Each turning point in the road consisted of a problem-solution pair. That meant that there was trouble quite frequently. And each time one problem was fixed, a new one would appear. But in retrospect I can see that every difficult time during that phase (coupled with the corresponding solution) brought me closer to the mountaintop.

Phase 2 : I reached the mountaintop.
Here I looked back like in a 180 degree U-turn at the one who was looking (awareness-watching-awareness meditation), got the fact that I am awareness and felt the deep peace of resting in awareness. (see post Describing the ineffable)

I think of coming to see myself as awareness as the important key point in my journey. Therefore, I place it on the mountaintop.

I depict awareness as a lake because that is what it feels like for me. Diving into the silent void feels like diving into a deep, still lake.

This phase was also where guidance came through strongly.

Phase 3 : going downhill again.
It consists of two strands.

  • Strand A  is about integration which, in my case, has the following components:
    Insights, lessons, and tests,
    development of intuition and courage,
    divine help and manifestation.
    (Strand A is not contained in the drawing above.)
  • Strand B is about guidance and sharing (or the resistance to it).
    I think of it as a river that flows downhill from the lake at the mountaintop. The direction of the flow of the river indicates the will of Source.  My guidance nudges (or kicks) me to enter the river and to go with the flow and share more.
    But I sometimes resist and rather stay at the riverside where I just run in circles – until life gets too painful and I eventually surrender and enter the river, only to get out of the water again when I feel too scared or resistant for the next assignment.
    The whole strand B is about coming into alignment with what my soul wants to do here. Sometimes it feels like coming into alignment is my only subject in Earth school at the moment.

From reading the stories of others, I know that there is more ahead. Bernadette Roberts, for example, described her journey in her books as diving into ever deepening states of stillness. She lost the ego which resulted in the unitive life; and then  some years down the road, she  permanently lost the sense of self.

Just to put my journey so far into perspective, when I compare my current position with Bernadette’s map, I see that I am not even fully in the phase termed ‘unitive life’ yet. And that which seekers in non-dual traditions strive for, the permanent loss of the sense of self, is far out of reach. Bummer.

But writing and publishing this post was another step towards surrender and entering the river.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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