The leader is the ultimate authority. Members are not permitted to criticize their leader, even if the criticism is true. The leader is above the law. Members are held to a different moral standard, specifically in regard to sex. The group is elitist. Members believe the end of the world is near.
The group uses "Thought reform" methods. Serious questions are answered with cliches. The group suppresses skepticism. Members are only allowed to study their organization through approved sources. The group relies on shame cycles. The group delegitimizes former members. Members are prevented to think of legitimate reasons for leaving their group. The group performs secret rites.
The administration defies financial transparency. Members and people are not allowed to know what the group does with their money. Checklist on cult characteristics as defined by J. Lalich and M. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and whether he is alive or dead regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. Questioning, doubt , and dissent are discouraged or even punished. Mind-altering practices such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader s.
The leadership dictates , sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marrying or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children , how to discipline children, and so forth. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality , which may cause conflict with the wider society. The leader is not accountable to any authorities unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations.
The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members. The group is preoccupied with making money. The most loyal members the "true believers" feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave or even consider leaving the group.
Langone, Ph. August Above checklist was adapted from the checklist originally developed by Michael Langone, Ph. Jeffrey — Cultic features. Internal control Amount of internal political power exercised by leader s over members 2. Wisdom claimed by leader s ; amount of infallibility declared about decisions 3. Wisdom credited to leaders by members; amount of trust in decisions made by leader s 4.
Dogma Rigidity of reality concepts taught; of amount of doctrinal inflexibility 5. Recruiting Emphasis put on attracting new members, amount of proselytizing 6. Front groups Number of subsidiary groups using a different name from that of the main group 7. Political power Amount of external political influence desired or obtained 9. Sexual manipulation of members by leader s ; amount of control over the lives of members Censorship Amount of control over members' access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader s Dropout control Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts Endorsement of violence when used by or for the group or its leader s Paranoia Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; perceived power of opponents Grimness Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or leaders s March , Harper One, 9.
February November March Humans have one brain but two minds: 1. Effective longterm performance derives from good sleep and relaxation. Sektenjagd in Deutschland. Die wahre Geschichte einer jungen Ordensfrau , edition a, 1. Auflage 8. Kindle Auflage Auflage Robert Jay Lifton, M. October Flavil R. Yeakley, Jr. Norton, Don E. December , Georg Feuerstein, Ph. June Mark E. July Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph. May Campbell's ultimate aim is to elucidate, through the use of a psychoanalytical perspective , something of the dynamic inter-relationship between the inner lives of individuals, their gender identities in society, and the belief systems which they create in order to provide cohesion, continuity and meaning, whether it be in the east or the west.
Saints, Sinners, and Madmen. Study of Gurus , HarperCollins, paperback, new edition 7. September 33 Benjamin Zablocki, Ph. Braiker, Ph. October Robert B. The Psychology of Persuasion , HarperBusiness, revised edition December Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence. April Rita Banerji , Indian philosopher, photographer, gender activist, feminist author, Sex and Power.
April Book review , presented by the magazine "Intersections. July Kirsti L. Mistlberger, The Three Dangerous Magi. March Can M. July Kelly McGonigal, Ph. September , Even among those who do leave cults, a common feeling is shame, at their own blindness, their hunger to believe, and grief at getting it wrong. October It took Tredwell 14 years to publish her disclosure. Geoffrey D. Brunnhuber, R. Darstellung der therapeutischen Arbeit mit Kultmitgliedern bzw. O Guru, Guru, Guru. June Blog article by Timothy Conway, Ph.
Blog entry Conny Larsson's story. April About 87 per cent of residents had a sexually transmitted disease and women who became pregnant were told by the Bhagwan to abort and sterilise. November , updated 7. Broad, Levine, April Blog article Studying Cults. A Forty-Year Reflection , presented by integralworld. Stewart, July 1. You can now unknowingly be recruited into a cult without leaving your home. January Signs of an unhealthy spiritual community 1. December Article Slaves to religion: Brazil raids expose dark side of cults , presented by the international news organization Reuters , Fabio Teixeira, Baker, investigative reporter, June Linkless articles.
June Video presentation by Diane Benscoter , US American ex-moonie, deprogrammer, How cults rewire the brain , presented by TED Talks , minutes duration, filmed February, posted June Minute Circular logic of emotional vulnerable cult members is: 1. Video interview with Jay Fikes, Ph. May After 9 years close to Bhagwan, it took 21 years for Jane Stork to break her silence and tell her impressive story about her time as a Rajneeshee, how she was drawn to the "savior" cult leader and her long journey to find her peace.
December As a young Catholic religious sister in a modern Vatican-centered bi-gendered monastic community "Geistliche Familie Das Werk" in Bregenz, Austria , Doris Wagner suffered various kinds of sexual abuse, including serial rape in by Pater Alois Felder, mental control, spiritual manipulation, exploitation and sexual aggression. Positive missive Steven Alan Hassan, M. Sonya Friedman , YouTube film, posted 2.
April and Brooks Esq. November , Vimeo video, minutes duration, posted October , Vimeo video, duration, posted 8. July Letzte Bearbeitung: Quelle und Referenz : de. Aufbauend und gesund. Einzel- menschen. Organisationen Beziehungs- muster. Juni Referenz : de.
Gruppen, die mehrere oder viele dieser Merkmale aufweisen, gelten heute umgangssprachlich als Sekten. I wanted Bhagwan to be this this great holy man, this godlike figure, this fatherlike figure who would guide me through life — enormous self-delusion. Minute The issue of brainwashing in cults is a 2-way street. He is being the enlightened master who has all the answers and he has all these followers who are going along with that.
Minute People [gurus] like Bhagwan who set themselves up as enlightened being way above everybody else, they are very, very lonely. They have no friend in the world. And they get depressed, some are using drugs. And I think that over the years Bhagwan definitely deterioted — physically and mentally. Minute Because of my friendship with Sheela [Birnstiel, Bhagwan's intstructed outrageous shadow bearer] I got to see I got to see what was going on behind the scenes. Minute To me it is still frightening to realize how insane I was [to attempt to kill Bhagwan's doctor who was about to help Bhagwan to commit suicide].
Instead of letting Bhagwan letting to commit suicide, no, no, I was going to rescue Bhagwan [who I considered the savior], I was going to save the world. This is madness. JS : Bhagwan was a catalyst for me in my process of learning about myself, my process of growing up, but I would not like to give him any more credit than that. It was I who had to do the hard word. JS : If you ask anybody who still hold Bhagwan as their master they would immediately tell you that Sheela manipulated Bhagwan.
This is absolute nonsense. Bhagwan was the master and the master manipulator. JS : Most sanyassins, I would say The only Bhagwan they ever knew was the public face — this benign, loving, funny man, full of wisdom, full of jokes. That's all they ever knew. They had idea what was going on behind the scenes, and so they have no reason to change their view of him. Because of my association with Sheela I came to be privy to an other side of Bhagwan that most devotees never ever knew.
I left Bhagwan myself. Most people didn't have the opportunity. Bhagwan left them, he abandoned them. So they are left with this image of this great master who was so ill-treated by the American authorities and who was driven out. And for them he is a martyr and a master and a sage. So I understand it. April Reference : en. She married another man, leaving her Moon-assigned abusive husband behind.
As a result she had been declared spiritually dead to church members. When she disclosed to her "true" misogynistic parents that her husband beat her, they responded that she deserved it. The same happened to her sister-in-law Nansook Hong. September "The man accused of being the biggest brainwasher in America has moved into mainstream Republican Americana. So [they] are fundamentally concerned with helping us get into radical connection with the light , with the danger of dropping relationships, the world, justice, our relationship with all other creatures, in the process.
So the descent of the light into the mind, the heart, and the body can only be accomplished by a surrender to this very difficult, very grueling process. Future outlook on the guru systems Though there are exceptions despite the system, I think the guru system, as it is now, is flawed at its core. Anyone in that system is going to run extreme dangers, whether they are the guru or the devotee. I think the next five years will see a massive shattering of the idols. What is now a light summer rain of scandal is going to become a blizzard.
The guru system in its current state of dangerous corruption will be revealed. Cultic psychopathologic conditioning. April Focussing on family therapy, coercive persuasion, schizophrenia, brainwashing. Enslaving operations applied by psychopaths, cult leaders and cults. Develop, reinforce, and then appeal to an un-admitted and denied sense of powerlessness, then helplessness, then hopelessness. Love-bombing in the early stages followed by withdrawal thereof followed by increasing pressure to conform to get "love," followed by threat of abandonment over non-conformance. Manipulate and trigger already established — and then enhanced — introjections of guilt, shame, worry, remorse, regret and anxiety.
Compel personal history examination, revision and group sharing to induce painful affects and peer-influenced appraisals thereof. Group jargon to enhance in-group identification and out-group rejection, as well as to make it increasingly difficult for members to communicate effectively with outsiders. Peer pressure to conform to group norms, including group think and group jargon.
Employing the Karpman Drama Triangle dynamics : covert control as both rescue and subtle — or less subtle — persecution to victimize the lower-level recruits and induce compliance via the discomfort of subtle threat. Deception, debilitization, dependency and dread to weaken member's egos and increase compliance.
Establishing ambiguities and conflicts to destabilize existing core beliefs, utilizing paradoxical injunctions , threat of harm or abandonment and other means to induce double binds. Inducing identity-diffused, ego-dis-integrated, borderline organization via compartmentalization of unconsciously opposing, compelled beliefs "shoulds," "musts," "oughts," "have-to's" to support the mutually opposing fears of abuse and abandonment that make it impossible to resolve group-induced conflicts.
Employing relentless loading of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system to set up the leader's ability to trigger the fight, flight, freak or freeze response to support learned helplessness whenever desired. Listing ten cultic features. Mix spirituality within a speed-driven culture, quick fix mentality, multitasking, instant gratification, belief that transformation and transcending the human condition can happen quick and easy.
The desire to grow genuinely and purely is interspersed with lesser motives: spiritual ambition, wish or need to be loved and belong, to be special, to be better than, to be chosen, to fill internal emptiness, to end one's suffering. The spiritual ego identifying with one's spiritual experiences and claiming one's spiritual path, pseudospirituality, false belief that one is embodying peak insights lasting for longer periods , that one is enlightened and therefore apt to perform as a spiritual teacher.
The "bullet-proof" egoic personality becomes deeply embedded with spiritual concepts; invulnerable to help, new learning, other perspectives, constructive feedback; impenetrable humans stunted in their spiritual growth. Trendy massproduced, marketeering spiritual traditions led by self-deluded people who deem themselves enlightened masters selling and teaching a quick fix method. Spiritual pride. Longterm practitioners who have attained some wisdom justify their refusal to grow further, spiritual superiority: "I am better, more wise and above others because I am spiritual.
Groupthink, tribal-mindedness, cultic mentality, ashram disease, insidious virus with elements of co-dependence, subtle unwritten rules how to think, talk, dress, and act correctly, not conforming individuals, attitudes, and circumstances are being rejected. Belief in having found The One who fits for All , that "Our group is more spiritually evolved, powerful, enlightened and better than any other group.
Belief that one has reached the final goal of the path, ceasing of further spiritual progress. Group-think, suppression of dissent, and enforced conformity in thinking. Denigration of competing sects, cults, religions, groups, or organizations. Instant community. Instant intimacy. No humor.
Dishonesty, deceit, denial, falsification, and rewriting history. Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, guilt, and dependency. Mystical manipulation. Hierarchical , authoritarian power structure, and social castes. Front groups, masquerading recruiters, hidden promoters, and disguised propagandists. Promised powers or knowledge. Use of the Cognitive Dissonance technique. References : en.
Techniques for promoting spiritual teachers. Encouraging followers [awakened ones] to psychologically transfer divine qualities and goals onto the teacher [awakened one], thereby locking both into a dynamic system of projection , dismissing any show of spiritual autonomy. Teachers who dress fashionably or perform in a certain style apply the marketing tool of the first impression made by appearance and presentation. To change the teacher's name to an exotic sounding one is part of presenting oneself as a spiritual master.
Important is that the teacher behaves peacefully and lovingly in public whereby they are building up a huge unexpressed psychological shadow. Most listeners come from the heart not from the head , willing to accept a casual message. Self-confidence and charisma. Effective teachers bind students in the certainty of conceptual truth. Constant self-marketing via lectures, courses, regular "satsang" meetings, and holiday retreats along with videos and audio recordings of the complete enlightenment package , books, guided meditations, internet updates allows the teacher a very good living.
Inducing the belief that the teacher predominantly energetically transmits spiritual awakening. Teachers with the creative nous may formulate a pseudo-objective evaluation systems to "calibrate" levels of truth — applied by dowsing or muscle testing. The enlightenment lottery is captivating. The guru's physical presence, favorably their hug or touch, is the ultimate powerful placebo effect. The New Age New Consciousness is a close-knit community with different teachers endorsing each others' books and teachings on a tit-for-tat basis not stopping short of self-fabricated endorsements by Mother Teresa.
To separate the teacher from the bulk of their students it is vital to establish hierarchical access to the more successful teacher. The teacher can talk about the need for a better world. Placing an ashram on the map adds credibility to the teacher's organization. In the 21st century it is vital for masters to have a web presence offering many close-up photos of the teacher looking very spiritual and tasters for the different talks given by the master.
Donations make the teacher look more authentically spiritual as it distances him from the world of commerce. The teacher keeps feeding the spiritual egos of their inner circle of devotees by telling them how well they are doing on the spiritual path. Techniques for promoting spiritual teachings. Successful marketing of any spiritual teaching to customers can evolve their minds and their egos on the spiritual journey. Death is a big fear for most people.
The teacher is original. Any belief system that offers certainty with conceptualisation is going to be very popular. Most like to believe that the final destination of the spiritual path is a state of eternal bliss, perfect health and sublime happiness — enlightenment. In society where sexual and loving emotions are restricted communities based on teachings that encourage free emotional expression appear attractive and freeing.
Advertising and implying to customers' egos that their material needs and wants including physical health issues will be met. Customers associate a feel-good fix with the teacher and the teachings when feel-good techniques such as meditation, mantras, relaxation, dance, tantra, fasting and breath control are being hijacked. Offering the teachings plus their sublime value will validate them for heady customers.
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Spreading out the teachings in a series of courses spanning from beginner to advanced levels over a few years. Linking teachings with modern physics increases credibility with those who is not scientific literate. Offering holiday and Mecca-type retreats in exotic places. Eight criteria to measure the level of coercion in families, groups, nations using manipulative techniques to gain total control over their members.
Milieu control. Loading the language. Demand for purity. Questions to inquire the fundamentalist mind. January Cult features. Isaac Bonewits' cult danger scale. Amount of internal political power exercised by leader s over members. Rigidity of reality concepts taught; of amount of doctrinal inflexibility. Emphasis put on attracting new members, amount of proselytizing. Number of subsidiary groups using a different name from that of the main group.
Wir tragen alle zu den entstehenden Unkosten bei, Euer Beitrag hilft, die Lebenshaltungskosten des Lamas und seiner Familie zu bestreiten. April - Lama Sangye wird auch seine Anweisungen hinsichtlich des musikalischen Aspektes der Rezitation noch einmal wiederholen, insbesondere, wie man damaru und shang einsetzt, sowie auch die hinsichtlich der Mudras , welche die Praxis begleiten. Bei den Belehrungen von handelt es sich um den zweiten Abschnitt einer Serie, die Lama Sangye began. Dennoch sind neue Studenten eingeladen, dazu zu kommen. Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche:. Die sieben Spiegel des Dzogchen.
Schwulenberatung Berlin, Wilhelmstr. Mai - Sonntag, Die Sieben Spiegel sind: 1. Der Herz-Spiegel der Sicht, 2. Alle Interessierten sind willkommen. An Teil Drei kann jedoch ohne Probleme auch dann teilgenommen werden, wenn die bisherigen Teile nicht besucht wurden. Vortrag: Freitag, Ponlop Tsangpa Tenzin Rinpoche:. Von den vier Wegen der Ursache wird der erste Tza-Shen genannt die phonetische Umschreibung richtet sich nach der Aussprechweise in Kham.
Er umfasst Orakel mo , Astrologie tsi , kurze Rituale to und Medizin djae. Anders als die unteren 8 Wege hat Dzogchen keine kulturellen Eigenarten, sondern bezieht sich direkt auf die nackte Natur des Geistes und der Wirklichkeit. Dzogchen-Belehrungen aus dem Gyalwa Chaktri. Juni - Freitag, Juli Es wird um die Hauptpraxis selbst, das Dzogchen, gehen. Resident Lamas von Shenten Dargye Ling:. Januar - Dienstag, 5. Januar: Vorbereitung des Gutor-Rituals; 1. Februar: das Gutor-Ritual selbst; 4.
Februar - Losar! Intensives Dzogchen-Meditations-Retreat. Es werden klassische Retreat-Grenzen einzuhalten sein. Amchi Nyima:. Tibetische Massage. Juli - Sonnta, Juli - Freitag, August Intensives, kurzes Dzogchen-Meditations-Retreat. August - Freitag, Biographien von H. Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso:. Kurzfassung auf yeruboncenter. Kurzfassung auf ligminche. Biographie von H. Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche:. Biographie Geshe Samten Tsukphud Rinpoche:. Biographie Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche :. Biographien einiger mit Yongdzin Rinpoche eng verbundener Lehrer als Text:.
Dort erwarb er auch seinen Geshe Titel. Zwei seiner spirituell motivierten Reisen sind in Filmen dokumentiert:. In Search of Zhang Zhung. Es dauerte 4 Jahre, die Meditationsschule zu absolvieren. Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche studierte. Unter den Belehrungen, die er in dieser Zeit erhielt, waren der Atri ka lung gyatso-Zyklus, den er von Tsundru Rinpoche erhielt, ebenso das Kunzang Nyingtig die Sphere des Herzens des Dharmakayas und den Zyklus des Dzogchen khu sum rang shar, den er von Yongdzin Rinpoche erhielt. His parents had fled Tibet across the Himalayas in In , they moved to a Tibetan settlement founded in Dhorpaten, Dhaulagiri province, western Nepal.
This is where Nyima Wangyal grew up, with his brother and sister. He learnt Tibetan alphabet and reading from his father. He was eight years old, when his father passed away. It was the first Bon monastery in exile. He was a very serious teacher, a very good practitioner, and so skilled at calligraphy that he was often commissioned to copy texts, notably the Atri Preliminary text, the twelve volumes of Ziji the biography of Tonpa Shenrab Miwo , the Gyalwei Chagtri, two volumes of Gyalshen Namthar collection of commentaries by Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and numerous ritual texts, all published in New Delhi, India.
Many Bonpo masters spent time in the Monastery of Dhorpaten. In , following the request of his uncle, Nyima Wangyal received from Yongdzin Rinpoche the Dzogchen Atri teaching instructions and transmission lung for the first time. There he became a monk and was handed over to Yongdzin Rinpoche to receive his teachings and to serve him as his personal assistant. Nyima Wangyal lived with Yongdzin Rinpoche until Yongdzin Rinpoche is his root master and main spiritual teacher.
With him he had the great opportunity of meeting great Bonpo masters from Tibet. In , Nyima Wangyal joined the newly opened dialectic school at Menri. That same year, his mother passed away in Dhorpaten, Nepal. His main purpose was to visit his mother and to give advice to Bonpo lamas and monks on how to preserve and develop the Yungdrung Bon tradition. Too many people said, this Sharehaus cannot work. And yet the Sharehaus Refugio worked and is even better today. Once far in the African South we had a dream: a community of peace. And looking at all who we work and live with at the Sharehaus Refugio this dream has come true, because God has a dream and we are just dreaming with, being part of a heavenly body on earth.
Up to 45 people live in Berlin at the Refugio in a sharing community of respect and with curiosity for each others, around and more come here every day, not counting the events and celebrations. A Spirit present. A fruitful one. At the Refugio the fifth baby is on the way, only after 19 month! So you remember? We called it: Big dreams, small steps. Now the dream is very much alive, the community a garden of most diverse plants with each playing an important part. People who feel there have nowhere else to go. The Sharehaus was born from a dream of every person being able to blossom and evolve with god-given talents and abilities in a respectful community of equals.
After some months of listening to God we finally handed over the Refugio last Friday to widen the tent space of the house and to plant more places of hope. When I symbolically handed over the keys to Harut who we chose to steward the Refugio, I looked at the familiar faces knowing each of their stories so well. I was looking at my new family. Achmed, born 7 month ago as the first baby in the house.
He is a miracle. Both parents separated by war, found each others at the Refugio again. To smile at us. With my pale feet on the black sand of La Gomera around Christmas last year I saw more of Gods dream. Anton and me had just bodysurfed some waves that came crashing in from the Atlantic. We we were fearful at first.
Pebbles and rocks rolled under our feet and hit our legs, then a few meters in we were on a smooth sandbank and surfed the warm green water. El Tiede, Spains highest mountain, was right opposite, a steep volcanic cone covered in snow and mist like a mystical Japanese mountain. And what I was longing for slowly became reality. If flowing with the Spirit was what I longed for, then I had to break open my mental nutshell of the single child. We dreamt of a network of Sharehauses around the world, and a family of likeminded people and their houses of hope and hospitality.
A network with friends like Claudia on La Gomera who had started a non profit in South India to empower impoverished women, so they were able to sow and tailor for a living. She is an artist with little funds, but she had planted seeds of love that grew unexpectedly. A Sharehaus network where what Bonhoeffer called new monasticism was lived, the every day interaction in the world living the sermon on the mount.
Like at the Refugio. Leaning into the serpentines to cross the steep island, swaying left and right like in a rowing boat, we had a dream. A revelation of things to come. Very simple, like the summer hut of my grandparents on an island in Sweden, a few rocks, wood, a water pump and a gas stove, but this time with orange and olive trees and some sheep grazing around, not too far the sea. A monastery of a new kind. Simple life, slow food, art, song, love, meditations, healing, sharing, favourite books and garden work.
No idea where exactly it would be, just that it would. Warming up in the sun next to a well tanned man with pony tail and a tanga, some talkative kids listening music and drinking beer, we had a dream, a dream of a deeper life within. Do you know that feeling, that longing? Especially on a beach you might have had it before. This feeling life could be so simple.
And less shallow, but deep like the ocean, high like the sky, wide like the horizon. Our little monastic retreat would be close to the sea and the mountains with deep wells of fresh water. And we would be able to enjoy the company of like spirited people for longer than a coffee. One week, months, colonies of heaven ourselves, enriching each others as family, nomadic, broken, but strong together.
Conversations and rich silences during beach walks, swims, prayers, gardening, cooking, eating, hanging out. Like when we lived in Bangkok or South Africa and we had friends and family over for weeks in a time.
The Sharehaus Refugio in the heart of Berlin had grown to a true community, now we longed for really deep time together, and alone. And many of the Refugio do too. Many are longing for a place in nature. Friends, enjoying a cold beer among locals, the salt of day on my skin, the taste of the ocean on my lips and the tender company of my family, we had a dream. In times of political craze and fascism on the rise, we need communities of peace and contemplation. Places of meditation and action, as heaven transforms inside out.
Places open to all seekers as the Spirit was poured out on all humanity. In that dream was a clear command for me: Make disciples. Awaken followers of God, lovers of Jesus, guide seekers to embrace ecstatically their identity. Teach how to dance with God and how to live in community with her. With the warm water licking my feet at the black beach of La Gomera we had a dream. A dream of community not only with people, but with creation as well. It all was connected as there is nothing not spiritual. Everything is drawn into the dance of creation and as much when we want to think creation evolves around our achievements and mistakes.
How small my otherwise big feet were on the black volcanic sand of La Gomera, a rocky island that looks a bit like a juice press with high ridges in the middle. Melted lava lay in big boulders nearby. In Berlin I love the creative density of life, and I suffer form the arrogant autism of culture. We dance our daily routines and end up next to young people talking drunken nonsense at a Vietnamese soup place.
Elke and me are listening to the boring banalities of young bright and beautiful people longing for meaning, longing for a deeper connectedness. I remember how lost and alive at the same time I felt back then. With the crunching sound of snow under my feet I was walking on our Refugio rooftop garden and had a dream. The little me and the majestic us, we had a dream. A retreat, a monastic place in the south and a network of modern day monasteries, Sharehauses. In this network a young or older seeker could come working in the garden of a Sharehaus in Spain, meditate and live community life without having money.
A writer can join for a 2 week retreat to discover the well of inspiration inside again and to live a simple life of stillness, service and sharing. Guest can pay what they have. In the evening the local shepherd, the refugee from the farm next door and the surfer join in to share more than a meal, but stories and a hunger for greater things in life. A network of Sharehauses that are creative monasteries with Jesus-loving New Agers on the Canary Islands, or with freedom loving farmers in a cooperative in Canada, with run-aways on the West Coast, with creatives and orphans in Cape Town, with women and children in Southern India ….
When we kneeled on Christmas in the old church of La Gomera where Columbus was sent of to America we had a dream. God had become a baby and we were all were allowed, catholic or not, to come forward to kiss Baby Jesus. It was a real baroque baby made of porcelain as big as a small boy. God a child, a human being. It was in the best sense a scene of a Fellini movie, tender and funny.
Old ladies, young men with tattoos, families with well-ironed shirts and skirts, a handicapped woman, a poor, a rich, kids, me, we were all invited to kiss baby Jesus. Dear friends, I know, I know. Mighty like the Milk Way? Why become a human? A baby!? God a baby? It is a genius plan to turn our little world upside down.
You think you know crazy people? God is really really crazy. And for sure His wisdom seems like foolishness to us. You either love it or hate it. Only that this time you are part of it. Sitting at the benches outside the Vietnamese restaurant with all the nonsensical youth, all of a sudden gravity is reversed, thy sky is the ground and we start floating, bowls swirl and we grab each others not to fly away.
The sun is still shining, people yelling and laughing. Great picture of a street scene where people and things start flying. And then all fall back onto their places, marvelling. Traffic and and dogs with owners passing by as usual. Conversations certainly change after that. What was that? How could that happen? Where is my beer, my soup? Where is science?
People marvelled at Jesus, God walking around with a gang of disciples shaking up our small world? Jesus said crazy things, especially about love, never about to start a religion. And yet he said all the old laws and regulations were just a part of the bigger picture, like our world. And all has space in Him, who brings all back to one thing, true love. Oh, I know, but if when why. Why not embrace a God who can hug you and is not ruling from a distance, or a nebulous universe, or a bag full of arguing goddesses.
Why not try the obvious. God is right in your face. Especially when you sit at a narrow bench at a Vietnamese soup restaurant. So great, we can become one with Her and yet be unique in our creative expression. Scary, I know. I am scared too. Dear friends, this life as difficult as it seems, it is more like one dance of many. In this new season I am learning again to open my hands to receive, to accept to be led into a new dance. And as much we are letting go, I found a family and deeply inspiring friends still dreaming and dancing with us.
As we are leaving the wild creative growth of the Sharehaus Refugio into good hands of a team that can tend the lush and beautiful garden of this heavenly community, we are called to serve again a greater dream. Wow, yes, I really love His amazing art studio, the boiler room of Her splendid and life giving creativity. From a sunny garden in Mallorca, a bird singing after a cold night,. Das Sharehaus ist eine verkehrte Welt. Ne Menge Leute sagten, dass das Sharehaus nicht funktionieren kann. Und doch entstand das Sharehaus Refugio und wird immer besser. Einen Geist. Einen fruchtbaren.
Erinnert ihr euch? Jetzt ist der Traum sehr lebendig, die Gemeinschaft ein Garten verschiedensten Pflanzen, in der jede eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Was ich sah war meine neue Familie. Achmed, der vor 7 Monaten als erstes Baby im Haus geboren wurde, ist ein Wunder. Beide Eltern wurden vom Krieg getrennt, und fanden sich im Refugio wieder. Anton und ich hatten eben einige krachende Atlantikwellen ohne Brett gesurft. Wonach ich mich sehnte, wurde langsam Wirklichkeit. Wenn mit dem Geist wehen und fliegen war, wonach ich verlangte, dann musste ich meine geistige Nussschale des Einzelkindes aufbrechen.
Wie im Refugio. Eine Offenbarung der kommenden Dinge. In diesem Netzwerk war auch ein Art Kloster. Ein Kloster einer neuen Art. Vor allem an einem Strand hat man sie manchmal. Unser kleines Kloster ist nah am Meer und den Bergen, und hat einen tiefen Brunnen mit frischem Wasser. Eine Woche, Monate, wir selbst Kolonien des Himmels, die sich als Familie bereichern, nomadisch, heimatlos auf der Welt, gebrochen, aber zusammen stark. Das Sharehaus Refugio im Herzen Berlins war zu einer wahren Gemeinschaft gewachsen, jetzt sehnten wir uns nach einer wirklich tiefen Zeit zusammen und allein.
Wie viele im Refugio. In Zeiten des wachsenden politischen Wahnsinns und des Faschismus brauchen wir Gemeinschaften des Friedens und der Kontemplation. Lehre, wie man mit Gott tanzt und wie man in Gemeinschaft mit ihr lebt. Alles ist verbunden, denn es gibt nichts, was nicht spirituell ist.
Vor 30 Jahren taten wir genau das gleiche.
(German) Hermann,H.- Sex & Folter in Der Kirche
Gast kann zahlen, was sie haben. Als wir an Weihnachten in der alten Kirche von La Gomera knieten, von wo Columbus nach Amerika geschickt wurde, hatten wir einen Traum. Gott ein Kind, ein Mensch. Warum kann Gott nicht fern sein wie ein heiliger Berg? Warum Mensch werden? Ein Baby!? Gott ein Baby? Alles klar! Seine Weisheit erscheint uns wie Torheit. Entweder man liebt es oder hassen es. Nur, dass du diesmal ein Teil davon bist. Die Sonne scheint, die Leute schreien und lachen. Verkehrte Welt. Autos und Hunde mit ihren Besitzern ziehen vorbei wie immer. Was war das? Wie konnte das passieren?
Wo ist mein Bier, meine Suppe? Wo ist die Wissenschaft? Klar, aber wenn wie warum!? Warum nicht das annehmen, was so offensichtlich ist. Gott schaut dir ins Gesicht Vor allem, wenn du auf einer schmalen Bank vor einem vietnamesischen Suppe-Restaurant zu sitzt. Liebe Freunde, dieses Leben, so schwierig es scheint, ist ein Tanz von vielen. Aus einem sonnigen Garten auf Mallorca, ein Vogel singt nach einer kalten Nacht,.
We arrived in one of the darkest places, our first time to the United States. The early Michigan night was pitch black and the sky full of stars, no clue where we were. It was dark but we were welcomed with hugs and laughter and soft carpets to walk on barefeet. When I started to write my story about love an death the new president had not been elected yet. Nobody we met was happy with both canditates anyway. A dark place to be left with no choice.
When the sun rose I saw deer jumping through the thicket from a pond back into the safety of the almost leafless forest. The mist rose form the damp meadows, it felt like new frontiers. It was, taking the Sharehaus to yet another continent. From Africa to Europe and now to America! Deep darkness, it feels as if I am understanding it for the first time.
- Economia felice. Educare i bambini a uno stile di vita consapevole (Italian Edition).
- How to Enjoy Christmas Without Tearing Your Hair Out (or Going Broke);
- Murphys Loss;
- Coverbal Synchrony in Human-Machine Interaction?
- Plantilla de plan del negocios de muestra de servicio de reparación de reloj reloj en español! (Spanish Edition)?
God is in deep and thick darkness even when it feels like death, an absence of light. In deep as a Scandinavian I know within there can be a comfortable darkness in winter waiting for spring. I never forget how an Indian girl I once met in Berlin had fallen in love with the dark north of Sweden when aupairing. The sun never rose above the horizon that winter, but the stars and northern lights shone bright and reflected in the surface of the snow. We were able to travel a lot this year.
The world had come to us at the Refugio to form a very international community, it made us hungry to see the world again. We had been to Jordan the year before to visit our daughter and and were in invited by Malakehs to visit and pray with her mother in Amman. I so love the generosity of God that is not interested in religion. When we prayed her knee, an old fear left and she could walk.
Then Sufi friend Esra invited us and we flew to southern Turkey to meet her family and to get some sunshine. It is a time of firsts including my families hometown Gothenburg, Amsterdam and now Michigan. The water in Turkey was lush and warm very salty. At night we listened to a highway that was between our abandoned holiday home and the endless beach. Mediterranean countries seem all the same. People enjoy having coffee, tea, nibbling olives, hanging around, talking, truly resting in Gods arms and not worrying too much.
Here and there is an abandoned and half built hotel or a crumbling concrete wall next to a palm tree and a hungry cat bathing in the sun. And lots of old people just enjoying life and being part. Where are we hiding our elderly in Germany? Arriving at our new place in the dark we ha had almost turned around and left again, alienated. But we stayed, in the darkness of this new world. I love travelling and in the same time I feel the death of my own world when being at completely different places. I always loved the roughness of the new, but it feels as if it now takes time to discover the subtle joys of other worlds.
They are not new on the surface anymore, globalisation has it. You have to go deeper to feel the eros of desiring and wanting to understand the other. Searching for a cold beer I ventured with a tiny and slightly borken bicycle into the next village where I was greeted by an old man who shook my hand and welcomed me with a smile before he led me into his tiny store switching on the only light bulb there was.
Turkey has real men, well dressed, polite but not insecure. And the have withered and unique faces, full of character like men of the old world, Serge Gainsbourg or Picasso. All my life I wanted a way to be this old man in a blazer, seeing the world with his eyes. Just for an hour, or a day. Or being a sparrow high above the rooftops of Berlins. Or being the singing girl selling soup in a busy street in Bangkok. Maybe impossible, like time travel, because being the other all eros would be gone, all wonder. But you can get close, as we are deeply connected.
Not belonging. We longed for belonging somewhere. As much we like to venture into the wild.
- Democracy, an American Novel.
- The Girl and the Kingdom Learning to Teach.
- Capitol Theater : Film-Archiv.
Here under the Tukish sky I neither felt myself or somebody else. My old identity seemed lost, my new not found yet. Strange feeling. I am an new creation, and I know and I feel how Jesus has overcome death even though I might still be bound to physically die in this world. Yet I am in the middle of this world, in darkness. The leaves are falling, diversity becomes blandness, and we are retrackting, feeling powerless. I felt my life was going thorugh a similar stage, a season of pruning. It hurts, but to yield more fruit we have to be cut back.
I love being the father of the Refugio, the visionaire, the project developer, the friend and spiritual guide, the handyman, the planner, the PR guy, the writer and storyteller. An yes, the husband and the father of my own kids, the son and brother to my family. I almost forgot, and that is the point. Is needed. Cutting back the unnecessary in autumn to enable new growth in spring. With winter as death in between. It is a rhetorical question. I would have wept! All these signs and wonders, the divine revolution!
And then: death! The end of it. What a disappointment, walking don the street to Emmaus. I think of my friend Hein who died too young. He left behind a good life with wife and kids, yet I felt afeter a few days he had chosen to stay in this new rest he had entered. It felt I see him still smiling in the cloud of witnesses sourrounding us, the cloud of love beyond, Hein living a resurrected life.
Entering this new place of death and love, he must have seen the bigger picture in which his family would be ok without him. It is a picture I get sometimes praying for the abandoned, the lost, refugees drowning in the sea in overcrowed boats. Once I felt connected to an African woman in hwr 30s who had boarded with all hopes set for Europe, but then the boat had capsized.
She was among them, sinking to the bottom of the Mediterrean. It was dreadful, but then I felt her forgiveness and peace. She had entered a geater rest, the perfect refuge. It was a strange comfort coming from someone killed by the loveless darkness of the world. There is deepest sadness about the atrocities and evilness of this world, all of them should haven been avoided, but they happen.
In Turkey I felt death, mine, the worlds, the death of my dreams and desires, and in the same time a deeper peace. We were at an ancient place, tanning in the hot sun at the beach with trucks passing by behind when Elke started piling pebbles. Yes pebbles. There was nothing else to do but to pile pebbles. No internet, no fresh fish to buy, no car, no neighbours, just Elke and me, and some goats ringing their bells invisible on a hill nearby. With no distractions one faces own fears. Mine felt huge suddenly. Having to pay unexpected taxes, battling a flu, politics, new job, being able to write or not, kids, mother, sisters.
No big threats but they felt heavy on my heart. I had worn myself down worrying, and the only way to prepare for new fruit was letting go and let him prune. I even struggled to sleep. Unheard of Sven. I love visting my mother, we chat a bit, then I get sleepy after 30 minutes and have to lie down quickly, unable to keep my eyes open anymore. She seems content that the little time I spend with her I snore next door on the couch while she is reading a novel and watching tv and writing an email on her ipad with a mug of cold coffee in one hand and a cookie in the other. Maybe her being at work makes me relax.
She always was a hard worker. My mother is beautiful and elegant, reclining on a day bed overseeing her empire of books and notes around her, sourrounded by traditional African masks on the walls and some of her older paintings. I feel very rested having slept on her couch. The same cosy tiredness came when whe started piling flat pebbles at the beach, grey and red ones, some with white lines, some smooth and shiny like marbles, others dark and soft, all formed by relentless waves over centuries and lifted upon this beach so we could play with them.
Elkes piles of pebbles looked like little Buddhist temples and we started taking them home to our house and in the end we took some home to Berlin. Yes, we took them all home. We just had hand luggage to fly with and at the airport we pretended our bags were really light when they felt like bags of cement. At our Berlin home I now have to move around very very gently because a fragile pile of pebbles might collapse somewhere.
When the sun rose we could explore the Michigan landscape. We met Amish farmers on horsecarts going to social, pick-ups ached by sometimes, everybody waving friendly and smiling. Elke and me were laughing. Our 10 years in South Africa had prepared us for this, and our recent visit to Amsterdam. People in Michigan have Dutch and Scandinavian hertiage. Tall people. Somehow ancient. The Amish even speak something called Pensylvania Dutch. New frontier. I still felt lost. Pruning takes place. It hurts because the unnecessary is removed. It is important. To make this life worthwile.
Be be alive and believe afresh. Our life is wasted if we become like big corporations, when we have to be like Thai street venors, working with only a few and always fresh ingredients every day to create delightful dishes. Less is more. Having little and being limited is good. An now y dancing partner, the Holy Spirit, has new moves for me. She leads. And she is not afraid of new steps. We live in darkness, and the political development in the world seems to make it even darker.
Yet there is a sky full of stars above us. Above all, there is light. The dreary darkness ist just a scare. It has cracks everywhere, so the light gets in. Leonard Cohen knew that. He died while Im am writing this. He reached the stars he could only describe until now. He tried hard, Greece and psycedelic encounters made him fly a bit, his songs made us soar. Looking at the bright stars in the dark I also realised a beautiful thing. I am not alone, and I made made more friends than I thought. Over a year at the Refugio I experienced what I had envisioned but maybe not really believed, that I have found new friends in an intentional community of the most different faiths and cultures, led by the Great Spirit.
He teaches me a new deep joy and calls us to live with him in unity and community. For me that is to celebrate life with old and new friends like Lee who invited us to Michigan and made us fill up our hearts. True community is surprisingly unspectacular. It is to drink wine, to dance and to enjoying the simple things like holding a baby, smiling at a friend, sleeping in my wifes arms or piling pebbles, small and big, colourful and grey.
Ein dunkler Ort ohne Wahl. Und das wars auch, wir hatten das Sharehaus zu einem anderen Kontinent gebracht. Von Afrika nach Europa und jetzt nach Amerika! Tiefe Dunkelheit. Wir konnten viel reisen dieses Jahr. Die Welt war zu uns ins Refugio gekommen, um eine sehr internationale Gemeinschaft zu bilden. Das machte uns hungrig, die Welt wieder zu sehen. Wir waren im Jahr davor in Jordanien gewesen, um unsere Tochter zu besuchen und wurden von Malakehs eingeladen, ihre Mutter in Amman zu besuchen und mit ihr zu beten.
Amman, dann Amsterdam und jetzt Michigan. Sie machen sich nicht zu viel Sorgen. Wo, fragte ich mich, verstecken wir unsere Alten in Deutschland? Aber wir blieben in der Dunkelheit dieser neuen Welt. Ich kann nicht der Baum sein und ihn in der gleichen Zeit umarmen. So viel wir uns auch in die Wildniss wagen, wir brauchen ein Zuhause. Und doch bin ich mitten in dieser Welt, in der Finsternis.
Die Welt und ihre neuer Nationalismus kann einem Angst machen. Ich kann nicht alles sein. Muss sein. Mit dem Winter als Tod dazwischen. Und dann: der Tod! Das Ende davon. Ich denke an meinen Freund Hein, der zu jung gestorben ist.
Finde heute die Filme von gestern
Es war schrecklich. Sie betrat eine neue Geborgenheit, eine perfekte Zuflucht. Weil die Liebe gewinnt.