I had an already fantastic day yesterday, when word reached me that toe and cao, whose passion and creativity drive their blog winkelbauer nominated my blog for the 2016 Liebster Award. I am very happy and very grateful for this nomination and the opportunity to participate in this global initiative. Since this blog usually is in German, you can check the German version here.
All English speakers, please check out my English blog theopusinfinity.wordpress.com, which features some of the same material translated and additonal stuff on mental health, esoterics and spirituality.
You want to find out what this blog and I am about? The why and what?Give this article a good read and let me share some things with you. We might actually win something :-). If you want to skip the intro and go the interview, scroll a bit.
That it is actually toe and cao who nominated me is quite funny. toe was quite probably the first hit and reader of themellowmindexperience.com. I sat building my landing page in March 2015 the title reading „Who Have Found What You Were Looking for“ („Du hast gefunden, was Du gesucht hast.“). In my substantial ignorance of Asian spirituality I quoted Buddha (right most of the time) saying „The journey is the destination“. Suddenly, someone commented. „Nope, that was was Confucius.“. That guy was toe. I have no idea how he found my website. That was the start of a now 18-month relationship of mutual reading and commenting. And now the nomination. Fate knocks at the door.
The great thing about toes and caos blog is their unique, grounded and readily understood perspective on buddhism. Those two manage to bring ancient far-eastern concepts to life, both as ideas and daily practices. It is very authentic, as it flows from their personal experience. For a while, the two have been blessed with a child. They share their experience in a most refreshing way. cao and toe are great buddies in the blog sparring department. Their comments show heart and mind at work. I very much enjoy our exchange and invite everyone to visit the winkelbauern (German/Austria).
300 words on your favorite blog, Benjamin.
There is no such thing. I enjoy checking the reader and getting notifications from the people I follow. It is always a synchronistic experience, the articles I read matching my mood and current experience. The bloggers that have influenced me most these past two years are Luisa Mayr, die winkelbauer (both in German) and Journeys in Spirit (English). Kosmogonic (seems to be deleted :-() was great. Killer poetry. Many others walked this road with me and inspired me deeply (see nominations). „What goes around comes around“. I am looking forward to many more great reads and exchanges.
Benjamin, 10 random facts about you.
I am a spiritual person, mediate a lot and even teach it to others yet enjoy smoking a lot. My boss is a Dutchman. I hate cycling. I love walking through the woods. I like Homer Simpsons and quite surprisingly Donald Trump. I love fantasy and science-fiction. My family is so large it would be considered a dynasty with more money and a castle. I have endured much pain to be here today and be able to write these lines. I am very grateful for many friends and a wonderful wife. I am convinced that meditation saves the world.
My 11 Question Interview
1. Do you blog anonymously or under your real name? Why?
I put my name to everything I write. I have thought about this deeply. The story I wanted to tell is how 10 years of „mental illness“ led me to meditation, spirituality, personal development and insights about myself and this reality. That had me thinking… „Showing everybody on the Web that I am a whack-job… meditation and spirituality is pretty weird not run-of-the-mill too… what happens if I apply for a job and someone googles me?“. I was very anxious about the prejudice, judgement and labels others might put on me. I was afraid to face the music. I kept this connection under the radar for the first 6 months of this blog and then I was like… screw this. I am coming out. After all, how can I authentically tell my story while being ashamed of my experiences and my words. How can I touch others when I demean and conceal who I am? I was liberating to finally put it all out. I even post my stuff on LinkedIn now. It is very important to me to let this out and scream „Remember my name“.
2. What is mediation to you?
On a very personal level, meditation is healing and liberation. I have become a master of my Self (by letting go of it), learned to switch off any thought and drift into a state of pure BEING. Experience my inner and outer worlds that immediate, direct and unfiltered is a gift. Being aware of my patterns and being able to let them go… that was like a prison break. I could never have imaged how mediation would change me. How far this would go. And that it never stops and gets better and better. Just by being mindless, goalless and selfless. Letting go and letting it happen. I am in almost perfect health now. No depression, no mania for 3 years. Quite a thing stillness and doing NO-THING can do.
3.How would you describe yourself?
I love diversity, being a man of many faces and seeming opposites myself. I like being the out-of-the-box guy from time to time, deliberately swimming against the current. I can be very expressive, then completely still and calm five minutes later. What motivates me most is doing stuff with the lovely people in my life. No matter what really. My family and friends mean the world to me. I am a true and loyal soul. My significant relationships I consider life-long commitments. I love to socialise and get in touch with people. I enjoy this deeply. I get along well, keep an open-mind and people describe me as cordial and warm. I like to do new things, though tend to be a stickler when it comes to my pizza. Always the same. My curiosity knows no bounds. As Barney Stinson would say „Challenge accepted.“.
4. How do you see yourself in the future?
Healthy, happy and free.
5. Do you have a favorite TV-show? Which one?
Beating Game of Thrones by a hair… The Sopranos. Both HBO, of course. The show is a work of art in every scene. Great characters. A declaration of love to all that is human in all it’s aspects. You can watch the same episode three times in a row and yet find it great. My recent discovery is Mr. Robot. Rami Malek, unbelievable. And while we are at it… watch The Man in The High Castle. Great.
6. Is there something you would have done differently in your life?
Nope. I don’t wanna miss a thing. I am not saying I don’t regret some things. But in the end, all that happened made me who I am right now. I am a here and now person. Sort of a prerequisite as a meditation guy.
7. What would you like to do but didn’t dare to?
I would like to visit all the schools in my region and meditate with students and teachers. My objective would be to do 15 minutes of meditation first thing each morning. That would be something. Then, I would like to do the same in companies. Change, one person at a time, until the thing starts spreading by itself. I would like to lend courage to those who are ready but do not dare to come out. Change begins within ourselves. Having others experience this and assume responsibility for personal and collective change… that would be fab. On top, I would like to coach people individually using meditation, gestalt therapy and bioenergetics. I am working on rolling this out but the idea of actually doing this yet creeps me out a bit.
8. Do you actively care for the environment and if yes, how?
No, that is not one of my life passions. I do the usual stuff and that’s it. The mandatory things, what seems sensible, what I can relate to and where I can assume responsibility. My biggest contribution is probably my low level of consumption, but that is due to not having had money for a while. I buy what I really need, use it a long time, especially furniture, clothes and electronics (2010 laptop, fixed twice). What I don’t understand are activists. All this rage, self-grandiosity, fighting and us vs. them. Sure it had an impact, but the whole thing is so emotionally charged that I stay out of it. People tend to be similarly belligerent about food.
9. How do you react to bullies on the road?
I can be Mr. Road Rage. Traffic is my daily mirror why society doesn’t work. Egoism, neglect, no respect. Newest trend… SUVs driving in the middle of the road. People are not thinking ahead or being part of something that involves others. What really drives me mad is Mr. BMW, left lane, 100 miles per hour (legal in Germany), 2 meters behind my bumper, lights flashing. Psychopaths. That is when I scream, show fingers or something. Meditation does not work there…
10. Coriander green – yes or no?
11. What is your favorite book?
The Wheel of Time from Robert Jordan. 14 books. I hope one day someone will take 5 billion dollars and adequately bring this to the screens. Eager to see Lanfear and Berelain.
My 11 questions for my nominees
- Why do you write?
- What does it mean to you to sacrifice something? When would you sacrifice something?
- What is the best piece you have ever written? Please post. What motivated you to write it?
- Do you believe there is an absolute truth?
- What are you daily rituals? How does your day look like?
- Are likes and comments love or are you not interested in them at all?
- Star Wars or Star Trek?
- Do you believe in conspiracy theories? Which is you favorite?
- You have 30 minutes of unlimited resources and anything is possible. How would you save the world?
- Which seminal moment in human history in your lifetime moved you most?
- Which question would you want to ask yourself? Ask and answer please.
My Nominees (all German blogs with English posts in #1) – Rules here
Check them out. Enjoy and all thanks for sharing and participating.
Namasté brothers and sisters
#meditation #einfachmeditieren #meditationfürjeden
The Mellowmind Experience – Meditation für Jeden
Blog zur Meditation, Selbstwachstum und Spiritualität
Meditation Viersen, Meditieren Viersen, Meditation in Viersen, Meditieren in Viersen
Meditation Workshop in Viersen: http://wp.me/P51Jid-3s
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Photo credits: Liebster Award Media, various bloggers, via www.globalaussie.com, the initiator of this award. Check out his blog.