Posts Tagged buddha

Sunday Column (439)

Hello friends. I noticed that, if I am awake early on Mondays, that this is good writing time. So I am on another flight. Just about 16 hours after I disembarked my last. Yet the last one was for fun. My wife took me to Edinburgh for the weekend. It was amazing. Not only did you not have to worry about the kids but could do all the grown up things kids are not interested in. Culture, sight seeing, castles and whisky tastings. Plus, my wife took me to a restaurant, allegedly the best one in Scotland, the Witchery, where I ate the best steak I ever had in my life (and I had a lot), and I discovered the most interesting and tasting Italian blue cheese I ever had too. What a great weekend. Thank you again.

Later in the week I got a belated birthday present. Two actually. One was the picture of a Buddha my youngest drew. I love it. I even got two copies, one for each office. How sweet is that? The other a book of pictures and quotes collected by my wife from my closest friends. It was very emotional to read the impact I can have on lifes. I love you too guys, and this is only the beginning. 40 is the time you turn up the heat, put your foot down and enjoy the wind in your hair. Because you can. Because you don’t know how much longer you can do it either.

So as I wander through the airport on Monday morning, I am tired. Of course I am. The cold I had is still lingering around. Maybe it is more of a hay fever. The weekend was exhausting. I am happy though and that’s what matters. I am trying to think how we best plan our holidays over the next year(s). Also, I am listening to my podcasts again. This time it is all about passion. That someone should not necessarily want to be like someone else, but everyone is an individual. Realising you don’t want to be Steve Jobs or Anthony Robbins is the first step to realise that you are not like them. As I have learned over the years, it is about what you can take from any of those individuals and how you can put it together to form your self. The podcast guest suggested that you shouldn’t quit your job and start working on your passion. A passion is still what you do in your own time. And if that takes off from a side project, so will be it. Those podcast paired with the book I am reading about evolutionary coaching just make a lot of things come together. What an amazing life we are living, and slowly it all seems to make sense. The dots are connecting more than ever before. Wow.

Discovering your passion as something like ‘helping others’ and ‘developing others’ is great. That’s what I did. And if you as a reader of this blog or someone reading my productivity book is interested in what my opinions are, then please share and get engaged. I am just someone with some strong opinions on certain topics. I believe I know how to set up a productive work life scenario and work efficiently for others. I believe I am mentally strong and have a good working routine. A routine that allows me to cope with the workload and life load. And whilst doing all that, I still have a lot of fun. I cannot see myself being the Jim Rohn or Darren Hardy or Anthony Robbins but I can envisage to offer seminars for lifes’ little tricks in years to come. Not in my 40ies though 😉 And one of the reasons is that once I stopped university, I started learning. Life experience, personal development books and so on. Experience of others that helps me to go through life. And that experience is something I’d like to pass on. But I am far from perfect and yet have many years of (life’s) training to come. Embracing this makes it even so exciting. Evolution at its best.

Bad news this week are coming from Manchester. A terrorist attack killed teenagers and hurt a lot of people. Terror at a ’teenager event’. 22 people died. A 22 year old was named by the police. I am speechless. Those kids had their whole life ahead of them. A 22 year old, someone who just started out in life, what did he know? Was it hatred or religious reasons or just someone being confused. At time of writing I am not sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. It is awful. My thoughts go out to those affected. And it impacts things in London. Fear of attacks, disruption and anger. United we stand. We will get through this, terror will never win.

In other news, as I still recovered from the weekend, I took it easy this week. A lot of work to catch up on, not too crazy tbh, and I managed to even fit in two saunas. I got a haircut in Hamburg (never as good as home) and caught up on a lot of catch up TV. I haven’t done that for a while, so a relaxing and very productive trip at the same time. Some me time to catch up on important things, testing my new Asics trainers which aren’t as good as the Nike. My pain creep back up running in the Asics but not in the Nike trainers. The weight of the shoes, the way I run in them etc. So the Asics are going back. I might still try some Ultraboost, but at least I am getting back on track. I even managed my first 10K in ages on Friday. Somewhat I haven’t been in a good place with running and the 24 hour race is coming closer with only eight weeks to go. So I better find the right trainers and the right mojo to make it. It’s going to be epic. It must be. Another wall to climb, to break through and move forward from.

When waiting for my plane on Wednesday I was wondering why those trips are so draining. And my conclusion is that you cannot do both of your jobs 100%. I am not sure if that makes sense, but I enjoy what I do. I chose my job to make it successful and be there fully, giving my best and make sure I have an impact. But by doing two jobs, it seems as if I do one or the other, and both only 90%. That is just not satisfying to be not as good as you could be because of restrictions you cannot change. Not sure that makes sense. Nevertheless the support from my boss, HR, colleagues is overwhelming. A great place to work. And so much more to learn and walls to climb. I definitely put my ladder on the right wall here.

However, I enjoy things as I used to. It is a cracking challenge, lots of fun with some really great people and amazing tech. Things are good, and I am not complaining. I am just tired this week, that’s allowed sometimes too I suppose. As the week moved on, my tiredness turns sleepless due to the heat. I am up most nights at 4:30. So I fit in the above 10K, a cheeky 5K and time with the boys before school. Challenging at times, but hey, isn’t that fun. 40 – life is only just beginning. Only now got I the tools to break through those walls. Keep them coming.

From my corner of the world, have a great week ahead. Enjoy the bank holiday weekend! Sun. Summer is almost here. BBQ. Family!

What else to live for?
Volker

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Buddhist Thoughts – Anger

anger

This is self explanatory, isn’t it?

You will not be punished for being angry.

But anger itself will punish you.

Be positive and nice to others, life is too short to be angry.

Buddha Bless!

Volker

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Sunday Column (228)

I started this column sitting in an air conditioned Starbucks, my home when I am in town these days. Water, coffee, vanilla ice drinks. My hiding place, place to charge my phone and connect to free wifi. What else to ask for?

The air conditioning is probably the main one this week. Not that we should complain about the weather in Britain, but it seems extreme. Too hot, too wet, too windy. There seems to be no constant in the weather. Given it is an island and hence you have more changing weather, I am not surprised the weather is the most talked about thing in the country.

opportunity

However, Britain is not build to cope with either extremes: snow or heat waves. Most people cannot enjoy a hot summer and if you are in a city it drains you massively. Having said that, my juice diet from earlier this week really helped me to stay active, not to waste energy on digesting food, and hopefully it helped to detox a bit too. I am less bothered to sleep badly, and I am not surprised the kids don’t sleep well. Bad luck for those that booked a summer holiday in Spain, you could have saved the money by going to St. James’s Park instead.

That is what I did this week. I finished a few meetings early and went back down memory lane. It was the first park I saw in London, and the first one I spent a lot of hours in during my lunch breaks at my first job. It was also the park I spent all my breaks in (if any) when launching a start up over 3.5 years ago. This place is somewhat a natural place for me to go to and reflect, relax and clear my head. Difficult in 33 degrees Celsius though.

I finished most of my consulting jobs this week but might take in a smaller project or two shortly. All depends… Life is full of surprises and whilst we often, at least I do not, understand the meaning until much later in life, a lot of things happen for a reason. People you meet. People you watch. Reactions you get. For instance, from back this last winter, I owed a cobbler down the street from my work a cup of tea. He repaired something for free. I never got around doing it, so went back this week and he was super surprised and pleased I came back. But why wouldn’t I? Sometimes it takes a while for things to make sense, to be the right time etc. This week was the week. A few good deeds I did. I am trying to improve my karma, be a better person and contribute more. Daily.

I have tried to spend more quality time with the kids too. This has worked only with some success as I had a super busy week. When you are looking for a job it is an all day business where you are busy all day. It is like working for yourself, selling yourself constantly, building a pipe line and making things happen. One day I will go back to a routine, for better or for worse.

On another note, at Rotary this week, we listened to a talk about South Korea and its people’s dedication to support their country by working hard, giving beyond expectations, deliver quality and even, to bail out the government, donating jewellery to raise money. An identification and dedication unheard of which results in companies like Hyundai or Samsung being market leaders in what they do. I suppose closest would have been Germany’s commitment after the 2nd world war to rebuild the country, again similar to Korea after their war.

Stehaufmaennchen

It makes me philosophise and reconnect to my Buddhist thoughts this week where I mentioned that anything you do, see or feel is in your mind. And you control your mind. You can achieve anything if you believe in it. Believe! Make it happen!

Making it happen brings me to another topic: my job hunt. Whilst I am maybe a bit picky with which company I want to work for, I found what I thought was an exciting tech company. However, after 2 weeks and an offer they withdrew that and so I will venture on to the next opportunity. Like a Stehaufmaennchen, the game isn’t over until the ball is in the net. The contract not signed until the ink is dry on the paper. Not unheard of but bad business practise to withdraw an offer, but whatever reasons they had, the ones they told me were unreasonable. I wish them best of luck, and as I keep saying, things happen for a reason.

Onwards and Upwards. Maybe time to set up on my own after all.

So watch this space.
Volker

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TED Talk on Buddhism

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Buddhist Thought: Anger

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha

I love this quote although I often ignore it.

When you are in anger, and you express it towards someone, it is usually you that gets angry and wound up.
Buddha speaks wisely comparing anger with a piece of hot coal.

You throw it at someone and whilst doing so, you burn your hands.

The better way is to let the coal cool down, pick it up and it falls to dust.

Have a wonderful day,
Buddha bless,
Volker

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Sunday Column (165)

What a fantastic week. I think so anyway. I went to Madrid on Monday to support our local office, interview for new people and had a very good and long meeting with one of our clients. I like to be useful and travel to support folk. It makes you tired and I didn’t see the kids, but overall I actually enjoy it.

So I was back Wednesday night to find my MIL (mother in law) staying with us. In order for me to keep up my running training I slept on the couch to run at 6 am on Thursday. Friday I worked at home sitting in a conference call until late. I always seem to be busier working from home than being in the office; no idea why to be honest.

What else happened? As my MIL was baby sitting my wife and I went to our most favourite Thai restaurant in Beckenham. The result was we were home within an hour. Conveyor belt service plus us feeling “too old” to mingle with the locals in the pub, meant we preferred to be home early. Saturday we used the whole day (!) to go shopping. I bought myself a “Buddha hand” as an early birthday present. We went all over the shop (literally) whilst my MIL was suffering with the kids. A knackering day for all of us!

Another thing happening to me was on the flight into Madrid. A bloke, between 60 and 65 I’d say, felt sick. He then went to the toilet and all, and they cleared his row, however the main thing was that I felt so sorry for him. Luckily I have never been sick on a plane. But when we flew into Madrid hitting air pockets and jet streams I really felt so sorry for this bloke. And I felt very helpless too. I hate to not being able to help people who need support.

Never mind. In total I feel so much better since I got new trainers, go running every morning (almost) and eat a bit better. There is still a lot of improvement to be made, particularly when travelling, but overall I think I am doing ok. I haven’t lost a huge amount of weight but I feel better, healthier and more energetic. Fingers crossed I keep it up of course 😉 But I will.

Contracts for the house should be exchanged this coming week. I am off Monday for a special family day 😉 and then have a fairly quiet week ahead. Most of the European offices have bank holidays, however I used the week to arrange a few meetings in the UK that were well overdue. Same for the week after until I go travelling again.

The joys….

Have a fantastic week.
Best
Volker

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My new old hand

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Buddhist Thought: Purpose of Religious Practice

One of the major aims and purposes of religious practice for the individual is an inner transformation from an undisciplined, untamed, and unfocused state of mind towards one that is disciplined, tamed and balanced.

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I loved “church” as a child. I used to love my “confirmation” and two years of education in church. I was young then and asked a lot of questions which the vicar at the time couldn’t necessarily answer to my satisfaction.

After my confirmation, I was about 14, I helped out with the kids’ church service and asked more questions. I was not allowed to take on responsibilities and got frustrated. I didn’t enjoy church any more.

At that time I guess I got into the age of being interested in anything but church. It also became fashionable to be an “atheist” if you could explain what it was.

I tried finding ways back to “god” or back “to church” but failed miserable.

In Buddhism I found a way to use “religion” as a “philosophy” and I transformed internally. I am more tame now, more balanced and have a more focused mind.

I love being a Buddhist.
I love life.

Love and Happiness from my corner of the world,
Volker

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Sunday Column (99)

In my own experience, the period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life. …Through a difficult period, you can learn, you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problem. Who gives you this chance? Your enemy.

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama

To say this week passed quickly is an understatement. Thinking about last week, I don’t even remember last Monday. After stressing all last weekend about some work issues, I decided to de-stress this weekend. As far as that is possible. Work, and the arrival of number 2, are a lot on my mind. So I really need to work harder on de-stressing. It will be all better once number 2 has appeared, and I can actually make plans. You know I like planning 🙂 Then again, we all knew 2011 will be more stressful than 2010. So all good, I am not complaining but could do with longer weekends at the moment, or with less drive to work on new personal projects 😉

After I moved my blog www.balamadana.com to this site, I decided to finally buy the book of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso that was recommended to me by so many people “Transform your life“. I strongly believe that 2011 will see a more dedicated spiritual development for myself, which also means I am going to spend more time thinking and developing my inner self. I almost feel as if that is part of having a second child, of having growing responsibility at home, but also at work. Living a better life for others, and ultimately ourselves. It will also help with the de-stressing and give me an overall better balance.

On Wednesday I went to Manchester. Quite a likeable city actually, and people are more open than in London. Always makes me wonder about London and whether it is worthwhile living here. But you know my thoughts about that. I am reading a book about Australia at the moment, but I believe you are never sure until you go anywhere. I didn’t do any research before coming to the UK 10 years ago. From a Buddhist point of view it doesn’t matter where I go, as I am on the journey of life anyway.

My MIL came down on Saturday to help my wife, and ultimately me. It really is time for the baby to make an appearance. Trying to leave work early last week one day resulted in me being home but working here without being able to help my wife. I really need time off to help her, so it’s better for the MIL to come and stay with us. As always it will be a lot of compromising on our part but also on hers of course. But for the greater good of getting us through the last weeks of pregnancy, this will be worthwhile.

All Saturday morning I played with Colin. We had lots of fun. I ordered big packs of catfood which got delivered in a huge box. So we sat in there. And I also ordered him some extra tracks for his wooden train set, and a new tunnel. Cannot wait for those items to arrive. I will love them! I enjoy Colin so much now, and thinking I might have missed out on his early weeks due to “life’s circumstances” and “me not knowing what to do” sometimes hurts a bit. Hence I am determined to get more involved with number 2. But it is all about the moment, the moment now, the time I can spend with him every day. It is not about the past or what might come. So that is where my focus lies.

However, over all, I am the breadwinner, and as such, will have to go to work. That means compromising, and I am very passionate about work too, but hopefully will be able to find a better work-life balance than last time.

Guess that is all for now. The waiting….as you know, is the hardest part.

More news to follow hopefully soon.
Yours
Volker

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Buddhism and Science

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. Buddha.

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter. Max Planck.

Enjoy the following video which looks at Science and Buddhism and links them both together. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Where Science and Buddhism Meet from Gerald Penilla on Vimeo.

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