Saturday, March 31, 2007

in the cherry blossom's shade

by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)
translation by Robert Hass
In the cherry blossom's shade
there's no such thing
as a stranger
After seeing the beautiful pictures of blossoms on Prabhu's blog, i couldn't resist the crab-apple blossoms in the garden of our old house. The cherry blossoms are not open yet, but i couldn't wait to post this haiku of Issa.
It is so pure.
Blossoms are a metaphore for enlightement, for the Buddha mind. After going through winter the seemingly dead branches start to blossom. There is no feeling of separation anymore, because the seemingly dead branches (metaphore for our little ego's) got wiser and older going through the seasons, so they reach enlightement and nothing seems foreign anymore. Because enlightement brings this tremendous feeling of oneness.
Which reminds me of page 1299 of Shri Guru Grant Sahib
Naa ko bairee nahee bigaana sagal sang ham ka-o ban aa-ee
no one is my enemy and no one is a stranger. i get along with everyone.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sewa with a smile

Recently M.Kaur is helping me out with the educational programme in gurdwara.
She is such a great help!
And always with that sweet smile!

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so sweet

and dangerous...
why so many Indian (Asian) people have "sugar disease"?
Chai? Burfi? Kulfi? etc etc etc....


These little shoes are in the shoe rack at gurdwara for 3 weeks now...
Who is walking home without any shoes on...
Who lost her little shoes....

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a penny

for your thoughts....

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Friday, March 23, 2007

more students

Some students (amongst many other more local groups) from Brussels visited for their paper on world religions. Every year their teacher is encouraging a group of students to come and visit our gurdwara.
After so many years of sikhism in Belgium still so little is known, so we had a lot of talking to do. Still have. They will send me a copy of this paper, i am curious actually what will be their conclusion.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


-"Oma, what is this?"
-"That's your elbow ,sweetie?"
-"Does opa has an elbow too?"
-"Yes, dear, we all have?"
-"Why we have an elbow?"
-"To bow our arms. Otherwise our arms would be like this."
I stretch my arm, she does the same with both her little arms.
She is quiet now, i know she is thinking.
-"Oma, we have an elbow in our legs too?"
-"Kind of yes, it is your little knee."
She stretched her legs and is laying like a stuffed toy on my bed.
Her little mind works like mad.
-"Otherwise you can not hold me, that's why!"
She snuggles in my arms, making sure that my elbows are bent around her.
Little princess falls asleep.
Life is simple.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

piece of joy

in my Kundalina yoga class is this very creative girl V., who makes her own jewelry.
i choose this one for myself...
it is so beautiful, isn't it?



has a sting in its tail! After some really lovely weather, it is now cold again. My bones and joins are suffering, i want some sun!
Yesterday i went to my Kunalina yoga class and sitting on this cold floor, made me cramped all over. Oh,oh that is not what yoga is for...
So today i will spoil myself with long warm baths (instead of showers), massage oil, warm clothes next to the heating and a good book.
One has to take advantage ...
(and i will do my yoga and meditation on the bed. Okay, for once...)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

the letter

look what i found out of the time when i was fond of doing watercolors...
so you see i am still clearing my "things"... but still my office is stuck to the roof! why do i keep everything? why can't i throw things away? and why doesn't that poor girl put on the heating, she is blue with cold!

sunday lunch



Saturday, March 17, 2007


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Friday, March 16, 2007

Chet basant bhala bhavar suhavre

It is the month of Chet
It is spring. All is seemly-
the humming bumble-bee
and the woodland in flower-
but there is a sorrow in my soul.
The Lord, my Master is away.
If the Husband comes not home, how can a wife
find peace of mind?
Sorrows of separation waste away the body.
The koil calls in the mango grove,
its notes are full of joy.
Why then the sorrow in my soul?
The bumble-bee hovers about the blossoming bough,
oh mother of mine, it is like death to me,
for there is a sorrow in my soul.
Nanak says:" When the Lord her Master comes home to her,
blessed is then the month of Chet."
Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Phalgun man rehsi prem subhae

She whose heart is full of love
is ever in full bloom.
Joy is hers for she has no love of self.
Only those who love You
conquer love of self.
Come, Lord, and abide in me.
Many a garment did i wear,
the Master willed not and
his Palace was barred to me.
When He wanted me, i went
with garlands and strings of jewels and
raiment of finery.
Nanak says: A bride welcomed in the Master's mansion
has found her true Love.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

a precious human life

"Every day, think as you wake up,
today i am fortunate to have woken up,
i am alive, i have a precious human life,
i am not going to waste it
i am going to use
all my energies to develop myself.
To expand my heart out for others,
to achieve enlightenment for
the benefit of all beings,
i am going to have kind
thoughts towards others,
i am not going to get angry,
or think badly about others,
i am going to benefit others
as much as i can."
H.H.the XIV Dalai Lama

young visitors

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Again a group of students came to the gurdwara today. It was a very mixed group, children of newcomers in town. They had several backgrounds, cultural and religious. Their teacher shares my idea that only by doing the effort of knowing each other, we create a more friendly and safe world.
So i (and the teacher aswell) was very surprised that a few muslim kids refused to enter the gurdwara. Some of their classroomfellows , who were muslim as well, did not make a problem of it and were eager to hear about their sikhfriends.
"So were are the sikhboys?" i asked.
And i could not believe my ears, because these boys decided not to come to this gurdwara, because their parents usually go to the other gurdwara in a nearby village.
Our sangat split up 2 years ago in a not so friendly way, which i still regret and consider as very painful.
Never i realised that it could affect the children's life in this way that they ever should refuse to meet Guru Ji in another gurdwara.

How can i talk about the tolerance in sikhism, equality and love, if sikhs themselves are not practising this in their own life. How can i expect other religions to understand ours, if there is still so much narrowmindness.

It is not on me to judge, but it makes me sad.

And by the way, it was a good visit, with lots of interresting questions and sincere attention.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Since my health is better, i started doing the educational programme on sikhism again. I missed it, it gives me so much pleasure to give this introduction.
For the next month again 7 groups are coming to visit our gurdwara.
Sometimes i do this introduction in schools, like last week. I was asked to inform on sikhism to a group of young adults who will graduate as schoolteachers this year.
Afterwards we had a small forum where questions could be asked. Usually it is about turban (which are forbidden in some schools) or kirpans (which are forbidden everywhere), but to my great surprise this time they focussed on kes.

" But it is backwards"
" But it is oldfashioned"
" But is ugly"
" But it is not hygienic"
" But it is dirty"

I could not believe my ears and so couldn't A.Singh who was there with me. These young people will raise our next generation (like my granddaughter) and we were supposed to trust our children with them. And their reaction was this....
So i explained again and again, so did A. He is amrithari and told them how he lives with his 5 kakaars.
In vain....

There is still lots of work to be done!
Tomorrow another group is coming, wish me luck...