Dies ist der FriedensPilger-Blog
This is the peace pilgrimage blog

Good news

If you read my blog regularly, you maid remember, that I have some serious allergy issues since a while.

But recently some of the allergies dissapeared. For example I can eat here and then again wheat. Means bread, pizza, etc.

I am still careful, because my stomach is still very sensitive, but I think, it’s a good sign.

.. ..

14.3.2019 short update

Dear friends,

This year is rushing…. puh. …

Nevertheless, I can say, that I had beautiful opportunites…. to grow….

I joined a 20 day Vipassana retreat in Jaipur/Rajasthan and now I finished visiting 4 weeks Satsang with Mooji www.mooji.org in Rishikesh at the Ganga.

Reports about this events follow later. It’s not, that I have been lazy, it’s because, some of it, needs still to be diguested….

Until now I can say. The „motto, poem“ of the peace walk has changed again, by better understanding.

From

step by step – breath by breath – in the moment – always present

It dewelopes into

Step by step – breath by breath – in the moment – presence – awareness

 

From tomorrow – 15.3. – I continue walking. There is a gap of 700 km to walk between Shimla in the Himalayas and the Nepali border – Mahendranagar. Because of Visa issues I only have 16 days left in India. So I try to reach the border from half way (of the gap) starting in Rishikesh. But not sure, if I can do the 320 km in just 16 days. Will see.

Hugs to you all

Thomas

Letter to Varun (and his school)

Dear Principal Varun, teachers and parents!!!

Suddenly and surprisingly, you and the  school appeared into my live a month ago….

Still not knowing how many steppps I will take with you and your school, I will take at least some more of the steppps, to give some ideas and to collect some more money ….. 

In some of my meditations the school was present…. and here is the results…. to think of, to discuss about…..

What to do    A) now or as quick as possible    B) within the next 5 month     C) Future, to realize within 5 years or so

A) now or as quick as possible

Making more space and bring dignity, for the whole school but especially for every kid. You have four classes each 50 kids on a small area. It’s nearly a impossible task to give quality teaching in such a narrow place. So for now it could be a solution, to leave two of the classes in your building. And teach two classes on other places, such in front of the school or on top of the school. Beside the school your grandmother and other relatives are living. Is it not possible to move them to another area, so the school can benefit from that space?

Some simple shade preparations can be done for the next month in top and in front of the building.

I advise you to take the student fees in advance, at the beginning of the month, instead of taking them in the end of the month. The parents need to know, that they have to pay the fees in time, so teaching them and being awareness is a key step.

It would be good to have a sound system, for the morning ceremony, parent gatherings, guided meditation….

B) within the next five month

Making a plan for more space…. for example buying land and building mud houses. Mud houses are cheap, easy to build, maybe with some voluntary help of parents. Mud houses are also cosy. The mud takes some of the sound away. Every class could have a mud house and therefore a nice time to study. Between every mud house should be enough space, so sound does not interact with another class. Every mud house can be painted or decorated by every class… and maybe the mud houses are anyway a good solution for later on.

So the’now-school-building‘ becomes more the entrance area, maybe with some offices for principal and teachers, as well as store rooms and later computer classes…..

The number of students in every class has to be reduced from 50 to 25 or so.

C) Future, to realize within 5 years or so

Building a new school. Maybe the mud houses are anyway a good solution and a more solid building can complete the whole infrastructure.

Further suggestions (1)

1.) If you want a school, where all the kids learn and speak a good English, all teachers need to be able, to speak English. Every teacher new employed should be speak English fluently (or another language beside Hindi and Nepali, for example Chinese  (it’s your neighbor country)). All the teachers present now, have to study english.

2) Parents maid start volunteering at school, for example by help building the mud houses, bringing ideas and realising them, organize festivities and excursions….

3) Inventing meditation. You first and all the teachers should/must see a Vipassana retreat. Maybe even once a year. This will help each of them, to understand themself better, but increase compassion, atmosphere and non-violence at the school.    After you have done the first course, the kids should join a free-cost meditation day at one of the Vipassana centers, for example Lumbini. (This is just one point of my suggestions but so very very important to me and will have a lot of benefits for the whole school and everyone in it….!!!!!!) Here you slowly slowly can even convince the parents to join a Vipassana retreat.

4) there are also other non-violence trainings avaible, to find out, if needed or teachers are not open to join a Vipassana retreat. But the clapping kids at school needs to come to an end!!!!

 

Further suggestions  (2)

As I am a peace walker, I believe, that a good education can not be done, only by teaching normal subjects, to make the kids fit for working in the society. But it must include to open concioussness and awareness in every kid to Love, Peace and Happiness. It must include the understanding of every kid, that we life not on in countries, but on one planet we share together, the humans, animals, plants and minerals. And we have to take care of this beautiful planet in all aspects.

a) meditation as discribed earlier

b) environment teachings…..

this can include tree planting. Every kid should plant a tree every year. It should grow and plant the tree, and take care of it… at least as it is in the school!!……

a awareness should be tought about rubbish reducing, recycling and how to make the region better for that. How to reduce pollution and smog and how can they be a part of it.

c) making aware, in a practical way, that we live on one planet

For example exchanging crane peace birds with other schools/classes around the world every year at World Peace Day, 21.9.

For example inviting from time to time people from diffent parts of the world, to teach wider awareness, such as www.wiu.org This is to the same time an art project.

d) every year there should be one day of teaching human rights, as given by UN

e) art should be tought, such as music, paintings, theater, any other art or supporting creativity

f) religion teaching, what is the best in every religion the world has to offer?

g) the school should have a Facebook and or a web side, where students can report about these activities, to bring knowledge to the outside, state, country and worldwide

h) a video or photo group can help to create reports or little 2 minute films. ..

i) a playground should avaible or be build

j) evening courses for adults can be invented

 

All this ideas can become a example for every school around. Maybe even your students can go around to other schools to teach them, what they learned and made happen. Education should set a goal that your students can invent new and better solutions for the future…. always in the awareness, that there can be international exchange on whatever level

 

My next steppps. I like to collect money for a good quality sound system, so we can buy it latest in the end of March quality loudspeakers, microphones, and a system, possibility to use for morning meditations. What do you think it would cost?

With Love and blessings

Thomas

 

New year has started

Dear friends,

Lots to report. But I do not have the time and space to do so. So many things are happening. So I keep that for later.

I am good. But had also a accident with a bus. I was walking on the left side, when I was hit by a big bus, he had to turn away from a car on the other line. The bus driver choosed to hit me instead. I was pushed forward, my whole back and head where hit by the bus (back was kind of polstered by my empty backpack). All happend on the 29th of December in Lumbini. First I thought the bus driver will continue driving, because after the hit he two times continued to move the bus. But it was only to park the bus safe. Depak, the bus drivers, came to me. After a while I decided, not to see the hospital. Body was good from outside. But I was not sure, if I got a concussion – anyway I cured it with a meditation. I felt a deep release during that 1 hour meditation especially in my neck area. But surprisingly my right shoulder in the front area was effected, a pulling. The way to the hospital was to long, about 22km and over a bumpy road. That would not been good in that stage. Depak was worried and we communicated on whatsapp later that evening to calm him down and to respond to his guilty feelings and care taking energy. I told him ‚ Seems that we had to meet, and there was proparbly no other way….‘ It’s ok, I will manage, but never hit a human anymore, please…‘ and now I have a new friend in Kathmandu and a invitation there….  The shoulder hurts still a bit, but I can make most movements now. A pulling always takes time, so I guess in 2 or 3 weeks everything will be supergood.

The next day I went to Varun’s school, to bring him the collected money 440€ and 50 US $ to help with the most needed. He asked me, for what I wish to use it: ‚I want more dignity for the school kids, they have even not enough space on the poor benches and tables in a much to small room, how can you learn like this? – And how to manage the sound of nearly 200 kids in a kind of garage or little storehouse with having only half walls in between the classes of 50 each?….‘ ‚And I want you, Varun, to attend a Vipassana retreat and after to bring the children there, to learn a 10 min Meditation routine for every day…‘

Since I left the Vipassana retreat at the 26th of December I found no space to relax. I also collected money from you and on Facebook to sponsor 85 new quilt covers for that center. They just did not have. From some of the old (20) covers with big holes in it, we designed some sponges to clean the bathrooms – a tailor was willing to take this project for 200 sponges for just 12€. Anyway, all the money came together. Not a single Euro to much or to little. Thanks for the doners.  

With this two donation projects, the bus accident, and the non-time reflection or afterglow the retreat…. and the understanding, that the school needs much more attention, I senced, ‚oh I don’t get a rest here…‘ I have to get some more Distance ….also to see, if I want and can get more involved with the school…. There is so much to do, to lift up the quality…. and I guess, Varun and his young teacher team, who want to establish better education in the poor environment will attrack even more kids…..  Am I able to give guidance and support?…. is that project to big ?….

So, short decided I went away from Lumbini, into India, to attend another 10 day retreat in Kushinagar (Buddha left his body there)… actually, when I arrived, I learned I have to serve the course….

About the experiences in the Vipassana retreats I will report later.

Now, I am in Jaipur. Here I will attend again a Vipassana retreat, but this time for 20 days (20.1.-10.2.).

To get here by train took me unexpected through Lucknow, where I was invited by Tabish, to stay with his student colleges at the very well known Drama school. After a silent time its somehow overwhelming to meet so many new people, but these artists already cultivated some space inside, so when I really needed time for myself, it was totally accepted.

Hugs to you all

with love 

Thomas

 

15.12.

(Sorry. I could uploud it only today, 27.12.18)

I have arrived in Lumbini. Lumbuni is the birth place of Buddha. After 1985 this area was developed into a sight, where lots of monasteries settled around here. An UN General Secretary had the idea to this plan. Lots of countries sponored monasteries from different Buddhist traditions to build here temples in this area. Also a world peace conference center and a peace stupa is established.
I stay since 3 days in the Korean monestary, who has a large guest house. The little fee of 4.50$ includes 3 very good vegetarian meals, and guests are welcomed to use the temple for meditation and attend the morning and evening ceremonies. The guesthouse is simple but very clear mindful organized. To me it seems, that everyone who comes here, is after a while embraced by mindfulness and calms down. Just beautiful.

The walk until here, the last 160 km, where again a little taff at some areas. My right knee caught my attention here and then. There was suddenly pain again. Then it was gone and later it arised again. I clearly felt, that the pain is a momentary thing, but in between doubts arose ‚maybe there is a damage?…‘ In fact I still feel it’s a blocked meridian and I could, for example, find out and locate the end of this energy line at my right toe beside the little one. There I could clearly see-feel the blocked energy.

Enjoyable was a lot the intact jungle forest. It’s just so beautiful and relaxing to walk along, beside or through an area which radiates freshness and offes the healing atmosphere of ’nature in order‘. The forest strech was around 100 km long with some villages in between. Here and there you could find signs that partly are elephants,  rhinos, monkeys or even tigers are present.

Coming to Kalapivastu I learned, that the palace of Buddha’s parents are just close by. Buddha lived here 29 years/ before his enlightenment. Bric stone fundaments are still to see. It is said, that on the foundation they builded the palace as mud houses. I nice guy brought me there on his motor cycle to kindly guide me around.

Earlier, close to Imiliya, I met Santoosh. He is around 25, visited some Vipassana retreats and is now establishing a farm in the area, where he wants to employ people. He wants to bring healthy life to them and there family. Every person he employs has to do soon or later a Vipassana retreat. Santoosh has a clear vision what to bring to his area. Nice.

Just a day before I arrived to Lumbini I came to a crossroad. My maps.me app did not show me any village there, but I guessed to find a bigger village, because five ways where gathering. But, actually I found only a few houses, but super simple. On one side it looked a bit like a bigger garage, very super simple. I got some more clothes on, figuring out where to go for the night. Meanwhile I was surrounded by lots of kids, being curious what a white man does here. While still investigating where to find a place to stay I saw a village close by. Ok. That maid be a possibility. While closing my backpack Varun, 26, arrived. The typical questions came up ‚I am looking for a place to stay for the night‘ and surprisingly he mentioned, that I can stay in his school. Aha, one of these ‚garages‘ is a school. Varun founded this school three years ago with the intention to bring better education to the poor area and to improve the English skills. He himself is one of 10 siblings, who all got a good education. His father is also a teacher and somehow managed to finance the studies of the 6 girls and 4 boys. I also get to know his grandmother, who lives in a part of this ‚garages‘ area. The family invites me for a meal in the near by houses, but Varun, me and his brother will sleep in the school. On a plastic, to protect from the dust (the school does not have a floor yet), a isolaton mat as we use in a tent, and a blanket. He sleeps always there.
I already feel that I want to help Varun and he shows me around everywhere. Nothing is ready here, between the classrooms is just a half wall, so the sound gets from all the five classes with 150 kids to everywhere.

On top of the building he started a room for himself, and wants to build more classrooms in the first floor.
Some 46 more students study English in afternoon classes.
Every student pays only a very little fee, where he has to pay the teachers and construction and so on from. If someone can’t pay they ‚just have to tell him‘
I like him and his energy, his intention, visions and overview.
He is also responsible to give mini-credits from the world bank to people, who start there small businesses. And he is involved in some other projects.

After arriving to Lumbini I diguest and contemplate, finally decide to support the school. I have done good fotos in the morning and put everything on Facebook, instagram and this page to hopefully attract some people to help him, the kids and the area. I am not 100% sure, but it is possible, that I stick with this project. Let’s see how it developes. And also I will come to the area several times in the next 2 years because of renewing my Visa etc. So that’s perfect too.
See the article before.

I will join a Vipassana retreat from today on until the 26th of December. I hope to find some more donations for ‚Varuns school‘ (2 donation already arrived, juppie) so that I can bring him some money before New Year. This is my Christmas wish for this year.

Have a wonderful Christmas time who celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth.
Blessing, Love and Light
Thomas

(Who wants to donate to the school can still do so, I will be always come to this area again and again…. kind of crossroad)

something to give ‚Varun’s school‘

Dear friends. It’s Christmas time. Here is a project to sponsor, if you like – maybe instead of Christmas presents….????

It’s a privat school here in Nepal. I met the principal and teacher yesterday. Varun Karan. He opened the school to bring good education to a very poor area. Especially he went to improve English skills but also more. The building is half ready. The ground is until now just dust. There are already 150 kids in 5 classes full time studying/+afternoon classes.

The tuition fee is only 250 to 450 Rupies (2.50 to 4.50 $ a month) per kid. If someone can’t pay, they just have to tell him….

I feel, I want to help him a bit with money, but I don’t have really. You can sent me money to my account and I will bring it personally there. Varun did not ask for that at all. I am just inspired by the energy he puts in there. And improvement is needed….

 

My account you find on www.steppps.net Sponsoring or Kreissparkasse Steinfurt DE46 40351060 0077526473 (mention ‚Varuns school‘)

 

Thanks a lot

Thomas

 

Pics on

instagram: schmockelthomasheinrich 

Facebook Thomas Heinrich Schmöckel 

Energy changes

Just after I uploaded my last articles I checked my bank account – oh, there was a donation made by a good friend of mine…. so great…. thanks…. so money worries are gone actually…. only have to find a bank with an ATM….. rare on the country side

Bruno and Susi, two Germans which I met on the highway, who had some trouble with there motor bike, changed 25 $, that’s a help for now.

Very enjoyable to walk through the jungle along the highway, who is not so busy during these days. So beautiful to feel the intact nature. One man said to me ‚this property on the other side belongs to the UNO‘, what I somehow don’t believe. I don’t think the UNO has no own property.

My sister and my mother communicated about my maybe intention to visit my mother next summer. Reacting to that, my mother sent me a voice message via whatsapp telling me: ‚you don’t need to come back to Germany because of me, I am fine…. please continue your journey and after you have completed it, then come back home….‘ In a following phone call I tell her about my idea to invite her to India (but she proparbly does not because of health circumstances)
Anyway I am touched, what she said on the voice message, that she could say it in this way, without any expectations, touched me for her… that she is so open…
I feel, this opens new doors to our relationship, so beautiful.

My knee is also getting better, 2 days ago. While walking I felt, that the meridian blog opened up….
Now I have two days rest…..

Thanks for anyone who supports me in whatever way on this peace walk journey……

Love

Thomas

30.11. around midday

I meet Utam. Utam comes along with his motorcycle and stops to offer me some help. A lift I don’t want, but, as I become more and more short on money I ask him to get me some roasted peanuts – and there was no stand like this earlier, too. But I have some order to make ‚Please do not use a plastic bag to get them‘ and I hand him a bag, used several times already. And he really does it and comes back after 20 min.

Utam workes since a bit then a year in Seattle and is for the first time back in Nepal for a holiday, seeing his family and girl friend. He got a special Visa for USA, there are 5-6.000 people from poor countries, who get the chance to work there. No special education needed for that. He makes sandwiches in a supermarket. As he speaks and understand English better than the most people here, he is the perfect one  to adress some questions .
‚Why are these dwells pumps arranged this high?‘ We are sitting in front of a shop and there is one of these pumps build on a upper cement block to reach by stairs – and I see some more of these today, too. He does not know and ask the shop keeper. ‚It’s because of high water, the near by river Rapti overflows sometimes in the monsun‘ Ah, that’s what I thought‘ but it’s still a bit crazy. So people have to get from there overflooded houses, swim to the construction, to pump water and get it how back to there drowned houses? Anyway….

I tell him from my experiences before ‚the forest‘ and on this side of it….. ‚What is the explanation?‘ … ‚People around Nepalgunj are not so well educated, I personally don’t like to go there, the city is so dirty‘.  I tell him about my mosquito experience and he clappes his hands to his forehaed. I continue ‚and I learned that there are a lot of tripe people, who proparbly lived in the forest before, which is gone now. These people lost there foundation in life, they have been forest people and now they have to cultivate farm land. When they lost they forest, they easily got depressed,  then because of that starting to drink alcohol, cigarettes and drugs….now I understand….‘

We come to animals and he explain’s, that they don’t produce butter here (which I miss). Later I contemplate while walking about this…. makes sence,  because lots of people don’t have a fridge and now is the ‚coolest‘ season at all, and still warm at daytime, and how to store butter in summer – no way….

I add: ‚people here have so many animals, buffalos and cows, goats and sheep’s, and they all have to be fed. If the people would agree to eat vegetarian or vegan, lots of farm field need not to be used, so some forest could come back….‘
‚There is only you in the world who thinks like you and I have the chance to meet you‘ Utam says….. ’no no there are so much more….‘

As he goes back to Seattle in 12 days I ask him if he could change my 45$. And he would love to do, but in the moment he is on the way to the bank (40 km) to also get some money. When he learns about my money situation and that I live from donations he is nearly desperate, that he can’t help me now, but he has only 35 Nepali Rupies (35 $cent) in his pocket and gives me all of it.

Some more things

A week ago I stayed with Mrigendra, Goma and son Ishan in Jhunga. Mrigendra told me that the whole area was forest before 30 or so years … now everything is farm land. I somehow feel this painful change during walking through the plain areas.
Ishan also warned me, ‚it’s dangerous to walk on the highway (a bit north) because there is a national park beside and some people have been attacked by tigers there. Luckily I choosed the south route along the Nepali-Indian border.

In Gulariya I meet three guys how all work with kids…. one in ‚after  birth control‘ pages by the government, one for a NGO who is active to fight against leprosy which is still around in this area. …. I tryed to find out how many people are still have leprosy in this area but he could not guess the number.

Here in the lower parts of Nepal live also a lot of different tribes…..  and I learn that the Indian government build some of this roads in the south… in the north of Nepal China builds some roads… both as a donation to help develop Nepal. Here in the south some of the roads are not totally finished, but main bridges are build and roads are somehow connected – and very often not paved.

30.11. in the morning

Dear friends,
walking towards Nepalganj somthing really nice happens,  the road is paved. No dust. What a different experience. So nice. Everything looks and feels more clean. Inside and outside. The whole atmosphere is so much more enjoyable.

And…. the beds have been clean for two days in a row.  So good. What an effect this has on my well-being.

In Nepalganj, I have a room close to a big temple. The puja is going on for hours. The really nice part in it is the bell ringing, in the evening as well then in the morning. Clear bell sounds. .. wonderful. …

My room has 40 or 50 mosquitoes. …. uuuuhhh….. there is no way to sleep exept of building a improvised mosquito protection by a big shawl (blanket) which I have with me. I position one side under a uplifted pillow, other side around the pillow where I lay on…. ventilator on….sure earplugs wearing .. … so I reduse the bites to a minimum of around ‚only‘ 10 that night. But I stay two nights…. exhausted.
Later I realize why there are so many of them, the grey water makes everywhere puddles….

I try to change my 45 $ in one of the banks in town…. they refuse to do it. All the banks tell me: ‚we can’t change, they look to old and there is a little drawing on the 5 $ note. Our central bank is not accepting any damaged bank note, even though it’s only a little damage’…..

I walked already 200 and a bit km when I continue my walk towards east. My left knee started hurting on the walk into town a very little and increased the pain a bit while resting. …. so I have to walk a bit mindful and careful…. I guess there is a meridian blocked and it feels like mussles and sinew are to lose….. It feels also like twisted a bit too, even though I did not. The pain is also little, I could it also call pre-pain, but I feel it.

After walking through a forest, suddenly everything is different. In the right sight some hills, on the left side I can guess some mountain siluettes. The fields are much greener. Somehow the people here are 2 weeks in front of the once before the forest. On the other side also so many fields are empty or on the way to be studded. Here the mustard does not flower anymore….. Somehow also a different consciousness…. different county/state?….. thats always so interesting when I walk, to see a ‚whatever change‘ happening in such a small area….
I stay with a nice family. The father, Ganesh, is a veterinarian,  the mother, Tulsa, has a shop for cosmetics. The 9 year old son Rohid wants to become a veterinarian, too. The 4 year old son Ranjid a pilot. Great. Seems this family can make it possible.
After a great meditation in the morning I have to walk nearly 2 km back, where Ganesh picked me up yesterday. Now the knee hurts even more. Now I can feel it with every step. … will see how that developes. … hmmmm

While I am writing this I wait for the food.  I had everything packed to leave, got an invitation for rice eating from Ganesh…. I thought, ok, seems to be ready soon….  but then the cooking process increased, presure cooker hissed, the son went to buy some potatoes….. In Nepal people eat also late in the evening, around 8 to 9, but yesterday a bit earlier, after it’s sleeping time…. because of that, stomach is still full in the morning…… and because school starts at 10am,  the families eat before school time…. But now it’s before school time, so it seems the food is ready soon…. hopefully….. but the kids went to school…. still waiting…. finally…. at a bit after 9.30am, but only because I asked…. The eating times don’t fit with my schedule and rhythm, in the evening it’s just to late, in the morning again to late, also because the winter days are short…. sun goes down at 5.30pm now…. smile

Anyway I could finish the blog article 😊😊😊
Blessings
Thomas