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

Concentration

I started to write about the Vipassana technique in the ‚Bihar‘ article some days ago. This is a technique, which was preserved in Myanmar, in some monastery/ies for 2500 years in its pure form. Only since the 1950th/60th it came back to the ‚people‘.
It’s a very scientific approach to understand, on a experience level, the mind and body system. Step by step, as the practitioner gets more and more open, he/she understands what lies behind mind and matter.

So the five given rules are also called ‚morality‘ and they are the base of the Vipassana teaching.
Morality is the foundation
Concentration the second step and
Wisdom is the final step.

Today I write about concentration.

Concentration means to reach a stage of equanimity. Equanimity is a stage, where the practitioner does not thing about the future, nor about the past. Further the practitioner should not be attached in any craving or aversion.
Our mind likes to think, and it’s always the future or the past where it’s entangled. Equanimity is reached, when we can let go of the future/past thought and can dwell in the ‚Here and Now‘.

Then. Mind is not only the interlect, but also the so called unconsciousness. The unconsciousness is also a ’storage mind‘. The mind stores here memories. These storaged memories are from attachments.

Every time we have a positive feeling and we are attached to it (we want it to stay/we want to have it) we accumulate craving defilements. Every time a specific craving arises again and again, the accumulated storage of this cravings ’support‘ the actual craving. As a result the storage gets bigger and bigger. It becomes so big, that it turned into suffering. I want this or that so much, but it’s not happening, so it becomes craving and suffering.
The same with aversions. Something I do not want to have. For example anger. Something is happening in the outside, what makes me angry. Because anger is not a comfortable feeling, I do not want to have it. But, when I am angry and I express my anger, all the storage ‚anger‘ also supports the actual anger. Anger becomes bigger and bigger and in the end the ’storage anger‘ grows. The anger that I do not want to have is an aversion and turns into suffering.

Concentration has to be reached by not thinking of the past or future. And not getting intangled in cravings or aversion.

Concentration can be reached by only Observing without interacting with it.

The object of Observing will be the breath. Breath has naturally no thoughts not any aversion or craving. It is just what it is. Breath. It can be observed.
Any time thoughts or feelings of aversion or craving are showing up, the practitioner needs to come back to the observation of the breath.
In Vipassana the observation of the breath is be done at the nose area, observing he incoming and outgoing breath.

This is a very difficult task in the beginning, but excersising makes the master. The practitioner is advised not to judge him/herself if any disturbance in the practise is arising. If the mind takes you away, as soon as you realize, you come back to your breath. No judgement to yourself has be done. Just accept the fact of what happened and come back to your breath.

Then concentration is arising.
Concentration of being in the here and now.
Just observing
Just observing the breath.
Equanimity

Becoming fit again

Walking from Begusarai towards Khangaria I realize, now finally my body is fit. No new blisters. The most places are healed no wonderfully. The feet don’t become swollen anymore. They just behave normal.
Also swopping from my old slippers to the new ones don’t make any real trouble. I still keep the old once for two more days – just in case…. But I still a bit away from walking barefoot all the time – another goal to come.
My whole body has more or less joy now, to walk with me.
I have to stay somewhere one night, because all the way is 42km. No hotel on the way. After a lot of tries here and there I sleep on a uncomfortable wooden bench in a Dhaba (Indian restaurant). Also my host is not really supportiv, its somehow uncosy to be in his presence (he hit one of his employees with a bamboo stick at the food sole, while he was resting, to wake him up). Also he could have given me a mat, which was lying around unused on a chair to give me some comfort. Anyway I could hang my mosquito net. Some hours sleep I got.

In Khangaria I have a rest day. 100km since Aloks are walked.
Searching for the best route to go, I decide to take a direct northeast route, leaving the main roads for 140km. The route will lead me through Sanbarsa, Mangwar, Murliganj, Raniganj to Araria.
I guess there will be no hotel on the route. In myself there is a calmness and confidence, that I am ready for this now. Even in Bihar during corona times. I have been always guided and protected….and because of this good feelings I can relay on it. I want also to see more of nature in Bihar and look forward to leave the main roads.

During my time in the Vipassana center and with all the Visa requests I always have to name my ‚real‘ age 58. But this are the years I love with this body on this planet. I don’t agree what this body does, for example getting swollen feet, feeling older than I feel inside, having all this walking and muscles troubles…..
After coming into my power again, which took me nearly 3 weeks, I realize, that I come back towards the ‚other‘ truth. Earlier in this blog I mentioned, that I count my age since my 54th birthday backwards. Reguarding this truth, which is also real to me, I am now 49. And that’s how I feel now.
On the way to become again 27!!!! (or let’s say the third time 27) I am in the 3rd decade (one decade is 27) in the forth year. This feels so good and empowering and my body mind system has to follow. ( And I don’t care, that my skin does not look like this (the skin can also follow) but my bodily fitness and my mindset has to continue to be flexible)

Bihar

Bihar

Is it possible, that a state get punished, because they don’t follow universal rules?

The short version is: yes

We as human being have to follow the Law of Nature, or the universal rules.
Such as
– no killing
– no lying
– no stealing
– no drugs or other intoxicants
– no sexual misconduct

Or we also could say
Avoiding any action which harms other or ourselves
Perform actions, which supports the life of humans, animals, plants, minerals

If we follow universal rules, we get also support from the univers….

Actually very simple. And logical.

I started thinking about this topic, because Utthar Pradesh and Bihar are known as the poorest states in India.
And I thought. How is that possible, when Buddha himself got enlightenment in Bihar and taught in both states so much.

But if people are not practicing in a proper way…..
univers can’t support

As the univers supports people who practice in a prober way the univers also supports groups, who practice in proper way.

……
……

And…. sure, these 5 rules are not enough, but a good start

A good way to practice is to calm your mind and then meditate….

All will fall into place after a while

China

China

The Indians have a ongoing conflict with China. Some border lines in the high Himalayas are not clear. From time to time something is happening these.
I only know the Indian side. In the newspapers they write about 20 martyrs who died. Not sure, how many died at the Chinese side (40? But i am really not sure)
Because this is happening again and again, Indians run out of patience now, they want to boycott China.

But earlier the hate with China got some more fuel because of Corona Virus. I could feel the impact even before the virus reached India. It was in February when a Indian coughed in the face of Xi, my Chinese friend who walk with me that time. The media is strong in India for ‚China topics‘ and sometimes they are not responsible enough withbthere power.

I say: The both countries have to continue or intensify there talks, event though a result maid not to be seen soon. But you have to stay in talks on high political levels to minimize the risk of this happenings at the borders. Hate is no answer.
And it must be possible to negociate a agreement reguarding the unclear border lines in high Himalayas. But it needs good will and effort from both sides.

Boycott
I have also thought about boycotting China earlier. But for other reasons. Even before corona.
China is going to far mistreating the human rights.
1) Slowly the world hears more about the Muslim minority in China, the Uiguries in the far west. 100thousands of Uiguries are in re-education camps. Some days ago I read, that the government of China commands Uiguri women even to abortion…. a silent genocide
2) Relegions can’t be practised freely in China. Not only in Tibet, in the whole country, there are in front of every mosque, church, temple, any religious organisation, offices of the Chinese government. (I guess it has old history. When Tiananmen place (Platz des Himmlischen Friedens) was stormed in 1989 Chinese government learned in the same year, that revolution could start at a religious place (as in eastern Germany some month later))
3) Falun Gong, a very peaceful movement, practised also as Tai Chi with exercises in parks all over China, with 100 million followers is a enemy of the state. Falun Gong members, known as healthy, not drinking alcohol or taking drugs, are used as living storages for organ transplants!!!!
4) what is happening with Hongkong.
5) what will happen to Taiwan.
……
This are the main reasons

I admire on the other side what Chinese government did for the economy.
What they did for infrastructure,  especially building up a working High speed train system in such a short time….

(I don’t like the production of pics for China in Germany, and the slurry of excrements of all these pics are polluting the soil and water there – this I find extremely ugly – but it’s only a personal note)

But we are not allowed to mix up a boycott with hating people. The most people don’t have to do anything with this, they may even not know this all.

Walking Troubles

Walking troubles

I ended up this day with 27km. I really did not want it. Just to far.
After Samera I took my new flipflops on. Some km later I switched again to the old ones.
At the end of the day I had again some blisters, but at some more ‚comfortable place‘, I could just puncture it and let the water out.
And.. .. a had a sirous sun burn at my lower legs. In the morning I had rolled up my trousers, because of muddy street in Barbigha. Ever though the sun did not come out really, somehow she came through.

All my little injuries and the much to long walk took me to another rest day.

Half way staying in Mokama I realized that it was so super close to Mother Ganga. Less than 2km and I could see the calm muddy looking holy river. A shepard with his buffaloes took a bath. Not to much rubbish at the river bed. I sat down for a while. Hmmm

Next morning I am fit.
Maybe I need to change my rhythm in this hot humid monsoon climate.
Today I got up at 5am for meditation (a little earlier is even better)
7.30 am leaving the hotel.
2 pm I reached the next hotel ( this hotel is really nice. Its 700 Rupies/9€ and almost clean)
After organising myself – to the market to by fruits and nuts – shower – washing the sweaty clothes – writing the blog – eating a bit – not finished with all at 5.30pm – rest – evening meditation at 8pm – sleep at 9pm….. maybe that could be the structure…?!

I crossed today the Ganga last time in this journey. I will walk northeast from here. The Ganga flows east towards Bangladesh (later south towards the Ganga Delta)
There is now joy in my heart and body to do this walk. Only with my feet I have to take some more patience. And…. it will come to a good result….

Pure Joy

Pure joy

I started walking barefoot when I left Aloks house. I met such nice people in the way to Samera. Several invited me for food.  But I just had breakfast at Aloks house.

One young man, I think, that he said he was just 17, still student, he really impressed me. First he invited me for breakfast…. But as I said,  I was full…. He really understood,  why I was walking there…. He came back after some time with his bicycle and a friend and asked me, if he is allowed to donate something. ‚I don’t ask, but if your heart tells you to do so, I will except‘ He gave me 20 Rupies (~30 €cent, later I bought a bottle of water from it). Then he just wanted to ensure, that I really have enough, he wanted the evidence, because he did not believe me. He asked my to show me my money… to prove it…. And he said ‚If you need more I can give you more….‘
What a noble person!!!

Little later, taking a rest, a group of young men, teens, came to me. They where busy climing up the palm trees to harvest some kind of special nuts (not coconuts, smaller). 4 of them posed for a photo. When the goto was done, one of them jumped 5 times into the air, so happy, so full of pure joy, that i had taken a goto of him. Just beautiful.

Then finally, the third invitation, I accepted. Chapati, flat Indian bread with Sabse (cooked vegetables). This house, full of live, 25 people. 5 brother families with lots of kids and the grandparents.

Police

Police

During my stay in Aloks house, Alok had some trouble with his neighbor. The neighbor is constucting a house just at the property border line. On the first floor he planed to extend the roof further out, ignoring the fact, that this is not his property. Everything was on the way to get cemented very soon. Alok asked him, to please respect the property line and to rebuild the structure to cement the roof. It was only a few inches (cm) at one area,  but up to 10 inches (20 cm) at one corner. But the neighbor ignored Aloks wish and right. So. Alok called the police. They came. As an end result the neighbor still cemented the area with only some inches over to Aloks property and at the corner area he went half the way back, but still ignoring legal regulations. During the arguing at that specific cementing day, the neighbor called Alok in the presence of his mother ‚mother fucker‘.
Two days later, I hear from Alok, that the neighbor gave the police some thousands Rupies. I was so sad hearing that. Most sad for the policeman himself. So sad, that this ‚I thought honest‘ policeman is actually a corrupt person. So sad, that in the state of India, and especially Bihar, where it is so important, to come out of brutallity, crime and so on, to move towards order, this policeman underneath the law. I strongly believe, that this turns bad towards the policeman, and that’s the main reason, that I was so sad.
Also I heard from Alok,  at the cementing day, when the police was there, the neighbor run behind a woman to punish her, with a hammer!!!! The police saw it and did nothing…. brrr
And… finally. Alok told me, that the police complained to him earlier, that they can’t beat the people anymore in the police station with a bamboo stick ‚to bring them to order‘ because the government had installed in every single room in the police station a CCTV camera.
…… OMG

Still in Barbigha

Still in Barbigha

I understand that I should continue walking barefoot.
Nevertheless I got other slippers, a bit softer, only a relativ small size…. but let’s hope this pair is better.

Alok gave me a great – again – relaxing time in his home.

My next ‚exit Visa‘ is approved until 31.7. (only). With a lot of online trouble….. Anyway. Some weeks of empty mind with this.

Tomorrow I plan to continue walking….. if universe is inline ….

Feet and heat

I took the chance on my pause day in Bihar Sharif to buy some new flipflops. And the rest took some fruits. My body felt so much better when I woke up next morning.

With my new flipflops and a stronger body I walk east out of town. During the way, at midday, I feel, I can really make it to the 26km distance town of Barbigha. 5km before the day goal I sit down at the side of the street in the shade. People are resting under big trees. 3 teenagers playing cricket in the nice relaxing scenery. I just walked until here. Have I been somehow in trance? I did not feel the heat to hot, but I realize that my arms got really red. Quite satisfied, that I can walk good with the new flipflops I realize some little abrasions at my feet. Ok. Let’s have the old flipflops for the rest of the way.
Shortly before Barbigha I feel super exhausted, have to rest at the street, water bottles are empty, observing my breathe I feel the effort of the day.
The first hotel is a little bit to expensiv for my budget, next hotel even more money. The first hotel also did not want to take me, they did send me to the police station for a ’stamp’….?? Anyway, I ended up by the police station, because no other place to find. Maybe they have an idea…. Entering the police everyone took a sidestep (foreign man with backpack and face mask)…. soon I learned that they had no Corona incidents in the town yet.
Here I got to know Alok, a Yoga teacher, who came accidentally here, visiting some police friends. He invites my to his home. Always when you go to a police station… it takes time… reports have to be written, passport and visa papers has to be controlled, story of the peace walker have to be told, translations have to be made, the chief officer has to be informed by phone….. There was also a reporter from a newspaper (next day we read, he described me as a Japanese :). After everything was done the police brought us by car to Aloks home.

Already at the police station I got to know, that my feet where a bit swollen, the little injuries where watering, I had some blisters which I did not realize before,  and on top, the sun has made it really red.
At Aloks house I firstly had to patch up my feet, water out of the blister and Alok had bought a special creme for me.
Next morning my arms where fine, the colour changed into light brown. But my feet. The looked aweful. Still swollen, some little places open and watering. Already decided yesterday, to take Aloks invitation for two nights. Really nice food and Alok gave me a private yoga session.
I further extent my stay. It’s raining and the feet…. still not ok. Anyway, just know I remind myself, …. when needed, there is always help…. so on that level, everything is best.

From the newspaper today I learn, that only yesterday 83 people in the state of Bihar where killed by lightening. In all of last year they where ‚only‘ 39!!! So many in one day.

By the way: The state of Bihar has around 100 million people. Around 8300 people got infected by CROVID-19, most of them are recovered, all together 57 died.

Further notice: my next Visa, because of lockdown and Corona, the Foreign office FRRO has to issue it, in process. But parts of there web side is not working. Emails, other notices and phonecalls let me be in time-consuming circles….. brrr. … there maid be another usefull reason on another lever behind it… at least I have to further learn to be equanimous with every situation.

Smile

A challenge

I managed the only 12 km the second day.
But…. After 3 1/2 month meditating and resting the walk is another story.
My mussles and all my walking system is hurting. To carry the backpack… it feels also very heavy. … as I said,  just another story.
I even got some blisters at my toes.
They are care taken. Step by step I will continue.

For the moment I will mostly stay at night in hotels. Today I have again a low budget one. Including some cleaning. Means, if the place is not so as I with,  I do what I can to make it a bit better.
Only if I get invited somewhere, I maid go with the people. For now it’s for myself and the people maybe better not to ask – because of Corona.

Step by step to continue the big hug (do you remember?)