Nikhil

I feel a bit exhausted,  but because of the dirty blankets, I can’t stay for a relaxing day. So I decide to walk very slow. It goes downhill now for a lot of time towards Rohru. Here and there I sit down and at the end of the day I will have covered only 7 km, but I don’t care. I have to take care of me and my feet. Very nice and mindful.

While sitting and enjoying the scenery a car stops. The driver, Nikhil, asked the typical questions. When he understands, that I walked all the way from Germany, already 7 years, his face showed surprise. He left his car and I told him to sit beside me. I just don’t like it, when people ask questions, me sitting, they standing, and I always have to look up towards them. But he kindly sits down. We have a real nice conversation, I show him the article done some days before, Nikhil, assistant professor for tourism in Rampur,  leaves even a donation and says: I will start a campaign with you. I do not know what that has to say…. At the end of that day, I saw on Facebook an article about our meeting, that I walk all the way barefoot and that I like cleanliness. He asked the people to help me in any way. Already after a short time after publishing it was liked so often and people started sharing his article quite a lot of times.

This Facebook article will be shared 420 times within a week and liked 1900 times. Looking on his timeline I could not find any other post which was shared so many times.

This happening empowered me to walk the next day 16 km, all barefoot, my record with naked feet and 10kg backpack until now.

Coming out of nature into district capital Rohru I am overwhelmed by dust and polluted air. A very enthusiastic guy stopped me, a shopkeeper, did not know about the articel. Knowing this he immediately copied the articel and made it his… All the family was happy to have me, but I went, because the owner made himself feeling so important (and we were sitting in the middle of the dust)…… Also it was still a bit early and I did not reach the center yet. A few meters further I was stopped by some people, calling me 100 m back to there shop. First I did not want to go there, called them to the place where I was standing, they came… After some conversation I agreed with that request. The shop owner had a serious request towards me ‚How can I make my shop more attractive? What can I practically do?‘ Normally I can answer something like this only after working there for a while. ‚First you have to clean all the rubbish and dust from your property‘ Lots of shops in the city or even villages lay very close to the street and are kind of small, sometimes they look like shacks. But his shop has some little space in front. It’s a kind of bakery or cakery with some normal shop offerings. The offering area looks clean and need. ‚In the front you can have even some nice tables and chairs, maybe you start with just 2 tables, if it works you can have more‘ maybe 4 or 5 could work. ‚Use some colour and you can maybe even have some coloured flags to attrac attention. If you make your little shop nice, proparbly others in the street follow, situation will improve‘ And when I first came there I saw the empty property beside, which is with a tree and green, but full of rubbish ‚if this would be my shop I surely would clean up all the rubbish here. I would not care that this is not mine‘ and he would benefit from cleaniness because it would shine and lit up his shop. What I always miss, coming from a paradise like nature in India, while entering a village, that even after 100 m into human civilization area you dont feel nature anymore. The clean nature area beside him could change this. So his shop could be connected by the tree and greenery beside his property to nature.

Finally I ended up in a little hotel with smelly everything…… 😊

The first days

2 1/2 month I walk barefoot now. Now I want to walk also barefoot on the peace walk incl the 10kg backpack. I am exited if I can manage. From the village of Bhadrash (close to Rampur) I start walking the around 400 km ‚gab‘ towards Haridwar/Rishikesh. I am still in the Himalayas and have to cross some passes of 2000 and more meters, before I come to the lower areas. And I enjoy very much to be in the mountain areas. From Bhadrash I have to walk about three days up towards Sungri. Here are first some serpentine roads. I take a short cut. The second serpentine area I want to take again a short cut, but the locals say, there is none, but to me it seemed managable as far as I can see, and the road goes in  2km zickzacks. To take a short cut here, is a real short cut. After a while it’s getting up really steep and first time I have to wear my slippers. The stones are just to sharp. I am sweating and I ask myself the question ‚is that a real short cut‘ because here I have to walk also sometimes in zickzacks, it’s just to steep. I smell dead animals and later I see, that lots of cows have failed walking this way, to many skeletons. Finally I see a younger cow nearly on the top, somehow scared, but it is possible for her, with a lot of patience, to walk down again, step by step. I don’t know how to help her, maybe she even can find the way up by following me…. I very much hope, that she can manage, eather way.
The rest of the day I continue in slippers.

Next day I try for a while the new fancy barefoot shoes. They are to warm for now, I change to the slippers again, later barefoot. It’s a real challenge. But barefoot walking is so beneficial for my body system and my knee/hip… and it’s so fantastic to touch Mother Earth all the time. Barefoot walking only works by walking mainly on the front feet and is still a way to go, to do it always.

At the following night it is raining hardly, maybe the last big rain of the Monsoon. A wet street is always helping my feet. It feels so much more smooth, the street and stones feels softer. So all day I can manage to walk barefoot.

In Sungri I sleep in the government rest house.  Its on 2.400m. And here I have to face first time dirty blankets. They have even sheets, what is somehow rare, but haven’t been washed for a while. From one minute to the next the temperature sinks so rapidly in the evening, it feels like a wave coming – and I underestimate it, got a little cold.

For the next full week I managed to walk all the time barefoot.

Back home on the peace walk

The last day in Mandi, last day of ‚arriving time‘ back in India, I went to a river beach behind the market area. I see a man, bringing a bag full of rubbish, emptying it right there. I was a bit to far away to say something. I roam around there a bit. So beautiful with the big stones and sand in between. None of the close by houses have a restaurant or cafe. It seems, that people don’t realize the beauty and holiday relaxing apporunities of the closed nature in there city. Also more rubbish lays around the beach area. I sit down a bit. The water level of the river has been 4 to 5 meter higher in the last Monsun season. It’s recognisable in the trees at the river bed…. lots of bags and clothes and other rubbish are hanging there,  thrown in the river from other people further up.
A empty rice sack just ten meters away from me, invites me to do some trash collection. It’s always worth to do pick something up. If 10 people think like this, or even one person does a few times, the difference is visable or at least to feel. And Mother Earth is always greatful for it. After some very short time, a excited man come running towards me. He is a physiotherapist  and his mother saw me trashpicking. He is so happy, that I am doing this and reports, that a big group of people, about 200, organised Mandi, are doing trashpicking and cleaning up the city once a mounth. The government of India is supporting and actually supervising a ‚clean up India‘ project, which is officially specially announced these days in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday. The goal is to clean up all India, educate people, initiate or better cultivate more the recycle opportunities, who are already existing, for that separate trash in glas, metal, paper, plastic and other categories. For now people can earn money by delivering recyclable trash to specific collecting places…. and so on. The exited man, now my friend, has informed one of the city instructures to do an interview with me. Meanwhile we are collecting rubbish from the beach side.
I think it’s a treasure,  to collect trash, because every time I bow down to pick something up, I bow down to Mother Earth to honour her.

The next day, sitting in the bus, I get to know, that every newspaper in Mandi printed a article about me, …. about this foreigner coming to Mandi, has nothing else to do, then picking up trash, can that be a example and inspiration to others?

After a while of driving in this bus, coming closer to the starting point of the peace walk (after the Germany break) (it’s actually a gab, which I had to leave because of Visa issues) the bus drives on a route, which I have walked last year, partly together with Aparna, I feel so supergood.

It’s so good to be back home – back home on the Peace Walk.

I arrived in India again

Two smooth flights brought me back to India. (In flight and changing flights in Istanbul reminded me of knowing some turkish ☺)

Coming into India, taking the airport train, still very clean – then changing in normal metro and busses to get to my friends in Mandi at the lower Himalayas – a whole day in  three different busses – the need of dignity is there – on all streets, in the busses and walking or travel otherwise on the streets – or living close to the streets – dignity is missing.

Walking barefoot will be a challenge…. I’ll, besides of walking for peace I’ll also walk for dignity.

 

 

Still help needed / Schedule updated

Steppps peacewalk still need your help.
Because its not easy to walk in the flat areas in India and Nepal your help is needed to walk together as a group.
Please join in the peace walk from this October on ….
Scedule is updated at ‚Termine und Schedule…. “ on the left side

If you cant come personally, you can help with

prayers

meditation

supporting in any way anyone on the planet, who works for a ‚better world‘

donations

Connect your heart with anyone on the planet, who works in whatever way for a ‚better world‘.
We are one big huge group.
Dont feel ever alone.

Germany VI

Dear friends,

following my inner voice (‚go for the summer to Germany‘) I booked yesterday a flight back to India. – Summer started at 21th of June and ends at 21th of September -. I will leave Germany/Bremen at the 25th and arrive at the 26th of September in India in the very early morning. Announcing this, I suddenly had a invitation to Mandi (between Daramshala and Shimla), which I happily exepted today. I will get a bus from Kashmir gate in Delhi at still early morning and arrive in the evening there. Its good for arriving, acclimatisation and jet lag couring, and meeting again Sangeet’s and Tanu’s friendly family. From there I will take after some days another bus to Nogli (little village close to Rampur). From Nogli I have to walk to Haridwar, a gab I had left earlier, because of Visa issues. This is about 400 km and I plan the whole October for it.

My knee
Again my inner voice announced earlier ‚after (the summer in Germany) you can walk all the rest (of the peace walk) in one segment. I did let go of my doubts, that I am not able to do so, because of my knee(’s), and continued doing exercises and ….  The most effective was and is continuing walking barefoot. Since I dropped my old sandals I rarely use the flipflops. It is just fine now and I hope very much, that I can continue walking barefoot in India, even though the atmosphere is much dryer. Then I got some more unexpected help with the knee issue. While visiting Elisabeth in northern Germany, she offered me, to make reel to both of my knees, with a tincture of  ’savior sharp‘ (in German its ‚Retterspitz‘). I could immediately feel a reaction on some lines in my upper leg. Third I started using knee pillows in meditation. All together right now, and already some weeks earlier, knee trouble was gone. Only about a week ago, there was a little mini ‚remembrance‘ to feel ….
Future will show more wisdom

Holiday with my mother
My main reason coming to Germany was to see my mother ‚Inge‘, 81, and make her happy. With my father ‚Bernhard‘, 83, beeing with demencia in a nursery home, her mind circles a lot around this situation. On top she is often very nervous and there are some issues with this, too. So I invited her to a holiday on the island of Amrum, where I had been weeks before, to recover. We took our bicycles in the train, so we had peaceful transportation on the island. This year, in the beginning of September, weather rapidly changed to autumn. On the ferry towards our destination a fascinating rain-storm-sun-cloud-changing-colour-scenery made every passenger be amazed and totally silent…. Absolutely beautiful. Arriving the clouds again opened monsun like up and we had a very wet welcome, but luckily found a small shelter spot.
Every day we cycled, walked or did other little trips. Beachside, watt side with low or high tight, a concert, a meal in a restaurant or an ice cream/cake, forest or just smelling the typical Amrum island smell, went to the dunes and overview points on the island….. And …. we talked a lot, started a family tree of her family side, played some board games, reading, writing, cooking. Sometimes I surprised her with little things, like breakfast under trees or a picnic in the dunes close to a dune lake…. and she was always so grateful.
My mother realized, that she has not so much power anymore. ‚Now, I am really realizing, that I get old‘ she said. One day, we went for a 9 km ride with the bike. 4,5 km one way. Coming back, having a big break on a bench at the beach side and a cake in a cafe, she said totally exhausted ‚I guess, this have been at least 25 km‘.
The weather was much better, than we saw in the weather forecast. They were a lot of days with sunshine and only 1 1/2 rain days.
After one week – we went for 10 days – I realized, that she relaxed much more in herself.
And she could really enjoy her time on the island. A few times she said ‚I guess, this is my last holiday‘

Father
The idea to bring my father a last time to the ocean failed, because of differnt circumstances…. a bit sad, but I could accept.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help needed

For the time after Germany I need your help walking through the flat areas in India.
I wish that some of you maid walk with me or at least help energeticly, to make it possible.

You can reach me easiest
on whatsapp +30 698 0654542

Thanks
Thomas

Germany V

Incognito
I have the feeling, I am a bit incognito in Germany during this visit. Nor visible for to many people. Even though, sometimes I plan to see some one, but then something happens, and it is not possible. But I am totally in peace with this.
Its a bit like I want to meet people, but to the same time, I do not want to meet anyone. Its not about the friends, its about me in this situation.
I feel a bit vulnerable with my issues to center and empower myself again. And for that, its so good, to be by myself.
Sometimes, when I am with people, I just cant stand the way of communication. When there is a group of more than 3 people, they have the tendency to talk simultaneously. I just cant stand it. My head just shot up in that case, often I dont follow the communication anymore at all. And in most cases, what is talked in this happenings, is not important at all. My ears are so sensitive andtotally overwhelmed with the sound, which is in that situation. My ears hear everything to the same time including other sounds outside of the conversation.
There was one example some weeks ago, when Wendelin hosted me in Flensburg. We were talking, while he used the clips to hang up his laundry. Any time, he took a clip from the box, there was a little sound arising, by taking the clip out of the box, touching other clips. For me, this sound was so loud, that I could not hear, what he was taking about.

Eating habbits
I am still not through with this topic. Since arriving in Germany, and before in Nepal after the last walk, I just eat to much. Sometimes I cant control it. I really want this good and tasty food and so often I cant stop in the right moment, when I am actually fed up, when my body even sometimes gives a silent signal, now its enough… but for something in me, its not enough. I want more taste, I want to eat more and satisfy my taste sences, to fill up my stomach until its real full. I am aware and observe….. Difficult one

Vipassana
After visiting Elisabeth, an ex of me, but still a good friend, she visited me last year in Ladakh, for some days in Worpswede (artist village in northern Germany), I will serve a 20 day Vipassana retreat in the south of Germany. I am exited to do so and get to know the only German Vipassana center. Until now I saw only Vipassana center in India and Nepal.
I know, I owe you all a summary from all my Vipassana experiences. Out of some reason, the time has not come yet. Sorry.

Best heart greeting
Thanks for reading
Thomas

Germany IV

Visiting my father
I did go only after 3 or 4 days the first time. There was always an issue before, not being able to see him in the nursery home.
Finally I saw him 4 days after my arrival. As I said, he has dementia, is not able to speak anymore, even though not able to walk. So he sits during the day in a wheel chair. Because my grandfather, his father, had the same disease, and I helped a lot to nurse him when I was a teenager, I knew, what to expect. Also my sister Conny very much updated me on my journey, how he is now. Also I have seen pictures before.
Lots of time during the day, he has his eyes close, so it could be irritating for some people, to visit someone, who is not speaking and having the eyes close. But this is even not an issue to me. I can accept the situation very much, as it is.
In fact, I felt a really nice connection to him, when I hold his hand, and he activly grapped also my hand – and did not want to let go. I felt a beautiful nice fine engery coming form him.
It feels like, he has diffent stages in his daily life – sleeping, – being awake, but not having the eyes open, getting in interaction with his hands or other sences, – being awake, not having the eyes open and being in somehow a meditative state, working through his stuff, – and being awake and having the eyes open, what is not so often.

Yes, it is sad, that he has to go through this all, but I cant change it.
But being with him, I know, he recognizes situations and events – but everything much slower – and he is also sometimes very moved and touched by things happening to him.
I would so much like to bring him for some days to the ocean. I know, he would love it so much, to smell the ocean again. I am working on it, have to convince my relatives, and organize help for nursering, a handicapped accomodation and a handicapped transportation….. I need a lot of luck, money and coincidences to get this together. Even though its difficult, I hope for it…………!!!!!!

Germany III

7 years I have been away from Germany. Lots of things have changed in that period.

  • private distance busses are now more avaiable besides the train company.
  • more than 1 million refugees came to Germany, mainly in 2015/16. Refugees also came before, but this is a big amount. So many people where welcoming all the refegees in the beginning. Then some ugly right wing people and politicans changed the mood of the country, to be able to give help. Since then a right wing party come with 12 % into the parliament. (I have the feeling, slowly, slowly, the people, who welcomed the refugees are realizing, they are more….)
  • Electro bikes and Electro scooter are now to see on the streets to see. E-bikes gives a lot of people a change, to ride a bike again, even though if people have health issues, older people maid also use easier a bike again – and for sure, hills and mountains are easier to get up.
  • Prices of rent and houses went up
  • ……

Coming from a ‚economicly poor‘ region, prices in Germany and Europe seems to be high – and partly prices went up.
Also I see, the richness of so many people, I wrote yesterday about it, ‚to have more could be reached by having less‘. ‚Less is more‘
But sometimes it only seems, that people have a lot, but there are also struggeling in every days life, because things and services are so expensiv to get.

If rich countries rise up there prices more and more, how can poor countries be able, to catch up???
There is a big unfairness with the money issue in the world. How could it be possible to eleminate the unfairness???
We have to find a somehow ‚trick‘, to hopefully soon eleminate the unfairness between countries currency’s, so everyone is able to travel, for example.

My money experience, coming back to Germany, is a bit, like someone coming from a poorer country. But here I must say, I am even more ‚privileged. I got some help here and there and by using some secure money….
For the first weeks I stayed with my relatives. They sponsered me with place to sleep and food. But going out of this safety net, money issue comes big so soon. I told you, to have access to cheaper train tickets, I had to get a ‚bahn-card‘. The card costs 255 €. Its good for one year and than you can by any train ticket for half price. Otherwise it is just not possible to pay the original price. But even half price is digging big holes in my small budget.
Since seven years I live just from donations, here its a big challange to continue so.
Because I wanted to go to my favorite Island in the north of Germany, Amrum, I did not wait for an invitation to go there. I just needed to continue having rest time, so I decided to go there…. I got a bike from my mother, transported this in the train, to have mobility on the island. But even the cheapest version by having a litte tent for less than 5 quare meter put up at the camping ground, cost me 18,60 € a day!!!! I remember, that was less than 14 € 8 years before. Even then I found it a bit expensiv. Now nearly 20 € for a tiny little tent on a camping ground in the dunes. Sure the bathroom facilities are great, clean and modernised…. And food I also had to buy. This is also more expensiv on the island, than on the mainland, ferry costs are not so high to justify prices around 30 % higer than on the mainland…. So I needed around 10 € a day for buying food and other things. But I went only once for a pizza in a restaurant and twice to a movie theater (lost of years ago, that I have seen a movie in a cinema).
There was a time, when I thought to stay longer on Amrum, but its just out of my possibilities, to pay this amount of money for the most simplest ‚accomodation‘. Anyway, I stayed 13 days, what brought me close to go bankrupt. I dont know, if I can effort another stay there, if not sponsored by someone.

Further, there is a law, to be illness insured as a German in Germany. In my case, staying for 3 month or so, not being health insured since 7 years, it really makes no sence to pay 200 € a month for the health insurance. And I also dont have the budget, to do so. Yes, I can get into the social system, and ask for help. But than I have to have a permanent residence, which I do not have. This could be solved, by offically register at a relative or friends residence and officially annouce, that I live there. But this social office is only accepting me, if I am ready to accept a work, they maybe offer to me. For this it is needed, that I stay reachable at that residence permanently. But I am here to continue my self organized health rehabilitation (and for that I have to travel to different places, I have to be free for this.) If I would stay at a permanent residence, being not able to work (because I still need to recover), I could even though get help from the social system, if I would go to a doctor to get a sick leave. But the price I had to pay, is staying at one spot. A circle!!!
Luckily I know how to get cured. At least this worked for the last 7 years and before. (Its true, if something seriously happens to me, and they have to bring me to a hospital, it would cost hundreds or even thousands of Euros.)
So I take the risk and stay independent. Health is continuing to get better.

Yes, money is an issue, but I have managed that issue since more then 7 years, and I trust, that all will be fine….