Friday, October 30, 2015

‘Living’ like a fired bullet

My neighbor was ill for a couple of weeks. I visited him every day and we had nice conversations about all kind of themes. Very nice talk to be honest. Actually you learn to know people in a different way.

One day he said to me: “Frans, one of my masters in life told me this; When we were young we laid down in the grass and we could see the grass growing. Living our life now, as fast as a fired bullet, we are not even aware of living anymore. Things go faster and faster, we think life is going faster. Time is not changing. For centuries 24 hours are still 24 hours and not a minute shorter or more. We think we do more but we live less. Actually we are the ones that do not respect life-time any more. Not taking the time to be aware and enjoy the many wonders of life for us.”

I kept this message in mind. Preparing the sala (an open covered space) on the hill where I guide the morning meditation I took some time to watch the magnificent scenery and the ongoing change of the impressive white clouds. It makes me happy, nearly every day, to start my day here and just every morning watch the clouds for a while. Listening to the sounds of nature. Night sounds fading away, sounds of the start of a new day in nature and of village life coming up. Soon accompanied with the rising sun again. It’s just a ‘wake-up call’ being grateful of getting a new day again to live.

Sometimes I start my international class with compassion practice I got from the Dalai Lama. Hearing the message of my neighbor's master I thought about one of the first sentences in this practice says:

“Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it…

Who am I to ‘judge’ we are wasting our life? Not even running our life path anymore, less and less being aware of the things we did or do? Running from goal to another longing goal – and being there not even celebrate we reach it – to the next goal? Not taking the time to stop and recharge? Need to be connected with everyone and everything? It are all signs we are afraid to come home. Coming home within ourselves, not LIVING life as it is available for us, as it is mend to be. 

Think about the idea of wasting your time. Maybe you think you can do more in one day with all the sources you have to support you doing the things you do. And in a certain way you can. But is doing more also LIVING more for you? Be aware of the always free choice you have to do what you want to do. There is no general excuse. Do not waste your life. Take the time and be aware of living it. There are many wonders already waiting for you. You only have to be aware of the grass growing, the clouds changing (when was the last time you really observed them?), the birds singing, a child exploring...

Just being aware of only this kind of things can be a step forward in being aware of LIVING instead of like a fired bullet not respecting life...

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, October 23, 2015

Calm the jumping monkey mind down. Diminish insomnia.

Can you help me with stopping my thoughts, the wandering away of my mind? 

A couple of times a month I get this question from guests. Most of the time after the early morning class they visit me in private and feel free to ask me this question. They are aware of their monkey mind jumping and think they are not able anymore to calm it down. And actually it is a good thing that they (finally) are aware. This is the first step in solving ‘the problem’. They give attention to their mind. Actually the heart of our human being.

Always my answer is; “Yes, I can(‘t).
It is a strange thought to ask me to stop thinking. It is not even possible and… be glad. When you are driving a car, bike or bicycle and you see a traffic light switching into ‘red’ for your lane, please think about the idea it is better to stop. So, to be honest, you do not even have the possibility to stop thinking. Do not try. You will never succeed.

Your thoughts have to do with at least two main ways of thinking.
The first one is how to support your functioning. The basic things of all this kind of thoughts have to do with the questions; “How to survive?” and “How to stay safe?”. Not a bad thing when you want to live life I think.
The other one has more to do with our state of well-being. Lots of times related to past experiences and desires. With our build up ‘life-style’. And here we go. We start with creating our own stories. We add all kind of things or take away things so all creative thoughts arise not being a truth story. We start judging, and we try to create a future where we think more happiness is waiting for us. Or, we do not want to be hurt again and think about how to deal with not getting this feeling again by creating not existing plans “A”, “B”, “C”, “C+”, etc.. We call it suffering.

So the guests ask me the question, a little bit different again: “Can you help me to stop suffering?”
And again my answer is; “Yes, I can(‘t). But… YOU can!”

Be happy thinking is inevitable. Be aware suffering is only an option. It is YOUR choice to build up perception. And yes I know this is easy talk. It only seems to be easy talk because you are not used to deal with your suffering. Suffering is ruling your life and the only thing you do is sit and wait. Helping a vicious circle to go on helping you to get what you already got.

Just think about all the energy you already consumed in your life, all the nights you could not sleep,  because of all this kind of thoughts turning you into nightmares of scenes and situations that… after all … never appeared. So ask yourself the question; “Does suffering help me?, How does it serve me to solve my problem or situation?”.
Thinking can serve you bringing ‘out of the box’ solutions. Suffering only make things worse and scare you for taking any decision. Suffering brings in negativity, drains energy and supports an ongoing stream of “Why?” and “If?” questions. Building not ever existing skyscrapers of fear, anger, judgment and cramp in body and mind.

Is there a solution? “Stop it!” You are not your suffering thoughts. You are the only one that goes on giving this suffering thoughts attention. Knowing you are not supporting yourself, knowing you are draining your energy, knowing you bring you energy level down. Not serving yourself and not being able anymore to serve the world around in your best way.

The Buddhism helps with so called Equanimity, balance. An easy method to stop fighting with yourself and stop or at least diminnish suffering.
I laughed about it when I heard it the first time but… doing it more and more it really helped me a lot so far. Give it a try and go on trying. Be amazed. Just to share:

Ask yourself:
1.)Can you change the situation you are fighting with and/or suffering about NOW?
# If YES, change it and stop suffering.
# If NO ask yourself question 2.
2.) Can you change the situation you are fighting with and/or suffering about when the circumstances change (like more time, when the money is there, etc..)?
# If YES, stop suffering NOW and organize the things that have to be organized or wait till the right moment is there.
# If No go to number 3.
3.) If you cannot change the situation you are fighting with and/or suffering about now and also not in the future.
# Accept! Really accept so stop toxifying yourself and the world around you for ever and never talk about it again or
# Do not accept and find a new environment, work, relationship or what else where you do not have to fight with and/or suffer about (and be aware still new things you will start suffering about will arise).
4) Still no option? Resilience will come. Stop hurting yourself. Develop Self-love in a simple way. 
Think about this: You are the one you spend every day with. 24 Hours a day, for the rest of your life. So why not build a relationship with yourself? Treat yourself as a new lover, tell yourself "I love you". Compliment yourself, be gentle to yourself, allow yourself to shine and to be happy and fulfilled. You are worth it!

Trust yourself. This does not mean stop doing things and just lay back. But stop punishing yourself with all this negativity. Do not try it, just DO it. Open your heart, flourish, think out of the box and be aware that all the answers are already available inside you. It is a waste of time and energy to look outside. Your life cannot go wrong.

Calm the jumping monkey mind down. Diminish insomnia. Go on thinking, just stop suffering. 

Yes, YOU can!

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Buddhist Sacred cotton rope (Sai Sin) tying

Visiting Thailand you cannot miss people - from Thai origin but also from all different countries, cultures and religions - walking around with thin white cotton ropes around there wrists. Some call them bracelets. Actually it are ropes, blessed by a Buddhist monk, you get after or during a ceremony or blessing. The call them “Sai Sin”. Everybody, independent religion, can and is allowed to wear the Sai Sin. Why? Because Buddhism is no religion (there is no God involved). It’s a way of living life in which the Buddha is the honoured and high respected teacher.

A lot of guests, I worked with already, are very impressed by the use of ‘blessed rope’ in all kind of Buddhist ceremonies. In short I will try to give a little explanation of the use. My information I have out of working with the Buddhist University (Wat Suan Dok) in Chiang Mai, and my own impressions in the North part of Thailand, Chiang Mai countryside. So I will not suggest everywhere in Buddhism it has the same meaning and understanding.

The spiritual meaning of Sai Sin is one of connection, protection, good, health, bliss, prosperity, show merit and finally also of being aware of the art of letting go.

Most of the used sacred thread has the colour white. This colour represents purity. Especially here where I live, the North of Thailand, for the personal bracelets monks also use different colours such as orange, yellow or even red. In combination with a small piece of gold coloured metal it is also connected with the sun and with action.

Birthday Sai Sin (good health, happiness and protection):
People, men, women and children, early in the morning visit the temple to visit a monk and do so called ‘Tak Bat’ (early food offering) or offer a closed envelop with money. On the envelop they write down their name and their personal wishes, gratefulness and thankfulness for the coming year. During a prayer or chant of the monk the person who has its birthday gently pours water into a small jar. The meaning is that you let go of so called bad karma (action) during the praying.
After the prayer they get their blessing of the monk with holy water. As a remembering they get the Sai Sin. The monk does not touch a lady or girl when he ties the sacred rope. Some people also honour especially their ‘day of birth’ Buddha, After three days (three connected with the so called Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhama (teaching of the Buddha) and Sangha (group of followers)) they untie the rope (or cut it) and sometimes put it for a couple of other days under their pillow. Some people keep the bracelet because it shows that everything changes, gets older and finally drops / returns to nature again. An expression of letting go without any effort.
(Picture attached is showing a just five year old girl with her mother - their Sai Sins tied around their wrists - after the young girl got her birthday blessing.)

Car or scooter blessing (Safety and protection):
When Thai got their new car or motorbike they, most of the time their first trip with their means of transportation, also go to the temple. Much more is done by the monk. Not only a blessing with water but also Buddhist signs with sacred chalk are made and again sacred ropes are tied around the steer wheel of the car of bike. Especially asking for protection and safety. This ropes will stay till they, once the time is there, fall off.

Yearly Buddhist celebrations:
During several Buddhist national celebrations, starting at and connected with the Buddha’s hand of the main Buddha statue in the village temple, the sacred cotton rope is connected with grid-lines above the sacred centre place in the temple. Lots of times you also can see the white cotton lines through all the streets in the village. The villagers connect their ‘house Buddha’ with rope to this long lines so all the Buddha’s in the village are connected with the main village Buddha in the temple.

When people come to pray, chant or meditate in the temple they connect with a peace of rope to the grid-network above their head. Sometimes they connect with their hands (in wai position) or fingers, sometimes they loop it around their head. This last connection is even stronger because the circle is involved remembering on the ongoing flow of passing away and rebirth. To reach a state of again being for the soul to grow.
During the chanting ceremonies the monks, sitting close to the Buddha statue, first hold the sacred lines. After that everybody is connected what is the main idea of this connection. To be one altogether.

During weddings:
A Buddhist wedding really is a very special ceremony. The Sai Sin play a crucial role because bride and groom are connected by the sacred ropes looped around their head. Family members tie the bracelets around the wrists of the new married couple for luck, long life, happiness etc..

Cremation ceremony:
At the place where I live during the cremation not only has the meaning of protection and good luck during the journey of the soul to a next life. It also has a meaning of letting go.
In Western tradition a lot of times family members and friends are not able to let go of the connection. So in Buddhist tradition actually they do not grant the soul of the passed away person to be ‘free’ for the next step to again being. Monks and family members literally drop the rope connected with the deceased after praying and chanting and leave the open air cremation area just after the coffin and body set on fire.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, October 9, 2015

Woolly? Come on. What meditation can be for you.

From one of my former guests from Australia, I am still having contact with her, I got the question this week about ‘What meditation means?’

She asked me if I already wrote a blog about this and actually, so far, I did not. There is a lot to find on internet about it but, working and experiencing it here in Thailand, a Buddhist country, I will try to explain in my own words and in my own way. The way I often tell and explain in my daily morning meditation classes I guide in Thailand.

In my opinion meditation means ‘being there’, ‘being available’. First of all it is the art of stopping. Not trying to stop thinking, this is not possible and there is no switch. Stopping in relation to meditation means to grand yourself “I-time”. A gift to yourself. Not an egoistic thing. After all, when you do not give attention to yourself first to feel good, you cannot be there for the world around you to share the best of your unique talents and gifts in an optimal way.
So actually when you do not find (better to say do not take) the time for meditation, you skip a present for yourself. Meditation does not ‘take time’. After a while of practicing you will find that at the end of the day this ‘spoiled time’ brought you more revenue than you ever could think about.

Meditation does not mean you have to sit, stand, walk or lie down to do it. And yes these are the main ways you can practice meditation. Gardening or washing the dishes you can see as meditation as well when you are aware of it. Reading or watching television or a movie is not because it helps the mind to ‘run away’ even when you think it calms you, physically and mentally, down. Meditation means coming and feeling home. Home into yourself. For a lot of people, at first, this does not feel comfortable and sometimes is even confronting. Because a lot of times we have a war within. We want to run away... 

Meditation is giving attention to the mind. One of the things in the practice of a holistic health approach. You can see it as ‘medication’ for the mind. Treatment to create space, to organize and to clean. To be aware of or guard what you want to come into your mind. You can see your mind as a garden but, most of the time, it is a terrible mess in your garden. A dump of all things from the past, sorrows for the future, desires and suffering. It’s not at all organized. You take care of your physical body but how much time do you really give car of your mind. Remember, your mind is the engine. So cleaning the outside of your car maybe looks great but does not serve the car going from A to B in top condition. The mind first of all needs regular and sustainable maintenance, the battery time to recharge. Meditation helps you to clean, to organize, to create space. See meditation as a caring gardener and guard.

Meditation means disconnect to connect. ‘Being there’, ‘being available’ in two ways.
It helps you to connect with and be fully aware of the so called present moment. Take your time to calm down and relax. The first step in stopping practice. Breathing- and relaxation exercises can help you with this. They are to prepare yourself to start meditating out of the intention that you are the centre and you connect with the world around you. You make use of the five main senses and in a later state also your sixth sense (energy connection / aether). You practice for instance the art of listening with the ears of a musician, watching with the eyes of an artist / painter, smelling with the nose of a cook, etc.. It’s the art of observing (without judging) and total connection with the outside world in the present moment.

Be aware you have an appointment with life. The only moment you can touch life is now, in the present moment. So when you are not aware of the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. Because so many people are not aware, without even knowing they practice the art of running. They live as if they will never going to die and die as if they have never lived… not practicing the art of celebrating the successes they already have now. Always running to a future where they think happiness is waiting for them. Not aware that they are already standing on top of it now… It is already available in the here an now. The only thing you have to do is to stop and be aware of it.

The other way of being available, being there is being available for yourself. We call it inside / insight meditation. So you concentrate on yourself and practice the art of being aware of breathing and connecting with yourself. You leave the surrounding and sometimes disturbing world to be aware of your inner sensations. To connect deeper and deeper with your inner voice. Some call it intuition, some insight, some inner wisdom, most connecting with your inner voice.

And when you take a little bit time, you recognize your inner voice. The nice thing in this all is that this voice is not YOUR inner voice. It are the voices of your parents, ancestors, relationships, masters in your life who, out of their best intentions, told you in your life what is the best way to live. But, who are they? You have to make your own choices, you have to share all your unique set of (latent) talents and gifts with the world to fulfil your mission in life.
So the meaning of this inside / insight meditation is to connect with your inner source. You can see it as a well or a spring. When you take water out of this spring, more water (more answers) will come. This inner source is called ‘silence’. And silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.

Meditation is taking the time to understand the uniqueness of yourself and open up for all the life answers who are already available in yourself to fulfil your mission, serve, and to stay connected with the only goal in life called LIVING.  

Lots of people who still know me from my former job as a CEO think, living here, I am totally lost. Actually for me I feel more connected than ever before. An experience nobody ever can take away.

Want to know more? Feel free to ask or join one of our stunning playful programs in the Northern part of Thailand. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feel much healthier. Give yourself a sustainable free energy boost.

Marketing and "social" media gradually inundate us with products we really need to buy and use to feel better. To feel much healthier. Healthier with this… and healthier with that... Mostly connected with our physical body. And OK, you pay a nice price for it and it will help you temporarily. If it is all really needed, and also helps you in the long run, is questionable. And do not believe the quote ‘Stay young forever’. Even a human body has it’s seasons. Enjoy the beautiful season you are in just now…

We look for it in the world around us and barely do not notice that we are actually standing on top of (also) other but different solutions and suggestions. They do not only help you to feel healthier but also much more happier. They work better and they are always and on a daily basis free available. You hear or see very little about them because the world cannot make money with them because they are free. You do not even have to go to a store or to an on-line shop.... You only have to connect with them, being aware of your own possibilities.

The quality of your life for a very large part is determined by your thoughts, intentions and the impact on you of sound, colours and aromas. And when you look deeper you find out these have everything to do with the way you deal with the involved freely available energy (frequencies) within you and surrounding you. Energy that, brought up by your consciousness, affect your feelings of wellbeing and healthiness. Having this insight, you only have to adjust your behaviour to upgrade your base level of having a good feeling.

Below a picture of the energy / frequency levels associated with a state of being;

Research has shown that the average frequency / energy level of a person in our world, is between 200 to 250 on the scale shown in the picture above.

During a lecture I visited it was stated that it is actually quite easy to get your frequency, thus influencing yourself to feel and be healthier and happier, higher.
Besides being more aware of the impact on you - you can opt for a large part yourself (like sound / music, colour and fragrance) - it primarily has everything to do with your ‘lifestyle’. In relation to this topic your basic attitude. And within that attitude, there are two "buttons" that you yourself can very easily switch on to come in a much more positive mood.

The first one is "Stop judging". Every person has opinions. They are based on personal backgrounds such as youth, education, religion and culture. Your opinion however does not mean that that is thé (ore the only) truth. It is a notable truth, your truth. Respect somebody else in his or her opinion on the same subject, contemplate, show and connect with interest in it, just makes you mild and mature. It extracts the natural fight reaction to convince your 'right' or to emit negative frequencies of anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, etc. (which especially 'pollutes' yourself) to a lower plan. Your opinion thereby thus still will be there and the opinion of the other remains not to be better or worse. It is only an attitude of perceiving without coming to an approval or disapproval. You accept ‘that what is there’ and it does not make the other opinion better or worse. It’s an observing without judging. You're going to fight to convince your right to not accept the other. Doing this directly the energy level in your body increases. Energy is not fading away. Even more ‘win’ can be you find out there are more possibilities to solve the situations you are dealing with by allowing new in-sights to raise. And yes, that will initially require some practice but even in the relatively short term, you will see that you are different, freer and feeling happier as a connected person in the world. The law of the strongest or best - in word, deed, thoughts or intentions – automatically turns to a lower level.

The other one is ‘Fun & Joy’. That means choosing a lifestyle where you permit your ‘inner child’ much more freedom. To listen and follow the playful exploring always available child in yourself. Bringing you more laughter, having fun, and play. I wrote about this three weeks ago already. Free that inner child in you. Bring color and happy sounds in your life. Do the things you do in a playful way (and with much more ease and engagement). You create a situation where making mistakes is just learning. A situation inviting you to do a lot more discoveries than you ever thought would be possible. Your approach to things literally is lighter and your involvement will change. You will be much more interested and inspired. Much less a cramped posture, an inviting attitude for creative things to occur.

Allow yourself a sustainable energy boost by structurally bring in higher frequencies in your life and leave negativity for what it is. For sure within two weeks, without spending a single penny, you will feel much better. Healthier and happier.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”