Friday, March 31, 2017

An experience and story about sight

A couple of weeks ago the sight of my right eye diminished. A strange experience. It felt as if some dust was floating on the surface of my eyeball but even with special cleaning fluid I got at a pharmacy I was not able to get a clear view. So the pharmacist advised me to visit a specialist at the hospital. So I did.

A very kind, young, eye specialist at our Lanna Hospital with a kind of special microscope examined my eyes to get the diagnosis I am suffering of Eye Ablatio Retinae. She told me this has everything to do with just getting older. Possibly an operation is needed if things are getting worse.

I got the same experience as a couple of months ago, waking up and not being able to walk for a couple of hours.
When your sight is ok, you never worry about seeing. You are not even aware your eyes are always available for you to serve you in everything you do. Watching uses 70% of our so called ‘sense energy’. What about seeing?

There is a sense in that we are all born blind. Minutes after our birth our newly opened eyes see a variety of shapes, colors and surfaces. It’s only slowly that our seeing begins to recognize our mother and father, our bed, strangers, color. It takes time to really see shapes and surfaces, objects, relationships and meanings. And seeing objects, our mind starts to create a kind of inner seeing in our consciousness. Visualization and even a support to imagination. We start to create our ‘own’ world, our own truth (most of the time not even aware that this only is part of a much bigger truth) and start suffering …

Having good and healthy eyes still many times we are ‘blind’. We cannot see beyond the surface. We do not like what we see. Why are we so afraid; what is it that we are afraid of?

Perhaps we are frightened and threatened by a world beyond our understanding, a world that we cannot control. Possibly we are afraid of a new world that invites us to let go of our fears and see wonder and amazement. If we skip our ‘blindness’, being more engaged with the art of looking deeply, we can see below and beyond the surface. Unafraid of what we cannot understand or control. Curious to learn of the visible so far invisible things. There is much more available for us than we think.

Maybe, being more aware of - and grateful for - the opportunity of seeing we have, we need to open our eyes to the wonders that are all around us. To quote a well-known rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Amazement - rather than doubt – is the root of all knowledge, understanding and (inner) wisdom. Also about yourself ...

My disturbance because of my age of my sight opened my eyes even more to look deeply. To be more aware of the gift of seeing and the possibility I got to see beyond the surface of the world around me. It’s just a choice to take the time to be aware of living.

Maybe an invitation, because yes we run out of time, to open our eyes and hearts to the amazement, and the wonders that constantly surround us. 

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hearing is passive. Listen active and become aware of a wonderful ‘new’ world waiting

A second blog this time in relation to sound. After last week’s change in soundscapes now about hearing and listening.
For quit a period of time now I work in several of my classes with quite a large set of Tibetan Singing Bowls, Ghantas (Bells), Tingshas (cymbals) and Gongs. Used within meditations and physical healings the bowls’ characteristic blend of harmonic resonances are used as a vibrational tool to induce stress reduction, chakra balancing, energy synchronization and even spontaneous healing.

When you first become aware of harmonics (also known as overtones) as a phenomenon of sound, your entire way of listening becomes altered. You may hear harmonics in the dripping of a tap or overtones in the wind as it rushes past your window. As you become aware of harmonics, your listening patterns change and, as this occurs, so does your consciousness. You make yourself available for the sounds of life.

Listening is one of the great active experiences in which we can easily learn to partake. It is one that we are quite naturally born to do, although unfortunately it is an ability that many of us lose as we grow older. Hearing is a passive experience in which sounds may or may not be received and perceived by the ear and then sent into the brain for stimulation.
Listening is not passive. It is active. Listening involves really using our ears as an organ of consciousness. When we hear, we do not discriminate between the sounds around us. We may be unaware of them. This is why sitting in silence allows us to empower listening. There are many levels of listening.

# The first level involves this enormous step of going above the passiveness of hearing into the activeness of actually listening an becoming aware of the multitude of sounds that surround us. Through listening we can begin to open up to sound. All sounds come up out of silence, take on form, do manifest and fall down into silence. So listening to sounds in this way you can see sounds as signs to silence.
# The second level of listening involves the perception of harmonics in the sounds we are hearing.
# The third level of listening involves the use of imagination. We often do this naturally when we listen to certain pieces of music that seem to take us places.
# A fourth level of listening involves transforming the physical plane reality of sound to an alternative reality, travelling to other planes of existence on the sound .
# A fifth level to meditate upon is silence. As we began in silence, so we end in silence. For, as already said, all sound comes from silence and returns back to silence. And silence is not the absence of something but the awareness of the availability of everything.

There is a lot to discover with ‘only’ listening. Active listening to sounds can make you aware of direction, distance, loudness, frequencies, vibration, form, rhythm, melody, harmony in the here and now. You can even give names to the sounds (like bird or car sound).

And… listening is free. Free of charge and a free choice.
I hope this week blog invite you to give listening a chance.
An invitation to give yourself the gift to be aware of the sounds of life.

(Thanks to so more understanding and insight because of lessons of Jonathan Goldman, Suren Shrestha, Inayat Khan, The Chinese International Buddhist Temple and the Buddhist University ‘Wat Suan Dok’ Chiang Mai).

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sound extinction. Man is gaining ground.

This morning I walked a long time with my dog through the woods. More and more he knows the way and he goes where he wants to go. I follow. Do I walk with my dog or does my dog walk with me? No matter what, we stay vital together walking several times on a daily base.

On a quiet forest trail he as well as I felt attracted by the sound of a singing beautiful big bird. Actually, we stopped together at the same time to listen quietly to the harmony of all the sounds in that place.
Maybe it's because I'm learning and practicing more and more with sounds the last months that I am even earlier alert of this phenomena. I am more and more aware and sensitive of the wonderful sounds of nature surrounding us.

When you become more and more aware of harmonics as a phenomenon of sound, you entire way of listening becomes altered. You may hear harmonics in the dripping of a tap or overtones in the wind as it rushes past your window.  As you become aware of harmonics, your listening patterns change and, as this occurs, so does your consciousness.

Listening takes about 70% of our sense energy. Listening is one of the great active experiences in which we can easily learn to partake. It is one that we are quite naturally born to do, although unfortunately it is an ability that many of us lose as we grow older. There are other important things to focus on.

Science shows that one of the basic functions of our ears are to provide, through natural sound, both a charging of the cortex of the brain and 90 – 95% of the body’s total charge.

Every morning I start my day in the forest and my first class in one of the Sala’s here at the resort. Carlien, my daughter calls it the ‘bird disco’. It is a fantastic experience to be able to know and "read" the time by the soundscape around you. Being aware of the ongoing changing combination of sense impulses during the day liberated me of using a watch and a clock. A great experience.

On that spot in the forest, actively listening together to the harmonics, in the distance we heard some new sounds arriving. The sound of a motorbike. And.. another one and another one. It appeared to be three motocross motorcycles, like idiots, tearing across the walking trails. Large clouds of dust and a deafening noise. Just in time I could attach my dog on the leash to avoid a collision with the first rider, who was not aware that there was still someone ‘silent’ listening. All three on a wild way passed. I felt left coughing in the dust and with a not amused dog. We both kept silent for a while beaten down to the dust. The sound was different. The silence, the experience of the presence of all, had become "dead". That everything there was ... suddenly was no more. Extinguished, destroyed by the sudden disturbance. One man's pleasure, the other should just swallow dust as a thank you.

It reminded me of a very short movie impression which was sent to me recently about the work of the to the musician and naturalist Bernie Krause. He is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound. Krause has been recording "soundscapes" - the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the songs of humpback whales - for over forty years and has amassed the largest archive in the world. In doing so, Krause can chart how wildlife sounds have changed over the course partly because of climate and partly because of habitat changes actually all forced by humans. If you want to listen for yourself click here. The silence speaks volumes. 

It seems like we cannot live without extra noise anymore. The radio or music in the car turned on, music during fitness, sports or running, music at home and during studying. Additional sound everywhere. And with all that extra noise we extinct more and more the natural sounds that were available for us to serve, get a peaceful feeling, to make curious, to heal, or even to stand still (like I did in the forest).

Is there a way to re-open the idea of listening in the world and to connect in a better way? At least better listening would be. By listening better tot the sound of life, rather than shutting it out, we are led to search for a harmonizing force appearing in the hollow din of our situation. That will be a second listening and there are many more layers. They come from silence. There are levels of listening and one leads upward towards the next. Serving you to connect, enjoy and discover (yourself) more.

Man is gaining ground. The world around us calls it growth. Growth is change and we need to connect with change. Nothing wrong with that idea. We want and need ‘more’. It’s all about ‘I’  and ‘me’. And the world around us just only need to accept that behavior. Dust and extra noise or not. I, MY, pleasure. MY deliberately destroying. Climate change and habitat change does not bother us. WE live NOW so what about next generations. They can and will solve the problems we arrange with technical solutions. Let’s ‘trust’ that idea…

I hope my bird disco still holds for a long period although, after seeing and hearing the short movie of Bernie Krause, I am not sure about a long term guarantee. Natural silence, being open and willing to experience the awareness of everything... On a daily base and as long as it still is possible for me here I go on opening up for receiving the healing harmonics of my early morning bird disco. 

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Service clubs. 100% intention to serve? Or to be proud of yourself about what you achieved?

“A Service Club (or service organization) is a voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations. A service club is defined firstly by its service mission and secondly its membership benefits, such as social occasions, networking, and personal growth opportunities that encourage involvement. Service clubs perform many essential services for their community and other worthy causes.”
(Source Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)

Many years I have been a member of several Service Clubs. As a professional young fire officer I was a member of Junior Chamber International. Becoming a fire-chief and moving to another part of my country I was asked to become a member of Round Table International. Reaching the age of forty I became a member of the 40+ club of Round Table international and Kiwanis International.

I keep lots of good remembrances and friendships as well.

There is still a lot charity in this world to do. What I liked most in the clubs I was able to join was the hands-on activities and the friendship. Talking and discussing about other things than work and cooperation to achieve something together for the benefit of others.

Living here in Thailand now I am no member anymore of this kind of clubs. Several times I still see or hear discussions from clubs spread all over the world and I think the intention is going more and more in the wrong direction.

The intention is and has to be SERVICE to the community. Not only as club but also as individual members. I feel sad to hear several times that a company pays for the membership. Just to get business benefits because of the network and friendships their employee gets.
For me it’s a pollution of the real intention of this kind of clubs and its members. When a member really wants to work on personal development and personal growth… it’s all about a personal thing and not a business related thing. So you pay yourself to keep your intentions clear and clean.

And although a service club is not necessarily exclusive of ideological motives, lots of them identify themselves through their club. And here is the other thing that sometimes makes me feel a bit sad. In my opinion, people who are member of this clubs have or had a certain social status or position and could easily afford being a member (themselves).
But what about the intention? Is the intention there 100% to serve community, friendship and personal development? As I look around on the internet (and in the area I live) the intention is more and more to identify their organization. To show how good they are in charity to society. To get or keep a status.

Showing the world how proud they are to be a member (and yes, I was as well) and what a wonderful things they are and were able to do to ‘serve’. Do not forget ‘WE’ did it…

When you are really up to serve out of your abundance, creativity, network and hands-on mentality that’s more than great and at lots of places and for lots of individuals or groups in society its more than needed. But does that most of the time for you ‘easy job’ need a ‘lifetime label’ you were so good together? To give attention to your visibility?

Sad to see for instance old men, sweating on their old tricycle bicycles, transporting ‘wealthy’ guests through our city with an immense sign of a service club on their back showing they are the sponsor of this sweating… And yes, the man earns some money with it I know. And still…

A basic thing in live, and you do not have to be a Service Club member for that, is to grow by sharing. Isn’t it your (and everybody’s) normal duty to share? It has everything to do with living and fulfilling your mission. You do not have to put a ‘sign’ or ‘label’ on it afterwards because it has everything to do with your calling. And yes again, I catch myself as well sometimes to share ‘my good deeds’ with the world. Being aware of it is again a step closer to just do what you have to do. If other people appreciate it, just accept a be willing to receive their ‘thank you’. That’s more than enough. No statue needed. 

Service clubs, connect with your basic intention. That’s 100% to serve. Not to promote yourself telling the world around how proud you are about your own serving. Isn’t it just your (charitable) work to do? No statue needed.

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

If you know your life-purpose you do not need goals any longer

"Where would you like to be in five years’ time? What position in society you want to have? What will you have achieved? What are your targets and goals? Focus on it! You can achieve it! Believe in yourself!"
This idiocy I have lived for many, many years. I learned it not only in one management training but in lots of courses and trainings in relation to my previous job as a CEO.

Set your goals, focus on your goals and believe in yourself. Yes you can! You can get there. Nothing is impossible. I was running more and more. Focused on the future and had the inner believe this was just my ‘normal’ life. And reaching a goal I did not even celebrate because I was already in the next mood of “Where do I want to be within five years?”. Only running. And now I am so glad I can (still) share this story.

Last week I was working with a couple from Australia. Both very hard-working people in their own super successful business and still ... not connected enough to their real passion and life-purpose/mission. They reached a transition point in their life. How to proceed? Time is running out. What are we going to do  with the next part or second half of our lives (if at least there is a second part)? 7 Days a week of hard work. A large staff of employees in the preparations and execution of their business. Always accessible and available (for the first time ever taken time off now in a timespan of ten years). No more time for themselves and often too tired to continue to invest in each other. And happy to learn still there was a lot to explore and to grow in their relationship and they were excited to do. Great to work together with them for a while.

Today, an entire questionnaire about my personal change in life I made. Someone in the Netherlands is investigating about people who made a huge shift in life and wants to write a book about it. Probably I have an interesting story, we will see. And again it came to the meaning of life, or rather not to live life the fullest, and how to find and follow your mission.

During their program the Australian man discovered something fantastic. His wife totally understood afterwards as well. And this kind of personal discoveries are why I call my work with our guests literally "Street University" (learning by doing). Both the man and the woman, supported by the program, touched their life mission and passion.
The discovery of the man actually was that if you dare to live your mission you do not need goals in your life any longer. Every day in freedom and in energy you reach a destination. You build the bridge or life path walking it. You trust life to appear by living it.

Do not worry. Can worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.

If you live your mission you allow the mastery of your uniqueness to appear. Your life is coming in flow. You surrender to what’s waiting for you in life. You achieve so much more and enjoy the journey of life so much more. No goals needed anymore you get (instead of reach) so much more.

And that message I got last Sunday as well again and I could also share it in the author’s interview as my own experience.

I feel more than rich, wealthy, to live this way. And about all that matters in five years? Certainly I should have known that it was madness to live that question. My background and experience in crisis and disaster management showed me very often a lot of human and animal suffering. No tomorrow anymore. Too bad.

If the sun did not rise for me tomorrow I can say that I have lived my mission. What a lucky man I am it (just) was not too late for me to realize that. And what the world thinks and talks about me and my present lifestyle is up to that world. I LIVE life and I wish this experience of life flow to everyone.

Let go of your clinging to all your safe and secure assurances in your life(you are not even capable to hold on them forever). They are only in your mind. Trust yourself and every day take the first step again. Keep it fresh. Life will become a great adventurous journey. 

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

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