Open the doors to the world

I have spent the first ten days of this year in Olomouc, a beautiful town in the Moravia region in Czech Republic. The days are cold and only few people make it out of the warm flat into the streets. It feels a little sleepy. But once you get the chance to go into a nice coffee place such as the Nase Café or the Café Hajek, you may find some inspiring people. There is this barista lady who is also an excellent singer and violin player, with an interest in Celtic music and tradition. Or, you meet the chief editor of a local magazine, a women who had an idea and made it happen. She calls herself a “social worker” since she prefers busy locations such as a coffee place to work on the magazine instead of working at home.

One day I was invited by my partner to join one of his self-defence courses. A new and good experience, to attack and defend in the midst of military officers and police men. So I would say, I should be prepared for the next trip 😉

Then the last day before my return, I was invited to a birthday party near Prague and a young lady left an impression on me. She is studying to become an art teacher and has decided to make use of Erasmus (student exchange program in Europe) to go to Portugal. First, she said, she was a bit scared even with the idea itself, but once she was there, a whole new world opened to her. Her eyes are shining when she talks about it. She says she learns about many other cultures and different lifestyles. It reminds me about my own experience. Once you have the courage to open the doors, the world is yours.

Less is more

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What to do on a cold and misty December day? Writing x-mas cards, walking down the memory lane of the year or tiding up the basement. The latter was my principal activity over a weekend. Most of my belongings are currently in a basement, waiting to be brought back to use and life. But since my kind of nomadic lifestyle continues, I will not use them. So I try to find people who could use one or the other thing and bring things back to the second hand store, where many things will easily find a new owner.

It’s a process, it started 1.5 years ago when I moved out of my flat. A first big chunk of things was given back to where I’d gotten it years ago – to the second hand market. About half a year ago, I did another triage, and even though some of the things were strongly tied to memories, I managed to give them away more easily this time. It’s always interesting to see, that some objects can have such a subjective value. The third time, even more things found the way out of the basement and may have already found new use and life. It astonished me, to some extent, that this is a longer process, at the same time it feels so good to have less and less material belongings. I checked out a few blogs on the topic and came across people who reduced their belongings to 100 pieces! Yes, unbelievable, considering how easily I would carry 20 items in a hand bag when walking to the university…seems definitely very ambitious to me…or a woman who made it down to 230 items….both confirmed that this a process, step-by-step…inspiring…

If there are more misty and cold December days, the tiding process will continue…freeing up space in every sense…

Autumn promenades

Aren’t sunny weekends in autumn just perfect for beautiful promenades – along rivers, through forests and discovering towns and landscapes. And the good thing about promenades is that you don’t have to go far, you can simply start in front of the house and see where you get.

From the doorsteps, my favourite walk takes me through a forest to a small lake called “Katzensee”. The light, the colours and the peaceful atmosphere are wonderful and invite to dream, relax and recharge. Often I go alone but whenever I go with a friend we share the beauty of the place and good conversations. Some people still swim in the lake and others have a coffee from the little kiosk at the shore of the lake.

Last weekend I went a bit further to the north western corner of Switzerland. A beautiful two-day-walk took me from St. Ursanne to Seignelégier. Most of the time, the little path follows the river called Doubs, a border river between Switzerland and France. The name apparently comes from the word doubts or to be hesitant as the river suddenly changes its north direction by 180 degrees and continues towards south. Still in St. Ursanne, I buy a bread and some honey from the region, I fill up my bottle with water and start the walk. It is beautiful and quite and only every now and then someone else comes my way. It feels like being far away from anything. After a short snack break, I relax under a tree next to the river, the leaves being my bed. Recharged, I continue for another few hours and finally arrive to a village called Soubey. Spontaneous accommodation at a farmers’ place, a mattress dormitory in the roof of the house. The village counts with a population of about 150 people.

At the breakfast with the very friendly and hospitable farmers, I learn more about the region and the farmers’ life. I wonder how the region develops in the future. For the 13-14 relatively big farms (75ha, for Switzerland rather big) currently only in two cases there seem to be a successor. They tell me that the younger generation is in small towns or cities and not ready for a life in the nature as a farmer, definitely not a 9-5 job with evenings and weekends off.

While I still wonder, I continue my walk along the river and it comes to my mind that eventually, this is the time for nature to regain some space, well deserved space.

 

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Indian flavour in Switzerland and Czech Republic

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The last weeks were filled with re-encounters and conversations with people I have met earlier this year in India. There is Philippe who came all the way from France with his 1987 Renault converted into “simple maison roulante” to Switzerland. It is an inspiring Renault dominated by Philippe’s motto of “simplicité”, an example for keeping things simple and practical and so you would not find anything in the van that would not fulfil this requirements and yet, nothing is missing – there is a bed, a kitchen, table and chairs, and even an electrical shower with minimal water usage (2-3 litres are enough) can be installed in a minute including a curtain between the doors to guarantee privacy 😉 The water in the plastic bag is naturally heated up during the day behind the front window. I am sure he could get a patent for it. I tried it out and it was great.

In four days we travelled from Fribourg via Bulle, Gruyère, Rougemont, Zweisimmen, Wimmis, Einigen, Spiez, Interlaken, Brienz, Meiringen, Grimselpass, Obergoms, Bellwald, Brig, to Sion. A beautiful route with stunning sceneries, valleys and mountains, lakes and rivers. Philippe was particularly interested in the buildings and the construction style which differs according to the region. We had sunny days and always found a nice spot to cook our lunch (once on the edge of a soccer field behind the goal – if there were a game we would have enjoyed high-class seats ;)) and quiet locations with fantastic views to spend the night – the last night was with best view to the famous Matterhorn. Since the bed was not really big, I decided to sleep in the cockpit. It became kind of my own room. It almost felt like sleeping in a glass house with view to the stars and with best position to catch the first sun rays of the rising sun in the mornings.

From Sion he went back to France while I headed towards the north-east, to Prague, by train and bus. There, I met Suchetas, a wonderful monk from Southern India, from Kerala, who was in Czech for some days to talk to people and hold some workshops. He started his sessions with a touching chanting of wonderful mantras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantra). He explained, for example; the true meaning of Tantra* (a word that is often wrongly interpreted in the western world); why it is makes sense to be vegetarian; and responded to other questions of the participants. Then he guided through a meditation and gave the following instruction: “Just half an hour in the morning and evening with some breathing and remaining in meditation that takes us to silence will radically change our life. It is also important to change the lifestyle, to withdraw from unwanted activities that take away our energy and to choose the right company, for example.”

If someone is interested in a first experience, there is a meditation workshop on 19th October in Zurich > Meditation_Workshop_October_19

*Basically, a Hindu or Buddhist mystical or magical text, dating from the 7th century or earlier; adherence to the doctrines or principles of the tantras, involving mantras, meditation, yoga, and rituals.

Moving on and on

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Here I am again, ready for a new series of blog posts. I hope you are ready too?!? I have to admit, it was quite a long writing break although, I continued travelling and moving on, so to say I haven’t really stopped  – I’ve been to Copenhagen for a few days with a friend, to different places in Czech during a one-month-visit of a travel acquaintance, I’ve hiked again and crossed parts of Swiss Alps from Bernese side to Valais sleeping under the stars, I spent some days in Zurich with friends and more days in Spiez with my family. The latter is where I am right now, for another couple of days, I have just arrived from a four days stay in a beautiful alp hut with goats, cows and pigs…You may wonder, as much as I do –  modern nomad forever?

Galsan Tschinag, a Mongolian writer and nomad has some beautiful reflections about what it means to him: “To be a nomad is an attitude. It means to live in harmony with the world and with the universe. Finally, we are all nomads who move in time and space. But most importantly, I am human – this is my most important key insight to life.” 

Beautiful words, indeed, in the end, we can be anything but there is something very basic we share, we are all human beings. We all move, in different rhythms and maybe (or maybe also not) for different reasons, for example, to move forward, to expand our horizon and for our further development, to leave for a while the day-to-day social constructs and spread the wings, diving into new cultures and learning about different social orders. It’s all important, so it is to be aware and grateful for our own roots and values while we move on.

I wish you a wonderful Sunday!

 

 

Update Meditation workshop

A few changes to the workshop program.

We recently went to see the location in Valais and it is a beautiful place and very well managed and we are confident that one day in the future we will be able to hold a workshop there. However, for the moment we have no registrations but a few interested people. We consider that the duration and location might be too time intense. Therefore, we offer the program now in a different format.

1) Only a one-day-program and we propose Zurich, Bern and Spiez but we are also flexible to come to any other place in Switzerland if there is a group of 3-5 people.

2) New dates: Saturday 26 July/Sunday 27 July/Saturday 2 August/Sunday 3 August

Here’s the program: MeditationWorkshop_v2

Thank you for your curiosity… 😉

Happy day!!!

Workshop: A fresh breath – more balance in life

Dear all / Liebe Leser

Another event is coming up to which I would like to invite you. Check it out, it´s a weekend-workshop lead by Petr Matousek. The focus is on meditation and breathing techniques but he is also an excellent therapist with deep knowledge of Traditional Chinese and Indian Medicine.  If you´re looking for a weekend in a beautiful setting up in the Swiss mountains to get a fresh deep breath that will last for the rest of your life, then don´t hesitate to register for any of the weekends. I am convinced you will be able to take something useful with you.

Eine Einladung zu einem weiteren Anlass – ich lade euch herzlich ein zu diesem Wochenend-Workshop von Petr Matousek. Das Wochenende steht im Fokus von Meditations- und Atemtechniken, gleichzeitig ist er ein ausgezeichneter Therapeut mit guten Kenntnissen der Traditionellen Chinesischen und Indischen Medizin. Falls du Lust hast auf ein Wochenende in einer wunderschönen Gegend in den Schweizer Bergen, in den Walliser Alpen, und etwas frische Luft schnappen willst, die anhält und die du mitnehmen kannst zurück in den Alltag, dann zögere nicht, dich anzumelden. Ich bin überzeugt, dass du etwas Nützliches finden kannst.

MeditationWorkshop_en

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Location: http://www.alpwerk-illhorn.ch/pages/news.php

In case of interest and/or questions, please contact me on my email: franziska.eggimann@yahoo.com

Danke, liebe Besucher – thank you, dear guests!

Um die 70 neugierige Besucher! So schön! Ich bedanke mich bei allen Menschen, von nah und fern, für ihren Besuch und die damit verbundene Reise an meine Ausstellung auf der Heubühne in Reisiswil. Ein grosses Dankeschön geht auch an meine liebe Grossmutter, meine Eltern und die Verwandten und Freunde, die mich in der einen oder anderen Art und Weise bei diesem Vorhaben unterstützt haben.

Around 70 curious visitors! Wonderful! Many thanks to all the people, from far and from the surroundings, for their visit and the journey that this implied to get to my exhibition in the hay stage in Reisiswil. A big thank you to my lovely grandma, my parents, relatives and friends for their support in this project.

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