full of emptiness …

December 2014

christmas eve

It’s the time to meditate, the time between Christmas and New Year.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. This is the time for daydreaming, lazing around, drinking tea and reading science fiction.
Today is Sunday and very early in the morning. Some crazy dreams woke me up too early. I stubbornly try to recall the dream, but I don’t succeed.
I can only remember a dimly lit room with colonial furniture. For some reason, I have to think of sandalwood.


I sit comfortably in the warm living room, look out the window and enjoy the peace and quiet. It has snowed, a belated Christmas present from nature.
I thank Vayu the God of wind and thunder. I also don’t forget to thank Mrs. Holle from the fairy tale for the beautiful white splendour that lies on the terrace and decorates the trees.
Somewhere a dog is barking softly, complaining. Maybe he is lonely or
he is cold or expecting his master.
Actually it’s time for breakfast, but I don’t feel hungry. As always at Christmas I overfed myself.
It was a wonderful Christmas with my daughter and her family. I think smilingly of the Christmas tree shopping with the grandsons, of the musical performance of my three daughters and of the attempt of my grandson to drown everything out with his flute.
I should have photographed the chaos in the kitchen and also the colourfully set table.
I think of the roast goose that didn’t fit in the oven; the improvisational art of my son-in-law and the surprise gifts of the family…
I think about how we could organize the next festival and sink into post-Christmas dreams.
The humming of my mobile phone suddenly brings me back to the present.
Who is calling me on Sunday morning at the crack of dawn, I ask myself. The mobile phone keeps humming, the display shows ‘unknown caller’.
Should I or shouldn’t I, I think briefly.
My curiosity wins and I accept the call.
As soon as I have said “hello”, someone on the other end screams into the line:
Namaskarams Suresh Uncle, how are you? When are you coming? I am flying to Bengaluru but I will arrange for Taxi to pick you up at Airport. I will try to send Arunachalam, he is a good driver.
It is Mohan from India, one of the trusted relatives on his father’s side.
As always, he speaks loudly, quickly and unclearly.
He wants to know when I arrive. He doesn’t give me a second to think and wants an answer immediately.
As soon as I have given him the flight details of my planned trip, he hangs up.
No farewell words or good wishes for the trip, no, short, succinct and out. I like him and his hard-working, faithful wife, who always presents me with delicious culinary treasures, because in Germany, as she thinks, I don’t get anything delicious to eat!
The mobile phone is still in my hand for a little while, as if I wanted to spend some time with my relatives in India. I put the mobile phone aside, instinctively adopt a yoga posture and try to meditate….
I don’t succeed, I think about this and that and my thoughts gallop back and forth between India and Germany…
I’m giving up….
Lately, my life has become more hectic. I am to blame myself, I suppose. It is not only the seminars and lectures that I attend, but also the trips and activities in my area.
The family gets too little and so do I myself. Frustrated, I think about what I can change and ponder.
I let my thoughts wander back and forth unrestrained and light a candle carefully putting it into the teapot.
I put dried tulsi leaves in a ceramic pot, fill it with hot water and place the big pot on the teapot.
The tulsi aroma, which is very similar to basil, unfolds slowly.
I break open some cardamom capsules and let them sink into the hot water.
According to South Indian tradition, Tulsi calms the soul, cardamom stimulates the spirit and water lets the thoughts flow.
The tea light has a calming effect. I look at and admire this element of nature. The fire does not seem threatening, but it is a luminous, gentle, flame… The back and forth dancing yellow flame carry my thoughts back to the India of the sixties…
A similar flame shone in a small dark corner in my aunt’s prayer room in India…
I see my Aunt Sedhuchithi in prayer position. She sits on a yellow yoga stool and mumbles something to herself.
Several prayer utensils made of bronze, silver, and copper are lying on a small table on the wall.

silver utensils
bronze utensils
copper utensils

The scent of the sandalwood incense sticks and the clouds of smoke have a magical effect on me. It is Tuesday, Lent day, she recites the Gayatri Mantra as so often. Her soft melodious voice keeps reciting the mantra…

In the beginning, the recitation is gentle, quiet and even.
Increasingly, her voice gains in sound firmness and routinely.
She has applied turmeric paste for facial care. The light from the oil lamp makes her face shine magically.

turmeric utensils

Longing seizes my mind and I am suddenly back in the present. I want, I must hear the mantra. Quietly it fills the room with sound.
Do I only imagine it or do I really smell the sandalwood scents of an incense stick?
I sip the fragrant Tulsitee with cardamom, the aroma reminds me of the Malabar coast in South India.

Malabar coast

My attention turns again to the flame.
I see the flame flickering back and forth to the rhythm of the mantras. …
I feel inner peace in me.
My eyelids close slowly, but it doesn’t get dark.
I am there and at the same time, I am traveling somewhere in foreign worlds, in the far universe, in another time, in another life.
I am not cold or warm, it is simply comfortable, calm and pleasant.
The tea light has gone out in the meantime.
I feel completely empty, detached and relaxed at the same time.
In this emptiness, I feel full of happiness and contentment.

©suresh – between Christmas 2014 and New Year’s Day


The origin and essence of complete existence is the light of the sun from the universe.

May all beings be led to higher insight and wisdom and experience enlightened consciousness.

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