Enlightening moments in Alhaurin el Grande

My new workplace was the Centro de Meditación Kadampa in Alhaurin el Grande. I found it through Jessie a Dutch girl who I met in Cádiz. She didn't go there because she feared that they will just speak Spanish.

I didn't care, took as at chance to improve my Spanish, applied and went two weeks later to the center. Exchange with people is very inspirational and helpful! 

In the meditation center I got to know to very nice and interesting people like Almudena from Cádiz, Nacha from Chile and Juan Carlo from Seville. For me he had the most beautiful and also saddest eyes I have ever seen so far...

At the center I had very interesting and open-minding chats and time for some reflection and understanding...

Literally on my way to Buddhism...
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Buddhism - one big thing? Not at all!

My trip through from Malaga to Alhaurin el Grande (I)
My first contact with Buddhism and meditation was in Ireland. Since then I meditate everyday. Therefore I was very excited to go to the meditation center.

I always thought that Buddhism is one big thing and everything is the same and that is it. 

But there are a lot of different traditions. Kadapma is one of them. For example in Ireland it was the Rigpa tradition.

I can understand but not sure this tradition is for me...
I read some things during my stay about Buddhism and Kadampa. I also attended the prayers.

I have to admit that some things I am not sure they are for me. The prayers were something I couldn't get into it. Even if I went to church when I was young it was something what was not for me.

But I understand prayers as something which helps people to get leaded and focused on things. They gave them impulses and positive thoughts. If I compare it with Louise Hay's affirmation then the affirmations are also a kind of prayers. The difference is that you write your own prayers.

I think for me are affirmations more suitable. I will see. I am still in the beginning to find things out.
Almond tree close to the center.
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My tasks and interesting chats in the meditation center

My main work at the meditation center was cleaning rooms, doing the laundry and cleaning some other things. Actually it was quite tough work. Tougher as my former workplaces... 

Great was that I could contribute some of my learnt skills from Anne's B & B like marking the size of the bed sheets in the corner etc.

I worked with very interesting and nice people together and could improve my Spanish skills :-).
My workplace...
Lovely Cádiz connection
I met there Almudena who turned out that she was from Cádiz which is so far my favorite town in Spain. Probably we saw each other during my stay there. She is a very intelligent and lovely woman. 

I could very good work together with her because we were in some things very different. For example I am more someone who goes straight to a task and just make, whereas Almudena made first sure what exactly the task was and which things we can use etc. 

She also said to me: "That is for today. Tomorrow is another day." or "there is for everything a solution." or "step by step and not like a rocket which disappears so fast as it came.". I found this different view very interesting and I saw that it worked as well. With her I had really nice chats. 

Do I miss anything?
I remember when I told her that someone asked me if I miss something in my hometown. I said: "Yes, I miss this place and this location..." "Well, that are places but what about people?" "Oh... ehm yes of course... but through Skype and WhatsApp it is quite easy... but yes I miss my family and friends..." 

I thought very often back to this question and the answer was that I miss nothing... I thought that something was maybe strange with me and I told Alumdena about it. She just said: "When you don't miss anything than you are happy and satisfied. Why should we always suffer? It is not bad if you don't miss anything."

When I left I gave her something as memorial and she gave me the Buddha Amitayus for a long life, fortune and wisdom. She is also a very patient person. I learnt a lot through her and I think often back to our chats.
The Buddha of fortune, long life and wisdom: Amitayus.
Hmmm, why not Chile?
A few days later came a new volunteer: Nacha from Chile. Therefore that she was quite young she was very wise and had a great mindset. We just spoke in Spanísh. That means the few sentence I could speak... But I could understand a lot what she was talking about. 

She showed me online a lot about Chile and I have to say that I can really good imagine to go there to learn proper Spanish. Maybe after Canada... But I will see. Through her I got a lot of inspiration as well. She told me a lot of her country and other things. A very open and also intelligent girl. 

When I prepared my backpack she just asked: es todo?! I told her that I use packing cubes to minimize my clothes and organize it. She just laughed and said: "Alemania!" :-)

One of the most beautiful and saddest eyes I have ever seen
At the meditation center was also Juan Carlo. A guy from Seville who spoke very good English. The reason was that he lived long time in London. At the center he lived two month to come in balance. He just said that his life was crazy before. Nothing more.

When I first saw him I couldn't stop to look in his eyes. They were very beautiful a mixture of green and brown in his nice sun tanned face. But they were also very sad. Actually he was very handsome and it made me nervous to talk with him. 

I talked to him just a few sentence but I will never forget his eyes. He was very funny but also very serious. He left before me and when we said Goodbye he just said: "See you some day." As if it is for sure.
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My personal reflection - all leads to forgiveness, compassion and understanding

If I compare Christianity, Buddhism, Louise Hay and also things I learnt in my trainer education then I find a lot of parallels for me in sense of the philosophy. 

For me everything leads to forgiveness, having compassion and understanding. That will lead in the end to durable satisfaction and happiness. Simple to say?

The following is my short reflection about the things I learnt so far on my journey about forgiveness, compassion, understanding and happiness and that only put it into practice will change things.

What I took from my trainer education
For example in my trainer education I still have the following quotation in my mind which helped me a lot to have compassion and understanding for others: 
"Difficult participants are participants with difficulties..." 
That gave me another look at people who are from my point of view difficult to deal with. I have compassion and understanding. They learnt to act like this for some reason. Moreover I have learnt that often things I don't like at others are often the things I don't like at me. For example I don't like very controlled people in sense of emotion but I was a couple of years ago very similar...

Louise Hay showed me my responsibility 
Through Louise Hay I learnt beside compassion and understanding how important forgiveness is. It showed me my own responsibility for my thoughts and that only me can change it.

The thing about forgiveness and compassion is logical for me in sense of bringing myself in balance and a better mood.

If I am angry with someone, then I feel bad but it changed nothing. Also ignorance is no solution.
Sometimes the other one doesn't even know about it. Forgiveness begins for me to think: "OK, they learnt to act like that. They gave the best the could. I forgive them that for not being like I wish they are." Thinking like that helps me to forgive, have compassion and understanding for others. 

Doesn't work always but I practice it and it helps me. I liked the following quotation from Wayne Dyer which I experience every day:
"If you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at change."
The importance of self-compassion
I also use it for myself. I mean we can be the worst critic person to ourselves. How could I have compassion for others if I don't have it for myself? 

The so-called self-compassion. Very good described by Dr. Kristin Neff. She has an autistic son and learnt a lot through him about self-compassion.

What helps me: Reset my mind with meditation
Buddhism goes deeper and meditation is a great way to clear me mind and be open for forgiveness, compassion and understanding. For me it is like to reset my mind like a computer. When I am very stressed or afraid of something then it is like being a rabbit in a corner. I cannot see the solutions and opportunities around me. 

Meditation keeps me focused and clears my mind and suddenly I see the solutions and opportunities. Also it helps me to understand and have compassion for others. In addition I am more aware of things around me like a beautiful, sunset, a nice art object or atmosphere. 

Since I am meditating I am enjoying more and I am less feared and live in the moment. I see the opportunities around me and use them. Especially the exchange with other people is helpful to get open and see opportunities I haven't seen before. 

Of course in between I have some fears. Probably it is normal in a change process... 
"There is nothing good except you do it" Erich Kaestner
This quotation was the favorite one of my mentor Susanne during my trainer education and it is quite true.

I remember in Ireland on the retreat in Dzogchen Bearra that some participants told me that it was there fifth time on the retreat and they could name me at least six books about life coaching etc.

I just thought: "Wow, that is impressive! Why you are here again if you know already everything?" Maybe it is a bit mean but that was my first thought.

I read a good sentence in the book Modern Buddhism
"...nothing can be accomplished by just reading words. A sick man will never be cured of his illness through merely reading medical instructions..."
Maybe for me it is a bit easier to practice all the things I learnt because I gave my former life completely up. But on the other hand I could just keep myself busy with anything else to avoid changing something.

I think just changing the environment is not the solution if I want to be happy and satisfied. It has to come from inside not from outside...

To come to conclusion...
That is what I learnt so far and it helps me a lot. I would like to go deeper and learn more about it.
I would like to give that what I learnt back to other people who are interested in it. Maybe this is a way for my seminar plans...
On the way...
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Time to go

I learnt really a lot at the meditation center and had also time to reflect some things and become aware about the things I want and I like. 

It was a great experience and I liked the exchange with the other people there. Every experience leads to the next step...

Next destination: Valencia and Madrid
My next destination was Valencia before I went to Madrid and took the flight back to Dublin. I came to both cities by blablacar. 

Unfortunately, I missed the final World Cup Germany vs Argentina... At that time I was on my way to Madrid stuck in a traffic jam but with a beautiful sunset.

Read next time about beautiful Valencia and its impressive streetart and my time in Madrid where I met a Canadian guy in the tapas bar El Tigre and told him that I'll go there in a few days. I also met very funny Spanish guys there and a Spanish guy who was more German than I am...
Bye bye Alhaurin el Grande!

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