Monday, November 30, 2009

Some more Christmas lights in our street

These photos were taken when I walked tonight with Julchen and show some more with lights decorated houses and windows in the neighbourhood of our street. Miss you and every moment together in our home with you during this special time of year. ILYSM

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If There's...

If There's...

If there's one face I want to see,
so beautiful, so true,
one smile that makes a difference,
to everything I do.

If there's one touch I long to feel,
one voice I long to hear,
whenever I am happy,
or just needing someone near.

If there's one joy, one love,
from which I never want to part,
it's you, my very special love,
my world, my life, my heart.

- John Ragland -

Hope so much that sms and internet communication with you in Cambodia will come back to normal soon, now two weeks are going really crazy and it is a really hard time for us. Feel so hepless, so cut off from you and really miss our normal communication and times as couple and family so much.
There is only one person I want to see, talk with, communicate with and share my life and days with, it´s YOU!

Management Audit

Today I had a personl management audit, to analyze my strengths and weaknesses, leadership abilities and personality. Took three hours, many questions, discussions and also a short presentation about my leadership principles which I had to prepare and give there. Has been an interesting experience, went pretty well and I just said what I think and did not play a role. At the end I received a short feedback, how they see me, what areas I am great in and a few remarks about some areas where to improve. To be honest, I think they gave a pretty good and realistic description and I am happy with the result of the audit. In a few weeks I will get a written summary of the results from them, curious to read it than.
Based of these audits with the management team in my company they will start next year some management skills training.

First wave of swine flu has probably passed

The first wave of swine flu, which has killed at least 59 people in Germany, appears to be subsiding, doctors told news magazine Der Spiegel in a report published Saturday.

The number of patients with acute respiratory illnesses in Bavaria had dropped compared with two weeks ago, according to figures obtained by the magazine.

“That is a gentle trend,” said Susanne Glasmacher, spokeswoman for the Robert Koch Institute, the federal centre charged with disease control and prevention.

The situation is also improving in the north of the country. Doris Schrage of the Altona Children’s Hospital in Hamburg, told Spiegel: “The big wave of infections has probably already passed.”

To read more:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas market in Essen

As we celebrate in Germany today the 1st Advent and start with this the christmas season, many memories came to my mind of my childhood with my parents, as this christmas season is over here also a very family minded time of year. Will not be a easy time in the coming four weeks till christmas for me, as I just lost Dad. So I decided to drive this late afternoon to his grave, spend some time there where Mum and Dad are now burried together, as they spend time and love with me so much during so many christmas seasons. Been a hard time there at the grave and wished you could have been there with me, to hold my hand.
From there I decided to drive to the city center of Essen to visit the traditional german christmas market there, to clear my mind a little and to see something different. Its been a nice time there walking around, but also a sad time and painful time, as I saw all this families around me and all these couples around me walking hand in hand, enjoying the christmas market and this special season of the year together. Missed you than a lot, miss to walk with you there hand in hand, as we walked through Essen hand in hand in August, missed you, because YOU are my family.

In the following some photo impressions from the Christmas market in Essen, to share, hope through this the MIP in my life can participate a little bit. IMYSM! ILYSM!

Buddhist center Bochum, Germany

Today I went to the Buddhist center here in Bochum, to practise some meditation with the friends from the center. Its been a good time, very calm and peaceful and also a good time just having some talks with the friends there.

The Buddhist center in Bochum is one of over 600 Buddhist center in the western world of Diamondway Buddhism, the Karma Kagyu lineage of tibetian Buddhism.

The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. The Karma Kagyu methods were taught by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni to his closest students. These methods were later passed on through the Indian Mahasiddhas, Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, Maitripa, and the famous Tibetan yogis Marpa and Milarepa. In the 12th century, the monk Gampopa gave the teachings to the first Gyalwa Karmapa whose successive conscious rebirths have kept the teachings alive and powerful to the present day. Today, great Tibetan teachers (tib. lamas) such as H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and Shamar Rinpoche transmit this unbroken tradition when visiting the many Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Buddhist centers around the world.

The Karma Kagyu school offers practical teachings applicable to everyday life. A wealth of methods are available for lay people and yogis to develop mind's inherent richness and clarity, both through meditation and in one's daily activities. The roof of the self-liberating Great Seal (skt. Mahamudra) is supported by three pillars: verifiable non-dogmatic teachings, meditation, and the means to solidify the levels of awareness that are attained.

These center are under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, and directed by Lama Ole Nydahl. They are not abstract institutions but friendly places where all can meet to learn from Buddha's timeless wisdom, meditate, share experience and development, and actively participate and do the work which makes all this possible.

In 1969 Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah met the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, historically the first incarnate lama of Tibet. Since then the teachings of Diamond Way Buddhism have gradually found their way to the West. His Holiness asked them to teach, establish meditation centres and ensure that the teachings would remain alive and attractive to intelligent, critical, lay people in the Western world.

More on Diamondway Buddhism in English:

More about the Buddhist center in Bochum in German:

Buddhist center Bochum

Advent season - 1st Advent

The four sundays before christmas over here in Germany are called Advent sundays. Even if I as Buddhist do not celebrate the religious meaning of christmas and advent, I still live some traditions I grew up with. So it is tradition on these four Sundays before christmas that families have a advent wreath and on each Sunday they light one candle, means on the first Sunday before christmas they light one candle, on the second two candles and so on. It is a nice tradtion, as the families come than together to have meals, play games with there children and just spend valuable time together. This is a tradition I like to keep, even in our little family.
For me this year advent season is also a time of mourning, as I just recently lost Dad and now my both parents are dead. So when lightening the candles on these Advent sundays, I light them also in memory of them and so many memories come to my mind, how they spend these sundays with me when I was a little child. How Mum baked with us chidren together christmas cookies on such Sundays, how we were sitting around the table singing christmas songs, listen to stories and poems she read to us and how much unconditional love my parents gave to me during this special season. To honor my parents and to remember what they did for me, I will celebrate with some of the traditions they taught me this advent season.
Wish you were here, so that we could celebrate this together, look forward to the soon coming day we live together and can live this tradition in our little family. Right now I miss you really desperately, as all this memories come to my mind, tears run down my cheeks as I miss and think of Mum and Dad during this Advent and christmas season, which is a big, maybe the most important season of pracitised family life over here. Sad momemts, now that they are gone, all I can do is to honor them and the tradition they taught me, even as Buddhist. So I see the christmas and advent season from my perspective as Buddhist not as a religious season, but as a season to honor my parents and ancestors.

Our advent wreath, first candle lightend during breakfast.

Football scandal spills over to tennis, basketball

The football match-fixing scandal grew to engulf tennis and basketball on Saturday, with Der Spiegel magazine reporting prosecutors had expanded their investigations to include the other sports.

A suspect finals play-off game in Germany's professional basketball league, the BBL, was under scrutiny, the report said, citing the state prosecutor’s office in the North Rhine-Westphalia city of Bochum, which has been investigating the case.

And investigators were also looking at an international professional women’s doubles tennis match in the Moroccan city of Fez in April.

Separately, Focus magazine reported Saturday that the match-fixing ring had infiltrated German betting offices to tamper with their monitoring systems.

Spiegel also wrote that the number of countries affected by the football corruption scandal had grown from nine to 17.

And it said some football professionals were preparing to make guilty pleas over their involvement in the ring. A former second-division player planned to declare before the Bochum state prosecutors that members of the ring gave him a loan in the high-six figures and later pressured him to manipulate matches.

To read more:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas market in Bochum, Germany

This evening I went with Martin and Alexander to visit the traditional christmas market in the city center of Bochum. Many little booths selling food, drinks and all kind of handcraft, artwork, cloths, toys and other nice ideas for christmas gifts. Everything is really nice decorated and specially the lights are very nice in the dark.
I bought a new neglace for my Budhha medallion, as the old one broke just two days ago. Really nice to walk there around and look at all the different food and nicely decorated booths. Missed you a lot there, missed walking hand in hand with you and enjoying it together. Look already forward to next christmas when we will be united enjoying such times together.
Just some photo impressions of the christmas market here in Bochum:

Baked fish with a German roll and herb sauce

Yeast dumpling with vanilla sauce

Some more flowers for our home

Today some flowers arrived, which I ordered last week. Thought as we both like flowers and nature so much, it would be nice to have some more in our home. Will try to take good care of them, so that some of them are still alive when you next time here, in our home. ;-)
Hope you like them, because everytime I see flowers, I see you, taking photos of them and looking at them. Want to create a lovely home and surrounding for us, where we really feel comfortable, can relax, enjoy our time together and just feel really sheltered and protected. Really the great home feeling we both experienced together in August. IMYSM! Look forward to the soon coming day, when we will be able to go flower shopping together.

You know my very favorite flower? Its the Lotus flower, since seeing it in real in Cambodia, having it there in our hotel rooms, I really totally fascinated by this wonderful flower. When I went shopping today, I also went to a flower store and asked them if they can order or get Lotus flowers. They told me they are really difficult to get over here in Germany, but they will try and give me a phone call sometimes next week to let me know if they can get them. Would be so lovely to get them and have them in our home.
Enjoy the photos and feel a little bit at home, while watching them. ILYSM!

A visual guide to Germany's Christmas markets

What to expect from German-style yuletide fun.
Found this little and nice photo gallery on a english news site:
Photo gallery link:
There is also a very interesting article about some of the most famous christmas markets in Germany:

The Local's guide to German Christmas markets

Germany’s Christmas markets, or Weihnachtsmärkte, are world famous for their seasonal cheer. Musical programmes, parades and the unique traditions in each city make the German Weihnachtsmärkte more than just a place to buy gifts and enjoy Yuletide treats — they are long-standing cultural events, some dating back centuries.

Christmas markets typically open the last week of November and stay open until just before Christmas. Almost all markets serve Glühwein, perfect for warming chilly fingers on cold winter nights. Vendors sell regional food specialties, as well as classics like the gingerbread-like Lebkuchen, roasted chestnuts, spiced almonds and sausages.

to read more:

Christmas lights in our street

Just back from a morning walk with our dog Julchen. It is still dark outside, but slowly the sun is raising. In our street and neighbourhood the homes are getting now decorated for christmas season. Some people even decorate the trees in there gardens in front of there homes with lights, which is really nice at this timme of year.
Just two photo impressions what it looks like in our direct neighbourhood.

Looking so much forward to our first christmas season together as family over here in Germany, I am sure you will like it a lot. IMYSM! ILYSM!

Making it in Germany: a purveyor of delightful Yankee desserts

The Local's series "Making it in Germany" presents Dawn Nelson, an American entrepreneur bringing quality cupcakes to Berlin.

Behold the cupcake: tiny, sweet, and impeccably decorated. This adorably yummy dessert classic has recently become a full-fledged foodie craze in the United States, presenting Dawn Nelson with the perfect opportunity to get Berliners hooked on them too. The Local spoke to her about opening up the German capital’s first cupcake shop.

To read the interview:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Evening at the Buddhist center in Bochum

This evening, as nearly every Friday evening, I went to the Buddhist center in Bochum. A good time to see all the friends there. Beate gave a really good lecture, one main part of the lecture was about cause and effect (Karma). Learning to understand causality. That it is up to us what will happen. Former thoughts and actions became our present state, and right now we are sowing the seeds for our future. Some really good thoughts and teachings of Buddha she shared with us.
After the lecture we did the 16th Karmapa meditation together as always.

Also I could see Iris for the first time after my return from Cambodia, really good to see her again. So I was able to give her our little gift, the wood Buddha we bought together for her in Siem Reap, she really liked it a lot and it was a great surprise for her.

Iris with the Buddha we bought for her, when she unwrapped it and I saw it, so many lovely memories came to my mind of our great time together in Siem Reap and how we bought it together. Honey, IMYSM!!!!!!!!

Discover Your Potential - by Lama Ole Nydahl

Another great and thoughtful video with Lama Ole Nydahl I found at YouTube.

The goal of Buddhism is very simple: Its to discover our potential and bring forth all the qualities we have inside, all the possibilities and all the richness. There is no big change or revolution necessary as Buddhism starts from where we are and helps us to unfold our potential step by step.

Lama Ole Nydahl explains how to get happy and how to get inspired day by day: "We do not get happy by outer things, it is our mind, which gets happy."

Honey, let us always discover our potential together, help each other on discovering more and more of our individual potential and of our potential as couple and family. ILYSM!

Google's web analysis tools face German scrutiny

Google is once again facing the possibility that it could run afoul of Germany's strict privacy laws. The culprit this time? The web analysis tools of the US internet giant and other firms.

A group of state and federal data protection experts is meeting on Thursday and Friday to discuss whether the use of informational tools such as Google Analytics are legal according to German law.

The weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported that the authorities are looking into ways of discouraging German websites from using Google Analytics, including penalties if necessary.

“We only heard from a third party that they would be meeting this week and want to come up with a resolution in terms of all web analytics and web tracking software,” Google Germany’s spokesperson Kay Oberbeck told The Local on Thursday.

“They are not singling out Google Analytics, but are looking at a general resolution on all the big players in the market.”

The authorities fear that Google and other internet companies could compile profiles of millions of web users, detailing their interests, habits, consumer behaviours, as well as political and sexual preferences, Die Zeit reported. The paper added that what makes privacy experts nervous is the possibility that this data could be combined with fundamentally personal details such as addresses, bank account numbers and health insurance details.

read more at:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An ambassador for Cambodian orphans

A worth reading article, which shows how compassion, as taught by Buddha, when lived and practised can have a lasting impact on the lifes of others.
May we all develop that Buddha-like compassion for all beings.

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Ginger tea

As I am recently since my father died not so well and now also caught a little cold, I followed your advise and drink now since yesterday some ginger tea. Was a really good advise as it really helps a lot and makes me feel much better. So after our talk and seeing us on our special anniversary day today, I just made me a big cup of ginger tea again. Great stuff and I also like the taste of it a lot.

This is some information about ginger tea I found, maybe you should also make it a habbit to drink some ginger tea from time to time, as it really is healthy stuff and still pretty tasty:

"Ginger tea is commonly used as a cold remedy. It is said to boost the immune system, soothe sore throats, and treat bouts of flu. It is also believed to improve digestion and help relieve nausea.

Still not convinced to try ginger tea? Consider these known health benefits:

Improves circulation and blood flow
Relieves cold and flu symptoms
Eases stomach cramps, improves digestion and relieves nausea
Reduces menstrual cramping
Helps regulate blood sugar
Boosts the immune system

Ginger tea is a healthy and spicy drink that will give you energy, boost your immune system and refresh your soul. Try a cup today."

Source of information and ginger tea recipe at:

OUR DAY: Exactly one year ago we met for the first time...

26. November 2008, a day, just a year ago. A day I will never forget and a day which in the end changed our both lifes to the better, witb deep impact.

On that day, which we celebrate today our 1st anniversary of, we both met. Remember? We just met "by accident", but really by accident? Today we both know that it was not just by accident, we both know that we met by destiny, both searching for our eternal counterpart. Through this accident, our hearts, souls and lifes found together again, same as they were united in so many lifes before. We found each other on that day although living in different parts of this world.

Remember how everything begun on that day one year ago? I was searching for somebody to help me with translations into Khmer for my, now our, foster child in Cambodia, also I wanted to learn more about Cambodia, his history and culture. And you were just there, offering this help. And from there we begun to talk, to learn from each other, to learn to understand each other and most of all to find and see in each other somebody we knew already, knew already for ages. That was the beginning, none of us knowing where all this will finally lead us to. And now we are engaged, living our love and life over distance for a moment, before we soon move and life together.

So on the 26. November, just a year ago we received a very special and precious blessing from Buddha, by meeting and finding each other again. A precious blessing, but also a big responsibility for both of us. Let us always honor this tremendous blessing through our words, thoughts and actions.

In this year, since we met the first time, we learned both a lot, we both grew a lot in our love, dedication and commitment. And most of all we learned through many experiences, one very important point, a point Buddha taught, we learned to understand each other, to understand our feelings, needs, cultures and so much more. And still we learn more and more and grow in this understanding. But we are on the right track, as your best friend and brother would say. Yes he is right, when he once said to me that we both are for 100% on the right track.
And this track is based on our everlasting and unconditional Love, combined with the kind of understanding for each other Buddha taught by saying:

“According to the Way of Enlightenment, love cannot exist without understanding. Love is Understanding. If you cannot understand, you cannot love.”

“If you want your loved ones to be happy, you must learn to understand their sufferings and their aspirations. When you understand, you will know how to relieve their sufferings and how to help them fulfil their aspirations. That is true love.”

So let us celebrate today our anniversary of meeting each other, let us celebrate by being together, even over the distance we face right now for a moment. I AM YOURS and I will never forget that special day, just one year ago, when we came into each others life, came into these lifes to stay there and never to leave again.

In Germany there is a tradition to light one candle per year of celebration, means for example for the 27th birthday we would like 27 candles, same with other special yearly celebrations, like our day today, which is special for us, so one year ago we met for the first time, so for this 1st year a candle is lightened besides our heart of roses.
And you know, what? So many more candles will follow in the coming years when we celebrate together our very own, private anniversaries. ILYSM!

Victory puts Bayern Munich back on track

Embattled Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal admitted he was relieved after the German giants kept their Champions League dream alive with a crucial 1-0 win over Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday night.

Croatia striker Ivica Olic's second-half goal breathed life into Bayern's fading dream of reaching the knock-out phase alive at Munich's Allianz Arena.

After group leaders Bordeaux enjoyed a 2-0 win over Juventus, Bayern is now just one point behind the Italians in Group A and must win their final game at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on December 8 if they are to progress.

Having drawn their last three league games, the victory was crucial for van Gaal, who has been told he must win the four remaining Bundesliga games before Christmas to keep his job.

"Of course, we are all very relieved to get the win," said van Gaal. "The team played well and we are pleased to have got our destiny back into our own hands."

Cambodia needs 'systematic overhaul' of society

Dont know, it is an interesting article, but would like to know how cambodians think about this article. I am always sceptical when people write such articles, but not live in Cambodia.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Buddhism in the west by Lama Ole Nydahl

Interesting video at YouTube about Buddhism in the western world, the way I found to practize Buddhism here in Germany.

Buddhism is established in the West for nearly 40 years now. Lama Ole Nydahl has followed the example of the great Marpa Lodragpa and has embedded buddhism in a new culture.
Buddhas teaching stayed unaffected while entering the West. It hit a free, social and well educated culture which allows and enables a fast personal development. The medieval traditional Eastern way of thinking is vanquished, all teachings and meditations are at free disposal in the native languages.

Remmeber when we visited in August together the Buddhist center here in Bochum. Different from the temples and pagodas in Cambodia, but finally what really counts are the teachings, meditations, the life together as Buddhist sangha (community) and I think most of all a practical advise and help to be able to live Buddhism in the western world, to implement it into the western culture, lifestyle and to enable the people over here to live and practize a life based on Buddhas teachings.

Police raid homes of alleged Chinese spies

Munich investigators on Tuesday searched the apartments of four alleged Chinese agents on suspicion they have been spying on the city's Uighur community, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

Authorities told the magazine that the Chinese general consulate has been running a spy network from the Bavarian capital, where several hundred Muslim Uighurs form one of the largest communities outside of China.

The World Uighur Congress is also located in the city, and many members are politically active in protesting what they see as China's oppression of the ethnic group. Meanwhile China has in the past accused Uighur exile groups of supporting terrorism.

“According to findings by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office, the Chinese government has therefore won a range of informants who report on the private lives of the Munich Uighur community for Beijing,” the magazine's website said.

Investigators have observed Chinese diplomats meeting with the informants, but only the alleged spies are under investigation due to matters of diplomatic immunity.

The efforts by German authorities are the result of new policies created last year to curtail possible Chinese espionage, though this is the first time they have taken such drastic steps, the magazine said.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

UNDP: Cambodia Should Diversify Economy to Ease Pressure on Vulnerable Groups

Interesting article about an UNDP report about cambodian economy and the problems it has to face right now.

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Photo Show: Living with Mines

Found this interesting photo show, which is showing the sad inpact mines are having on the lifes of people in different countries of this world. Also Cambodia is mentioned in there.
Really worth a look:

It is really about time to put a ban on landmines, globally.