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Slums in Bangalore

Christ University, Bangalore. Known for their responsible recycling through the Parivarthana waste management unit, where they collect and sort their waste. The waste is being used for sales, making compost bio-gas and the main focus is recycling paper waste into new products. ‘As students Industrial Product Engineering our objective is to design new products for the Parivarthana waste management unit.’

There are 22 people working at the Parivarthana waste management unit; 1 supervisor, 1 manager and 20 hand workers who are mostly women from the slums. By designing new products it is important to involve the people working at the waste management unit and let them participate, the target group (students and staff) have to be involved and the products have to be designed with the capabilities available.

The students from the HAN university of applied science, are also involved in the Slum LR Nagar. At the transit school in the slum the basics are provided for the drop out students. Basics conduct counting and the alphabet, subtractions and additions, Hindi, Canada and English. ‘One day per week we provide English and Math classes at the transit school which is definitely a challenge for us and gets us out of our comfort zone  due to the lack of professional background.’ 

To get an insight view upon the Bangalore life, check this movie:

The Isha foundation: a theme park for aware adults.

In the shadow of Coimbatore, a significant clean city in the south of India, a so-called ashram thrives in a radiant way you could never imagine. Oneness already seems to find its way at the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains, the place where Shiva spend 3 months of his live finding his own truth. And now we are provided with the necessary tools and energy to dive deep into our own souls in a décor of unlimited expanding awareness.

 Light-seeking engineers
From all over the world mainly pragmatic and logical soulseekers are drawn into this Isha ashram. A foundation found by Sadguru, an extraordinary amiable and profound yogi who combines eastern ancient wisdom with western sciences which creates a full, constructive and exhilarating story attracting engineers, business peops and mind-driven middle and upperclass lightseekers. And you don’t have to worry about that light is working, knowing that the team is mainly formed by ex-microsoft engineers and technical managers.

Luscious ambiance
As soon as you set foot on this electrifying ground, something elevating happens. Upon the beautiful view over the mountains, layered in a blanket of luscious palmtrees, the wholeheartedness of people honoring their treasure is what will inject you most. Immediately. Even the security guy welcomes you with his hand on his heart sincerely. When you continue your way, the concretes and precise care of every little detail overflows you. And where you maybe expect an ashram a little bit old-fashioned and dusty, this playground is of modern standards with a hipster lunch bar, fresh facilities and modern technologies. What do you think about airconditioned temples, automatic coconut-splitters for offerings and electric scooters. Limitless in efficiency.

And all initiated by this Sadguru. A well-being visionart not afraid to talk about, amongst a slightly reserved Indian crowd, taboos as sexuality and death sentence. Who isn’t afraid to make daring jokes and outfacing the cutting edge. Who find the most pragmatic answers on all confused questions amongst academic and world’s most intellectual whiz kids. A yogi who established a foundation which goes beyond measurements. With his far-reaching projects and national campaigns, he reached a wide range of the 1,324 billion habitants, which not only includes middle-class. With his strongly caring and scientific heart, he points successfully at farmers, ministers, people in the slums and kids with a rapidly increasing community as an evident result.

Diving deep
And this community find its base in Coimbatore, the most vibrating place you will ever visit. Beautiful surroundings expanding with flowers, wild-life, music, playing, laughing people. All showing their gratitude for life and everything which comes with it. People who are willing to work on an inner- and outer level, not afraid to dive deep, dedicating their lives for a higher purpose. Working hard on that purpose; but with the knowledge of the underlying growth, efforts become funded. It creates oneness. It hits you right in the heart. Because you always knew that this was what life was all about. That this was what your seeking heart was longing for, trying to fill it up with all the external bullshit.

If you are here, you are free; you don’t need anything from outside. It makes you feel alive. Really alive. Filled with happy elixirs ‘just’ by walking on the grass. ‘Just’ by looking at the sky. Indignation on expansion of life blooming out of your system continiously. Cravings vanish. This place fulfills you on every level. Your stomach being fed on nutritious ways, your mind being elevated on scientific philosophies, heart flows over from genuine juices and a true being exploding injected by the vibrating love which breaths through this whole place. Yes this playground makes you happy. Truly happy by being actively involved in the ashram rhythm, practicing your techniques, volunteering, sharing, dedicating.

It’s the best example we could wish for in order to enroll this way of living in our own countries and cities. Venues in which we are longing for a deeper way of sensing, where we seek for happiness in the outside world, where we hit our stress limits and strongly desire more innerpeace. This place enables us to be inspired. This place shows us that it’s possible. That we are able to create a world in which happiness will be the natural state of being and we striving together for the good purpose. Namaskaran.

ISHA foundation 

Ga jij er vol voor?

Door de poep rijden, door prikkers heen lopen, door een onbegaanbaar pad met metershoge bebossing heen laveren. Het leven test me hoe diep ik wil gaan. Hoe ver wil ik gaan. Wil ik alles ontdekken? Of hou ik ergens nog wat terug. Ben ik bereid tot het gaatje te gaan? Of haak ik halverwege af.

I want it all! Ik wil het weten. Ik ga net zo lang door totdat ik er ben. Omdat ik ergens weet dat dit mijn weg is. Omdat ik weet dat dit de capaciteiten zijn die ik klaarblijkelijk nodig heb. En waarvoor? Ik weet het niet. Gevoelsmatig staat er iets te gebeuren in de toekomst waarvoor we worden klaargestoomd. Voorbij aan onze comfort-zones, voorbij aan ‘being small’, alsof het leven ons vraagt volledig verantwoordelijkheid te nemen voor wie we zijn en de potentie die we in ons dragen.

En zo loop ik tijdens m’n verblijf in India op blote voeten, over vieze wegen, kokende asfalten en stenige paden. Ik besef me dat het de metafoor is voor mijn beweging in het leven; ik stap er vol in. Ook als het me pijnigt, beangstigd en voorziet van de nodige weerstand. Omdat ik weet dat dit de enige weg is. Je kunt er omheen. Je kunt er van weg. Maar uiteindelijk haalt het leven je in en krijg je waarvoor je hebt getekend. Dus daarom liever, direct springen in het diepe en weten dat het leven me ondersteunt.

Het is weerstand trainen. Maximaal. Leren zijn met onprettigheden. Ervoor gaan zitten, je openen en erdoorheen ademen. Dat is in mijn optiek de weg naar vrijheid. Zolang we blijven weglopen voor bedreigingen, onwenselijke gevoelens en weerstand, leven we altijd in angst. Leven we in plaats van in potentie, in zwakte. Ontdekken we in plaats van onze kracht, onze ontoereikendheid. Een staat van zijn die niemand gelukkig maakt. De staat van afhankelijkheid, altijd ergens omheen gaan met daarbij de wetenschap dat je altijd op de vlucht bent.

En het is mogelijk. Wij als mens zijn gemaakt om onze grootste angsten te overwinnen. In dit leven hebben we alle capaciteiten gekregen om deze, als kolossaal-aanvoelende-obstakels, te overwinnen. Alles begint bij het weer leren voelen. Dat is de enige manier om gevoelens en angsten te releasen. En het hoeft niet allemaal ineens. Het kan beetje bij beetje. Steeds een stukje voelen. En als je weer opnieuw met je emoties leert omgaan, ga je merken dat je hier meer controle over hebt dan je denkt. Dat je zelf je momenten kunt nemen om te voelen. Door bijvoorbeeld meditatie of yoga. Weer opnieuw leren communiceren met je systeem en ervaren hoe ze werkt. Na honderden jaren van emotie-loosheid is het een voorrecht om in onze generatie deze van creatie doordrenkte levensader weer aan te slingeren.

Devolving to the Golden Age

So there is this little place in the north of Bali called Tejakula, a hidden treasure being safely kept from mass tourism. And within this little town, there is this other little secret oasis called Desa Les. Probably not even mentioned on Google maps, this little enclave plays around a stunning waterfall, being an inducement for high-vibe-peops; light beings drawn in to this place to start off this Golden age, living in freedom, simplicity and surrender completely off-grid.

I was fortunate enough to ran in to this intruded tribe, see their habitats and get notice of this vibrant little ‘Warung’ encountering this intimate new civilization. Mainly raw and vegan treats are filling up this vitrine attracting me from beyond. With a menu overloaded with vibe-elevating-pearls (kombucha, Kefir and green smoothies), there is no other way to get an instant hertz-upgrade in a split second.


Not very surprisingly I could easily stick here for days marinate in this radiant space of earth-loving joy, absorb creativity, enjoy murmuring, being as one. I’m sincerely curious how this proficient place will evolve the upcoming years and the mysticism will be preserved. Already looking forward to report on that😉 .

Gede’s warung RA

Desa Les (Tejakula, Bali)

A pursuit of happiness – Gandhi Ashram

A pursuit of happiness. This place in the center of Candidasa, at the east-coast of Bali. It´s called an ashram, but it´s not as severe as ashrams are likely to be. For example you have the possibility to chant at 5.00 p.m. But it´s not obligated. You have the possibility to participate in work duties starting at 6.00 p.m. But it´s not needed. And you have the possibility to join the yoga class around 7.00. But all voluntarily. But believe me when I tell you this yogaclass in this setting is a one-to-experience. Set-up in this tropical stage, supported with a mindblowing sea-view in a layer of laughing scool-kids, your day could not start off in a better way.

Though the bungalows are sober, you have everything you need. 3 times a day you are welcomed by a prayer to enjoy the delicious pure local meals. It´s a suitable place for single-travellers: you´ll be surrounded by a community of young-adults who are living continuously in the ashram. Besides that, you´ll find a wide range of fellow-soulsearchers who are constantly attracted by this place.

For 18 euros a day you have your private bungalow with sea-view, 2 yogaclasses a day, 3 delicious meals and a beautiful area to enjoy enrichment. Expect no luxuries, just local standards: a luxury to experience!

An insight view upon Balinese waste management system


In my previous article I mentioned the ignorance of the Balinese people about the impact of non-organic materials on mother earth. And beyond that, the passivity of the Balinese government towards waste management. But what’s needed? What can help to make a valuable transition towards a healthier island? To figure out these questions, we need some background information about the current situation here in Bali.

‘The government is not making any efforts, why should we?’

As said before people are still handling pack-material similar to decades before when everything was organically wrapped. Due to ignorance about the impact of non-organic material on our earth, they nowadays tend to do the same. Due to the lack of pressure from the government, they don’t feel any need to change. ‘The government is not making a big deal out of it, so why should we’ is a phrase which indicates the lack of importance given to this matter.  Besides that, a collective stigma on cleaning other one’s waste seems to be relevant; it’s a huge downgrade on the social scale.

A lack of need

It seems like the government doesn’t prioritize waste management. Although when there is money involved, measures will be taken. Look at Kuta. A dump store existing of plastic and rubbish is the morning sight when tides enters. In order to maintain the endless wave of tourists, government provides beachcleaners every morning collecting the waste. Why is it possible over there? Is the financial need to little in rural areas or remoted villages? Well there happen to be some initiatives and funds provided for villages to arrange their own waste management, but generally projects seem to stop after a certain period of time.

No after-care

There is no control, reporting of after-care which makes continuity challengeable. Not more than once people ran away with the funded money which generally initiates the end of project. It reveals the fact that money is available, but a lack of sustainable plans to fund it in a proper way.

It’s how Bali works

It’s a lovely state of being. Limited regulations, a laidback attitude, little pressure from above. But on the other hand, the lack of pressure and control, makes it hard to implement rules or guidelines. People are not used to be restricted or socially controlled from upper hand. It’s such another way around in, for example my country (the Netherlands) where signals could even restrict me from walking beside the pathway. Everything is being controlled, organized and regulated. In one hand, beautiful; everybody knows it’s way around, streets are spotlessly clean and in case of an accident it’s always clear who to blame. I don’t know what’s better. What I do know, is that change is needed in order to capture the beauty of this island.

The Balinese transition towards plastic packaging

Plastic cans all over the place when I´m making my way from Canggu to Candidasa, both located on paradise island Bali. Thousands of young people marching to celebrate liberation day with lots of happy people along the road to support them. I ask my driver indignantly about this trash on the street. ‘Because there are no public bins and the government don’t want to spend money on waste collecting’.

Plastic rivers
It catched my eye immediately when I entered Canggu a couple of days ago. There happened to be rubbish all over the place, mainly plastic. A lot of plastic. And initially I blamed the tourists for not caring about other one’s property. But on a short notice the Swiss lady, with whom I spend my nights with, informed me differently; it are primarily locals who created the public trash bins. But why?

Well the main reason seems to be the lack of awareness among the people. And especially the older ones. Still recently all packaging was made out of organic materials which could be thrown on the streets easily. Nature took care of it. With tourism a rapid transition occurs  and plastic became the main pack-material. But Balinese still handle it similar: they don’t have any idea which impact plastic has on the environment. There is no education. You can compare it with Australia 30 years ago. Beaches were full of plastic and other dump, but during the years awareness entered, people were being educated and informed properly which supported the clean beaches Australia knows nowadays.

Waste collecting system
And even though awareness about sustainability, recycling and permaculture increases rapidly also here in Bali, there is still a lot to gain. But the government needs to take it’s share. Starting with public bins for example, so people are optioned. But with bins, a waste collecting system is needed and that’s were it hurts.

Start small
But it’s a big mission, I know. In the meantime, small steps can be taken. Take this lovely Swiss lady who organizes ‘play-days’ in remote mountain villages every 3 months. Together with locals kids she cleans the streets on a playfull way, what not only creates awareness among those little guys, but automatically involves their parents. On day 2 local political headliners are invited so developments and bottlenecks can be discussed.

It’s all about awareness
So besides heading for big improvements, small steps can be taken, just by showing own creative initiative. Start with a bag, picking up plastic or other waste from the streets or the woods. It’s all about awareness. It’s not only cleaning up, but also inspire other people, creating more consciousness about the possibilities. We can change the world, we just have to take the first step ourself!