We parked the car in the Munich airport this morning. After an 11-hour car trip through the Alps and four hours sleep in a German Pension, we boarded the plane for Berlin. (They will pick up the car after the training when they return to their summer home by the sea). Heidi told me the man sitting next to me on the plane was flirting, but I didn’t notice. Lost in deep meditation I wondered “why am I here in Germany,” “why am I flying to Berlin?”—a place I viewed with horror as a child. Simply put, I am here about forgiveness. The first time I came to Berlin to teach, I felt hateful and angry. I felt like an outcast. I felt like I was being persecuted. When the class processed their work in German and no one translated for me, I experienced intense loneliness and rejection. The second time I came, the experience was somewhat better. I came to teach in a small village between Hamburg and Breman and because I love country and farmland, I found it tolerable. Also I talked a woman in the class about being Jewish, and that helped me to let go of my underlying hostility and fear.
This time being Jewish came up as soon as I came to Grafenhaun to teach. Laurenz, the director of the program, and I started to get to know each other in a deeper way and he asked me about my roots. I told him I was Jewish and he seemed surprised. He asked me if I needed to deal with this in class. He asked how I felt about being here in Germany. I told him I am happy to be here and I don’t need to deal with this in class. And that felt true. And then as luck would have it…..
I often do a demonstration the first day of class. When I asked for a volunteer, Lois came up to the front to work with me. She told me that she has pain (chronic) in her solar plexus. When she started to work in that area of her body (deep breathing, kicking, etc) an intense yearning for the nurse who cared for her from birth till age two occurred. Soldiers came to Lois’s house and took the nurse away because she was Jewish. From then on, Lois was not allowed to broach the subject to her parents or mention the nurse by name. (The nurse survived the camps and Lois has seen her since). Needless to say, this experience touched me deeply and I then chose to share my Jewish heritage with the group. I applauded her courage and desire to work on the loss of a Jewish nanny. I felt relieved that she could release grief still held in her body, some fifty years later.
Earlier on the plane, I realized some anger and hate still resided in me. When I looked down below at the green fields, I saw them covered with blood. That feeling quickly changed to forgiveness and love. I am grateful to be here and to have the opportunity to heal and to make a difference.
I also realize that I need to take more time off when I return to the states, I will try to take the last week in August – to do errands, to think, to meditate, to write. I want to spend time in silence and in forgiveness. Not filling the space around me with words. Here in Europe I hear sounds. Since I don’t know the language—many of the sounds appear to lack substance or emotion. Silence offers tremendous knowing and wisdom.