A poem on dying

A poem on dying

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

July 21, 2023

Death and Life
It is one and the same
I knew this, for I saw it with my waking eyes already many years ago
Death and Life
One and the same
But life is lived in such a way
That we tend to forget this wisdom
We are forgetful beings
Sometimes, only little moments, we may catch a glimpse
A glimpse of Death and Life
as one and the same
It are these moments that are most precious to me
What a joy was it to know with an absolute certainty
That my dear friend was going home
Stepping over, just a very small step it seamed,
to the other side
A home where time changes into timelessness
Where an illusional difference between Death and Life disappears
‘Search for me there, on the other side’ was the message of his Beloved
And he searched until he found Him!
No sorrow, no pain.
All I want is to celebrate!
What a joy it is, to know our dear friend is back home!
The alchemy of a relationship with a spiritual guide or yogi

A relationship beyond your imagination

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

June 27, 2022

A relationship beyond all of your imagination

There are many different kinds of relationships. In this blog I would like to share with you a very special and quite unknown one.

I am talking about the relationship between the Beloved and the lover, the Master and the devotee, the Guide and the student, many names are given to this very special relationship. Here I choose the one closest to the language of western people, the Spiritual Guide and the student.

From my perspective this is the most beautiful relationship and yet the least understood.

In the West we only know the relation with a teacher and we project that knowledge on the relationship with a Spiritual Guide thinking it is the same, also because in our culture we just don’t have a reference to anything else.

However this is not very helpful and you will miss all extra benefits of the relation with the Guide if you keep looking at him as a teacher. A teacher has knowledge about certain things, he tries to teach you knowledge. This can be very beautiful and valuable but a real Spiritual Guide does something else. Or perhaps he does nothing and he needs nothing and that is his quality. His Guidance relates more to his state, from which the student can benefit, than to teachings.

I consciously use capital letters indicating for example the Spiritual Guide while writing the student with small letters. This does not indicate a hierarchy or inequality but rather different states. And by making the distinction it is clear the students want to move towards a different state. Also it indicates the nature of the Guide as being an instrument.

How it started

From the very beginning, now almost twenty year ago, I was aware of a certain alchemy happening every time I was in the presence of my Spiritual Guide Yoginâm. This presence can be in silence, while he is playing the harp, during a conversation or just in passing by. But also from a distance, by thinking about him, doing the Breath, asking inwardly for help, by writing an email to him, reading a text from his hand or listening to a recording of a former HarpMood. Fulfilling practical tasks, buying him a present or giving a donation, the alchemy is always there. And the more attention you give to all these different aspects and actively use them the stronger the transformative alchemy becomes.

Now is the Spiritual Guide doing all this? Is he creating a certain alchemy, doing something magical? I didn’t understand. Once I spoke about this topic with Yoginâm and he says he doesn’t do anything, he just responds to the question or wathever input as a normal daily activity.  So what happens then? What is causing this alchemy that can transform just about anything?

The alchemy

If you aspire such a relationship it is good to realise you will have to bring life into this relationship yourself, then the Guide will reflect you back. The Guide has no needs or wants, he is in service, you are the one who needs something, longs for something and the Guide can help you find it and help you heal what needs to be healed to become more open and more whole and with that closer to your natural state, your authenticity.

The Guide, who also went through the same process, is because of his specific state of being as a clear mirror in which you are projecting yourself. All the different inputs you give into the relationship are ways to project yourself in that mirror and in that happening the alchemy is there which transforms you, it is something that happens naturally in openness. Sometimes you can really experience it, more often however you have no idea about what is happening in different more unconscious levels, you just find yourself changed somehow later on.

Bit by bit your transformations are making you a different person. You start projecting less and less and the mirror which at first was perceived by you in a troubled way becomes more clear. Eventually, because the mirror becomes clear, you start to see the real you, that which you are in Essence.

This all happens in reflection with the Guide being the mirror. Only a Guide, because of his state, can provide such a mirror, this is his task and this is what distinguishes him from a teacher or a therapist.

A Spiritual Guide is not a therapist

If you have serious psychological problems you need to work on them first before you are ready for a Spiritual path. The Guide has another purpose and is not a therapist. Being with a Guide is helping you let go of programmes that stand in the way of openness, this usually happens beyond the conscious field of understanding, you cannot grasp it. So instead of working with the problems you will have to learn to move your attunement towards trust instead of understanding which is often a form of control. When there are serious psychological problems letting go of this control can be too much or even become problematic.

A Spiritual Guide is a necessity for everyone seriously advancing on a Spiritual Path

All serious spiritual traditions underline this: when advancing on a Spiritual Path you need a Spiritual Guide who knows the path, can Guide you through and around the challenges and pitfalls and who gives you something to hold on to when everything else you knew and understood falls away like detrimental habitual programmes and a sense of control. You will learn to trust beyond understanding and enter the present moment. Advancing on the path without this very specific Guidance can even be dangerous.

Now you might think you have your inner Guide and this is enough, I hear this often, we all think “I can do this alone, I should, I need, I can do it myself now” etcetera but this is actually a dangerous thought. It is true, the Spiritual Guide ultimately leads you towards a stronger connection with your inner Guide but you need a long time, healing and Guidance to learn to hear, listen and recognise the difference between your inner Guide and everything else happening in your inner world. How do you know the difference between inner Guidance and ego controlled voices and visions however uplifting they can be? Only by checking your inner Guidance with a real Spiritual Guide, present in this world, can you learn the difference. Without this check you can easily fool yourself and even hurt yourself and others. Especially because the Spiritual Realm is unknown to you.

Only making use of a Spiritual Guide provides this alchemy I spoke of above and you need this alchemy to heal and unveil what we call Heart, the silent void from which all creation comes. When Heart is covered with veils one can never listen to an inner Guide, it only hears the ego needs and wants, one is slave of one’s own liking and disliking.


Just to be clear about something, there is nothing wrong with ego. Without it we are not able to live. Spirituality however is aiming at transforming the ego in such a way that it serves the whole which includes ourselves.

It is natural to build ego while growing up and those who were not able, because of (traumatic) circumstances or genetic causes, to build a healthy ego, are not ready for the Spiritual Path. They first have to build a healthy ego, meaning being able to live an adult and responsible life without serious psychological or psychiatric problems. Of course everyone has issues that still need to be healed, there just needs to be a certain stability for such a serieus path.

What can the Spiritual Guide do to help you?

To optimally make use of this relationship the Guide, like Yoginâm is doing, can provide you with tools. These can be meditation tools and an example of life ethics and a helpful way of thinking and experiencing. But he can also give you a specific task or provide ways for you to work together with other students within a certain framework in which all serve a higher purpose, this is a perfect means to transform yourself.

Yoginâm created this possibility by starting first the Asharum in Amonines, Belgium and later Asharum Nijar in Spain. Both built up from the ground and through this building and working together we transform ourselves simply because a higher goal is served instead of personal needs like detrimental attachments and programmes.


Usually there are customs when being around the Spiritual Guide.

Probably these, for Westerners, strange looking customs often give the idea the Spiritual Guide is worshipped. However nothing could be less the case.

These customs and rituals are mere ways to invite for example a kind of humbleness, or as they also call it in some traditions, a spiritual poverty. This is a knowing in a deep and true sense that you don’t know anything, a state of surrendering to Totality (which we cannot know or understand).

Other customs invite gratefulness and respect. Such attitudes are needed to open yourself and to enter the open states of love, awe and wonder. Therefore the customs around the Spiritual Guide are always there to serve you and not the Guide. He is unattached to such customs, often they are even uncomfortable.

Even when the student serves the Guide with certain tasks, eventually he serves himself through the service which is the tool to transform oneself.

Also the Spiritual Guide does not or at least should not desire being worshipped because this would be in the way of true, pure Guidance. It would ripple the mirror let’s say and prevent the students eventually from discovering their true Essence.

It would actually make the student dependent instead of independent, in true Spirituality this dependency can never be the aim. It is the task of the Guide to prevent this from happening, especially with those who are programmed in their lives in such a way that they are actually longing for this dependency, a true Guide will recognise this and help the students stand on their own feet by helping them to transform these programmes. Ultimately the aim of the Guide is to help you find real inner freedom, meaning freed from attachments and disturbing programmes and to build a strong relationship with Totality in which all is sharing.

And perhaps this is what distinguishes a real Guide from profiteers who are out for power and prestige and who depend on the dependency of their students.

How do you know you found the right Spiritual Guide?

There is a wise saying from the old traditions: “It is not you who will find the Spiritual Guide, it is the Guide who will find you”. This is what happened to me too and I hear it all around me.

This means you can only prepare yourself, listen to life as best as possible and when you are ready the Guide will call you in his very mysterious and wondrous way. Then all you have to do is say yes and embrace it realising how lucky you are.

Many go to the East in search for the Guide but will not necessarily find him. I also wanted to go East, however life took me by the hand and sent me to America to prepare myself only to be found by him shortly after and very nearby in my own country.

How do I give form to this relationship?

Of course this is a very intimate question and also you have to discover your way, your form because no two relationships are the same. This is also because of my ego constellation, who I am and how my ego was formed. The programmes and genes that made me what I am today are unique. Consequently the relationship is unique as well.

What I can say is this; mostly I try to visit my spiritual Guide Yoginâm as often as possible, I serve as much as possible, regularly I ask for a private HarpMood, one of his beautiful means of sharing. Not because I have a problem but to connect with him and improve my attunement which is making me a better person, able to better serve the whole. When Guidance seems to come from within but there is doubt I double check with Yoginâm through email. When I go through something for which I feel a need to share I contact him, when there are (spiritual) questions I ask Yoginâm. When I have a difficult time my focus is on Yoginâm, I read and reread his books and texts, I go to retreats, in the beginning years I received regular healings, I am using his tools every day and so on….

Of course there is no right or wrong way, only your way. You have to find a way that works for you and there are as many ways as there are people.  I hope this inspires you to find your own way too.

The Turban

Once upon a time, there was a famous Sufi Master in Baghdad. He had the habit of taking a daily walk through the busiest part of the city with a huge turban on his head, which was covered all around with jewels and gold jewelry. He wore a large cloak with the most beautiful and expensive gold brocade.

He was a very famous Master. One day a spiritual seeker came from another city and wanted to meet him. He arrived at the Master’s house just as he was returning from his daily walk. As usual, he was fully decked out with the turban and cloak. This confused the visitor quite a bit.

That same evening after the meal, he was given the opportunity to speak to the Guide. He said, “I’m glad to see you, but I’ve always been under the impression that the Sufi Masters are pursuing a simple lifestyle. When I saw you walking today, I was confused. Surely this is not an appropriate behaviour for a Master!”

To this the Master replied, “You have come here because you want to learn from me. In your words, however, there is a condemnation of my behaviour. That is why I cannot be your Master and I ask you to leave tomorrow.”

“But I don’t want to send you away without helping you a little: Everyone who comes to a Master can benefit from the loving energy of the Master. Through the unconscious exchange of this loving energy, people change, often without realising it themselves.”

“I wear this gaudy turban and this ostentatious cloak every day, so that as many people as possible on the street will see me and look at me. This allows as many people as possible to be touched by perhaps a little bit of the loving energy. And through all the little bits together, they very gradually become better people.”

“If you condemn my behaviour, even if only a little bit, then you close the door and you cannot receive my loving energy. That’s why I can’t take you on as a student.”


Was this blog helpful for you? Then you might also like the blog ‘living the natural state’.

My relationship with Yoginâm

How we create a beautiful world Retreat centre Asharum Amonines - Joyful Meetings

How we create a beautiful world

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~


How we create a beautiful world

We are creative beings and we are creating our own world. Start dreaming about another world and the resonance will create another world.

In this blog I would like to elaborate more on it because it might be simple but is not as easy as it is simple.

We are the Cause of our own Consequence

This means it is not so much about who we are but what we are that matters. We create with what we are and that is mostly unconscious.

If we do not explore what we are we will, with our mostly unconscious dreams, start creating mostly just our projections. These projections are based on habitual programmes built up in our lives which are not all only beneficial. Also these projections are following individual needs and wishes mostly together with ideologies based on culture and tradition (and realise for a moment that our western culture is expressing at the moment mostly consumerism and a dualistic way of thinking built on an old guilt programme.)

Can you imagine a beautiful world?

Just ask yourself, can you imagine a beautiful world that also fills the needs of a Tibetan farmer, a western doctor, a Russian astronaut, a Persian musician, all children in Africa and a Dutch mother? And not to forget a cow, a bee, an oak, a sardine, a bacteria…?

While unaware with perhaps the best intentions we want to create something we think is good. But the world, as being an ecosystem, part of a galaxy and so on is so big and beyond our grasping, how can we possible begin to think we can know what it needs? How can we make a picture that includes all? And to make it small again, do we these days know still what we really need ourselves?

Living a way of living I could never have dreamed before

If I just look at my own life so far and how it was created this tells me a lot. I am right now living a way of living I could never have dreamed before. If I would have dreamed a life for myself consciously earlier and that would have come out it would not be as it is now, it would be much more limited because it was created with the mind of that moment which was more limited as my mind now and I would regret that (if I would be aware). This because my life right now is absolutely beyond my conscious imagination.

Also in the past I would (being unaware) have dreamed a life without suffering and difficult times. While it is exactly these times that formed and brought me so much and looking back there is not one moment I would want to have missed. Would I have put these difficulties in a conscious future dream? Probably not. Unconsciously yes I did.

Formulating your wishes carefully

Whoever wishes for peace might with that wish automatically create war. Or who wishes there will be plenty of food and riches for you, could that create perhaps for other life a lack? This is similar to the saying ‘Where there is light there is darkness’, a biblical saying.

So I decided already long ago to be careful about formulating my wishes. Because I also know that a wish that is really sincerely desired can come true, and that again refers to another wise saying ‘careful what you wish for’ or as Alan Watts (inspired by William Blake) says:’The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions’.

I am not saying it is wrong to dream a beautiful world. Just be aware of the pitfalls and be conscious of the dual way of thinking from where it often starts. Just like the idea of a war that is intended to create peace. Peace will never come as long as you think in this way. You have to start thinking differently, start looking at life differently and start seeing with different eyes, actually become another being in order to start creating something else.

The one dream I had as a child

There is one dream I had as a child which still stands today and this is because it is very open and full of potential. If you would ask me as a child what I would want to become when I was older it was not a doctor or nurse or something, the answer was “I want to become a wise old woman’.

Also there was a longing to serve, I wanted to do something good in the world without knowing or filling in what that was. Later on I asked for Guidance to do that, realising I could not do it on my own.

This is actually a combination of Intent (become a wise woman), a longing to serve and an openness to Guidance which became the driving force which is gradually helping me get past my own projections, likes and dislikes and transforming my Habitual Programmes of Perception. I think it is this combination that has been given and still is giving direction to my ongoing creation. Here I like to dive deeper into these elements with you.

There is a different way of creating we can become aware of

It is really from the inside out that we have to change something and it needs a complete different mindset and orientation which is very new for most people.

Because it is natural for all living to thrive, living beautiful lives with our loved ones and be happy in life, this longing and wishing can be enough to create something beautiful and yes we should continue to long for this and thrive because it is natural like it is natural for a flower to grow towards the light.

Look for your habitual programmes

However if on this way in life we do not explore our habitual programmes we can seriously get lost in our intentions and do harm with them unconsciously.

For example and to make this more concrete look at this typically western programme of wanting more than we actually need. Realise that this is a causal habitual programme of perception from which consumerism is a natural consequence.

Investigating these programmes is never direct, nor a therapeutic action.
It is within a way of living, in which Intent and Attunement are the basic instruments, that these programmes will come up and can be transformed.

The Transcendental Way

LivingNâm provides me with different and very powerful tools for creation that tranforms the above pitfalls and unconscious projections.

It is a way in which I gradually transform my unconscious disturbing Habitual Programmes of Perceptions into beneficial ones.

A way of living that is a very beautiful and powerful way to create true beneficial resonance. Resonance that will create a wonderful world I cannot with my conscious mind imagine anymore, that is beyond my grasp but I do can see that with enough people living such a way, a beautiful world that serves all can be created.

This is the way of ‘Attention in Remembering’.

Essence of Essence

I can best envisage this by sharing an intimate contemplation with you while realising the experience crumbles down to meaningless words as soon as I write it down. Yet it may help and inspire you in your own search.

Recently in a meditation I had a realisation.

“I am the Essence of Essence.
And everything, every phenomena, every experience, every human being, animal, plant, bacteria, the earth, the glaxies are an expression of this Essence of Essence. So also sickness, disaster, war and suffering are expressions of this very Essence of Essence.

This Essence of Essence is not a something, and certainly not a something outside me, a something I can address by prayer and thought.
It is me as it is you,
I exist out of this Essence of Essence!
With my life I am giving it a human expression”

This realisation is not something that just comes up in me out of the blue. It is the basic principle of LivingNâm and I read it, in different words, time and time again in the different texts and books of Yoginâm. So realising it during meditation in a much wider sense than just rationally is a consequence of reading about it regularly and exploring and remembering it with the specific tools I use, and as such the realisation is very valuable to gradualy change myself into a different Cause.

Now going back to creating the world, the answer on how to do so lies in this realisation and by giving form to your life in such a way that you keep reminding yourself of this realisation as much, as deep and as often as you can.

With this realisation you start orienting yourself not to the phenomena of living but to where it comes from, to the Essence of Essence.

Orienting yourself to the Essence of Essence

The stronger your realisation becomes, the stronger your orientation stabilises in something unchangeable, something that was always there, also before your birth. Something that is there right now and also in difficult and confusing times. And something that will be there still when you die. This realisation then becomes an Affirmation, a Certainty that has nothing to do with believing or knowledge. An Affirmation that will eventually become you.

In Oneness all ages unite Time loses itself in timelessness Past and presence and future Unite in a single instant
The everlasting now in all infinity Eternity within eternity Such is Oneness in you

Beings are reduced to dust When your manifestation Withdraws within itself Eternity is now
And now is eternity Evaporated are the distinctions Between yesterday and tomorrow All united in your Love

From ‘Oh Abbah – Songs for Lovers’ by Yoginâm

A Certainty

This orientation becomes a constancy and a Certainty you start to rely on without a need to understand and grasp it. It will grow a trust in you and it becomes something you can hold on to while everything else can fall apart. Because realise that an accident could happen any moment and your health is gone, or your house and wealth, your loved ones and so on, nothing is permanent except that which is always there, that which in spirituality is often referred to as the Transcendence of living.

It is in this Transcendence where we can find answers, Trust, Love and Certainty. It is also in this Transcendence where we can truly contribute to a beautiful world!

We call this shift in orientation the shift from Soul to Heart.

The Breath

“Millennia of spiritual investigation has proven that Attention in Remembering is the best approach. Wisdom does not emerge from the effort of learning, it spreads by itself like light in a dark room when the shutters are opened”.

From ‘The Book of Nâm’ by Yoginâm

The Breath is a powerful tool which opens these shutters. This tool is so powerful because it is beyond our knowing and grasping. The Breath is the ultimate tool of Remembering ourselves of the Essence of Essence of which we cannot know what it is, nevertheless we can Remember!

“The Breath is the instrument that facilitates Remembering and prevents it from deteriorating in beliefs and opinions distorted by the ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ of our habitual programmes of perception”.

From ‘The Book of Nâm’ by Yoginâm

Please contact us for more information in case you are interested in receiving the Breath.

Finding beauty in everything

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say.
Aspire to become a Beautiful Human Being by searching for the Essence of Essence in everything.

Learn to whiteness the phenomena as expressions of this Essence of Essence with practising the Breath.

Once you start seeing in everything, everyone, and in all situations the expression of the Essence of Essence, you will naturally start seeing beauty. A kind of beauty in which ugliness is naturally transcended.
Beyond judgement, projections, likes and dislikes you will enter a state of Awe and Wonder.

With this resonance of Awe and Wonder you become a Beautiful Human Being and you contribute in your modest way to a naturally beautiful world full of potential and beyond your comprehension.

Because Yoginâm has said it so many times: “You are the Consequence of your own Cause” Take up this invitation and become a beautiful Cause with which you will create naturally a beautiful Consequence both individually as well as collectively.

This is my way of dreaming a beautiful world and LivingNâm gives me all the tools and inspiration to explore and live this way of living.

A beautiful start for exploring this is the reflectionweek organised about three times a year in Asharum Amonines. Join us in this beautiful adventure, explore with us and discover it yourself!

Thank You

September 14, 2021

Why would you follow a course on spirituality?

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

Why would you follow a course on spirituality?

In a commercialised world we use words to reach people and to bring them to do something, for example, a course or buy products.

It is natural to trade and it is good both for the individual and for a country and the world to have a healthy exchange in goods and money.

However, the discernment between what is really important and what are side issues seems to get lost in people. Many of us have lost an inner compass. The consequence is that we can be fooled easily and we believe everything.


When this concerns spirituality that worries me.


Traditional Eastern spirituality blew over/spread from the East and is getting more and more popular. However, it is popular as a hobby! People like to spend some time on it, doing spiritual courses in order to feel good. You can do a course in a weekend and call yourself a teacher of some kind!

Or after a year training you can have a title in front of your name. Is that not strange? Does that not ring a bell inside you? Is there not an inner voice saying: ”wait a minute, a Tibetan monk studying and practicing his whole life time to attain certain skills, a calm mind, wisdom…and I can learn all this in a year-training?”


If you aim to achieve things for yourself and even become able to teach others after following a course you could be fooling yourself.


So, I suggest you ask yourself the following question:

“Do I want to have a nice hobby, to entertain myself or do I want to live a spiritual life?”


Most courses are aiming for the first because most people are looking for that. Most people do not really want to change their lives, they just want to add something to it, something that gives them a good feeling and there is of course nothing wrong with that. The only thing that matters is that you know what you are looking for: that helps in making the right choice.


There is nothing in between a hobby and a way of life, that perhaps makes the choice more simple.


A spiritual life

You can find a lot of entertaining spirituality online and in the town you live in. This kind of spirituality is for many people a starting point, you have to start somewhere right? I started that way, did some yoga, a Reiki course, studied several years to become an alternative therapist and healer. But am I a good therapist and healer now? Mostly I learned and was guided in healing myself more than others and now, years later, I am convinced I cannot heal anybody else, no one can. So, I let it all go but I never saw it as a waste, it has been very valuable to my life, it had to go that way. But something inside me also told me to go on and look further.

These, let’s call it introduction years, showed me the way to a serious spiritual life which I have been trying to live now for about fifteen years. And I can tell you, I am still a beginner! I cannot give you wisdom, teach you how to heal others, how to become a good spiritual teacher.

All I can do is share with you the instruments I am using which are very helpful to me, the rest is totally up to you!

And with that purpose, to share with you something I am still very much discovering myself, I give courses, workshops, weekends….. Struggling with finding the right words for it because you have an idea about what a course or workshop should be and that is not it! You will not get what you expect, hopefully you will get something that is better for you, I think so, but are you then open to receive that if you are expecting something else, expecting results and perhaps even comparing it with other courses?


So back to the commercial world… I am struggling here! The marketing language does not fit the purpose of our courses! It is not helpful in promoting serious spirituality.


An honest look into a spiritual life

I think I can honestly say I am living a serious spiritual life even though often I have the idea I am not doing my best enough which is probably already not a very spiritual thought, is it :).

But for me a spiritual life does not mean one is always wise, has always a quiet mind, always in control of his emotions and more of these cliches. Living a spiritual life means seriously practicing ethics in your daily life to become wise, tranquil, in control of your emotions etc. Although wisdom is not something you attain, it is something that is there to open yourself for so perhaps I should say ‘to become open’.


Meditation and contemplation can be instruments for that, but one is not spiritual if one only meditates! Meditation and contemplation only benefit the practice when you have an inner and outer attunement. Also, you need ethics and to be serious in applying this in daily life, when you don’t feel like it, don’t want to, find something else more important or just find it too difficult. You keep trying, you fall and get up again and do your best which is all you can do but you have to be honest about it to yourself.


A serious spiritual course can inspire, help you look into the right direction, teach you some practical skills to help you in your daily life but it actually starts after the course ends! When you are back in your daily life with your own daily struggles. When there you start applying the instruments you learned, something will start to happen depending on how seriously you take it all.


Living such a life opens you for wisdom, lasting joy, loving kindness and compassion, awe and wonder. It does so by transforming negative programmes like greed, jealousy, egoism, hate, attachments, stubbornness etc. This is not easy, right? Having to look at your own inner devils, demons and ghouls in order to be able to let them go. Usually they first grow stronger to help you see them and then you can let them go…if you are not too attached to them! Letting go is often very difficult for many people, it helps if you have a strong intent. If you truly with your whole heart want to live a life in Love applying the ethics that come with that, willing to sacrifice yourself (meaning your attachments and other ego programmes).


Many people drop it once they come across these difficulties and that is why they choose spirituality as a hobby and stay on the comfortable safe side.


What is your choice?


February 13 – 2020

Bezinnen in retraite centrum in Belgische Ardennen - voorkom burn-out

Burnout – Are you asking yourself the right questions?

~ A text by Irma ten Brink  inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

Burnout – Are you asking yourself the right questions?

People who are in a burnout often ask themselves questions.

A frequently asked question is: how can I better guard my limits so that I don’t get burned out?

However, from the LivingNâm vision this is not a helpful question at all.

A burnout is a signal that something has gone wrong or rather an invitation that a different course should be taken in life. It is a crisis that offers an opportunity. But then you have to ask the right questions! When you start to look at it from only the perspective of psychotherapeutic principles, you often do not get it.

Nowadays, younger and younger people are getting burnouts. Research has shown that the burnout frequently occurs already with students. The question then arises ‘how is this possible?’

Could this have something to do with the fact that people have lost direction? They have lost beneficial ethics and no longer find direction and meaning in their lives? Religions have disappeared for many people or no longer serve their purpose because of the changes in people due to evolution (globalisation, internet).

Today when people encounter problems, undergo crises, have challenges and questions, this is no longer viewed in the light of transcendence because we no longer know how to do that or even what transcendence is. Previously this was done through the myths of the religions and each religion offered possibilities in its own way. For example, through mythical gods and icons.

However, this no longer works for most modern people, but nothing has come to replace it. So how do we relate to the wholeness? THAT in which we share? And THAT of which the problems and crises, our challenges and our questions are just a part of?

Perhaps we no longer ask life questions because we no longer know to what or whom we can direct ourselves? Or have these questions become (more hidden) buried in a world of commerce, making money and short entertainment?

It is natural to ask yourself, why do I live? What is the meaning of my life? …and of life itself? Is there more …? People have been asking these questions for centuries and the question will always remain relevant!

Why? Because these questions help us to enter into a relationship with the Resonance of Wholeness in which all and everything is shared.

I think it’s not so much about the answers to the questions.

I think it is the asking of the questions itself that matters.

Because asking these questions will get you on a path and will challenge you to start searching. Have more questions and by questioning you go deeper, experiences will be more refined and above all it invites you to gradually open yourself to an answer that is so deep and refined that the search becomes a longing and can become the read thread for your whole lifetime or even more lives.

This search can become an intimate relationship with Totality and by that a guide because when the search is sincere, and you are not only looking for entertainment, you will find yourself being guided, sometimes even mysteriously, that may surprise you. And then….  you have found your inner compass.

If you would like to explore this with some support, check out our easy accessible course ‘Discover Meditation’. Or one of our ‘Weekends of Silence’.


Silent meditation in retreat centre Asharum Amonines

Treat the other in the way you want to be treated yourself

~ A text by Irma ten Brink inspired by the work of Yoginâm ~

Letting go of yourself…

For about fourteen years I have been privileged to share my life with and take care of a very special horse. On the day I met him, I immediately decided to take up the responsibility of taking care of him, it felt like we belonged together. He knew it, I knew it. And from that moment on our relationship started to grow, and it grew stronger every day. Three years ago I had to let him go, but I still am picking the fruits of that beautiful relationship and I am grateful for what he has taught me over the years.

Two lessons I like to share with you since they have been a great help in my spiritual endeavor.

  1. Always, when the horse does not do what you are asking from him, don’t blame the horse but look at yourself and find the answers there.
  2. Through the love I felt for this horse a very strong intention grew inside me: ‘I want only the best life possible for this horse’. This feeling is the step for letting go of yourself by making the other more important. This has been the (often unconscious) driving force in all we have been through together and all the decisions I made. The horse became my mirror and through watching him, being with him and taking care of him I learned to know myself and saw what I was creating; in the end that was a very free, healthy and natural life, leader of his own herd, I believe he was happy as was I :). Although not aware how I was creating I did become aware my intention was in a mysterious way a driving force. Humans are creative beings and by creative Imagination we create. This is not only a creation for ourselves, it is much wider.


Now what does this have to do with the spiritual endeavour?

Those who are drawn to a serious spiritual endeavour are preparing themselves for the big ‘Letting Go’. By practicing letting go, again the right intent is here the driving force, you let go of your self-importance, your attachment to ideas, habitual programmes and beliefs. Becoming free in the true sense. This practice of Letting Go is what they also call ‘the letting go of yourself’ which of course does not mean that at the end you will go up in smoke :).

For about 14 years I have lived my life community wise. This means you live together with people, not necessarily of your choosing or liking, and you have to make the best of it.

The two lessons already learned from my horses were very helpful.

  1. Whenever I got into trouble with someone I did not start to argue or fight about something, also did not blame them for things they did wrong (or at least I tried not too), no, I withdrew myself into contemplation and searched for answers and asked for help inwardly. Really it saved me from a lot of trouble and helped me to solve difficulties in a harmonious way.
  2. Communal intentions and a ‘higher’ goal meaning beyond myself and personal longings, caused me to transcend myself to more refined states of living. Consequently this had positive effects on others too. And since the others with whom I am living share the same intentions and way of living, their practice has consequences for them, me and others too. Through these intentions we are creating. We are aware that we are creating anyway just by living. We decided to create something beautiful.


Along this way of living in a community I also discovered something else

It appeared to be impossible to learn to know the other. However observing the other, also that which I did not like, taught me much about myself. The power of the community is the possibility of learning to know yourself. Before you can let go of yourself you have to know yourself and transform yourself. This is a phase you cannot skip even though many people try :)! This because only through this transformation slowly you start to let go of yourself…


A dualistic world view is very detrimental

When you look at life from a dualistic world view you will start having problems with this. For example if you see the other as separate from yourself and you apply the first suggestion: ‘not to blame the other’ you will start blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong. This gives a feeling of failure and eventually depression (to avoid these feelings we rather blame the other).


Let’s try another worldview, why not?!

Just consider, like many have done before you, that everything is sharing in a wholeness,  wholeness into infinity, ungraspable and impossible to explain or talk about but still, just assume that you are part of this unknown..…

Then the other person is also part of this, right? Into infinity means there is nothing you can put outside it…Not even your worst nightmares!

If so and you’re still with me here…then stop trying and embrace whatever is there. It is not wrong or anything it just merely is!

Then, from this worldview, you are that other as well is he is you…

So the well being of that other is just as important as yours…

And the problems of the other are also yours in a sense…

And if the other is you then naturally you will treat the other in the way you want to be treated yourself …

As soon as your worldview starts to shift to this infinitely wide worldview, your intentions are starting to become wider too.
Less selfish and more directed to the whole of which you are part.

For that you have to let go of the illusion that you are a separate being who has to defend himself, has to fight, has to gain power and wealth and other kind of selfish longings.


Just imagine…

Just imagine that more people would start having this worldview with intentions bigger then for personal gain, higher goals, less personal and more in line with what is good for the whole in which all is sharing in all, and then to make it even bigger: imagine all these people were mirroring each other, could we then be creating a whole other world?!

Just think about it and consider for a moment….

If it can happen in a small community, why could it not happen in a big world?

Now the big question: will you just let me go on dreaming or will you help me to make this dream come true?! What other plans do you have for your life? And the lives of your children?


The meaning of Life

According to the LivingNâm Vision the meaning of life is about transforming natural ignorance (the state in which you are born) into the realisation of Wisdom and Well-Being.

Take a moment and contemplate on that…

Ask yourself the question, what do I really want with my life? What am I longing for? What goal would I like to reach before I die?

If that answer would be Wisdom and Well-Being then I suggest to you not to waste any time and to go and search for that! Find out yourself how you can reach that in life!

Retraite Centrum blog - becoming a carrier of light - Asharum Amonines

Becoming a Carrier of Nâm

~ a text by Irma ten Brink ~

Some say the present age is called the Kali Yuga, an age of destruction, an age which ancient seers have predicted. When we look around us this could very well be the case however this being true or not is not very relevant. What is more relevant is how to deal with what is happening worldwide at the moment both close at home as on the planet at large and beyond.

Many may think “I cannot change the world, there is nothing I can do”. Perhaps this is so, the world goes on and small individual actions are not enough to turn the tide. Perhaps this is also how it should be, evolution on which we have little influence. But perhaps not. Perhaps every small act is a contribution. Truth is, we don’t really know!

However ……!

What we can and should do, as Yoginâm keeps reminding us of, is Carry on the Light. The Light of Nâm* which has always been there and will always be there no matter what happens to the world and its people.

Throughout the ages there were people who were attuned to this Essence. Who were not influenced by religions, cultures and happenings. Those people where the Carriers of Light which now in LivingNâm we call the Carriers of Nâm. They carried on the Light through evolution of time up till now.

Since childhood times I felt I had a task in life and I had visions which were related to that. I searched how, always knew it had something to do with the world. I longed for peace and bringing peace but then there was this frustration that my small effort could not bring peace at large.
Every act is just a drop on a hot plate so what purpose is there, why bother? Seeds for depression!

Living a serious spiritual life brought me answers. I found out how I am contributing to the world by creating with resonance every instant of living and I found out how I can influence this in a way which can bring peace. That this is just on a small scale does not really matter because I found out that whether it is (or should be) small or big is not up to me.

What helps me in not becoming frustrated is the acceptance ‘It is what it is and I do the best I can do’. In this acceptance lies peace, meaning & joy that is beyond the matters and affairs of the world. Only with this acceptance as a starting point creation can flow in a beneficial way.

During a LivingNâm Study weekend I realised how attached I was to the idea of ‘saving the world’. This attachment prevented me from being free and pure so I started to ask myself the questions: ‘Can I let this attachment go? What will be the consequence? Can I still find purpose and meaning in life without this drive?”.

Surprisingly enough I was able to let go and dive into the unknown depth. I am able to let go because I have the Breath, an ancient instrument which is an indispensable tool on the Journey of the Return. This letting go in trust opened me for a very new realisation and a much deeper sense of meaning & joy.


Beyond ‘doing something like creating’ there is something else which perhaps is even more important: this is about ‘being’. Actually these two things belong together. Your doing something comes forth from your state of being.

This became my starting point, my state of being, because I realised that all my doing is coloured by my being. In living a spiritual life this ‘doing and being’ come together. The tools like meditation, the Breath, the Relationship of Love with a spiritual master etc. are tools for purifying this being in order for the doing to become more pure and a contribution to the whole in which all and everything shares.

This purification of the state of being is like opening the windows in a darkened room. The more windows are opened, the more light enters the room and this I think is my purpose of life, to open the windows and to keep them open by continuously guarding this. From there the rest goes by itself because life is living itself.

A meditation in the presence of Yoginâm:

Tonight during meditation I was very sad and in this sadness a question came up:”How must the world go on?’ Very suddenly a sentence came up: “I am not of this world”. And it was as if I answered directly with “But I love this world”.


LivingNâm has tools to open the windows, to purify yourself and to help you guard your state in every instant of living.

The Carrier of Nâm has the task and responsibility to Carry the Light which is beyond the world, which has always been there and always will remain through the evolution of time. This Carrying is a task that never ends.

Perhaps you aspire to become a Carrier too?

Retraite centrum Vegan cooking in Belgium - Asharum Amonines

Becoming Vegan

~ A text by Irma ten Brink ~

The Asharum has now been cooking vegan for more than two years.
Time to look back!

We became vegan quite suddenly and it was an inspirational boost.
We dived into it, looking for recipes and how to transform our meals into vegan meals since especially our breakfast and supper where leaning on cheese and yoghurt.

Replacing these products with fake cheese and fake yoghurt was not an option because we wanted to offer tasty and healthy meals so we needed other menus.

Hearing back from our clients we think we succeeded. A few of our B&B comments:
“Nice stay! We are not vegan but enjoyed the oatmeal and fresh bread/hummus for breakfast”.
“Delicious and exciting vegan cooking”.

Last week someone said:”I did not know vegan could be so tasty”, and we hear that a lot!

Healthy cooking:

Staying healthy on a vegan diet is also a challenge. Many guests are inspired to become vegan after they have visited us. Wonderful to see how our cooking is an inspiration to others! And yes we do feel it is a much more healthy way of living!

However we always tell them not just to stop eating animal products but to do some study first to avoid vitamin deficiencies later. Also everybody has a different body which needs different care, so find out what is good for you!

For example vitamin B12 and D3 are easily missed out when you stop the animal products. On the internet a lot can be found, not all can be trusted! Some say vitamin B12 can be found in green vegetables and seaweeds, others say these are analogies which prevent the body from taking in the real B12, the one your body needs. Some take supplements to solve this. Some do blood tests but it seems that B12 is needed in the blood for the right acid-base balance so the body will take it first from the other organs before it runs out in the blood. When your blood test shows you have a shortage of B12 then you have already been short of it for a long time and you are much too late. If it says you don’t have short that can be misleading too. Naturopathics have other, more refined ways to test your vitamin and mineral levels. Find out what is best for you!

A very informative book we use a lot and which is also based on scientific research is ‘Becoming Vegan’ by Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD’.

There are plans to come with a workshop this year about healthy vegan cooking. More about that later!

Ethics of Resonance

The first reason for us to become vegan is the resonance. Everything we do, feel, believe, think has a resonance and with this resonance we create our world. This is a very subtle and indirect science but also very clear and simple. And the golden rule to this is: ”never do any harm or hurt to anyone or anything”.

When respecting this rule it makes no sense at all to contribute to the bio industry in which animals are brutally hurt (calves are directly after birth separated from their mother because the milk should go to us, a heartbreaking fact it is not?) and living their life for one purpose only; to be killed and eaten.

Yoginâm wrote a lot about this topic since ethics is at the base of spirituality. Without ethics there is no spirituality. For those who like to read more about this we recommend his books.

Yoginâm about Attunement

Upcoming period during the visit of Yoginâm Frédéric in Asharum Amonines he will be talking about ‘Living in Attunement as the Principle, the Purpose and the Practice of the Yoga of Nâm’.

For those who live in Attunement ethics of resonance is a natural thing. Ethics in this way is not something you must do because it is a law, it is something you want to do, it is a natural movement.

Retraite centrum blog - about death & life Asharum Amonines

About Death and Life

~ A text by Irma ten Brink ~

Death in a spiritual perspective

From a spiritual perspective, the most important moment in life is the moment we die. Life is meant as a preparation for this moment, in order that we may die in a harmonious and enlightened way. Therefore, not wanting to think and reflect on this moment, which will come for everyone, is from a spiritual point of view unwise and you are missing the most important point in your life.

After death
Have you ever been blessed to be with someone who just died without being taken by emotions? Then you must have noticed another quality present, a kind of quietness, as if time really stopped for a moment while outside the room it just continued.

No one knows what will happen after death, also we do not know how we will react at the moment of our own death. In life we can have brave ideas about it, but only at the supreme moment, when death is (suddenly) there, will we really know and experience if we are ready for it.

An important realisation
An important spiritual experience to do with life and death happened to me about two decades ago. It just happened while sitting in my living-room warming myself to the central heating. Suddenly I saw it with my waking eyes but in a different state, and it was really overwhelming:

Life and death are one and the same! There is no difference!

Yes your body will die, but something else, that cannot be described, just stays unchanged.

This realisation made something very clear:
If in life your focus has been only on your body and the material life, death approaching you can be very scary. The same is true for exclusive focus on the mental life and emotions. Because it seems so definitive, you believe everything stops.
But life is not just your body; and not just the house you live in and the car you drive. That is only a very small part of it.
So if, when you are dying, your focus in life has been on that which is unchanging, you will know – by a certainty we shall call Nâm – nothing will change. Death is then just another path you take.
A very different perspective, is it not?

About letting go
Realising that Life and Death are one and the same is one important step. Learning and practicing letting go is another important step and something to do for the rest of your life.

It is a way of living that transforms your life and brings harmony, inner peace and
Well-Being in living and post-living.

Living a more spiritual, transcendental life means living a life of letting go. Learning and practicing this in daily life will help you to let go of everything once the moment of death approaches you.

This daily practice is what counts because we can have beautiful ideas about dying, thinking life will go on once we die, but when the moment is there we still have to do it – we have to let go of the life we became used to and got attached to and we usually have no idea how deep and subtle these attachments are. Since we have a very strong identification with our life, as if we own it, letting go is not necessarily easy, although it can be. For example, letting go of a body we have become so used to, feelings and ideas that we consider as important truths and as ‘ours’, and of course those who stay behind and who might not yet be ready to let you go, is not so easy.

If we have not practiced letting go already in life, we may have a very serious problem and death becomes a struggle once we die. It is not for nothing that the mystics say:

“You have to die before you die”

Being close to death
Some people are confronted with death by close friends and family who died (sometimes too young from their perspective) and yes that can be a very sad thing because you will have to go on without the other, which can, I understand, be very hard. So far I am very blessed with my loved ones still alive. Death came to me in other, many different, ways and I was lucky to have the opportunity to discover more about it from different perspectives like being close to death in an accident myself.

Death has been an important part of my life in a very positive way which is why I am very enthusiastic to share this with others since it is not a sad, difficult and hard thing, it can be beauty in its purest form.

As a young child I used to say:
‘What is the worst thing that can happen to you?’
And the own answer was:
‘To die, but that is not such a bad thing after all, so there is nothing to be afraid of’.

Embrace life:
I believe that these different experiences with death, looking into it and not trying to walk away from it, really helped me to embrace life more. It brought a much deeper quality to life and knowing on other levels that death and life are one, helps me to attune to this every day again and to recognise it as more important than the material, mental or emotional world. I am very thankful to have discovered a life of letting go because it brings joy, happiness, fulfilment, meaning and well-being!

The workshops:
During the workshops we look closer into what stays after death.
For example we investigate our own death and the principles of letting go. Also we focus on helping the deceased to cross over to another state.


cursussen in retraite centrum Belgie Living the natural state

Living the natural state

~ A text by Irma ten Brink ~


There is no absolute truth, but here is mine to share with you.

Very often I hear people say, wish, cry out: ”I just want to be myself”. “I want to be who I am”. And I know this feeling, this longing very well. I translate it now to a longing to ‘live my natural state’ which means to live the potential of what I am, to live that which I am meant to be living, to live what I was born to be my authentic self.

During this quest, which started getting a more concrete form about almost twenty years ago when I met Yoginâm, I discovered that wanting and wishing things were not so important. It is more about listening to what is meant to be.

And this listening is only possible when you are in the present moment with all your awareness. As long as you are busy with things that happened in the past or wishes, fears, expectations for the future you are not in the present moment.

But this is not as easy as it seems because we are often not aware that we are busy with our past or future. In the discovery of the transformation and letting go of past and future with all its fears, habitual programmes, illusions etc., lies the unveiling of the natural state.

We are transcendental beings, which means there are different levels of being which all influence our experience. We are experience, we are these different states all at the same time. These levels can also be very paradoxical towards each other, therefore there does not exist only one truth; it just depends from which level you approach a truth.

And all these levels are infinite, most levels are also unconscious. Some we can become conscious of to a certain depth, some will remain a mystery forever. But they do influence our lives and to acknowledge that is an important step as is the acknowledgement that comes with it that you don’t know anything at all and that you will never be able to grasp or understand it.

Life is a mystery, we don’t know where we come from, we don’t know where we are going but we can trust it, we can trust that it is as it should be and it is good precisely the way it is. We don’t have to understand in order to trust!

And maybe, if it is meant to be, we may become aware of this intimacy which is always very much here in the present moment. I experience it as a reminder of an undefinable essence from which we came, which is present now and where we will go back to after life.

For me this quest of finding my natural state is very much about becoming aware of these different levels and bringing them into harmony, an ongoing exploration.

And finally it is about letting go of the identification with I because as long as I is up front as most important, the natural state cannot be lived.

The most important instruments for this are silence and meditation techniques.

With the right meditation technique you don’t just dream away and have beautiful feelings which bring tranquility for that moment. Instead you use something, for example your breath, to concentrate on in order to stay in the present moment. The present moment is all the different levels together, not only the material level. If you can stay focused in the present moment everything that needs to be seen and to let go will come up by itself, you don’t have to do anything for that! When you try to do anything you are actually grasping it more instead of letting it go and you will never succeed.

By meditating every day for half an hour (also when you don’t want to, don’t feel like it, don’t have time etc.) you bit by bit start to let go of everything that obstructs you from finding the natural state.

In the beginning you can do this alone, you will discover and let go of disturbing habitual programmes which where created in the past and illusions projected in the future.

But there comes a moment that you can’t do it alone anymore, it can even become dangerous to do it alone. These habitual programmes and illusions are there for a reason; they support us and give us a (false) sense of security. However, if we let it go and don’t have anything else anymore to grasp, it can drive us mad at the end. Therefore we need a focus which is beyond the illusion of I and which can help us transform and open ourselves for a wider perception beyond ourselves.

For that I use the Breath of Heart, a personal sound which I received from Yoginâm as a tool which is connected to the breath. It helps me to focus on something that is not personal so that I can let go of my personal attachments. Also it helps me in moments when everything else seems to disappear and there is nothing else to hold on to anymore.
A mystic can help us to let go of ourselves in the end, to let go of this personal identification with an assumed existing I, to live our natural state and to trust and discover the infinity and the oneness we are all part of.

The Mystic say:
“The saint realizes water
The wise one realizes the ocean
The ignorant one realizes the drop”

By Yoginâm
From Fragments of Voice

Again here we have this paradox. In some states this I is there and we can’t go around it. We have to look left and right before we cross a busy street. But just realize: this is only one state!

Becoming aware, in other states, that no I exists, brings a totally different quality to life. Only letting go of the personal identification with I will help to unveil the natural state. And letting go of I and finding back the natural state on this level brings peace, joy and contentment on other levels. Realizing this on one level is the starting point of starting to live this natural state on another more day-to-day practical level. And there it will be tested by life with all the circumstances and challenges that life will give you in order to strengthen and fine-tune yourself. You start living your potential!

The ethics of resonance

“The resonance of today creates the experience of tomorrow”

We are part of an indescribable oneness. Once we discover we are part of this oneness, life becomes an art.

Everything we think, everything we feel, everything we want, dream, long and wish for, everything we do has a resonance. With this resonance we are creating our world.

This is very subtle and most of it is unconscious. For example by learning as a little child that you are not good enough, you start screaming this resonance into the world “I am not good enough”. With this resonance you are creating your world and you create circumstances which confirm that.

But also liking to watch the suffering of others on television, in aggressive movies, computer games etc. creates the need for that. So by liking and watching it, very subtly you are creating a world that answers to your needs. So the world has people who suffer because others need this in order to feel good!

By becoming more aware of this, observing ourselves, stalking ourselves, we can start creating a kind of world that brings joy, well-being, harmony and bliss for all.

This is a continuous possibility, challenge and responsibility for those who are aware to create a world in peace and to help others to become aware too.

“We are the creators of our entire universe with its infinite possibilities”.

More awareness means also automatically more responsibility which we should all take very seriously in order for the world to find peace. Once you realize we are one, we can’t leave someone else with a problem. If we can solve it or can do something for some one else we have to do it.

This oneness is not possible to describe. Yet mystics have written about it for centuries and present-day science also acknowledges how everything is connected to everything else.

When we start becoming more aware of this oneness, accepting that we will never know what this really means, we start to realize that everything is Love in the widest and deepest sense. And also, this cannot be described, understood or known in any way. And yet this is the most important aspect of life!

When I did my Vision Quest in Death Valley Arizona I became more aware of this connectedness. Because I could not understand, describe or grasp my experiences on the threshold of the quest I received a song in the last night of the Vision Quest; the night you cry out to receive a vision for your life.

This song, which came as close as possible to my experience in this solo quest went as following:

I am the land
I am the sky
I am the water
I am the fire
I am the animals
I am the people
I am I am

In this realisation it is just not possible to hurt anyone anymore.

But because most people have hidden demons inside themselves who are strong and can come up under certain circumstances, they can hurt each other. Also being unconscious can cause pain and suffering to others.

Therefore, while you are on this path of transforming yourself and letting go of these inner demons like jealousy, greed etc. there is one basic principle to always live up to:

“Never intentionally hurt, harm or damage anyone or anything”