Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last day in India...last revoir!

mixed feelings: heavy heart, eager to confront the reality of a new world, coming from the past, anxious too...but overall happy to go and build new in my life!

Dear friends,

Met in Amrita or along those past 2 years travelling in India and following Amma in tours!

Today is my last day in India after almost a year here, mostly in Amritapuri ashram, and 6 months last year, and you are all in my prayers.

So many experiences shared with you, occasions to confront ideas, perspectives, to share stasangs, to grow, try, experiment, working, praying, singing together.

So today I want to thank you all for these opportunities to define further this part of spiritual, life path we took together.

Merci a vous mes amis, thank you my friends.

The grace of Amma, Divine Light, be always with you.

Looking forward to see our paths cross again soon.

Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Brotherly yours

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now completely ready... to face the 4Ps!

all packed... ready to GO!!!

Just as well ready to say goodbye, to friends that have become so close in this struggle to find light, fight for freedom, serenity and inner peace!
Sing with them, hug them... look around, embrace the sceneries, praying, meditation spots that have shaped my life over the past 2 years!

Ready to leave now this safe haven.

Ready to go back home, as much as I feel home is here now. But I strongly feel that I can simply expand from here, expend who I am now, I became here ... to there!

Ready to hug the people I pushed away, send them love, connect with them again from a place of forgiveness, selflessness and unexpecting-love.

Ready to build my life with HER, cherish the sacred love we share, completely, fully... and maybe one day becoming a loving and carrying father.

Ready to fulfill my purpose, the mission Amma gave me.

See section 'D Diary Moods: 4Ps against 1P'

Happy Birthday... Divine Mother!

Today people from all around Kerala, India, so many foreign countries...actors, politicians, powerful people escorted by moustache strong indian policemen...everywhere... gather in this little village of fishermen between Arabian sea and Backwaters, south west India to bring presents, perform for...Amma!

I am so blessed to be here...feel the bliss the pooja and amazing satsang left me in, since this morning 5am.

Prayed for all my loved ones, in the order of my priorities in life: God, Little Dieg, my wife-to-be, my kids-to-be, my parents/brother, my friends, my future social entreprise...
And felt such a flow of love! coming back in so many ways!!!

I am so sure of this path I took 2 years ago, giving me so much strength, serenity, compassion... to make clear choices, choose spirituality over materialsim, to embrace a beautiful purpose in waste management for poor communities, to become a carrying, loving father, a supportive, loving husband, choose every day, love over resentment and hate...

I am simply thankful, grateful today to have found a guide in my life, spreading unconditional love, love that takes all the space in my chest, not allowing anything else in... any more!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Reflecting on the past 2 years I have spent in an ashram (mostly this year 10 months), and especially the past weeks, days, very moving, cathartic, bringing up lots of stuff, disturbing mirrors… here in south west of India, volunteering, selfless service, with a university built by Amma the spiritual guide in all this… inspiring so strongly the PhD in social innovation which I am starting (final approval letter received yesterday!)…
I am puzzled at the amount of experiences, teachings I have had to face… often in very painful ways.

But for the few moments of grace that I experienced, pure unconditional love, this year in few occasions…  I will do it again… any time!

I feel I have been here those past 10 months mostly...building… bridges!

Built a bridge between my past and the person I want to become: accepting where I come from and embracing fully the values, satsangs I engrained here, here and now (see Religions, Darshan, in 'My Projects' section).
Heal the past, look clearly/honestly at the bad, the pains with courage, with compassion, without escaping in compulsions, seduction modes… with love for the copying mechanisms I had to put in place to survive.
Then.. grieve, be thankful, grateful... forgive and… move on!
Forgive family friends, myself! And build new bridges… on the positive!

Build a bridge between 2 cultures: the western one, European Judeo-Christian driven often by guilt, as well capitalism, culture of achievement… and the Hindu- Buddhist one with Kharma at its core, and red tapes and chaos around it!
Not comparing but studying, learning, feeling the differences in me and letting the good emerge!
 As shared in ‘My Projects’ section, a spiritual journey in India my religion, my ancestors’ legacy is Catholicism and I remain a believer in Jesus, following with faith his message on love and forgiveness. But today I pray just as well Kali and Ganesh to remove my shortcomings and obstacles.

Building bridges in methods, ways of working too.
I have always been pushy in my work, pushing myself, others, in the sports I practiced (judo-rugby-flying-surfing…) piloting, driving things.
Well here... I ran into Kerala brick walls!!!! And in any other circumstances, without the grace of Amma, I would have left after a few weeks!
But I learned so much in sticking to it, realizing that all I could do, was changing my own attitude.
Not judging the Indian chaotic ways of working but finding creative approaches to adjust, adapt, make the most of both worlds, build bridges.
Learning just was well to be very aware, mindful of my tendency to be too pushy, and hence to more space to people, let them come to me, express themselves in the way they are taking their time, their space, not pulling or pushing, especially with women, authoritarian ones!!!

And lately letting go of the projects I have driven strongly since a few months, letting people take over, own those projects.
They are not mine, I do not own anything, anybody. These are just mere experiences meant to make me grow. So why not learning detachment from it.
I still care and will follow up, be present but not ATTACHED. I alone can do it, but I cannot do it alone!
So if people embrace the ideas I have initiated and take them forward in their own ways and with the full blessing of Amma (given so strongly last Wednesday to 30 students and 10 mentors on the SSR projects) I can only trust it will work!

When you build a bridge it is important to let go of the way it is going to be used, by whom…
If you put a toll/rules it will only reduce the flow of love intended in the first place.

Building a bridge as well between universities: Insead and Amrita, a European megalopolis and a Malayalam remote village, an hymn to capitalism and a spiritual university, the best business school in the world with the 17th ranked in India, ASB!
Lets see what will come out of it: maybe a great conference inspiring both worlds? Maybe a research project, the PhD I am starting, bridging, linking, influencing communities through selfless service and social innovation?

A bridge of love just as well with people I have been afraid of all my life: dictatorial, authoritarian, especially women (never knew how to deal with them!)
And Gosh did I feel humiliated here. But as bruised as I am here, been, I feel like I am going back to Europe next week, having spread love, opened my heart honestly, try with all I have to bring positive energy building projects together, singing together, praying together…

So here I am, 10 months here in 2012, 6 in 2011, having been through the washing machine of the ashram and Amma’s grace! All clean, a lot lighter (lost 25 kilos in 2 years and loads of illusions!)… ready to go and get dirty again!
As a toddler... never getting enough of dust, mud!

I am left as well … completely lost, not knowing any more who I am, all defense mechanisms removed, naked as a child, defenseless… in front of his mother, loving, carrying, proudly smiling at him!

The world seems completely new, but very scary too!

Going back to my past…and trying there too to build bridges between 2 very different worlds: spirituality and ashram life for me in the past 2 years, with… 5* hotels, hard core consulting missions, M&A type of life style, on and off, all or nothing… high end strategies, trendy people, hyper seduction copying mechanisms (feels like the ones I grew up into!)… the world of the 4P’s I am coming from (see ‘Diary Moods’ section of this blog: 4Ps against 1P: my decisions today, here and now, my clear positioning, what I need)… the Corporate/Consulting/Banking land, country…leaving my present , safe space here, where I healed my wounds deeply, where I learned to trust myself, self acceptance, self nurturing, forgiveness and moved on!

Moving on into my future, with new colors, new pictures, new songs to write, new social projects to design, to implement… with pianists, painters, surfers? and or mothers, or just simply unavailable presidents of the pre-mentioned c/c/b countries?? Donno, most probably a bit of all this! And I really don't know yet how to adjust, find my own space, feel serene and secure!

Today… as much as I am really scared to face those demons of the past outside of the safe and comforting, familiar environment where I healed from them, I am full of faith and hope, I trust God, Life, Amma’s grace (who blessed so strongly my choice to go back and see for myself how to build my own world, family…).
I do not know what will happen, I have no expectations, I know it will be hard and that once again I am like a bird on a dry branch, having to be ready to fly away, aware and alert.

But I am full of hope, looking at those bridges over the backwaters, the Adour, La Seine, the Thames, the Isaar, proudly; full of faith, strength and courage to build more, now …. From serenity, compassion and… LOVE!

Monday, September 24, 2012


for the ASB (Amrita School of Business) PhD program... official letter received yesterday!
Quite a satisfaction especially coming ahead of the selection process but I now really need to assess how this can all work, contact european universities, research centers...
The objective of my next 2 months in Europe among... others :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Feels quite surreal, even antagonistic today, to be in this tropical garden, with herbs, trees from all around India, a university surrounded by a botanical environment, one of the most beautiful ones! as well with high electrified fences to protect the 800 hectares of the campus... from wild elephants, sometimes coming down from the surrounding mountains... and taking everything apart! and to fight with integer numbers, factorials, Pythagorus...quantitative, verbal analysis! while hearing peacocks taking their turns in weird screaming sessions!

Well first leg of the PhD exams done today
... was indeed quite hard, even ... impossible as a matter of fact: to finish, and to score honorably. But in the end I guess I am still in the run, in the first 5 to be selected...

But gosh is this process of PhD demanding, not really in the tests themselves but the reality of and now... actually a real path, journey...

The way things are organised here, the way people commit to support and dont... even for simple things like expenses for a conference they send you to, where they use all you do there and ask you more... in the end need to ask Amma's permission to reimburse you! or even go further.
This I have learned is the most common answer when people here do not want or cannot support you: lets go and ask Amma... Poor Amma, she was asked 3 to 4 times already to confirm my role here.

In the past 6 months I have had 2 real challenging times, real examinations: one was medical and scary and the other one is the PhD, not as moving but just as much... bringing a lot of insecurities to surface.
And in both times felt isolating.
Utterly... alone.

This is what I am really really learning, time and time again!
Not to expect anything

It really helped in this vacuum of infinite field of exchange ideas, even just hear some familiar voices yesterday.

I alone can do it...

alone in front of doctors
alone to become one (is it really about a title? do I really want this? I should have asked myself the question before you will argue), in front of the Multiple choices...or the frustration of the way projects are handled here which do not always give me the greatest motivation to go through all this...

but I cannot do it alone...
I learn I guess to earn my freedom in this isolation...

'Just like a bird on a dry branch, knowing it can break at any time...
knowing you may have to fly away! at any time'

Amma's satsang is coming at me true.
Be ready to fly away! any time

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cleaning India and... creating value... Heavy duty!

End of January this is the mission Amma, my spiritual master and Mahatma from Amritapuri, the ashram and University in Kerala where I am starting my PhD... gave me!

I must admit I have often felt 'solutionless', quite helpless in front of such a task!

But all along, now since 8 months working on it, I am trusting that grace will flow and that the work will pay off ...some day.

Well, this week, 2 very important steps have been made in the direction of 'Solutions':

  • 2nd workshop between people doing seva, passionated about waste management, practical apects and University/academic/technical people: mixing 2 worlds, getting inspiring and very highly motivated people doing selfless service, sometimes experts in their fields (water sanitation, composting...) to drive technical people from Labs, from faculty side!!! and inspire them with their energy as well as get the technical team support they need to build their ideas/solutions.... 
this led to 30 to 35 proposed projects in various field as diverse as:


And then yesterday:

  • a 2nd meeting of presentation of social innovation projects to Engineering students led 120 students of 3rd School of Eng to engage in most of the projects...

Of course getting students involved does not mean only good ressources to find 'Solutions' but as well educating Indian young generation, getting them inspired to embrace that cause!
And that is very exciting and motivating.

So next steps will of course entail:
  • setting all 30 to 35 projects as diverse as:
Waste management PILOT: off grid solutions, self sustained: energy, water…
1 electric or manual built alongside Amma’s bridge, powered by flux and reflux
Installing new solar panels Ashram and Campus side to reach 50% NRJ usage

Robust and light bicycle with trailer to pick up waste in rural areas
Machineries for Composting and Recycling
Plastic compressor: simple and cheap
Shredder for compost
Sorting machine for ABC and compost

Bio Gas solutions for private houses (espc poor villages)
Bio Gas plant for new kitchen in ashram
Bio Gas plant for Ayurveda college
Rain water harvesting system for AB centers
No water toilets, best RE toilets solutions
Cellulose waste into Fuel
Installing wind mills meditation beach side for AB centers

Waste Mgt Pilot: taking big scale processes to small scale
Waste Mgt Pilot: Building with recycled materials
DB syst: Collecting data for optimized water mgt
Knowledge transfer: fabrication processes to make simple and cheap community craft products
Dirty Plastic cleaning solutions: with a waste market study on soft plastic market in India, where, list of prices…

I know this is just a first step, but after 8 months of research, involvement in seva in the ashram intensively... reports, meetings... it feels like a big step.

Very far from any pragmatic solution yet, any pilot for BoP easy solutions, but a big step in the right direction.

Cleaningness if Holiness
...and PhD on its way with concrete applications...
Final entrance exams next week... bloddy GRE! :-)