Thursday, June 6, 2013


I never knew about this wonderful town. This is my 100th blog post and I am making an exception to write this blog about a charming University town in Germany where I stayed for less than 24 hours. The reason why I am making this exception : it was a profound learning experience for me to be in this wonderful place, thanks to Raphaele. She is medical doctor with specialization in psychosomatic medicine and a deep interest in spirituality. She began her spiritual journey at the age of 6! She gave up her practice in her spiritual quest and studied Life Divine at SACAR (Sri Aurobindo Center for Advanced Research). She is the Founder  of Field Dynamics,  which unifies body-therapy on the level of the cells and tissues, with spiritual and evolutionary exploration and integration. For more, please see
Raphaele and Brigitta attended a Pranayama workshop in Auroville. One day, I  happened to Raphaele at Matri Mandir after the workshop and she extended an invitation to Münster /Westf, her home town. When I was planning my Europe Trip, I got a pleasant surprise - a mail from Raphaele,  inviting me to Münster. She learned about my planned workshop at Berlin, when she went there to do a session on Field Dynamics. I was quite moved by her invitation and decided to accept it, even though, just for 20 hours. She said she will receive me at Münster but actually met me at Hannover, on her way back from Berlin. It was a beautiful drive and she took me around Münster, helping me to see this beautiful city through her eyes, sharing her experiences and her life. This was an unbelievable experience for me and left an indelible impression inside me. The next day, we had a fabulous breakfast at the lovely home of Brigitta and continued to explore  Münster for another 3 hours, after which Raphaele dropped me at Osnabrueck railway station.
Fast forward to  Dec 2013. Brigitta came to Pondy in November and was staying at Golconde, Pondicherry. Raphaele arrived on 3 Dec 2013 at Auroville. I could meet neither of them.  On 4 Dec 2013, my lap top was giving a problem and I had to go to Pondy and called Brigitta after I finished my work. She was free and we met at the Ashram and were walking towards a restaurant for tea, talking about how we could meet along with Raphaele some time in the second week of December. And we meet Raphaele, walking towards the Ashram! This is synchronicity! This meeting added further meaning to our friendship and I am sure all this was meant to be and I am blessed to experience this .  

The rest of this blog is a joint post by Raphaele and JV

Raphaele’s house
It is a typical bungalow from the sixties in the country-side, a 20-minutes bicycle ride from town and friend Brigitta.
Entrance to the home of Raphaele
The lovely living room is where you enter into the home
Living room and dining room to the right

Life Divine in pencil work painting by Jacques de Jong
Garden - another angle of view
A most vibrant green that was stunning in the golden sun
A big old farmhouse in the neighborhood:
Differently-abled live and work here together with others,
running a restaurant, a farm-shop, maintain stables etc
Raphaele's Münster
Parent's house
Annette-von-Droste-Hulshoff-Gymnasium - The high school
from which Raphaele, her mother and eldest daughter graduated 
Elementary School
Way to school along the Promenade.
the medieval fortification around the town
Now for pedestrians and bicycle riders only
Raphaele's office for Psychosomatic Medicine
from 1992-2005, right opposite to her parents home
Raphaele's apartment in an art nouveau house (from about 1900)
where she lived form 1999 to 2005
Town house of country nobility

Her youngest daughter's humanistic Gymnasium
(Latin & Greek High School) opposite to the apartment
Sculpture of a man who had been demonstrating
 in this place against many issues for decades and
wrote innumerable letters to the local newspapers
Art nouuveau-house form about 1900 at Promenade
Baroque castle of Arch-Bishop now used for
University  Administration (50,000 students) 

A nicely renovated fancy house at Promenade
Franz von Furstenberg, Founder of the University &
great Humanist of the early 18th Century
Town hall where the  "Westfalian Peace" 1648 was brought about
by delegates of Sweden, Netherlands, Spain etc
after 30 years of European War 
Principal market and Lamberti Church
Erbdrostenhof, Baroque house of another country-side nobility 
Map for the blind - so that they can 'see' through touch
Raphaele's elementary school
Another view of Raphaele's elementary school with children playing

VISIT TO Guardian of Lamberti church tower
In medieval tradition, the guardian on the church-steeple of Lamberti blows the horn during the night
JV freezing at this height but happy to experience a rare sight
Talking to the guardian, who is a philosopher.
He earlier had his office for  philosophical guidance in
Raphael's medical office at the Promenade
               View from the steeple onto cathedral
On the 301 steps to the tower, we see pictures of the
devastation caused by World War II
Copper engraving of the medieval town  
Looking up to where we have been 
Relaxing after the unique tour

in 90 minutes
Münster is known for its innumerable churches, dotting the skyline  and beautifying it in an unique way. I am sure that there is much more to see and experience in Münster than I could in the short trip.  Münster was major center of Catholic faith and this aspect seems to be on the decline in the last few decades with the ascent of materialism. I experienced a vibrant, yet peaceful and quiet atmosphere in this University town. 

Cathedral, the place of the Bishop and Clergy.
This was built on the place where Saint Ludger built a church &
school in 800 AC during the first wave of Christianization
Lamberti, the church of the citizens
Dominikaner, the church of the monks
Clemens: The Church of the nobility
Servati, the spiritual church of permanent adoration
Martini, used to be a classical parish church.
It is now church of the youth, with all classical objects removed.
Now, there is a plain table and movable chairs.
This is an experiment to have the youth to remain interested in Christianity
What I saw there is quite amazing to me, given the orthodox nature of Christianity.  
A picture of Petri, the University church is lacking because I ran out of battery,
clicking so many pictures of the wonders ad beautiful sights of Münster .
So, I am inserting here a recent painting of in the cathedral, showing (for the first time, as far as I know)
in a Catholic Church, the corpse of Christ being taken from the cross and transforming into Ananda!

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