Chapter 7
Teresa of Avila



The beginning
Natural medical doctor

The Great Experiences/Ten years of uniterrupted Bliss
A Dream
Vision of the Grail
Explanation/The Trinity
My Inner Woman
To make love and be free…Tantra
The Master
The Ultimate Sutra
Amsterdam, August 1980
Silent Power
Nothing Is/The Cycle

Personal integration: twenty years of trial and error
Jealous Monologues
The Inner Adversary

Kennemerduinen 1990
Japan and Hong Kong
Tribulations/Escape from
the hell of the future
Final tribulations

(“Sermon of the Valley”)
The Descent
The Depth
The Return

Teresa of Avila
A Miracle/PilgrimCare

Looking back
Divine Wrath

Sovereign Living
The 7 Steps


Great Mother Hymn

Being Available
The Green Grass




My spiritual Sister

In Teresa of Avila all mystical qualities come together. She distinguished herself by exemplary behaviour on almost all walks of life: spiritual and secular, including openness, honesty, insight, subtlety, effectiveness, courage, devotion, humor, compassion and strength. In addition, she was also a child of her time. Hence, for example, she had no other choice than to express herself in accordance with the rules of the church. In fact, her Enlightened State was beyond every thought or belief. Her lifelong struggle played out between "being herSelf" and the requirements of the institution in which she participated. This was not very easy, since the scourge of the Inquisition in all its severity went round. Much of her work must therefore be read ‘between the lines’. Other passages comprise more or less of open criticism of the church, the Inquisition, the inferior position of women etc. In particular, her practice of ‘inner prayer’ was at some point considered suspicious (...), because of the ‘danger of quietism’ realizing the Divine! (condemned as ‘Illuminism’). This became particularly evident if you compare her two (three) versions of ‘The Way of Perfection’*. The first ( ‘Escorial’) is still (relatively) candid and carefree, in the second (‘Valladolid’), many of these open passages were censored. And then to imagine that with the first version the Inquisition had been peering over her shoulder, already! This leads to the (widespread) belief that all true mystics are in fact universal. Deep inside they belong to no religion. This is confirmed by the fact that all mystics speak the same language, regardless of their (forced) formal membership of a particular religion **. Look at Eckhart, Suso, Ruusbroec, Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Kabir, Sri Ramakrishna and countless others. Teresa distinguishes by being able to excellently deal with it, her path is an ‘Integral Path’ in the true sense of the word. That is why we honor this exceptional Mystic, Enlightened Teacher (and Doctor of the Church ...) with the title she deserves: ‘Magistra Universalis’.

* See "Collected Works of Teresa of Avila", translated by E. Allison Peers.

I recognize so much in Teresa, that I am repeatedly struck by it. It starts with biographical details. It stems from the so-called ‘conversos’, a mixture of Spaniards and Jews. I stem from a Spaniard who deserted (about the same time that Teresa lived) and after the withdrawal of the Spaniards in the Netherlands he stayed behind.   Like me she also loved to knights tales and had in all likelihood read ‘Parzival’. This inspired her to write ‘The Inner Castle’. I got a Parzival prophesy and a Vision of the Grail, including the Canaanite "Tree of Life", later symbol of the Jewish people. A major obstacle on the way to surrendering for her was overcoming her ‘pride’, something I know all too well from my own life. Then her ‘inborn’ motive for reform, life in her first monastery was far too easy for her, hence the founding of a new order based on the ‘original rule’. Tying in to the tradition - and therefore transforming the present reality - is something which is a core part of my teaching. Then her Great Experiences, everything she describes in her book, I can confirm from my own experience, often down to the smallest details. It leads time and again to moments of great emotion. Joy and tears then arise in me. So I can’t get enough of always opening a book of hers. Reading a small piece is often enough. There is so much that immediately ‘arises’, that shortly after I put the book away. I share her uncompromising passion for the Truth*. Not that she could always show it openly. The church with its inquisition sat constantly on her back. She had to be diplomatic. For the good listener, however, she is crystal clear. She sees the God experience as the foundation of religion. It is the fountain that fertilises life uninterruptedly. All other things are secondary. Since it is greater than yourself, it is only natural to share it with others. Hence her restless efforts to strengthen her new order and settle anywhere. This unity of contemplation and action is etched in my soul. Like her, I know as ‘prisoner of Eternity’ the excecutive of ‘the will of the Ultimate’.

* That She wasn't granted the Depth of the Cosmic Mother is not disturbing me at all. Secondly, her "exaggerated" devotion and humility, was, as we know now, part of her strategy to escape the tribunals of the Inquisition. I dare to say, that if the latter had not been there, she would have been a Free Mystic, not dogmatically linking herself to the Church (at all...).

A Miracle
Pilgrim Care

Recently I felt the time increasingly coming closer to the point in which I ‘had to bear my cross’. Until then I had lived - not that it was always comfortable - in the protective Dimension of the Mother. There was a swinging back and forth between dissolving on the one hand and the urge to act on the other. Then there would follow a period in which ‘the Mother would show me the way’, while at other moments I reproached myself for being to easy. The chance came in the spring of 2004, when an ‘old plan’ of mine could suddenly be achieved. Friends of us were - miraculously - ready to move to northern Spain to set up an emergency station for PilgrimCare on the route to Compostela. The local population of the town - the beautiful Estella - were so excited about our initiative, that for the summer time they granted us a free space on a major street. Our project consisted of giving free pain treatments (as well) with Chinese guasha therapy *. Off we went to Spain, the country of Teresa of Avila. On my way to Spain the urge to first drive through to Avila was so great, that I went there without even stopping along the way. It was the spiritual ‘excitement’ which I knew when a special resonance was ahead of me. I intuitively felt that I had to go to Avila. It is as if seeing my precious sister again after being apart for more than 40 years. And Teresa was (is) more than a sister to me....

Once in Avila I immediately ran to the monastery ‘Encarnación’, the monastery where she spent her first time. Once arrived I saw a large crucifix in the courtyard. Because I always felt crucifixes were pushy – for example crucifixes on top of mountains, hills and rocks always annoyed me – now however there was a subtle curiosity to come closer. The closer I came to it, the greater my gentleness became. Until I - I could not believe it myself - touched the crucifix with a certain tenderness. Well, that was quite a shock. There was an immediate peace that arose in me from head to toe. By the touch it was clear that an inner resistance had dropped off. I realized that this was my last barrier. Now there was no more resistance, the significance of the event dawned on me. By allowing the cross, I simultaneously ‘bore my own cross’, the willingness to embrace the role, for which ‘I had come into this world’. The opposition within me was in fact the refusal to commit. Oh, what a discovery that was. After the initial joy, the new courage and clarity about what had happened, there were also flashes of ‘having to give up the comfortable life’. Not that that hadn’t happened before. Regularly, I had visions about it. Now it seemed only more definitive.

Walking back to the city and pondering on what I had just experienced suddenly and unexpectedly a Spanish- large- bread fell to the ground, right in front of me. Immediately I looked up.... nothing to see, only closed windows and empty balconies. No sound or movement to discern, nothing at all. The bread had literally come down out of a ‘clear sky’. I was perplexed. With amazement I took the bread in my hands. I tried to grasp what just happened. Of course, the sense of coincidence dominated. I hardly bestow ‘meanings’ onto of events. But this was quite striking. The great anticipation of wanting to be ‘close to Teresa’, then a convent with the name ‘incarnation’, the small miracle of the ‘bearing of my cross’, then the concerns about it, namely ‘how I would survive in daily life’ and immediately upon ‘that heavenly bread’. Before waving it off (as usual), I thought ‘why shouldn’t I also experience a miracle’.... Okay, I decided it was a miracle. I thus do not have to worry about my ‘daily bread!" Suddenly I remembered the following biblical text, ‘Strive to reach the Kingdom and the rest shall be given you’. At that moment I realized the truth of that statement. I felt courage and strength flow into me, exactly that which I had always overlooked. A deep gratitude towards Teresa arose. Thank you sweet sister, you are so good to me.

Through the Castilian hills back to Estella, would be the beginning of a very joyful time when we together with a number of (changing) friends daily helping the pilgrims. The choice of Estella turned out to be optimal in more than one degree. Most pilgrims begin their route on the French-Spanish border. They must walk for four whole days down steep slopes to reach the valley of Pamplona. Since most pilgrims are not experienced – plus the great strain on the body - they arrive in Estella with a large number of hip, knee, ankle to back and shoulder pains). The Chinese guasha therapy turned out to be a golden method. It is ideally suited for this type of complaints. Most could hardly believe their eyes, that after ten or twenty minutes of treatment – definitely no longer - the pain was completely gone. How many have we seen limping in, while with total and utter amazement and with cries of great joy left our station dancing?* One day was busier than the next. Sometimes there were only a few pilgrims, sometimes even more than thirty. The joy was contagious. Anyone who came to help was cheerful. Helping people in this way was not heavy, strenuous or exhausting. Everyone got energized. The miracle of the ‘rapid healing’ spread through the city as well. We were therefore shortly after granted an interview in the local newspaper. The effect was that the local population at a given moment could also find us.

* For people who ‘want to see it in reality’ we have made a video. It can be ordered.

Estella was special, not to the least because of my frequent visits to the local "Black" Madonna, the "Virgen del Puy". Her effigy was in a church on a hill, as so often in Spanish churches She was at the centre of it, while a (small) cross was placed somewhere inconspicuously on the side. The icon had a fine face, and on her head she bore a crown. She wore a silver dress and also stood on a silver crescent moon (symbol of the Great Mother). She had an exceptional subtlety. Immediately after entering the church, I was ‘caught’ by Her Presence. Having my gaze fixed on her, I soon became (in all brightness) totally absorbed by her smile. While everything dropped from me - there was nothing left between us.....She taking my breath away...... Her face coming to life..... I watching Her continuously, and then She began truly smiling at me... A deeply loving and affectionate smile - as sweet as I had rarely seen - caused a fountain of joy to arise. A ‘piece’ of Eternity took possession of me. Very often tears flowed down my cheeks. What a gratitude!


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Last update:08/10/13