dinsdag 12 mei 2015

No Tourist Fatigue

Miksang Sunset, Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

I take another photo of the sun setting behind the famous bridge. Again a perfect moment, the sun right behind one of the pilars. Orange sky, a soft breeze stroking my face, I take another sip of my Caramel Macchiato. I feel blessed just by being here, I really am in the moment. Looking over the water, I see little dots. Swimmers, perhaps practicing for the annual Alcatraz races. Yes, I am in San Francisco, California.


I'm feeling a little mixed up though. It's my 6th time in this wonderful city and this evening the wind feels...warm? Yeah, luke warm it is. T-shirt temperature. Too funny. It's only March (2015) and I haven't seen much more than a lost cloud early morning this whole week. Not Fog City at all. California is now experiencing its worse drought ever, so it seems. This morning I got up at 6 AM and staying in Fisherman's Wharf area, I walked to the Oakland Bay Bridge along side the water. You look directly at the sun this way, perfect to capture mindful moments.


Being an iPhoneographer, I also use the square frame and I often use Instagram too. Adjusting focus and aperture by pressing on the screen, it's really easy to capture the overwhelming colours of the early morning sky. When joggers passed me by, I used their feet and long shadows, together with lines I saw on the pavement. Taking mindful photos like these will give you energy. No tourist fatigue at all. Think of the happy feeling you get when you take a photo of a happy moment. It's pure happiness and it goes straight to the heart.


Visit a place without judging and you'll receive its natural energy. The San Fran energy is one of the best I've ever experienced. After a long day in the city I now watch the sun set in the Pacific Ocean. From where I am I can see the dark shape of the Golden Gate Bridge against the red sky. I feel well tired but also very peaceful. I start walking up the hill to get back to my hotel, very happy to be here.


Be, See, Zen.

San Francisco, Embarcadero
This blog was written for World Nomads (Scholarship entry, 11 May 2015)

woensdag 15 april 2015

English or Dutch

Dear reader,

below a repost of all 22 posts previously written and published on MelanieRijkers.blogspot.nl 2014-2015 now continued in Dutch. If you want to follow my updates in English, please keep checking this blog, PhotographerWanted.blogspot.com

Bali Retreat October 2015 - Let Nature Guide You

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Straight To The Heart  Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Ubud, Sudaji, Sanur

- Guided by Antonetta Fernandes and Melanie E. Rijkers -

Daily morning and evening check-ins, meditation, (photo) walks & workshops, purification water and fire ceremonies, temple visit, exploring villages, nature, waterfalls and much more

7 Days Straight To The Heart Retreat $1950,-

Short daily programme:
Morning check-in and sharing
Evening check-in and sharing

Day 1 visualisation exercise

Day 2 to 6 guided meditation with energy medicine exercise to clear blockages

Photography workshop

Organic meals

Bonus: One session of 20 minutes Angelic Reiki healing per person

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Ubud 1-3 October (2 nights). Arrival and welcome at Ugung Raka 2-4 PM, a wonderful resort with rice fields on our doorstep. Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali, so next to the wonderful garden and pool of the hotel there’s plenty for you to do.

Sudaji 3-6 October (3 nights) true rural Bali. Omunity Bali, founded in 2010 by ZANZAN. This is a special place in the middle of lovely Balinese villages. It’s not like any other resort. Living with and amongst the community and local people of Sudaji. 

Sanur 6-7 October (1 night) Hotel Segara Agung, Sanur beach. Closure of our journey with walks and talks, mostly at the beach. End of our journey: 7 October noon.
Of course you can extend your stay if you wish to!

Be, See, Zen

Join us if you would like to experience first-hand real Balinese people and culture, taste the very good organic food and receive all other gifts from nature. It's al about being in the moment ♥


Come to this beautiful island and meet the locals, no crazy tourist stuff.

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

7 Days Straight To The Heart daily programme: 

Day 1, Unwind - arrival at Agung Raka Resort and Villas, Ubud. Enjoy this oasis of peace as Ubud itself is a very busy place. Take a dip in the pool, a walk through the rice fields or just enjoy the views and details of nature in the garden. 

Welcome meeting and a short introduction. Dinner in Ubud.

Day 2, Exploring Ubud - Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali. Visit a museum or art gallery. There’s also the monkey forest or watch a Balinese (fire) dance at night. 

Antonetta daily: Guided Meditation (30 mins). Energy Medicine Exercise, to clear blockages (20 mins) Body Alignment - clear blockages (10 min) - 1st time may require a bit longer. Evening Check-in and sharing 30 mins.
Melanie: An introduction to Straight To The Heart Photography (1,5-2h) with a photo walk through the gardens of Agung Raka. Daily photography workshop or walk, ending with a beach walk day 7.

Afternoon: free time. 

Day 3, Rural Bali - Omunity Bali, Sudaji.
Staying in Sudaji area, meeting the locals will create inner peace. You Are, you See, you become Zen, just by being there. Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 & 5, Exploring rural Bali 
- Waterfalls & ricefields adventure. Earth with unspoiled nature of rural Bali.
- Local Traditional Market 
- Canang/ Traditional Balinese Offering Making
- Cleansing and Purification Ceremony - You will experience a real Balinese cleansing and purification ceremony at our local “holy spring” accompanied by a local priest. You will recieve pure energy from the spring to cleanse your body and mind. Participants must be dresssed appropriately.
- a journey to one of Sudaji’s most powerful temples to give thanks and gratitude
- Spiritual (Fire) Ceremony
- visit a local school
- Spiritual Dinner: This dinner is a teaching… in order to maximize learning experience exact details are kept secret. This dinner will nourish much more than your body. It is a spiritual journey of awareness.

Day 6, Beach time! After breakfast transfer to Hotel Segara Agung, Sanur. Check-in from 2 PM.

Day 7, Closure at the Beach - Sunrise Meeting to share experiences and maybe a dip in the ocean. 
Photo walk. Breakfast. End of our journey together: noon.

$1950 incl. breakfast, lunch, dinner 
day 2-6, all group transfers & trips


Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Of all the places I have visited in the last 15 years, Bali is undoubtedly the best. It has everything: sincerity, simplicity, purity, humility and peacefulness. 

Even outwardly it is so beautiful. You can see how beautiful the little cottages and villages are. They have such simplicity!

Bali had maintained most of its pristine purity. You don’t even have to meditate here; nature will meditate on your behalf. Early in the morning if you walk around the villages, their divine qualities will enter into you and you will become a different person. Here in Bali, nature itself will accelerate your inner progress!

Sri Chinmoy - ‘Heaven On Earth’ 

Travel details & bookings
The group will be 8 to 10 people max. As this is a popular retreat destination we may sell out quickly. If that is the case we will publish more dates asap. Please email us to register you interest: e-mail Melanie or e-mail Antonetta.

Your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months after your return flight from Bali. We recommend you to book your flights only after we confirm your booking. We recommend you fly in a day (or two) early so you can adjust to the hot and humid climate.

We’ll share twin and double rooms, if you are booking as a single person please consider sharing a room. It depends on the hotel what the extra costs will be for single occupancy.

$1950,- per person

$500,- deposit due immediately after booking (no refunds)
$1450,- to be paid no later then 1 September 2015.

Paypal: info @ mery(.)nl 

Nederland: you can also pay via NL41ABNA0607286849 t.a.v. Artstudio23 
BIC/Swift code: ABNANL2A

By booking this retreat you support the local community of Sudaji and the children of rural Bali. We e.g. will donate English books to the school libraries and the public library of Omunity. 

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

Itinerary
Ubud 1-3 October (2 nights). Arrival and welcome at Ugung Raka 2-4 PM, a wonderful resort with rice fields on our doorstep. Ubud once was the highlight of cultural Bali, so next to the wonderful garden and pool of the hotel there’s plenty  for you to do.

Sudaji, rural Bali 3-6 October (3 nights). Omunity Bali, founded in 2010 by ZANZAN. This is a special place in the middle of lovely Balinese villages. It’s not like any other resort, e.g. they are concerned with providing a future for their children, in a world without plastic, dangerous chemicals and fertilisers. Returning to basics – what the anchestors understood and practised. Omunity seeks to educate and inform both locals and visitors. To bridge the gap between environmental concerns and human interests through practical education and sustainable Sudaji community involvement. The concept for Omunity Bali is living with and amongst the community and local people of Sudaji. 

Sanur, Hotel Segara Agung 6-7 October (1 night). Closure of our journey with 
walks and talks, mostly at the beach. End of our journey: 7 October noon.

Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015
Antonetta is: An Author, Life Coach/Mentor, Public Speaker and Angelic Reiki Practitioner. Additionally she also graduated at the Academy of Wealth & Achievement as Master Results Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Trainer, Hypnotherapist and Performance Consultant. Antonetta continues to enter un-chartered waters from practicing energy medicine to getting her messages across the global showing her appeal is universal and her inspiration has no boundaries.

London, UK. Feel free to contact her via e-mail

Melanie is: ZIENer. Photographer. Mother & Wife. Teacher of Miksang Contemplative Photography. Inspirator & Storyteller. Living in the Netherlands, traveling all over the world to spread  PURE vision. Photo Therapy Coach. Zien means ‘to see’ in Dutch. ‘Ziener’ also means prophet. #ikzieikzie 

Breda, the Netherlands. Feel free to contact her via e-mail 

ZANZAN is: our Balinese spiritual guide and founder of Omunity (day 3-6). A highly experienced Yoga instructor (traditional Maha Patanjali). He loves to share his knowledge. Father of three, married to Putu Shelly. You can ask him anything!

Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih - Bali, Indonesia www.omunitybali.com 
Straight To The Heart Bali Retreat 1-7 October 2015

You can also follow our event on Facebook.

See, Feel, Love Omunity - Love in Action

Just published my book of Omunity, a spiritual resort full of love, in the middle of rural Bali. What a peaceful spot in Bali Indonesia, founded by ZANZAN in 2010. Feel the love of Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih area, where you'll find unspoiled rice fields, waterfalls and much more. Combining Balinese, Eastern and Western tradition and culture, Omunity is primarily concerned with providing a future for our children.

A world without plastic, dangerous chemicals and fertilisers. Returning to basics – what the anchestors understood and practised. Omunity seeks to educate and inform both locals and visitors. To bridge the gap between environmental concerns and human interests through practical education and sustainable Sudaji community involvement.

The concept of OMunity Bali is “living with” and “amongst” the community and local people of Sudaji. Full board (all organic food) and field trips are included, and will give you so much positive energy you never want to leave again. Excellent for yoga retreats, with full use of the Wantilan.

My other two books about Sudaji:

Book 1

Book 2


SEE, FEEL, LOVE

Bali: Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih - part two

Visiting rural Bali will blow your mind and touch your heart.

It will earth you and connect you with your true and pure spirit. Positive energy will be yours, for ever.

SEE, FEEL, LOVE - PART TWO


Help the CHILDREN OF SUDAJI, SEKUMPUL AND LEMUKIH - Please send donations to: Stichting PUUR Zien - IBAN NL21INGB0006544911 ING Bank N.V. Foreign Operations PO Box 1800 1000 BV Amsterdam The Netherlands, BIC: INGBNL2A (swift code) or use Paypal: info@mery.nl, thank you!


Please send books directly to: 
Omunity, Banjar Dukuh, Desa Sudaji Kecamatan Sawan, Singaraja Buleleng 81171 Bali, Indonesia



If possible 6 copies each, as there are 6 elementary schools in this rural area. Namaste.

Bali: Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih part one published



First photo book of Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih, Bali island, Indonesia. A trip about connecting with our inner self, and finding inner peace. How to SEE the beauty of life (again). Get energised by the organic food and the Hindu way of living. Being there blows your mind and touches your heart. It earths and connects you. Positive energy will be yours, for ever. 

SEE, FEEL, LOVE 
true and pure Hindu spirit, “just” by visiting the rice fields, the waterfalls, the local market, the schools and much more.

Help Zo Niet Saar - Lymie

PUUR Zien - Proud mama
Young mother Saar (25 yo) is fighting the horrible Neuro Borreliose Lyme disease phase 3, as well EDS - Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. She will never walk again, lives on fluid food as she can't swallow and without help she can't take care of her two young kids. But she needs her children, they give her power. They give her the strength to go on and never give up.

Saar's daughter was only just recently diagnosed with EDS too, which makes Saar very sad. Like any other mother, you don't want to see your baby in pain ... and Saar wants to comfort her as much as she can.

Unfortunately Saar cannot go upstairs to her daughters bedroom because there's no elevator in the house. Her children are sleeping upstairs and Saar has to sleep downstairs...

She hasn't been able to take a soothing bath (in the tub) for 6 months now... as carrying Saar up the stairs is just too risky. Many more adjustments are needed in the house but aren't provided for. Will you please help Saar so she can be the mother she deserves to be?

Saar is a true inspirator, she is also sharing her story on Facebook and Instagram to raise awareness of the danger of Lyme disease through tick bites. There are many volunteers helping her, and with your donations we could make life much easier for this very special family.

Love & Light, Saar & Mel

We e.g. need € 15.000,- to get Saar an elevator so she can bring her kids to bed, please donate to Stichting PUUR Zien, IBAN NL21INGB0006544911 ING Bank N.V. Foreign Operations PO Box 1800 1000 BV Amsterdam The Netherlands
or use Paypal: info@mery.nl, thank you!
Our BIC: INGBNL2A (Swift code)

Elijah, her baby boy
Her children visiting her in the hospital
Happy together in bed

Help Bali school kids

Indonesian children in school uniform

During my last trip to Bali only a week ago, I had the chance to visit some of the local schools of Sudaji, Sekumpul and Lemukih village. 650 Kids age 4-12 go to 6 elementary schools in this district. There's also one secondary school.

Guided by Mr. I Gede Joni Setiawan, I saw a whole bunch of Balinese school kids running around the schools or sitting down nice and quiet in their class room. Outside the boys made funny faces when I took a photo, the girls a little more shy in the back. Boys will be boys and with hard rock being the latest thing in Bali, Indonesia, a lot of the boys kept making the sign of the horns, o my.

We sat down in the offices and talked about the schools, how the system works in Indonesia and how Gede once was a student of this school too. The schools look good, but not great, you know what I mean. Being in the Netherlands, our elementary schools seem to (over)flood with toys, maps on walls and other school materials. Here, in rural Bali, nothing is too much and only the basics are there. I don't think there will be much ADHD/ADD diagnoses here.

Books wanted, Indonesia schools

Sudaji Bali, Indonesia

There's even a school right next to the rice fields. Wow, tropical nature all around the children, and being off at 14:00 (2 PM) or earlier, they have enough free time to run around in the village. I saw kids chop woods, climb trees, ride motor bikes (2x 8 = also 16) (in age, LOL) and be HAPPY. Even though to Western standards they don't seem to have much, they have it all. They are pure, happy and healthy. Eating 3 rice meals a day, I did not see much obesed people.

The red wood tea ZanZan's wife made was awsome. ZanZan is the founder of Omunity, the retreat where I was staying and taking photos for. The school kids are provided for too, and when I asked, I was told the children never get any school photos, at all. Being a mother of two myself, I buy these photos always, as I think it's so good to see your kids grow when you put these photos in a line from age 4 to 12... Melts my heart to see how they grew up. And I am very happy to have these photos.

But in Sudaji there's no school photography, never. The only photos I saw were an occasional photo of the teachers group and one of the Independance Day games... But no class photos, no portraits. The parents also aren't able to afford the prints, but still, there aren't even digital photos available!

Now I want to go back and teach the local photographer(s) how to do this, how to do class and portrait school photos and make sure the parents will get their copy too. The school would really love bigger copies to put on the wall, and really, what are the costs?!? It's all about making it possible. For a lousy € 2,30 per child we are able to set a school photogaphy system up. We only need € 1500,- in total, this way we can teach a local photographer how to shoot and print all the photos. Next year's costs will be much lower, as then it's only the prints that need to be covered.

Next to school photos the schools need (English) books, so if you are a publisher with books which can't be sold anymore and suitable for age 4-16, please let me know. The libraries are being built as we speak, as the government decided to invest in the schools, but there can never be enough books. For the books we'll need € 6000,- around € 10,- per child. We're especially looking for books about spiritual, social and cultural life.




We'll need € 1500,- to get school photography set up, and € 6000,- for spiritual, cultural and social books, please donate to Stichting PUUR Zien, IBAN NL21INGB0006544911 ING Bank N.V. Foreign Operations PO Box 1800 1000 BV Amsterdam The Netherlands or use Paypal: info@mery.nl, thank you! Our BIC: INGBNL2A (Swift code)


If you are a publisher who would like to donate books, please send 6 of each to:

OMunity
Banjar Dukuh, Desa Sudaji
Kecamatan Sawan
Singaraja Buleleng 81171
Bali, Indonesia


THANK YOU, Namaste ♥

Loving Vivian Maier

'Finding Vivian Maier'Yesterday I finally watched the documentary. What a remarkable woman. I loved her work, right from the start, when this film wasn't made yet and Mr. Maloof was still searching for her. Her images are addictive and it's kind a funny that we (I assume most people who love her work feel this too) are waiting for new work to be published as kids waiting for Santa. Excited!!


It was good to see Mr. Maloof's work and effort, as I until now only read about in online. And how very funny that the kids she used to be the nanny of, gave such different destriptions of her. She must have been troubled by deeper thoughts, most likely something happened to her as a child and screwing her head up about men, and life in general too.

"I am a spy" she said. And she most likely meant it. She was a hoarder. Collecting sound (interviewing people in the supermarket) and 8mm film next to all the beautiful photos she took. She was a dark, closed person, but via her work she tells you who she is. It's sad she died poor, but when you learn about the tax payments cheques still being kept in her belongings, I think it's her screwed up head that most likely said "do not take that money from the government". She still lived a fairly free life, no husband, no kids.

Than the story about her newspapers, piles of them, OMG, you've seen people like this before on tv. And nothing may be thrown out, as "It's to be used later". The newspapers she collected were all about dark subjects too, crime, murder, rape. She was always looking for this darker side of society, like taking one of the girls she was babysitting to a slaughter house to take photos and film footage of. Or taking photos first, of the boy who got run over by a car, instead of comforting him being his nanny.


Poor woman. She must have felt not alone, but with too many. She most likely was a bit schitzo, but aren't we all?!? I don't think she felt alone, I think she was just scared. Scared of the big, angry world, and without a parent raising her not to be afraid, she turned out like this. All the kids still remember little off things she did. 'Accidents', but not really.

And she kept taking all these photos. She really was a ZIENer, like me. I see. She sees. It's not the camera, it's her vision. Her vision of the world. And in her case: the darker side of it. As if a lot of things she ran into (on the street) were crazy. To her, the world was a crazy place.

And I feel sad for her. I am a ZIENer who looks for the beauty in life, happiness is there, on every corner, but people don't SEE (it). I can tell you how to see and get positive energy from life, not to be scared of it. The Miksang Contemplative Photography I now teach, helps people to see the positive side of the crazy, mad world. I wish I could've talked to her 20 years ago. I wish I could've inspired her to lighten up, just a little.



The two best moments of the documentary for me were the photos of her world trip, that selfie of her, standing on deck, of a sea ship. That was the first real happy photo of her, with a SMILE and happiness in her eyes. As in a lot of the other selfies she's looking away, or she looks into the camera with that troubled view... Dear Vivian, what on earth was troubling you? What happened that you turned out this dark? Abandoned by her family, or maybe even assaulted?

I wish she could've seen the shows that are here now, with all of her photos. I think the reaction of people to her work would've brightened her day, her mind, her soul. The second best moment of the documentary is the moment in that little French village of her, where her work is exhibited and this fragile, very old lady sees her (diseased) husband in one of the photos. Heart breaking, the way she reacts. And for her daughter who's witnessing this too, a priceless moment! This is a moment they will never forget and think back of with nothing but joy and happiness. Positive energy.

Vivian, you can make people feel like this. I can make people feel like this. It's a gift and I feel sad you weren't able to witness the effect your pictures have on the public. People are moved by your work. It's a valuable historic document, but it's also a very good vision of this crazy world.

Vivian, I love you. I hope you have now found the peace you were looking for. 
Thank you for showing us the world from your eyes.

One of my own 'Vivian Maier' street photos - selfie at Venice Beach 2014

City trip Los Angeles #ikzieikzie

Painting of a new billboard down town

Hooray for Hollywood (free from Madonna's song)

Hollywood Boulevard - posing on Walk of Fame with backlight

Long Beach Palms

Pelicans at Long Beach

Long Beach Beach House

Selfie in Venice - Skate Park
Venice Beach - Miksang moments

World Wide Art LA 2014

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA

Art show in Los Angeles, Convention Center Down Town LA
Check out all photos of the opening night of World Wide Art LA 2014.

World Wide Photo Walk - Scott Kelby

#wwpw2014 In Breda, the Netherlands it was raining cats and dogs ... But still a nice group of people showed up, so we had a good time walking through the Chass├ępark. We also passed part of the Bredaphoto exhibition, which is partially outdoors.

11 October 2014:

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers

Walk leader: Artstudio23.com - Melanie E. Rijkers - Bredaphoto art
Rain or shine, we had a good time during the World Wide Photo Walk 2014! Thanx Mr. Scott Kelby, and maybe next time... I can lead one in Paris, France? I am thinking of combining it with my annual ZIEN in Paris workshop, that would be awsome!!

Let me know if you want to join me in Paris in 2015.

Photo walk with us in Paris, France 10 October 2015? Loopt u gratis mee op 10 oktober 2015 in Parijs? 15:30-19:30 (3:30-7:30 PM)