Interview with Carien: Love is not a word

Love is not a word

It’s very special that someone moves so many people. No matter how you are touched and something special happens. For those who seek their heart, it is like coming home. So tangible that you can almost grasp it, yet so indescribable that no words come close.
Real love, not the fleeting kind. The love that has no rules, no conditions, and no boundaries. Those who are lucky enough to meet that in their lives experience a richness that surpasses everything.

We are lucky to have met such a person and we would like to share that happiness.
We are honored to introduce you to Carien Hoekman.
We asked Carien a couple of questions to get to know her. This way, you get to hear the story behind a true teacher.

Carien can you tell us what it is that you do?
“Actually, I don’t do anything at all.
I don’t decide anything, I don’t control anything. I don’t experience any kind of intention. It’s not something that “I” do, it’s just being.
There is no word for what I do. If I have to name a word it would be ‘silence’.
And from that silence or nothingness, a response arises. That just happens naturally.
We are all looking for love that is already within us. How is it possible that we can’t experience that? It seems like you need someone else for that. I’ve come to tell you that it really is within you. It is my task to confront you with reality, step by step. The realization that it cannot be found in anyone other than yourself.

The mind always creates the illusion of separation.
I’ll explain it to you: On the table is a can of Coke with a colorful print and a white mug.
Carien points to the can and the mug. You think you are this can and take on all kinds of roles in your life.
But in reality, you are the white mug. So you are the mug but you act like the can of Coke.
And I know how to push the buttons that will make the can of Coke explode until you’ll realize that you are the mug.
People who come to me know that there will come a time when they will be confronted with themselves. They know this is necessary to grow.

The mind wants to control and determine everything.
Suppose you run into something in your life. The first response is to start looking for a solution. But you are not in charge. By being silent, you let nature take its course.

Everyone wants to be free but it has to be on their terms. That’s not freedom, that is selfishness. If everyone does it their way, there can be no connection and we lose sight of each other.
What I do is not always appreciated. Except when people wake up. Until then people will have a love-hate relationship with me. You are discovering yourself in this, it’s a process of growth. We don’t manage our mind, we are identified with it.
People quickly say: “I feel love”, but if I do something you don’t like then suddenly there is no love anymore, that’s not possible! Love is constant and has no conditions. But that in itself is the journey of discovery.”

What moves you to spread this love?
“From an early age on there was already a certain clarity in me. I don’t know how it’s possible either, maybe from a past life or something but around me, I saw that people didn’t have this kind of clarity and I thought that I was strange. You have to imagine that as a child you feel that connection and you cannot share it with anyone, but you just know it exists. Of course, you will look for someone who feels the same way.
For years I tried to reach my mother in this and later my partner.
But it doesn’t work like that. One needs to want to move by themselves.
Such a realization doesn’t just come overnight, there is a lot that precedes it.

It started, for example, when I thought: “it cannot be true that the opinions and beliefs of other people can make me feel completely upset.”
It intrigued me so much that I went to investigate. I did this by always allowing myself to break with the things I thought were true. For example, I would seek out people who ‘I’ found difficult and I would continue to seek them out until I could allow all the emotions to rage through me. Over and over again, until there was nothing left. I just wanted to be free. That’s the most important thing to me. It might sound easy but on the contrary; it was a hard and difficult journey. I would have loved a guide or a master by my side in this.

If you happen to come across a guide that resonates with you, that will make this journey a whole lot easier.

I was so afraid to speak but I felt the drive to share what I had discovered.
Though I just knew that if I talked about it, everyone would walk away from me.
But I had no choice. If you feel this so strongly then you must listen. You cannot turn away from this. You would deny your heart and the divine within you.
I felt that I wanted to speak: there’s a fire burning in me to wake people up.
I have to do this! You have to share the love.

The less “I”, the more you become the “self”. The less ‘I’, that sounds so cliche doesn’t it, but to be able to do this you really have to know yourself. You have to dare to face yourself. All your principles and all your fears; you have to give yourself up.
Everything I thought I was didn’t matter. I am not at all someone who wants to be in the spotlight. But it wasn’t about what I wanted, it was about the message.
It was a period in my life when I was completely alone. Suddenly there was no one left.
You have to become who you truly are. That goes for everybody.”

Carien, my question to you is: I am looking for love that is already within me. How is it possible that I do not experience it?
“If you say that love is within you, why don’t you experience it yourself?
How is it possible that you say this?”

I have read that somewhere.
“So you have lost yourself in knowledge. To become conscious the knowledge has to become true knowing.
Referring back to your question: The mind quickly settles for a simple thought. In this case: “I am looking for love which is already within me.” But the truth is you don’t really know what it is, not yet! You have to find it inside yourself.

So you’re saying that I haven’t found it, yet? What it really is, you have never become aware of.
You have a word; in this case, love. You cannot experience it, or only temporarily because we have an opinion or belief about what it should be. If we use our mind in this way and believe those thoughts then we cannot experience what IS. And the reality is overshadowed by opinions, assumptions, interests, beliefs etc. A feeling of “I and me” dominates.

Then how can I experience what love is? It is a question that has been with me for a long time.
Of course, you want a ready-made answer. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that it doesn’t work like that.
Even if I were to tell you in detail what love really is, you still cannot experience it.
You keep looking for the answer outside of yourself, but you don’t ask yourself; what is love truly?
You’ll say: my children, my parents or my partner but these are people in your life, not you.
What is love truly for you?
And then the journey inside yourself can either start or stop there. (Carien laughs)

If you ask God the question: “God, what is love?” Even then you will experience it outside of yourself, as if you were speaking to someone else. And so you will experience everything outside of yourself for a long time without knowing it.
The trick of the trade is that it is all within you.
Do you want to discover what love is? Then completely fall in love with someone else. It doesn’t matter who or what, just give yourself completely. Then you’ll know what love is. And now you still don’t know what I mean. (Carien laughs again) Don’t believe it, but find it.”

Can you tell us something about your search for a spiritual master?
“No, I don’t have a master. I had to discover the master within myself.
There was a search for a master though.
I was looking for love and I was looking for it in someone older and wiser.
A master who radiates real love.
One learns to serve. To serve what is greater than the “I”.
But it was actually already there: I had been serving all my life.
I just wasn’t mopping the floor of an Ashram in India. No, I did that in the Netherlands at home. (Carien laughs)
Of course I had teachers but I never have been close to a master to whom I could devote.”

Are there masters that you experience then?
“There are many masters that I feel here. (Carien points to her heart)
Anyone awake, known or unknown, they are here and that’s all I follow. We all speak from the same source. When you are awake you speak from the same source.

Take Jesus for example. You meet him in your heart; you really experience what he spoke of but he is no longer alive.
I would have loved a living master because with a living guide you come so close to the earth, to humanity, the all-encompassing and also the incapacity of being a human.

I don’t run from the things that scare most people away. On the contrary, it’s what I face head-on. Jesus, of course, was betrayed by everyone and he still loved them. I have not found anyone of that caliber yet. But I don’t want the religious side of it. No that is not necessary.

Now you yourself are a guide to many, can you tell us something about that?
Other people already recognized it in me. Teachers of mine who said: “But you are the teacher, you are that yourself.”
I didn’t realize that. As a matter of fact, I didn’t want to. I thought it was too much of a responsibility.
I was still so focused on “I can’t do this” and mainly on “I’m not allowed do this”.
I still had a deep belief because I thought; “only ‘Earth’s Greatest’ may do this. You have to be really great to interpret God’s word. You can’t just do that.

What was the turning point for you to start speaking?
The turning point was a vision of Jesus.
In my vision, I saw a golden room with a large table. All the masters sat at this table. Jesus sat at the head of the table and signaled me “come over here and sit with us”. I felt very shy, standing in the corner of the room like: …no, no, no, not me.
He spoke to me, “Come sit with us.”
It was a great realization that I had to be who I am.
I secretly wanted a master who would guide and support me. Not anymore. It is possible but it’s not necessary anymore. I don’t feel that anymore.
I see all of us as one. I feel one heart, one great intelligence.”

Who is suitable to receive your teaching?
“Anyone with a beating heart can do this, so it’s suitable for everyone.
But not every guide resonates with you.
If you still want to be anointed with beautiful words, you will be attracted to that. There’s nothing wrong with it; everything has its function.
Only those who are tired of beautiful words knock on my door. Because I’m not easy on your ego. I can’t accept any nonsense.
With me you’ll face the truth. I look at the facts.
Life gives you a direction and I’m here to make you look the right way. That’s already hard enough. At first, you don’t want to look. You just want to keep following your own direction.
People who live with me learn to see that you can get something out of everything. Awareness is not only experienced in Satsang but throughout the whole day.
There are life lessons everywhere. Even in pain there is a color. The trick is to see what it is and have no opinion about it. God is in everything. Even in the tiniest twig.
However, you can only feel this if you really look. You’ll have to go beyond logic to experience this. Because logic and awareness do not go together.
Logic is great with all practical and logical things, for example if you want to build something. But if you try to understand me from just logic you won’t succeed. You cannot understand it, you can only discover it.”

What makes you unique?
You can’t say that you are unique at all. You cannot claim such a thing.
I do see what God does and what it is, yes that is very unique. That brings tears to my eyes.
If God had the voice of a bearded man he would say: “It’s not something unique; I am you, you are me.” So there is nothing unique. You just are.
And that makes it unique. A better word would be authentic. To be complete with ISness, with the Divine.

What do you mean by unique?
Everyone is trying very hard to be unique in something. You want to be the best. You want to distinguish yourself and try to be unique that way.
I speak more about being unique in being. That everything just is. That’s unique.

You are also unique, right? It’s that specific something. You are something that you are.
I see that everyone is unique. And maybe it is unique that I see what makes someone unique. (Carien laughs).
Awareness is simply the most important thing. Your Sadhana must come first. You’ll have to find God within yourself and during that Sadhana you will learn that you are not alone.”

This conversation has touched my heart directly in an indescribable way. The truth cannot be captured in words, but in the depth and love with which Carien speaks.


From Reaction to Response

A response comes after a reaction.

The fundamental difference between a reaction and a response?
is an unconscious action in which we focus our energy on the world outside of us in an attempt to defend ourselves or attack someone else.

A reaction is a belief of thoughts, that we’ve come to believe as the truth. We want to soothe our unpleasant experiences and keep them under control.

All reactive behaviours usually express themselves in not being able or willing to admit that you’ve done something wrong. Responding reactively gets expressed in blame, accusations and revenge. If we react we are doing something about, what we perceive as, ‘happening to us’.

A response (answer) is a conscious choice to keep the energy that boils up within ourselves and to internalize it in a constructive way. This with the purpose to use that energy to integrate unconsciousness.

The underlying theme of responsive behaviour is responsibility. Wanting to keep the responsibility completely in ourselves, whereby we learn to experience a deep connection with our true self, our greater self.

By unconditionally feeling how our emotions unfold within ourselves and by not projecting them to ourself or others, we become more connected with the response, the deeper voice within us. This is the real voice of our natural self and shall be immediately recognised as yourself. Home. If this becomes perceivable you experience a natural self, which has the freedom in itself to both react and respond. Reactions aren’t expressed unconsciously anymore but used there where reactions are actually needed. For example quick reactions can prevent accidents while being in traffic. Or if we see someone fall our quick reaction is a god gift. Also think about someone with crutches who wants to cross the street , in that case being able to react quickly by you is very important. So reactions have nothing to do with something bad, but we may become more aware of when reactions serve us and others.

If you become truly aware of your inner response you’ll act accordingly. At first you reacted on everything, now reactions are born from a response. If you are aware you know what you do and what you are up to. Because you are home and act according to what is necessary to both yourself and to others. Someone who is awake will connect and not break.

Deeper focus
If we’re not aware, we basically react on everything. To be able to give a response instead of a reaction you’ll have to develop a deeper focus.

A few examples in which we react immediately:

– somebody says something that touches you

– somebody yells at you out of nowhere

– somebody says something unfair to you

Reactions that we rarely notice, are the so to say innocent reactions, for example if you walk by a snackbar. If you’re hungry you will definitely have a reaction, maybe even if you’re not hungry.

We react indiscriminately. There is nothing wrong with that, except that it happens unaware. At the mercy of these unconscious reactions or impulses, they can have big consequences. Without our awareness we are sleep walking. Reactions happen constantly if we see something that we find pretty, ugly or dirty. Especially if we think we find something important, we will react and the experience of the response stays out. Because we don’t know how to achieve a response within ourselves.

Because we are still not more deeply connected with ourselves, opinions, beliefs and habits seem to have control over us. By the speed of which life passes by, it seems like we can’t do anything else than to react. People usually ask for (preferably) a quick reaction, both commercially as personally.

We just follow the impulse to react, at the mercy of the reaction that is there. Paralyzed, numbed we react from ignorance and act as if we know everything. We can’t do anything else than to follow our reactions as a slave. Because it’s such an unconscious state, we are not standing still at how we react or what it is in us that reacts.

We have all given a response from time to time, with an important decision for example when buying a house or car, we’re capable to speak out of a response. Just think about the expression “having to sleep on it.” or “let something sink in me”

We have all said or done this at some time.

Why is it only possible then? Because we know deep inside that those purchases can have big consequences. So to what extent are we aware that the, in our eyes unimportant things, don’t have far reaching consequences?

Moving towards and starting to act instead of talking about it.
Don’t enrich yourself with even more knowledge. Don’t read this as if you now know something new, but crave towards connecting this in your daily life. Become as it where this text. Understanding alone is not enough, but take action.

For everyone

– that feels at home with me,

– who lives with me and/or follows Satsangs

– who is sincerely looking for the truth anywhere in the world

– who wants to wake up

I wish upon you the most beautiful and highest achievable what you can give yourself and mankind.

For you I wrote this, those that by reading this want to feel it and increase their focus towards response, to achieve it. So you can take a deep breath of air before you start responding like a madman to everything you hear or think to see. But that you let your reaction go through you and don’t let yourself get carried away with it.

Someone who wants to penetrate to the true core of everything, let reactions of others and themselves go through them and trains the mind to listen, to SILENCE!

With all the love for you,


The vegetable garden

The vegetable garden

Gardening grows the spirit! Everyone with a love for all that grows can now enjoy themselves in our garden.
With a lot of admiration, we see the plants grow day by day.


It all started with these little plants.


Bell peppers, tomatoes, chili peppers, watermelon, pumpkin, and cucumbers.

And by now they are fully grown.
The bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons are sweeter than anything we have ever tasted before.  
We are so grateful for getting the chance to learn how to garden. We quickly learn how to adapt to the intense Spanish sun and rocky soil.


Lettuce, chives, parsley, basil, sage, peppermint, and stevia

In between the herbs, there is space for meditation.
The herbs grow so quickly. we can’t keep up, drinking peppermint tea every day. The basil stands proud and tall amongst the other herbs.
Having fresh veggies with our dinner every day, delicious!

Due to the great weather in Spain, we can enjoy our herbs and vegetables for much longer.
For us, it is more than just a vegetable garden. A little bit of ourselves is growing here. We give love and attention to the vegetables every day, and you can taste that!
We want to be as self-sufficient as possible and make our sauces. For example sambal (chili pepper paste), chili sauce, pesto, and tapenade.

Our fig and almond tree are also giving fruits. So we (almost) don’t have to go to the supermarket anymore!

A visit to Carien in Spain

A visit to Carien in Spain

It all started with a simple message from Carien: “Maybe your time has come as well to come to me. For what you ask requires a deeper contact. X.”

That same day I replied: “Yes, I’m coming to Spain.” I knew it was necessary. The start of a special journey.

In the Netherlands I had already experienced a special moment with Carien through Skype during Satsangs; experiencing that the distance doesn’t even really matter if you can open up to her as a guide, but the “being open” still isn’t something that happens smoothly for me. Therefore it is time for me to immerse into the energy of ISness, which is much is more perceivable in Spain because of the beautiful place and the physical presence of Carien.

The flight from Eindhoven went smoothly. I was warmly greeted by Carien and her son at the airport in Alicante. Greeted? No, I got a very intense and lovely hug. What a welcome! During the car ride to Cariens home, we immediately started conversing about relations and how unconscious a lot of people (including me) act, think and feel about it. The conversations with Carien are constantly like a Satsang and bring a lot of insight.

At the moment we arrived at the house I immediately felt that there was special energy. I had seen pictures and heard stories but now I could see and feel this beautiful place in between the mountains” for myself. And I saw how Erwin and the gardener were working on making it even better: working on stone walls, stairs, and the path to the big field which Emily had made…

I stayed in the guesthouse; everything included. Carien said: You need time to ‘land’. Yes, I needed that time, because I was still very active in my mind. Something that would often return during my stay. “Everything here is amplified,” she said. That was especially apparent in the beautiful Satsang room. I spent a lot of time here during my visit of more than a week. There were moments of serene silence, but I also often experienced my stubbornness. Everything here is amplified, you can’t hide from the truth…

I can honestly say that every day in Spain was special. It already starts with the daily Seva, in my case, it was sweeping the terrace. The first days I was still thinking a lot, time and again picking up leaves and sand. But during the week there was more and more silence and contemplation and it would feel almost effortless. It’s not so much about the result, but about love that is felt when it is done with attention, in myself and in others.

It is too much to tell here in detail what came to the surface during my conversations with Carien. You won’t know beforehand what is going to happen; Carien follows what ISness desires. A lot of life’s themes have come forward during individual Satsangs and practices and I was guided by Carien in a clear, sometimes confronting, often humorous but above all loving manner and encouraged to continue doing this by myself as well. Not for “me”, but for something that is greater than me. I noticed that experiencing silence (letting go of thinking) and feeling the bond with your guide is necessary for this. Without it, sincere self-examination and insight are impossible, also when I’m back in the Netherlands.

I want to share one specific moment: “Do I really want to experience ISness and do what is necessary?” was a very important question. To use a metaphor of Carien: Do I want to stay at the foot of the mountain and keep living in the village(and keep living my ego, thinking that I have a life as I do now)? Or do I want to climb the mountain step by step with my guide by which I’ll gradually get a better view of everything (experience ISness)? The road up isn’t easy, but not as hard as my thinking makes me believe. It is very tempting for me to stay in the valley and not climb the mountain, but something in me insists: “I don’t want to miss this!” It’s moments like this where I start to feel my “calling”. It makes me feel the ground under my feet and motivates me to continue.

I also want to thank Erwin, my travel companion on this voyage of discovery to our heart. With Carien as our guide and with each other as a mirror, representative, and teammate we have shared beautiful experiences. I have managed to let the majority of something go which had been stuck in me for a long time. Thanks to you Erwin!

Oh and before I forget: During my stay in Spain there was also a heavy storm, that brought a lot of thunder, wind, and rain. We did have a lot of luck, but the storm still damaged some things on the terrain. What stays with me is how everybody worked together in his own way with peace and effortlessness to repair the damage to make the place have a nice energy again.

This was my first trip to Carien in Spain: 9 days, the time flew by. The added value of physically being there has become apparent to me. And also how unconditional Carien dedicates her life towards guiding and awakening other people to ISness. Nothing, really nothing, is more important to her than that. The goodbye was also very heartly, with great hugs from Carien and her family. And intensely waving goodbye from both the departure hall as the “spotting spot” near the airport. Really crazy they are in all the good ways…

I will definitely be back to Spain. For the time being, I will get started with Carien’s instructions in the Netherlands. It is now up to me to allow her inside more and more in silence and to learn how to listen and to experience that she’s always by my side while I encounter life.

Lovely Greetings, Lucas