A TRAVELER’S JOURNAL #3: HET PLEIN AND LUDEN IN THE NETHERLANDS

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A small European country where life begins at dawn and at sunset all but go home. One of our tour guides had said the Dutch are very punctual with their timing as they begin their day early and end their days at sunset. I found this to be true as I had witnessed this within my journey.

I am not very punctual as an author. I stay awake into the early hours of the mornings and sometimes even as dawn kisses me on my eyes, I welcome her and realize I just had a long conversation with the dark nights as I stayed awake and did not even realize it.

Habits are hard to break and I know life is a welcome wagon in which I know we just learn to accept.

My trip to the Netherlands had given me as a gift, a sacred environment, called Het Plein, behind the Binnenhof, with a statue of William the Silent watching, standing tall as even throughout these times, he is keeping an eye over all of his children.

Binnenhof is the home of all the political figures as they in union keep an eye over their great nation. Den Haag is not the capital of this country, yet she is the home to all of the politicians. I felt a sacred bond to the Binnenhof, a castle from the thirteenth century, with a lot of history within the walls of this complex. The Binnnehof is the oldest House of Parliament in the world which is still used today. Today though, I want all of you to walk with me through this complex to the back square. The place known as “Het Plein,” is also known as the square in English.

This square is covered with small restaurants and shops and within the square there are often flea markets held. Music and live performances are also a regular happening within this square. The general public walk there as do the politicians, and crowds of visitors, from all sectors of life. If you are in the Netherlands, do visit the Binnenhof and remember to visit the square during the day and after dark. For it is throughout the dark nights, the square decorates herself within lights and sparkles as she welcomes all of her guests. Security is also present as they keep this square safe and because of their sacrifice, we the visitors could sit there with so much peace and serenity.

I had met some amazing security guards who were more than helpful to guide my group to wherever we wanted to go and answered our questions as we had so many questions for all of them.

Today, I would want you all to know as a spiritual person, wherever I travel I always try to find a retreat for myself, where I can sit and meditate. It makes me forget about all of the obstacles of life and rejuvenates the soul. You would think then I should go to the beach, or the mountains, or to an unknown place with no sound or people. You see that’s where I differ, as I like to meditate and rejuvenate amongst humans. I like to be amongst the humans, and feel their positive vibes of life. I can sit within a bus full of people as I take their positive vibes and awaken spiritually.

During this trip, each night as I had returned after my day’s adventure, I had come to Het Plein to a certain restaurant called “Luden.”

I know Het Plein is filled with so many restaurants and all were excellent choices in their own ways. For me though, it was not the food choice or the particular restaurant, but the complete environment including a special waitress who had made my group feel at home.

 SOME PICTURES FROM HET PLEIN

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Luden had a good menu and had extensive choices for all. I know all of the restaurants had a lot of choices, yet I loved how the waitress had made me feel so at home and she left me to sit and enjoy the night. I felt like all of the waiters and waitresses knew I was meditating as I sat there. Believe it, meditation is just not going into a trance, but to awaken your inner-self through whatever works for you to find peace within oneself, even within a crowd where all walks of life gather and to be one of them and awaken with the realization this world is different, yet, it is so similar as all of us unite for peace and harmony.

On this night though, I had next to me a couple who had come to dine but fought with each other so loud that I think they forgot they were in public. The husband had cheated on the wife as she had burst into tears and left. I knew I should just keep quiet and let it be. Life will be a complete journey as it only takes its complete course.

Then on the same night, another couple came on a first date as they questioned each other and agreed not to date and left. I thought okay, life is hard, do it is a lesson for my group as we were all single people traveling.

Then, a family with a young baby boy appeared in front of our table show. He had won all of our hearts as he kept on flirting and smiling and called us with both of his hands. It was so amazing. We knew there was a baby who had won all of our hearts. Who needs love and a man when such a cute baby and his parents are taking all of our hearts away? I thought people were getting annoyed at this child’s cry of happiness and tears of separation if we did not respond to him. As we waved to him, he stayed quiet and as we became busy with our own group, we again heard his tears and cries which again had stopped as we had waved back at him.

I knew this was life and my meditation and prayers for the night as life is full with all different humans with their own stories of the night. Please know humans with all different lifestyles are but a blessing as we only learn from each other. Give privacy and respect to all and be there for one another, even the strangers whom but knock, seek, and ask. This is the meditation of the human soul.

That’s what I had found within this restaurant called Luden. Do visit her if ever in Den Haag. They have wonderful service and sacred waiters and waitresses who make you feel at home. Also remember, you sit with the crowd within and amongst the humans. All you do need to have is humanity to find yourself at home within this sacred place. Do walk, talk, and greet the crowd, and you shall see after you the traveler come back home, within your bag of memories your meditative soul shall awaken with the warmth of all the blessed memories as your companions which this journey had but given as a gift.

I would love to mention Kristine, a kindhearted waitress who had made my trip a blessed journey as after a long day, she had always given us our ginger, lemon, and mint tea. Within my novel, I had a character, a waitress, who now in my eyes will have the face of Kristine. Every night as I came back to Luden, I had shared my trip with Kristine and told her it was as if I lived within the pages of my book. Everywhere or every place I went was a picture out of my book. Go and visit this restaurant and please say hello to this kindhearted soul for me.

Also, as you sit and relax within this square or locally known as, “Het Plein,” maybe you would be paid a visit by the ghosts of Binnenhof.

Tonight, as you try to meditate, know meditation is but your own awakening from within your soul. I loved my meditative travel journey as I believe the mystics from the yesteryears had traveled for peace and serenity. We the travelers of the present travel even on this day for the same reason. This is how we the present unite with past travelers and future travelers through our journey of life.

My next blog post is on the Binnenhof and until then, I will leave you here as I hope you too find peace and harmony within your own home and know you could just sit within your home and meditate to awaken your inner self.

Blessings from Seattle,

*This is the third post in my blog series A Traveler’s Journal.

3 comments on “A TRAVELER’S JOURNAL #3: HET PLEIN AND LUDEN IN THE NETHERLANDS”

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