Glossary

Here you will find a collection of words and technical terms that can help you access topics and offers of Benediktushof. Contemplation, mindfulness and Zen meditation are explained here, as well as further technical terms from psychology or religious studies.

We have compiled this collection to the best of our knowledge and belief. Of course the collection is not yet complete. We are happy to receive any suggestions for additions and improvements by e-mail.

 

Advaita Vedanta

Advaita Vedanta, also known as the Yoga of Knowledge, is one of the oldest yoga teachings from India, which aims at a life that is free of suffering. Advaita Vedanta is the most important direction within Vedanta. The term comes from Sanskrit: Advaita means “non-duality” and Vedanta means “end of knowledge”. Advaita-Vedanta assumes that Atman (individual soul, self) and Brahman (world soul, reason of being) are non-dual. However, this connection is obscured by illusion (Maya). The goal of Advaita-Vedanta is to arrive at the realization of the essential identity of Atman and Brahman. With this realization one is redeemed or liberated, their search ends – they thus reach the “end of knowledge”.

Aromatherapy

In aromatherapy, essential oils extracted from medicinal plants and their scents are used, whose broad spectrum of effects has been known for thousands of years. They can be used for medical purposes as well as to increase well-being. Aromatherapy is a holistic form of therapy. Its goal is the physical and mental harmonization of all human powers.

Body Prayer

“The joy of the soul is to be active in the body.” (Hildegard von Bingen) The path to the primal experience of being leads through the body, which can be an effective companion into reality beyond all words, concepts and images. Body prayer makes use of this effectiveness: presence in breathing, sitting, walking, dancing, in sounds and postures lead to the mystical experience of everyday life.

Breath healing work

Breath healing work makes use of the connection between the breath and the psyche, already known to primeval shamans. Special breathing techniques, in connection with bodywork, promote and support the release of psychological blockades or (psycho-)somatic complaints. They can also lead to various forms of spiritual awakening. Forms of breathing therapy include Holotropic Breathing and Rebirthing.

Buddha

The Sanskrit word “Buddha” means “the Awakened One” and refers to a person who has experienced Bodhi (“awakening”); in a narrower sense, “Buddha” is the honorary title of the historical Siddharta Gautama, who lived in India in the middle of the first millennium before Christ. “Awakening” means the breakthrough to the experience of one’s own true being and at the same time the true being of all creation. This experience is felt as absolute liberation, with it ends the erroneous impression that one’s own life is karmically entangled, and the eternal cycle of life and death (samsara) is suspended. The consequences of awakening are wisdom and compassion.

Burnout Prophylaxis

Burnout syndrome is a complex of symptoms that can be described as a state of exhaustion in the whole person, physically, emotionally, psychologically and mentally. It occurs as a result of negative stress. The burnout prophylaxis aims to prevent this stress by effective ways of self-control. A central role is played by the ability to perceive oneself and the context in which one is existing in order to discover and develop effective alternatives. This is accompanied by a strengthening of self-healing powers.

Butoh

The Japanese word “Butoh” means “dance” and refers to a contemporary Japanese dance theater form that emerged after the Second World War and whose roots lie in the expressive dance of the 1920s. The body is usually made up in white body paint and is largely naked. Butoh seeks the artistic expression of one’s own sensibility and sees itself as cross-cultural. It is the discovery of the own body as a medium of expression.

Chakra work

The Sanskrit word “chakra” means “wheel” and in the Indian energy teachings describes an energy center of the subtle body, which as an energy body is in direct connection with the physical body and supplies it. There are usually seven main chakras and numerous secondary chakras. Disturbances of the chakras can occur as a result of physical, emotional or psychological stress. By working on the energy flow of the chakras – for example through meditation and visualization, sounds, scents or minerals – the energy body and thus the physical body can be harmonized. Opening the chakras is often experienced as a spiritual opening.

Clarity Process

The Clarity Process is a path of personal and spiritual development and holistic harmonization developed by the American psychologist Jeru Kabbal (1930-2000), in which elements of Western (humanistic) psychology are combined with methods of Eastern spirituality. The goal is to provide simple methods that are easily accessible especially for Western people. A well-known element of the Clarity Process is for example the “Quantum Light Breath” (QLB), which is based on Far Eastern breathing meditation.

Contemplation

“Contemplation” is the name given to the mystical path of the Christian tradition that leads to the direct experience of the reason for being, which Meister Eckhart calls the “being beyond all forms”. As in every mystical tradition, it is about a deep experience of being. The central element is sitting in silence, accompanied by individual conversations, bodily prayer and recitative singing.

Dharma

Dharma (Sanskrit, “order”, “divine law”) is the central concept of all Indian religions. Dharma in a comprehensive sense is the cosmic order, which includes natural laws as well as religious insights and to which the entire universe with all that exists is subject. This order – as truth and truthfulness – also has an effect in the living together of people and in their spiritual search. Knowledge of the Dharma is equal to insight into the true reality.

Diamond Approach

The Diamond Approach is a contemporary method of inner liberation developed by A. H. Almaas. One’s nature of being should not be experienced primarily in transpersonal, metaphysical experiences, but in everyday perceptions. This is achieved through emotional insight into the essence of personal patterns, which are to be dissolved step by step. The goal is to live your own human potential.

Dokusan

Dokusan (Japanese: “individual visit”) is the term used in Zen practice to describe the visit of a student to the teacher or master in the seclusion of his room. In the Dokusan, the student can discuss anything concerning the Zen practice, problems or insights for the purpose of instruction; the teacher or master, in turn, has the opportunity to check the student’s progress.

Dzogchen

The Tibetan word “Dzogchen” means “great perfection” and refers to teachings in which Tibetan Buddhism is combined with Tibetan Bon. Dzogchen sees itself as the essence of all Buddhist teachings and aims at the immediate realization of the true nature of mind as pure, radiant and “perfect”, beyond all duality, veiling and entanglement.

Enneagram

The Greek word Enneagram means “nine signs”. The Enneagram is a symbol with nine points, that stand for nine basic qualities of the personality structure – in short: for nine different types. It does not represent a religious system, but is understood as a tool for self-exploration and personality development.

Esoterism

The word “esoteric” is of Greek origin and means “inward,” “concerning the inner;” its counter-term is “exoteric,” “concerning the outer”. In the context of religious studies, “esoteric” means the mystical inner dimension of a religion and “exoteric” its respective outer form. Esoterically, all religions are about ways into the experience of the reason for being, but in their respective forms religions are culturally and temporally determined and differ (in its respective rites and cults). In the common sense, the term “esotericism” is often used very vaguely to describe everything that has to do with “secret knowledge” – from tarot to angel work to magic. In other contexts, “esoterism” also appears almost synonymous with “spirituality”; however, the two are not identical; see Spirituality.

Essence Coaching

“Essence” comes from the Latin “esse”, “being” – essence is thus the essential of a being or the being. Essence Coaching is a companion on the way to the essence. It is based on the assumption that every human being is endowed with individual qualities, but these are often blocked by experiences, evaluations, education, etc.; at the same time, the individual essence is not separate from the essence of the whole universe and obeys the same laws.

Family/System Constellations

A System Constellation is a psychological group procedure in which people represent certain aspects of a system. They are set up in space and thereby enter into a relationship with each other. This makes it possible to recognize and clear hidden connections, dependencies and mutual influences. Family constellations are a form of system constellation. In a family constellation, persons take the place of family members of the client (from the client’s family of origin or current family), which the client constellates according to their, often unconscious, assessments.

Focusing

Focusing is an alternative method of problem analysis (developed by the American psychotherapist Eugene T. Gendlin). It is based on the assumption that the actual work of a therapy is done by the client them-self. By learning how to observe their own (physical and emotional) reactions to a problem, they can become more effective as their own therapists. This scientifically based learning process can be initiated and supported by a Focusing Guide. The practice consists of the observation of the body perceptions from an inner free space. By creating a “good place” that allows more objective observations, the practitioner reaches a new level from which life with all its sensory impressions can be perceived. In this “good place” alternative solutions to problems can be found.

Game of the Five Animals

“The game of the five animals” (Chinese: Wu Qin Xi; also “the art of the five animals”), is an old gymnastic movement system, which goes back to the doctor Hua Tuo from the 2nd century. It is one of the old forms of Qigong and is based on imitations of animals, which represent archetypal human powers: Tiger, monkey, deer, bear and crane. The aim of the exercise is to connect with the respective animal and its power and to express it. In addition, the animals are assigned bodily functions (lungs, stomach, liver, kidney, heart), which are supported by the exercise.

Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy is a psychotherapeutic method that goes back to Fritz and Laura Perls and Paul Goodman. Work is done on the concrete, current situation, whereby the therapist sees them self as a companion who gives feedback and suggests certain techniques. One of the best known is the so-called “empty chair”, onto which the client can project certain parts of their personality, emotions, memories, other people, etc. and make contact with them. The goal of Gestalt therapy is to bring automated behavioral patterns into consciousness and to enable decisions to be made.

Gregorian chant

Gregorian chant is traditional liturgical church chant in Latin, which in the broadest sense goes back to Pope Gregory the Great (6th century). The chant, which follows certain ritualized melodic patterns, is unanimous and unaccompanied in its original form. It has a strong meditative effect and can still be found today mainly as monastic chant.

Haiku

This traditional Japanese poem form is considered the shortest poem form in the world and consists of three word groups (or lines) with 5 – 7 – 5 sound units (or syllables). A haiku is always representational and reflects a very present moment, so that it only becomes whole in the respective reading and reliving, i.e. visualizing. Herein lies a great proximity to Zen, which focuses entirely on the present.

Hero journey

The hero’s journey is a paradigm for the developmental path of the individual. According to the American myth researcher Joseph Campbell, the great myths of mankind follow certain recurring patterns, the “hero” of the myth always gets into typical situations: He sets off, he has to cross thresholds, fight battles, find treasures, etc. – and returns at the end. The hero’s journey is therefore considered an archetypal image of the psycho-spiritual path of experience.

Holistic medicine

In a holistic view, a superior whole is fully present and recognizable in every subordinate part. Thus, Holistic Medicine regards man as a part of the cosmos, as a system open to his environment, always in mutual exchange with his surroundings, and it seeks therapeutic solutions in balance with nature.

Holotropic Breathing

Holotropic Breathing (from Greek holos “to be whole” and trepein “to straighten up”, i.e. “turned towards wholeness”) is a therapeutic-spiritual method developed by Stanislav Grof. Through trance-inducing breathing techniques and music in combination with bodywork, a state of openness is achieved in which personality parts, memories, even transcendental experiences take shape that are not accessible to everyday consciousness. They become manifest and can be integrated into the personality.

Hui Chung Gong (Hormone Qigong)

Hui Chun Gong is a variation of Qi Gong and means “exercise for the return of spring”, whereby spring means adolescence. 16 easy to learn exercises strengthen body, mind and vitality and help to achieve youthful freshness.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis (from Greek hypnos “sleep”) describes a deeply relaxed trance state with limited attention. In this state, which is “induced”, i.e. initiated by a hypnotist, verbal instructions or suggestions can have a direct effect on the unconscious of the hypnotized person and thus achieve therapeutic effects.

I Ching

The I Ching (Chinese; literally “Book of Changes”), the oldest of the classical Chinese texts, is a collection of line drawings and associated sayings originally from oracle practice. In the course of the centuries, other possibilities of interpretation have followed, which interpret the I Ching from philosophical, cosmological or mystical points of view.

Ikebana

Ikebana (Japanese; literally “living flowers”) is the Japanese art of flower arranging. The meditative form of Ikebana is called Kadō (“path of flowers”). In Ikebana, natural and human order are combined with each other, so that in flower arrangement the cosmic order takes shape; at the same time, the arranger brings their own personality into the arrangement. The goal is harmony in structure, rhythm and color.

Initiatic sword work

The sword way is a meditative-therapeutic method for insight into one’s own motives. The conscious handling of the sword sharpens the understanding of the inner voice and strengthens the courage to act consistently. The sword stands for the spiritual principle of the sharp distinction between the essential and the unessential. The goals are clarity, determination, awareness and presence.

Integral Sound Massage

Sound massage is massage through sound vibrations: Singing bowls, gongs and cymbals are struck on or near the body. The Integral Sound Massage combines eastern and western healing methods and aims to harmonize the inner vibrational ability of the human being. It is based on the conviction that the inner sound of each person is one with the sound of the whole cosmos.

Integral Spirituality

Like all life, spirituality is also subject to evolution. Human consciousness has evolved over the course of thousands of years from an archaic to a magical, a mythical to a rational stage. According to the Integral Spirituality, the coming stage of development will be a transpersonal one, which goes beyond the person, and an integral spirituality, i.e. one that is aware of the last connection between cosmos and individual, will belong to this transpersonal consciousness. Especially the American philosopher and psychologist Ken Wilber has rendered outstanding services to the concept of “integral spirituality”.

Integrative Spirituality

Integrative spirituality refers to a form of spiritual theology (theologia spiritualis) that is in the tradition of the Catholic Church. The term specifies Christian spirituality, both in theory and practice. Its peculiarity is that it combines the fullness of the Christian tradition, a confessional identity and openness to other traditions. Syncretistic borrowings from other religions are not intended. It deals especially with the awareness of faith for the essential moments of spiritual life and is assigned to Christian mysticism.

Jewish mysticism

Jewish mysticism is the spiritual tradition of Judaism, also called Kabbalah. It has its roots in the Jewish Bible and is based on centuries of oral tradition. In Kabbalah, one distinguishes between different schools, which oscillate between more magical (“secret doctrine”) and more practical-meditative approaches. As in any mysticism, Kabbalah is also about the direct contemplation or experience of the divine.

Kado (flower path)

see Ikebana

Kare-san-sui (Zen garden)

Kare-san-sui (Japanese, “dry landscape”) is a Japanese rock garden, a special form of Japanese garden. This form of garden, also called “Zen garden”, consists only of gravel, stones and boulders. Apart from moss, no plants are used; water is indicated by undulating structures in gravel or sand areas.

Kundalini-Yoga

Kundalini-Yoga is a combination of physical and mental exercises and postures, which serve to awaken the Kundalini force, which is understood as both spiritual and physical life energy and which lies dormant at the foot of the spine, curled up like a snake. The goal of Kundalini-Yoga is the ascent of Kundalini through the chakras to the highest chakra, where individual and cosmic consciousness are connected.

Kyudo (Japanese archery)

Kyūdō (Japanese, “way of the bow”) is an art of Japanese archery practiced since the 16th century, which is formally characterized by its slow movement. When shooting the arrow, the archer ideally reaches “Mushin”, i.e. “non-ghost”: unintentional, pure presence. This makes the “way of the bow” a Zen art.

Laozi/Laotse

Laozi (also Laotse or Lao-Tzu, Chinese literally “Old Master”) is a legendary Chinese philosopher of the 6th century B.C., about whom almost nothing is known except anecdotes and legends. He is regarded as the founder of Daoism or Taoism and according to legend he wrote Dàodéjīng (also Tao Te King or Tao Te Ching), the main work of Daoism, which however only originated in the 4th century B.C.

Laying on of hands

The laying on of hands is one of the oldest therapeutic methods. In contrast to the massage, the hands are not moved here, no physical forces are at work. The laying on of hands is an activity in highest attentiveness. It warms, conveys human closeness and can release healing energies.

Mahayana

Mahayana (Sanskrit, “Great Vehicle” or “Great Way”) is, along with Hinayana (“Small Vehicle” or “Small Way”), one of the main directions of Buddhism. In both cases, the motivation for following the spiritual path is the realization of suffering and the desire for salvation. In Hinayana, this desire refers to one’s own person; in Mahayana, however, it refers to all beings, whereby one’s own well-being is subordinated to that of other people.

MBCL

MBCL (Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living trainings) is a mindfulness-centered method that promotes the development and experience of compassion and thus mental and physical health. It supports the development of a friendly and compassionate attitude towards oneself and others. As in MBSR, exercises are practiced that specifically help to develop self-compassion and compassion for others. MBCL exercises help the individual to experience security, safety, acceptance and connectedness with themselves and others.

MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn for coping with stress by directing attention (e.g. to body perceptions) and developing mindfulness. The method is helpful in cases of psychological stress or psychosomatic disorders such as burn-out, depression, anxiety; it is also used in the clinical field and its effects are well documented.

Meditation

Meditation is a centuries-old method for unifying consciousness, which is widespread in both Western and Eastern cultures and religions. The unified consciousness is awake, present, timeless and trans-personal. The Latin term meditatio means “reflection, senses” and encompasses the inner immersion in the contemplation of an object. Meditation is therefore initially the silent contemplation of a word, an image, a story. A distinction is made between non-objective meditation, in which the unification of consciousness is achieved in the opposite way: through the emptying of objects of contemplation. Usually certain postures (e.g. lotus seat) or movements (e.g. yoga) are connected with meditation. But since meditation is a posture of consciousness, it can be practiced anywhere and at any time.

Meditation of loving kindness

Metta (pali “kindness, loving kindness”) is one of the 40 meditation goals taught by the historical Buddha Siddharta Gautama. In the “Meditation of Loving Kindness” (Metta Meditation) a benevolent attitude towards the environment is practiced, starting with oneself, through people who are close, far away and in opposition, to all sentient beings. This is done through visualization and mantric affirmations (for example: “May all beings be happy”).

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of unfocused attention – this distinguishes it from concentration, for example, which is focused. Mindfulness can be described as conscious alertness to all impressions that are conveyed through the senses and penetrate the consciousness. These can be external (optical, acoustic, haptic) as well as internal impressions (how does the body feel, which moods, emotions and thoughts arise?) All these impressions are neither evaluated nor suppressed or recorded, but only perceived. Mindfulness makes you present and conscious and helps gain inner distance.

Mysticism

The content of mysticism (from Greek mystikos “secret”, “mysterious”) is the experience of the transpersonal source, the divine, the nature of being. Mysticism describes, explores and communicates the possibility of this experience and thus belongs to the innermost core of all religions. Mysticism is therefore analogous to spirituality.

Naikan

Naikan (Japanese) translates as “introspection” and is a method of reconciliation with one’s own past. In the introspection, important people from one’s own biography and their interrelations with the practitioner are looked at in silence. In this way, old patterns and blockades can be dissolved and the view of one’s own life changes.

Organization constellation

The method of organizational constellation is based on the assumption that persons within a group (family, company, etc.) hold different, ranked positions. The method draws its effectiveness from the concrete illustration of these positions: Representatives of the persons in question are literally positioned in space. In the process, decisive, often concealed and critical constellations become manifest and recognizable, dependencies, influences, etc. become tangible.

Practice/Exercise

The word “practice” originally means “to cultivate, to nurture” and, in the context of spiritual “practice” paths, it does not mean the acquisition of certain skills, but rather the repeated putting oneself in motion, the “nurturing” of a habit that continually gives the practitioner new perspectives, new insights and more awareness. Understood in this way, the exercise has no goal and no end, but is life itself.

Prayer gestures

Prayer as an encounter with the divine is not limited to verbal prayer. Religions have known prayer with the body since ancient times. When praying with the body, the whole body with its expressive possibilities (prayer gestures) is included in the prayer, and the prayer is thereby grounded and can be experienced concretely.

Qigong (Qi Gong)

The Chinese term “Qigong” (Qi “life energy”, gong “exercise”; also Chigong) refers to a variety of ancient Chinese practice methods for cultivating body and mind; the term Qigong itself has been in use for half a century. The practice of Qigong includes breathing, body, movement, concentration and meditation exercises, which serve to harmonize and regulate the flow of Qi in the body.

Qigong Yangsheng

Qigong Yangshen (15 forms of expression) is a form of Qigong. The addition “Yangsheng” means “care of life”. The exercises of Qigong are complemented by ethics, nutrition, clothing and the broad spectrum of art. There are close connections to philosophy, poetry, music, calligraphy and painting. The exercises of Qigong are thus part of the broad framework of physical, mental and spiritual education.

Raku (pottery)

Raku is one of the Zen arts. Pottery is a basic creative process in which the four elements earth, air, water and fire work together. Through the hands of the practitioner, the clay silently becomes a form, an unintentional form. As always in Zen, it is about simplicity and attentiveness, about the encounter with reality: glaze, wood, fire and smoke. The work on the clay alternates with sitting in silence.

Rohatsu sesshin

Rohatsu is the 8th day of the 12th month, the day on which, according to legend, in 525 B.C. the Buddha under the Bodhi tree reached enlightenment. Traditionally Rohatsu sesshins take place in the week before this day of enlightenment. A Rohatsu sesshin usually lasts seven days and is more challenging than other sesshins, so it is primarily suitable for advanced practitioners.

Sangha

Sangha (Sanskrit, “crowd”, “flock”) refers to the community of Zen practitioners. Practicing Zazen together with familiar people and in the knowledge of community solidarity supports and deepens the experience and makes it easier to maintain the practice in everyday life.

Sesshin

Sesshin (Japanese) literally means “the gathering of the heart spirit”. A sesshin is an intensive period of practice, usually lasting several days, during which one participates from beginning to end and in all sitting hours. The instructor holds a teisho (lecture) every day and offers the opportunity for docusan (individual conversation). An introductory course in Zen is required beforehand.

Shakuhachi

The Shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute made of bamboo. It was introduced from China in the 8th century and developed in the 17th century in a Zen context into a meditation instrument. Its mellow sound is considered typical for the traditional music of Japan.

Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung

Shaolin Chi Kung refers to 1,500-year-old physical exercises from the famous Shaolin monastery, which according to legend were taught by Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch; they serve to strengthen and refresh the body and mind. The “Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung” based on these teachings is direct and effective and easy to learn, so that it requires only a few simple movements. The canon of exercises includes classical Shaolin exercises as well as breathing and energy exercises.

Short sesshin

A short sesshin gives you the opportunity to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life into silence and to practice zazen for a whole weekend. The teacher gives a daily teisho (lecture) and offers the opportunity for docusan (individual conversation). An introductory course in Zen is required beforehand.

Spirituality

Spirituality (Latin: spiritus “spirit, breath”) is a religious attitude, which forms a counterbalance to the superficially material. It is based on the basic human experience of something sacred, non-tangible, transcendental (God, primordial, essential nature, etc.) and seeks to cultivate this experience. Its goal is to let this experience permeate and shape everyday life, awake, mindful and conscious.

Stress Balance

Stress, like all effort, knows positive and negative forms between performance and burden. However, too much stress and the wrong way of dealing with it damages body and psyche. The “stress balance” is about finding the balance between tension and relaxation, between activity and rest, and finding your inner center again.

Sufi Mysticism

Sufism (Arabic) describes the mystical current in Islam. Followers of Sufism are called Sufi, also dervishes. The goal of Sufi mysticism (like all mysticism) is to overcome ego attachment and to experience the divine in this world through meditation, asceticism and physical exercises. The relationship between God and the Sufi is described and experienced as a love relationship.

Sumi-e (ink painting)

Sumi-e (Japanese: “ink picture”), the art of ink painting, is one of the Zen arts. It requires great care and skill, because every brushstroke on silk or paper is irrevocable. The reduction to black, white and grey contrasts detaches the motif from its surroundings and makes its inner structure and character perceptible. The more sparing the means of representation, the more intense the expression of the motif line.

Sunmudo

“Sun-mu-do” (Japanese) is literally the “Zen martial arts path” and goes back to a centuries-old defensive monastic tradition that is still practiced in the Golgulsa Temple in South Korea. In Sunmudo, meditation, yoga, Taiji and Qigong are combined with traditional martial arts. The aim is to harmonize body and mind and to experience one’s own nature.

Tai Chi (Taiji)

Taiji (Chinese also Tai-Chi, abbreviated from Taijiquan) is originally an inner martial art. Today the aspect of fighting has receded and Taiji has developed into a movement theory that is practiced by millions of people worldwide. Taiji consists of individual sequences of movements, called “forms”, whose healing exercises serve to harmonize life energy, physical mobility, personality development and meditation.

Taiji Chan

Taiji Chan is literally the combination of Taiji and Zen (Chinese “Chan” corresponds to the Japanese “Zen”). In Taiji Chan, both are combined gently, slowly and in a mindful way.

TaKeTiNa

TaKeTiNa, developed by the Austrian musician Reinhard Flatischler, is a musical group process with which the participants can strengthen their sense of rhythm. The effect is based on the observation that everything in nature is subject to rhythmic processes, and so are the human mind and body (breathing, heartbeat, mood, etc.). TaKeTiNa rhythm work is about reconnecting with natural rhythms and finding your own rhythm.

Tao

The Chinese word “Tao” (or correctly “Dào”) literally means “way”, “street”, “path”; then also “method”, “exercise”, “right way” – with further tendency of meaning into the spiritual. In the context of Dàodéjīng (Tao te king) the term means as much as “truth”, “first reality”, “essence nature”. However, the meaning of “Tao” is far less abstract than the translation would suggest. It rather means to follow one’s own naturalness unintentionally, effortlessly and, as it were, intuitively and to behave accordingly.

Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony or the “tea way” (Chado) is an old Zen way, i.e. a meditative exercise of being in the moment. In ritualized sequences, seemingly everyday activities such as the preparation and consumption of tea are performed with great mindfulness, whereby body, mind and breathing become a unity, and guest and host connect with each other in harmony. The tea ceremony conveys deep silence and peace in the middle of everyday life.

Teisho

In a teisho (jap. “lecture of exposition”), the Zen teacher demonstrates his understanding of the exercise and his experience of reality before the assembly of practitioners. The lecture does not remain theoretical, but conveys concrete experience, stimulating the student’s own experience and is therefore an important part of Zen practice.

Tonglen

Tonglen (Tibetan, “to send out – to receive”) is a form of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism, which is mainly about compassion. The practitioner imagines taking the suffering of others, transforming it in the heart and sending out love and compassion. By connecting and identifying with the suffering of all fellow beings, Tonglen is a path of egolessness and awakening.

Transpersonal process work

Transpersonal process work has developed on the basis of Transpersonal Psychology and accompanies psychological and spiritual processes. The addition “transpersonal” refers to the fact that the human being is more than his physical-material constitution; he is open to the experience of the primal ground, the divine. Transpersonal process work starts with the concrete being and gradually expands the awareness to perceive beyond evaluation and to mindful connection with the transpersonal level.

Unity in Duality

Unity in Duality (UD) is a practice path developed by Tarab Tulku Rinpoche based on Buddhist teachings. It is based on the insight into the interdependent nature of all that exists: Interactions between pairs of opposites (duality) shape the experience of reality (e.g. subject-object). But in this dichotomy reality forms a unity (Unity). The goal of UD is harmonization: in relationship, communication, education and mental health; the fields of application are manifold: personal, educational, therapeutic.

Vajrayana

Vajrayana (Sanskrit, “diamond vehicle”) is a current of Mahayana Buddhism (“Great Vehicle”). The aim in both is the realization of the nature of being (Buddhahood), whereby in Vajrayana greater emphasis is placed on the insight that all reality – including that of one’s own person – is perceived as fundamentally wrong because it is substantial; this insight, properly accomplished, already ends the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

Vipassana

Vipassana (pali) means “right insight” or “observation” and is one of the oldest meditation methods. It is about insight into the reality of being, its insubstantiality, transience, lack of ego. Practice methods are breath observation, mindful walking as well as Metta meditation, the meditation of loving kindness and friendliness. The goal is to come into contact with being through growing mindfulness and to leave the cycle of biographical patterns behind.

Way of the Heart (Dervish)

The Sufi Way of the Heart combines meditation, recitation, chanting, music and dance in the tradition of the dervishes. A central role is played by the traditional turn dance and musical instruments from the Sufi tradition, which lead into the depth of the heart. Body, mind and soul are equally addressed. The goal is a healing life in the world and the awakening to the true being in the presence of the divine.

West-Eastern Wisdom

The West-Eastern Wisdom is based on the centuries-old observation that there is a spiritual tradition (a sophia perennis, “eternal wisdom”) that connects all religions in its core across cultures and times: Mysticism always remains the same in essence, be it Western or Eastern traditions. West-Eastern Wisdom integrates the most diverse traditions, supra-religious and trans-denominational. Its aim is to lead people on the paths of modern spirituality into the liberating experience of the reason for being.

Yoga

Yoga (Sanskrit, “yoke”, “joining together”) is an Indian teaching that includes physical and spiritual exercises and can be described as physical meditation. Yoga exists in different forms, each with its own philosophy and practice, more related to the body or spiritual background, with exercises of varying degrees of difficulty. The goal is the great “connection” (see the meaning of the word Yoga!) of body and mind, of individual and cosmos, unity experience, awakening, deep aliveness.

Yoga Samyama

Samyama means collection or bundling, meaning the bundling of consciousness. Yoga Samyama is a spiritual path that integrates body, breath, mind and instructions for everyday life. Components are body and mindfulness exercises, chanting, recitation, silence, walking meditation, Darshan.

Zazen

Zazen literally means: sitting in meditation. The essence of zazen is the posture of pure, attentive, immediate presence, free from evaluation. Zazen can therefore be described as the pure form of mindfulness.

Zazen-kai

A zazen-kai is similar to a one-day sesshin and gives the opportunity to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a day and practice zazen in silence. The teacher gives a teisho (lecture) and offers the opportunity for docusan (one-on-one conversation).

Zen

Zen is a spiritual path of experience, which has its roots in Buddhism, but does not know any beliefs and can therefore be practiced independently of religion. It is a direct path that requires determination and consistency. The central exercise consists of letting go of all thoughts and ideas while sitting upright in silence (zazen). The goal is to experience the true nature of all that exists, from which the creative power for everyday life flows.

Zen Arts

Zen arts are those that arise from the Zen attitude and combine creativity with mindfulness in a special way. Important Zen arts are: “Chado” (the way of the tea ceremony), “Ikebana” (the way of flower arranging), “Shodo” (the way of calligraphy), “Budo” (the way of martial skills), “Kyudo” (the way of archery).

Zen courses

The heart of the Zen exercise is zazen, the sitting in silence. There are various course formats for this: Zen on Saturday (spontaneous and free of registration or fees on certain Saturdays 10-13); introductory courses (theoretical and practical introduction to the exercise); Zen practice days (daily sitting, meditative walking, qigong and a lecture); Zazen-Kai (one-day); short sesshin (weekend); sesshin or retreat (at least four days of intensive zazen, i.e. sitting periods of up to 40 minutes.

Zen on Saturday

Spontaneously and free of registration or fees, Zen on Saturday offers the opportunity to sit in silence together with a Zen master or teacher from 10-13 o’clock and integrate this exercise into everyday life. The subsequent get-together at the Troand Restaurant will provide an opportunity for encounter and exchange with like-minded peopl

Zen practice days

Zen practice days allow intensive practice of zazen. The teacher gives a daily teisho (lecture) and offers the opportunity for docusan (one-on-one conversation).

Zen-Ken-Sho (Zen Sword Brush)

Zen-Ken-Sho combines Zazen (sitting in silence), Aikiken (exercises with the wooden sword) and Hitsuzendo (brush and ink) into an experiential path that brings together silence, movement and creativity. Zazen supports inner concentration and Aikiken supports determination. Writing with ink enables the encounter with one’s own trace of life. The connecting element is Kokyu, the power of breathing.

Zendo

In the Zendo (Japanese: “hall of meditation”), a more or less large meditation room, zazen is practiced in the community of a group.