Berlin is not usually thought of as a space for spiritual retreat, yet it vibrates with the power of the human spirit.
With its history of stark division and its recent incarnation as a capital of cultural innovation, Berlin spans the full range of the human experience. For our purposes—to bring wholeness to face fragmentation—it is an ideal place for inquiry and deep experience. With the war in Ukraine so close, and the barbed wire of the Wall now a memorial, Berlin offers an immediate and urgent encounter with the impact of human aggression. Out of this, Berlin’s aliveness and creativity has emerged. It is a special place for dialogue and for manifesting wholeness and solidarity.
On retreat, we begin at moos.space. There, we will dive deeply into meditation in order to free ourselves from the mind’s chatter and conclusions. Individually and together, collectively, we will develop our capacity to rest in open awareness. As a group, we will develop a powerful field of intersubjectivity, an interbeing, that allows us to realize our fundamental nonseparation—from our depths, from other human beings, and from all life. Establishing such a field and sinking deeply into it enables us to liberate a deeper response to life, as life. It opens the door to trust in life itself.
In addition, at moos we will not only engage in an intensive schedule of meditation, but will take breaks for conscious movement, walks in Treptower Park, and delicious Berlin-creative vegetarian meals.
After the field is established, we will carefully venture out into Berlin to meditate and potentially engage in dialogue at different places that represent divisions and cry out to be perceived from a depth and realization of wholeness. The Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park very near to moos may be our first destination. Depending on weather, current events, and safety, we will sit in silence at various critical spaces in Berlin. The Chapel at the site of the Berlin Wall, the House of One (a shared house of worship for Jews, Muslims, and Christians), or the Russian Embassy might all be possibilities. Our aim is to bring our living collective presence to these places, and to inquire into the perspective that emerges from the depth and realization of nonseparation.
This retreat is a co-creative process.
Starting with the meditations, we work with teachings, prayers, poems, and music from many different paths and traditions as a guide into the mysterious depth that lives within and between us. We meditate in inner dialogue with them. Then, we open from the empty vastness of meditation into dialogue. This dialogue is a training ground for intuitive perception, in which we not only experience the mystery of living presence, but also learn to express it together. In being simply present and available for what is, the possibility manifests for wisdom to open in the space between us.
As we begin our sacred activism in Berlin, we will also co-create these actions in such a way that all participants can set their own terms for engagement.
Elizabeth Debold and Thomas Steininger, the co-founders of One World in Dialogue and the Vision Team of evolve World, have been guiding others in meditation and exploring the potential of collective emergence for nearly three decades. For them, meditation is a critical foundation for the development of a new culture rooted in nonseparation and a shift from a hyperindividuated “I” to a co-conscious and co-creative “We.” Thomas has developed emergent dialogue as a new cultural practice that brings this new We alive. They are known internationally for awakening individuals and groups to this new, transindividual We potential. They also are deeply fortunate to be working for more than a decade with a core group committed to developing the collective potential of emergence. From left: Maria Zacherl, Nadja Rosmann, Mike Kauschke, Marlene Potthoff.
An Ecology of Practices
The meditation practice that we encourage in the retreat is a radical openness–letting go into open awareness. This helps to build a tangible field of presence together. We work with short, carefully selected works from the spiritual traditions of the world and various mystics, poets and even musicians such as Laotse, St. Teresa of Avila, Rilke, Thomas Merton, St. Hildegard of Bingen, or Arvo Part who support us each in their own special way to engage with the unspeakable. Through the practice of Lectio Divina, which involves a deep and communal reading and response to sacred texts, we penetrate the layers of meaning in the reading. The texts are selected as the retreat is happening so that they are responsive, and co-created, by the energy and needs of the retreat. For this Berlin retreat, the selected readings will reflect the sacred activism that we are intending, including readings from, for instance, Vimala Thakar on spiritual revolution, or Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian political and spiritual liberator, or Sophie Scholl, leader of the Nazi resistance group, the White Rose.
The on-site retreat is the center of an online global pilgrimage to Berlin from people around the world, which will deepen the field of meditation. We will create a global mandala, centered in Berlin.
Conscious movement & walks in the park.
Developing the sensitivity of our bodies is important in order to perceive and feel your physical and spiritual presence at increasingly subtle levels. Yoga, qi gong and other body/movement practices are always an important part of our retreats. We will announce later who will be leading this aspect of the retreat. While this is an urban retreat, moos.space is located next to beautiful Treptower Park. We hope to include daily walks, in silence, in the park.
We will also engage in emergent dialogue
When we enter dialogue from the depths of silence, a new way of being together, of co-creative we-space, opens up. Dialogue in this way is a new form of intersubjective consciousness work–meaning that it emerges in the living space between us. Our experience of the world changes through encountering this space of emergent potential. The world of subject and object is revealed to us as a complex, nonseparate, co-creative intelligence. This dialogical intelligence is created through the free choice of participating individuals at the same time that it opens our perception to the wholeness of reality.
The dialogue practice usually begins in the second half of the retreat, so that our perception has become refined through meditation before we engage with language.
A new element, tailored to this retreat, involves bringing the retreat into contact with other places and people. In partnership with The Church of Interbeing and moos, we will select places where we want to bring the field of wholeness that we have been cultivating. Possible places include the Soviet War Memorial, the Chapel at the Berlin Wall Memorial, as well as places relating to pressing social divisions. We will travel in silence (as much as possible) to these places, sitting in silent meditation posture. These actions will be open to the moos and Church of Interbeing communities, as well as other, like-minded groups. They will join us in silent meditation.
Beautifully situated at the Treptower Park in the former bathtub factory Moosdorf & Hochhäusler (first rocking bathtub in the world!) is the moos. Both a co-living and co-working space, it’s a place where projects are birthed and new ways of living are incubated. Not a typical retreat center, the moos is a center of social and cultural innovation in Berlin.
moos has recently built a new residential space, the Neubau, with twenty rooms available for the retreat. Three vegetarian/vegan meals per day will be provided in a uniquely Berlin style. Berlin’s vegan cuisine is outstanding.
Retreat Accommodation & Prices
Please Note: Our programs are offered in the spirit of the Gift Economy. While the cost of accommodation and meals is fixed, a sliding scale is available for the retreat itself.
The seminar fee for the 6 days is 590€. At moos, the rate for a double room from 1.-7. Sept. with Full Pension is 450€ (75€/day) The price for a single room will be slightly higher. The seminar fee can be adjusted if you really want to come but need financial support.
Joining us in Berlin
We are very happy that you want to join us on a retreat! This will be a very special retreat that we will undertake together. Creating a field of depth together on and then engaging with sacred activism in Berlin will be very powerful. And we will be joined by people from all over the world.
Because we have very few spaces on site at moos, we ask you to fill out the form below so that our Retreat Manager, Marlene Potthoff, can contact you. The retreat will be intensive, with days in silence and meditation. We also want to make sure that you are aware of the demands of the retreat, particularly if you have not meditated much before.