Verbundenheitspraxis Seminar Program
In order to feel safe and good, Humans seek contact with others. But where there are people, there are also conflicts. How do we deal with strong opinions, anger and prejudice? How can we deal with tragic fates, and at the same time keep our hearts open? How can we talk about the questions for which there are no answers?
Such encounters often overwhelm us, and out of helplessness, we create a distance. Burn-out and compassion fatigue follow suit. In such situations, the common advice is to keep a “healthy distance” and grow a “thick skin.” Unfortunately, our everyday experience and scientific studies show that this path is not an all-around solution and leads to more suffering for many.
Our take on this dilemma is a little different.
We are all individuals…
From a very early age on, we learn to separate ourselves. We separate ourselves from our surroundings, perceiving them as an object. This is how our conditioned mind works. Through this separation, however, our original suffering already begins. We experience ourselves as separate from our environment. This state unsettles us.
…and yet constantly connected.
Paradoxically, our perception does not match reality at all. In truth, we are constantly in connection with everything. In Buddhism, this cosmic connectedness is called “interdependent arising”. Modern science explains interconnectedness through microorganisms. Every living thing, from elephant to apple, has a microbiome, a network of thousands of tiny organisms. These tiny organisms are in constant mutual exchange, virtually “talking” to each other. But we don’t have to look into a microscope to feel and know that we are connected. We are all breathing the same air, filled with each other’s breath.
Why “Verbundenheitspraxis” (connectedness Practice)?
Our program offers ways to reconcile the two perspectives mentioned above – that we are both individuals and part of a larger whole at the same time. This new perspective can help strengthen one’s resilience, develop patience and compassion for oneself, and integrate personal suffering into a larger context.
Contents and structure
Our program is modular in structure. “Verbundenheitspraxis” is a comprehensive program, bringing together various layers of communication training and contemplative practice. Above all, participants learn to take responsibility for themselves and thus, by extension, for our communities.
The program consists of four modules, each of which is separate but always interrelated. Individual coaching sessions are also central components of the training.
- Building up Awareness – Meditation
- Dialogue work
- Social Internship under Supervision
- Individual Coaching Sesshions
We bring together our extensive experience in leading dialogues, based on Bohm’s and Kramer’s techniques, with experience in Buddhist Chaplaincy. Based on our Zen Buddhist practice, these skills are put into a new context. We are also informed by our professional experience in adult education, in teaching meditation and Qigong, and in business. With every seminar taught, we also learn from our participants. Depending on what is needed in a specific situation, we adapt to the needs of our particular seminar groups – in the spirit of dialogue, of “flowing into each other”.