What we do

Prisoners

Currently, we support eight inmates, to whom we write letters and talk on the phone. Now that the Corona visiting rules are becoming more relaxed again, we can also visit the “Häf’n”, as it is called in Austrian German, in person again, to offer individual and group talks and meditation sessions on site. If in-person contact is not possible, we send audio meditation instructions to inmates on demand. A Qigong instruction video is in production.

We provide books, clothing and alternative medicine pharmaceuticals that are unavailable in prison.

We also accompany our clients during and after their release, the most important phase of all. Re-entry into a regular everyday life, embedded in a community, is at the heart of our project. For us, this is the key to a life without penalty.

Contrary to popular belief, a prison sentence is not a personal matter. Not only the inmates themselves are affected, but also their own families, the victim’s families, etc. We also offer support to the prison inmates’ social network, exchange information with parents and siblings. More often than one might think, we can open a direct line of communication between individuals and institutions when messages get stuck in the official channels.

Homeless

At VinziRast homeless facility, we help residents find their way through life. Every now and then, we cook dinner for 30-40 visitors in the in-house canteen.

Refugees

We are affiliated with Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst, under who’s umbrella we help a small family from Iran who has been waiting for their asylum decision for over five years. We provide tutoring, translate official mail, give general tips and explain cultural peculiarities, celebrate birthdays, Austrian and Iranian festivals together.

Contemplative Care in Everyday Settings

Last but not least, we also practice contemplative care in everyday life. People come to us, seeking one thing above all: someone who listens with their heart. Contemplative care is not therapy, we don’t solve problems, we don’t judge anyone. We simply share what is here right now, in individual conversations or meditation groups, where we first enter silence together and then talk and listen from heart to heart.

Publications

We publish our understanding of community and togetherness in many forms, be it in articles in professional journals (e.g. Buddhismus Aktuell) or in the form of a book on Contemplative Care that we translate from English into German (The Arts of Contemplative Care). Alternative media platforms such as Idealism Prevails are also among our cooperation partners.

Lectures and Workshops

We present our work in the forms of lectures at conferences (e.g. Menschen und Rechte – Verein SiM; Conference Spirituality and Justice – United Nations). Our own dialogue platform serves as a space where we present topics that put our work into a larger context (e.g. the connection between connectedness and the microbiome). We are also currently developing a method we call “Verbundenheitstraining/ connectedness training” for small groups, for example company teams.

Cooperations

We work closely with other associations, e.g. Idealsim Prevails, Verein SIM, Verein Soziale Gerichtshilfe and chaplains from other religious communities.