(Weekend retreat with all-ages sangha, hiking, Earth-Holder event, and an evening with the Wake Uppers)
Freiburg, our first stop, has received us with open arms, blooming hillside meadows, and much anticipation to hold our first-weekend retreat. From many nearby cities, the Sangha of all ages gathered, and it was a great joy to reunite, collect ourselves, share the Dharma, and grow closer together. Following the weekend we had time to enjoy hiking, participate in an Earth Holder gathering in front of the town hall, meet the Wake Up Sangha, and exchange much mutual appreciation and feedback with the organising team. It was a great start to our tour and we left with memories of heartfelt connection and joy.
(Public talk in the Hospitalhof, weekend retreat with all-ages sangha and hiking)
In Stuttgart we first had the precious opportunity to be hosted by the Hospitalhof – in the spirit of inter-religious dialogue – for a public talk and practice evening with 100 participants, followed by a weekend retreat in the anthroposophical Michael Bauer school, which had a wonderfully lively atmosphere. One of the great joys of this retreat was the transmission of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings to 6 Sangha members, which prompted a rich exchange of stories of healing and transformation. Many shared their joys of seeing the 4-fold Sangha coming to life for them, and how our coming together has brought them a greater depth and understanding of the Plum Village tradition.
(An Evening and Day of Mindfulness with the WakeUp and surrounding Sanghas)
In Darmstadt we were greeted with much joy and open arms to host the regional Sangha of all ages for a Day of Mindfulness in nature, meeting the hectic city life with the collective energy of peace and “heatlessness.”
(A public talk and Day of Mindfulness in the Holy Cross Church, Frankfurt-Bornheim, Hiking in the Taunus, Meeting Br Bernd (Liebfrauen), Visiting the Jewish Museum and sharing)
In Frankfurt Br Phap Xa joined us to host a public Day of Mindfulness in the Holy-Cross Church in Bornholm, which provided vibrant acoustics for our chants and a spacious, peaceful atmosphere.
We also had a chance to meet Br Bernd, rector of the Capuchin Liebfrauen Cloister right in the heart of the commercial Frankfurt downtown, and learnt about how they care for those in need.
We learnt more about the suffering of the Jewish people in Germany via personal accounts and a visit to the Jewish Historical museum, which we concluded with a sharing circle in the Tibethaus.
(Evening with the WakeUp Sangha)
(Weekend Retreat and Visit to a Hospital)
Our visit to Essen brought together many Sangha friends from the surrounding area, including Dortmund, to celebrate a weekend in mindfulness together.
In addition, we were kindly hosted by the hospital for naturopathy (Klinik für Naturheilkunde Essen) for a practise session on the art of communication and reconciliation for the doctors and nurses.
(Day of Mindfulness)
In Bielefeld we enjoyed being hosted by the anthroposophical community Im Kapellenbrink for a public day of mindfulness.
Friedenshof (near Hannover)
(Day of Mindfulness)
North of Hannover we arrived in a rural community called Friedenshof, where many of the surrounding Sanghas came together for a day of mindfulness.
(Public Day of Mindfulness in St. Nicolaus Church in Alsterdorf and Day of Mindfulness in St. Pauli Church for Activists)
Our last stop was Hamburg. We were invited to host 2 days of mindfulness, one in the St. Nicolaus Church and one in the St. Pauli Church. Both are historically rich, and we were touched by the warm welcome from the local Sangha and the churches pastors.