With the support of ceramist Judith Mennenöh, Cologne-based artist Kathrin Brecker creates space for tea under the name of Achtsam , in the form of captivatingly beautiful tea bowls that immediately catch the eye with their simple beauty. At least me. The tea bowls correspond to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi Ideal, a Zen Buddhist aesthetic that was shaped by the Japanese tea ceremony. Wabi-Sabi items are different from piece to piece and so are also Kathrin Breckers tea bowls handmade single pieces. On the outside they have a rough surface of simple clay and inside a white glaze, which brings the color of the tea to advantage. On the lips, the rough outside of the shell and the softness of the tea combine.

These wonderful tea bowls are now available exclusively over 3 treasures . Each of the unique bowls comes in a black lacquered wooden box.

The Japanese way of drinking tea invites to inner contemplation, the stillness of the moment and finds its perfection in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. And so does Kathrin Breckers concept clearly against the trend to see tea drinking only as a wellness and lifestyle product. Mindfulness – Space for Tea seeks to support mindfulness and draw attention to Japanese aesthetics, the idea of ​​the tea ceremony, and one’s own behavior.

The Japanese tea ceremony is an art form for which Zen masters and monks have developed over the years many styles, principles and rules that have shaped their aesthetics and meaning. There is, for example, the preference for incomplete, often a little rough tea utensils and the special tea rooms are designed according to the principle of simplicity. I remember one person telling me that he first got back in touch with the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony, with the tea-drinking rituals of his homeland, East Frisia, where the Teetied also has a high status in people’s lives. Again, emphasis is placed on the right tea, a teapot with warmer, Kluntjes (candy), cream with a matching cream spoon and the appropriate teacups.

At Rinzai Zen, where drinking tea is closely tied to Zen practice, one drinks the tea before zazen, sitting in silence, each with 4 sips. The first sip is
for <wa> harmony, represented by the sangha or community that has come together for tea-drinking. The second sip means <kei> reverence (especially life), symbolized by the tea plant. The third stands for purity, symbolized by the clarity of the water and the fourth sip stands for
the silence <jaku>.



Saskia Schottelius has her latest book in the TAO-Verlag ” Do – the way to the inner master. Martial arts philosophy for life. ” released. It is published by Chikara Women in Motion eV and is provided with beautiful illustrations by Antje Meister.

On 20.11.2015 from 19:00 Saskia Schottelius is invited to a book presentation / reading at 3 treasures . In advance, I conducted an interview with Saskia Schottelius .


“Be free wherever you are” or “Move your body and live a mindful mind!”

3 treasures : Dear Saskia, I am glad that you have your new book ” Do – the way to the inner master. Martial arts philosophy for life. “Will soon be presenting in a reading at 3 treasures and the opportunity for this interview.

Before we talk about the book, what does CHIKARA mean?

Saskia Schottelius : Dear Patrick, I am also very happy and thank you for this wonderful opportunity to present me with my work and my thoughts. “Chikara” means “inner strength,” “life energy,” and is the name of the martial arts school I started over 20 years ago. You can also read it as a combination of Tai Chi and Kara te, and at the same time meet the core of our work: the connection of Far Eastern energy work and Japanese martial arts.


3 treasures : You write that your new book is addressed to all those who want to find themselves about Far Eastern movement and their Buddhist philosophy and to grow beyond themselves. At the same time it is about very practical techniques and basic ideas in a women’s martial arts school. Tell us a bit about your connection of these two ways, so martial arts and meditation or Buddhist philosophy.

Saskia Schottelius : “Women’s School” I like! In the introduction to my book, there is a small stylistic knowledge of Shuri-ryu karate and how it came from Okinawa via the US and the Netherlands to Bonn. On the way, it took the “feminist turn”, meaning that women have taken this style to give their own interests such as “defensiveness” and “visibility”. Seen from this point of view, the school that inspired the “women’s struggle” of the 1970s has become a women’s martial arts school. It focuses on strengthening the personality of women, children and adolescents so that they can assert themselves peacefully in life. The spirit of this school is different from that of martial arts schools, which focus on topics such as “competition”, “aggression reduction” or “hardening”. The feminine side of art is a holistically invigorating, motivating and peaceable one, as I find expressed in the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, among others. That’s why it was so important to me to write a book about women’s martial arts before it disappears from view or disappears completely.

3 treasures : Please explain “Dokan, the way is a circle” and the importance of “beginner spirit” in karate.

Saskia Schottelius : The Enso, the calligraphy circle on the cover of my book, points to the philosophy of “Dokan”: the way is a circle. That fascinated me the most at the beginning of my karate career – it was in direct opposition to my (straight-forward) career as a scientist I was chasing after – or rather chasing ahead! That made me successful, but not relaxed and satisfied. In the martial arts world, I experienced something different. Again and again, I stood at the very beginning with what I had learned – no matter how much I moved and tried. But gradually regret it. A new belt color makes no salary increase – so it is useless from the point of view of our society. The meaning is only in your own development of lightness, generosity, humility, serenity and patience, but not in a measurable value. And when you realize that the actual learning begins with the black belt, you come very close to the idea of ​​the “perfect” cycle.

In my book, there are many Asian anecdotes, which bring the wonderful to the point: “Empty your shell” against our “always-already-know” or the story of the fisherman, the famous as “anecdote for lowering the work ethic” by Heinrich Böll became, or become the parable of the “black belt” instead of “black belt” – they all and many more show us a good way away from success thinking.

“Change your language and you change your world!”

3 treasures : A chapter in your book also deals with mindful communication. You have studied communication research and phonetics and also offer rhetoric seminars. From a karate dojo you may know a more one-sided and also hierarchical communication, in the form of commands etc. What is the language of your dojo at CHIKARA?

Saskia Schottelius : Yes, the language. This is of course my very personal passion. In the course of my life, I have become increasingly aware of how essential language is to us, and how important it is to use oneself and others in a positive, supportive language. And we can really “serve” ourselves: the language offers many beautiful possibilities, without us having to end in fine-tuning. It always depends mainly on the perspective. Do I name my strengths or my weaknesses? What I name will gain space and dominate me in my life. I also have this experience in my work as a freelance lecturer everywhere: whether with policewomen, doctoral candidates or politicians – all are aware of their deficits. And the whole thing is reinforced by the many old patterns in which we think and live and which are conserved by language in the form of phrases and proverbs. Double negations instead of praise, misfortune and embarrassment are drummed in from an early age: “not of bad parents”, “who digs a pit …”, “self-stinks”, etc. Only when we start to speak another language can we free ourselves from this power.

In fact, we can practice another language well in the dojo. That’s what we do with “Chikara”. At the end of the lesson, in meditation, we think of a motivational mantra (“I’m beautiful, I’m strong, I can do that”) and we cherish each other in the final round instead of reprimanding for our bad conditioning / coordination or anything else. Small steps, big impact.
A few very practical exercises can be found in the book. Mindful language in the dojo means quite concretely that the teachers speak gender-sensitive language, because “only when women appear in the language are they worth mentioning!”


And with that we are in the even wider concept of “body – language in motion” …

3 treasures : what exactly is meant by that?

Saskia Schottelius : Our postures reveal a great deal about what moves us in life. In my seminars and courses, there are always units such as the Qigong Taoist health exercises, through which I experience a great deal of my participants.
Of course, that’s a big advantage, especially if we’re working on convincing self-expression. When I change my postures, I often change the mind that has solidified behind it. So a fatigue, an excessive demand, a great restraint, all this and much more often appears as raised shoulders, advanced heads or round backs. Many women and children make the first step out of a victim role.

If we go one dimension further, we come to such daring as well as plausible theses that information can be transmitted through water, body and language are the messengers of human existence, and certain patterns of movements reflect universal structures. Also of these ominous things is my book. What is important to me is always the connection of philosophy and practice: What good is this insight or idea for my everyday life and how can I implement what I learn in the dojo.

3 Treasures : Your understanding of seeing the dojo as a place of relationship, of encounter rather than competition, even as an image of the entire cosmos, is very much in line with how we see the exercise in a Zen dojo. How important is the form, the rules in such a community for you?

Saskia Schottelius : Dojo etiquette is an integral part of a way art. By bowing down to treat objects with respect, dress uni-form (that is, appear without status symbols), and essentially silence, we practice “right mindfulness,” the central premise and practice of all path arts.


And there are so many beautiful paths next to zazen and martial arts, such as the tea path, the path of the brush, the flower sticking or the archery. It is always about “breathing” perfect attention right now – and that means freedom in the end. Of plans, annoyances, purposefulness, greed, of being-willing and being-should, of own and foreign expectations etc.

Once we have experienced that the balance of the cosmos can get much better and regulate by not intervening, we are effectively spared a lot of stress. We just need to keep our mind open and let things just come. The mechanisms of “wuwei,” action by inaction, have their own laws. And if, as in the dojo, I learn to follow my intuition, I can connect with them much better.

3 treasures : What role do you have as a sensei in this system?

Saskia Schottelius : Yes, of course, I practice just like everyone else in a dojo, a place of the way. Sensei literally means “only” the one who precedes the way, so nothing better, but just longer on the way. The biggest challenge for me is actually not to intervene. When conflicts arise in me or show up in others, I practice “wise restraint”. The fighter in me, who likes to go to the barricades, wants something different. Of course I find that difficult. 

Perhaps the most obvious example is violence. My life experience is that you have to answer violence and force it to the greatest extent, including physical violence, so that it does not receive total power. But I do not want to use force. Meanwhile, I think it best to avoid the negative as much as possible and give the positive enough space to gain influence and dimension. Resilient people, those with special inner resilience, help themselves in dangerous situations with the art of directing the mind – as in a dojo. With every kiai, the battle cry or breath at the height of an action, and every kata, form of combat against imaginary opponents, we connect with a power that reaches far beyond ourselves. This is not just chi energy, it is also the power of positive visions.

Or lovingly: If you want to free a child from screaming pain or anger: “Look, there’s the butterfly behind, he has very golden wings!” And already our hearts open with a smile.



The 3 Treasures Fundraiser Brightening a corner of this world is supported and supported by different people. Here are a few voices …

3 treasures is a deli


With many lovingly selected products and an inspiring variety of seminars, workshops, readings, movie nights, yoga, Zen meditation, etc. It is a meeting place and for me and probably the entire old town a huge and indispensable enrichment for all of Bonn , Thank you for creating and sharing this space, where many great people meet and contribute with their ideas, products and offers.

Lisa Mikosch, yoga teacher

3 treasures for guidance, healing, and togetherness

 I have been deeply touched and inspired by the community. It is rare to find a powerful mix of integrity, connection, light, and love in one space. I especially like many young people are drawn to 3 treasures for guidance, healing, and togetherness. Treasures are committed to the work of expanding awareness, nurturing community, spreading light and sharing love. I sincerely hope that Bonn continues to generously support this beautiful place.

Kelly Owen

An unknown culture


Donate. What comes to mind? People in need, disasters, church and … well, free somehow. We give something away and get nothing for it. That’s the way it is. And yet there are cultures in which this is self-evident. Unfortunately, we have zero experience with this culture. Whenever we give something, we want something for it. But then it is no longer a donation, but a trade. Difficult, difficult …

Patrick Damschen tries to connect to this unknown culture. I keep my fingers crossed for him (and for us), for making us a bit wiser and perhaps also for sharing in this culture. Because we get something for our donation, only it is not so obvious.

Arnulf Christl

Encounter, communication and meditation


With € 10.00 a month you can support a person who devotes his heart, his wisdom, his culinary art – in short, his purpose to a very specific task: to get a place for encounter, communication and meditation. A place where you can get beautiful, fine things for yourself or friends. Things for yoga, zen, buddhism, fine green tea.

A place that in Bonn, like a small oasis, helps people to come to themselves. Unfortunately, even though Patrick is not my local dealer (it just takes us a few hundred kilometers …) – I support him very much!

Renée Kraemmer, MBSR trainer

Support your Local Peacemaker

My wife Geli and I have been supporting Abbot Muho and his Antaiji Monastery in Japan with a monthly donation for several years because we find places like Antaiji important to the world. It is often the very places that do quiet work for peace in the world, who have to struggle for their material survival.

When I got to know Patrick and the 3 Schatz store, I felt that here, too, someone makes an important contribution to peace, always struggling for material survival. A peacemaker place near me! So we redirected our monthly Dana from Japan to Bonn and now support 3 treasures with monthly 15,00 € for almost two years.

That’s not much, but if there are ten or twenty or thirty more friends supporting their Local Peacemaker with a small, regular amount, then the life of 3 Treasures is assured. Think about it!


An oasis of peace


3 treasures is for me a place where I can always feel welcome – exactly as I am. The people I meet, especially Patrick, meet me with great openness, friendliness and appreciation. Both the beautiful and interesting things to buy and the immensely rewarding events organized by Patrick continue to impress me.

3 treasures I feel as an oasis of peace, which I like to support and which I hope will continue to develop its positive charisma.

Gabriele Schulte

Neighborhood assistance and international understanding

 Patrick is the man you ask when your bike or phone is stolen, the only one with reliable connections to the Bonn underworld. He is the one who knows where in the area there could be a doubly muffled underbody key for whatever else and who otherwise develops solutions to problems in all the weirdest questions or hard nuts. A man who translates meditation into practical life; an everyday linker. A sponsorship of him is actually a sponsorship in itself, almost in the own (er) solution. Good guy in any case …

Bernd Drosihn (Torfumacher)

“I like to donate, if from afar …”

Claudia Brück 01

I live in the countryside with my family in Portugal but am from Bonn and Patrick is a very good friend of mine from “old days”. That’s why I’m glad that my donation allows me to contribute from afar, so that the 3 treasures continue to bring a little more light and peace to the (Bonn) world and make it possible to meet, because that’s what we need …


Give and take new thinking

Pamela Wich Portrait

It is not so easy to give without the expectation of something in return. Questions about one’s own advantages sneak in here and there – almost unnoticed. It is all the more important to rethink the give and take and find new ways of thinking and acting. I remember very much the conversations with Patrick in the 3 Schatz (often on the long Monks Kitchen Board) about donating in the Buddhist tradition. Patrick brought us the idea and the spirit of non-expectant giving. I am very grateful for the stimulating discussions and also for the impulses of the donation campaign “Brightening up a corner of this world”. Even after my move to Frankfurt, I like to donate 10.00 euros a month to support 3 treasures.

Pamela Wich

Return home

Reiner Hühner klein

I enter and am at home … warm colors, soft music, pleasant scents, Patrick.
Always a tea, ever something left over from lunch, at least a few sentences, often a connecting conversation, quietly relaxing time …
… and selected, carefully selected items to buy.
So a kind of little paradise with oasis character.
I experience that when I come home to 3 treasures. I should go more often …

Pure chickens

From heart to heart

Alexander Kopp klein

3 treasures with the adjoining San Bo Dojo and the Zen kitchen (Monk’s Kitchen) is for me a place of which there are far too few in Germany – a place of refuge where people are lovingly advised both in terms of meditation accessories, as well as on the way can find orientation. Patrick throws the store in the best Bodhisattva tradition – he passes on his knowledge about his products and the way from heart to heart. In addition, there are always great events, lectures and instructions from various teachers. What impresses me most is the openness and warmth with which one is met here. I refer my seminar participants with a clear conscience, the way from Cologne to Bonn to take to get advice here. Thank you Patrick and a deep bow to your work. Gassho!

Alexander Kopp, Zen-Monk, MBSR teacher and coach from Cologne

The sangha, as one of the pillars of Buddhism

Charlotte Farber Hemeling Portrait

Patrick’s 3 Treasure Shop and our regular Zen exercise at the San Bo Dojo are inseparable. The sangha, as one of the pillars of Buddhism, is lived here. Dojo and 3 treasures shop are our “home”, meeting place and communicative center for the sangha – and beyond. And at the same time, the 3-storey shop has become a center of spiritual exchange, giving new impulses to our practice over and over again. This is what Patrick creates as Dojo director and owner of 3 treasures through his international networking, his personal contacts with spiritual teachers.

With my donation, I would like to contribute to the fact that he can “afford” this (also temporally) high level of commitment in the future – in addition to the business.


What 3 treasures mean to me?

Helmut Köhn 04

First and foremost, the place was my dojo for a long time, the place where I practiced with many other zazen. The name 3 guess could not be more appropriate. Here are the three treasures Buddha, Dharma and Sangha lived.
There is no comparable and lively Buddhist center in Bonn, where the monk is present daily and, in the best bodhisattva tradition, always responsive and helpful. Although I do not practice as often in the dojo, I always like to come here. Be it to eat in the monk’s kitchen, if at home the incense sticks are all again, to one of the many practice days, to an interesting lecture or or or ….

But most of all, I’m happy to meet the monk in person. We spent countless hours together on our Zafus, where we mostly stared at the wall. That was sometimes painful (at first very), sometimes boring but above all it was a great pleasure to go the way with Mr. Damschen. Since Patrick managed the dojo responsibly and opened his specialty store for all sorts of things, there has emerged a truly vibrant center that, as I said, lives up to its name.

Helmut Köhn

Not around the corner and yet very close

Andreas Poggel 200x200

The events with different Zen teachers lured me to Bonn some years ago. The open and undogmatic cross-tradition networking is enriching and invigorating for me.
Community – a treasure that has become richer. Beyond the borders of Bonn, relationships have emerged. And our acquaintance, formerly she was fleeting and today I am looking forward to the encounters with you and the kind people you attract with your commitment. Thanks for that!

Our Zendo was equipped by the 3 treasures and – while I write these lines, I get the urge to soon again in Bonn in the assortment of the 3 treasured shop to browse …

Andreas Poggel, CSF / Mediation / Zen ( splash.jetzt )

Almost every day, I think of 3 treasures

Barbelies Wiegmann Portrait 300x300 .

.. when I’m lying on my yoga mat, stable and soft, like on a lambskin. And at least every two weeks I enjoy the tea cups, in tender turquoise at the small tea ceremony in our sangha.

The 3 treasures shop is a special treasure in the old town, with so many treasures for eyes and heart. But this treasure holds much more: a dojo for Zen meditation, lectures and cultural events. And there’s the Monk’s Kitchen, where I enjoy so much sharing the meal.

Dear Patrick, you brighten a corner of the world, – thank you!

Barbelies Wiegmann (mediator, network Buddhism in Bonn)

Judith Bühlmeier klein1

After 18 years in Bonn, I recently moved to the Ruhr area, the feeling of home and homeland since busy me more than usual. As soon as I enter the 3 cherished place, I notice again and again that this also has something from home – simply because there is nothing to do. I am welcomed with a smile, feel welcome, quite right here – no matter if I consume or am interested in an offer, leave money or just get lost in this place.

I also observe this with other people who come here: it is a place of rest and contact. It’s so valuable that there are places like these!


Natta klein

Dear Patrick,

We do not know each other personally, I have not visited the 3 treasures shop yet. My contacts to your shop and to you have been the classic online-sales, which I am always very satisfied with.

What appealed to me to respond to your personal donation appeal was the courage I have seen in doing so. I understand your call in good Dana tradition, to be able to accept something to be able to give again, in the sense of the community, which obviously many people in your shop, in contact with you. May you continue to succeed …

Greetings from Darmstadt,

Netta (MBSR teacher, yoga teacher)

Small is beautifull!

Frank Luckner 200x200

Gross is not the 3 treasures shop, but the more beautiful. That’s why the 3 Treasures Shop deserves all support. I like to rummage through the bookshelf after zazen and find more often a work that I would never get to see otherwise, without the feeling to have to buy something. I often visited the store when I was in town to talk to Patrick about Zen and life.

I wish that the 3 treasures can attract more people and lead to true happiness and well-being. I still wish Patrick much inspiration in the various tasks with which he is entrusted. And we wish all of us a Merry Christmas.

Frank Luckner

A place that leaves its mark

 Dear Patrick,

At the beginning of the year a few lines from me to the place you gave the name “3 treasures”. The first time I visited this place with the goal to “acquire” something. I found beautiful things of selected quality. What I also found was a place that left its mark on me; a place that touches me only by knowing about it.

May many people discover this place for themselves (and “acquire” whatever they are looking for).

Best regards, Om


May all be happy. May all be well.

nicole ness aw klein

After a long stay in a Buddhist monastery, I also wanted to network with people of similar orientation in Bonn. I went to search and found the 3 treasures shop. What a gift! Since I work independently, the visit of the Monks Kitchen became after a very short time an integral part of my everyday life.

The anticipation of the lunch break grew steadily – suddenly I was part of a community that made me feel that I had arrived. I realized how deep drafts and sharing with like-minded people during a simple meal together can help make you feel at home. Strangers became friends and companions, joint activities – even outside the Monks Kitchen – got a different quality.

So what could be more appropriate to support this special place with a donation? Where to start, if not on your own doorstep?

I’m very thankful to know you. It’s a nice feeling to know that you are there when I come back from my winter quarters. I want to continue to meet each one of you with curiosity and an open heart. Let us grow together and make this already very bright corner of this world even brighter.

May all be happy. May all be well.

In bondage,

Nicole ( mindful webdesign )

Just be in the middle …

Athina klein

When the corner shop in the immediate vicinity was renovated 7 years ago, we asked ourselves – what comes in there well? There was a Buddha in the otherwise empty shop window. Hm … And then: the 3 treasures … “Oh, we have a Buddhist monk in the neighborhood” was told in the apartment.

The 3 treasures are just there. Quite unobtrusive – in the middle. An invitation, without obligation. Often, when I come home from my travels, I stand in front of the shop window and see what’s new. And when Patrick is here, I’ll go in for a quick chat – and then the clocks tick differently.

Being there, being part of the environment – just like that, in the middle of it, that is what makes Patrick and the 3 treasures. Well and in any case there are always treasures in the assortment and the other offers of the 3 treasures. … and those are just a few reasons why I like to support Patrick. Thanks to you, Patrick!



I’m glad that I finally set up a standing order with a regular donation for 3 treasures. A clear commitment to support this courageous and inspirational project, which for me is a model of a contemporary interpretation of a spiritual practice rooted in Buddhism. If you do not know Patrick and 3 treasures, you should definitely catch up. Those who do not yet support this place should also make up for it. Last but not least, I can point out the very good quality of the meditation and yoga accessories to which the participants of the courses and therapies I have given in my practice and I can enjoy ourselves.

Dr. med. Malte Thormählen
Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy
MBCT teacher
Qualified Instructor Eat Right Now & Craving to Quit (CFM)


Without Borders

Birgit Cooker Regenbogen_klein

When you come in, it’s a bit like coming to a Japanese temple – “shop” is a completely misleading term for the “Three Treasures”. Without knowing that a Zen Dojo is hiding in the same house, I had the feeling that someone here is creating a spiritual space with warmth, devotion and wit. There are good and useful things to buy, but the most exciting thing is what you can not buy. Although the space is small, it is not limited. Objects and books of all Buddhist traditions find their place here – as well as a bit of all sorts of senseless and yet enjoyable bells and whistles.

Anyone can come in and feel the peace and friendliness.

To support this space is important to me.


3 treasures – more than just a good idea

My first real contact with the 3 Schatz store was the first order confirmation I received from Patrick by email. Since a real person has accepted my order …?! Alone, this tiny detail was already a way for me to break out of the usual narrow lines of thought.

Over time, my correspondence with Patrick confirmed my impression that the store was born out of a bodhisattva attitude. There is no emphasis on maximizing profit maximization (which unfortunately happens in this industry), but on creating a place of exchange, rest and relaxation. With this realization, it is easy for me to support the treasures with donations, because the money comes to a concrete, understandable and in my opinion meaningful purpose. I’m already looking forward to the day when I can be in Bonn on the spot and convince myself that my donations are actually not spent just for records and cheap fuss


“A second chance school for those who never had a first chance “

Thanks to an initiative by Barbelies Wiegmann, a network of Buddhist groups is currently forming in Bonn to encourage them to get to know each other and to exchange ideas with each other. In addition to planning a joint Vesakh Festival in 2017, a series of films with Buddhist content, which have been shown since October 2016 in the cinema of the Brotfabrik in Bonn, has come to fruition.

It all started with The Angry Buddha , a German-Austrian co-production by Stefan Ludwig , which has been screened in selected program cinemas since 23.09.2016.

It is the story of János Orsós , who founded the Buddhist Ambedkar Gymnasium in Sajókaza, a village in eastern Hungary, to offer disadvantaged Roma youth a future perspective. János Orsós himself comes from a Roma family. He is a teacher and he is a Buddhist. His model is the emergence of the Dalits, inspired by the social reformer Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , a denigrated as “untouchables” population group in India, the country of origin of the Roma and Buddhism.

” János and his colleague Tibor do not have a ready-made recipe. They tried something, they fail, they get hostile, they try it again. They are like revolutionaries … “(Stefan Ludwig)

The angry Buddha recounts the often exhausting efforts of the teacher and his colleague Tibor Derdák to help the impoverished youth to live a self-determined life through education and spirituality and to strengthen them in the fight against social exclusion. Often they are on the brink of collapse. Almost three years, the film accompanies János’ unwavering commitment against all opposition, the hostility on the part of the Hungarian  Village community, a growing nationalist-racist policy, financial cuts and closures of schools and not least resigned Roma parents and students. At the same time, the film paints loving and unvarnished portraits of Roma adolescents, who seek their way in a world of misery and prejudice with wit and vitality.

” We are angry and we are hungry “

An absolutely worth seeing film, which does not show the Buddhist inspiration and practice as withdrawn monastic exercises, but in the middle of everyday life.



Four noble truths vs. Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga

Workshop Introduction to “Sati-Yoga” with Stefan Adinath Zöller

The foundations of Buddhism (eg the Four Noble Truths / the Noble Eightfold Path) in comparison with parts of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (eg Ashtanga Yoga).

We deal with a few important principles of the Buddha Dharma and put them in comparison with the Ashtanga Yoga of the Yoga Sutra, by Patanjali. Perhaps we will find that there are many similarities and that at least one of the goals of the two ways is the same. The liberation from suffering.

In the workshop, besides the theory, you will practice different (meditation) techniques from both traditions. Of course, yoga postures, breathing exercises, retreating of the senses, concentration, etc. and just mindfulness practice, formal and for everyday life.

Stefan Zoller

The workshop is led by Stefan Adinath Zöller . About martial arts and Zen Buddhism, he came to yoga and gives this since 2009 as a yoga teacher on. In addition to the tradition of integral yoga by Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu Devananda, Adinath feels very connected to the Buddha Dharma. He is a trained yoga teacher (BYV), yoga personal trainer, spiritual life counselor, meditation trainer and mindfulness practice teacher. In addition, Adinath is a state-approved educator and has worked with children of all ages. In addition to the physical aspects of his mind training in yoga is a particular concern, where he is oriented here in addition to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali especially to the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni . In Bad Meinberger Ashram (Yoga Vidya) he belongs to the main teaching team.

The seats are limited. If all seats are taken, we will set up a waiting list. The contribution will be collected on site. For short-term cancellations up to 48 hours before the event, we reserve the right to claim the full amount of the fee should the place not be awarded to other participants.

Overnight stays are possible on request. For lunch please bring a vegetarian / vegan snack for the meal together.



A conversation with Stefan Laeng and the pioneering Buddhist teacher, Ruth Denison

I visited Ruth Denison on April 29, 1999 at the Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center , her Buddhist retreat center in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. I do not remember exactly how it came to this visit, but it must have been on the way home from an extended time together with Charlotte Selver, as I drove with my then fiancé through the vastness of the deserts of Southern California and we seized the opportunity ,

I had met Ruth before and when I called her, she spontaneously invited Sarah and me to her home in Joshua Tree. Ruth has been in contact with the Sensory Awareness people over the years and has even revived the connection later, after Charlotte’s death. She was a regular visitor to Sensory Awareness conferences and workshops, be it as a teacher or to be a student again.

Ruth Denison 1

Sensory Awareness Conference at Mt. Madonna Center in Watsonville, California, 2006

It is primarily thanks to Alan Watts and Henry Denison that Charlotte’s work came to California. Charlotte gave her first workshop on the West Coast in the house of Henry in Hollywood. Henry was a spiritual seeker all his life and had been a monk in the Advaita Vedanta Order for a few years before building his home in the Hollywood Hills. In the early sixties, the Denisons hosted many of the luminaries of the then counter-movement: philosophers, psychotherapists, Zen masters. Alan Watts was one of them. He and Charlotte had been working together for a few years, and now he proposed inviting Charlotte to join them as well.
Charlotte always spoke lovingly of Henry and never failed to mention how attractive he was. “He looked like a Spanish grandee,” she always said. I’m not really sure what a Spanish Grande is, but at the time of our visit, Henry Denison was still alive, although he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I had a chance to meet him and despite his illness, it was immediately clear why Charlotte was impressed by his appearance. He was tall and slender and with his thick, gray beard he looked very dignified. Sarah and I had a nice meeting with him, in which he remembered Charlotte with enthusiasm.

We conducted the interview with Ruth during lunch. Ruth has always been a particularly generous hostess and she had often cooked for Charlotte and her husband, Charles Brooks. So we sat in her little house and she told us about the meetings with Charlotte.

Ruth : Henry Denison and I were getting closer at the time. Alan Watts told him about this lady who had the perspective, as Henry said. She understood what it was all about. It was like an underground movement, meetings that talked about psychology, about self-development and realization.
The way Alan Watts described Charlotte sounded good. He spoke of a body-related practice, a process of becoming aware of our mental and psychological realms.

Charlotte Selver vividly remembered this first meeting and loved to say it: “I came to Henry Denison with Charles (according to Ruth, Charles was not present at this first time). Henry escorted us to his veranda with a beautiful view over a lake. We sat and waited there while preparing lunch for us. And then he came with a very nice, thin-walled wooden bowl of fresh salad and asked me to serve me. At that moment a bird began to sing in the tree below us. I stopped taking a salad. When the bird finished singing, I continued to scoop and Henry said, “You’re in!”
Suddenly we heard terrible noise from barking dogs: “Wow, wow, wow,”. In came four small dogs that jumped around him and licked him. And after the dogs came in a woman who was probably his lady of the heart. That was Ruth Denison “.

Charlotte’s visit to Denisons probably took place in 1959, when Ruth and Henry were not married yet and she did not live with him. Ruth Schäfer, her maiden name, emigrated from Germany to the USA in 1957.

Ruth : I remember what Charlotte wore. A beautiful blouse made of pure silk with cuffs, very formal. I came with two dachshunds and they made a lot of noise. I was the loud lady who burst in with dogs in this peaceful, quiet atmosphere of the utmost value and sensitivity, like dynamite. The silence was gone and the peace over. Charlotte had fun with it. She can – if something is so sublime and then suddenly everything goes up and down – she can enjoy that. She has a great sense of humor.

I had probably met Henry only a few months, maybe a year before. He was very interested in all those avant-garde people at the time, like Aldous Huxley and Christopher Isherwood.

Henry arranged with Charlotte that the house is available for her and she can hold her seminars there, in the large living room with the fabulous terrace all around and the wonderful view over the mountains and the lake. Our furniture could simply be set aside. The big table was placed against the glass front and then there was room for twenty people who could lie there. It was a dream house. And in the guest area it was the same. There was a terrace from which you could overlook the lake and they lived there. That’s how I got my training. I cooked for the group, and whenever possible, I went with it. At the time, Charlotte’s work was a real breakthrough for many. Psychologists came, yoga teachers and artists. Through Sensory Awareness they have really got ground under their feet. The senses are sharpened and trained, the perception becomes clearer. You do not let the mind interfere with sensations. You just hear, smell, taste. So equipped, with alert senses, I came to Vipassana. I was prepared for the best. Charlotte could not understand that! But it’s also hard to understand that.

Ruth’s comment that Charlotte did not understand, in my opinion, refers to Charlotte’s refusal to see sensory awareness simply as a vehicle of liberation in the Buddhist context. Charlotte, like other students of Elsa Gindler – a Berlin gymnastics pioneer of the German reform movement in the first half of the 20th century – insisted that her practice be independent. That it was used to prepare people for therapy or their spiritual practice meant that the depth of the practice was not really recognized. And really, you could argue that Ruth did not recognize this potential of sensory awareness.

Whoever thinks that Sensory Awareness does not deal with suffering and only aims at harmony and “well-being” misunderstands what Charlotte Selver and her teachers were all about. But since Sensory Awareness has no fixed philosophical superstructure, it is often ignored and labeled a feel-good practice, a view that made Charlotte Selver very sad. Nevertheless, it may well be that Charlotte underestimated Ruth and that she, like many others, did not realize the depth of her idiosyncratic approach to teaching the Buddha Dharma.

Ruth : At first I did not know what to do with Charlotte. But later I realized that I actually lived like this. I was very down to earth and lived with my body. But when I came into this noble society with its high goals of enlightenment and spiritual awakening, I had a different idea of ​​what that meant. So when I was asked to feel, to feel my feet, my hands, my breath, I thought, “My God,” what are they doing there? I do it all the time. That’s how it is when you’re alive. ” So I wondered for the moment, but realized quite quickly that I still lacked a lot. I just got it wrong. I made it a pleasure and to feel better.

But if you practice Vipassana, that’s another story. What Sensory Awareness is all about – you will find more harmony, you will become more alert and enjoy life more and enjoy the experience, because you pay less attention to dukkha and the inconvenience of life – this is not the case with Vipassana.

In sensory awareness, harmony is the goal, better feeling, holistic life. With that attitude, I came to the vipassana and heard that attention was also to be directed to the unpleasant. The inner peace that you experience through mindfulness of sensory impressions can help you to counteract the unpleasant with equanimity. The development of mindfulness and the development of awareness is the fundamental basis of Vipassana. We use the body and the other senses as objects of attention.

Stefan : The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana)

Ruth : Yes. But one works only with the first, with body and sensory perception, the other three then come by themselves. Because feelings, pleasant or unpleasant, as well as mental states and contents, depend on our attention on body sensations, on non-verbal levels. This binds the mind and leads away from its habitual occupations and entanglements. Instead, you begin to understand: This appears now, these feelings or this consciousness or the thought. You notice and do not get involved. Or, as the Buddha put it, in this cordon-long body, with its perceptions, feelings, consciousness, the whole world is contained, beginning and end.

In other words, it’s about dukkha, suffering. Then you have Buddha’s instruction: ” I teach for a single reason: to end the suffering and how we recognize it. “How we can relate it to our ignorance, our lack of understanding and our emotional confusion. How we create our own dissatisfaction, etc.

So when Henry and I came to U Ba Khin, our teacher in Burma, I was very well prepared. I was able to continue to pay attention to my breath, that was wonderful. For the first few days I was in opposition to U Ba Khin because I did not trust the situation. I do everything, I thought. When he noticed my resistance, he was very firm and told me that he was not talking to me, but to the evil spirits of my resistance. That was helpful.

Then everything came together step by step. The reason why you do something. You recognize the process instead of just having an overview. Many wonderful insights appear through the systematic application of mindfulness to the body. The impermanence you can see on a microscopic level, the change. You get to know the suffering and how much inconvenience the body prepares, so as not to cling to it, to always enjoy it. You learn to be open to the unpleasant and then it becomes pleasant.

I think without Charlotte’s preparation I would never have made it because my time with U Ba Khin was very short. My mind would never have been able to engage as deeply with the body as Charlotte’s work, Sensory Awareness, made possible. So I could go pretty deep during the five or six months I spent with U Ba Khin.

When I began to teach – he gave me the permission to teach – I would not have been able to guide people in the practice of mindfulness, giving them good directions on what to do, how to stick to it, and start over again, how to sit motionless for two hours, allowing the mind, as an observer, to penetrate into the realms of sensations. That’s not how you work with Charlotte. You take it easier and go outside.

I also had some Zen training. From Zen I learned to organize and to organize. From Charlotte I have this wonderfully grounded, the spirit present, the psyche and the mental objects where the body is. That means where life really takes place, where you can be in direct contact with it. Your mind becomes calm and focused. He awakens to what he is doing right now. You understand more and more. That’s what we call insight, right understanding, an aspect of the Eightfold Path.

So I leave people standing – sometimes I hear things say, like Charlotte: “Please come to a stop”. Do not get up but come to a stop. Then I suggest: feel your arms and let the shoulders of earthly gravity follow you, feel the contact with your feet, between your feet and the earth. Just like Charlotte taught us. Shift your weight slightly to the left foot, feeling the difference in how the other foot feels. This is a wonderful foundation for Vipassana.

This also made me a reliable companion. Whenever the students’ thoughts drifted away and it became too mental when they were not connected to the body, it was very clear.

But in the eyes of some Vipassana students, who came from Goenka (U Ba Khin’s best-known student), I just played around. One jumped up, ran to the door, tore it open, and screamed into the silence of the room we worked in: ” Enough of this hocus pocus! “I had to take a lot. Today, there are yoga, sensory awareness, etc. in Vipassana circles. But Charlotte was a pioneer and I was also a pioneer.

Later, I sent students to Charlotte. Those who needed a bit more grounding to sit in silence, without movement, without doing anything; Students who needed a slightly different practice, more exercise. And I also let her lie on the floor in my seminars and do things that Charlotte did. Experiments with touch or partner exercises. Or I made everyone find a stone and hold that stone, then place it in the other hand. Or chewing and eating a nut, watching the whole process, from hard to soft, to mush – and then swallowing, all of this I did.

When I started to teach, it made me uncomfortable sitting in front of them, watching their nervousness, their fidgeting, and their inner restlessness. Immediately, I could calm them down by suggesting that they raise one hand and then place it on the other hand. Or on the shoulder of someone. But I was exposed to strong criticism at the beginning.

I had students look at each other and just see what’s going on. How they can perceive the other person without losing touch with their feet, standing and the totality of their being. It is an exercise not to be distracted or distracted, but to be mindful of yourself. And then involve the other person.

Or pick a flower or smell the ground and really be there. I took her to the mountains, let her look at the view, let her know: Seeing happens when the eyes meet an object. It sometimes goes a bit farther than Charlotte’s, because what we see is more of a construct of the mind and not just perceiving in silence. The perception becomes very precise. In the process of perception, there are the eyes, the object and the mind or the consciousness. What we see is not really a vessel (Ruth is knocking on a vessel). We see colors and shapes. And then we realize that everything is spirit. Seeing, visual consciousness.

So we realize that everything is just a process, the mental process of seeing. And that it has three components: a physiological level, an object and mind. And that puts you in a position where you can do nothing but recognize that it’s empty of a “me,” it’s a process. And through that, through Charlotte’s work – I mean, as a basis – I can tangibly and concretely reveal the truth to which the Buddha refers: No self, emptiness. From the beginning I taught with the help of these beautiful experiences – the smell of the earth. I let them crawl across the floor as worms and snakes – elementary of Charlotte.

I’m eternally grateful to her and Henry, both, because I would never have met her without Henry. From Charlotte, I have received a great foundation for Vipassana practice.

Stefan Laeng is a sensory awareness teacher. He lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, USA and regularly works in Europe. He is executive director of the Sensory Awareness Foundation. He is currently working on a detailed biography of Charlotte Selver.



In the last week of May, 23 practitioners from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States spent time at the memorial site of the former Buchenwald concentration camp, under the motto ” Go to the places you fear and practice peace “.

The invitation to the peace days in Buchenwald had come from two members of the ZenPeacemaker community Germany and two Ridhwan girls from the Netherlands and Denmark. Thus, these days of peace stood in the living tradition of witnessing as practiced by the ZenPeacemakers around the world in wounded places and on the street, and linked them with the practice of “open exploration” of the Ridwhan School.

The motivations of the initiators

  • We feel the need to look at our personal and collective wounds and see this as a loving action on the path to inner and outer peace.
  • We are determined to open ourselves to our fears and connect ourselves with others.
  • We commit to embody more and more the insight that differences and diversity are part of our learning process on the way to the All-Unity.
    We feel an urgency to understand what causes war, and what peace.
  • We perceive the need for transformative education and training for peace, see the opportunity and are willing to contribute.

Buchenwald Rezitation

Meditations in the morning and in the evening, deep exchange in Council and Inquiry, guided tours of the site and participation in projects of the memorial, writing impulses and proper times gave the days structure. In this secure framework, everyone could find space for their personal process and appropriate contact with others. The overwhelming presence of the place opened up a dimension of compassion for the events for the first time in the concentration camps of the Nazis over the present places of global distress and violence to the innermost perception of their own victims and perpetrators. and shame.

Buchenwald Gedenksteine

The individual participants quickly became members of a group, mirroring each other in Indra’s net – an organism that lived awake, sensitive and in careful contact for days. The result was a field of all-roundness, in which diversity and diversity found recognition and could unfold their opening power.

Some voices …

” It has opened something” – “I got in touch with split-off, repressed aspects” – “I can now understand my sense of fragmentation and take better care of it” – “Something’s melted in me” – “I have finally found words for what I have kept away from me “-” It is amazing, mysterious happened that has changed me “-” This is a direct result of our work here – to look deeply into the shares of my perpetrator “-” I feel the love of life and the blessing of this opportunity to explore life in all its aspects, now so much deeper “-” Through this kind of practice, I remain attentive to the injustice that man and nature are experiencing “-” My heart has softened – and stronger . “

The next peace days in Buchenwald will take place in April 2020.

Buchenwald Gehmeditation


On 10.11.2018 (14:00 – 16:30) Reiner Seido Hühner and Kathleen Hoêtsu Battke will be giving a lecture with Council on the Peace Days in Buchenwald in the Bon San Bo Dojo . The two report in the lecture on the Peace Days / Days of Peace and Reconciliation, which took place as a collaboration between ZenPeacemakers Germany eV and the Ridhwan School (students of AH Almaas) in the Buchenwald Memorial.

The idea for these days originated in August 2016, together with a friend from the Netherlands, Dorle Lommatzsch, who has studied with Almaas for many years and who are friends since a common experience in Auschwitz 2011. The team complemented Kathleen Battke from Bonn (ZenPeacemakers Germany) and Judith Beermann-Zeligson (Ridhwan-School).

The shared experiences with our different tools (Council and Inquiry) in this special place will be discussed in the lecture, which will be rounded off by a discussion circle (Council) as practiced in Zen Masters.

KathleenBattke 228x300

Kathleen Hoêtsu Battke lives in a multi-generation housing project in Bonn, has been active in the peace and environmental movement since the 1980s, writes, publishes and accompanies people in transition. Since 2011, she has been practicing human beings with the ZenPeacemakers around Eve Marko Roshi and Bernie Glassman Roshi.


P1010191 Copy 225x300

Reiner Seido Hühner lives in Bonn and has been meditating for 20 years and since 2009 with the ZenPeacemakers around Bernie Glassman Roshi and active.



A conversation with Jürgen Dai Yu Windhorn about Zen, permaculture and the ubiquitous growth dynamics …

” What forms of renunciation and what forms of liberation would it mean for us today if we did not want to be museum administrators of a millennial tradition, but living beings with open eyes? “

3 treasures : Dear Jürgen, You live, work and practice Zen Buddhism in the Lebensgarten Steyerberg. To the extent that the Zen teacher, Christoph Rei Ho Hatlapa, engages in non-violent communication and mediation as a tool of “right speech” on the Eightfold Path, you are committed to permaculture in the narrower and broader sense, in the sense of the “right action”, a.

Jürgen Windhorn : Yes, the path element No. 5 of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism is: “Do not harm other beings through your (professional) activity” – or, to put it positively: “Promote the life of all beings through your actions”. However, our ecological footprint has been more than doubled for decades, meaning that our “normal” way of life not only damages our environment and our descendants, but also permanently deprives them of their livelihoods.

Jürgen 300x225

3 Treasures : Where do you see us living on a big footing?

Jürgen Windhorn : In terms of consumption and comfort, range in terms of global availability, security, living space per capita, recently also data volume transmission per unit time, etc. – All these forms of use of resources that seem never enough, but still need to be increased , almost appear as a compulsive addiction. And even we as Buddhists are not free from it, and occasionally meditation seems to be used as a tool to become even fitter and more efficient in this growth game.

3 Treasures : This sounds a little bit like criticizing certain forms of Zen in the West.

Jürgen Windhorn : The thesis – which is only slightly provocatively covered – is that if we, as participants in Western industrialized civilization, practice something like Zen Buddhism, then we make this Zen practice WITHIN the framework of a “dynamic of growth”, which also our other life determines. In that sense, Zen practice can not only contribute to awakening, but also to maintaining an ecologically unsustainable “dreamy” situation. The means of awakening can then become an aid in stabilizing a pathological attitude.

3 Treasures : What is what you call “growth dynamics”?

Jürgen Windhorn : First of all, we naturally do everything we do – we have, naively, as we are, hardly any other chance – in the context and under the premises of the dominant ideology and ideology. So if we – we westerners within the ideological paradigms of the West – do Zen, then we do not just do Zen, but we also always operate the general “dynamics of growth”, that is, the fulfillment of the standard ideology of our cultural space, just coincidentally with the Means of Zen. And the instrumentalization of Zen meditation, mindfulness exercises, NLP, etc., in the name of fitness, concentration, and mental power, which we criticize in the morning meditation round offered by Goldman Sachs Inc. for their employees for professional gain and which they also enjoy using is just not a morbid deviation from what we do when we practice Zen, etc., but brings the matter to the point.

To our world view and ideology prevalent in our time and our world, is the fundamental idea that the uplifted, the better and the existing is not good enough. And within this ideology of a required dynamics of growth we do – first of all – everything we do. Also Zen.

Zendo ToGenJi Rohatsu 2016 1024x640

3 treasures : So what opportunities do we have to emerge from a seemingly self-stabilizing, but catastrophic, medium- and long-term attitude that runs counter to No. 5 of the Eightfold Path?

Jürgen Windhorn : The current “everyday life” is fundamentally different from that of the late iron age, at the time of Master Hyakujo or during the Tokugawa rule in Japan, due to our resource consumption and our emissions, which undermine our own livelihoods. So, when we speak of “Zen in everyday life” today, what kind of everyday life do we mean: that of the Buddha-time, that of Hyakujo, that of Hakuin and Issa, or which one exactly?

The “elephant in the living room” is the simple and simple fact that we, through the uncritical participation in everyday life, as he has developed today, for about five decades with us, have little chance, No. 5 of the Noble Eightfold Path also only approaching from afar …

In this respect, it is not so much the question of which eco-technology is best today, but of the question of which dynamics in US ensures that, in response to every inner impulse – as if we were driven by an obsessive-compulsive neurosis – there are increases in the outside get started and enforce …

” Our” distress “, since the times of the economic miracle, does not seem to portray the plight of want, but a strange kind of inability to deal with the overabundance ” .

3 guess : What would be possible solutions or just the next steps?

Jürgen Windhorn : First of all, perhaps it is about reacting to the demands for increases from our obsessively neurotic reactions, to everything and everything that stirs in us. And then, to develop a sense of enthusiasm within the measure and center that is independent of resource access and emissions.

For this, we would have to free ourselves from this – after all, we are free to panic – to respond to every vaguely tentative need or to any apparent need-conflict with hectic material-energy maximization and additional comfort installations.

Our use of the biosphere is already far exceeded and the solutions discussed so far are often not really thought out. And if you try to present the situation of things beyond a blue-eyed idealism realistic, you immediately draw the accusation of pessimism and the Schwarzseherei. And one explains: ” Pessimism is not helpful …” – which is undoubtedly correct, but – where do we need help? Are we in need? In one of the richest countries of the planet? With a – still – relatively well secured social structure? Of course many are “not good”, but what standards are set here? We have increased production and consumption in recent decades, starting with the “economic miracle”, at least three times on average, in many areas many times over, always in search of happiness and to meet our needs.

Since the times of the economic miracle, the “emergency” does not seem to represent the plight of want, but a strange kind of inability to deal with the overabundance. In fact, it is a constant challenge for our economy to still have to raise new needs in order to keep the system of production and consumption running. The productivity itself is in a sense in need, because it needs more and more productivity to maintain itself. In fact, our – societal, that is not valid in every single case – success is that we, dominated by him, have subjected him to everything around us. The success of the economic miracle – embedded in the mechanistic world view of our culture – has meant that we seem to be able to do nothing but associate the POSITIVE with bigger, better, faster, more comfortable, safer, etc. …

“We always see” happiness “and” success “in one more, one increase, one expansion”

When researching solutions to pending problems today, there are occasionally some wonderful media outlets that, first of all, raise morale, proclaiming, for example, “The world is full of solutions.” That sounds wonderful “uplifting”, because who does not want solutions. However, we also want success. And luck. What “success” is, however, can be defined by others, by and large by the ideologies and paradigms currently prevailing. So in concrete terms today: through the market. And in achieving success and happiness, meditation should help us. Amazon, for example, offers us 1213 suggestions for Buddhist counseling when we enter “happiness Buddhism” in the search mask. But sometimes, during the audience’s search for fortune, one of the traditional Buddhist teachers looks up and says in wonderment, but that would not have meant it. And now he’s writing a book called “Not for Happiness” (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, 2012) in which he explains that the Buddhist path is more likely to disappoint and to experience your own inner misery because it affects us points to our (self-) delusions and wants to first make clear our Miskonzeptionen and delusions. But we would like to have the quick “solutions” that allow us to be lucky and guarantee our success.

3 guess : That sounds like the motto, less development (in the sense of higher, faster, farther) and back to simplicity?

Jürgen Windhorn : If you (over) increase things, you also have the chance to see them more clearly and to learn something. For example, to learn that an increase – and indeed an increase in what appears to us to be GOOD on its first attempt per se – can be ambivalent. Where “ambivalent” means, first of all, that things are not so easy … But to find out how things really are, in full, in full ambivalence, for the wisdom of the past alone seems no longer sufficient. We live in another world – in a massively changed by ourselves – world, which can be compared to anything that existed in the late Iron Age. And the quick fixes of New Age are often enough … rash.

Most areas of life, eg “energy / energy saving”, are simply very complex and the question of problem solving is not always easy and quick to answer. An example that has been well known for 150 years is the so-called Jevons paradox: more efficient technical methods often lead to increased energy consumption in the sequel. That sounds like a paradox. Hence the name of this phenomenon … In the days of Jevon, Newcomen’s old, inefficient steam engines had been replaced by innovative developments by James Watt. Watt’s steam engine was celebrated as a “solution” because it was able to convert the then-scarce open pit coal into power and movement much more efficiently than the old models. In addition, the Watt’s model was so compact and lightweight that it could be mounted on wheels. With that the railway was invented and the industrial revolution took its course. And the consumption of coal exploded. And because the deep coal seams could now be pumped out of groundwater and mined with the new powerful and efficient steam engine, it was also possible to meet the increasing demand – for about a hundred years until it was over.

3 Guess : That sounds a bit bleak at times. Where is the positive?

Jürgen Windhorn : Yes, it may be that you first see black when you open your eyes. Because things are not as rosy as they are painted in his (New Age) dreams. But even black-sighted eyesight would be preferable to pink-eyed, closed-provided one is interested in what is called awakening in Buddhism. And black-eye is of course not the last word. But it may be a first step, a passage stage, on a path of liberation that does not lead through a museum but through reality.

Juergen 300x300

Approaches, technical and organizational approaches, for an ecologically and socially responsible way of life we ​​have. The missing technique is not the problem. And we know today – we can know – that more material possessions and more world availability (an expression of the sociologist Hartmut Rosa) does not make you happier. What we do not seem to know – or not yet enough – is: What is behind our almost obsessive-compulsive reactions, which demand more in every sense of increasing availability, always associated with resource consumption and emissions? Why do we do that when it’s proven we’re not happier on the bottom line? And what do we really want? What makes us really happy? These are, of course, age-old questions, but today we have them with a very different urgency than in the times of Bodhidharma and Hakuin. It is no longer just our little private luck or misfortune that is at stake, but the biosphere of a whole planet and the future of life in general.

3 treasures : What does “luck” mean to you?

Jürgen Windhorn : Can it be so easily expressed and said? Also, what Buddhism should be about, if not naive happiness, is not so easy to say. The positive that survives the loss of primary naivety, beyond optimism and pessimism, finds itself just outside of a simple happiness …

3 treasures : Away from the garden of life Steyerberg, in the middle of the forest, the ToGenJi, a Zen temple and home of the Choka Sangha as well as permaculture project, has emerged. Please tell me a little bit …

Jürgen Windhorn : The ToGenJi project is originally a Zen AND Permaculture project. It is about connecting the meditative path with a way of life that cooperates with nature. A path that was already crucial to the (Chinese) Zen tradition and that could also be a transposition of Point No. 5 of the Eightfold Path, the Right Act, in a highly industrialized culture. Similar to the practice and application of non-violent communication and mediation, which can be understood as the concretization of No. 3, the Right Speech.

ToGenJi Permakulturgarten

We also need, says Oldenburg economist Niko Paech, “real laboratories” beyond the need for improvement and exploitation, where we can practice doing “our thing” and not compulsively with emotional and material increases and projects react.

Such “real-laboratories”, for example, already existing ecovillages, for example, have brought important impulses in the field of spirituality and ecology into the mainstream, but these impulses were then taken up and integrated in the mainstream sense.

Out-of-court communication is subsidized to the “industry standard” and meditation by health insurances. Success is undoubtedly obvious, but it is not so easy to guess which part is a real success and which is a Pyrrhic victory. Why is it all so hard to see? The Buddhists have a concept for this effect, something “actually” obvious to recognize difficult: delusion.

However, as a rule, this term “delusion” is usually understood by us only as purely intrapsychic. No wonder, when the Buddhists – traditionally, in the late Iron Age of the Buddha also quite appropriate – was central to the human inner world. But even today, authoritative Buddhist teachers say: “Our home is the spirit.” Such as a French Buddhist teacher from the Tibetan tradition to visitors from the Colombian Highlands, who live in their homeland as probably the very last group of people completely separate from the industrialized world. The Kogi shamans from the South American mountains could not understand the explanation of the Buddhists. How can anyone believe that they were so surprised that their own homeland is in the spirit when it is obvious where and how and what we all live on …?

Our industrial life, which is still largely fueled by fossil energy sources, is, as the bottom line shows, the manifestation of a kind of great perfected illusion because it simply can not be sustained in the existing form. So, in a sense, as a material transformation of the mental fetter that has grown into the global dimension, from which the exercise of Zen in everyday life should liberate us. From this illusion, or better: to awaken from this dream (in the double sense of the word!) – after all, the “awakening” is considered the ultimate goal in Buddhism – but today seems very much required. Because the mere acknowledgment of the fact that our obsessive attachment to the prevailing dynamics of growth in a dream – which is increasingly becoming a nightmare – are, making this dream at least lucid, is hard enough for us. And the question of how today a liberating-looking Zen could be possible in everyday life, taking into account point no. 5 of the Eightfold Path, has thus become a kind of meta-koan.

Pfingstsesshin 2016 Abendrezitation 01 300x188

3 treasures : Can the Zen Path and the Zen practice help us to find an appropriate answer for us, for today?

Jürgen Windhorn : Yes, that’s the question. What is the – real – alternative? What is the outcome of the self-inflicted immaturity towards the paradigms and ideologems that govern us? It’s not so hard … – Any relationship, any relationship between people and any relationship with the world that helps me to really transform things into anything and any relationship where people and things touch and talk to me in their own way – independent from questions of usability and making available – is already located and moves beyond the prevailing paradigms and ideologems.

It may also be that we experience such deepened “resonance experiences” (as Hartmut Rosa calls them) in our work, also in working through oneself; Every craftsman and every really creative person knows this, that one loses himself in a job, is fully absorbed in it, and afterwards realizes that while it was most satisfying and profoundly fulfilling to do so, no one will even be a tired Mark give for it. If you experience that, then you have at least once experienced outside of the prevailing ideology of usability … Such experiences and relationships are always highly personal and their depth is usually inversely proportional to the extent of their usability and availability. And, by the way, this resonant and deeply receptive world attitude is not plannable and can not be produced like an industrial product.

3 Treasures : So, less “wellness” and more “real revolution”?

Jürgen Windhorn : The idea of ​​taking a break from the hamster bike and then putting in a carefully planned summit or depth experience in nature or at a meditation weekend on weekends, so that you can devour it during the week, usually works Not. Resonance and depth experiences refuse just the increase as well as the planning and usability. The approach of understanding nature – external as well as internal – as a resource that can be calculated and used as it pleases, remains biased in the paradigm of the usability of all things and beings. The point, of course, as everyone knows, is that the value system of everyday life is different from the one that results from real depth experiences. And, as the half-century-old history of the New Age shows, attempting to “save”, improve, and heal everyday life has, often enough, resulted in the useful tools of the spiritual traditions being absorbed in the mainstream sense and accordingly were used.

The longing – and perhaps the satisfied desire – for resonance and depth experiences beyond the mainstream’s need to increase and exploit is not enough. If we do not become aware of the rapid changes that our ecologically unsustainable lifestyle produces as collateral damage, then soon we will be able to experience less and less resonant and profound experiences, because the nature one could still experience and ultimately the basis of all human beings Experiences, withdraws and preserving the status quo becomes more and more complex and expensive. Alone, to name but one example, the measures that will become necessary in the foreseeable future for coastal protection and the global rebuilding of the big ports, on whose function the global economy is based – even if one assumes for the time being only a sea-level rise of 1 to 2 meters – can easily require half of all human and material resources in the construction sectors of coastal regions. However, a functioning global trade is a prerequisite for supplying us with the resources and the high-tech for our regenerative energy plants. This is just a small example of the enormous changes that are coming to us, at the latest to the next generation.

” The Mantra” More, more, more, – growth, growth, growth “does not really seem to represent its solution “

“Productive” activities within the growth-driven industrialized society often lead to increases in things that turn out to be ineffective. Least of all happiness. As a connoisseur and experienced in the Zen tradition, we could now on the basis of such a statement with the ready walking staff on the table and say: “Hah! All in vain. An effort for nothing at all! “, And then, laughing happily, shoulder the backpack and take a swinging step on our way. And in Rinzai’s time, that would have been an appropriate Zen reaction … – Unfortunately, we are no longer living in Rinzai’s time. And not even in Hyakujo’s world. In our world, that is, in a world where every day of participation in industrial work means a day of diminishing the quality of life of our descendants, Hyjakujo would aptly say, “One day of work is a day without food!”

3 treasures : Does it mean to go the Zen way of living in a monastic structure after all? Will not a Zen in everyday life really work?

Jürgen Windhorn : No one says that a Zen path, if it is not limited to museum-worthy psychotechniques, is simple. A Zen pathway that includes things around us today, such as the first generations of Chinese Buddhists who have included the art of horticulture and self-defense and calligraphy in their path – and successfully – what would such a path be Include today with us – and through us? What forms of renunciation and what forms of liberation would it mean for us today if we did not want to be museum administrators of a millennial tradition, but open-eyed living practitioners?

And the reply: ” Begin with you, first sweep in front of your own door, look first into yourself, first make peace with yourself before you look at the world, ” – this answer is always correct and never complete , Not completely, because the “I”, the “in me”, etc. today, in our present range of effect and “power” something completely different means, as to Hyakujo or Hakuin’s times. This also means awakening: awakening to the realization of the physical, the industrial reality in and by which we live. Even if we agree that this reality is far from the last. But who dares claim to be on the way to the ultimate reality of denying the elephant in the living room at the same time?

Jürgen Windhorn 150x150

Jürgen Dai Yu Windhorn is the Dharma successor to Christoph Rei Ho Hatlapa. He lives and works on the grounds of ToGenJi, on the edge of the life garden Steyerberg and supervises the area permaculture. In addition, Jürgen Dai Yu coordinates the podcast of the Choka Sangha and writes the blog Hudewald – Notes on the connection between spirituality and ecology.



Zen and Sensory Awareness . Different in form and practice, both of them are simultaneously characterized by a wonderfully enriching relationship, which was also reflected in the encounter and interaction of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Charlotte Selver . The following interview is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Stefan Laeng as part of the Charlotte Selver Oral History and Book Project . Yvonne Rand is a meditation teacher and Zen priestess in the Soto tradition. She began studying and practicing Zen with Suzuki Roshi in 1966 and became Dharma successor to Dainin Katagiri Roshi.

Yvonne Rand Zen 1024x576

Yvonne Rand : The first time Charlotte Selver and Suzuki Roshi taught together in San Francisco in 1967. It was their first meeting ever and they did everything together. He led a part of the day and she led a part of the day, and he was then fully attending. His students noticed that. Oh, so this is a teacher we should pay attention to. On the other hand, there were also some students of Charlotte who were attracted to Suzuki Roshi and his teachings.

I remember one of Charlotte’s first sensory awareness workshops in Green Gulch. She had some big stones with her. She asked us to lie down on the floor and place the stones on different parts of the body to bring attention to the body. Suzuki Roshi was thrilled with all this. Even today, we Americans are paying attention to the region above our necks. I think he was very happy to feel this affinity and togetherness in their way of working.
For Suzuki Roshi, who loved stones – he was infatuated with stones – it was clear that she had something to offer that was missing. Here was someone who used stones in their work to introduce their students to a kind of awakening of the senses and corporeality that allowed each and every one of them to become aware of their own experience.

For a Japanese Zen priest in the US, body-based work and practice was unusual at the time. It was rare to find a Westerner who offered a job like Charlotte and who so harmonized with Zen and his own experiences. I think sometimes he was pretty lonely. Of course, he had a close connection to his students. But the collegial connection with a teacher just has another quality. He probably found confirmation in that as well.

Most American Zen students had a penchant for dogmatism – as if some people had blinders. If Zen practice was not strict and formal, then it was not Zen practice. But if you look back on the history of Zen in China, Vietnam or Japan, there were always the nerds and all the different forms that are recognized as an expression of Buddhism, of Zen in particular.

My impression of Suzuki Roshi was that it was very clear to him that sensory awareness is a spiritual practice, one that lets people experience how to wake up from the neck down. In a way, Charlotte’s teachings later became integrated into our community in their lives, which was otherwise focused primarily on the Buddhism and teachings of Suzuki Roshi. Charlotte and her students felt that there was a relationship and that’s what the Zen students felt.

I remember a conversation with Suzuki Roshi about his experiences with teaching Charlotte. He said something about how she brought the elements of a ceremony into her work, a body-oriented ceremony.

Stefan Laeng : It is interesting that you mention the importance of ceremonies and rituals and how Sensory Awareness and Charlotte had a part in it because …

Yvonne Rand : That was Suzuki Roshi’s point of view.

Stefan Laeng : … Charlotte avoided ceremonies and rituals.

Yvonne Rand : Well, she did and did not do it. It could be argued that a meal on the terrace at their house in Muir Beach – under the guise of ‘let’s eat together’ – was all about a ritual or a ceremony. In my mind, dining with Charlotte and Charles was a sacred practice, a spiritual practice. That was very clear to me. That was one of the things that I appreciated about Charlotte. Because I felt there was a way in the Suzuki Roshi – how can I say? I felt that he was always present when I went up to her house to eat with Charlotte and Charles. I think Suzuki Roshi would have liked that. To some extent, it was the way Charlotte had set up her house, how she wore clothes, all the things she did during her lessons, and how she designed the workroom. There was always a ritual element with it.
Besides, I think Charlotte might be the first person to endure when things did not all fit together on the dining table. The plates do not necessarily match, the silver cutlery certainly did not match. The napkins did not fit or fit. So this too was a kind of game. I have never experienced that she was attached to a need for perfection. She really wanted to make room for the special in each person. This sense of uniqueness really embodied her, I think.

Stefan Laeng : Yes, even if it did not seem to matter whether things fit together or not, it was not out of indifference.

Yvonne Rand : It was not chaotic. The result was always harmonious. She had a strong sense of staging. And I believe that this sense of aesthetics cultivated Charlotte, which suits Suzuki Roshi. There he felt a real relationship with her. This shared enthusiasm was a real gift for him, a form of friendship. I think that was one of the reasons he was so benevolent and keen to teach his students.

Recently, I thought of a sesshin with Suzuki Roshi, and Charlotte also came to mind. He said to me, ” It is right that sometimes I am the teacher and you the student. But it’s just as true that sometimes you’re the teacher and I’m the student . ” About a year ago, I drove him back from Tassajara after a Thanksgiving meal. We arrived at Sokoji (the San Francisco Temple) at about midnight or one in the morning. He slept all the way. That was normal for him. And of course he woke up fresh as spring and started giving me a lesson of confidence. It started with, ” I do not trust anyone “. He worried about his students because he felt that they were so eager to trust him. And he said, ” But you are on the wrong track. Sometimes I’m trustworthy and sometimes not. How about you trust yourself? Why are you projecting this on me? “

Charlotte had a certain inclination to – the word that comes to my mind does not quite fit – a penchant for mischief. A predilection to be naughty, a little cheeky and playful, just like him.

Suzuki Roshi 240x300

I drove S  Uzuki Roshi often to Tassajara. And once, at the top of the ridge, before we drove down to Tassajara, on the other side of a barbed wire, ferns grew in the pasture. They were still young and rolled up, they are called Becherfarn / Ostrich Fern. At this stage, they are a real treat in Japan. Suzuki Roshi said, “Yvonne, stop. Hold on”. And he pointed over and said, “I want you to bring me as many as possible. Do you have something where you can put it in? “And I replied,” But Suzuki Roshi, there is a big ‘No Passage Sign’. He said, “Ignore it!”

Stefan Laeng : I laugh because I did exactly that with Charlotte.

Yvonne Rand : Exactly. That’s what I mean. Both had this rogue. So he set his foot on the barbed wire so I could slip and then he went back and sat in the car, cranked down the window, gave me instructions as to when it was enough. That was when I had decimated almost all the ferns. And then he said, “Ok, we have to go to Tassajara quickly now. Driving so fast “. And then he went straight to the kitchen and made Becherfarn / Ostrich Fern soup. He was so happy that he could hardly stand it.

Stefan Laeng : That could have been Charlotte.

Yvonne Rand : Yes. I think it’s – how can I say? When Suzuki Roshi saw the fern, there was this spontaneous enthusiasm, enthusiasm and excitement – he was almost drooling, he was so excited. I think they were very similar in this kind of physical expression.

In terms of my own teaching as a Zen teacher I am often seen by traditionalists as an eclectic but in my opinion this is absolutely not true. Somehow there is this notion in which the Japanese Zen tradition is misunderstood as being decoupled from the body. The work of Charlotte and Charles was part of Zen’s opening up to the somatic realm in America, that attention was once again anchoring in the physical, in the senses, in a way that came from Europe, not from Asia.

Stefan Laeng : So would you say that what you have learned from Charlotte is affecting your work today?

Yvonne Rand : Absolutely. Charlotte helped me to understand that especially for us westerners, who like to put so much emphasis on thinking and disregard or disparage physical experiences, it is important to recognize how reliable body sensations are, just as thinking can be but often it is not. She made it possible for me to appreciate the experience of doing walking meditation and actually having your feet in contact with the ground. In this context, I really think about Charlotte. The perception while walking to feel the movement of air in the room. Many meditators are so in their heads that they wonder if you say that. What are you talking about? I believe the essence of Charlotte’s work was to give our attention to everything through the senses. And the fact that she drew on her own experience as a Westerner and a Western tradition is of great importance to me.
I think she was an important person for those of us who had the chance to work with her while practicing Zen. In a way, her work brought everything to life. There was no chance of her falling into rigidity.

Charlotte Selver was born in 1901 in Ruhrort / Duisburg. From 1921 she trained as a teacher of expression gymnastics with Rudolf Bode. After getting to know Berlin gymnastics teacher Elsa Gindler in 1923, her work has changed profoundly. Gindler developed in the time together with the music pedagogue Heinrich Jacoby a way of working, which broke away from prescribed exercises and the students in working groups to a probing exploring their behavior, so as to develop their potential autonomously and authentically. Charlotte Selver has adopted this approach and made it her own over many decades. As a Jew she had to leave Germany in 1938 and made a name for herself in the USA as a pioneer of the “Human Potential Movement”. Sensory Awareness, as she called her work, was from the 1950s onwards of significant influence on many of today’s more well-known somatic ways of working. Her encounter with leading Zen teachers in the US at the time marked both her and the development of Buddhism in the West. Charlotte Selver died in 2003 in Muir Beach, California.

The San Francisco Zen Center was founded in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi ( 1904-1971 ) and his American students. Suzuki Roshi, a Japanese Zen priest of the Soto line, came to San Francisco in 1959 at the age of 54. A respected Zen master in Japan, he was impressed by the seriousness and quality of the “beginner’s spirit” of the zen-interested Americans he met and decided to stay. (From the website of San Francisco’s Zen Center. More info at: www.sfzc.org )

Yvonne Rand bw

Yvonne Rand is a meditation teacher and “lay housekeeper” Zen priestess in the Soto-Zen tradition. She began studying and practicing Zen with Suzuki Roshi in 1966 and became Dharma successor to Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Yvonne was secretary of the San Franscico Zen Center in the ’60s, chairwoman of the’ 70s and chairwoman of the ’80s. Other key teachers included Maureen Stuart Roshi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Venerable Tara Tulku, and Shodo Harada Roshi. Her main practice is Zen, enriched by the practice and teachings of Theravada Tradition and Vipassana. Yvonne Rand also incorporates insights into psychotherapeutic traditions into her work. At the same time she explores the importance of art and gardening as mind training. She is married, is a mother and gardener. (Further information at: www.goatintheroad.org )

The original interview (English) and further information on the Charlotte Selver Oral History and Book Project by Stefan Laeng : www.charlotteselverbook.org

For the Sensory Awareness work with Stefan Laeng : www.pathwaysofsensoryawareness.com

Zen & Sensory Awareness Workshop with Stefan Laeng from 19.10. – 21.10.2018 in Hesseln / Leubsdorf (near Bonn) : www.zen-sensoryawareness.de

Sunset Ravensburg 1024x683

While Zen gives us a mature form in which we can explore and forget each other, Sensory Awareness invites us to discover, by tentative tasting, what something wants to be.


” Do not believe what society tells you, do not believe what your parents tell you, but make your own experiences and explore your true self “

Filmposter My Buddha 212x300

The first punk fanzine, the own band with rudimentary equipment and a punk manifesto. In MY BUDDHA IS PUNK , the spirit of optimism is directly felt …

But punk and Buddhism, is that even possible? For me personally, as an aging punk and Zen monk, this was a tricky question for many years. Always in search of truth and authenticity, there was often a slight doubt. Until one day people like Brad Warner or Noah Levine and Dharma Punx appeared on the scene, conveying the Buddha’s words in their language. Even with Abbot Muho I mean between the lines to read in which circles he has moved in recent years. The above question I can now answer with an absolute “YES!” So I was curious to see the movie MY BUDDHA IS PUNK finally in the cinema …

Kyaw Kyaw Punk Sänger 02

Kyaw Kyaw , a 25-year-old Burmese punk, grew up in Myanmar’s military style of writing, which is slowly finding its way to democracy after the “Safran Revolution”. He dreams of the breakthrough of the punk movement in Myanmar and tries, along with the members of his punk band, to draw attention to the ongoing human rights violations. Especially against the Muslim population, there are always riots in Myanmar. ” Muslims are being made a scapegoat to distract from other issues, ” says Kyaw Kyaw. ” These violent conflicts are intended to give the impression that without the military in Burma there would be no order. People should think that the military provides peace and security. ” With his music and demonstrations on the streets, Kyaw Kyaw criticizes the ongoing civil war and the persecution of ethnic minorities. He travels the country spreading his own philosophy among the younger generation: a symbiosis of Buddhism and punk that rejects religious commandments and political doctrines.

Time and again the group of punks discuss their ideas about punk, their values ​​and the teachings of Buddhism. On a long train ride, KKRR (Kyaw Kyaw Rebel Riot) talks to people about Buddha and they listen intently to what this young man has to say.

My Buddha is Punk

One thought during the movie was that you just need to exchange the words ” punk ” and ” buddha ” and it would be the perfect instruction of a zen master.

Rebel with kindness and love

Members of The Rebel Riot Band say, ” It’s easy to complain but it’s better to do something “. Together with Food Not Bombs Myanmar , the punks from Yangon distribute food to the homeless.

Punks Feeding the Homeless

They’ve got mohawks and studs. And they’re feeding the hungry. They’re the punks of Yangon.

” Wisdom does not exist only where one expects it ” (Michael A. Schmiedel)

As part of the network of Buddhist groups in Bonn MY BUDDHA IS PUNK ran on Wednesday, 22.02.2017 in the cinema of the bread factory in Bonn Beuel. A great movie, to whose NRW premiere many came, a mixed audience of Buddhists, Punks, punk Buddhists and Buddhist Punks …

The film by Andreas Hartmann is a fascinating portrait of a rebellious youth culture in the midst of a restrictive, conservative and deeply religious society. Worth seeing!!!