Doing Nothing Retreats are offers to join Rani and other participants  spending a few days in a sheltered place (mostly in a monastery surrounded by nature) completely without plan or action.

The next Doing Nothing Retreat (No. 10) will take place from 16 to 19 January 2020 in Kloster Marienstatt. For more information and registration please send an email to Rani: weissefeder(at)netcologne.de. For information about the monastery click here

About the Retreats:

1. Rules: Doing nothing in the retreat does mean not reading, not speaking, not telephoning, not photographing, not listening to music, not meditating formally and if possible not thinking too much. Sitting, lying, walking, walking, dozing and sleeping are allowed. Doing Nothing is less about HOW or WHAT you are than about THAT you are. It also doesn’t mean cultivating a particular state, such as being as awake, conscious, or open as possible. A certain mental ambiguity (cloud of ignorance) is part of it and welcome.

2. Quiet Being – In the morning we usually sit together for one or two hours – quiet being here together. Afterwards everyone can decide for himself where he or she wants to be. Being alone with oneself and the nothing during the retreat is essential for this path. Where one settles down, how long one lingers there, when one gets up to walk unintentionally, is up to each one. In this way one can find out how joyful impulses differ from avoidance impulses.
The area around the monastery supports this hustle and bustle with forests, gardens and benches for sitting and paths for walking. Some people prefer to be alone in their room or in the church for a long time – this can be extremely fruitful. A large seminar room invites you to linger at any time. Here we get together again in the evening.
When doing nothing there are no “breaks”. It begins on Friday morning and ends on Sunday morning. (Whereby the Sunday morning, as well as the evening before belong to the retreat, but not to the area of silence.) In this case the inner retreat lasts 48 hours. But no matter how long or short, Doing Nothing retreats have only one beginning and one end. In between is The Time.

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner we take silently together.

3. Introduction and individual talks with Rani – Rani always gives a detailed general introduction to the practice of doing nothing at the beginning. She also conducts one-on-one interviews with each participant on the first and last day of each retreat.

4. Sharing – Sharing in a round with the others is part of the retreats, apart from that the retreats take place in silence.

5. Maitri Space Awareness (Sometimes) – It is possible that during a retreat we also offer exercises that train and intensify our presence in space.

What are the requirements for participation? – Doing Nothing is not related to any religion or organisation. It is open to all people, regardless of religion, origin or world view. For those who are experienced with meditation practice, this concept-free and formless practice is particularly interesting because it can be a test and an enrichment for their practice. However, this is not a prerequisite. Those who have been on the spiritual path for some time are just as welcome as those who have not yet experienced meditation.

What can I expect from such a retreat? – To predict exactly what would happen would be too speculative. Basically, however, one can say that doing nothing has a healing and decelerating effect. The senses become clearer – see, hear, smell, taste, feel – as if a veil of grey has been removed. Along with speed, subtle fears disappear, sometimes forever. Serenity happens, gratuitous joie de vivre happens. It is nourished by the feeling of feeling newly connected – to oneself, to the earth, to the universe and to all living beings.

Do I have to be afraid to get into a doing nothing retreat?
There were participants who arrived with great fears to the retreats. Everyone laughed at it later. A participant was very strongly connected to his I-phone and was afraid not to survive without a cell phone. He has learned that this fear was just an idea of his mind and nothing real. Another participant thought it would be quite terrible if she had to be silent for so long because she liked to talk a lot. Even she has only been able to laugh at it later and learned how nice it can be to remain Another participant thought it was very difficult for her not to do anything for so long, and she was afraid not to keep it up. She, too, did not find this confirmed and was happy to learn that being without tasks is something she could love.

The next Retreat

The next Doing Nothing Retreat (No. 10) will take place from 16 to 19 January 2020 in Kloster Marienstatt. For more information and registration please send an email to Rani: weissefeder(at)netcologne.de. For information about the monastery click here