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Jaya Ashmore from Open Dharma will offer a meditation retreat at a former women’s concentration camp a 1-hour train ride north of Berlin, Germany, at the invitation of Zahiro Kai Esko from the Generation After Project. The retreat will begin the evening of Wednesday, May 4th and end on Sunday, May 8th.

Gathering in Germany

 treeThe retreat will include meditation in movement and stillness, silence, and teachings as well as dialog around the inspiring words and life of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch woman who lived and was killed in World War II Holland.  We welcome anyone to join us in tuning into our human situation, with all its depth, intensity and freedom – the history of trauma from World War II, the present realities of refugees, race and climate – and turn together towards life with freshness.  

Inspired by Hillesum, we can feel welcome, even in a former concentration camp, to enter wholeheartedly into deep not-knowing, care, and openness to life with all of its pain and beauty.  We can resist the temptation to make a conclusion.  We can also be inspired by Bernie Glassman who has offered retreats in former concentration camps for 20 years.  We can practice tuning into the nature of this place for receiving and offering connection and support.  May we discover the spiritual potential and resources in us that respond to the call of this day, not from pain and ideology but from wholeness and non-separation.

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.
Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.
~ Etty Hillesum

The experience of deep rest

Open Dharma retreats encourage a revolutionary way of experiencing power.  In resting, we learn the art of relaxing and allowing energy to come through as inspiration, release, and a tender power that is inseparable from wise care for the wellbeing of the whole. We explore how space and kindness can arise naturally through movement and stillness, gentleness and firmness, silence and dialog.  The retreat is appropriate for people at all experience levels or with no meditation experience.

Retreat Locationunnamed

This retreat will take place at the youth hostel of Ravensbrück  located in the former houses of the guards and  next to the former women’s concentration camp.  It is a one-hour train ride north of Berlin.  We will spend time both at both locations.


The cost for the retreat will be $250 US/€225 Euro.  This includes all meals and lodging. Please note that Open Dharma teachers offer teachings and services freely.  At the end of the retreat, there will be the opportunity to offer donations, which allow the teachers to continue serving in this way and to support the managers. The gifts of others in the past allow the teachers to offer this retreat.  And the flow goes on.

To register, please fill out this Google Form.  (If this is your first retreat with Open Dharma, please visit the website to learn more about our approach before registering.)  gravelThe registration deadline is March 1, 2016 but we expect the retreat will fill earlier than that.  Space is limited to please register early!

More information  on paying for the retreat will be sent once we receive your registration.

Zahiro will be organizing additional accommodation in Berlin before and after the retreat for those coming from abroad.  We will send you more information about this as the retreat gets closer.

Jaya will be offering additional one-day retreats in Germany after this one.  Additional information will be posted on this website as it becomes available.

**The retreat will be conducted in English; some limited translation in German may be available as needed.**

If you have any questions, please contact