We do not need god. Religion is not the solution, religion is the problem. Life itself is the best teacher. Why? Because it doesn’t care about you. Because life does not promise any reward. It is the reward.
Life offers for free all the miracles you need. The magic of music and dance, the mystery of the mind, the complexity of the body, the healing qualities of sex and sensuality? Are all these phenomena not more miraculous and astonishing than the circus tricks performed by gods and gurus?
Even though we do not think that discipline is something good per se, we believe it is useful when studying the mysteries of life. So the idea came up to work with discipline and structure, and to design a contemporary form of a monastery where the magical aspects of life can be studied in depth.
In the modern capitalist society, the rhythm of our lives is ruled according productivity needs and economical results. The control is total and tends to extend to all or habits, tastes and desires. Institutions, school, religion and police are there to support this system of values. Already as children we are trained to submit, in fear of rejection and exclusion.
The result is the world as we know: unfair distributions of wealth and resources, with 1 % of the people that control and own more then the other 99%; rigid separation of social classes and established gender roles, laws that support the interests of big corporations instead of addressing citizens needs and environmental issues. The time we must dedicate to work for money occupies the biggest part of our lives, at the expense of our free time. More value is given to economical growth then to personal one. Freedom, awareness and self-realization are not on the agenda; the religion of profit and consumption seems to conquer the whole world.
Nevertheless we believe that we as humans can attempt to build a different civilization, based on awareness, peace and love, able to guarantee the well being of all living beings.
Are you ready to train for that?
Micha Stella, Felix Ruckert, January 2016
We invite you to train the fundamental skills we believe necessary for a new civilization. Seeking for clarity, inspiration, health, creativity and freedom, we want to dedicate 10 days to expand our minds, bodies and souls. You will be placed in a field of extremes: reduction and focus, pleasure and well being. The structure and discipline will support you to reflect and challenge your personality, emotional landscape and routines and help you to explore your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Like in a modern monastery, the rhythm of night & day is going to be embraced collectively; but moments of solitude and introspection are scheduled as well.We will focus on healthy eating habits and a period of Cleansing and Fasting, Physical Training and Body Work, Music and Singing practices, Deconstructing Childhood Traumas and Meta-genealogic Patterns and Exploring and Developing Sexual Awareness.
Cleansing and Fasting
The first two days we will purify our bodies, eliminating from our diet : coffee, Sugar, dairy product, gluten, alcohol and tabacco. We will introduce a high consumption of cold pressed vegetables and fruits and super food like hemp, sprouts, maca and others. Then we will start during 6 days, drinking purifying and detoxifying herbal teas; every day will be dedicated to the care and detoxification of a particular organ and specific herbal tea will be use for this propose. The lasts two days we will gradually reintroduce solid food.
Physical Training and Body Work
Every morning, we will dedicate few hours to different physical and spiritual training such as Yoga, Feldenkrais, Morning walk, Dance and guided meditations. Then we will explore different kinds of massage techniques and bodywork.
Music and Singing Practice
The days and nights of the retreat will be structured by moments of a cappella singing. Producing sound collectively is an opportunity to express and release up coming emotions, to bath in vibrations and to celebrate the group process. At other times we will also engage in simple music making with instruments.
Personal Growth, Metagenealogy & Hypnotherapy
Inspired by the work of A. Jodorowsky and his Meta-genealogy, combine with Acting Technics (M.Checov, C.Stanislavsi, L. Strasberg), Visualisations, and Hypnotherapy. (Rapid Transformation therapy/ https://www.marisapeer.com) Micha will invite you to explore different moments of your childhood with the intent of deconstructing traumas and “false Beliefs“ and gaining awareness on yourself. We will start together to rewrite an ensemble of “New beliefs“ more adapted to the fulfilment of our real need and able to guide and support us in our search for happiness and freedom.
We will also question the construction of our own identity and gender and talk about our individual experiences, sharing our feelings and reflections to understand how those imposed categories have affected our development and our lives. Together we will subvert all habits, language uses and elements connected with this old patriarchal system of values and suggesting new way to celebrate the differences between gender and between each individual.
Exploring and Developing Sexual Awareness
Unlike traditional western and most eastern spiritual paths we do not believe in the suppression of sexual impulses, we rather wish to integrate the sexual body in our daily practice. Each day a time will be dedicated to the sensual and sexual body: to question and reach a deeper understanding of our sexual being, to safely explore fantasies, taboos and desires and to celebrate sexuality as a tool for heath, connection and well-being.
References and quotes
We must cease once and for all to describe the effects of power in negative terms: it ‘excludes’, it ‘represses’, it ‘censors’, it ‘abstracts’, it ‘masks’, it ‘conceals’. In fact power produces; it produces reality; it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth. The individual and the knowledge that may be gained of him belong to this production’ (Foucault 1991: 194).
These ‘general politics’ and ‘regimes of truth’ are the result of scientific discourse and institutions, and are reinforced (and redefined) constantly through the education system, the media, and the flux of political and economic ideologies. In this sense, the ‘battle for truth’ is not for some absolute truth that can be discovered and accepted, but is a battle about ‘the rules according to which the true and false are separated and specific effects of power are attached to the true’… a battle about ‘the status of truth and the economic and political role it plays’(Foucault, in Rabinow 1991). This is the inspiration for Hayward’s focus on power as boundaries that enable and constrain possibilities for action, and on people’s relative capacities to know and shape these boundaries (Hayward 1998).
Foucault was fascinated by the mechanisms of prison surveillance, school discipline, systems for the administration and control of populations, and the promotion of norms about bodily conduct, including sex. He studied psychology, medicine and criminology and their roles as bodies of knowledge that define norms of behaviour and deviance. Physical bodies are subjugated and made to behave in certain ways, as a microcosm of social control of the wider population, through what he called ‘bio-power’. Disciplinary and bio-power create a ‘discursive practice’ or a body of knowledge and behaviour that defines what is normal, acceptable, deviant, etc. – but it is a discursive practice that is nonetheless in constant flux (Foucault 1991).
The crowd, a compact mass, a locus of multiple exchanges, individualities merging together, a collective effect, is abolished and replaced by a collection of separated individualities. From the point of view of the guardian, it is replaced by a multiplicity that can be numbered and supervised; from the point of view of the inmates, by a sequestered and observed solitude (Bentham, 60-64).
“…We were 16 people, 14 of them total strangers to me and had ten days of intense and challenging experiences together, including six days of fasting (no food, no drugs, no internet, no cigarettes, no coffee). They where always there, when I needed them, they nourished me with their gentle hugs, their nice words, their voices, their touch, their stories, their tears and their laughter, their love and their entire being as they are.“
“…I´m so thankful that I could have this time for me and my personal growth. My body and my mind are so very clean and clear now.“
“…We had intense talks, torturing body exercises, long walks, lots of singing, even at three o´clock in the middle of the night, a strict schedule, yoga and very very much herbal tea.“
“…even though I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the fasting, it was glorious to have that first bite of an apple when we were finally allowed to eat again“
“…all in all, the experience was an inspiring one, and in spite of its flaws, I often find myself thinking back on it.“
“The discipline helped us to survive the hunger you didn´t just had the time to think about food. “
“The mind became clearer and clearer and we got nearer and nearer to our feelings.
I felt so deep love.“
The New Civilization Training
Ten days in a Contemporary Monastery with Felix Ruckert and Micha Stella.
Spring 2020: 20th to 29th March in Neu Spizmühle, Strausberg.
Spring 2019: 22nd to 31st March in Neu Spizmühle, Strausberg.
Spring 2018: 23rd March to 1st April in Seminarhaus Taubenblau.
Fall 2017: 6th to 15th October in Jagniatkow, Poland.
Spring 2017: 31st March to 9th April in Schlüßhof, Uckermarkt
Fall 2016: 30th October to 9th November in Jagniatkow, Poland
Spring 2016: 25th March to 3rd April at Schwelle7, Berlin
Price: 680euros/ 530euros for schwelle7 members (all included)
ACTIVITIES: Bodywork, Yoga, Feldenkrais, Dance, Movement & Conscious Sexuality, Choir Singing and Music, Personal Growth and Metagenealogy, Hypnosis, Lectures and Talks, Silence and Meditation. No phone. No Internet.
DIET: No alcohol, no tobacco, no sugar, no coffee, no gluten. 3 days minimal vegetarian food, 7 days of complete fasting.
“For the first time in the modern age, adults are seriously considering the inalienable right of the individual to personal growth from a non-dogmatic and non-authoritarian standpoint. For the first time, we have a basis for believing that each individual’s existential freedom does not constitute a threat towards the community, but is rather vital to the continued health of the community as a whole.“ Jesper Juuls