The Practice Center
The Intersein-Center is situated in Bavaria, in southern Germany, close to the Czech and Austrian border, approx. 200 km east of Munich. This area belongs to the national park of the "Bavarian Forest". It was established in 1999 and belongs to the transmission line of the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh [see: Plum Village].
The center was founded by the Dharma teachers Amoghavajra Karl Schmied, and Helga and Karl Riedl. They were ordained as Dharmacaryas by Thich Nhat Hanh in the traditional "Transmission of the Lamp"-ceremony in 1994 and belong to the 43rd generation of the Vietnamese Lam Te Dhyana-School. Since the passing away of Karl Schmied in 2006 the center is now run by Helga and Karl Riedl, together with a residential sangha.
The spiritual basis of the center are the ways and practice methods developed in the Plum-Village Dhyana-school. This unique combination of buddhist teachings (encompassing early buddhism (Theravada) and the Mahayana) and of psychological and social conditions of western culture have resulted in a way of practice uniting the spiritual with daily life.
Mindfulness, awareness and consciousness are the basis of this way. We cultivate and strengthen these spiritual and mental capacities all day long in all our activities. Our essential practice in daily life and in all retreats is the "Art of Mindfulness" - the continuous mindfulness and awareness in everything we do. Our center has now become a place of spiritual growth and openness, where people from all fields of life can rediscover their own spiritual roots.
Thich Nhat Hanh
is one of the most distinguished spiritual teachers of our time. He is well-known far beyond the Buddhist community for his deeply compassionate way of presenting the Buddhist teachings and practices beyond all dogmas and traditions; for his deep understanding of the problems of Western society and his never-ending committment for peace and social justice.
He has founded the "Plum-Village Dhyana-School" - which is practiced and taught in Plum-Village, the meditation center he established in South-France. The tradition goes back to Vietnamese Buddhism but has unique and special features developed through Thich Nhat Hanh's personal practice and deep insight. It is centered around the practice of mindfulness, which means to be fully aware and to live consciously in the present moment.
The residential teachers
Helga and Karl Riedl look back on a spiritual development of 23 years, starting 1980 in Poona, India, with Baghwan/Osho Sri Rajneesh. 1985 they began their Buddhist practice in the Zen tradition. They have stayed in monasteries in Sri Lanka and Thailand, and then began with Dharma studies in the Tibetan Gelug Tradition at the Lama Tsong Khapa Institute in Italy. There they met Thay in 1992 and shortly after followed him to Plum Village, where they lived and practiced for six years.
Helga and Karl are deeply committed to the process of building spiritual communities and to help people in their personal spiritual growth. It is essential to them that a spiritual dimension should be added to modern life. They want to teach ways of living together in harmony, and with understanding and love.
The "Sangha" - the spiritual community
is the main sustaining force of the center. There is a residential core-community (presently eight lay people, no ordained monks and nuns) and approx. 10 long-term guests, who live and practice together with the core-community for a period of several months up to one year.
It is the Sangha's assignment and joy to share its life and experience with other people and to help them in their spiritual growth.
- In special courses or retreats we deepen our understanding of certain aspects of the Buddhist teachings and the principles of the Plum-Village Dhyana-School (please contact us for more information on dates etc.)
- Living with the community is possible during the whole year (recommended stay: one week).
Daily schedule (exemplary)
05.30 Wake up
07.00 - 08.00 Personal time for exercise (Yoga, etc.)
09.15 Mindfulness action (communal work)
12.15 Guided Meditation
15.00 - 16.00 Walking meditation
16.30 - 18.00 Dharma discussion
"Noble silence" after evening meditation until 9.15 the following day
Thursdays and Sundays: 11.15 Dharmatalk
"Lazy Day" - personal practice (meals are provided)
In retreats this schedule will be slightly altered and adapted to the retreat topic.
For more information please contact:
Intersein-Zentrum für Leben in Achtsamkeit
Phone 0049-8558-920252, Fax 0049-8558-920-434
or use our [Contact Form]