“There must be a powerful realization, a catching up, an inner gathering of all powers, the lowest as well as the highest, a becoming one from all dispersion, for all things are more powerful when united. He who wants to know something deeply turns all his senses to it and forces his senses to a point in the soul from where they have flowed out.Johannes Tauler
Just as all the branches emerge from the trunk of the tree, so all the powers of sense, feeling and determination are united in the ground. This is the realization.
The contemplation school Via Integralis wants to enable people to introduce others to the practice of contemplation, to accompany them on this path, as well as to support them in creating and guarding the place of silence in the world.
Since the founding of Via Integralis, contemplation teachers have been trained in several courses. Below you will find information on the course offered. The current course is held in German only. In the future, we may offer a course in English.
The next course will be held from 2021 to 2023. An information weekend on the course will take place on 23-25.10.2020. Registration has been completed.
The three years of training at a glance
In the first year: basics of the contemplation school Via Integralis and the diversity of Christian mysticism
In the second year: introduction to the basics of Zen Buddhism and reflections on the similarities, differences and uniqueness of the two traditions of Zen and Christian mysticism.
In the third year: consolidation into the practice as a contemplation teacher
Conditions of participation
Admitted are people who:
- Who have practised non-objective meditation/contemplation regularly for at least 7 years
- who have attended at least one course of via integralis and a Zen introduction
- who have had authentic spiritual experiences
- who enjoy engaging with mystical theology
- who have the ability to accompany other people
- Participation in all course meetings and in the contemplation week
- Proof of at least one assistance in a contemplation course of Via Integralis
- In the 1st year: write a short portrait about a mystic of one’s own choice.
- In the 3rd year: write an essay on a topic of your choice from mysticism or Zen.
- A practical contribution to the introduction to contemplation.
- An account of a profound spiritual experience.
Completion of the course.
The course lasts three years and ends with the recognition as a contemplation teacher via integralis level 1.
After completing the course, graduates are authorized to offer short courses for via integralis and to guide and accompany people to practice. This entitlement is linked to membership of the Via Integralis teachers’ association.
Only then, in further training modules and supported by the mentoring of an experienced contemplation teacher, can the 2nd level of the teaching recognition be achieved. With this, a binding teacher-pupil relationship can be entered into.
An overview of the course content
Information weekend (optional): Everyone receives information and space to perceive personal bases for decision-making to be able to decide whether the course is right for the current life situation and spiritual development.
1st weekend: We begin the journey together becoming a learning group familiar with the origins of the School of Contemplation.
2nd meeting – contemplation week: We dive deeply into the experience of via integralis and its rituals. We grasp the texts and prayers of the via integralis and their origin.
Weekend 3 – Mystical Theology: We learn about the variety of mysticism, Christian and non-Christian (depending on the favourite mystic). We learn basic terms to assign further literature and to integrate it into an overall picture. We learn to locate our fascination on this map of mysticism.
Weekend 4 – Insights into Zen Buddhism: We learn basics of Buddhism and acquire an overview of Zen history and origins.
Weekend 5 – Consolidation of Buddhism: We deepen our knowledge of (Zen) Buddhism. How do we find an understanding and a language for what happens in meditation?
Weekend 6 – Spiritual development as a path or process: We relate basic Buddhist concepts to basic Christian concepts: Christ and Buddha, Trinity – Inter-being, Nada – Nothingness, biblical pivotal words and Koan. We reflect on our own religious biography.
Weekend 7 – Core shadow, core injury, core competence: We perceive what we encounter in our depths, both beautiful and difficult. We learn to deal with our shadow issues in a new way by dealing with our core shadows. We see our charisma that has evolved from this woundedness. We increase our vigilance in situations where others act out of shadow issues.
Weekend 8 – Transpersonal phenomena and discernment of spirits: We can react in a clarifying and calm way when transpersonal phenomena occur. We develop an understanding of sexuality as a creative force. We reflect on our own spiritual experience and make it fruitful for accompaniment. We learn about the phenomena triggered by spiritual practice (Makyo, Kundalini reactions etc.). We familiarize ourselves with the manner of “discernment of spirits” (Ignatius of Loyola).
Weekend 9 – Being a student, being a teacher: We have an accurate picture of our abilities and necessary learning steps. We will be qualified to guide and accompany contemplation groups on site (providing stimulus and creating a suitable setting).
Weekend 10 – Recognition:
We celebrate the recognition and transition into the work of a contemplation teacher.
Course fee and pension costs
The course fee for the entire course is CHF 4,500.
1/3 of the costs are paid at the beginning, 2/3 of the costs at the beginning of the 2nd year of training.
The pension costs for each weekend are paid directly at the respective seminar house.
Those who would like to take part in the course but lack sufficient financial means can apply to the via integralis solidarity fund.
, ktw, theologian VDM, MAS in Spirituality, contemplation teacher, course leader
Theologian (Dr. theol.), deacon, community leader, contemplation teacher and Zen student
Regula Tanner, Wasgenring 103, CH – 4055 Basel; mail