Safer Space for leaders from diverse fields and backgrounds to examine their inner selves and values in a confidential and professional environment.
Information about the basic aspects of human flourishing and lessons from spirituality based on the latest scientific research.
Wisdom for Transformation to support attendees in becoming positive agents of change in the world.
Practical Tools for Self-Care to incorporate into personal and working lives.
Community to support each other’s journeys, especially to reflect on the changes, losses, despair, as well as rays of hope experienced during the pandemic.
The in-person retreat in June 2022 will take place in Switzerland at Greifenstein, a 16th century manor overlooking Lake Constance, the third largest freshwater lake in Europe, situated where Switzerland, Germany and Austria meet. Greifenstein is a private home surrounded by the verdant Swiss landscape. The intention is for the participants to gather in the familiarity of a home setting for the final retreat.
Session 1: Human Flourishing / October 7, 2021 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
What is human flourishing? How is it related to happiness and love? Can any of these lofty ideals really be measured by scientific methods? What are some of the essential ingredients of flourishing at the individual and community levels? Does flourishing serve a larger purpose, and if so, what is flourishing for? This session offers a synthesis of current research being conducted by the interdisciplinary team at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and will provide an overview of the theme for this year’s forum. Insights from rigorous social science studies combined with deep wisdom from the humanities support the timeless quest to integrate beauty, truth, and goodness in a spiritual work of love.
Session 2: The Meaning of Suffering / November 3, 2021 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
What is suffering? Why do terrible things happen to good people? How can we make sense of suffering? In this session, we will discuss not only different perspectives on suffering but also share how we might try to make sense of the experiences that we went through during the pandemic.
Session 3: Connecting to Our Awareness / December 2, 2021 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
How do we become aware of the pain and suffering that we are carrying in our mind and body? How do we befriend both our suffering, and our defenses against it, so that they no longer limit us? As a response to Session 2 on Suffering, we will be exploring practical measures to become aware of unprocessed emotional pain and to embrace the wisdom of suffering as we release it.
Session 4: Hope / February 3, 2022 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
How does hope benefit our emotional and physical life? Can we learn to hope? This session will discuss the scientific research on hope, the resilience it can bring during dark phases in our lives, and the ways in which we can learn to incorporate it.
Session 5: Self-Compassion / March 3, 2022 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
Compassion, once considered solely a spiritual concept, is now one of the most widely discussed words in politics and social and healthcare policy. But compassion can sometimes seem easier to extend to others than to ourselves. This session will explore what compassion is and how we can learn to be compassionate to ourselves as well as to others.
Session 6: Belonging - Our Relationships / April 7, 2022 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
Various research on well-being and happiness points out that the health of our relationships plays an important role. We will be looking at the landscape of research on relationships and discuss the effects of personal relationships as well as the group dynamics in community settings. We will ask if there are lessons to be learned to improve our personal and community relationships and enhance our happiness and well-being.
Session 7: Love, An Ultimate Spiritual Mission / May 5, 2022 / 5-7 PM CET (11AM-1PM EST)
Love is central to most religions and spiritual traditions. What is love in the spiritual sense? Is it different from love as we ordinarily understand it? What role did love play in our lives during the time of the pandemic?
Retreat: In-person Gathering at Greifenstein, Switzerland / June 12-15, 2022 (June 12 Check in/June 15 Check out)
We will finally meet each other in person during a 2 night/3 day retreat in the peaceful and picturesque Switzerland at Greifenstein, a 16th century manor. We will integrate all the learnings from the previous sessions into an understanding of where we are in life and where to go from here from a broader spiritual perspective. The program will include discussions, contemplative, artistic and movement sessions. We will take away a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and practices from the journey and think about how we can flourish not only in our personal lives but also contribute to the flourishing of the world. We will be in a home setting where we will break bread together, take walks in nature, and enjoy the fellowship of the journey participants before we re-enter our respective lives. More details of the retreat will follow.
Throughout the journey, parallel to the lectures, there will also be practice sessions designed to share tools for self-care. They will be scheduled as separate sessions so that participants can join when they are able. To complement the knowledge-based lectures, these sessions will explore a variety of practices ranging from meditation, music, art, poetry and movement.