"Many people have abandoned the christian religion", said dr. Gerhard breidenstein, speaker at the heiligenfeld talk. The invitation from the heiligenfeld academy on the subject of "spirituality beyond religions" was accepted more than 50 interested people followed.
But breidenstein also explained that people will not lose their faith. "Spirituality is in demand again, but without an attachment to a particular religion", according to the evangelical theologian. The longing for the "coarser", "transcendence", there is a need for a new individual spirituality. In his opinion, mystical spirituality is particularly compatible with a modern, systemic view of the world.
Mysticism as common ground
Breidenstein divided his lecture into three sections. In the first part he clarified the concepts of faith, religion, religiosity, consciousness, mysticism and spirituality. "Mysticism is the common factor in the religions", breidenstein said. The mystical center of all religions is shown in buddhism in zen, in islam in sufism, in nature-religion in shamanism. It is based on a holistic view of the world, an all-connectedness and offers a counterweight to materialism. It can thus be the answer to power, violence and crisis.
In the second part of his talk, he presented his faith in a poem and encouraged people to take time to ask the question "what do i believe in??". "Spirituality is not viable in the long term if it is not practiced", said breidenstein and began with these words his third part, the implementation in practice. It needs forms of expression such as rituals or the practice of mindfulness.
Round table discussion
In the discussion that followed, questions about one’s own faith, meaning, longing and one’s own lived spirituality were openly discussed. "A very interesting lecture, from a wise man", the participants agreed.
Theologian and author
Dr. Gerhard breidenstein is an evangelical theologian with a doctorate in social ethics who is now retired. He has been active for decades in adult education on topics of ecology and spirituality. He has been practicing zen meditation for over 25 years and has published a book about it: "zen meditation – a high mountain tour". His latest book is entitled "burning candle in the storm – mystical spirituality in the midst of our world.